Bijzondere personen Witold Kiezun

Witold Kiezun

door Henk Bakkerode (19-11-2007)

Witold_Kiezun

In juni 1975 hield de nog jonge European Group for Public Administration (EGPA) zijn conferentie voor het eerst in de Poolse hoofdstad Warschau, toen nog stevig in handen van het communistische regime onder Edvard Gierek en Pjotr Jaroszewicz.

Als thema was gekozen voor The Responsibility of the Civil Servant. Van Nederlandse zijde was daarover een degelijke congresbijdrage geschreven door René Crince le Roy, Leo Klinkers (beiden Universiteit van Utrecht), Jan Kooiman (T.H. Delft) en ondergetekende (Ministerie Binnenlandse Zaken, respectievelijk CRM). Deze bijdrage is later ook gepubliceerd in de (Poolse) congresbundel Odpowiedzialnosc pracownika administracji (Poolse Academie van wetenschappen, Warscha 1978).

In die tijd werd door Poolse wetenschappers bijzonder veel belang gehecht aan stevige wetenschappelijke en vriendschappelijke contacten met vertegenwoordigers vanuit het westen, waaronder ook Nederland. De EGPA, waarin onze landgenoot Anne Leemans een belangrijke rol speelde, was daarvoor een graag gebruikt voertuig.

Tijdens die conferentie ben ik in contact gekomen met Witold Kiezun, die toen voorzitter was van het Research Instituut voor Organisatietheorie en Management van de Universiteit van Warschau. Daarnaast was hij adviseur van de voorzitter van de Poolse Nationale Bank. Al de jaren daarna ben ik met hem blijven corresponderen en zijn ook wederzijdse bezoeken afgelegd (in Warschau, Amsterdam en in Burundi).

Het bijgaande stuk is uit een recente brief van Kiezun aan mij waarin hij aangeeft zich ongerust te maken over het actuele beeld van Polen in sommige westerse media en bij politici. Met deze toelichting wilde hij (bij mij) begrip vragen voor actuele Poolse politieke dilemma's. Zijn schets van de achtergronden daarvan is dermate interessant dat ik in overleg met Kiezun publicatie ervan op de website van Klinkers Public Policy Consultants heb bepleit. Maar eerst wat meer informatie over de persoon Kiezun.

Wie is prof. dr. Witold J. Kiezun?
Witold J.Kiezun werd in 1922 in Vilnius (het huidige Litouwen) geboren in een artsenfamilie. In 1931 verhuisde het gezin naar Warschau, waar hij universitaire studies in science en rechten volgde. In 1942 werd hij gediplomeerd ingenieur. Voorts nam hij deel aan het verzet tegen de nazi’s en ook aan de Opstand in Warschau (1944). Een grote foto van hem bij de ingang van het Museum van de Warschause Opstand herinnert nog steeds daaraan. Hij werd door de Duitsers gevangen genomen maar wist te onstnappen. Direct daarna echter, in maart 1945 namen de Sovjets hem gevangen en werd hij gedeporteerd naar de Karum Kum woestijn Gulag bij de grens met Iran. In tegenstelling tot 86% van zijn Poolse lotgenoten aldaar overleefde hij die hel.

In de vijftiger jaren was hij eerst verbonden aan de Poolse Nationale Bank en daarna aan de Warschau School of Economics, waar hij in 1964 promoveerde in Organisatie en Management. Van 1970-1973 was hij voorzitter van het Research Instituut voor Praxeologie van de Poolse Academie van Wetenschappen. Daar werd hij in 1973 verwijderd vanwege de Communistische Partij omdat zijn werk te zeer een ‘niet-socialistische benadering’ vertoonde. Daarna werd hij voorzitter van het Research Instituut voor Organisatietheorie en Management aan de Universiteit van Warschau en vervolgens in 1975 hoogleraar.

In de jaren van 1980 – 1998 verbleef hij langdurig in het buitenland en doceerde in de V.S. (Philadelphia, Pittsburgh), Canada (Montreal, Quebec) en (in opdracht van de Verenigde Naties) in Centraal Afrika. In 1998 kwam hij terug naar Polen, maar doceerde nog regelmatig voor enkele semesters in de V.S., Canada, Engeland (Bradford) en andere landen.

Thans doceert hij (85 jaar oud) nog fulltime aan de Leon Kozminski Academie voor Ondernemerschap en Management in Warschau en werkt hij nu aan het boek Pathology of the Polish transformation. Zijn boek uit 2004, On improvement of the Republic werd uitgedeeld aan alle Poolse parlementariërs, direct na hun installatie na de verkiezingen van 2005. Hij is drager van de hoogste onderscheidingen van de Poolse staat en academische wereld en was tot voor kort lid van de presidentiële adviesraad.

Kiezun heeft meer dan driehonderd wetenschappelijke publikaties geschreven, waaronder tientallen boeken op het gebied van organisatie, management en bestuurskunde. Ze zijn in negen talen vertaald, waaronder in het Russisch, Spaans en Tsjechisch. Hij is nog steeds actief lid van diverse internationale organisaties op zijn vakgebied.

Ten slotte heeft hij een aantal pianocomposities en dichtbundels op zijn naam staan.

Witold_en_Danuta_Kiezun

Witold Kiezun is al ruim 55 jaar getrouwd met zijn strijdmakker uit het ondergrondse verzet in de oorlog, Danuta. Behalve tandarts, is zij de editor van zijn wetenschappelijke publikaties. Naast de Poolse bezitten beiden ook de Canadese nationaliteit. Zij hebben twee kinderen; hun zoon woont in San Diego (V.S.); hun dochter in Parijs.

 

En dan nu zijn recente brief over de manier waarop de politieke ontwikkelingen in Polen op dit moment geïnterpreteerd zouden moeten worden.

On the background of actual political dilemma’s in Poland
Brief van Prof. Dr. Witold Kiezun, Warszawa, 30 October 2007.

In Poland we have a very interesting political situation which is difficult to understand for foreigners. I mention three main issues:

1. Political and economical power
Formally the communistic regime finished in 1989; in reality it was not cancelled at all. The regime was a very clever combination of former communist chairmen. This policy began in 1967 when the very intelligent former Russian ambassador in Hungary, Jeremi Andropov, was nominated on the post of chairman of the KGB (the Committee of State Security) in the Soviet Union.

His idea was to create the KGB as the centre of an intellectual elite in the Soviet Union. So he introduced a very rational system of recruitment. The best students of the last year of studies in Law, Economy, Psychology, Sociology and Political Science were invited to him. He proposed them to work at the KGB on the basis of the following conditions: 5 years studies abroad in one of the capitalistic countries; after the examination of perfect knowledge of the foreign language and international politics they would have to sign a working accord: they got the salary of an university professor (which was 540 rubles, while the average salary in the Soviet Union was 140 rubles), a luxurious flat, a car and after 25 working years 100% retirement salary, with the possibility of other work.

Of course the majority of the candidates agreed. On the basis of this recruitment system, the KGB became in 15 – 20 years the intellectual centre of the Soviet Union. Its staff had an excellent knowledge of foreign languages and foreign political systems. I think that these people at the end of the 19-seventies understood that the Soviet Union did not have a chance to win the competition with the USA and that planned economy is not efficient.

In 1980 in Poland began the revolutionary and anti-communist process of strikes and the creation of the illegal Trade Union Solidarity, with 10 million members. The first reaction of the communist regime was the fight, by introducing the ‘state of war” in Poland. But later the Soviet and Polish KGB understood that their future could be tragic and they found the excellent solution to transfer slowly the economic system into a free market and to change the idea of communism into social democracy, all the time keeping the power in their own hands.

In the Soviet Union this idea was further developed by the first Secretary of the Communist Party Gorbaczow. Finally, up to today, Russia is managed by 2.000 former members of the Soviet KGB with Vladimir Putin, a former colonel of the KGB as its President.

In Poland, after the period of fighting against the underground Trade Union Solidarity, the Communist Party decided to change the economic system into a free market and to privatize the state enterprises. Immediately a lot of chairmen of the Party received the credits they needed from state owned banks and bought about 42% of the state owned small and middle enterprises. So they changed their political power into economical power.

In 1989 they proposed the underground Solidarity Trade Union opposition to organize a Round Table and to create a common government. In this first common government the prime minister was one of the Solidarity chairman, mr Mazowiecki. But the minister of Interior affairs (and security) was the former chairman of the Polish KGB, general Kiszcak. The first President of the new social-democratic Poland became general Jaruzelski, the former First Secretary of the communist Polish United Workers Party. This party was cancelled and changed into the Social Democratic Party of Poland. So the former communists became the new social democrats. In the next years there were different changes, as mr. Walesa (ex chairman of Solidarity) as Polish president but all the time the former communist chairman played an important role in government and economy. So the former communist minister mr. Kwasniewski was after Walesa during 10 years the president of the new democratic Poland. Frankly saying Poland was managed up to the year 2005 by the communist lobby, now named social democrats. Lots of new millionaires are former active communists.

The election of 2005 introduced the real main change, when the true democratic centre-right anti-communistic party Law and Justice, managed by the Kaczynski brothers, won the election and began the process of fighting against corruption and against the power of the former communists, now called social democrats. This fight is a very difficult one because the lobby of former communists is very rich and has a lot of very well educated people in the media, in scientific centres, in the economic life and among the owners of a very high percentage of private enterprises. You can say that the political power of many communists was changed into economic power.1

Unfortunately we now have two centre – right parties. The other one, the Citizen Platform, does not differ much of Law and Justice. It is more open, more liberal and accepts the Jewish-Christian apparatus of values, and Polish patriotism. The main slogan of Citizen Platform is Liberty and of Law and Justice it is Solidarity. Unfortunately the chairmen of these two parties are enemies; the idea to create one coalition was not possible. In the October 2007 elections Citizen Platform won 42% and Law and Justice received 32%.

In Poland we observe now an economic boom; the development of economic power (GNP) last year was about 7% and this year it will probably be also more than 6%. The salaries are going up about 12% a year. Poland produces now about 800 000 cars a year and unemployment is now about 11%. In Warszawa we have 1 million cars for 1.8 million inhabitants. In about 8 – 10 years there will be no difference in living standard with Western Europe. On 15 December 2007 the borders of Poland will be opened and it will be possible to go to all European countries without border control.

2. Polish – German relations
Don’t forget that Poland was one of the earliest and most democratic countries, with the first European Constitution in 1793, with since 1573 the free election of the king, and the first country which said NO to Hitler. Poland was fighting all the time during the Second World War against Hitler (with 400 000 soldiers of the Underground Army) without any element of collaboration.

Our relations with Germany are difficult now. The policy of friendly collaboration between Germany and Russia is very dangerous for us. The agreement between Russia and Germany to build a pipeline for gasoline through the Baltic sea is a demonstration of anti Polish policy. There is already a pipeline from Russia through Poland to Western Europe and it is possible to build another one, three times cheaper than the one through the Baltic sea. What is the reason to pay three times more and to build, very dangerously from the ecological point of view, the pipeline in the Baltic? The only political reason seems to us to create the situation in which Russia can close the pipeline for Poland without closing the transport of oil to Western Europe. We understand this idea very well and this is the reason that we call this German - Russian agreement as the new Von Ribbentrop-Molotow agreement in 1939.

A second problem is the activity in Germany of mrs. Steinbach and 2 million Germans, evacuated from the eastern part of Germany after the Second World War on the basis of the decisions of the USA, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union in Potsdam.

During the war the Germans killed 6 million Polish citizens and destroyed Warsaw. In the Jalta agreement we lost 40% of our territory in the East, with the centre of Polish culture in Lvov, where 70% were Poles, 20% Jews and only 10% Ukrainians. In Wilno (Vilnius), where I was born, there were only 2% of Lithuanians. About 6 million Poles were evacuated to the former eastern part of Germany, which is now Polish territory. In the Middle Ages these territories were mainly Polish, but on the basis of the German policy Drang nach Osten, we lost them. The change of the borders was the result of the war and now mrs. Steinbach, supported by the president and chancellor of Germany develops propaganda against Poland, saying that the poor Germans were the main victims of the Second World War! Germans, who elected in a democratic election the NSDAP of Hitler, knowing his criminal plans as published in his book Mein Kampf. The attitude of the Germans in the time of the occupation of Poland (1939 – 1945) was terribly cruel; in the Warsaw Uprising the Germans killed 40 000 women, children and old people.

We tried to forget those crimes, but why are German media and government developing now this false history of World War II and are they developing the for Poland dangerous collaboration with Russia, managed by former KGB colonel president Putin, which is openly hostile towards Poland? For example he closed the export of many Polish products to Russia.

3. Some moral values
Poland has problems with some elements of the Western Europe degenerated style of life. We don’t accept 100% free abortion (only in specific situations), euthanasia or homosexual wedding. Sexual orientation is for us something very private and we don’t like public demonstrations in these fields.


1. Er verschijnen steeds meer studies die waarschuwen voor een Rusland als een wolf in schaapskleren. Voor een internationale relatie tussen Rusland, het Oostblok en het Westen (waaronder de Europese Unie) waarbij het Westen zich bij voortduring bijn de neus laat nemen waar het de werkelijke bedoelingen van Rusland en zijn voormalige deelstaten betreft. Zie voor zo'n reeks van waarschuwingen het boek De nieuwe koude oorlog van Edward Lucas, besproken in NRC Handelsblad van 28 maart 2008, Boeken p. 5.