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Kin on a coin?


ikaros
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This is an issue I've been wanting for some time, since I'm a Sikorski myself. We don't know whether our family is related to the General's, but it's still kinda neat seeing your family name on a coin.

 

983249.jpg

 

Part of the problem is that I have mixed information on what part of Poland our family is from -- I've heard Poznań and Częstochowa and Kraków and Lublin. The general's nose looks like Grandpa's, though. :ninja:

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Genl. Sikorski died in 1943 under very suspicious circumstances. He had had a falling out with the USSR over the Katyn massacre(obviously a curse for Poland) and it has been reported that a Soviet aircraft was on the airfield for awhile before his aircraft took off from Gibraltar. It is conjectured to this day, but so far not proven that Soviet operatives may have done something mechanical to the aircraft Sikorski was flying on to cause it to crash. Unfortunately there is not enough evidence to prove any theory as to what caused the plane to go down.

 

I do find it ironic that Sikorski was commemorated on a coin issued by the People's Republic of Poland - in earlier years he was fairly well erased from Polish history.

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Genl. Sikorski died in 1943 under very suspicious circumstances. He had had a falling out with the USSR over the Katyn massacre(obviously a curse for Poland) and it has been reported that a Soviet aircraft was on the airfield for awhile before his aircraft took off from Gibraltar. It is conjectured to this day, but so far not proven that Soviet operatives may have done something mechanical to the aircraft Sikorski was flying on to cause it to crash. Unfortunately there is not enough evidence to prove any theory as to what caused the plane to go down.

 

Oh, yes. I'm familiar with the story. They knew Sikorski would not allow what eventually was decided at Yalta, so it's not out of the range of possibility for Stalin (or Beria) to have ordered it. But there's no proof one way or the other.

 

I do find it ironic that Sikorski was commemorated on a coin issued by the People's Republic of Poland - in earlier years he was fairly well erased from Polish history.

 

The Polish mint seems to have carried on a war against Soviet domination over most of the history of the Rzeczpospolita Ludowa -- nationalist issues and themes were carried out with great artistic flair. The dramatic Curie issue comes to mind, or the Jagiellonian University issues in 1964. Even standard issues, like the Tadeusz Kosciusko and Mikolai Kopernik and Bolesław Prus 10 zlotych series, were executed with style. Basically, if it was a theme celebrating Polishness, the designers and engravers really went all-out. Polish commemoratives of the 1960s are among my favorite coins for their bold and striking designs.

 

But the issues marking state milestones generally ranged from the merely uninspired to the genuinely ugly (note: since the links are to coins in other people's collections on Omnicoin and not to issues I own yet, I want to be clear I'm speaking of the intrinsic design of the coins and not these specific specimens).

 

Granted, appealing to national pride was a tactic frequently used by the PRL government to try to keep the Poles in line (an activity not unlike herding cats). But the artistic difference in designs between Polish themes, and state themes, is remarkable.

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It is known for a fact that some of the postage stamp designers in Poland carried on some subtle and clever stabs at the system, in the books by Gene Hessler about engravers there are accountings of designers that engraved small details that could be seen as anti-communist in several postage stamp issues over the years.

 

As for discussion about the motives of Stalin and Beria, it is claimed even in the writings of Nikita Khrushchev that Beria was telling people after Stalin died in March 1953 that he had had him poisoned. In a short time Beria got his turn when he was accused of being a British spy.

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It is known for a fact that some of the postage stamp designers in Poland carried on some subtle and clever stabs at the system, in the books by Gene Hessler about engravers there are accountings of designers that engraved small details that could be seen as anti-communist in several postage stamp issues over the years.

See, since philately never got my attention, I didn't know that, but I'm not surprised. Many creative talents on the other side of the Iron Curtain got very good at sneaking things past the authorities.

 

As for discussion about the motives of Stalin and Beria, it is claimed even in the writings of Nikita Khrushchev that Beria was telling people after Stalin died in March 1953 that he had had him poisoned. In a short time Beria got his turn when he was accused of being a British spy.

I've read Khrushchev Remembers several times; it's a remarkable book, if a little self-aggrandizing. If you can read between the lines, though, you can get a very telling view of what went on during the late Stalin period, and during his own premiership.

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