30 Year Anniversary of Solidarity’s Election and 40 Years Since Pope John Paul II’s Visit to Poland: Nine Days That Changed the World: Growing Expansion and Economic Improvement for Poles and a Rosier Outlook for America’s Polonia
Robert John Zagar PhD MPH and Agata Karolina Szkotak Zagar MBA
Its’ 30 years since Poland’s first election and 40 years since Saint Pope Paul II visited Poland. As former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich and current U.S. Vatican Ambassador Calista Gingrich, a Polish American raised in Wisconsin, showed in their film, Nine Days That Changed the World, these events are intertwined. It is no mere coincidence that 10 years after Saint John Paul II visited Poland that the Berlin Wall fell on 9 November. George Wiegel details this in his books on JPII.
These two events are interwoven with Chicago’s Polonia that played an important part in Polish history. First there is Poland’s freedom from the partitioning after World War I when Chicago’s Polish community funded and manned a Polish division that began preparing years before the war was officially declared by President Wilson and the U.S. Congress in Niagra Falls Canada. Also during the Communist occupation of Poland, Chicago’s Polish Americans supplied clothing and food that were collected and shipped to Gdansk and then distributed by Polish Roman Catholic Charities and parishes throughout Poland.
But it was the financial and tactical support of Solidarity by the leaders of Chicago’s Polonia that gave Poles hope of freedom to become the financial powerhouse that modern Poland now is. As the Polish first election occurred it was Polish American bankers and insurance executives, economists, and financiers, professionals of every persuasion that assisted Poles and their new government in transitioning from the clumsy, inefficient and inept economic and financial policies to a functioning modern European democracy.
Gradually with decades of time, investment has increased to allow Poles a better wages, more resources, better distribution of goods, modern banking, communication, education, military, and transportation systems, that have made a difference in everyday life. Poles are definitely better off than 30 or 40 years ago. But so is much of central and eastern Europe. It is no mere coincidence that East German, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Bulgaria and the Ukraine, the former states that made up Yugoslavia are all free, modern European democracies with better flourishing economies than 30 or 40 years ago.
Despite the “fake news” and the liberal or “unfree” media and press that are promoting a progressive agenda of how divided Poland is, Poland and Poles have a better life than before. It’s best to ignore the New York Times, Washington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC because many of their writers not only do not understand the full economic and historical picture, they ignore Polish and Polish American culture, geography and language. Their constant criticism of Poland who does not fit into their agenda is unwarranted and unacceptable. Their myopic insights fall short of the sentiment of most Poles and Polish Americans that have a much more global and well-rounded picture of things as they are, rather than what the media would like them to be. Poland is a success and will continue to be so for years to come.
Robert graduated from Northwestern University with a doctorate. He is an economist, professor, psychologist, researcher, and statistician. His work saved 640 lives over the past decade as Chicago’s Mayors Daley and Emanuel provided 147,053 high risk youth, jobs, mentors and anger management training in the summer programs entitled “Culture of Calm” and “One Summer.” and encouraged the release of nonviolent offenders allowing Preckwinkle to roll back the Cook County sales tax which US President Obama copied by freeing 6,800 federal prisoners through commutation and pardon. The US Supreme Court read his work and in the Miller v. Florida and Graham v. Alabama decisions ordered resentencing of 2500 juveniles with life sentences and no parole. He testified before the US House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime Terrorism and Homeland Security about these successes 24 July 2012. His 2016 paper resulted in Pope Francis ordering all pedophile moving bishops and cardinals to be removed from office by canonical court. Dr. Zagar’s 2019 paper was one reason for the Vatican conference on preventing clerical misconduct. Pope Francis said that psychometric tests will help predict and prevent pedophilia 22 March. Robert’s dad was fought behind enemy lines in China in the U.S. Navy Sino American Cooperative Organization during WWII from 1943-1944, while his mother was a U.S. Navy Wave. Agata is an actress, banker, business woman, teacher, and triplet. Together Robert and Agata founded a nonprofit charity, the Society of the Friends of Radgoszcz assisting Malopolska. The Zagar family lives in Edgewater. They are members of Holy Name Cathedral Parish. Robert practices across from Northwestern Memorial Hospital for five decades.