TIME Poland

U.S. Ambassador Apologizes to Poles Over FBI Director’s Holocaust Remarks

The 72nd anniversary of Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Jakub Kaminski—EPA The U.S. ambassador to Poland, Stephen Mull, right, lays flowers at the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes in Warsaw on April, 19, 2015

Envoy concedes that remarks were "offensive"

The U.S. ambassador to Poland Stephen Mull has apologized for remarks made by FBI Director James Comey, who penned a Washington Post op-ed last Thursday in which he accused Poland of being a collaborator in the Holocaust.

Mull, who had been summoned by Polish authorities, conceded that Comey’s remarks were “wrong, harmful and offensive.”

During Nazi Germany’s occupation of Poland in World War II, more than 6 million Poles died in addition to millions of Jews, Roma and other groups who died in several extermination camps in the country.

In his article, which was based on a speech he delivered at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Comey referred to Polish “murderers and accomplices” and claimed that “in their minds” they “didn’t do something evil.”

The Polish embassy in Washington, D.C., published a statement over the weekend castigating Comey’s article “especially for accusing Poles of perpetrating crimes which not only did they not commit, but which they themselves were victims of.”

On Sunday, Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz said, “To those who are incapable of presenting the historic truth in an honest way, I want to say that Poland was not a perpetrator but a victim of World War II.”

TIME World

A Sword-Wielding Polish Prince Just Challenged a U.K. Politician to a Duel

"I’d like us to meet in Hyde Park one morning, with our swords, and resolve this matter"

The son of a celebrated Polish cavalry officer has formally challenged an English parliamentary candidate to a duel.

Polish prince Janek Żyliński challenged UKIP leader Nigel Farage to a 18th-century-style duel in a video posted on Youtube. Janek is the son of Andrzej Żyliński, a Polish officer who led a charge against the Nazis in 1939, according to the Independent.

“I’ve had enough of the discrimination against Polish people in this country,” Żyliński said before brandishing the sword his father used in World War II. “The most idiotic example I’ve heard of has been Mr. Nigel Farage blaming migrants for traffic jams on the M40.”

“What I’d like to do is to challenge you to a duel. I’d like us to meet in Hyde Park one morning, with our swords, and resolve this matter,” he continued.

“It is an impressive sword,” Farage said in response to the video, according to Sky News. “I don’t have one but I’m sure we could find one if we had to. But I’m not intending to accept the offer.”

[The Independent]

TIME France

An Airplane Crashed into a Skier in the French Alps Almost Severing Her Hand

The 55-year-old suffered a “near amputation”

What was supposed to be a relaxing excursion on the slopes of the French Alps turned into a near catastrophe when a small plane, sliding out of control after leaving an adjacent runway, struck a Polish woman on a skiing holiday.

The aircraft appeared suddenly from behind her without a sound, the local public prosecutor told Agence France-Presse. It skirted a group of children and slid under a chairlift. The woman, 55, did not hear the approaching plane and was hit by its propeller. She was seriously injured, and emergency services reported that she suffered a “near amputation.”

The resort doctor was immediately on scene to provide medical care, and the woman was then taken by helicopter to the local hospital.

The pilot was about to depart Avoriaz, a ski resort near France’s border with Switzerland, but failed to take off from the snowy high-altitude runway. Local prosecutor Patrick Steinmetz, whose office is investigating the incident, told AFP that the pilot was “a professional who is used to these kind of conditions.”

[AFP]

TIME World

A Mini Auschwitz Display at a U.K. Kids’ Attraction Has Been Slammed as ‘Bizarre’

Trains of Holocaust victims shown next to displays of London in the Swinging 60s

A tourist attraction geared at families and children in Birmingham, England has drawn flak for its “Railways in Wartime” Auschwitz display, depicting model trains shepherding Holocaust victims to their death in Nazi concentration camps.

“The Holocaust was only possible because of trains,” Wonderful World of Trains and Planes managing director Peter Smith told the Birmingham Mail. He said that he had received no complaints.

A sign by the display — which lies incongruously next to models of seaside Britain in the 1930s and London in the Swinging 60s — reads: “On each train about 3,000 men, women and children were herded into cattle wagons and moved hundreds of miles to the death camps – Bergen-Belsen, Auschwitz, Treblinka and others.”

Matt Lawson, a lecturer at Edge Hill University, has called the display “bizarre.”

“It’s a step too far and I really don’t understand the thought process,” Lawson told the Mail. “Did someone wake-up one morning and say, ‘You know what this place needs’…”

Mala Tribich, a survivor of Ravensbruck and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps who lectures on her experiences, said “Wonderful World’s Auschwitz is a useless tool in educating children about the Holocaust.”

[Birmingham Mail]

TIME Diet/Nutrition

How People Around the World Eat Their Yogurt

Americans may be largely alone in their Greek obsession, a new report shows

Any trip down the yogurt aisle makes it all too clear—yogurt is having a moment. Greek yogurt alone soared from 4% of the U.S. yogurt market in 2008 to 52% in 2014. But Greek isn’t the only yogurt game globally. A new report reveals that how (and when) people like their yogurt varies greatly from country to country.

MORE: QUIZ: Should You Eat This or That?

To assess yogurt preferences, DSM Food Specialties, a global manufacturer of food enzymes and ingredients, surveyed 6,000 men and women in six major markets: Brazil, China, France, Poland, Turkey and the United States. More than 53% of people surveyed report eating more yogurt than they did three years ago, even in countries with a robust history of yogurt consumption.

Here’s how people around the world like their yogurt:

  • United States

    Chobani Yogurt
    John Minchillo—AP Images for Chobani

    36% of Americans surveyed preferred Greek yogurt, and the U.S. was the only country whose citizens named it as the favorite variety. Americans were also more likely to eat yogurt for breakfast and the most likely to pair yogurt with fruit.

  • China

    103122353
    Getty Images

    In China, people prefer to drink their yogurt; only 11% eat it by spoon. 54% prefer a probiotic variety, much more than the other markets. A full 83% of surveyed Chinese reported actively looking for probiotics in yogurt, compared to 50% or less in other countries—most choose it for its gastrointestinal benefits. (Not all yogurts contain added probiotics, but it’s a growing trend.) The growth of yogurt popularity in China is somewhat surprising, given the high rate of lactose intolerance in the population—though the survey does show that 60% of Chinese men and women believe lactose-free yogurt is healthier than other yogurt.

  • Brazil

    Muesli with berries and yoghurt
    Getty Images

    Brazilians also like to eat their yogurt at breakfast, and they’re most likely to eat it with cereal, with 55% of the surveyed population doing so. Flavored yogurt is the yogurt of choice for 45%.

  • France

    93330485
    Getty Images

    The French typically eat their yogurt as a dessert (83% do so), and 73% like to eat it on its own, the survey shows. They also prefer the flavored variety.

  • Turkey

    Plain yogurt
    Getty Images

    In Turkey, 77% of yogurt lovers prefer eating it as part of a warm meal, and plain yogurt is the most common kind. Even though yogurt was a staple in Turkey before the recent fad, 60% of Turkish men and women surveyed say they are eating more yogurt now than three years ago.

  • Poland

    Opened cartons of fruit yoghurts, close-up
    Getty Images

    The Polish also love flavored yogurt—51% prefer it—and most eat it as a snack.

    Read next: Hungry Planet: What The World Eats

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TIME celebrities

Roman Polanski Faces Renewed Extradition Effort in Poland

Roman Polanski at the 'Le Bal des Vampires' Press Conference on March 17, 2014 in Paris, France.
Foc Kan—Getty Images Roman Polanski at the 'Le Bal des Vampires' Press Conference on March 17, 2014 in Paris.

The Oscar-winning filmmaker has been a fugitive since 1978 after his guilty plea of having sex with a minor

Roman Polanski, the Oscar-winning filmmaker who has eluded United States legal authorities for 35 years after fleeing the country following his guilty plea of having sex with a minor, is facing a renewed extradition effort. The government in Poland, where Polanski was born and is currently working on a film, announced that it had received a request for extradition from the U.S. government. Mateusz Martyniuk, a spokesman for the prosecutor general’s office in Warsaw, told Reuters that the extradition request came from prosecutors in Los Angeles, and that “Prosecutors will want to summon Polanski for questioning.”

Polanski has been arrested before in Europe and faced the threat of extradition, most notably in Switzerland in 2009. In October, Polish authorities interviewed Polanski about the 1977 criminal matter but released him. “In our view, no new circumstances have arisen which could lead to a change in the decision by the prosecutor’s office in October,” Jerzy Stachowicz, Polanski’s Polish lawyer, told Reuters.

Polanski has been a fugitive since 1978, when he fled the U.S. after he suspected that he would be hit with a severe jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME photography

See Breathtaking Aerial Views of Fall Foliage

Autumn is here, and photographers everywhere are capturing the changing colors of the season. Poland-based photographer Kacper Kowalski captured the most unique views of all, opting to shoot his country’s fall foliage by paraglider (and sometimes gyroplane), creating these magnificent images of the landscape.

“I fly alone as the pilot and photographer,” Kowalski told TIME. “I use a regular reportage camera in my hand. [In this] way I can have control over the image, I can decide by myself where, how and when I will fly to take the image.”

The pictures are part of a larger body of work by Kowalski where he has captured both rural and urban parts of Poland over several years. “I work and live in Gdynia in the northern part of Poland . . . very close to Gdansk at the Baltic sea. The landscape is very rich. And the nature. It is absolutley amazing. Because of the climate in this geographical location it is different each week.”

You can see more of Kowalski’s work and read more about his process here.

TIME World War II

World War II Erupts: Color Photos From the Invasion of Poland, 1939

Color pictures, made by Hitler's personal photographer, of a vanquished Poland in the fall of 1939

On Sept. 1, 1939, one week after Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression pact, more than a million German troops—along with 50,000 Slovakian soldiers—invaded Poland. Two weeks later, a half-million Russian troops attacked Poland from the east. After years of vague rumblings, explicit threats and open conjecture about the likelihood of a global conflict—in Europe, the Pacific and beyond—the Second World War had begun.

The ostensible aim of Germany’s unprovoked assault, as publicly stated by Hitler and other prominent Nazi officials, was the pursuit of lebensraum—that is, territory deemed necessary for the expansion and survival of the Reich. But, of course, Hitler had no intention of ending his aggression at Poland’s borders, and instead was launching a full-blown war against all of Europe. (On Sept. 3, both England and France declared war on Germany—but not on the USSR.)

The invasion—during which German troops, especially, drew virtually no distinction between civilians and military personnel and routinely attacked unarmed men, women and children—lasted just over a month. Caught between two massive, well-armed powers, the Polish army and its Air Force fought valiantly (contrary to legend, which has the Poles surrendering quickly, with barely a whimper). In the end, Poland’s soldiers and aviators, fighting on two fronts, were simply overwhelmed.

In the weeks and months after the invasion, a German photographer named Hugo Jaeger traveled extensively throughout the vanquished country, making color pictures of the chaos and destruction that the five-week battle left in its wake. Here, on the 75th anniversary of the start of World War II, LIFE.com presents a series of Jaeger’s pictures from Poland: portraits of a country subjugated not by one enemy, but by several.

In Jaeger’s photos, meanwhile, we see early, unsettling evidence of the violence, unprecedented in its scope, that would soon be visited upon scores of countries and countless people around the globe, from the streets of London and the forests of Belgium to the North African desert and the sun-scorched islands of the South Pacific.

TIME Surgery

Paralyzed Man Walks Again After ‘Miracle’ Surgery

Polish doctors used cells from patient's nose to heal spinal injury

A man who was completely paralyzed from the waist down has learned to walk again after Polish doctors transplanted cells from the patient’s nose into the damaged part of his spine. This pioneering research offers hope for treatment to millions of people around the world with spinal cord injuries.

The patient, 38-year-old firefighter Darek Fidyka from Poland, was left with a completely severed spinal cord after being stabbed four years ago. His doctors had given him a less than 1% chance of recovery but thanks to revolutionary surgery carried out in 2012 Fidyka is now able to walk again with a frame. “It’s an incredible feeling, difficult to describe,” he recounts in a BBC documentary to be aired Tuesday “When it starts coming back, you feel as if you start living your life again, as if you are reborn.” Fidyka has been able to resume an independent life and is even able to drive a car.

The procedure was carried out by Polish surgeons in collaboration with British researchers at University College London. Professor Geoffrey Raisman, who led the U.K. research team, called the breakthrough “historic” and said what had been achieved was “more impressive than man walking on the moon.”

[BBC]

TIME Out There

See Stunning Photos of the Earth from Above

Kacper Kowalski's aerial photography looks like something a designer might dream up.

Kacper Kowalski aerial photography often looks like something a designer might dream up. What with all that efficiency of line and structural balance. Indeed, at first glance, much of his work might be mistaken for a pixel-perfect rendering or even as a series of photographs of dioramas.

Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that Kowalski trained as an architect for five years and worked as a designer for four. “Architecture was a big part of my life,” Kowalski tells TIME. “It was a huge passion of mine, and still is.”

But in 2006, after years at the forefront of the Polish architecture world, he got bored. And so he took a leap of faith: he quit his job and decided to embrace two other life-long passions: flying and photography. Now, the trained pilot and lensman spends his days making images high above lakes, orchards, and beaches. His love of design, however, still has a huge impact on how he works, and what his work looks like.

“When you’re designing any architectural structure, the first step is to understand the location and context,” Kowalski says. “And as a photographer, I use the language of drawing — and just like with architecture, my audience is wide and my subject is civilization.”

While most of these aerial photographs are straight up aerial documentation, his new working method has evolved into a more structured endeavor: Much like an architect, he now plans what a photo will look like, and has even started cutting up individual photographs and constructing a new composite image with the parts.

“Documentary was easy, it was just simple observation,” Kowalski adds, “but I’m not neutral any more, and I feel good with it.”


Kacper Kowalski is an aerial photographer based in Poland. His work is on show as part of Photopoland, an exhibition of new Polish work at Photoville in Brooklyn, New York, from September 18 to 28, 2014.

Richard Conway is reporter/producer for LightBox.


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