Ask any question about Poland

If you have any question about the great nation of Poland let me know. You can ask it under the specific post or category set up or simply in the comments below. Leave a comment and ask a question about the Polish nation anything you can imagine ask.

Some sample questions about Poland are:

  • Ask about  a town, where your relatives are from example? I have a pretty good idea on how to approach this.
  • Questions about Polish surnames and what they mean or questions about Polish first names, girls names and boys names.
  • Ask about Poland and other nationalities, such as Jewish or Ukrainians or Germans living in Poland and what the relationship.
  • Maybe you want to live in Poland: Move to Poland, life in Poland, cost of life in Poland ask questions here.
  • If you have questions about citizenship ask here: Polish citizenship and visa you can under this post.
  • Travel to Poland – This section will be built but you can ask in the comments below until it is complete. It could include anything from medical coverage to hotels to stay in.
  • Polish women – and dating questions. I am very happy I married my wife from Poland. It is a world of difference than western dating culture.
  • Historical questions. It is a long history and my initial interest in Poland came from a historical perspective. I think I will have to expand this section on Poland.
  • Polish language You can ask anywhere here under my Polish grammar section. This includes learning Polish for kids to Polish as an adult.
  • Polish holidays.
  • Polish cooking.
  • Religion in Poland.
  • What are Polish people like?
  • Polish weather – what is it really like?
  • How do Polish people use the Internet?
  • Where do Polish people go on vacations?
  • Sending things to and from Poland.
  • Polish places, cities and towns.
  • Polish law.
  • Polish driving questions.
  • Polish people abroad?
  • Polish news sources – where to find the best Polish news.
  • Shopping in Poland.
  • Business, economics and real estate in Eastern Europe.
  • If you have any crazy question in just ask it. Do not be afraid, just leave a comment and I will reply as soon as I can, usually in a day. You can also contact me via e-mail, but sometimes those e-mails do not get through. The best ad surest way is via the comments below.

I am working to build this site up to be more of a forum but it will take time. I ask you subscribe and contribute with comments if you can.

Why do I know about Poland?

I am a duel US and Polish citizen and lived in Poland for about ten years. I have made it a lifetime passion to study about Poland.  I live in the USA now.  I have a pretty good perspective about Poland and the world as I have traveled a lot though Eastern Europe and the world. Although sometimes I write negative things about Poland, generally I have a positive spin on Poland and a realistic understanding of the culture.










88 responses to “Ask any question about Poland”

  1. Ram

    Hello Mark

    My name is Ram and I’m intending to become an author.

    In the book which I’m writing now, there is one piece of information that I’m still looking for, and it is as follows:

    “Was there a village preferably a town which had no Jewish population between the years 1900-1938 before Germany’s invasion”

    I have tried to get that information from these sources

    “Social and political history of the Jews in Poland 1919-1939” by Joseph Marcus

    “Modern Jewish Fertility” by Paul Ritterband

    And I tried to put my hands on “the demographic structure of the Jewish population in Poland ” by Samuel Fogelson but to my knowledge its written in Polish

    I would be happy if you could help me.

    Thank you


    1. Mark Biernat

      There were many towns that did not have a Jewish Population. How can I help you? What are you looking for exactly a translation of the book, or a list of towns? What is the thesis of your book?

      1. Ram

        Hello Mark

        Thank you for the fast reply.

        Although I’m not keen on reveling any details about the book I can say, it’s a non fiction book that includes a plot and not an informative book.

        Its dominant idea is “Money is a means to an end and not the aim of life itself”

        The book will include mild look on antisemitism but it is certainly not the main focus.

        If there were towns with no Jewish population in the period of time mentioned then ill be happy to receive the list.

        Thank you again


        1. Mark Biernat

          I do not have such a list. However I can give you a big pointing in the right direction, start your research here with the following:

          • drugi powszechny spis ludności
          • Spisy statystyczne w Polsce
          1. Ram

            I appreciate your help and the time spent to find those sources.

            I looked into some of them the first one is in Polish so I couldn’t get much out of it, the second one and the third pretty much suggest the opposite from your claim and again the last one’s files are all Polish.

            If you know but of one town in that period of time as you claimed, it can help.

            Thank you


          2. Mark Biernat

            I can point you in the right direction, but I am not going to do the research for your book for you. I will for a fee. If you need to do primary source research I can also recommend people in Poland you can hire.

            You need to access original documnts and do research. I would go to archieves. I would go to the Polish Uzad and communicate with people there who have those records. I did and I did not write a book.

            If you read those links they do not confirm the opposite at all. I do not know your level of Polish?

            But if are an author and dealing with such a scholarly topic as Jewish minorities or lack of in towns in pre war Poland, or towns that did not have this, I would recommend that you need to learn a little Polish and go there and communicate with the people.

            My friend who has written several books on the Amish, goes there and lives with the Amish. This is credibility.

            I also did a lot of genealogy research and went to check church and government records and talked to many people in Polish.

            However, if you do not have the desire for that, maybe you change the topic of your book to something more searchable. I have published scholarly research and I had to change the topic but it took years. It took me years of research.

            I can tell you for example in Pawlowice, was not a Jewish town before the war but you have to go to the actual records to confirm this.

            There were 32 million Poles pre-WWII who spoke Polish and 10 million within the boarders who spoke other languages. I think in the south in the Tatra mountains there were not large Jewish populations. Most Jews were in the cities or in villages in the east like Frampol.

            I have no idea why you would expect me to research things for your own book?

          3. Ram

            Look I’m not and did not expect you to do the research for me, you said and I quote “There were many towns that did not have a Jewish Population.” if you claim that as a scholar you should know to back yourself up, all I asked is if you know, if you don’t then just say so and don’t slander me with a lecture about how to write a book.

            I do sincerely thank you, that you took the time to answer me, especially with the last answer that although was very preachy, you did gave me a direction there.

            I’m writing a non fiction book with a plot not an informative one, if every writer would write about a certain place of course he has to do the research but first he needs to know where is that place.

            I have started to write about the city of Pultusk , but I figured out that I did a mistake and now I search for another one.

            Also writers write a lot of stories about a lot of places, if there is a writer that would have lived and studied every language there is well that is for the record book.

            Not all of my book takes place in a Polish town only a small portion of it, and to remind you my dominant idea is “Money is a means to an end and not the aim of life itself” not Poland so I don’t really need to change my subject.

            I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable, and please note that if my book will ever see the light of day ill surely put you in the list of thank you’s, that of course if you like me to do.


          4. Mark Biernat

            Like I said, if you pay me I will get you that list.

            I gave you one town, and I can give you some more. I told you the region to look exactly where you will find scores of towns. I gave you good references that you can further research.

            But why would I work for you for free?

            I will not do your research for you, I think that is very reasonable.

            I will also help you find a Polish speaking research partner if you like.

            But you are the one, writing a book on Poland.

            If you would like to paypal me some money I will help you with the legwork or grunt work for your book.

            Also I continuously have to clean up your comments for grammar and capialization errors can you get a plug-in like after the deadline and this might help. I can not image you would write your book like that?

          5. Ram

            I’m trying to be nice, you gave me the name of this town and the area after a slandering, wasn’t it nicer if you could just tell me that from the beginning.

            Believe it or not, I’m not writing the book in the English language although it will undergo a translation for that ill pay.

            All I asked for is one name, when you offered a list I said why not?

            This is the section of “Ask any question about Poland” isn’t it?

            So I asked for a small detail that an expert like you should know, so you gave me a very general answer, and after a slandering you gave me one specific answer, that was all I was looking for, a name, not a whole research. how am I suppose to know, you do those stuff for a fee? you could have offer that from the very beginning without being obnoxious and if you really bothered by my English you can erase all of what I wrote here.

            Now I really want to end this corresponding on a good note, so please if you can accept my apology, there have must be a misunderstanding on the way,I never meant to bother you, and I insist on thanking you so.

          6. Mark Biernat

            I really do not mean to sound rude at all, I do not know where you are getting that I am cutting you down, I am honest when I say I gave you one town as an example, three reference of where to look and offered to help you find a research assistant. However, to go further and spend hours or weeks, creating a list of towns, I will do for a fee.

            That is the free market, what is wrong with that?

            First, I can reply to you as long as you grammar, spell and capitalization check you comments. Every comment you write I spend five to ten minutes editing as the English is so poorly constructed with no capitalization and spelling mistakes. As a general policy I do not approve comments that are poorly written or are not written in English sentences. The readers do not see this as I have to try to correct as many of the errors as possible.
            Second, what do you want from me? To do your research and construct a list? I will do that or help you find someone but that takes time and requires payment.

            I can answer gernal questions based on my experience and knowlege about Poland for anyone. I can do research for people I feel like, but I have other things going on in my life and my blogs have over 10,000 more like 20,000 comments and I try to reply to every comment the best I can.

            However, if time consuming research is required, ussually I still do it and reply with an asnwer. But I have spend so much time going back and forth and correcting and editing your comments because they were not written in the English language with grammar etc, that I think it is best you hire someone. I think that is fair.

          7. Ram

            Hay Mark

            I don’t need to hire someone else, I don’t need to hire anyone, those comments did written in the English language my book is not, you’re not following.

            And I told you, if you so bothered by my English just erase my comments.

            I don’t want from you anything, and you know what? If you were nicer I would have hired you, if you just said:

            “there is a place called Pawlowice, I think that you can start there, if you want i can do more research for a fee”

            That would have been enough and you wouldn’t have to tolerate my English.

            I’m glad you have so many followers and don’t patronize me, I have a lot going in my life as well everybody have.

            I’m sorry it got to this point.


          8. Mark Biernat

            I do not know why you are so upset. I am being fair. I am still correcting your comments, not offended by your use of the English language just puzzled why you do not take the time to spell/grammar check or write in normal sentences with proper punctuation.
            I would not like to read chat style writing on a website about languages. I am not perfect nor a grammarian but as a courtesy to readers I try to write in sentences. That is why I correct your writing.

      2. Angelica

        Okay, I think it was gross how you talked about the women like that. I was enjoying the read until the part about the women. I want to know about the place.

        1. Mark Biernat

          Be specific what do you mean?

  2. Frank Zdzislaw Karwatowicz

    I was born in 1936 in Terebunie, Antonowka, Sarny, Wolyn. My entire family (Catholic) were moved to various labor camps by the Nazis, ending up in Bavaria. My father was taken from the family to dig ditches for the Wermacht and we did not see him for 14 years. My mother, 2 sistes and myself emigrated to the US sponsored by the Polish National Alliance in 1949. I became a US citizen in the late 1950’s and graduated from medical school in 1961.
    My question is this: can I get a Polish citizenship/passport or am I doomed to consider myself Ukrainian forever.
    2 of my uncles fought with the Polish division of the British army after escaping from a Nazi pow camp of Polish soldiers. Both were in the cavalry. 2 uncles died in concentration camps.

    1. Mark Biernat

      This is an incredibly heoric story. In my opinion your should get Polish citizenship if you are not already a Polish citizen. But lets look at Polish law and see what this says about a case like yours.
      What was your previous citizenship you help when you came into the USA?
      Are you ethnically Polish or Ukrainian?
      Did you ever have a Polish akt urodzenia or have you ever heard this term?
      Please forgive my ignorance, where was the town you were born? I do not know that area? In 1936 was it Western Ukraine (USSR) or part of Poland? I think it was part of Poland.
      I love Eastern Europe, both Ukraine and Poland, so whatever you are its all good in my book. I guess I am a Slavophile 🙂

      1. Frank Zdzislaw Karwatowicz

        The village I was born in was at that time Poland, today western Ukraine. Yes I am ethnically Polish as my last name indicates.
        I assume akt urodzenis is the same as a birth certificate and unfortunately all papers were lost except the birth certificate of one of my sisters. I also have in my possession medals earned by my uncle in England as a tank commander. My aunt, her husband and several children were taken by USSR in the middle of the night and sent to Siberia. After Sikorski’s deal with Russia they were set free and migrated through the middle east to africa to england and then USA.
        Would you recommend I contact the Polish consulate here in the US or Poland?

        1. Mark Biernat

          Sorry for the delayed reply I was traveling. You are Polish citizen. I think you do not have to obtain citizenship but simply get confirmation. The Polish governmet will do the research if you fill out the application from the Polish embassy webssite or contact them directly.
          Boarders mean nothing. It was what was the law at the time and place you were born that matters, and for my understanding of the law you are a Polish citizen. I would contact the Polish embassy in the USA.

          Let me know what they say. The main issue is you were born in Poland and you are enthically of Polish blood and you never renounced your citizenship. I think in Warsaw they might have to piece things together in the archives or go back to Church records like I did but I am pretty sure there is not reason you can not get confirmation of citizenship.

          On the application you can tell them your story and facts. You just say you did not ever renounce your citizenship. I think confirmation and a passport will not be hard at all. Let me know if there are further questions.

        2. BBB

          Generaly you can get a Polish citizenship in two situations: beeing born in Poland, or having a documented Polish ancestors (for example, you may need to present documents confirming owning a citizenship by you faher/grandfather).

  3. Mauro

    I would like to open a business in Poland, Italian food,but not the usual Italian restaurant we are used to see around Europe, I mean something more simple but with the real italian cuisine. I read a lot about Poland and I also visited already four-time Gdansk, because my girl friend is from this city, I have some idea about the city where I would like to open my business,cities like Krakow, Wroclaw,Gdansk and Lublin. But of course I ever been still in these cities, I would like to ask you what of these cities do you think can be more indicate to open my business, I mean considering different factors ,like competition in this field, more strategic city,the most cheap city to start a business,possibility of the citizen to spend and go out and so on.

    1. Mark Biernat

      This is a good idea because the number one food Poles like besides Polish cooking is Italian. I think that is pretty universal and Poles have a good feeling towards Italy because it is a Catholic country with shared family values.

      I would say Krakow or Wroclaw because there is money flowing in from all over and these cities despite the competition and there is a lot, have more money to go arround. Gdansk, not really although there is money it has a small old town and parts are rich and parts are poor. Gdynia I think has more money. Lublin I love. It is clean, low competition, a lot of students but much less velocity of money – that is less money changing hands. I would choose Wroclaw because the air is clean. Krakow has more tourists and money in motion and the business would work there, but Krakow is a sewer in terms of air quality and I would not recommend living there long-term.
      Wrocalw is up and comming and if you fail in a business there it is because of your margins not the location. However a close secodn is Lublin because of the low competition and it will be opening more to the east and west but slowly.

      1. Mauro

        Hi Mark, I want to thank you for your information and suggestions about Poland and life in Poland, I will take under consideration what you said.

  4. Gloryanna

    I don’t know if you read this blog anymore since I saw several posts that date back to 2010.

    I enjoyed your article on the Medieval Festival, but was surprised to learn that Poland had one, from the little history I have been able to gleam online or from Fellow SCA friends, not much is known that pre-date mid 1500’s. Again I may be wrong with all of this, not being the best of researcher, surly not a scholar. I have been trying to read up about why The Black Plague skipped most of Poland the first time it swept through 1348-50. I have a few guesses, but won’t bother you with them. I would love to read more on Poland during that time, if you know of any good books, preferably in English but if not I understand.

    My Great Grandparents came from Poland and even though I never met them, I have heard a lot of stories about them especially my great grandma. Including a phrase that my Grandmother used sounding like Musicalhannee, when ever she was exasperated.

    I tried to search for a website on the Easter Festival so I could pull information down from there, but didn’t really find anything, do they have a website?

    Anyway any information would be wonderful.


    1. Mark Biernat

      I am updating this less as I am working on some programs for learning Polish, however, what you want to search is. “święto Rękawka Kraków” then use the translate tool to read it. The word święto literally means the holy day or holiday of Rękawka. Rękawka is the street I used to live on and they built the hill from dirt carried in sleeves (which Rękawka means).

      I have to circle back and give you a list of Medieval type books and history on Poland as Poland is a Medieval culture in the sense it was a powerful nation rich history of that time. It was the largest country in Europe. The character of the buildings and even the people you can see in the collective unconsciousness still are of this time.

      Some people think the plague skipped Poland because of devotion to the Blessed Mother. Other people thing the Poles were immune to some extent as their genes have some interesting differences, such as they have a high immunity to HIV. geneticists are looking at the links. I think they had less interaction with other countries at the time and the population density was not as great as the west. But maybe there is more to the story.

      If you can prove your great grandparents came from Poland you can get a Polish greencard you know.

      1. Gloryanna

        It would be interesting to come visit Poland, but it will probably never been in my budget, the only out of country trips in my budget are to South Africa where my sister and her family are Missionaries. But one could dream. I thought about taking a mission trip there myself and minister to people rescued from the Sex trade, but didn’t come up with any leads, only in surrounding countries.

        And I agree with you Poland does have a rich history, I started reading about it when I first saw the Plague of 1348 skipped it, and the more I read the more I am fascinated by the country. Everything from their First Queen of Poland that had real power, Centuries before Queen Elizabeth in England; to the fact that they were blessed when the rest of the country seemed cursed, when everyone else was going through drought they were growing and prospering.

        So far the I have read or at least skimmed Polish Roots, Polish Wedding Customs & Traditions,God’s Playground: A History of Poland, amongst a few other books. And then there was a few articles on the web I have found. I also found a book that talks about Medieval Fortresses that included one from Poland. I have been using that translation tool from Polish to English some, and it does help for the most part.

        As to the immunity, that is very interesting, a friend mine had a class in genetics that said that people who survived the plague were immune to HIV, so it would be interesting if it also connected to Polish people. As a Christian one of my thoughts were that Poland might have been saved due to their aid to the Jews during their great persecution by the crusades. But really I don’t have real backing other then a few verses that say God will bless those who bless his people and curse those who don’t.

        Anyway I want to thank you for the information on the Medieval fair, on my first search I only found videos, I will look for more later.

  5. Michael

    While I have some time to plan (10 more years). I was concerned with residency requirements for an US citizen who wants to permanently retire to Poland. Will I need a visa if I want to live year round in Krakow (if I was retired)? I did see some interesting comments on teaching English. What are the actual requirements (teaching certificates?). If I would work (and be 65 years old) I would assume I am going to be taxed on that income. But according to what I have seen, with a $2,000.00 or $2,500.00 a month budget in US currency for my retirement that seems to be an adequate amount of money for living expenses (apartment and utilities) food and some travel.

    1. Mark Biernat

      You need Polish citizenship or a greencard for living there more than 3 months a year. If you are of Polish background you can get the latter by applying. However, if you want a work visa your income will be taxed, but only Polish income. You do not need a teaching certificate if you teach in a private school. Your income is great, just need a greencard.

      1. Michael

        Thank you so much for the information Mark!

        My Grandparents were from the former Czechoslovakia – I do not believe I have any ancestors in Poland – I will go the route of obtaining a Green Card – I am planning a trip to Krakow this Spring to “get the lay of the land”.

        What are your thoughts on the language program “Rosetta Stone” to leave to speak Polish?

        1. tumpliner

          I think Rosetta Stone is a poor idea. Basically its appeal is that it supposedly allows a person to bypass any need for knowledge of grammar. The idea is that you can learn a new language as a child does. It is a little ridiculous because it does not take into account that a child 1) spends at least 12 hours a day 365 days per year listening to the language 2) it takes the child 3 or 4 years of listening to sound half-way intelligible. 3) it can take 7 or 8 years for the child to communicate at a decent level. Do most adults want to spend this much time and have so little in return for it? Probably not. Better just to face up to some grammar. It won’t bite. Probably most people have trouble with it because they have some words in English related to grammar that they do not really understand. In my experience you don’t have to go really deep into grammar to learn a foreign language, but you do need the basics of gender, noun, verb, adverb, adjective, tense, voice (passive or active), clauses, subordinate clauses, main clauses. It sounds like with Polish you will need at least all that. It is more grammar-intensive than the Romance languages like Spanish or French.

  6. tumpliner

    I have heard there is a German saying “Visit Poland– you car is already there.”

    Do you know about this?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Its like from 1992.
      I have a better one, visit Germany, 1000 years of Polish art and treasures are already there.

  7. tumpliner

    I have seen some video of Polish speakers. To me, it seems like there is a definite rhythm to the language that is not present in English. Would you say this is a general truth, or was it just that I saw a limited number of Polish speakers who may have been speaking in an unnatural way?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Poland has a rhythm and sound not in short sounding English. There are cases and this makes the Polish language more like a poem as endings in like cases sound similar, further voice inflection is more important.

  8. tumpliner

    How do the Poles get along with Germans and Germany? I have the indirect impression that it is not very well. I have been planning a trip to Germany this autumn. Do you think it would be a good idea to cross the border into Poland, even though my experience with the Polish language is quite limited? I do know a good amount of German, native in English, and good in Spanish. I doubt that Spanish is relevant there, though.
    I have only a limited impression of Poland, so my reasons for visiting may not be even valid. I would appreciate it if you could give me some comments on them.
    1) I want to learn a Slavic language. I live in the US and there is a considerable Polish ethnicity here.
    2)The Polish language seems easier to learn than some other Slavic languages because
    A) the accent is regular
    B) it is very phonetic
    3) Poland is easier to visit than some other Slavic countries. We have direct flights from the USA. I think there is no visa requirement also– just passport.
    4) It has a stable economy.
    A) it sounds like you have some gas fields to develop. I have experience in the oil and gas industry here in the USA.
    B) I have electrical design and programming experience also.
    5) I get the impression that Poland has not done much as far as aggression to other countries– just defended itself.
    6) Some of the videos give me the impression that the Poles can be playful and not take themselves very seriously. I do not know if that is a broad characteristic,or just a small “slice” of life there.
    7) I don’t trust the Catholic Church. I think it is more corrupt than is commonly realized. Poland has a border with northern germany. If it got too bad there I could always pop over the border to an area where Catholicism was successfully “rolled back”, though it was a few centuries back.

    1. Mark Biernat

      2013 almost, and Poles and Germans get along. WWII was like 75 years ago. When it is 100 years even more healing will happen.
      Poland is very modern and a great place to live. I think any other Slavic country is not as fun and a combination of modern and traditional. Czech republic for example is played out by expats since the year 1999. Ukraine is too wild for most. But I like it.
      I live now in St. Augustine, Florida just some town and I can use Polish everyday with people around town. I hear Polish everywhere and know most of the Polish people in the shops and town. So go for the language you like.
      I think all the Slavic languages are hard as they have complex irregular case systems. Polish has hard pronunciation.

      Why do you not like the Catholic church and why is it backward? I do not think so at all. Educated brilliant minds in the Church. I mean you might have an anti-life anti-child and anti-baby stance, and feel rage that the church defends the unborn and the innocent from slaughter. Why would that be backward. If anything that is liberal and forward thinking. I am a Libertarian and as Ron Paul points out the denial of life to the innocent is the ultimate stripping of the rights of the individual. I am into enlightenment, rationalist scientific thinking and a Libertarian and Catholic and do not see what you mean? Please explain yourself.

      1. tumpliner

        It has nothing to do with right-to-life, or pro-life or whatever you call it that Catholics pride themselves so much on defending. I think it is a little comic that they are so much into pro-life as long as it has not reached the end of the birth canal, but once you are out they don’t seem to care too much about the pro-life purpose beyond that point. Case in point: just beyond the family is group participation, work, employment. Why not take the products of Creation, do some reverse engineering to find the design principles used, then apply these in the macro-world of human groups? That would be pro-life, and a practical use of Creationism. I know the reason why it is not done. Because there is a hidden agenda that is the formation and maintenance of a sociology-economic pyramid scheme with the Church, and those that hide in the Church, at the apex. Jesuits accompanied explorers to the new world. They were in search of peoples who could be used to populate the base of they pyramid. They had tried or were trying the Poles and Irish in Europe and evidently were not satisfied with the results. They tried the California Indians and wiped them out. They hit the jackpot with the Mexicans and later with the Filipinos. Mexicans consider their daughters are ready to marry, and encourage them to do so at 15 years old. The age of consent is 12. They do not encourage higher education. They do manual labor well.

        1. Mark Biernat

          Life of an innocent, even if still in the protection of the mother’s womb needs to be defended. Because the opposition are heartless and if an alien from another planet would see women taking babies from their wombs here on earth with a heart beat and brain, I think they would perceive these creatures who commit this as alien monster.
          I am open minded enlightened and liberal but this has to do with human compassion rather than the selfish inconveniences.

          1. tumpliner

            Mark, thanks for the reply. You have a great site here. I have no argument with you about protecting the life in the womb, even though I am not convinced those of us who have lived before are totally innocent. Still, I have no problem with those who want to protect life in the womb, but why is this intense pro-life feeling not extended to parts of life beyond the birth canal? Are there not pro-life opportunities in other areas of life?

          2. Mark Biernat

            Sure for example, I think military is a special interest for the brokers of war including imperial governments. The USA, which I am proud to be a citizen is an imperial power with troops in 150 countries in the world. The Trillions spent on our war machine and building useless things like submarines and other WWII type billion dollar wastes could be better spent on homeland defense and charity. Men and women who volunteer for the military, unless it is a case of a real war of national defense I question. I mean what if because you with an order or reaction in the line of duty, are called to ‘neutralize an enemy target’ someday? And then when your life is over in 70 years, when you are in front of God and he asks you why you destroyed one of his miracles, and you start talking about some abstract political ideology, I wonder if you can convince him. Maybe your youthful desire to be part of an organization could have not be better spend in humanistic aid or Greenpeace or something.

            Protection of life and the dignity of life is important from conception to the time we leave this earth.
            How one defines this is not always clear. However, I would say from my experience living around the world in a country like America, people have it pretty soft and to terminate a life based on economic fear is a cowardly argument. Or that it is better to terminate, than oh my goodness have the child grows up in an apartment, heaven forbid. I mean to Americans growing up in a single parent small apartment in the city living on the government is some kind of shame. I do not think it is. I think the shame is the government blows Trillions killing hundreds of thousands of civilians Oh I mean, “collateral damage’ in war or termination of life.

            I am basically a spiritual person and political libertarian and moral issues, like like, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are more important than misdirected patriotic fervor or economic issues.

            So live and the sanctity of life needs to be respected and it is not equated with throwing money at people. It is more a life long task of interaction and relationships.

      2. tumpliner

        Thanks for your reply. Can you explain a little more about what you mean by Ukraine being wild?

        1. Mark Biernat

          Look in the cities Ukraine is the same, modern like every other city in the world. But aside from that from a social perspective Ukraine is not completely European nor has the influence of feminism or hyper consumptive materialism corrupted the values, but the influence of Soviet secularism has in the East a bit. So if you are coming from jolly old England or the USA for example the ideas and way people live are different.
          From a natural perspective, most of the Ukraine is countryside and a bit untamed. Vast forests and fields that go on forever. You go to Crimea or Krym and beaches are not over commercialized but you can walk along the edges and pick wild grapes. I can not remember doing that on American beaches. Roads are often unpaved in the real rural areas and some places do not have running water.
          However the food is the best, you can buy it in the market and you will never experience that taste in the USA. You have to go there and experience it. It is not like the USA where everything is neatly taken care of.

  9. tumpliner

    Poland is interesting to me, at least from my limited knowledge of it, because I am not aware that it has ever invaded another country or colonized any country or had anything to do with the slave trade. Is that true, or do I just not know its history?

    1. Mark Biernat

      Polish people are no better than anyone else and their country was imperial and conquered places like Lviv, which in the region is 90% Ukrainian and even to this day Poles talk about the great Polish city of Lvov.
      Poles were the first real democracy in Europe and I tend to think evolved culturally/politically faster away from the primitive autocratic government models of the nations of Germany and Russia. Europe was not ready for it and tried to cut Poland up.
      Poles are deeply religious and generally society is peaceful and sweet but no one is perfect, including me.

      1. BBB

        Acctualy Lwów is really hard topic. Due to a “Polish betrayal” in 1921 (Poland was up to create Ukrainian and Belrussian countries after winning a Polish-Soviet war, what wasn’t done – without any various reason), Vohlynian Sluttery, “Wisła” Action and forced repatriation of Polish from nowaday Ukraine.

        Before WWII Lwów was mostly Polish, but most Polish from this town was slaughtered or sent to katorga (labour camps in Soviet Russia).

        1. Mark Biernat

          Lets not debated this 100 year old history, there were wrong on both sides. Countries were trying to make colonies and still do. To take life over under the guise of patriotism is wrong just as to occupy lands.

  10. LIsa

    Hi Mike,
    Could you please tell me what times the Market Square is open?
    Do you know of any good guides?
    What currency can we use? Does it have to be Zloty?
    I am a teacher from New Zealand and will be in Poland from 22nd September and leave 25th September.

    We loved watching your mini tour of the market place. It was excellent


    1. Mark Biernat

      You will love Poland. The Market Square is open 24/7 in fact I have walked it all hours of the night and it is 100% safe. Yes I know a very good guide, she is extraordinary. If you want I can refer you to her.
      Currency is Polish Zloty but dollars and Euros are accepted. I would use credit or cash withdrawal. Did it the whole time I was there, never had one problem in ten years, even. Of course, when I got back to the USA of course my credit card was stolen, but never ever in Poland. You will love Poland as questions if you like. I am here to help.
      And you know New Zealand is a wonderful place, people know it from dreamy things like Lord of the Rings and Hayley Westenra.

  11. Barbara Smith nee Fronczak

    I feel so blessed to have found your site–full of such useful info–Thank you for your time. My question– i am 3rd generation Polish, in the USA–me mum, 2nd generation, USA. I am married with 1 daughter still @ home- attending homeschool–online, 10th gr. I was a nurse in the US for 36 yrs, until 2009–when I became disabled with strokes, and MS–beside several other things ie,cardiac. I get 2 disability checks–mine, and for my daughter, and me mum is on SSI–totals a bit over $3ooo. US a month. My husband is a trained artist,his medium is in stained glass–is able to work on the 100 yr old church windows–for replacement, which not alot of artists can do–as well design for churches, homes, offices, etc. I am so excited to enter into my homeland and live amongst my lansman–do you think the Polish govt. would accept us with our income to start–and my husband to start his business over time? The situation is so bleak here–I have to use a electric scooter to get around, and my medicines are over $1500. a mo.–we seem to have good income, but this place is worse than vampires. I feel a strong pull, urge to be in Krakow–where we come from. Thank you so very much–barb

    1. Mark Biernat

      Poland is a beautiful country and very cheap in some ways to live. But if you are disabled, it might be hard. Can you walk? It is very cold and there are not handicap anything. How will you get around on cobblestone streets, and ice packed walk ways?

  12. Mel

    Hi Mark,
    My polish husband is retiring and we plan on moving to Poland this year or next. I am a native English speaker and would like to offer private conversational English lessons in Bielsko Biala. I would like to know what you think? Do you know if there is a need there?

    1. Mark Biernat

      There is an infinite need. Basically all of Poland wants to learn English and would love to have lessons. The only issue will be to price yourself to the level where you feel comfortable so you do not get too many or too few students. One of my idealistic friends did it for free and was burnt out in a month. Other charge too much and get no students. Bielsko is a beautiful place.

  13. Sachin

    Hi Mark,

    You mentioned a Minimum employment period for Citizenship.
    But I also understand that non polish citizens get jobs in poland only if they have citizenship or have residence permits .
    How does one go about gettinga job in poland in the first place ?

    1. Mark Biernat

      You need to get sponsored by an employer who deems your skills important and comparable ones unattainable. It could be as easy as being a native speaker in English and apply.

  14. Zam


    I have inquiry,which the best hospital for Uterine fibroids?
    because this year I’m planning to visit Poland and treatment my sister, I heard that there’s good Treatment of that disease, but I don’t know which hospital? Could you please help me.

    Thank you

    1. Mark Biernat

      I would go to Saint Rafael hospital in Krakow. They speak English and have lots of good doctors there. Here is a link you can check

  15. Madeline

    Hi, I’m doing a school project on Poland and was hoping for some pointers on what topics to focus on. What do you think about John Paul II?

    1. Mark Biernat

      I could write a book on John Paul II. Where do you want to begin? He was a charismatic leader of the church and intellectual thinker. He helped bring the fall of Communism, bring Poland in the EU keep Catholicism real and alive in Poland and around the world. Even in his voice you could here his sincerity. He was human not a god, so had flaws when interpreted the though the lenses of subjective human historical analysis but when it comes to spiritual guidance he was one of the greatest Popes of history and a true world leader. Think about all the joker Politicians the world has and compared to someone with real depth and understanding of the human condition like Jan Paweł II.

  16. Othon

    How would you cheer the national soccer team?
    (e.g. How would you say: Let’s go Poland!)

    1. Mark Biernat

      Polska Biało-Czerwoni!

  17. Rollin

    I heard from a Polish man recently that it had come out that Lech Walesa was a spy. Do you know anything about that? Who was he spying for, etc.?

    1. Mark Biernat

      He was not a spy and there are always sensationalized revisions of historical figures. Was Ronald Regan or Bill Clinton a spy? They may have been a lot of things but not a spy. Walesa was what Poland needed at the time and he did his role of helping bring down the Iron Curtain.

    2. BBB

      L. Walesa is now suppoused to be a cooperator of Polish political police – not a spy. Nothing was proved (I think that nothing can be proved), but it is really complicated, and even if he was a cooperator – it is no clearly bad (he could just be forced to sign some documents, or threatened on life of himself or his family – many people died in these times in weird circumstances with brutal marks on their bodies, not mentioning hardly beaten of inprisoned by PRL authorities).

  18. Rollin

    I saw a Polish movie a few years ago– maybe 8 years ago. The plot was about an American serviceman post-WWII who had stayed on in europe– specifically in Poland– after the war, as a driver in an area of Poland in which some war crimes were being investigated. He met a Polish woman and became romantic with her. The woman was staying with her mother in an apartment.
    The American was played by an american actor. I don’t remember his name. He was not a big-name actor, but I had seen him before. The Polish actress was much more famous in her country. In the credits that american actor was saying how he had been a little nervous about working with her– about whether she would be accepting of him, but it worked out well.
    It was not a very old movie. I think it was made in the 80s or 90s. The main question is, do you know the name of this movie?

  19. Rollin

    The president elect of Peru has a Polish surname- Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. His father was from Poznan. Do you think the typical Polish citizen would have any interest in this?
    There is a common link between Peru and Poland that you may not be aware of. As you know, Polish people are good at enunciating each syllable of every word. I think that this is the reason that they sometimes have the reputation of being slow or not very bright, even though it is not the case. Peruvians have a similar situation with their language. They enunciate Spanish more clearly than Spanish-speakers of other countries, and so they also have an undeserved reputation for not being very intelligent.
    An interesting side story to this is that I know a Peruvian woman who was waiting in an airport. She has a good ear for accents and heard Spanish being spoken by some people near her. So she said to them, “You must be Peruvian!” but they said no, they were Polish. Their accent was so like a Peruvian accent that at first she did not believe they were not from Peru.

  20. Nalan

    Dear Mark,

    First of all, it is very nice to find nearly all issues about Poland in this website and to see that you are answering almost every comment. I hope you can have time also for my questions and give me some advise.

    I am living in Istanbul, Turkey and planning to relocate in Warsaw, Poland as of January 2017. My husband is about to sign a new job contract with a multinational courier company to work in their financial headquarter in Warsaw with a monthly income of 3000 Euros. That’s why, I started to make research about Poland.

    Most improtantly, like most of Turkish people, we are muslim. I wonder if we ancounter with islamophobia in Poland. Could you please give us some idea about the general attitude of people to Muslims and Turks? I am wearing headscraf (turban), do you think that it will be a problem for me socially and in my proffisional life? Have you ever encountered someone who had problem in Poland because his religion is Islam or nationality is Turkey?

    Actually, I graduated from Economics in Istanbul University with a bachelors degree and I have 7-years experience as an import and export manager. In my professional life, I worked with many countries and learned their custom procedures. I made consulting to companies in different sectors for their import and export operations. However, as far as I found on internet, there are mostly financial and IT headquarters of international companies in Poland but nothing about foreign trade. I wonder if it is possible for me to find a suitable job in Warsaw. Is it possible to advise me some career sites to make job search and application? By the way, do you have any idea about the approximate income levels according to my qualifications?

    As I mentioned before, the wage of my husband will be 3000 Euro and I wonder if it is possible to have a standard life with this income in case of my difficulty to find a job despite of my qualifications.

    I know your time is very precious and replying all comments is not easy as it seems but your answer will be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Mark Biernat

      3000 Euro is great money in my opinion and you can live a nice life. Turkish do not look specifically Middle Eastern, rather, more somewhere between European and something else, actually related to Hungarians. So people on the street will not notice you as much except as a foreigner, especially if your dress is Western. In my experience I never saw any expressions of anti-Islamic behavior in Poland. However, that might have changed.

      If you are educated professionals you will have no problem, I can not image it.

  21. Mike Mills

    I recently got back in contact with a girl from Poland and I met her when I was about 15 years old. We kept in contact here and there for years and just recently for various reasons and years of not speaking I saw her Facebook comment on my messages from 2015. We started talking again and I found that I was just as attracted to her as I was when we first met and very young. Since that time our talks have become more and more frequent. How should I go about meeting her for the first time after so long? She is a good Christian girl and I have lived in the USA most of my life or on military bases. I know I am just going to be myself no matter what happens but. What should I expect from her compared to normal girls from the USA? She has been to the US multiple times so its not like she doesn’t understand the American culture. Any insight into dating or talking to a European woman would be helpful.

    1. Mark Biernat

      My advice is this, Poland is a conservative culture, and treat her with a little extra gentlemanship. Hold the door open and be polite. However, be real, do not try to impress her based on your resume or money, rather impress her by being the humble person you are.

      If you want to wow her a little, read up on her interests, and Polish history and literature. Take her to an art museum. That is what I recommend. No matter what town you are in the USA, there is some art museum.

      Unless she is not into art, and all girls are, take her to someplace that is cultural, it does not have to cost a lot. If she likes an author, find a book she has not read by the author and sit on a park bench and read it to her.

      Sounds corny, but this is a lady. There are a zillon other guys out there that are nothing special, you be something that will make her heart skip a beat. Polish girls go for brains over empty macho Alpha males or sports fans, unless the sport is chess for example.

      You can be humble and yourself and tell her you are nervous if that is true but find the commonality that she will light up on.

      If you personally are Catholic, or Christian and religion means something to you, once you get to know her more, this is a point of conversation, at least moral views in the world. Women want to know what kind of person this person is really when they are meeting them.

      Last piece of advice, go to Aveda and get a really good hair cut, go to Hollister and buy some cool clothes, or Brooks Brothers if you can afford it. But spend a little on looking preppy and clean and this will go a long way. Do not drench yourself in cologne, rather go to Wholefoods personal care section and ask one of the girls working there something natural that smells nice. You could even get her something there. Petroleum/alcohol based fragrances are not good, rather organic Wholefoods type natural fragrance have a different feel and do not make your eyes water. Girls like this stuff, natural candles etc.

      I know it is an investment, but you want to court a lady not met a girl on Tinder.

      I wish you the best, ask any questions, and anyone I invite to chime in for advice.

  22. Mark Sacharski

    My ancestor came from a small town in eastern Poland/western Russia. Simon Sacharzewski immigrated to America in 1913 and on the USA Declaration of Intention form he stated he was from Zawiki, Russia. No Zawiki can be found on the internet in either Poland or Russia. We know the village was about 10 miles Bialystok/Bialystok province.

    Any ideas from your end?

    This is for a paper my daughter is writing on the history of her family in Poland for a Polish Culture and History class.

    1. Mark Biernat

      In personally do not have that information. However, you can call the Uzad in the region or write someone in that region and they will know.

  23. Christina L

    I was wondering if anyone can answer this for me. My grandma only spoke Polish when she was little (back in the 1930’s). Eventually, she learned English and forgot most of her polish. However, she nicknamed me (and I’m spelling phonetically here) “ka-kush-ka” which she claims means sweetie. I have looked this up and I can’t find a correct spelling of her interpretation. I know kochiane means sweetie (if you do a direct google translate), but I was wondering if maybe she mixed her words or forgot? Or perhaps it’s slang? Any ideas? I’d like to get it tattooed on my ankle to remember her by, and I’d appreciate it if it was spelled correctly (if that’s possible)? Thanks in advance.

    1. Mark Biernat

      It is diminutive of a name, perhaps of Kate maybe, not a word I can understand, perhaps someone else knows. But I think it is a sweet name your Grandmother made, Polish women often do this, it is like they have a language of their own.

  24. J. Bristow

    Hi — I’m trying to reconnect with an old friend. As I recall, she is of Polish ancestry. I can’t exactly remember her last name–but I do remember her name started with a “B” and ended with a “W”–just like mine. I searched online but couldn’t find any Polish surnames on lists that start with “B” and end with “W.” Do you know of any polish surnames that do?

  25. Felicia

    Hello, I am currently trying to plan a trip to Krakow. We will be visiting in September of 2020. We want to be in Krakow the same week that the Saint Michael Market is in Maly Rynek square.

    Can you please tell me if that would be the week of September 21-25, 2020 or if it would be the week of September 28 – October 2, 2020? I know it’s a year away, but your help is greatly appreciated! Dziękuję!

    1. Mark Biernat

      I lived there for 10 years and in the market everyday. I am not sure. I did not even know about this. What is your source? I know around Christmas there are special booths and Easter also.

      1. Felicia

        Hi Mark. Well, we just happened to be in Krakow when the Saint Michael Market was happening. When I got home, I did some research and I found a site that mentions it. Here’s the link I’m referring to:

        Scroll down and you’ll see Saint Michael Market mentioned.

        1. Mark Biernat

          I know the site, but like I said I never heard of this. That is interesting and news to me. My wife lived in Krakow longer than I and never heard of it. Sometimes that is the way it is. Tourist know more about your city than inhabitants. I am going to Poland tomorrow and looking forward to the trip.

  26. Larry Bounds

    Part of my family comes from Poland. The oral history says they maintained a stagecoach rest station in a town west of Warsaw with a name sounding like “Matesee.” This was about 1900. I can find no such community now. Any ideas?

    1. Mark Biernat

      You can find that town and your family. You just need to create a detailed list of everything you know. You can try a multiprong approach. For example, try 23andme and see if you get a cluster of relatives in a town. Travel to Poland and explore this. It would be a lot of fun.

  27. Red

    When people in poland type into their computer something on google do they use the special polish letters of the western letters? For example, sąsiedzi or sasiedzi, żona or zona?

    1. Mark Biernat

      You can change any keyboard to Polish depending on your OS. But it will be under keyboard settings. However, without the special characters you will be understood.

  28. Mbah chekwube

    How much can I earn per hour in Poland as per time student

    1. Mark Biernat

      At a basic job, let’s say 13 PLN an hour.

  29. Michael Liposcak

    Can you help me with a question about taxes? After I retire and have only Social Security and my savings – no regular income – am I required to pay taxes if I live in Poland? Thank you in advance for your help.

    1. Mark Biernat

      I am not an expert but I think there is some treaty that excludes 100k of income to avoid double taxation.

      1. Michael

        Thank you!

  30. Tomasz Karwatowicz

    I am looking for a Contact to Frank ZdzislawKarwatowicz. I am creating my family’s tree. If you are reading this post Frank, please contact me. My great-grandparents came from Trebunie as well..

  31. Fred Burr

    How would a Polish teenager invite a businessman to lunch? The teenager is a 19-year old girl being interviewed by a businessman (no funny business) and her mother is preparing golablki and perogies for lunch.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.