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Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Last War: Chapter 4, Part 2

Poland was a country that had been invaded by foreign forces for thousands of years. Many times it had been wiped entirely off the map of Europe. Poles were traditionally fierce warriors, but a peace loving people, and so often their armies were so small that invaders could take them over. And after every attempt to destroy Poland, the spry little country bounced back into a prosperous existence. The Mongols, the Swedes, the Russians, the Germans, The Nazis, the Soviets, and a dozen others had claimed Poland as their own. Now the Eastern Bloc had claimed Poland as part of it’s empire.

Josef Lewandowski’s hard, strong, very Polish face hardened as the Easterners marched by. They were in the center of Warsaw, the capital of Poland. The garrison of Easterners in Warsaw was particularly large, because occupants of the capital had a particular hatred for the foreigners. Out in the countryside the occupying force was less, but still very impressive.

Lewandowski had to admit that the Easterners were an impressive military force. The multitude of people in the Bloc had melded into an excellent military force, almost unrivalled on the planet. Each member of the Warsaw garrison had impeccable uniforms. They goose stepped along with a precision that Lewandowski envied.

He sighed. In his youth Lewandowski had been in the Polish army. He had been a young and idealistic lieutenant. After completing officer’s training he had been almost immediately thrust into bloody battle. That had hardened him quickly to life’s harsh realities. He had been in the force that had tried to battle back the Easterners. While most of the Eastern European countries had willingly joined the Bloc, Poland had wanted no part of it. And when Igoumensita had declared Poland a Bloc country, whether it liked it or not, the West had not stepped in. So Poland was left on it’s own to defend against an occupying force.

It was very similar, Lewandowski reflected, to the Anschluss of World War II. Austria had been considered rightfully Germany’s, and so the West had not interfered with it’s occupation. Except in the case of Poland and the Bloc, Poland bitterly opposed Eastern occupation, whereas Austria had welcomed the Germans with open arms.

After the years of fighting, Poland’s brave but small force was finally forced to surrender. The Easterners came marching in with smiles on their faces. Lewandowski had spent a few years in a P.O.W. camp, until he was finally allowed to return to Warsaw as a bum. Crime had taken a nose dive. The economy had grown strong. And freedom now no longer had any meaning in Poland.

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