Ambassador Ryszard Schnept – The Ambassador of Poland to the United States
Last week’s breakfast speaker was the new (as of last September) Polish Ambassador to the United States, Ryszard Schnept. He pointed out how recently times had changed in Poland. It was not until the election of Lech Walesa in 1989 that everyone could finally say: “We, the people, of FREE POLAND”.
Poland is a small European country. In their past, the country’s Eastern borders had been annexed by Russia—their Western borders by Germany. After World War II, it was a Communist country for over forty years. Poland has the highest community of Catholics of any European country. Many Jews also lived in Poland, making that country the site of the holocaust of half the Jews lost during World War II. The ambassador then told us that Poland is the only European country with a positive (albeit small) financial growth figure. Their largest export is automobile parts to Spain for its car, the Saab—as well for other cars such as the Citroen exported through Spain.