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    The Sarmatian Review Data

January 2008

Volume XXVIII, No. 1

Recent international awards for Polish engineers and artists

Blizzard Challenge 2007 Award for Ivona, one of the two best voice synthesizers, awarded to Andrzej Sowula. This worldwide competition included inventors from 16 research centers specializng in synthesizing human speech.

Sixty-fourth Venice Film Festival Award for the best European film, awarded to Andrzej Jakimowski for Sztuczki.

Source: Rzeczpospolita, 7 September 2007.

Atractiveness of Poland as investment destination

Ranking of Poland according to its investment attractiveness for foreign investors: second out of 30, after India, and the only new EU member to make the list.

Ranking specifics: at stake was the number of workplaces created by foreign investors emended after considering the size of a particular economy as well as the amount of the invested capital.

Source: The National Bank of Ireland, as reported by <>, 16 October 2007.

Unemployment in Poland

Cities where unemployment rate reached the “normal” level (under 4 percent) in August 2007: Sopot, Gdynia, Warsaw, and Poznań.

Cities where unemployment fell to under 5 percent: Katowice, Kraków, and Gdańsk.

Cities where unemployment is the highest: Kielce and Łódś (10 percent).

Unemployment in Poland in August 2007: 12 percent.

Source: Anna Cieślak-Wróblewska in Rzeczpospolita, 1 October 2007.

Happiness in Poland

Percentage of Poles who are satisfied with their family’s and the country’s economic situation, are not afraid of losing their jobs, and have an optimistic outlook for the future: 76 percent, the highest ever.

Source: “Social Diagnosis 2007,” a survey involving 18,000 respondents conducted for the fourth time in 2007, as reported by <” on 2 October 2007.

Happiness in America

Percentage of Americans who say they are content with their jobs, their family income, and their lives generally: 86 percent, 76 percent, and 62 percent, respectively.

Percentage of Americans who are satisfied with the state of their nation: 25 percent.

Source: Pew Research Center survey, as reported by David Brooks in “On the other hand: Deciphering the happiness gap,” Houston Chronicle, 3 November 2007.

Young Europeans vs. young Americans in competition for an enterprising spirit

Percentage of young (15-24 years of age) Americans and Western Europeans who have never considered opening their own business: 25 percent and 50 percent, respectively.

Percentage of young Western Europeans who plan to open their own business within five years: 28 percent.

Percentage of Central Europeans who plan to own a business within the next five years: 40 percent.

Percentage of young Americans who plan to open their own business within the next five years: 42 percent.

Percentage of Latvians, Poles, Lithuanians, and Estonians who want to open their own business within the next five years: 50 percent, 48 percent, and 47 percent, repectively.

Reasons that prevent young Central Europeans from starting a business: fear of bankruptcy, 51 percent; fear of insufficient profits, 38 percent.

Source: Rzeczpospolita, 8 October 2007.

Urban sparrows under threat from housing density

Percentage of urban sparrows in the United Kingdom lost since the mid-1970s: 60 percent.

Reasons for the decline: excessive use of gardens and green spaces for new housing.

Recommendations for the rest of Europe: preserve and/or create urban gardens, parks, and small green spaces.

Source: Roger Dobson, “Urban sparrow under severe threat from new housing,” The Independent, 5 August 2007.

Civic Platform government and Polish history

Amount of money cut from the 2008 budget of the Institute of National Memory by the incoming Civic Platform government in Poland: 41.5 million zloties (18 million dollars), or the largest cut of all in the national budget.

Source: Lena Białkowska in Donosy, no. 4562 (10 December 2007).

In the seventeenth century Germany suffered as Poland did in the twentieth

Percentage of male population of Germany killed in the Thirty Years War: nearly 50 percent.

Amount of material damage wrought by the Swedish armies in Germany: one third of all towns (1,500), 18,000 villages, and 2,000 castles.

Source: “Mass grave offers a glimpse of wartime life in 17th century,” The Independent (London), 3 August 2007.

German “solidarity tax” for the rebuilding of East Germany

Amount of money Germans pay each year to support East Germany ravaged by communist rule: 11 billion euros, or about 15 billion dollars.

Number of years they have supported their East German brethren in this fashion: 16.

Percentage of surcharge on German taxes necessitated by this “solidarity tax:” 5.5 percent.

Source: Allan Hall (Berlin), “Calls grow to lift burden of Germany’s solidarity tax,” The Independent, 1 August 2007.

Aggression does not pay in the long run

Estimated number of German soldiers who died on Polish territory in the Second World War: half a million.

Source: Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgraeberfursorge, as reported by Agnieszka Rybak, “Słońce świeci nad dobrymi i złymi,” Rzeczpospolita (Plus Minus), 3 November 2007.

Twentieth-century repopulation of German monasteries by Polish monks

Number of German Franciscan monasteries that are currently inhabited and administered by Polish monks: four.

The most recent “takeover”: Franciscan monastery in Amberg, Bavaria, in August 2007.

Reasons for this decision: retirement or consolidation of German Franciscan communities owing to a scarcity of religious vocations in Germany.

Other Polish religious orders that have taken over monasteries in Germany: Paulists, Benedictines, and Carmelites.

Source: Rzeczpospolita, 1 September 2007.

Jews today

Number of Jews worldwide in 2007: 13 million (5,235,000 in Israel; 5,652,000 in North America; 1,161,000 in Europe, among others).

Percentage of mixed marriages among Jews: 54 percent in the United States, 60 percent in Germany, 80 percent in Russia and Ukraine.

Greatest danger of de-Judaization among Jews: mixed marriages.

Percentage of immigrants from Russia to Israel who are not Jews according to Jewish law: 35 percent.

Number of young Jews in North America who are university students: 90 percent.

Percentage of Arabs in Israel: 20 percent.

Source: Szewach Weiss, former head of the Knesset, in an article “Jews Today” in Rzeczpospolita, 1 September 2007.

Racist attacks in Russia

Number of people killed in racist attacks in Russia between January-August 2007: 38, including 24 in Moscow.

Number of people injured (mainly by stabbings) in such attacks: over 300.

Background of the most common victims: persons from the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Cities in which most attacks occur: Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Nizhny Novgorod.

Source: Russian human rights group Sova, as reported by Steven Eke in BBC News, 3 September 2007.

Russian Orthodox Church and Russia’s atomic weapons

Place in which the Russian Orthodox bishop Ambrose blessed the officers and soldiers of the 12th Division of the Russian armed forces (responsible for maintaining and launching the atomic weapons): Cathedral of Christ the King in Saratov.

Bishop Ambrose’s comment to the soldiers: “I pray that the atomic weapons that you created and that you have under your care always remain under God’s guidance as well.”

Source: Russian army newspaper Krasnaia Zvezda, as reported by Andrzej Męžynski in Dziennik, 6 September 2007.

Rise of neo-Nazism in Germany

Percentage of vote won by the neo-Nazi National Democratic Party in regional parliament elections in Saxony in 2007: 9 percent.

Percentage of support for NDP in 2007, according to Forsa Institute poll: 9 percent.

Recent incidents caused by neo-Nazis: attack on 8 Indian men by 50 German youths in the town of Mügeln in August 2007.

Source: Tristana Moore, “Rise of Far Right Alarms Germans,” BBC News, 13 September 2007.

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Last updated 1/18/08