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The Sarmatian Review Index

April 2005

Volume XXV, No. 2

Czech GDP, inflation, and deficit

Czech GDP growth in the second quarter of 2004: 4.1 percent year-on-year.

Czech inflation in the same period: 3.5 percent.

Czech deficit in 2003: 13 percent of the budget.

Source: UPI (Prague), 18 November 2004.

Declining number of pupils in German schools

Number of schools in Saxony that were closed down in summer 2004 because of a lack of children: 43.

Number of births in 2004 in Frankfurt’s second biggest hospital with 1,000 maternity beds: 1,800.

Number of births in 2002 in Mount Sinai hospital in New York City with 1114 maternity beds: 4,617.

Source: Mark Landler, “Empty hospital nurseries show Germany dwindling,” Houston Chronicle, 26 November 2004.

Readership of books in Poland

Percentage of persons over 15 years of age who have not read a single book in the preceding year: 35 percent.

Percentage of persons who read more than ten books in the past year: 9 percent.

Percentage of people who read at least one book in the preceding six months: 70 percent of women and 58 percent of men.

Persons who read most: high school and university students, persons with college degrees, and those with high salaries.

Source: Polling agency Ipsos in early November 2004, as reported by Michał Jankowski in Donosy, no. 3858 (30 November 2004).

Spying on citizens in Soviet-occupied countries

Number of full-time secret police employees and number of part-timers in the Soviet-occupied countries in the late 1980s: 91,000 and 180,000 in East Germany; 25,000 and 98,000 in Poland; 30,000 and 90,000 in Czechia; 30,000 and 20,000 in Slovakia; 27,000 and 30,000 in Hungary; 15,000 and 120,000 in Romania; and 15,000 and 65,000 in Bulgaria.

Country which had the largest percentage of secret police employees and collaborators: East Germany (pop. 16.8 million), with 1.6 percent of citizens spying on other citizens.

Country which had the lowest percentage of such spies: Poland (pop. 36.1 million), with 0.34 percent of the population spying on others.

Source: Piotr Zychowicz et al., “Pół miliona agentów i ich teczki,” Rzeczpospolita (Świat), 4 January 2005.

Currency changes on the territory of Poland in the nineteenth century

Names of currencies used in the Polish Commonwealth before the partitions and shortly afterwards (1700- 1810): ducat, valued at 18 zloties; thaler, valued at 16 zloties; zloty, valued at 30 copper Groschen.

In the Warsaw Principality 1810-1815: thaler, valued at 6 zloties; zloty, valued at 30 Groschen.

In the so-called Congress Kingdom 1815-1834: royal zloty, valued at 25 zloties.

Under the Russian partition (until 1841 in the Congress Kingdom, since 1795 in parts of Poland annexed by the Russian Empire): imperial, valued at 10 rubles; ruble, valued at 100 kopecks.

Under the Prussian partition until 1826: thaler, valued at 24 Good Groschen; Good Grosch, valued at 12 Phennigs.

Under the Prussian partition between 1826-1857: Friedrich d’or, valued at 10 thalers; thaler, valued at 30 Silver Groschen.

Under the Prussian partition 1857-1876: krone, thaler, Silver Groschen.

Under the Prussian partition 1876-1907: krone, valued at 10 mark; thaler, valued at 3 mark; mark, valued at 10 Silver Groschen.

Under the Prussian partition 1908-1918: mark, valued at 100 Phennigs.

Under the Austrian partition: thaler, valued at 2 guldens.

Collateral results: deep and fundamental impoverishment of the colonized Polish population.

Source: Andrzej Chwalba, Historia Polski, 1795-1918 (Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2001), 604-606.

The sideshow in Chechnya

Number of civilians abducted in Chechnya (presumably by security forces) in 2004: 396.

Source: Russian human rights group Memorial in January 2005.

EU membership and Polish agriculture

Percentage increase of income of Polish farmers in the first year of EU membership: 73 percent.

Reasons for the increase: increase in food prices and financial support from EU institutions (in that order).

Number of Poles who own at least two acres of land used for agriculture: three million, of whom 1.9 million own more that two acres.

Source: Rzeczpospolita, 29 January 2005.

EU membership and estimated economic growth in 2004

Percentage increase in the Polish GDP in 2004: 5.4 percent.

Source: Polish Statistical Office (GUS), as reported by Lena Białkowska in Donosy, no. 3898 (31 January 2005).

Natural and unnatural disasters in the Russian Federation

Number of emergency situations on the territory of the Russian Federation in 2004: 1,134, with 2,459 people killed and 23,182 injured.

Percentage increase since 2003: 35 percent.

Number of man-made disasters in 2003 and 2004: 518 and 863.

Number of natural disasters in 2003 and 2004: 286 and 231, a decrease of 19 percent.

Source: Emergency Situations Ministry official, as reported by UPI (Moscow) on 7 February 2005.

Russia’s richest men

Number of individuals on the list of the wealthiest Russians compiled by Finance magazine in February 2005: 468.

The wealthiest man in Russia: head of the Sibneft oil company Roman Abramovich (also Putin-apppointed governor of the Chukotka region), worth 11.5 billion dollars.

Other Putin-approved government officials on the list: 20 members of the Duma and 11 senators.

Source: The Independent, 9 February 2005 and UPI(Moscow), 9 February 2005.

Russia’s economic priorities

Amount of monthly payment to retirees in the Russian Federation as of 1 March 2005 (an increase of 36.6 percent over 2004): 900 rubles, or 30 dollars.

Source: UPI (Moscow), 9 February 2005.

Number of nuclear warheads the Russian Federation possesses: 7,200 including 3,400 tactical “battlefield” bombs it promised to destroy by 2004; and about 12,000 small tactical nuclear warheads.

Source: Natural Resources Defense Council, as reported by the UPI (Washington), 11 February 2005.

Polish Treasure Ministry plans for property compensation

Planned compensation for persons whose property was “nationalized” by the Communist government in Soviet-occupied Poland: 15 percent of the original property’s value.

Categories to which this plan applies: real estate and works of art.

Time frame within which applications for such restitution would be honored: two years, beginning with the actual acceptance of such plans by the government.

Form of compensation: tradeable government bonds.

Source: Michał Jankowski in Donosy, no. 3904 (8 February 2005).

World Bank predictions of population dynamics for Poland and her neighbors in 2002-2015

Poland’s population today and projected population in 2015: 38.6 million and 38.4 million.

Projections for Poland’s neighbors: Russian Federation, 134.5 million (down from 144.1 million); Lithuania, 3.3 million (down from 3.5 million); Belarus, 9.3 million (down from 9.9 million); Ukraine, 44.7 million (down from 48.7 million); Slovakia, 5.4 million (no change); Czech Republic, 9.9 million (down from 10.2 million); Germany, 80.3 million (down from 82.5 million).

Source: World Bank statistics on population dynamics,

World Bank data on growth or decline of GDP in Poland and neighboring countries in 1990-2002

Average GDP growth in Poland in 1990-2002: 4.3 percent.

Average GDP growth or decline in countries bordering on Poland: Russian Federation, -2.7 percent; Lithuania, -0.9 percent; Belarus, -0.1 percent; Ukraine, -6.6 percent; Slovakia, 2.3 percent; Czech Republic, 1.3 percent; Germany, 1.6 percent.

Source: World Bank Tables on Growth of Output, <>.

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Last updated 5/25/05