I do not want neo-fascists and nationalists in Polish public space

When in February 2017 Polish nationalist and ex-priest Jacek Miedlar wanted to enter the United Kingdom to take part in an ultra-right rally, he was detained at the airport and sent home. “I was stopped by the Jewish special services,” he later complained to his fans. In a few days, representatives of nationalist movements from other countries will come to Warsaw to take part in the Independence March on November 11. At the Polish borders they will not be disturbed in any way. This shows the ineptitude of the Polish authorities, who can’t properly organize such an important Polish holiday, handing it over to people from the social margin.

Poland regained independence one hundred years ago. The Independence March has been walking along the streets of Warsaw for several years. On this occasion, members of nationalist, right-wing organizations, often raising hate-filled slogans addressed to all those who differ from them, are coming to the Polish capital.

According to Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper, neo-fascists will meet at a joint conference the day before the Warsaw march. There will be, among others, Nicola Piscopello from Italy, whose CasaPound organization is accused of attacks on immigrants and the Jews and Jonas Nilsson, a member of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging, racist organization that supports white supremacy. As if that was not enough, a concert will also take place in Warsaw (as a closed event), during which you will hear such a song: “Mein Kampf has shown us the way at the end of which there is the order of a white Aryan man.”

Where did the representatives of Polish authorities want to be in all this? Why they do not outlaw this type of organizations? Why do they allow them to take over our holiday and decide what it should look like?

I do not want neo-fascists and nationalists in public space. I do not agree that their voice is treated so seriously. I do not like the fact that representatives of the Polish authorities negotiate with them because this way they legitimize their activities. As if they did not know that these groups are dangerous for us – ordinary, normal people, who on November 11 want to celebrate the regaining of our country’s independence.

My patriotism is not about hanging out hate banners, or about showing contempt for everything what is different. My patriotism is to tell the truth about our history – including its dark recesses; it is to take care of the common space; it is openness and building a friendly place for everyone who wants to stay in it. That is why I do not see common points with the nationalist organizations.

I would like the authorities of my country to see this too. It is a pity that it was impossible this year.

About the Author
Katarzyna Markusz is a journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Jewish.pl and a correspondent of JTA. She is doing research about Jewish life in Sokolow-Podlaski, Poland before and during the WWII.
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