The Second trial against B. Engelking and J. Grabowski is over!

Today at 13.30 in the District Court in Warsaw a trial was held against Barbara Engelking and Jan Grabowski, co-authors of the controversial book “Dalej jest noc,” who accused Edward Malinowski of having reported on and therefore was responsible for the extermination of the Jews living in his village during World War II. The legal process began as a resut of Filomena Leszczyńska, niece of Edward Malinowski accusing the authors of slander.

During the hearing, the defendants were present in the court room, as well as television and the press, including journalist Wojciech Czuchnowski. The representatives of the defendants, Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking objected to the President of “ Reduta’ Maciej Świrski being heard as a witness. However, the court admitted evidence from the witness’s testimony. The President of “Reduta” spoke of why “Reduta Dbrego Imienia” became interested in this matter and how he met Mrs. Filomena Leszczynska. Maciej Świrski also presented the extent of harm suffered by the entire Malinowski family, after the book was published. In addition, this extraordinary family’s history was presented, the Malinowscy, during the war, helped Jews and Home Army soldiers, after the war – the cursed soldiers, for which this, its members (including a 15-year-old boy Tadzio) were arrested and imprisoned in Stalinist jails.

After these testimonies, there was a pause in the hearing due to the plaintiff’s presentation of a new evidence in the case – i.e. a review by Dr. Piotr Gontarczyk of the book entitled ‘Dalej jest noc”. According to the defendant’s representative, the article by dr. Piotr Gontarczyk was not known to them and they therefore asked for an adjournment. The court adjourned the trial indefinitely due to, the necessity of questioning Filomena Leszczyńska in her home.

Everything indicates to the fact that, J. Grabowski and B. Engelking made methodological errors and mistook two different people with the same name and surname and merged their lives into one biography.

Edward Malinowski, the uncle of Filomena Leszczyńska, was presented in excerpts of the book “Dalej jest noc” as “an accomplice to the deaths of several dozen Jews, who were hiding in the woods and their whereabouts disclosed to the Germans”. In reality, he helped the Jews .It seems that, Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking, when accusing Malinowski, had not – carried out a thorough analysis of the documents – something very obvious for every historian. If they had done so, the lives of several (or at least two) people with the surname Malinowski would not have been combined.

During the 1950 trial , allegations of “the complicity of Edward Malinowski” in the murder of Jews were refuted, and the survivors – Jews whom Malinowski hid – testified in favor of the accused. As for the accounts of Maria Wiltgren, which the defendants presented, as evidence of Edward Malinowski’s guilt, it should be emphasized that she could only testify to what she heard from other. At the time of the information being given to the Germans about the Jews hiding in the forest near Malinowo, she was not in this village. She only came there, a year later. What’s more, she gave her testimony, which Barbara Engelking and Jan Grabowski used, in 1996, which is over 50 years after the events in Malinów and reported only, what she heard, a year after the actual events. According to Filomena Leszczyńsk’s representatives, the defendants did not properly analyze he documents relating to Maria Wiltgren or her testimonies, and they did not sufficiently substantiate, their thesis that the accusations of this woman relate to the Edward Malinowski described in their book.

Filomena Leszczyńska, with the support of “Reduta”, demands the removal of the effects of a breach of personal rights by – public statements, reprints in accordance to the truthful testimonies of Maria Wiltgren (known then by the name of Wiśniewska) and compensation in the amount of PLN 100,000. “Reduta Dobrego Imienia” bears the costs the costs to do with this case (attorney’s fees and court costs, administrative fees, the costs of expert opinions and historians).

The Polish-Russian historical dispute. A Review of the Russian media (January 9th – January 17th)

On Thursday, January 9th, 2020, the Sejm of the Republic of Poland adopted by acclamation a resolution in which it “condemns the provocative and untrue statements made by representatives of the highest authorities of the Russian Federation in which they are trying to hold Poland responsible for the outbreak of World War II.” This event was widely commented on in the Russian press and caused an expected strong reaction from the Russian side.

Regarding this resolution, as well as about the absence of President Andrzej Duda at the comemoration of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz organized by Yad Vashem in Jerusalem – again – the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee Leonid Słucki, the head of the Duma Vyacheslav Volodin and spokeswoman of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zacharowa all spoke out. Historians (not only Russian) have also succeeded in presenting a broad historical background, defending the words of President Putin, that Poland “was anti-Semitic”, “cooperated with Hitler” and “falsified history by attacking Russia”, “unlawfully blaming Poland for the outbreak of war (Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) “. One of the methods used in this narrative is, among other things, presenting facts without a historical and political context or ones own actions – as a result of which an anti-Polish, black and white thesis is put forward. For example, it is suggested that the words of the Polish Ambassador in Berlin Mr. Lipski, well known to historians and repeatedly published, are somehow a newly found archival document, that testifies to Polands participation in the Holocaust. “Playing with the archives” freely selecting documents or interpreting them, sometimes manipulating what they say or imposing their own interpretation of what is in them as indisputable.

“Sputnik Polska”

“Sputnik Polska”, published in Polish, is obviously a propaganda tube of the pro-Kremlin Sputnik, although the contents of the national editions and the Russian main edition differ from each other.
The resolution of the Polish parliament was criticized on January 10, among others by Russian spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zacharowa, who described it as “revisionist”.” “It seems that, as at the time of the Inquisition, science was recognized by the Polish Sejm as heresy, and proponents of historical facts were accused of witchcraft. This is how ideology overcame the truth. And the truth was established by the Nuremberg Tribunal. If the Polish Sejm has doubts about its decision, it must be declared. This approach has its qualification: a review of the results of the Second World War “[1] – wrote Zacharowa on Facebook, which was quoted in the Russian and Polish media.

On the same day, the Polish resolution was condemned, as a hostile act against Russia, by among others Senator Franc Klincewicz. “This is not only an unfriendly, but it is an openly hostile act against Russia, and adopted by the Polish Sejm on the anniversary of this great day – the 75th anniversary of the victory over fascism. This is a clear insult to the memory of thousands of Soviet soldiers who died during the liberation of the country(Poland),”said the Senator.
As Klincewicz pointed out, the historical truth “was in the hands of the political situation, petty ambitions of the Polish elite”. “Trying to elevate Poland in such a negative way, that it hit rock bottom,” said Klincewicz [2].

In Poland, it is believed that the problem was also due to the fact that the World Holocaust Forum was organized by Moshe Kantor, “Putin’s man” (see below), not the Israeli authorities. The person organizing the event was important enough, to became one of the threads of the discussion about the Forum in the context of a possible Russian political trap set up for the Polish President Andrzej Duda.
Moshe Kantor is defended in “Sputnik Polska”by AgnieszkaWołk-Łaniewska. The author presents the figure of Kantor, whom she supposedly knows personally, with the thesis that his connections with the Kremlin are irrelevant, because “The blame for not inviting the President of the Republic of Poland to speak in Yad Vashem is not borne by either Moshe Kantor or Vladimir Putin, or the Polish diplomacy, which – according to the Polish opposition – could have, but did not know how to arrange for Duda to be one of the speakers.The fault is borne by the president himself and his political formation, which openly admits that they are against telling the truth about the attitude of Poles towards the Holocaust. This will not pass in Israel “[3]. The addition of the last sentence is intended to make the reader aware that the Jews agree with this.

Thus, Wołk-Łaniewska’s article can be seen as a pre-emptive strike – suggesting that Kantor’s contacts with Putin are not relevant in this case. As you can see, not only Poles, but also in Israel, there is surprise because “Haarec” mentioned, among others, that it is not the Israeli government or Yad Washem,which stands behind an event of such format as the commemoration in Jerusalem, but “Putin’s friend” [4].

TASS

Leonid Słucki, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the State Duma, often quoted for his attacks on Poland.
On January 9, TASS quotes Słucki, who criticized the Polish resolution. Some time later he even announced a possible counter-resolution of the Russian Duma [5].

“Rossijska Gazieta”

On January 9, 2020, an article by Yevgeny Szestiakov was published in the pro-government daily Rossijska Gazieta. “What is Poland afraid of?”, Which commented, on among other things the decision of President Andrzej Duda to obtain from participation in the events planned for January 23 on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz camp by the Soviet army.
After announcing the President’s decision, the daily writes, “many in Israel must have breathed a sigh of relief. The leader of the country, which in the Jewish state is unofficially considered a partner in the Holocaust, did not have the moral right to be present among the Heads of State that liberated the prisoners of the camp ”[6].

“Rossijska Gazieta” accuses Poles of anti-Jewish actions for financial reasons, including the Polish authorities, because “after the war, Poland appropriated the property of Jews who died in the Holocaust.”
Poles were to have idly watch Jews dying in the ghetto, and help offered was only a drop in the ocean. As already mentioned above, there is no journalistic balance here, for example, the realities of the occupation (including the death penalty for helping Jews), individual and organized help for Jews (e.g. the establishment of the Council to Aid Jews) are thought to be marginal .
The image presented in the RG is clearly anti-Polish, almost cynical. “All the time the uprising was going on [in the ghetto in 1943], there was a circus preforming on the streets of Warsaw, and the citizens seemed to go to the performances as if nothing unusual was going on,” we read.

The article also refers to Israeli sources by choosing anti-Polish quotes and facts, e.g. by referring to the Haarec newspaper, where Poland was said to be “falsifying history”. The text ends with a statement that “in Israel, they do not forget that some groups in Poland cooperated with fascist Germany, while the Red Army and its allies from the anti-Hitler coalition liberated Europe from Nazism.” As you can see, for example, the participation of Polish soldiers fighting on the western and eastern fronts, fighting for victory over the Third Reich is totally ignored by the author..

On January 14, Vyacheslav Volodin, Leader of the Duma, spoke again about Polish anti-Semitism, this time during the opening of its Spring session. “ The largest part of the Jewish nation in Europe, was killed in Poland. And this was not by chance (…) for this reason, hundreds of concentration and death camps were located in Poland, where Jews, Slavs and prisoners of war from other nations, were consistently liquidated. In many respects, the pre-war atmosphere in Poland and the position of the country’s authorities looked favorably at this, which fueled anti-Semitic feelings in society and created the ground for genocide in the future -, the Holocaust. For this, the current leadership in Poland should apologize to the Jews and the whole world ”[7] – said Volodin Wołodin. His words were widely cited by the Polish and Russian media, for example Rossijska Gazeta gave them a telling and expressive headline: “Wołodin called on Poland to apologize for preparing the ground for the Holocaust” [8].

Historians (and not only Russian ones) joined the Russian politicians in chorus to support President Putin. For example, Mikhail Miagkov, the educational director of the Russian Military-Historical Society, who strongly spoke about the resolution of the Polish parliament, calling it shameful and Russo phobic. “The disgraceful, Russo phobic act passed by the Polish politicians about the equalizing the responsibility of the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany for the outbreak of World War II, this once again confirms that currently the Polish authorities are engaged in open falsification, rewriting the history of World War II and waging an information war against Russia” [9] – said Miagkow. According to Miagkow, Poland is making a victim of itself, while it was actualy Hitler’s partner.

“Poles are shamefully trying to hide the fact that it is Warsaw that is responsible in many respects for the fact that Hitler’s appetite for occupying territories grew to such proportions” […] The Polish authorities repeatedly met with Hitler, Goering and Ribbentrop. Negotiations were underway regarding the conquest of living space in the east. And Polnds political elite intended to participate together with Nazi Germany, in the division of the Soviet Union – believes Miagkow.

Miagkow suggests that the documents referred to by President Putin are unique and shed new light on the issues discussed. Meanwhile, as a researcher, he behavior is not unbiased, as he should mention that both documents referred to by the President of the Russian Federation were already known in the USSR (cited in the collection of documents in 1981).
Historical discussion, in which Poland is shown as Hitler’s faithful ally and blaming Poland directly, for the outbreak of World War II has a wider dimension. This matter is being dealt with, not only by the main media, but also by other portals, which sometimes having a great impact on the shaping of public opinion in Russia. An example of this can be, the heavily propaganda oriented military-historical portal, “War Obojrieni” (topwar.ru). In the history tab, on January 15, an article with the following significant title was published: “How Poland, together with Hitler started World War II” [10]. From this headline alone, you can read its anti-Polish thesis. The authors of the text connect the entry of the Polish Army into Czechoslovakia in 1938 directly with the outbreak of World War II, which is a historical manipulation and brazen propaganda.

Current events are also being used to contradict the ” false Polish version of history”, e.g. the anniversary of the RKKA’s entry [11] into Warsaw (January 17, 1945), and the by coincidence declassified documents concerning the Warsaw Uprising, etc. the mass of articles and contributing texts about the January offensive in 1945 and the rapid occupation of Poland, e.g. in the “Russian Gazette” is not accidental – it is suggested that the ingratitude of the Polish authorities in a situation where thousands of Red Army soldiers died liberating its “Polish brothers”, members – together with the Russians and Czechoslovaks – of the “Slavic brotherhood” [12].
Of course, it is not without a good reason that the first link in the text on RG.ru is the commentary by Maria Zacharowa, widely published in the Russian press, who on January 13 expressed her surprise that Poland is not celebrating the 75th anniversary of Warsaw’s “liberation” by the Red Army. ” If we are talking about an obvious tendency, then I can not understand how one can commemorate the anniversary of the outbreak of war, while at the same time practically ignore the anniversary of ones liberation? ” (…) “at the same time the causes of the outbreak of war and the pre-war situation are completely distorted” (…) “At this pace, anti-fascists in Europe will again be forced to go underground” [13] – the spokeswoman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote on Facebook.
The question of “ Warsaw’s liberation on January 17″ became an opportunity for a new Russian offensive, bringing the dispute to the next level. Instead of discussing the reasons for the outbreak of war, which is becoming more and more difficult for the Kremlin (also due to the reaction of Western media), this time, a narrative was introduced, on the role of the Red Army in the “liberation of Poland” (Eastern Europe). Again, “playing with” archival documents. A collection of documents regarding the Warsaw Uprising have been published on the website of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. This resulted in a reaction by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which stated that “the Red Army liberated Poland from the German occupation, but did not bring Poland freedom.”
The position of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs caused a violent reaction from the Russian side. On January 17, Russian politicians criticized the Polish view of history, on the pages of Ria Novostia, among other publications.

The Russian Ambassador to Poland, Sergei Andreyev, stated that Poland is trying to adjust history to current politics, which is why “… historical facts are interpreted and supported in order to prove certain historical postulates, that are often not related to history. They are adapted to justify current political tasks and objectives “[14].
Słucki referred to the position of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs – that the Red Army did not bring freedom to Poland – saying that it was “Ruso phobia, ingratitude and historical lies” [15].
In turn, the deputy Leader of the Duma, Piotr Tolstoj, said that the words of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs were “Russo phobic hysteria and historical arrogance” [16], which have engulfed the minds of the current Polish authorities, and recent statements by Polish politicians have cause astonishment and indignation.

The Opposition

Russian émigré Andrey Ilarionov, who devotes a lot of space on his blog to Putin’s speeches, is very active in fighting the Kremlin’s propaganda.
Ilarionov also agrees with those who believe that the forum in Yad Vashem is being prepared to suit Putin and should be read as a provocation and a political trap, set up for President Andrzej Duda, who has not been given the right to speak at it. Ilarionow quotes the portal “wPolityce”, where one of the articles reads that “The World Holocaust Forum was therefore in fact also a trap set for Poland by the Kremlin. In this perspective, every attack on President Duda – who decided not to authorize this event with his presence – is a game in the Russian scenario. [17]

The article has been translated into Russian and published on Ilarionov blog as close to and consistent with his view on the matter [18]. The organizer of the commemoration ceremony at Yad Vashem must have, and has, influence on who will speak and who will not.
Iłłarionów’s earlier entry, from December 28, which accuses President Putin of manipulating facts and two documents (Lipski-Beck from 1938 and Hitler-Beck from 1939), citing them together, which changes their meaning, is also extremely interesting. A corresponding fragment of the discussion about these two alleged archival revelations found by President Putin, the Russian emigrant describes in this way: “… Putin first glued his story together from quotes from two different documents referring to different periods in time, of different participants, and in different circumstances. In this way, it turned out that the words spoken by Hitler to Beck in January 1939 were spoken by Lipski in September 1938. Thirdly, Putin replaced the ideas on resettlement discussed in 1938 with the decision on annihilation of 1942. Finally, in accordance with the living conditions of immigrants, the Franco-Polish project of Madagascar simply was not comparable to the Soviet Siberian-Amur project “[19].

Minister Beck’s silence to Hitler’s proposals, which in diplomacy means disagreement, for President Putin, who manipulated the two mentioned different documents, meant Beck’s consent and thus concent to Hitler’s plans, and this way co- participation in the outbreak of war.

Interestingly, Ilarionov emphasizes that both documents were published in Russian in 1981, in a two-volume collection of documents devoted to the period 1937-1939, later made available on the internet and therefore, widely available.
As a quasi-Russian (opposition) voice and in the world strongly opinion-forming, one can quote the view of Bloombergs columnist, Russian émigré, Leonid Bershidsky. Bershidsky notes in his article entitled “Putin’s latest obsession – a new narrative about World War II” where President Putin and his advisers noticed a negative, from the Kremlin’s point of view, anti-Russian trend in the way historians are writing about the history of World War II. “The Kremlin is extremely sensitive to such signals, not only because of the propaganda used in domestic politics, but also because the international position that this country gained, as a military conquest as a result of World War II”—Bershidsky emphasizes [20].

Over the years, Soviet Russia was seen in the West mainly, as an ally, that helped defeat Hitler and without which it would not have been possible for the Allies to defeat the Third Reich.However,recently the way of thinking about the role played by the USSR during World War II, has changed gradually. The result of this was, among other things, a recent European Parliament resolution recalling the role of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, in bringing about the outbreak of World War II and de facto, drawing an equals sign between both the Nazi and Communist regimes. The Kremlin must think of Israel as its main ally and Poland, as its main enemy for faking history.
“Israel will never agree to the nationalist attempts by Poland and the Baltic countries to impose their own narrative, which is supposed to remove from them, once and for all, the allegations that the locals population collaborated with the Nazis in the Holocaust” [21] – notes Bershidsky, who was born in a family of Moscow Jews.

Conclusions

– the anti-Polish theses presented are one-sided, Poles are accused of anti-Semitic attitudes while ignoring or marginalizing the facts of individual and organized assistance to Jews
– balance does not appear in journalistic texts, presenting the truth selectively or in a false way
– no voices opposed to the words of President Putin are quoted, also none from Jewish circles, suggesting that in Israel, an anti-Polish attitude exists that finds Poland guilty of the Holocaust and that this view is common
– the impression is made, that the subject about the outbreak of WWII and “Polish anti-Semitism” has reappeared as a result of the “discovery” of new archival documents, which is not true
– in addition to the main threads of the dispute, other ones are opened – under the pretext of fighting the “Polish false version of history”, other anniversary of events are also being used in the anti-Polish revisionist context, e.g. the occupation of Warsaw on January 17, 1945, citing new, declassified documents.
– The Kremlin is trying to take advantage of the differences in current EU-Poland relations
– Polish-Israeli relations are a particularly sensitive area, which the Russian authorities are trying to use for their propaganda-media attack on Poland. The Kremlin may intensify this type of action.
Columnists
Evgeny Shestiakov – editor of the international branch of “Russian Gazeta”
Agnieszka Wołk-Łaniewska – publicist, political commentator (e.g. NIE and Trybuna), currently a journalist at Sputnik (Sputnik Polska, the Polish edition).
Politicians
Leonid Słucki – Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the State Duma
Vyacheslav Volodin – Chairman of the Russian Duma
Maria Zacharowa – Spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Franc Klincewicz, member of the Federation Council Defense and Security Committee, a Senator
Piotr Tolstoj – Deputy Chairman of the Duma
Sergei Andreyev – Russian Ambassador to Poland
Historians
Mikhail Miagkov, scientific director of the Russian Military-Historical Society

References
[1] https://pl.sputniknews.com/polska/2020010911631247-rzeczniczka-msz-rosji-o-uchwale-polskiego-sejmu-ws-odpowiedzialnosci-za-wybuch-wojny-sputnik/
[2] https://pl.sputniknews.com/swiat/2020011011631971-rosyjski-senator-polska-uchwala-to-wrogi-akt-wobec-rosji/
[3] https://pl.sputniknews.com/opinie/2020011311648133-czemu-zydzi-nie-chca-dudy-sputnik/
[4] https://wiadomosci.onet.pl/swiat/haarec-izrael-skapitulowal-przed-rewizjonizmem-putina/1sn8sv6
[5] https://tass.ru/politika/7490289
[6] https://rg.ru/2020/01/09/pochemu-varshava-stremitsia-izbezhat-otvetstvennosti-za-holokost.html
[7] https://rg.ru/2020/01/14/volodin-prizval-polshu-izvinitsia-za-podgotovku-pochvy-dlia-holokosta.html
[8] Tamże.
[9] https://pl.sputniknews.com/opinie/2020011011635205-opinia-polska-okazala-sie-ofiara-agresji-i-sama-jest-sobie-winna-sputnik/
[10] https://topwar.ru/166727-kak-polsha-vmeste-s-gitlerom-razvjazyvala-vtoruju-mirovuju-vojnu.html
[11] RKKA – Рабоче-крестьянская Красная армия (Robotniczo-Chłopska Armia Czerwona), nazwy Armia Sowiecka (Советская армия) zaczęto używać dopiero w 1946 r.
[12] https://rg.ru/2020/01/16/rodina-polsha.html
[13] https://rg.ru/2020/01/13/zaharova-udivilas-otkazu-varshavy-prazdnovat-75-letie-osvobozhdeniia-ot-fashistov.html
[14] https://ria.ru/20200117/1563557045.html
[15] https://ria.ru/20200117/1563553908.html
[16] https://ria.ru/20200117/1563549550.html?in=t
[17] https://wpolityce.pl/swiat/481313-swiatowe-forum-holocaustu-pulapka-z-ktorej-polska-uciekla
[18] https://aillarionov.livejournal.com/1156682.html
[19] https://aillarionov.livejournal.com/1154106.html
[20] https://www.bloombergquint.com/gadfly/putin-s-latest-obsession-rewriting-world-war-ii
[21]tamże

 

Download PDF version

Information – A statement by ”Reduta Dobrego Imienia“– The Polish League Against Defamation  in connection with the 75th anniversary of the taking over of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.

Information – A statement by ”Reduta Dobrego Imienia“– The Polish League Against Defamation  in connection with the 75th anniversary of the taking over of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.

January 27 will mark the 75th anniversary of the Red Army’s occupation of the German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest and most deadly in the archipelago of death camps built in occupied Poland by the security apparatus of the German Third Reich. The names of German concentration and death camps – Auschwitz, Sobibór, Treblinka, Bełżec, and Chełmno –  elicit horror to this day and remain an open wound inflicted upon the Polish soil during World War II by the genocidal German government.

The camp in Auschwitz, built using the slave labor of political prisoners from the first transports sent there, was initially intended for Poles who resisted the German authorities. After the “final solution of the Jewish question” moved into its horrific implementation stage, the Germans began to transport Jews to Auschwitz not only from Poland but from all of Europe. There, they methodically and without exception carried out the extermination of the Jewish population in accordance with the homicidal Nazi ideology enshrined in the German Third Reich law.

The camp in Auschwitz from the beginning to the end of its existence was managed by the Germans – the criminal German organization of the SS. It was the Germans who were the masters of life and death – for Jews, Poles and the prisoners of all the other nationalities that went through this hell on earth from which few came out alive.

German attack on Soviet Russia turned Stalin, Hitler’s erstwhile ally and fellow occupier of pre-war Polish territory, into an enemy of the Third Reich. As the allies advanced towards Berlin in the later stages of the war, the Red Army drove the Germans from the conquered territories of Eastern Europe, including Poland. And so, the Soviet state that had a giant archipelago of murderous concentration camps (Gulags) of its own, came to occupy the German death camp in Auschwitz. Shortly after, the Soviet security apparatus, NKVD, began using the Nazi camp as a prison for the Polish freedom fighters and prisoners of war. Similarly, the NKVD adapted other Nazi camps in occupied Poland to the needs of the terror apparatus during the consolidation of communist power in Poland after World War II.

The upcoming anniversary of January 27, 2020 will remind the whole world of what German Nazism was, what the criminal system of German concentration and death camps- built on the territory of occupied Poland and managed by the genocidal security apparatus of the German Third Reich –was. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent lies about the outbreak of World War II, his attempt to white-wash Soviet complicity, and his blatant historical revisionism show that the truth about the events of World War II must always be guarded against those who, like Putin, want to manipulate the narrative, in order to achieve their ad hoc goals of expansive foreign policy.

Reduta Dobrego Imienia – The Polish League against Defamation reminds everyone who will be commenting on the anniversary of the occupation of the Auschwitz camp by the Red Army that the Polish Government in Exile did not have any power over the territory of the Polish State from September 17, 1939 – the moment of Soviet aggression against Poland in collaboration with Germany. Were it not for this assault and, as a consequence, the collapse of the Polish State, the Holocaust and other crimes that were a simple consequence of transferring the genocidal practices of both totalitarian occupants to the territory of occupied Poland would not have taken place.

The Polish League against Defamation reminds everyone who will be commenting on this anniversary that the Auschwitz camp was a German Nazi death camp founded by the Nazi Third Reich in occupied Poland. Denying or diminishing the responsibility of Nazi Germany, or shifting the responsibility for the Holocaust from the Germans(Holocaust denial) as well as all lies about the perpetration of Holocaust crimes are hate speech. Diminishing responsibility for crimes and passing them on to the victims is not only denying the truth, but also an attempt at humiliate and again take away the dignity of the victims.

Maciej Świrski

President of the Polish League against Defamation

 

Warsaw, 16 January 2020

 

The Polish League against Defamation has been around since 2013. He deals with, among others initiating and supporting activities aimed at straightening false information appearing in the media and public space about the history of Poland, especially the course of World War II, and propagating knowledge about the history and culture of Poland. Reacts in many fields, including by sending requests for correction in the event of the use of the words ‘Polish camp’, ‘Polish ghetto’, ‘Polish SS’ or similar. He conducts court cases regarding freedom of speech and national identity, including in the context of reproduced historical inaccuracies.

Since the beginning of its activity, the Polish League against Defamation has won several court cases.

  1. Against the media group Ringier Axel Springer Polska, which spoke to the plaintiff’s mother, a woman led to death, for collaboration with Germany and prostitution with the occupier.
  2. Against Newsweek.pl, which suggested the existence of “Polish concentration camps” after the end of World War II.
  3. Against the Ringer Axel Springer Polska concern for slandering an innocent man, a hero of the fight for Poland’s freedom, for “communist crimes”.
  4. The case of a Home Army soldier wrongly accused of collaborating with the communist Security Office (UB) after World War II.
  5. Against the publisher of the weekly ‘Wprost’, in defense of two brothers from the Bąk family, who were portrayed as criminals and murderers, even though they acted on behalf of the Polish Underground State and executed death sentences on Polish traitors and Nazi occupiers, as ordered by the Polish underground authorities .
  6. In defense of national identity, against racism and discrimination based on nationality.
  7. Against the German ZDF television for the series “Our mothers, our fathers”, which portrayed Polish Home Army soldiers as bandits and anti-Semites.

 

Download PDF version

Putin’s Propaganda Assault on Poland – A Review of Russian Media Reporting (December 19th, 2019 – January 8th, 2020)

We present to you our report on the reaction of the Russian media to the recent remarks of the Russian President Vladimir Putin. On the 19th of December 2019, he accused Poland of having been vicious anti-Semites who collaborated with the Nazi Germany. Today’s Poland – so claims Putin – is falsifying history. Unsurprisingly, Putin’s words were spread wide and far in Russian state-controlled media.  While attacks of this kind are always disappointing, it is particularly concerning that this attack came roughly a month before the 75th anniversary of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

This report focuses on the coverage by leading Russian media organizations such as TASS, Izvestia and Sputnik. Our analysis confirms that the Kremlin’s new anti-Polish stance is in fact not new at all. Indeed, the main talking points such as the allegedly particularly vicious Polish anti-Semitism or Poland’s supposed collaboration with “the fascists” have been in use since even before the Second World War.

Not only are the talking points old – so are the methods used to back up these claims. By citing rather obscure figures such as the then-ambassador Lipski and completely ignoring the historical context, it is implied that Poland was willing to help Hitler in ethnically cleansing Europe of Jews and was even willing to build a monument for Hitler. This is – of course – nonsense. Unfortunately, there is no counterweight to this narrative in Russia as the opposition media and also historians who do not toe the Kremlin line have been systematically marginalized.

As a result, we have to expect further attacks of this kind, especially as Poland continues to invest in national defense, shifts its energy consumption away from Russian gas, and deepens its alliance with the USA and NATO.

The full report can be found here:
Atak propagandowy Putina na Polskę. Przegląd rosyjskich mediów (19 grudnia 2019 – 8 stycznia 2020)

RDI Annual Report for 2019

On the last day of 2019 –aside from wishing you a happy new decade – we present you our annual report for the current year. We also offer some of our thoughts on the current Polish-Russian diplomatic crisis, and we invite you to share your insights on this matter. Our full analysis will be published sometime after Epiphany.

1. In the annual report, we present a detailed statement detailing the legal and anti-defamatory activities of RDI. 2019 was a year of extraordinary legal successes. Among them were two victories over Ringier Axel Springer in which the publisher was forced to pay 100,000 zł in restitution after being found guilty of insulting Polish women. Onet.pl was further directed to post an apology on its webpage for a week; the apology had to cover at least ¼ of the screen. The apology had to be dedicated to Mr. Krystian Brodacki whose own mother had been insulted by the German-owned Onet.pl. The site had used a photograph of women being executed by the Germans during the Palmiry Massacres to illustrate a story about prostitution during the German occupation.

Aside from defending the good name of Poland in the courts of law, we were also very active elsewhere:

– We sent out 70 newsletters, reaching 5,545,194 people
– We published 57 articles on our website www.rdi.org.pl
– 194,910 people visited www.rdi.org.pl this year
– We published 458 tweets on Twitter, and were followed by 10,292 people
– We published 165 posts on Facebook, where we are liked by 19,397 people and observed by 19,556
– We sent out 275 requests for correction. Our requests were followed up on in 170 cases.
– We published 4 editions of our magazine “Reduta Online”

The report can be downloaded by clicking on the link on the bottom of this page.
We invite you to have a look!

2. Putin’s recent attack on Polish history is not his first one, which shows once again that for Moscow, history is a yet another battlefield in its campaign of disinformation. From the introduction of the report:

“As a principle, historical policy is an essential component of most if not all states’ internal but also foreign policies. A serious historical policy is supported is consistent with a state’s interests, and is thus supported by the all possible means. This enables the country to have an impact on international politics it otherwise would not have.”

When standing up to Soviet-era informational warfare, it is essential to respond with a measured, thought-out historical policy. The latest crisis has demonstrated that it is not simply enough to tell the truth about Polish suffering and heroism. Any successful Polish historical policy also has to tell the greater truth about communism and its murderous legacy. Such an anti-communist direction is in my opinion essential to push back against the disinformation spread by people like Putin, who for the most part is simply reiterating old Soviet propaganda from 1939 that was used to justify Stalin’s alliance with Hitler and later easily allowed the Western Allies’ to renege on their promises to Poland at Yalta and Potsdam. In particular, accusations of Polish anti-Semitism have time and time again featured prominently in Soviet propaganda whenever Poland did anything significant that ran counter to the wishes of the Kremlin.

Thankfully, the international reaction to Putin’s statements has been rather positive, especially following the release of Prime Minister Morawiecki’s statement. Aside from international media, foreign countries such as Germany and the USA – via public statements of their ambassadors – reaffirmed the historical truth and thus stood by Poland’s side. If Putin’s attack was intended to sow discord within NATO, it is fair to say that this attempt has failed. However, it is likely that this is not going to be the last initiative of this kind, and we have to be brace ourselves for further attacks.

Our Documentation and Analysis Department is currently preparing a report detailing the events and dynamics as well as highlighting what organizations such as the RDI can do. The report is due to be released on the second week of January. However, it has to be said that while we can indeed provide support, it is primarily up to the Polish government to deal with such high-level attacks – task which it is evidently is capable of completing.

That being said, some of the responses from parts of the opposition media as well as some opposition politicians are rather unfortunate and in some cases even irresponsible. For example, it is disappointing to see politicians with years of experience in government suddenly fall into blind activism, and simply discarding the need for a measured response. These calls for rashness emerged mostly in the shape of criticism deriding the President of Poland for not reacting fast enough or that the entire government is doing nothing and that this is the fault of Poland’s ruling party. Even though many of these people should be very well aware of the fact that the crisis management of this kind must not be done in a hasty fashion, they nevertheless insisted on it. This type of behavior is nothing more than the cynical exploitation of a crisis manufactured by a foreign country.

3. As mentioned above, our Documentation and Analysis Department is preparing a report concerning the ongoing diplomatic crisis with Russia. This report will also include an analysis of the reaction Putin’s attacks received in various NATO countries. Membership in the defensive NATO alliance has been one of the main cornerstones of the security policy of every Polish government since Poland’s accession in 1999. It is thus critical to maintain a positive image among our allies. Therefore, I would kindly ask those who are currently living in other NATO countries to share your experiences. If you can tell us how normal people (your friends, acquaintances, colleagues, etc.) felt about Putin’s statements, we would be very grateful.
In case you feel inclined to do so, feel free to send an email to:
kontakt@reduta-dobrego-imienia.pl
with the subject line: Reactions to Putin’s Statements

The link to the RDI Annual Report for 2019 can be found here – LINK

On a final note, we would like to thank you very much for your support. Without your support and generosity, we would not be here. May you and your close ones have a blessed year!

Important Victory for RDI! Hans G. Found Guilty of Defamation, Issuing Death Threats!

Today, the Regional Court in Wejherowo reached a verdict in the criminal case against Hans G, in which RDI supported the plaintiff with financial and legal aid, helping to initiate court proceedings. The court found Hans G. guilty of defaming Natalia Nitek Płażyńska as well as threatening her with death! The judge sentenced Hans G. to 8 months on probation and a 20,000 PLN fine. In addition to the 20,000 PLN fine, Hans G. has been ordered to pay around 10,000 PLN in damages. Hans G. has further been ordered to cover 50,000 PLN in trial expenses. This is not the only case RDI is currently involved in, and we provide legal assistance in another criminal case.

After the verdict was announced, Natalia Nitek-Płażyńska wrote: “I won against a German Nazi in front of a criminal court! Hans G. has been found guilty of defaming me because of my nationality as well as of making death threats. Among other things, he said that he would kill Poles while pretending to shoot a gun.  I have already written on here that I will not allow us to be defamed, and I have kept my word.” The court ruled that Hans G. had violated Article 216, Paragraph 1 of the Polish Criminal Code.

While working for the Pomeranian company POS System, Natalia Nitek-Płażyńska was verbally harassed by its owner Hans G. over a period of several months. At the company, she had managed various projects at the company between June 2015 and January 2016. Hans G. harassed her based on her personal and national background, and frequently used hateful phrases reminiscent of German occupation of Poland between 1939 and 1945, in which millions of Poles were murdered. Among others, Hans G. referred to Poland and the Poles as “shit”, “idiots”, “I hate these idiots”, “idiot Polak”, “suckers”, “better is Africa”, “fucking stupid country”, “should I stand them on the wall [sic!; pretends to fire a gun] Kill them? I wanted, I want! No problem for me! I would kill every Pole, scheißegal!” At the same time, he personally told Natalia Nitek-Płażyńska that he “would put you in line with PiS and shoot you” as well as things like “you are stupid because you listen to Kaczyński,” “fucking pisior,” or “crazy fascist.”

Previously, on the 11th of February 2019, the District Court in Gdańsk had reached a verdict in a civil case against Hans G., ordering him to apologize to Natalia Nitek-Płażyńska in the newspaper “Gazeta Polska” and the television channel “Telewizja Republika”. In addition, Hans G. was obliged to donate 50,000 PLN to the Piaśnica Museum in Wejherowo. The presiding judge Piotr Kowalski justified his decision on the grounds of the historical roots of German racial prejudice and feelings of superiority, which were evident in the behavior of Hans G. RDI was a joint plaintiff in this case and assisted Natalia Nitek-Płażynska, providing legal and financial assistance.

This case confirms that defending the dignity of Poles against defamation is a fruitful endeavor and that the legal strategy endorsed by RDI is being vindicated by the courts!

Thank you very much for your support. Without your support and generosity, we would not be here!

Listopadowy numer magazynu “Reduta Online”

Przedstawiamy Państwu listopadowy numer magazynu Reduta Online.

W nocie Od Redaktora Szanowni Czytelnicy znajdą refleksje na temat tegorocznych obchodów Święta Niepodległości. Ciekawi jesteśmy, czy mają Państwo w tym roku podobne odczucia – zachęcamy do komentowania.

W dalszej części numeru przedstawiamy tekst na temat wyzwań, jakie stoją przed edukacją historyczną w okresie formowania się społeczeństwa informacyjnego i gospodarki opartej na wiedzy. Szczególnie zachęcamy do lektury relacji z wydarzenia, w którego organizacji brała udział Reduta Dobrego Imienia – we wsi Strzelcowizna upamiętniona została 80 rocznica przemarszu 110 Rezerwowego Pułku Ułanów z Wołkowyska. W tekście znajdą Państwo informacje na temat wydarzeń z czasu II wojny światowej, a także noty o dowódcach 110 RPU, ppłk. Jerzym Dąmbrowskim (“Łupaszko”) i mjr. Henryku Dobrzańskim (“Hubal”) oraz oficerze taktycznym, kpt. Macieju Kalankiewiczu.

W numerze również kolejny fragment wspomnień wojennych Zenona Skupińskiego, a w nim miedzy innymi relacja z “dyżuru” w roli zakładnika u Niemców. Oczywiście w numerze nie brakuje felietonu z cyklu Okiem Wodza – Tȟašúŋke Witkó w tekście “Dwa światy” przywołuje żołnierskie wspomnienia z roku 2004 w Iraku…

Listopadowy numer magazynu “Reduta Online”

Zapraszamy do lektury!
Maciej Świrski

Prof. Andrzej Nowak odznaczony Orderem Orła Białego! Gratulujemy

Członek Rady Reduty Dobrego Imienia prof. Andrzej Nowak został odznaczony przez Prezydenta RP Orderem Orła Białego! Jak podkreślił prezydent Andrzej Duda – Order dla prof. Nowaka został przyznany w uznaniu za wybitne działania na polu historii, za propagowanie wartości patriotycznych oraz monumentalne „Dzieje Polski”.

Profesor jest postacią polskiej nauki, której nikomu przedstawiać nie trzeba. Jest znany z pasji i umiejętności pokazania historii w sposób niezwykle ciekawy i budując także postawy patriotyczne. Ale co więcej, prof. Andrzej Nowak w swej działalności pokazuje to, co dla nas Polaków od ponad 1050 lat oprócz fundamentu chrześcijańskiego fundamentu jest najważniejsze, co jest istotą trwania naszego narodu – jest to ogromne pragnienie wolności będące przecież wielkim elementem spajającym polskość – powiedział prezydent Andrzej Duda.

Prof. Andrzej Nowak podczas ceremonii wręczenia orderu stwierdził: Znaleźć się w tym gronie odznaczonych jest dla mnie wielkim zaszczytem i rodzi wiele uczuć. Pierwszym z nich to wdzięczność.

Andrzej Nowak urodził się w 12 listopada 1960 roku w Krakowie, jest historykiem, badaczem stosunków polsko-rosyjskich. Jest kierownikiem Zakładu Historii Europy Wschodniej i Studiów nad Imperiami XIX i XX wieku w Instytucie Historii PAN oraz Zakładu Historii Europy Wschodniej na Uniwersytecie Jagiellońskim. Specjalizuje się w dziejach rosyjskiej myśli politycznej oraz stosunkach polsko-rosyjskich w XIX i XX w. W 2015 roku został powołany przez prezydenta Andrzeja Dudę jako członek Narodowej Rady Rozwoju. Od 2016 roku jest członkiem Kolegium Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej. Jest także członkiem Rady Reduty Dobrego Imienia. Autor wielu artykułów i książek, z których w dorobku profesora można wyróżnić m.in. następujące:

  • Jak rozbić rosyjskie imperium? Idee polskiej polityki wschodniej 1733-1921, Warszawa 2005.
  • Polska i „trzy” Rosje. Studium polityki wschodniej Józefa Piłsudskiego (do kwietnia 1920 roku), Kraków 2001.
  • Historie politycznych tradycji. Piłsudski, Putin i inni, Kraków 2007.
  • Dzieje Polski. Skąd nasz ród, t. 1, Kraków 2014.
  • Dzieje Polski. Od rozbicia do nowej Polski, t. 2, Kraków 2015.
  • Dzieje Polski. Królestwo zwycięskiego Orła, t. 3, Kraków 2017
  • Niepodległa! 1864-1924. Jak Polacy odzyskali Ojczyznę, Kraków 2018.
  • Metamorfozy Imperium Rosyjskiego 1721-1921. Geopolityka, ody i narody, Kraków 2018.
  • Dzieje Polski. Trudny złoty wiek, t. 4, Kraków 2019.

Professor Andrzej Nowak awarded the Order of the White Eagle! Congratulations!

Member of the “Reduta Dobrego Imienia” Council, Professor Andrzej Nowak was awarded the Order of the White Eagle by the President of the Republic of Poland! As President Andrzej Duda emphasized – the Order for Professor Nowaka was awarded in recognition of his outstanding work in the field of history, for propagating patriotic values ​​and for his monumental series of books entitled” The History of Poland”.

The professor is a figure in Polish Academia who needs no introduction. He is known for his passion and ability to portray history in an extremely interesting way which builds patriotism. But what’s more, Professor Andrzej Nowak in his works shows what for us Poles -for over 1050 years- apart from the foundation of Christianity, is most important-which is the essence of the duration of our nation – the great desire for freedom, which is after all the great element binding Polishness – said President Andrzej Duda.

Professor Nowak during the award ceremony stated: Finding myself among this group of distinguished people being decorated today is a great honor for me and raises a lot of feelings. The first of which is gratitude.

Andrzej Nowak was born on November 12, 1960 in Krakow, he is a historian and researcher of Polish-Russian relations. He is the head of the Department of Eastern European History and Studies on the Empires of the 19th and 20th Century in the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences as well as the Department of History of Eastern Europe at the Jagiellonian University. He specializes in the history of Russian political thought and Polish-Russian relations in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 2015, he was appointed by President Andrzej Duda as a member of the National Development Council. Since 2016, he has been a member of the College of the Institute of National Remembrance. He is also a member of the Council of “Reduta Dobrego Imienia”. Author of many articles and books, from the Professor’s achievements the following require special mention:

• How to break up the Russian empire? Poland’s Eastern Policy 1733-1921, Warsaw 2005.

• Poland and “three” Russias. A study of Józef Piłsudski’s eastern policy (until April 1920), Krakow 2001.

• Tales of political traditions. Piłsudski, Putin and others, Krakow 2007.

• History of Poland. Where do we (Poles)come from, vol. 1, Krakow 2014.

• History of Poland. From partitioning to a new Poland, vol. 2, Krakow 2015.

• History of Poland. The Kingdom of the Victorious Eagle , vol. 3, Krakow 2017

• Independent! 1864-1924. How Poles regained their homeland, Krakow 2018.

• Metamorphoses of the Russian Empire 1721-1921. Geopolitics, odes and nations, Kraków 2018.

• History of Poland. The Difficult Golden Age, vol. 4, Krakow 2019.