A new law has been passed in Poland which could mean three years in prison for anyone who suggests Polish people committed war crimes during the Second World War.
But anti-Jewish pogroms led by Polish fascists and antisemites did take place.
The resulting row has stirred up a wave of antisemitism. This is traditionally the most widespread form of racism in Poland but has not been so prominent for many years—until recently. In the last few years there has been a huge increase in violent attacks.
The hard right Law and Justice government has launched a campaign against refugees and Muslims in the name of fighting “terrorism”—and pushes it virtually every day.
It is sticking to its vicious zero entry policy for refugees.
The government has also made a point of calling fascists who organise local demonstrations hot blooded patriots.
A recent TV report showed Polish Nazis celebrating Hitler’s birthday in a forest. The report also showed a bigger crowd at a Nazi rock concert which has been held in the countryside every year since 2013. The audience made sieg heil salutes.
Fascists organised an antisemitic demonstration outside the president’s palace but anti-fascists heavily outnumbered them.
These were the same fascists who organised the tens of thousands strong march last November which featured slogans such as “White power—Ku Klux Klan”.
The anti-fascist mobilisations bode well for anti-racist demonstrations on 17 March.
These events are organised by the United Against Racism coalition and are supported by trade unions and organisations of oppressed groups.