Polish newspaper’s front page sparks outrage after it instructs ‘how to spot a Jew’
The Polish-language weekly, Tylko Polska, or “Only Poland,” includes a list of supposed markers such as “Names, anthropological features, expressions, appearances, character traits, methods of operation,” and “disinformation activities.”
The newspaper’s front page – which also included a headline that read “How to defeat them? This cannot go on! – ran an article, which read, “Attack on Poland at a conference in Paris” – in reference to a Holocaust studies conference at the French capital last month that sparked criticism over alleged anti-Polish speakers, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reported.
It included a photo of Jan Gross, a Polish and Jewish Princeton scholar who wrote “Neighbors: The Destruction of Jewish Community in Jebwabne, Poland,” which is about the massacre of the Jewish people in Jebwabne by their non-Jewish neighbors during the Nazi occupation in Poland, the Washington Post reported.
The newspaper was first spotted at the lower house of the Polish parliament – the Sejm – on Wednesday, as part of the weekly package of publications sent to lawmakers, JTA reported.
Opposition lawmaker Michal Kaminski called for prosecutors to investigate, as it's a crime in Poland to incite hatred based on race or religion. A lawmaker from the ruling right-wing party called for the paper to be banned altogether.
The director of the Parliament’s information center initially said his office could not take action because the paper was being sold from kiosks inside the Sejm, which was responsible for the choice of newspapers.
Andrzej Grzegrzolka also suggested that a court could look into the front page to decide whether “Only Poland” should be suspended under Polish law, the Post reported.
He later relented and announced his office would request that “Only Poland” be removed from the set of periodicals delivered to the Parliament.
“Situations such as this publication are absolutely marginal in Poland,” President Andrzej Duda said in a statement Thursday. “Nonetheless each and every one of them deserves condemnation, including the one in question.”
According to JTA, the newspaper is published by Leszek Bubl, a fringe nationalist political candidate. In the past, he has sung anti-Semitic songs about “rabid” rabbis.
Poland, which was home to Europe's largest Jewish community before the 1939 occupation by Nazi Germany, has a history of anti-Semitic speech and actions. The government has also been accused in the past of trying to rewrite history by banning any suggestion of Polish complicity in the Holocaust.