Tuesday

24th Apr 2018

MEPs hit by second Polish email campaign

  • Morawiecki: 'Holocaust denial is not only denial of German crimes, but also other ways of falsifying history' (Photo: premier.gov.pl)

MEPs have been hit by a second Polish email campaign, this time defending a controversial new law from Warsaw on Holocaust speech.

The messages began coming in on Sunday (4 February) and Monday from private gmail and other addresses, containing appeals and links to Polish government statements.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"For us of Poles it is very important so that world [sic] finds the truth," one message, signed Tomasz Lozinski, said.

Another one, signed Barbara Wieckowska, copy-pasted a statement by Poland's ambassador to the US, Piotr Wilczek, that was also published in The New York Times newspaper.

"Let me be clear: There was no systematic complicity in the Holocaust, not by the Polish nation or by the Polish state," Wilczek said.

Several of the emails linked to a statement on YouTube by Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who also justified the new Polish law to gag people from accusing Poles of collusion with Nazi Germany in the Holocaust.

"Holocaust denial is not only denial of German crimes, but also other ways of falsifying history ... when one diminishes the responsibility of the real perpetrator and attributes that responsibility to the victims," Morawiecki said

The emails popped up alongside Polish ads on EU media, such as the Politico website, which linked to Morawiecki's video clip under the slogan "The truth needs protection".

The email bomb was the second of its type after one in support of Ryszard Czarnecki, an MEP from Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, last month.

The Czarnecki one saw MEPs' inboxes flooded with hundreds of emails saying he should keep his job as European Parliament vice-president even though he had insulted a Polish opposition MEP by likening her to a Nazi collaborator.

"This time around, there weren't quite as many emails as for Czarnecki", a parliament source told EUobserver.

Meanwhile, Polish state prosecutor Robert Janicki told German media over the weekend that Warsaw had applied to the international police agency, Interpol, in France for help to go after some 1,600 alleged Nazi criminals who were still on the run in Austria, Germany, and further afield.

"We finally have to deal comprehensively with the mass murder that was committed in German concentration camps," Janicki said.

Duda adamant

For his part, Polish president Andrzej Duda, who still has the power to amend or quash the controversial bill, gave no sign that he intended to do so in an open letter published by his chancellery over the weekend.

"Each year we continue to register hundreds of cases where defamatory language, including the phrase 'Polish death camps,' reappears. These false assertions must not be accepted," it said.

Poland's deputy PM and former prime minister, Beata Szydlo, added on Twitter on Sunday that Poles should rally round PiS on the issue.

"It doesn't matter whether you're from the government or opposition camp. It's important whether you defend Poland," she said.

The gag law has prompted fierce criticism by Israel, which says Holocaust survivors who speak out on instances of Polish collusion with the Nazis could face jail terms or fines.

The dispute comes amid Poland's previous confrontation with the EU on judicial reform and migrant quotas, but neither controversy seems to have hurt the right-wing PiS party.

PiS support jumped six points to hit 49 percent in a new survey published by state broadcaster TVP Info over the weekend, with opposition parties trailing far behind as Poland prepares for elections next year.

Opinion

Securing 'rule of law' with economic power

Current negotiations on the next seven-year spending plan may be the last opportunity for the EU to use its economic muscle to preserve its values.

Analysis

New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability

The EU's latest funding rules for European political parties and their think tanks fails to address the underlying problems of abuse. Instead of tackling the loans and donations culture, it has simply made access to EU funds a lot easier.

MEPs set limits to Macron's ambitions

The French president tried to woo the European Parliament but found that his quest for leadership will have to abide by the rules set by the European political groups.

Getting secret EU trilogue documents: a case study

On Thursday, the European Parliament will vote on a political deal on organic farming, following 19 months of behind-closed-doors negotiations. EUobserver here details a five-month odyssey to get access to the secret documents that led to the deal.

News in Brief

  1. Far-right attack migrants on Greek island
  2. Merkel defends accepting UN refugees
  3. EU commissioner plans Malta 'money laundering' inspection
  4. Survey: Half of high polluting farms receive CAP subsidies
  5. Commission will 'not shy away' from Malta killing repercussions
  6. EU Commission opens probe on Alitalia state loan
  7. Paris suspect given 20-year sentence for Brussels shoot-out
  8. Merkel and Pena Nieto praise EU-Mexico trade agreement

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers12 Recommendations for Nordic Leadership on Climate and Environment
  2. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOxford Professor Calls for an End to the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  3. ACCAPeople Who Speak-Up Should Feel Safe to Do So
  4. Mission of China to the EUProgress on China-EU Cooperation
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  6. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  7. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  8. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  9. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  10. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  11. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight

Latest News

  1. Spanish navy makes bid for EU anti-pirate HQ
  2. How Russian propaganda depicts Europe - should we worry?
  3. MEPs tell Chinese ambassador of concerns on trade
  4. Greenland votes with eye on independence
  5. EU court delivers blow to anti-abortion activists
  6. Hungary activists defiant after 'Soros Mercenaries' attack
  7. European Commission proposes whistleblower protection law
  8. Secrecy of VW fraud report 'unacceptable', says MEP

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  2. Counter BalanceThe EIB Needs to Lead by Example on Tax Justice
  3. ILGA EuropeTrans People in Sweden to be Paid Compensation for Forced Sterilisation
  4. International Partnership for Human RightsThe Danger of Standing Up for Justice and Rights in Central Asia
  5. Mission of China to the EUChina and EU Must Work Together to Promote Global Steel Sector
  6. Swedish EnterprisesEU Tax Proposal on Digital Services Causes Concern for Small Exporting Economies
  7. European Jewish CongressCondemns the Horrific Murder of Holocaust Survivor Mireille Knoll in Paris
  8. Mission of China to the EUAn Open China Will Foster a World-Class Business Environment
  9. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  10. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  11. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  12. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations