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Appointment of Former Far-Right Leader to Polish Government Draws International Criticism

Already accused of anti-Semitism, Adam Andruszkiewicz now faces scrutiny for chanting homophobic slogans at a past rally.

9 January 2019

The naming of Andruszkiewicz – a former leader of the far-right All Polish Youth organization – as secretary of state in the Polish Ministry of Digital Affairs is “surprising, especially in the light of recent surveys that show that anti-Semitism in cyberspace is a growing threat to Europe,” the American Jewish Committee’s Central Europe office said in a statement, as cited by JTA.

 

The committee described the All-Polish Youth as “a movement known for its nationalistic doctrine, which continues the tradition of the interwar student organization with the same name.”

 

The newest member of Poland's government at an LGBT pride parade singing 'sodomites off the streets' and 'faggots go get treatment'.

Until 2016 he was leader of the far-right All-Polish Youth. Today he was officially named as a deputy minister pic.twitter.com/96zZS40k0l

— Daniel Tilles (@danieltilles1) January 1, 2019

 

More precisely, in its “Ideological Declaration” from 1931, the All-Polish Youth labeled Jews “a racist foreign group” and said “the guidelines of Polish policy towards Jews should be cultural, political, and economic isolation and the greatest reduction of their number in the State,” according to the AJC.

 

Abraham Foxman, the national director emeritus of the Anti-Defamation League and the head of an anti-Semitism study program at the New York-based Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust also had harsh words for the appointment. “Poland seems to have reached a new low appointing a neo-Nazi anti-Semite in charge of internet and social media,” he said, according to The Algemeiner, which covers Jewish issues around the world.

 

Since coming to power in October 2015, Poland's ruling Law and Justice party has been under international scrutiny for their support of legislation curtailing personal freedoms, such as changes to an already draconian abortion law, and for appointments of people with questionable backgrounds or views to governmental positions.

 

Andruszkiewicz’s social media accounts have been a mouthpiece of his far-right views, and dismissals of his opponents as “parasites,” “traitors,” and “enemies of Poland,” The Algemeiner writes. Additionally, a video of him chanting homophobic slogans at a 2009 demonstration against a Gay Pride parade in Warsaw has emerged.

 

 

The opposition Civic Platform party has also questioned Andruszkiewicz’s appointment, on the basis of whether he had been vetted for any ties to foreign intelligence services, including Russia, the AP writes.

 

Andruszkiewicz himself said in a Facebook post that he was the victim of a “slanderous witch hunt,” and that he wouldn’t be making such controversial statements.

 

 

  • The 28-year-old Andruszkiewicz was first elected to the Polish parliament four years ago after campaigning for the right-wing populist Kukiz 15 party.

 

  • The All Polish Youth was one of the main organizers of a march celebrating National Independence Day last November, as well as marking a century of Polish independence following World War I, according to openDemocracy. The march included the participation of nationalist, far-right, and extremist organizations.

 

  • Two Polish citizens, members of a Polish far-right organization with alleged ties to Russia, are facing terrorism charges in Ukraine. “In short: a Polish far-right activist hired two Polish thugs who would go to Western Ukraine and attack a Hungarian cultural center posing as Ukrainian nationalists in order to poison relations between Hungary and Ukraine even further,” Anton Shekhovtsov, an Austrian-based political expert, wrote on Facebook, according to The Kyiv Post.

Compiled by Ioana Caloianu

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