Two examples of contemporary Polish antisemitism

Ever since I read Jerzy Kosiński’s 1965 novel The Painted Bird, I was freed from any misconception that antisemitism in Hungary is unique or somehow more odious than that appearing elsewhere in Central Europe. In fact, in some ways, Poland’s religiosity may have contributed to a particularly fervid form of hatred. In The Painted Bird, we follow the story of a child during World War II, who wanders without his parents through rural Poland. He is abused almost everywhere along the way for appearing different–we never really learn whether he is Jewish or Roma–but he is certainly one or the other.

Expressions of antisemitism are on the rise in Poland and they are especially brazen. Most recently, Slawomir Dul, a nationalist activist, boasted: ” I did it. I hung a Jew.” What Mr. Dul had done is hung in effigy Jakub Berman, the late communist politician of Jewish origins, in the town of Lodz. For greater emphasis, the “hanging” occurred in what was once the Lodz Ghetto and it happened in front of a police station. Why was this so important to Mr. Dul? He explained that he was “liberating Poland from American Jews’ occupation.”

The police allowed for Mr. Dul to complete his public performance without intervening. Officers only demanded that he leave the premises after they feared public disorder from a growing number of infuriated passers-by.

Polish nationalist activist Sławomir Dul hangs an effigy of late communist politician Jakub Berman, captioned ‘Jew,’ in Lodz on April 30. 2019

This is the second incident in just two weeks when antisemitism takes the form of public displays in Poland. On 26 April, locals in the town of Pruchnik embraced an 18th century ritual of symbolically casting judgment on Judas, who had betrayed Christ. Judas was portrayed through a larger than life effigy, complete with an exaggerated hooked nose and sidelocks. Children participated in the kicking and beating of the effigy, before setting it on fire. Attorney General Agnieszka Kaczorowska for Poland’s  Jaroslaw province said that this incident was being treated as a suspected hate crime. The investigation would also explore whether parents had instructed their children to participate.

Why Jesus himself was not also portrayed in the same stereotypical and hateful way, given that he too was a Jew and remained so for his entire earthly life, including during the Passover meal that we refer to as the Last Supper, is a question that religious anti-Semites likely find difficult to answer.


  1. Sapiens are are the last and most destructive of the human species. They managed to kill off all their relatives, before they went at each other. Less than a hundred years ago, and in barely 30 years apart, they went about killing close to 300 million other Sapiens. They’ll do it again and in even larger numbers. And as always, it’s one or another story, usually a religious mythology, a racially or ethnically fueled fantasy, exploited by the ignoramuses and their unscrupulous leaders (Trump, Orbán, Chi, Kim, Putin, the butcher of Saudi Arabia, the Mullahs, or even the Bibi, who dances to the Hassid fanatics in Israel) that will lead the sheep to the abatoirs. In the most powerful country in the world, America, none of this matters. The nation is fixated on Don Junior, and the lunatic in the White House, instead of how to save us from ourselves, and the hell hole the Evangelists, the misinformed, ill served “Common Folks” are cheerfully leading us towards. I’m not sure what one should do, laugh or cry at the sight of the animal behavior of that Polish lunatic. I suppose the Donald would say, he has his good and bad side. Before we know it, he too may be given a hero’s welcome in the White House. Right ?

  2. Fact that author follows the liberal-globalist herd in focusing on antisemitism in Hungary or Poland, while violent attacks on Jews in most of Western Europe continue to grow exponentially, can only be taken as a continued diversion strategy, being implemented in order to divert the attention of the sheep from the real problem, namely a globalist policy gone really wrong for Europe’s Jews, as well as gays and others. Soon to go really wrong for the natives of those countries, within just a few decades, but can’t discredit the policy, if this is what we in fact want to achieve right?

    Jewish organizations themselves who monitor antisemitism in Europe continue to provide us with facts showing that antisemitism is in fact in decline in both Hungary and Poland. Violent attacks on Jews, as well as non-violent events continue to increase across Western Europe at an astonishing pace.

    Germany: Violent attacks up over 60% in 2018.

    France: 74% increase in attacks.

    Hungary? another drop to just 32 incidents, only three involving a physical assault, versus 62 violent attacks in Germany. Should point out that Hungary has a larger Jewish population than Germany, so on a per/capita basis, Jews are a lot safer in Hungary.

    So, why do we keep coming back to this same line of attack, which clearly is not supported by evidence? Does evidence, fact even matter anymore? Author will evidently stop at nothing when attacking Hungary. Not even when such lies and distortions will feed hate, injustice and intolerance against ethnic minorities, as he recently demonstrated to me.

  3. Avatar George Adam says:

    As long as Polish nationalism cannot break with the old narrative of eternal victimhood, it will need an eternal and all purpose villain. Antisemitism is the flip side of national self-pity, and the one will not disappear without the other.

  4. “Liberalism is a mental disorder” (Savage).

  5. I love it when the liberals spin history. Communism in the past 100 years killed more people than Orban, Putin, Chi, Saudi Arabia and probably the rest of the world put together. Also let’s not forgot about the 100s of millions killed by radical Islam during their 1,400 years of conquest and blood fest. Andras B. Gollner is either a fool who does not know history, or rewrites it because he is a post-communist communist defending his communist predecessors even if the evidence screams into his face. A sure sign of mental case. Do not ask a a communist who committed to communist principles and practice as a religion to change. It’ll never happen.

    • Avatar Hungarian Free Press says:

      If you’re looking for “post-communist communists,” your first place of query should be within the ranks of Fidesz–the party, which 8 years ago, as one of its first points of business following its election victory, attempted to eliminate the archives of Hungarian State Security (communist secret police); in large part to ensure that embarrassing information of collaboration at every level did not come to light. No other political party in Hungary since 1989 attempted such a brazen move in terms of destroying the body of documentary evidence of the communist past.

  6. Avatar György Lázár says:

    Joe, Orbán institutionalized anti-Semitism in Hungary, it is part of Fidesz’s policy… at the same time, he also institutionalized the media coverup of his domestic anti-Semitic policies by falsifying statistics, hiring Chabad activists, trolls and some clever Likud propagandists. The exciting question is how far can he go with this rhetoric..? I think he might be up for a nasty surprise…

    Even Israelis think that Orbán is an anti-Semite… Right wing Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid said on Israeli radio. “Orbán is the man who said that Miklós Horthy is a great leader. He murdered my grandparents in Hungary. And the very fact that Netanyahu is making us the best friends in the world of these regimes in Europe is worrisome.”

    Meretz chairwoman Tamar Zandberg wrote in a letter to Netanyahu adding that Orbán promotes propaganda with a whiff of anti-Semitism, and that his vision relies on collaboration with Nazis.

    • Nice spin on things, based on “he said” of some individuals, versus hard facts presented by Jewish groups that monitor such things. Do you really believe that the Jewish group that monitors such attacks will rely solely on government data?

      Other than that, if you had to wear a kippah for a day and had a choice between Budapest, Malmo, Marseille or Berlin, for your own personal safety, where would you prefer to spend that day? An honest answer to this question, whether answered by you or anyone else on this site should suffice to answer the question in regards to where the honest truth lies! If you are able to answer this question with honesty, perhaps then you can take a second look at your comment and in another burst of honesty, you should come to the inevitable conclusion that it is mostly BS.

  7. The Painted Bird is fiction. An expert in Hungarian questions (Hungary was a Nazi ally) living in Ottawa, criticizes contemporary Poland. If you had to wear a kippah for a day choose Warsaw.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *