Polish Prosecutor General Pledges to Get Tough on anti-Semitism

The foreign minister and his wife have reportedly been maligned some 2,500 times on the Internet.

Polish Prosecutor General Andrzej Seremet said this week the country would drop its lenient policy toward anyone making hateful statements against foreigners and Jews.

Seremet sent a letter to the Warsaw prosecutor demanding that the latter cease his soft stance on anti-Semitism and investigate insults on the Internet of the foreign minister and his wife.

The Warsaw prosecutor reportedly agreed with the policy, although according to his spokesman, the prosecutor general does not have the authority to enforce his opinions on prosecutors in the field, and the new policy is merely a request.

The Warsaw prosecutor has reportedly not investigated around 2,500 libel cases on the Internet against Poland’s foreign minister, Radoslaw Sikorski. Sikorski is married to Washington, D.C.-born Anne Applebaum, a Pulitzer Prize winner for her 2004 book “Gulag: A History.”

The Warsaw prosecutor’s office had said it “did not find any public interest in the matter.”

Anti-Semitic statements include “I’m angry at Adolf Hitler for not finishing his work in the gas chambers; if he did, Sikorski’s wife wouldn’t be alive today,” and “Sikorski isn’t Polish, he has a Jewish wife, and he does anything the [Jews] tell him.” According to another Internet comment, “Sikorski is a two-faced Jewish dog who wants to destroy Poland.”

Sikorski has unsuccessfully appealed decisions against the opening of investigations. To do so, he hired attorney Roman Giertych, former head of the national youth movement and deputy prime minister in the former right-wing government led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s Law and Justice Party.

Investigations have been avoided despite a court order that the phenomenon be perceived as a public danger.

Prosecutors had also said there was no need to continue investigations because it was impossible to identify the authors. Still, investigators have identified at least 100 computers used for publishing anti-Semitic statements, and many authors have not concealed their identities.

According to one Polish newspaper, a 71-year-old woman from Bialystok did not deny that she wrote that she “does not participate in elections … because it’s no secret that the Polish politicians all have Jewish origins. Not a single party in our country wasn’t started by Jews. If the Internet has a long list like this, then that’s the reality. It’s not only me who believes it; most of the public has the same opinion.”

Michal Fatta