Ex-hate Group Leader Tasked With Fighting Hate Speech in Poland, Jewish Group Says

Adam Andruszkiewicz, appointed to combat online incitement and hatred, presided as recently as 2016 over a movement that 'openly proclaims racist ideas'

File photo: Black swastika and red footprints on the backdrop of Israeli flag painted at the site of Soviet Military Cemetery Mausoleum in Warsaw, Poland, 23 March 2017.
Pawel Supernak/EPA

The man appointed by Poland to fight hate speech on the internet belongs to a group with racist and anti-Semitic views, according to a European Jewish group.

Adam Andruszkiewicz was named secretary of state in the Ministry of Digital Affairs.

“In 2015-2016, Andruszkiewicz was the president of the All-Polish Youth, a movement known for its nationalistic doctrine, which continues the tradition of the interwar student organization with the same name,” the American Jewish Committee’s Central Europe office said in a statement.

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In its “Ideological Declaration” of 1931, the All-Polish Youth claimed that “Jews are a racist foreign group,” and “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’s Warsaw-based office.

AJC Central Europe, saying the movement’s political heritage openly proclaims racist ideas and propagates ethnic discrimination in universities, called the decision to appoint Andruszkiewicz “surprising, especially in the light of recent surveys that show that anti-Semitism in cyberspace is a growing threat to Europe.”

“We want to believe that Polish law enforcement agencies will take action in response to hate speech and incitement to hatred on the Internet,” said Agnieszka Markiewicz, director of that AJC office.

AJC Central Europe covers the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary.