Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Polish Neo-Nazi Arrested With Plans

Police arrested a municipal employee in central Poland after a raid turned up neo-Nazi materials that included anti-Semitic propaganda and detailed instructions for terrorist bomb and arson attacks on refugees, homosexuals and Jews.

Authorities would identify the arrested man only as Adam P., who they described as a city worker in Bialobrzegi in his thirties, according to Agence France-Presse. But they said the man was linked to the racist group Blood and Honour and added that they found "instructions for neo-Nazi groups in Poland." These included detailed methods of intimidation and a listing of targets for bombs and arson.

Last year, Blood and Honour, an international skinhead group, called on its members to supply information on anti-racists and others considered enemies. It then posted this information on a website called "Redwatch," resulting, authorities said, in the stabbing of a man in Warsaw. The site, which was based on a computer server in Arizona, was blocked by the FBI in July 2006 after a joint investigation with the Polish police. Three Poles linked to the website were arrested in Poland.

About a month after the June arrest of the neo-Nazi Bialobrzegi worker, a national furor erupted over the anti-Semitic remarks of a Catholic priest who has built a nationalist media empire in Poland. Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, speaking in a private lecture to the journalism college he started, attacked right-wing premier Lech Kaczynski, saying he was a "swindler" who had succumbed to Jewish pressure to compensate Holocaust victims who lost their property during World War II.

"You know that it's about giving $65 billion" to the Jews, he said, according to a tape recording obtained by the weekly magazine Wprost. "They will come to you and say, 'Give me your coat. Take off your pants. Give me your shoes.'"

Poland had the largest population of Jews in the world before the war, more than 3 million people. Most were murdered or starved to death by the Nazis, with just an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 surviving. Jews were not welcomed back to Poland after the war, and today the Polish Jewish community is infinitesimal.

Father Rydzyk, who also runs a television station, a newspaper and a major radio station called Radio Maryja, went on to call the premier's wife a "witch" who should kill herself because she has supported limited abortion rights. But Kaczynski declined to counterattack Rydzyk, who had been a major political supporter.

More than 600 Polish Catholic intellectuals, journalists and others signed a letter protesting Rydzyk's "scornful and anti-Semitic remarks." In the U.S., the Simon Wiesenthal Center condemned the priest as a "Josef Goebbels in a collar."