Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Poland complains of anti- Polonism

Poland's foreign ministry is looking into two recent incidents, in France and Spain, of perceived Polonophobia.

An advertisement of The Pianist by Roman Polanski, presented in the Spanish leftist daily Publico, included the caption: "A heart- breaking story taking place in the Nazi Poland."

"This is an act directed at those not familiar with WWII realities," said professor of culture Piotr Jaroszynski, according to whom numerous European and American papers are 'controlled by anti - Polish groups'.

The Spanish advertisement has reportedly caused a stir among Poles living in Spain.

The Foreign Ministry is currently investigating the case.

Poland has complained many times in the past to publications like the New York Times, which insist in calling Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps 'Polish' concentration or death camps.

In April 2004, the American CTV News report made reference to "the Polish camp in Treblinka".

In 2007, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO officially declared the camp at Oswiecim as the "Auschwitz - Birkenau German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945)" after complaints from numerous Polish governments.

However, Spain is not the only place where perceived Polonophobic statements have been made recently.

The Critical European Union Dictionary, issued by publishers in France, defines Poland as "irresponsible, corrupt and hindering the EU integration process?"

MEP Hanna Foltyn-Kubicka of the Law and Justice party has dismissed the 'dictionary' and compared the quality of the publication to that ?of a cookbook'.

"It is not worth dabbling in this puddle of intellectual sewage," she said. Other references in the book include: "Will Poland turn out to be Brussels' worst nightmare?", and "How can one explain Poland's stubbornness and so heavily criticized political egoism?"

The work on the EU dictionary was supervised by several professors from the pro-EU Robert Shuman Foundation.