Poland’s Deputy PM Calls for Prosecution of Former Political Ally Over ‘Jews Are Animals, Not Humans’ Tweet
The deputy prime minister of Poland, Jarosław Gowin, has called for the prosecution of a former political ally whose viciously antisemitic tweet was exposed by The Algemeiner on Sunday.
Gowin called for criminal proceedings to be launched against Kazimierz Plotkowski — a former regional leader of the Poland Together Party launched by the deputy prime minister in 2013 — over a tweet last Wednesday that declared “The Jews are not humans, they are animals!”
“Plotkowski’s comments about Jews deserve not only the highest moral condemnation,” Gowin said on Twitter. “I am counting on the prosecutor’s office to launch criminal proceedings.”
Gowin cited Article 257 of the Polish Criminal Code as the basis for a potential prosecution. Adopted in 1997, the article states that any person who “publicly insults a group within the population or a particular person because of his (sic) national, ethnic, race or religious affiliation” faces a maximum prison sentence of three years.
In the same tweet, Gowin said that he had been “informed” that Plotkowski — a former chairman of Poland Together in the southern region of Silesia — was expelled from the party two years ago. On his personal website, Plotkowski says that from March 2015, he worked under Gowin’s supervision on mining and energy issues, adding that there was a subsequent “falling out” that resulted in his resignation in 2016.
Plotkowski issued his tweet — since deleted — in response to an announcement from the museum at the Auschwitz concentration camp that it was replacing a small exhibition about a group of Poles executed by the Nazis in 1943 with another about the resistance movement in the camp. A spokesperson for the museum told the PAP Polish news agency that the new exhibit would show the central role played by Polish inmates in building the resistance inside the main slave labor and extermination center built by the Nazis during the German occupation of Poland in World War II.
The scandal over Plotkowski’s tweet comes amid renewed concern among Jewish organizations about rising in antisemitism in Poland. Antisemitic outbursts in the media and among politicians have significantly increased since the passage in February of the widely-criticized IPN Act, which criminalizes public discussion of Polish collaboration with the Nazi authorities.