Far-Right Leader and Former Priest Who Called Jews a ‘Cancer’ Arrested by Polish Authorities
A former Catholic priest has been detained by the authorities in Poland for publishing an antisemitic manifesto that prosecutors say violates the country’s penal code proscribing activities that promote “fascism,” “totalitarian state systems” and “hatred.”
Jacek Miedlar — who enjoys a high profile on the Polish far right — was arrested at his home last Friday by officers from the ABW, Poland’s domestic security agency.
According to Stanislaw Zaryn, a spokesperson for the ABW, the former priest was being charged with incitement after he published an manifesto online with the title “Poland in the Shadow of Jewry.”
The screed accuses Jews of conspiring against Polish independence over the course of a century, labeling them as Poland’s “most vicious enemy” whose goal is to “mutilate and enslave Poland.”
The news of Miedlar’s arrest was announced on Friday morning by Grzegorz Braun, an MP from the far-right Confederation (Konfederacja) Party, who told reporters that the ABW officers had cited Article 256 of the Polish Penal Code, which punishes the promotion of “totalitarian” ideologies and national, religious or ethnic hatred with up to two years in prison.
Speaking on Monday, Miedlar accused the Polish authorities of behaving like the former communist regime in the country.
“They treated me like a common criminal,” Miedlar complained, adding that ABW officers had spent six hours carrying out “various activities” in his home. Officers confiscated neo-Nazi T-shirts as well as two computers and a number of cell phones.
“They didn’t leave with drugs, explosives or guns, because I don’t have any,” Miedlar said.
Ordained as a Catholic priest in 2015, Miedlar rapidly established himself in ultranationalist circles as a hardline ideologue, railing against “Talmudic Jews” at a far-right rally in Warsaw the same year.
n April 2016, he delivered a sermon at the cathedral in the city of Bialystock in which he ranted about the “Jewish mob [who] want to bring you to your knees, to grind, swallow, digest and in the end spit you out.” He then declared that “uncompromising national-Catholic radicalism” was the best “chemotherapy” for Poland’s “cancer.”
Miedlar’s ravings made national news in Poland again last March, when he defended the massacre of 50 worshipers at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand by an armed neo-Nazi.
Praising Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch assailant, for the “truly noble statements” he expressed in a rambling hate manifesto posted online before the attack, Miedlar said the atrocity in New Zealand had posed the question, “What does it mean to stand up for white Europe?”
Referring to the shooter by his first name, Miedlar opined that “Brenton” had “some right to do what he did, because he saw the direction in which this so-called civilized world is heading.”
The Catholic Church suspended Miedlar from his priestly duties in 2016 in response to his attacks on Jews. Miedlar has also twice been refused entry to the United Kingdom, where he was invited to speak at rallies organized by the far-right “Britain First” group.