Polish Embassy in London Criticized Over Campaign to Rehabilitate Antisemitic Politician
Poland’s embassy in London was bitterly criticized by the country’s leading anti-racist NGO this week for promoting the legacy of an antisemitic politician who died in exile in the UK after World War II.
“We are appalled by this case of glorification of an antisemitic, pro-Nazi collaborator by officials of the Polish state,” Rafal Pankowksi — director of the Never Again organization, which campaigns against antisemitism and racism — declared in response to reports in the Polish media that the London embassy was glorifying Władysław Studnicki, a Polish nationalist politician who died in the UK capital in 1953.
During Poland’s period as an independent state between 1919 and 1939, Studnicki espoused antisemitic views similar to those of the Nazis in Germany. Deeming that Jews were “parasites on the healthy branch of the Polish tree,” Studnicki proposed the forced removal of 100,000 Polish Jews every year in a bid to bring about the “de-Judaization” of Poland.
According to a report in Vice, the campaign to restore Studnicki’s reputation is being carried out with the blessing of the Polish Embassy in London, one of whose employees is actively promoting the project online.
Agata Supińska, an embassy official, has championed Studnicki on Twitter as “one of the greatest Polish thinkers of the 20th century, who, despite the accuracy of his predictions, has not been accorded respect, and was forgotten for many years.”
In a separate statement, the Polish Embassy said that it was supportive of her efforts.
“The efforts to restore Władysław Studnicki’s grave in London is a civic initiative. Agata Supińska got involved in this project in a purely personal capacity,” the embassy said. “The Embassy of the Republic of Poland in London supports all grassroots civic initiatives aimed at preserving the memory of Poles and their achievements in Great Britain.”