Disinfo: Poland is a country which does not want to condemn anti-Semitism

Summary

Polish President Andrzej Duda’s decision to withdraw from the World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem confirms that Poland is a country which does not want to condemn anti-Semitism.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Poland’s anti-Semitism.

Duda's announced that he would not participate in the 5th Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem, scheduled for the 23rd of January in Yad Vashem Institute in Israel because the organisers did not invite him to speak at the event, while the Russian president would.

Błażej Spychalski, a spokesman for Duda, told Polish news outlets that “a situation in which the president of Poland will sit and listen to the false words of President Putin without being able to reply is unacceptable”.

The Polish president will speak on the 27th of January at the Auschwitz Museum, at a ceremony marking the anniversary of the liberation of the camp.

Poland’s largest Jewish community organization expressed its support for Polish President Andrzej Duda’s decision to withdraw from a major Holocaust memorial event in Jerusalem. Artur Hofman, chairman of the Social and Cultural Association of Jews in Poland, the largest Jewish organization in the country, said in an interview that “the Jewish community in Poland and all Jewish organizations” support Duda’s decision. Hofman also emphasized that Israelis know that Poles were not complicit in the Holocaust. He called the Russian attempt to blame Poles for cooperation with Hitler “a provocation.”

Read similar disinformation cases claiming that Warsaw supported Hitler’s plan to expel Polish Jews to Africa and that Poles killed more than 400,000 Jews during WWII.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 180
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 17/01/2020
  • Language/target audience: Italian
  • Country: Israel, Poland, Russia
  • Keywords: Anti-Semitism, Holocaust, Jews, WWII, Adolf Hitler, Andrzej Duda, Vladimir Putin
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Suspension of Sputnik Estonia is censorship

Residents of Estonia decided that the suspension of Sputnik is censorship. These were viewers who watched a discussion program on the Estonian TV channel ETV+ on sanctions against the agency. Political and economic sanctions against journalists are censorship.

Disproof

Estonia is on the 11th place of Reporters without Borders Press freedom index. Estonia has not blocked Sputnik Estonia's website and it is accessible. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu has emphasized that Estonia has not taken any measures against the portal's media content: "They are financial sanctions aimed at economic activity. I believe it to be justified. We have notified the European Commission's Legal Service. European agencies have said in the Commission that steps taken by Estonia in exercising sanctions policy are warranted."

The steps taken by Estonia are based on the Article 2 of the Council Regulation (EU) No 269/2014 on the territorial integrity of Ukraine that foresees freezing the assets of Dmitry Kiselyov, the Director-General of Rossija Segodnya. According to the articles of association of the company, the Director-General has the right to decide upon opening bank accounts and carry out invoicing. This corresponds to the condition "having the right to use all or part of the assets of a legal person or entity" in the EU Best Practices for the effective implementation of restrictive measures.

The EU intentionally destroyed economies of the Baltic states

The Baltic states are facing demographic catastrophe because its youth emigrated. This happened as a result of the EU’s deliberate destruction of the Baltic states’ economies.

Disproof

This is a conspiracy theory and propagandistic claim aimed at discrediting the EU and its economic policies and to ridicule the Baltic states by exacerbating the demographic decline that they face. In fact, many other eastern European countries experience a population decline, including Russia.

Economies of the Baltic states during their EU membership grew at a much higher rate than Eurozone economies. Although the GDP per capita in the Baltic states remains below the EU average, it has been rapidly approaching the average. For instance, this indicator for Estonia stood at 54% when the country joined the EU and increased to 77% by 2017. The economic situation of all three Baltic states is rather positive and demonstrates one of the leading economic growth indicators in the EU. The dynamics within the last years can be seen here.

The Red Army saved Kraków from destruction by Nazis

The Nazi command wanted to set a trap, flooding Krakow, its inhabitants and the Soviet soldiers. These plans were not implemented thanks to the operation carried out by the group led by Lieutenant Alexei Botian. This Russian hero led the operation to save Krakow from Nazi destruction.

Disproof

This message is part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism and promotes a fake story about the “heroic saving of the city of Krakow from Nazi destruction by the Red Army”. For decades, the Soviet authorities have spread a story about the heroic role of the Red Army in the saving of Kraków Old Town from being blown up by retreating Nazi troops. Polish historians have established the narrative of the Nazis, preparing to blow up Kraków as a post-war myth aimed at the glorification of the Red Army among the Poles.

See similar examples of the Russian historical revisionism concerning Poland such as It is thanks to Russia that Poland today exists as a country, Nazi Germany considered Poland its best ally, the USSR was forced and reluctant to sign Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.