Princeton’s Jan T. Gross warns that Poland’s showing signs of turning decisively in a fascist directionHistorians in the News
tags: Poland, Jan T Gross
If you want a sense of where Poland could be heading, look no further than the events last Saturday in Warsaw.
Tens of thousands of people — many of them young men with crew cuts, but some parents with children, too — flocked to the Polish capital to celebrate Independence Day in a march organized in part by two neo-fascist organizations. They waved white and red Polish flags, they brandished burning torches, and they wore “white power” symbols. They carried banners declaring, “Death to enemies of the homeland,” and screamed, “Sieg Heil!” and “Ku Klux Klan!”
The official slogan of the march was “We want God” — words from an old hymn that President Trump quoted during his speech in Warsaw in July.
A dozen incredibly courageous women showed up to protest the march. After mixing with the marchers, they unraveled a long strip of cloth emblazoned with “Stop Fascism.” They were immediately attacked. Their banner was ripped apart. Marchers pushed some of the women to the ground and kicked others.
Were these women exaggerating in calling the march fascist? Or are we in fact witnessing a resurgence of fascism in Poland? To steal a phrase: I believe the women.
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