This week the Shropshire Star reports that Shrewsbury and Atcham Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski will receive an award to commemorate the heroism of his great uncle Jan Kawczynski who was shot along with his wife and daughter by Nazis for harbouring Jewish people on his his farm. Three million Jews lived in Poland at the outbreak of world war 2, but only about 300,000 survived the Nazi holocaust.
It’s hard to avoid wondering what Jan would make of the current regime in Poland, and his great-nephew’s noisy support for the authoritarian Law and Justice party’s government.
Last week the European Jewish Congress has expressed “grave concerns about the deteriorating relationship between the Polish Government and the Jewish community, especially as recent events in Poland demonstrates that antisemitism is on the rise there.”
For around a year, no senior Polish government minister has met with the leadership of Union of Jewish Communities in Poland, the democratically-representative organization of Polish Jewry. “We hope the Polish leadership will restart engagement with the Jewish community and condemn antisemitism in all its forms,” Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC, said. “There has been a distinct normalization of antisemitism, racism and xenophobia in Poland recently and we hope that the Polish Government will stem this hate and act forcefully against it.”
In the same week MP Daniel Kawczynski, writing for the far-right website Breitbart, praises the very same Polish government and slams the EU for expressing concerns about some of its policies.
“Regardless of whether Brussels likes that platform or not, it is a platform that represents the interests of Polish people. It’s the platform a majority of Polish people voted for. Yet Brussels has the audacity to try and meddle with it.”
As he accepts this award on behalf of his great-uncle, murdered for protecting Jewish people, will Kawczynski speak out against the new tide of anti-semitism in Poland, and join the call for the Polish government to to stem the hatred?