[A-List] Poland: interesting linkages and continuities
michael011 at fastmail.fm
Thu Jun 7 05:15:38 MDT 2007
SPIEGEL ONLINE - June 6, 2007, 02:34 PM
KACZYNSKI OVERRULES MINISTER IN SYLLABUS ROW
Goethe and Dostoyevsky Escape Poland's Literary Cull
Poland's education minister wanted to replace classic works of
literature on the school syllabus with patriotic and Catholic authors.
But Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski has overruled him, reassuring the
Poles that their children will be taught Goethe, Dostoyevsky and Conrad.
Poland's Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski has reassured the nation that
schools will continue to teach classic works of literature, both Polish
He was stepping in to overrule his own education minister, Roman
Giertych, who had announced last week that classics includig the works
of Goethe, Dostoyevsky, Kafka and the Polish-born Josef Conrad were to
be dumped in favor of nationalist or Catholic authors like Henryk
Sienkiewicz and the late Pope John Paul II. The aim was to instil
patriotism in Polish youngsters.
But Giertych's boss has now called him to heel. "Of course there will be
no abolishing the classic Polish and foreign literature of the 19th and
20th centuries," Kaczynski said on Polish radio earlier this week. "The
classics are staying." And he added: "If this was supposed to be a joke,
it wasn't a good one."
Culture Minister Kazimierz Ujazdowski of the Kazynski twins' national
conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) even criticized his cabinet
colleague and said that plans to also remove icons of Polish modernism
such as Witold Gombrowicz and Stanislaw Witkiewicz, should also be
shelved. "Excluding authors who show the weak side of Poland doesn't do
anything for real patriotism," he said.
Giertych seems to like courting controversy. He has called for a
complete abortion ban in Poland and spoken of banning "homosexual
culture" in schools. According to Germany's Die Tageszeitung newspaper,
the minister reacted badly to his boss's intervention on the school
reading list: "The coalition partners don't show the slightest loyalty."
Giertych is the leader of the ultra-conservative League of Polish
Families (LPR), part of the Polish governing coalition. When he
announced his new improved reading list for school kids last week, there
was immediate outrage in Poland, not just among the cultural elite but
also from teachers, parents and schoolchildren.
Several bookstores planned to fill their shop windows with the works to
be banned from schools in protest. The Polish PEN club and several
intellectuals accused the minister of a literary-cultural cull and
complained that the move was reminiscent of communist-era censorship.
NOTE: According to a lengthy article published in the Finnish Left
Alliance newspaper Viikkolehti last Friday:
Poland is very much ideologically a dual family-led state. The
Kaczynskis keep very close to themselves. Jaroslaw, who is unmarried and
lives with his mother, always brings his salary home to his mother,
because he has never had his own bank account.
The Giertychs are again shovelling family ideology for a fourth
generation. Roman Giertych, leader of the smaller coalition party LPR
(Polish Families League), openly regards himself as a future prime
minister and his father as a future president.
Roman's great grandfather Franciszek Giertych was a rich businessman,
who financially backed Poland's patriotic league [possibly the
forerunner of the current All-Polish Youth, founded by Roman in 1989 -
MK] between the wars.
Franciszek's son Jedrzej Giertych was also a leading extreme rightwinger
during the 1930s. He was nationalistic, but could cooperate across
borders: "Together with Italian fascism, German Hitlerism, Portugal's
Salazarism, Spanish carlism and falangism our movement is going to bring
down the old freemason-plutocrat-socialist-jewish cabal from power and
build a new patriotic state." He demanded the expulsion of Jews from
Jedrzej Giertych in person works still today in the LPR's youth
organisation MW, whose skinhead members use the Hitler salute and attack
homosexuals. During the 1930s this organisation tried to drive away as
many Jews as possible from universities.
Jedrzej's son Wojciech has worked as a professor of moral theology at
the papal university in Rome and he was named Pope Benedict XVI's
personal theologian in December 2005.
Also his second son Maciej is a europarliamentarian in Brussels and
there excites attention and disgust with his opinions.
He has published pamphlets furnished with the logo of the European
parliament, in which he has demanded of other civilisations - especially
Jewish - expulsion from Europe and the suppression of homosexuality. In
the same way he has organised in parliament rooms a seminar in which
Darwin's doctrine was denied.
Roman Giertych is in no way content to stand in the shadow of his
forebears. He is not satisfied with demanding a tightening of Poland's
existing abortion laws, insisting instead upon a complete ban EU-wide.
This occurred at an EU education ministers' meeting in March, at which
the primary focus was to discuss the new EU constitution. Giertych was
not interested in that, however, only wanting on record that which
emphasised member states' national values, the importance of family life
and the banning of abortion and homosexual propaganda. If our present
course continues our continent's christian civilisation has no future,
and in its place will come islam, Giertych stressed to his erring
brothers and sisters.
He has also initiated in his home country an effort to criminalise
speech about any kinds of marriage other than that between man and
Roman Giertych is a member of the extreme catholic Opus Dei
organisation, but so are many other Polish government members. He is
very active also in his own fields. He has for example ordered for
Polish schools computers fitted with a filter named "Beniamin", which
prevents contact with unsuitable pages, in the manner of China and
Belarus. There are thousands of these unsuitable addresses, not only
pornographic, but also for example the Green Party, left organisations
and a certain human rights organisation's pages.
Fascist and anti-semitic pages are not in any way blocked. This
programme is recommended also for loading onto home computers - it is of
>From "Poland lives in its own time" by Peter Lodenius, Kansan Uutiset
Viikkolehti, 1 June 2007.
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