Last week, the British leftist newspaper The Guardian published a story that seems to be taken from the pages of Pravda, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation.
The Guardian talks about non-existent graffiti in Legnica
“Many Poles remember Soviet soldiers saving them from Nazi occupation,” the paper said, adding: “But a growing number are rejecting that narrative, and the monuments that come with it.” The British newspaper begins the news by talking about some Polish nationalists who painted on the so-called “monument of gratitude” of Legnica, which represents a Polish soldier, accompanied by a small girl, shaking hands with a Soviet soldier. The Guardian states: “On its base, they scrawled the symbol of the National Radical Camp, a Polish prewar fascist movement that was resurrected after the fall of communism.” The British newspaper states that there was a detainee for that painting. However, the images of the Polish press do not show any graffiti. Yes they show banners on the monument, but not graffiti. The detainee referred to by The Guardian, Piotr Borodacz, was sentenced to three days in prison for lighting fireworks without permission, and not for making graffiti.
The emblem of the Polish resistance against Nazism, banned by the communists
The photo that heads the news of The Guardian, which is said at the end of the text was taken in Warsaw. The text of the news gives the impression that fascist symbols are painted on the monument, but this is not the case. What appears painted on the base of the monument is the “Kotwica”, created in 1942 as an emblem of the Armia Krajowa, the main organization of the Polish resistance against the German occupation. The author of the news is Matthew Luxmoore, a reporter resident in Moscow. Perhaps there, in Russia, they are still unable to distinguish the meaning of that symbol, because the communist dictatorship implanted by Stalin in Poland banned the kotwica, as it represented a democratic movement that fought for the independence of Poland. In all the text of the Guardian news there is not a single reference to that emblem or its prohibition by the Communists.
The Guardian says that the USSR “liberated Poland” by establishing “a totalitarian order”
The writing of the news incurs surprising contradictions. For example, in the sixth paragraph, Luxmoore writes the following: “The Soviet Union liberated Poland from the Nazis, opening the gates of concentration camps and freeing thousands of Jews.” And then he adds: “But it brought with it a communist system that crushed all domestic opposition, executed leaders of the wartime resistance and imposed a totalitarian order aimed at indoctrinating successive generations with unquestioning gratitude towards the USSR.” Is the latter what the Guardian means by “liberating”? If the first statement is true, the second should be false. But is not. It is historically irrefutable that the USSR established a communist dictatorship in Poland, a puppet regime that promised an “amnesty” to the members of the Polish resistance who had fought against the Germans – as if that would turn them into criminals – and then persecute them, imprison them and even execute them. Polish heroes who fought Nazism as Witold Pilecki, the Armia Krajowa officer who infiltrated Auschwitz to report on the Holocaust, ended up executed by the Communists. Curious “liberation”.
Katyn and the Soviet invasion of 1939, hidden in paragraph 21
In this news, The Guardian devotes nine paragraphs to talk about the work of an association, called Kursk, which restores the Soviet monuments in Poland. It explains the support that association receives from the Russian Federation and cites the words that one of its members to Russian diplomats who attended an act of homage to the Soviet soldiers who “liberated” Poland: “your people, at the cost of their blood, returned our country, Poland, to the map and returned to Polish territory the lands we stand on today.” Curiously, until paragraph 21, The Guardian does not cite the USSR helped Hitler’s Germany to erase Poland from the map in September 1939: “a Polish state dismembered by a double invasion from two totalitarian powers in accordance with a secret protocol to the Nazi-Soviet pact of 1939.” One must also wait for that same paragraph to read a reference to the Katyn massacre, in which the Soviet NKVD killed 22,000 Polish officers captured after the Soviet invasion of the eastern part of Poland. A strip of the country that the USSR did not return to the Poles.
The Guardian says that the Soviets violated “sometimes”: 100,000 times in Poland
Similarly, we must wait for paragraph 20 of the news to find a reference to the fact that the monuments of “gratitude” to the Red Army in Poland do not mention “the rape and looting that sometimes accompanied its westward advance or the postwar subjugation of the countries it liberated.” The “sometimes” sounds very mild, if we take into account that some 100,000 Polish women and girls, from 4 to 80 years old, were raped – and many of them were also killed – by Soviet soldiers. This figure does not appear anywhere in the news of the British newspaper.
The Guardian’s double standard for Poland and for Spain
While The Guardian forgets a good part of the atrocities committed by the Soviets in Poland and regrets that the current Polish government wants to disassociate itself from the communist past of the country, the British newspaper supports Spain’s memory of Franco’s “cruel legacy” (no look for that adjective, “cruel”, in the Guardian news about Poland: it does not appear) and has not made critical comments on the plans of the Sanchez socialist government on the Valley of the Fallen, the monument that gathers tens of thousands of fighters from both sides of the Civil War, with the largest cross in the world at its peak. We must remember that communism in Poland caused some 235,000 deaths, 150,000 of them because of the Soviet occupation between 1939 and 1941. To that we must add 320,000 Poles deported by the Soviets to Siberia. These figures are much worse than those caused by the repression in Spain after the Civil War, but The Guardian, as a left-wing newspaper, is more lenient with the communist dictatorship in Poland than with Franco’s dictatorship in Spain.
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