A man pays respects to the Polish victims of the September 1939 invasion of eastern Poland by the Soviet Union, following the Nazi-Soviet Pact one month earlier. Photo: Reuters/Kacper Pempel.

A leading Polish educator engaged in an angry Facebook rant about alleged Jewish responsibility for Soviet atrocities against Polish citizens, amid deepening anger in Poland over international objections to new legislation that criminalizes public discussion of collusion between Poles and the Nazi occupation forces during World War II.

“Young Jews should finally understand where the unhealed wounds of the Poles are!” wrote Ryszard Nowak – the director of the highly-regarded Lyceum XII public high school in the city of Krakow – in a Facebook post uncovered by the liberal newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza. 

Claiming that Jews dominated the court system in communist Poland after “your Holocaust,” Nowak named several communist officials as responsible for the 1953 execution of Polish General Emil August Fieldorf by the Soviet NKVD secret police, highlighting their Jewish origins. Those listed by Nowak as culpable for the murder of Fieldorf – a former commander of the Polish Home Army that fought on the Allied side during the war – included “military prosecutor Helena Wolińska-Brus, a Polish communist Jewish activist, Beniamin Wajsblech, a Jewish prosecutor, Paulina Kern, a judge of Jewish origin, Maria Gurowska, a judge of Jewish origin, Advocate Emil Merz of Jewish origin, Gustaw Auscaler, a Polish advocate of Jewish descent.”

Concern over Nowak’s comments is likely to be heightened by the fact that he is married to Barbara Nowak, the Polish government’s chief education inspector in Krakow – the nearest big city to the former site of the Nazi German Auschwitz slave labor and death camp.

As The Algemeiner reported last week, Barbara Nowak attacked the museum at Auschwitz for allegedly emphasizing the “foreign, not the Polish narrative.” She urged that only guides approved by Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) — which has been empowered by the new legislation to monitor potential violators — should be permitted to escort visitors to the Auschwitz site.

On Saturday – less than a week after Nowak’s criticism of the museum – the apartment belonging to an Italian citizen who works as a guide at Auschwitz was vandalized with antisemitic graffiti.

A Star of David and the slogan “Poland for the Poles!” were found daubed on the door of an apartment belonging to Diego Audero, who has worked as a licensed guide at the Auschwitz site for several years.

“Poland is my country, my home,” Audero told a Polish news outlet. “There is no other place in the world where I would like to live. But the last few months, the last year, has been really difficult – more and more people remind me that I am not Polish.”

The attack on Audero’s apartment was condemned by Bartosz Bartyzel, a spokesperson for the Auschwitz Museum, as “shocking and scandalous.”

Following the attack on Audero’s property, Barbara Nowak said she “absolutely did not feel responsible for it.”

“I have never called for any acts of hatred,” she said.

Rafal Pankowkski – the head of Polish NGO “Never Again” – told The Algemeiner on Monday that his group is “concerned that the current wave of antisemitism in Polish politics and media is impacting the educational system too.”

“The repercussions could be felt for many years,” Pankowski said.


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