A Wrocław Triptych.

Excerpt from the article:

Told in its own words and images. Transcribed, framed and presented to the public.

Piotr gained fame after he set fire to an effigy of a Jew in November of 2015 in Wrocław. Since then he has grown increasingly vocal in his racist opinions, despite the fact that he was recently put on trial and sentenced.

Father Jacek is the unofficial chaplain of Polish nationalists. He recently left the priesthood, continues to regularly attend extreme-right rallies and marches, and has shifted his hate-inspired sermons from the pulpit to YouTube.

Justyna is the president of the Lower Silesian division of the National Radical Camp (ONR) and one of the young faces of the organization. The centuries-old prejudices and hostility that fill her public appearances clash glaringly with her youthful looks.

All three of them personify the national extremism that has become increasingly prevalent in Poland over the past few years. They appear at demonstrations, usually together, speaking to crowds from the roof of Piotr’s van. They take advantage of every available occasion to propagate anti-Semitism and racism, and they always emphasize their connection to the Catholic Church.

(…)

I

The Left Panel

In the middle, our kinsman Piotr, hunting down Jews. In the background, the Wrocław city council and a life-sized puppet with sidelocks, its mouth stretched in a grimace, a symbol of the Jews’ dominion over the earth and their responsibility for all that is evil. The fires of hell all around. This part of the triptych depicts a soul in search of the truth precariously balanced on uncertain ground.

(…)

He does admit to having burned something, but he claims it was definitely not a Jew. He claims it was the effigy of George Soros, an American financier of Jewish descent responsible for destroying Christianity and Catholicism in Europe and in Poland.

[This was meant to be his – rather useless – line of defense in court.]

It doesn’t really matter whether Soros does or does not wear a hat, sidelocks, and a beard. He is of Jewish descent, he is a financier, and people tend to associate Jews with sidelocks and hats. It doesn’t matter that not every Jew has sidelocks.

The Polish media got it all wrong: it was meant to have been a protest against Soros, who can’t be allowed to get away with destroying Europe. And Soros is not the only one mocking the whole world and the Polish Nation and getting away with it.

[He claims there are more just like him.]

Maybe he did burn that effigy but why does that necessarily make him an anti-Semite? Some of his best friends are Jewish. But he cannot allow the European Union to impose foreign laws on his Fatherland. Poland is his Fatherland and he has nothing against the Jews, he’s not against any nation at all, but he strongly feels that native Poles should have the right to establish their own laws in their own country. He refuses to accept that anyone who says “Jew” is instantly labeled an anti-Semite but it’s okay to call someone a “Pole.”

[Clearly, it shouldn’t be okay to be able to say “Pole.”]

(…)

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Translation: Aga Zano

Proofreading: Barbara Pendzich

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