News from Open Republic

2019/01/25

Application Deadline One Month Away: 2019 ISGAP-Oxford Summer Institute

Summer Institute for Curriculum Development

 in Critical Antisemitism Studies

St. John’s College, Oxford, UK

The ISGAP-Oxford Summer Institute is seeking scholars-in-residence for an intensive two-week workshop-based curriculum development program in interdisciplinary critical contemporary antisemitism studies. The program, dedicated to the development of antisemitism studies as a recognized academic discipline, will be held at

St. John’s College, in Oxford, United Kingdom from July 7, 2019 to July 19, 2019.

The program is intended primarily for professors with full-time college or university positions, though exceptional doctoral and post-doctoral students may also be considered.

Under the guidance of leading international academics, scholars-in-residence will be required to develop a course syllabus and curriculum in the interdisciplinary

study of critical contemporary antisemitism. The course syllabus and curriculum is

to be taught at the scholar-in-residence’s home university for course credit,

on at least two occasions, upon completion of the program.

Application deadline is February 18, 2019.

Several full and partial fellowships will be awarded.

Successful applicants may be liable for tuition or processing fees.

Click here for application requirements

2018/12/11

Prosecutor’s Office decision not to investigate the Law and Justice party election broadcast

The decision not to investigate the broadcat was already questioned by the Ombudsman, Adam Bodnar and by the Open Republic. The Prosecutor’s Office has not found in the broadcast any evidence of unlawful acts.

” The election broadcast expressed a view on the influx of refugess in Polnad. It does not contitute an attempt to generate any particular emotions, such as hate. (…) The form and content of the spot in question do not call for, or encourage any unfriendly, or hostile acts” – wrote the Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson, Łukasz Łapczyński. He further argues that the freedom of debate includes the freedom to present opinions, hypothesis and forecasts in controversial matters. According to the spokesperson the freedom of public debate includes freedom to “inform about the real as well as supposed phenomena”.

2018/11/26

Nationalistic rapper accused of hate speech

A court case for a Facebook publication of an anti-Semitic content criticising the alleged Jewish demands for compensation by Poland opened in Częstochowa at the end of November.

The case against rapper “Stopa”, who is associated with the nationalistic ONR was raised by the Open Republic following his publication of a composition entitled “If I were a rich man”. In Open Republic’s opinion, the piece contains false representations about the Jewish people, dehumanising and demonising this ethnic group by perpetrating, in particular, the slurs about an alleged “international Jewish plot”, about “the Jewish control of the media, economy, governments and public institutions”.

2018/11/22

Outrage following the deputy prime-minister’s words

This was not an off the cuff comment, but a sit-down interview for the “Wprost” weekly and minister Glinski’s remarks about his [governing] party allegedly being treated by the opposition “like Jews were by Goebbels were bound to cause outrage.

– When a public figure expresses an opinion, it is immaterial what their intentions were. It’s the public reception that matters.  And this remark was a decidedly anti-Semitic – said Paulina Sawicka, Chair of the Open Republic Programme Board. – Polish-Israeli relations have deteriorated significantly at the beginning of the year because of the new law interpreted abroad as an attempt on censorship of scientific research. Remarks by among others, the Prime Minister Morawiecki about “the Jewish perpetrators” have made a bad situation worse. Ultimately, the ruling party has withdrawn the new law in the space of just one day.  But, here we go again, minister Glinski’s unfortunate words were immediately reported by Israeli and US media.

2018/11/21

Culture Minister: “The Law and Order [governing] party is treated like Jews were by Goebbels”

The minister of culture and national heritage has complained in an interview about the language used by the opposition about his party.  – We are to be treated like the Jews were by Goebbels, he said.

We wish to join the many voices of protest against the minister’s words. Public trivialisation of the tragedy of Holocaust and the use of such hyperbole in a public debate suggest a complete lack of understanding of history and a complete lack of compassion. To compare anybody’s position to the position of Jews during the Holocaust is ethically unacceptable. It is also unbecoming for any public figure – particularly in Poland which has witnessed the Holocaust at first hand and particularly for a sociology professor and a deputy prime minister.

2018/11/15

The 15th Open Republic and Arnold Szyfman’s Teatr Polski Debate

The 15th Open Republic and Arnold Szyfman’s Teatr Polski Debate took place on 9 November. The debate “Do we need a Great Poland?” took place on the International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism and on the eve of the 100th anniversary of Poland’s independence. Paula Sawicka, Chair of the Open Republic’s Programme Board and Janusz Majcherek the deputy Artistic Director of the Polski theatre, Janusz Majcherek moderated the debate between Anna Trzeciakowska, Zofia Marcinek and Piotr Trudnowski. A Reflection on one hundred years of Independence was presented by Zbigniew Gluza.

2018/10/30

The letter on the “Towards Independence” concert

On the 10th of November, a day before 100th anniversary of Polish independence, will take a place “Ku Niepodległej” concert (eng. “Towards Independence” concert), organized by “Niklot” Association for Tradition and Culture, referring to the pre-war, nationalistic and neopagan philosophy, the Zadruga’s group.

This event is a private event, with regulations that prohibit, among others photographing and filming the concert, and to the entrance to the concert authorizes the purchase of bricks – donation- for statutory purposes of the “Niklot” Association. Therefore, the place of the concert is not known, apart from the fact that it will be held in Warsaw. There is no doubt that this is a way to bypass the provisions of Polish law, which prohibit incitement to hatred on the basis of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion or on the background of atheism.

We are aware that this year’s edition of the concert leaves a small field of action for the law enforcement agencies and representatives of the City Hall. However, we believe that it is the duty of decent people to alert about similar phenomena and pay attention to the difficulties with enforcing Polish law. Silence in this situation would be unambiguous to consent, even if only symbolic.

The letter on the “Towards Indepence” concert, on behalf of the Open Republic Association, was signed by Paula Sawicka – the chairwoman of the Program Council and Marek Gumkowski – the President of the Board.

The content of the letter

2018/10/15

Against nationalisms. For European Solidarity

On October 13, 2018, demonstrations were held throughout Europe, including Poland, under the slogan: “Against Nationalisms. For European Solidarity.” Warsaw demonstration was organized by the Citizens’ Committee under the President Lech Wałęsa, the ODNO initiative, the Open Republic association, and by the Congress of Women and Citizens of the Republic of Poland. Irena Wóycicka – vice president of the Open Republic, said: ” We have been trying for 20 years to operate in various fields, to show that the brown wave of hatred, xenophobia, and nationalism was growing, and this was very worrying. We are also worried that the state authorities do not only tolerate extreme parties speaking openly of contempt for other human beings, but also support them. This is very dangerous because in a country where ordinary people do not have protection against hatred on the part of state structures, anarchy is born, and with it, the danger of conflicts, possibly leading to bloodshed. We know this story, we know the history of Europe that was infected with nationalism and at this moment the virus of nationalism is making a comeback. That is why it is so important to remember: nationalism – no,  patriotism – yes. Nationalism breeds contempt for other human beings “.