News from Open Republic

2022/11/17

Lawsuit against Wojciech Olszański and Marcin Osadowski

The Open Republic Association against Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia and a private person sued Wojciech Olszański and Marcin Osadowski – the organizers of the anti-Semitic, hate-provoking assembly, which culminated in the burning of a copy of the Kalisz Statute on November 11, 2021 on the market square in Kalisz.

The Plaintiffs indicate that the Defendants, by burning a copy of the Kalisz Statute, preaching anti-Semitism and using hate speech against the Jewish national minority – which has been an integral part of the Polish Nation for centuries – unlawfully jeopardized the good name of the Polish Nation, as well as Plaintiffs’ personal rights, such as national dignity.

The actions of the Defendants and the slogans proclaimed by them put the Polish Nation in a false, extremely negative light and create a false image of the Republic of Poland. Slandering national minorities, calling for physical persecution of members of these minorities, calling for revenge on Jews and expulsion of them from Poland, as well as referring to them as “enemies of the homeland” – are in blatant contradiction with the fundamental values of the Republic of Poland. The statements and actions of the Defendants presented in the public forum humiliate not the Jews themselves, but the entire Polish Nation. Preaching anti-Semitic and xenophobic content violates the ideals of a democratic and multicultural society, and burning a copy of the Kalisz Statute is a kind of act of profanation of our national history.

2022/10/18

Resolution on the war in Ukraine

88th PEN International Congress
Uppsala, September 27 October 1, 2022

RESOLUTION ON THE WAR IN UKRAINE
Proposed by the Writers for Peace Committee

Seconded by PEN Ukraine

Three years since Russia’s unrecognised ‘annexation’ of Crimea in violation of international law and the de facto control by proRussian armed groups of the selfproclaimed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ and ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’, the human rights situation in Ukraine continues to raise serious concerns. Over 10,000 people have been killed, hundreds of thousands displaced and more than 23,000 injured on all sides of the conflict since the beginning of the conflict in 20141 . In the course of the crisis, dozens of journalists have been detained, kidnapped, tortured or otherwise harassed solely for carrying out their work. At least five journalists and two media workers have been killed.

In Crimea, independent journalists are unable to work openly while journalists from mainland Ukraine have been denied access and turned away at the de facto border. Access to independent media from mainland Ukraine has been blocked. Journalists and bloggers critical of Russia’s occupation and ‘annexation’ of Crimea face prosecution and prison sentences. The persecution and harassment of Crimean Tatars, who bear the brunt of the repression, has intensified. Many have been subjected to enforced disappearances and the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, an elected representative body, has been arbitrarily banned as ‘extremist’.

2022/07/22

Anniversary of the beginning of the great liquidation action of the Warsaw ghetto

On July 22, 1942, the Germans began deporting the inhabitants of the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka. The brutal liquidation action that lasted nearly two months resulted in the death of over 300,000 Jews. During the ninth March of Remembrance we will especially commemorate Adam Czerniaków – the educator, social activist and journalist, city councilor of Warsaw, senator of the Second Polish Republic. In the Warsaw ghetto, he was the president of the Judenrat (Jewish Council). On July 23, the day after the ‘resettlement’ began, Adam Czerniaków committed suicide, which was an expression of protest and helplessness against the deportation of the ghetto inhabitants, especially small orphans.

2022/07/22

European Day for the Victims of Hate Crime

22 July marks the European Day for Victims of Hate Crime. Established by the Council of Europe’s “No Hate Speech Movement” it commemorates the 77 young victims of Anders Breivik’s 2011 attack on Utøya island near Oslo.

2022/07/11

27th Anniversary of Srebrenica Massacre

Thousands of people from Bosnia-Herzegovina and around the world have descended on Srebrenica for the 27th anniversary of Serbian massacre

Serbian forces summarily executed more than 8,000 Bosnian men and boys. About 100,000 people, including women and children died during Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war.

Families of 50 recently identified victims will rebury their loved ones after almost three decades of searching through the mass graves scattered around the eastern Bosnian town.

The Srebrenica massacre is Europe’s only acknowledged genocide since the Holocaust and is the only one legally defined as such by many countries and two United Nations courts.

A special U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague found Bosnian Serb wartime president Radovan Karadzic and his military commander, Ratko Mladic, guilty of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide in Srebrenica and eventually extended their initial long-term prison sentences to life imprisonment.

The tribunal and courts in the Balkan countries have sentenced about 50 Bosnian Serb wartime officials to more than 700 years in prison for the Srebrenica killings.

Leaders of Serb Republic of Bosnia, or Republika Srpska, however, continue to downplay or even deny the 1995 Srebrenica massacre and hail Karadzic and Mladic as national heroes.

2022/07/10

Anniversary of pogrom in Jedwabne

On 10 July 1941, soon after the Soviet forces’ withdrawal and after the German troops entered the North-East Polish town of Jedwabne, the local Polish people began to gather the Jews from the town and the surrounding area in the town square. The Jews were publicly humiliated, and several were killed. A few dozens, including the rabbi Avigdor Bialostocki, were then selected to destroy a Lenin’s monument nearby. The group was then led to an earlier prepared mass grave in a barn where they were murdered and buried together with the Lenin’s bust. The remaining several hundred Jews were led to the same barn. They were doused with diesel before the barn was locked and set on fire. The mass murder was committed by several dozens of local people with many more witnessing it. The German forces in town didn’t take an active part in the pogrom, but they have most likely encouraged it in the spirit of Reinhardt Heydrich’s doctrine about encouraging local populations to take part in pogroms.

2022/07/04

Anniversary of the Kielce pogrom

Jewish pogrom in Kielce took place 76 years ago. The persecutors of their Jewish neighbours were Poles, and the tragic events took place in Poland just liberated from Nazi occupation.

The events known today as the “Kielce pogrom” took place primarily in the building at Planty 7/9 street, where about 200 people lived and where offices of Jewish institutions (Jewish committee, congregation, Kibbutz Zionist party Ichud, etc) were located.  Pogroms of the Jewish population were also reported in other locations in Kielce, as well as on trains passing through the city on that.

40 people were murdered during the Kielce pogrom (including three Polish nationals). Two people were murdered on Leonard Street. 35 people were injured.

2022/06/20

World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the globe. It falls each year on June 20 and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.