The news about “racism” experienced by German students visiting Poland to study Holocaust is being spreading around the world. Unverified information published by Polish media is massively reported in Germany as well as by the BBC.
According to the original reports, a group of students from Germany, mostly Muslims, experienced racial and islamophobic behaviors in Poland. “One girl said a man had spat on her in the street in Lublin”, we can read in the BBC report. Although BBC presents information that the police found no such incident on CCTV, still it is under the title of “Polish racism”. There are also other examples presented how Muslim girls were refused to purchase water because they were foreigners, or how one was threatened with a knife. Given today’s total presence of mobile phones, it seems strange that none of the mentioned incidents has been recorded.
Another information reported by many German media, among others Die Zeit and die Welt, that Muslims were not allowed into a Synagoge in Lublin is dispelled by the Lublin Jewish Community. In official statement Polish Jews explain, that the Synagoge is in a hotel that was reserved fully by a football team because of Euro U21 2017 taking place in that city. This is why the Synagoge was unavailable, not because of Islamophobia or racism.
It is not to claim that Poland is free from xenophobic and racist incidents, but the number of undocumented experiences makes whole story doubtful, given that in two above presented cases there are official statements suggesting misinterpretation even if not false reporting. Moreover, suspiciouslythe news is immediately published in German media and linked to the Polish government’s official stance against refugee relocation scheme.
And it is not the first time that Poland in its history experiences such “black PR” from Germany. After the first partition of Poland in XIX century Prussia coined a term “Polnische wirtschaft” (Polish economy), suggesting inefficient economy and disorder in Poland, to justify annexation. Recently Germany’s Green Party member suggested that whole Syrian villages should be settled in Eastern Europe, that again reminds XIX and XX century German policies of settlement at Polish territory. Should we start worrying that Germans are waking up old monsters?