The celebration of Poland’s Independence Day, which falls on 11 November, was prohibited by Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and almost all the post-war communist rulers of the country. Since 1989 Poland has supposedly been an independent state and the Polish nation can enjoy freedom and feel itself at last at home. Spontaneously, people began celebrating Independence Day and have continued to do so for a good many years. Every year from the point of view of the powers-that-be, this festivity has been a problem: allegedly fascists and Nazis, anti-Semites and racists made up the long, fifty, seventy or a hundred thousand people strong column of men and women and children marching along the capital’s streets, with unfurled national flags. The message is being sent to the whole world that “fascism is raising its ugly head” in Poland and that something must be done about it or else.
This year it is the hundredth anniversary of Poland regaining independence after 123 years of captivity during which it was politically erased from the maps of Europe. This national holiday was officially instituted barely before the Second World War. Its importance for the collective national consciousness cannot be overrated. And lo and behold, it is again a thorn in the flesh of the powers-that-be.
At first Poland’s President Andrzej Duda (pictured), who styles himself as a patriot, said he would take part; then, which was only waiting to happen, he revoked that decision;1) then Warsaw’s mayor said she would forbid the march the moment she learnt about improprieties; then she took the ultimate decision to prohibit it;2) eventually President Andrzej Duda said he would form and lead a rival march,3) with a changed name: no Independence March anymore but a White-and-Red March, named after the colours of the national flag.
Things are even more bizarre in Wrocław, the fourth largest city in south-western Poland. The latest act of the outgoing and the first act of the incoming city mayor was to forbid a similar Independence Day March here because of – and there follows the usual explanation – all the “nazis, racists, and anti-Semites” supposedly feeding the event.4) To make things even more funny, the incoming mayor declared his public participation in a Hindu religious festival of Diwali5) (there are an estimated two thousand Hindu residents in the SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND city of Wrocław) and gave his blessing to a new phenomenon: a march in commemoration of the events from 80 years back known as Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass), when Jewish shop windows were smashed by enraged crowds of the then German Wrocław/Breslau.6)
To sum it up: a totally alien Hindu religious holiday is IN, a commemorative march in remembrance of the historically small incident that occurred in a different country and befell a different people is also IN, but the national holiday of the millions of the indigenous inhabitants is OUT.
One does not wonder that Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin wanted to hear nothing about a Polish national holiday; one understands that the (not necessarily of Polish descent) communists took orders from Moscow and crush patriotic feelings and the national identity. These are pretty obvious. The question remains: in whose interest is this holiday being suppressed now?
|1.||↑||Andrzej Duda nie weźmie udziału w Marszu Niepodległości, wp wiadomości 2018-10-29.|
|2.||↑||Prezydent Warszawy Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz zakazała Marszu Niepodległości, Rzeczpospolita 2018-11-07.|
|3.||↑||Spotkanie Duda-Morawiecki. prezydent zorganizuje marsz 11 Listopada, fakty.interia.pl 2018-11-07.|
|4.||↑||Prezydent Wrocławia zakazuje Narodowego Marszu Niepodległości! Następna będzie Warszawa? Najwyższy Czas! 2018-11-06.|
|5.||↑||Jacek Sutryk będzie rozdawać darmowe indyjskie jedzenie. To z okazji święta Diwali, Gazeta wrocławska 2018-11-06.|
|6.||↑||W środę rozpoczną się Dni Wzajemnego Szacunku. Ulicami Wrocławia przejdzie marsz, Tu Wrocław 2018-11-06.|