Monkeys, Jews and Poles

The Culture of Polish Fandom
The Culture of Fandom

What do monkeys, Jews and Poles have in common? Very little actually but go to any Polish football ground and you’ll hear hundreds of hooligans making disgusting monkey gestures at any black players on the pitch and shouting a whole variety of Jewish insults at the players of the opposing team. With the whole of Europe working towards stamping out racism, Polish football has become somewhat of an anachronism.

Institutional Racism
An unbelievable racism-related story hit the Polish headlines this week. The Prosecutor’s Office in Kraków-Krowodrzy decided to throw out a case filed by the local Jewish community. During the Kraków derby (Cracovia Kraków vs. Wisła Kraków) Cracovia fans made monkey gestures at Wisła’s Brazilian-born Cleber. Wisła fans, on the other, shouted “to the gas chamber” at Cracovia’s Maciej Łuczak as well as “f##king Jews” and the suchlike at Cracovia’s other players and fans. The justification for throwing out this (obvious) case (of racism and anti-Semitism) was the police’s inability to stop these racist and anti-Semitic chants. What is more, Prosecutor Dorota Kuk-Turek astonishingly claimed that these racist and anti-Semitic chants “were not criminal in character”.

Football Phantom
Football Phantom

Historical Reason
It gets better. Kuk-Turek outdid herself by claiming that there are historical reasons for the anti-Semitic chants of the Wisła supporters and said that the antagonisms between the two Kraków teams reach back to 1906 because Wisła had always been traditionally “Catholic” and Cracovia traditionally “Jewish”. She continued, saying that Cracovia’s best players had traditionally been “of Jewish extraction” whereas Wisła had traditionally never taken on “non-Catholic” players. These stereotypes, she claimed, have survived until today.

Criminal Innocence
Seemingly unaware of how ridiculous her reasoning might be to the rest of the civilised world, Kuk-Turek went on in her justification to say that the crime of inflaming racial hatred and racial abuse is premeditated in nature. She was not able to ascertain whether the racist and anti-Semitic chants committed by the hooligans were premeditated or necessarily targeted at a particular race in which case they were not a crime. She also dug herself another hole by ridiculously claiming that the anti-Semitic chants were not targeted at the Jewish nation but rather a particular player of the opposing team. Kuk-Turek’s decision is causing controversy in the media but the questions beg: why is this woman still working in the legal profession? Why isn’t someone doing something about this?

10 thoughts on “Monkeys, Jews and Poles

  1. Because too many people in this country either agree with her outright, or most likely simply don’t see anti-Semitism as an issue relevant to their daily lives. The only ‘consolation’ I can offer is that such attitudes also persist in Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, Lithuania… Those liberal, lovable Czechs are in the habit of referring to football team Baník Ostrava as ‘the Polish Jews’, for example, and no-one cares.

    The Shoah’s removal of the Jewish element from the region has meant that the local nationalities no longer have to confront the ambiguity and guilt of their ancestors’ behaviour. (Remember the Jedwabne business of a couple of years ago? There are equivalents in the other post-Com countries, too.)

    They can just pretend it never happened, and sweep it all under the carpet, standardising and packaging it into neat museums like Auschwitz and correct expressions of political sentiment on the appropriate anniversaries. And everyone feels that their duty has been done.

  2. Jim, my fear is that we will forget, that we are already forgetting the past. 😦
    Those skinheaded idiots shouting “to the gas chamber” need a bit of a Twilight Zone time travel moment so they can see first-hand what life during WWII in the Nazi death camps was really like.
    As for the Prosecutor, well, I’d rather not say…

  3. First – get rid of prosecutor Dorota Kuk-Turek .

    Second, the next time it happens, stop play and empty the stands on the offending side. Keep doing it and either the idiots will get it or the teams will go bankrupt by losing money on ticket sales.

  4. Raf – Agree with you 100% on point 1 – it is too institutionalized with no end in sight

    On #2 – I sure have, it is like a large rugby scrum – all the more reason to use strong arm tactics, that is the only thing that ‘may’ work – what thoughts do you have on controlling it – a great conundrum in my mind.

  5. I agree with you, it is a feckless bunch – that is why things will ‘never change’ – too many heads in the sand in Poland

  6. i think you should think twice bfore you write something next time because it can be really hurtful. so yeah ffs just think twice next time thats all im gonna say.

  7. Klaudia – suggest you sit and read the main post again slowly then do some research. I believe what you will find is that Raf wrote first of all is an accurate representation of the state of affairs and secondly, any opinion he put forth is well thought out. Sad as it may be, it is quite true

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