The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association published a report on hate speech, antisemitic and anti-Ukrainian conspiracy theories propagated on the far-right Media Narodowe (National Media) YouTube channel, which receives subsidies from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
The National Media channel has over 250,000 subscribers. It produces an average of 100-150 broadcasts per month, some of them have tens of thousands of views.
The publisher of the National Media is Stowarzyszenie Marsz Niepodleglosci (March of Independence Association), whose leader is Robert Bakiewicz, editor-in-chief of the National Media and the main organizer of the so-called Independence March, the big far-right march that takes place in Warsaw on Polish Independence Day every 11 November. Bakiewicz is a former leader of the fascist group Oboz Narodowo-Radykalny (National-Radical Camp, ONR).
In the years 2021-2022, Bakiewicz’s organizations (Independence March Squads, March of Independence and National Guard) received almost 5 million Polish zloty (1 million US dollars) from public funds, including over 198 thousand Polish zloty directly for the National Media.
– ‘Many minorities are regularly attacked on the National Media channel, including Jews, Muslims, refugees from Ukraine, and LGBT people,’ says Dr. Anna Tatar from the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association, co-author of the report. – ‘Such offensive contents clearly breach YouTube community standards and we expect YouTube to take action’ – said Jacek Dziegielewski, a researcher for ‘NEVER AGAIN’ who participated in the report’s preparation.
Since the first days of the Russian invasion, the National Media broadcasts have presented refugees from Ukraine as a threat (including ‘biological’ threat) to the Polish society, denied the Ukrainians’ right to preserve their own national identity (demanding that they ‘polonize’ themselves), and questioned the Russian war crimes committed in Ukraine. The head of the National Media, Robert Bakiewicz, already in 2021 warned against ‘Ukrainian immigration’, which in his view would lead to an ‘ethnic replacement’ in Poland.
In the report, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association also recorded numerous examples of antisemitic content disseminated by the National Media. Among them there were medieval accusations of blood libel (accusing Jews of murdering Christian children for ritual purposes) as well as claims that the Jews were behind the current war in Ukraine, falsified the history of the Holocaust for financial purposes, were guilty themselves of creating antisemitism, and finally that they wanted to appropriate Poland in order to build their own state under the name ‘Polin’ (Polin means Poland in Hebrew).
Here are examples of comments made on the National Media channel, which were noted in the report of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association:
– Radoslaw Patlewicz (the author of the book ‘Ritual murder in Rzeszow? A historical investigation’): ‘There is hard evidence that Jews used the blood of humans and animals primarily for medical purposes, as well as for ritual purposes. It is, of course, the paschal matzah and the so-called wine ritual accompanying the Seder dinner’ (18.01.2022),
– Piotr Strzembosz (the Faith and Action Association) on refugees from Ukraine: ‘After all, 500,000 people from a country torn by war, this could be the source of not only the COVID virus, but a number of other very dangerous things. If there is a state of war, people may have difficulty maintaining hygiene, they can transmit various parasites, here let’s not be afraid of that word’ (2.03.2022),
– Brunon Rozycki (a regular host on the National Media channel): ‘The depopulation of eastern Ukraine is favourable for Putin, for the Jews and perhaps the West’ (22.03.2022, within a week, this broadcast gained over 100,000 views on YouTube),
– Radosław Patlewicz: ‘The Jews almost expressly demand a de facto liquidation of Christianity, so what attitude should Christians feel toward the Jews […]? It can be said that the Jews are in some ways looking for trouble coming to them, that somebody could harm them’ (25.04.2022),
– Jan Bodakowski (a regular host on the National Media channel, a participant of extreme right-wing demonstrations for many years, and a candidate of the far right Confederation party in the 2019 parliamentary elections; he was not elected): about the symbol of the Russian invasion, the letter Z: ‘[this letter] does not appear in the Russian alphabet […] but it is very similar to a letter that in Hebrew and in Kabbalah means war. And it would also suit the theory that the Kabbalistic symbol of the war was visible on Russian tanks, the more so knowing Vladimir Putin’s very close relations with Jewish communities’ (10.07.2022),
– Robert Bakiewicz (editor-in-chief of the National Media channel): ‘Lies about Jedwabne [an anti-Jewish pogrom committed by Poles in 1941 – editor’s note] have to be straightened out. I am fully convinced that on the basis of the evidence that we already have today, it can be clearly stated that the murder was not committed by the Poles. […] What the Jewish community or Israel says about this issue confirms our belief that it is simply acting for the benefit of currently building the myth of this criminal behaviour of Poles, but also developing this entire religion of the Holocaust’ (8.07.2022),
– Tadeusz Matuszyk (in the 1980s an activist of the so-called ‘true Poles’ faction in the Solidarity movement): ‘For over a thousand years, the majority of Jews have been, are and will be mortal enemies of the Polish nation and state’ (13.10.2022).
‘Report on hate speech on the National Media (Media Narodowe) YouTube channel in the years 2021-2023’ (full version of the report – PDF)
UPDATE: After the publication of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association’s report, the YouTube channel Media Narodowe was removed from the platform.
The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996. It has campaigned against antisemitism and xenophobia, for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally. It has actively participated in international civil society networks, including the Global Alliance Against Digital Hate and Extremism (GAADHE) and the International Network Against Cyber Hate (INACH). It takes part in international projects to counter hate speech, Get The Trolls Out and SafeNet.