DEBATE ON ANTISEMITISM IN AND AROUND FOOTBALL STADIUMS

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association, which runs the campaign ‘Let’s Kick Racism out of Stadiums’, held an online debate on fighting antisemitism and bigotry at stadiums in Poland and Europe.

Antisemitism continues to be a serious issue, both inside and outside football stadiums, in Poland and worldwide. However, more often than not it is also glossed over by football associations and the media. Participants in the debate presented the results of the international educational project ‘Changing the Chants’, conducted in cooperation with Anne Frank House (Amsterdam, Netherlands) and two football clubs: Borussia Dortmund and Feyenoord Rotterdam.

The debate was opened by Dr Rafal Pankowski, professor at Collegium Civitas and co-founder of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association and Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network.

Hate crimes at Polish stadiums were discussed by Dr Anna Tatar, co-author of the ‘Brown Book’ and a member of ‘NEVER AGAIN’. – ‘Antisemitic flags, symbols and chants have been used by football hooligans for many years with little or no punishment. What is striking is the failure to react from football authorities, club boards and city governments, which provide financial support and facilities to football clubs’ – she said.

Dr Wojciech Wozniak of the University of Lodz presented the results of the ‘Changing the Chants’ project. Its objective is to understand the role of non-formal education provided by sports clubs in combating antisemitism. Good practice developed on the basis of experiences and collaborations with clubs from various countries will allow the creation of friendly and open football fan communities in Europe and beyond. The project received support from the EU programme ‘Rights, Equality and Citizenship’.

Later in the debate, the floor was taken by Dr Maciej Kozlowski, former Polish Ambassador to Israel and author of the book ‘Chosen People – Cracovia Cracow: The Multi-Cultural History of Polish Sport’ (published by ‘NEVER AGAIN’ in 2015). He discussed the role of Jews in Polish football, their contribution to the development of the sport, and involvement in establishing the first Polish clubs and competitions. He also provided examples of Polish players with Jewish origins: Jozef Lustgarten, Ludwik Gintel and Leon Sperling, all of whom were successful members of the Polish national team.

The discussion was summed up with observations on the rise of antisemitism and xenophobia by Dr Sebastian Rejak of the American Jewish Committee – Central Europe Office.

The discussion was organized by the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association in partnership with the  Fare Network and AJC – Central Europe.

This year, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association celebrates 25 years of activity. ‘NEVER AGAIN’ is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996, which has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, and for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally.

The campaign ‘Let’s Kick Racism out of Stadiums’ was a brainchild of the late Marcin Kornak (1968-2014), who chaired ‘NEVER AGAIN’ for many years. ‘Let’s Kick Racism out of Stadiums’ has run since the mid-1990s with the aim to combat racism and discrimination at stadiums. One of its main components is monitoring and reporting of hate crimes and hate speech cases.

More information:

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#wykopmyrasizm #changingthechants

ONE RACE – HUMAN RACE. MUSIC AGAINST RACISM ON VINYL

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association has announced the release of the historic album ‘One Race – Human Race. Music Against Racism: Part 2’, for the first time on vinyl.

The compilation record was initiated by the late Marcin Kornak, a human rights activist, poet and the founder of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association. Marcin’s friends emphasize that ‘the new release of the album is dedicated to his memory’.

The record was previously released in 1998 on CD and cassette by the independent label QQRYQ Productions as the second part of the ‘Music Against Racism’ series. It has gone down in history as a statement of resistance against intolerance and violence.

The double album contains tracks from artists representing a diverse range of musical styles and worldviews. Some of the contributions come from British bands known for their anti-racism activism, Chumbawamba and Zion Train, with others from renowned Polish musicians such as Robert Brylewski (with Falarek), Tymon Tymanski (with Kury), the bands Alians and Sweet Noise, and even Polish hip-hop star Liroy (rapping anti-fascist lyrics from Bertolt Brecht). Trebunie-Tutki, a multi-generational family band, combined Polish Highlander folk with Jamaican reggae in a track inspired by Bob Marley.

The album includes a special song: ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of Stadiums’, which was recorded by members of punk rock groups Robotnik and Uliczny Opryszek, under the name WRS Band. The lyrics were written by Marcin Kornak and have become a manifesto of the ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of the Stadiums’ campaign, initiated in 1996: ‘The place for fascism is in the trash, let’s kick racism out of the stadiums, let’s reclaim football from the thugs’.

Marcin Kornak (1968-2014) was the founder and leader of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association, the editor-in-chief of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ journal and the initiator of the groundbreaking register of hate crimes in Poland, known as the ‘Brown Book’. He was also a poet and songwriter, working with several independent rock bands. From the age of fifteen, due to an accident, Marcin Kornak lived with a physical disability. In 2011, he was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta – one of the highest honours in Poland.

In an appeal placed on the cover of the ‘One Race – Human Race’ record, he warned: ‘Racism is fostered through ignorance. It is the type of ideology which always leads to atrocity, because its main component is hatred against diversity. Humans, on the other hand, although the same in their nature, differ in their culture, religion, convictions, the colour of their hair, eyes, skin… and that is wonderful, because it makes this world and this life so fascinating. This is also why racial categorization is so dangerous – it threatens the most fundamental human right, the right to exist’.

Inspired by Rafal Drzycimski’s original 1998 design, the new album cover was designed by Witold Popiel, an alumnus of Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw.

The record was released in collaboration with Jimmy Jazz Records from Szczecin, who specialize in promoting alternative music. The album’s release is as a commemorative product, and is not intended for commercial distribution.

For the first time, the ‘One Race – Human Race. Music Against Racism: Part 2’ record is also available in full on YouTube (full album) and Daily Motion: side A and Bside C and D.

This year, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association celebrates 25 years of activity. ‘NEVER AGAIN’ is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996, which has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, and for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally.

To support ‘NEVER AGAIN’ and receive the double vinyl record, please contact info@neveragainassociation.org .

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association also encourages musicians, record labels and promoters who are interested in releasing music tracks or videos as well as organising concerts (including online) with the promotional support of the ‘Music Against Racism’ campaign to get in touch via email: info@neveragainassociation.org .

Additional information:

www.nigdywiecej.org

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www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

‘NEVER AGAIN’: SOLIDARITY WITH HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS IN MYANMAR

Members of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association have shared their experiences of building solidarity with the people of Myanmar during an international conference ‘Myanmar’s Transition – from Where to Where?’ hosted virtually by the Myanmar Institute (Berlin) and the Institute of Middle and Far East of the Jagiellonian University (Krakow).

The conference took place on 25-27 May and it brought together academics and civil society activists from across the world.

Natalia Sineaeva provided a presentation on the topic ‘The Jewish Community in the Context of Pluralist Society in Burma (Myanmar)’. She stressed the history of the Jews in Myanmar (the small community currently consists of about 20 people) is an illustration of the social and cultural diversity of Myanmar which can be a positive resource in a future democratic society. She also presented the experiences of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association in the field of cooperation and support for the Jews in Myanmar.

Rafal Pankowski spoke on the subject of ‘The Meaning of «Never Again» in Myanmar and Poland – Reflections on an Unexpected Relationship’. Among others, he presented the initiative ‘Identifying and Countering Holocaust Distortion: Lessons for and from Southeast Asia’, conducted by the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association in cooperation with partners in Myanmar, Thailand, and Cambodia with the support of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) and the Heinrich Boell Stiftung Cambodia.

The project deals with various forms of genocide distortion and denial, including the denial of the crimes of the Khmer Rouge or anti-Rohingya violence. The initiative draws on the legacy of the Holocaust and instances of genocide in Southeast Asia to inspire critical memory discourses. It promotes solidarity with those who are discriminated against and oppressed. Pankowski highlighted the cooperation between ‘NEVER AGAIN’ and civil society groups and human rights activists from Myanmar, which is especially important since the military coup which took place on 1 February 2021, and the subsequent crackdown on dissidents.

In another example of the ongoing ‘NEVER AGAIN’ activity, Rafal Pankowski presented its trans-national educational initiatives during a global conference of the Alliance Against Genocide which took place on 26 May. The Alliance Against Genocide is an international coalition dedicated to creating the international institutions and the political will to prevent genocide. It is composed of 96 member organizations in 31 countries, including the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association.

On 20 May (Cambodia’s Day of Remembrance for Genocide Victims), a member of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association, Natalia Sineaeva, presented the issue of genocide commemoration in Cambodia and Bangladesh at the invitation of the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre, Moscow.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996. It has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally.

Additional information:

www.NeverAgainAssociation.org

www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity

www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

IS ANTISEMITISM ANTISEMITIC?

A distributor of antisemitic publications has brought a court case against the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association, Poland’s leading anti-racist organization. The hearings commenced in the Warsaw District Court on 6 May.

3DOM Publishing House, with offices in Czestochowa, brought the case following the removal of its items from the popular e-commerce platform Allegro, which happened when ‘NEVER AGAIN’ brought the antisemitic publications to Allegro’s attention.

The Association noted and reported the hateful content of several items sold by 3DOM to the Allegro platform in 2020. Among them were contemporary editions of pre-war books such as ‘The Jewish Global Politics Programme. Conspiracy and Disclosure’ by the notorious antisemite Fr. Stanislaw Trzeciak, ‘Notes From A Prison’, a compilation of anti-Jewish tirades by Eligiusz Niewiadomski, the murderer of Polish President Gabriel Narutowicz, ‘The Strategy of Zion. The Unknown History of The Chosen People’, a Holocaust-denying book by Douglas Reed, as well as a book repeating medieval accusations against Jews entitled ‘Ritual Murder – Historical Facts’, co-authored by Grzegorz Braun, a Member of Parliament for the far-right Confederation party.

The lawyer for 3DOM Publishing House alleged that calling the above publications antisemitic violated the good name and reputation of 3DOM. The court claim against the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is for financial compensation for the harm caused, an apology and an undertaking that in the future ‘NEVER AGAIN’ will not appeal to Allegro for the withdrawal of any product offered for sale by 3DOM Publishing House.

Dr Wojciech Marchwicki from the Warsaw branch of the international law firm Hogan Lovells stated on behalf of ‘NEVER AGAIN’ that ‘All the activities of the Association which are directed at the elimination of racist or discriminatory content from the public sphere are of great service to society. Reporting to Allegro that antisemitic publications were being distributed by 3DOM Publishing House did not constitute an unlawful infringement of personal rights.’

The publications reported by the Association are extremely and ostentatiously antisemitic and incite hatred based on national, ethnic, racial and religious differences. In the plea submitted to the Court, the representative of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association listed numerous examples of extreme antisemitic and discriminatory content in the items distributed by the 3DOM Publishing House, such as:

– ‘Jews living in Christian countries and alongside Christian nations are a highly undesirable element. They are like an alien organism in our body, which will always cause disturbances unless it encounters stronger resistance. The Jewish problem never loses its vitality and Christian nations should make strenuous efforts to resolve it’ (a quote from ‘The Talmud. Its Contents and Teachings’ by Jozef Kruszynski);

– ‘The nation must separate itself from the moral plague of Jewry with a Chinese wall. (…) The Aryan world will face a terrible, fatal battle in the future with the hundred footed Jewish polyp’ (Eligiusz Niewiadomski ‘Notes From A Prison’);

– ‘Removal of the Jewish parasites from the press, the radio and cinema, and thus from the Polish mentality is as great and sublime a task as their removal from trade, crafts and industry. (…) Let everyone’s eyes be opened, especially those who «have eyes but cannot see», in order to stimulate the whole nation to self defence and to the liberation of Poland from the foreign, harmful and hostile Jewish elements’ (Stanislaw Trzeciak ‘Talmud on Gentiles and the Jewish Question in Poland’);

– ‘Thus it is not Hitler, but the Talmud that persecutes the Jews. Hitler is only an instrument in the hands of God’s Justice’ (Stanislaw Trzeciak ‘Messianism and the Jewish Question’).

The books identified by the Association contain a whole range of antisemitic clichés. They usually form the central elements of these books. They abound in descriptions of Jewish conspiracies, such as striving for power over the world, innate hatred of Christians or ritual murders.

Both Polish criminal law and Allegro rules prohibit trading in items promoting fascism and other totalitarian systems or inciting hatred on the basis of national, ethnic, racial, religious differences.

Furthermore, the publications distributed by the 3DOM Publishing House do not have any scientific or educational value. They are devoid of reliable historical introductions or any critical evaluation. Quite the opposite, the foreword usually contains an enthusiastic introduction by the contemporary publisher. In an expert opinion presented to the court, Dr Maciej Moszynski, a historian and a researcher of antisemitism, pointed out that these editions do not contain any critical commentary, and, on the contrary, provide vindication for extremely antisemitic content: ‘The notes from the publisher are in line with the antisemitic discourse, the central element of which is the figure of the Jew as the enemy.’

3DOM Publishing House is represented by its legal advisor Jaroslaw Litwin. Litwin gained fame as the advocate of former priest Jacek Miedlar, who was accused of promoting antisemitism and xenophobia. The founder of 3DOM, Tomasz Stala, is a close associate of Grzegorz Braun, a Member of Parliament representing the far-right Confederation Party.

After a short hearing, the court adjourned the case in order to consider the documentation – the parties’ pleas and evidence. The next hearing will probably be scheduled for the second half of the year.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization founded in 1996. It has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia. Since 2005, it has led the ‘Racism-Delete’ campaign, which has the objective of removing racist content from the internet. The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is a member of the International Network Against Cyber Hate (INACH). The Association also takes part in projects to counteract online hate speech including ‘Get the Trolls Out’ and ‘Open Code for Hate-Free Communication’.

Additional information:

www.NeverAgainAssociation.org

www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity

www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

DELETING RACISM

Poland’s largest ad platform OLX and the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association have partnered together to monitor and delete sales of racist, fascist and antisemitic propaganda items. In the joint declaration, both sides commit to act in line with Polish and international law and in particular with the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination.

OLX is owned by the South African technological corporation Naspers.

In the first weeks of the partnership, OLX, acting on the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association’s recommendations, deleted 655 offers of neo-nazi gadgets, such as a lead plaque ‘celebrating Hitler’ and badges with Nazi SS symbols. Some of the deleted offers also featured extremely antisemitic books such as the ‘Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ – the most popular antisemitic pamphlet of the 20th century, and ‘The Controversy of Zion’ (Strategy of Zion in Polish) by Douglas Reed, a Holocaust denier. Other deleted items included releases of Polish and foreign music bands that support nazism and racism.

According to Rafal Pankowski, Professor of Sociology at Collegium Civitas and co-founder of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association: – ‘It is symbolic that the first item to be deleted was a hoodie with a Celtic cross (an international symbol of white supremacy), a flag of the Confederacy (which fought to uphold slavery in the American Civil War), and a three-armed swastika used by the South African neo-nazi group Afrikaaner Resistance Movement (AWB).’

Members of this organisation fought against against the dismantling of racial segregation by committing terrorist attacks and murders. Janusz Walus, a Polish emigrant who murdered anti-apartheid activist Chris Hani in 1993, was a supporter of AWB.

Dr. Anna Tatar from the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association said: – ‘As part of the partnership, NEVER AGAIN will support the OLX Group through expert consultations and provide recommendations on ways discrimination can be tackled. This involves trainings to educate employees on how to identify racist and fascist content.’ Together with organisations outside Poland, the association will also report similar content on OLX platforms in other countries, such as Romania and Hungary.

Phuthi Mahanyele-Dabengwa, Chief Executive Officer of Naspers South Africa voiced her support for the partnership between the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association and OLX: – ‘Both Naspers here at home and OLX in Poland abhor and condemn any form of racism and xenophobia and any attempt to disseminate hate speech of any kind.’ She also added, ‘Our team in Poland has also been engaging with NEVER AGAIN and we welcome their commitment to fight racism and discrimination. NEVER AGAIN has been working with OLX to further identify (limited incidents of) content that break the rules and are listed on the platform.’

For a number of years now, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association has also been in partnership with the large online sales platform Allegro to eliminate sales of fascist and racist propaganda items. On 21 March 2018, the International Day Against Racial Discrimination, the association became a partner in the Partnership to Protect Rights, created by Allegro. As a result of the partnership, between March 2018 and March 2021 the platform deleted 99 percent of items identified by ‘NEVER AGAIN’, which was over 12 thousand offers in total (the final decision to delete an auction is taken by Allegro based on its terms and conditions). Among those offers were replicas of SS medals, flags of the Third Reich, as well as CDs of neo-nazi bands and books promoting antisemitism and Holocaust denial.

Among the items removed from the Allegro site upon intervention by the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association was a book entitled ‘The Way of a Nationalist’ by Tomasz Greniuch, who was, for a short time, director of the Wroclaw chapter of the state-sponsored Institute of National Remembrance (IPN). The book contains praise of fascist movements. The author refers to the antisemitic conspiracy theory, according to which a ‘world government’ was supposedly aiming to destroy Poles and Poland ‘in the time of Zionist triumph, when the idea of globalism presumes the enslavement of all the nations of the world into one superpower under the aegis of the world diaspora.’ Moreover, in his book Greniuch supports the Hitler salute: ‘We are not ashamed of our views, or of our tradition. To us the Roman salute, the greeting of the Aryan Europe, shown by raising the right arm in the direction of the sun is not a gesture meant to order beer.’ He also praises the Belgian SS officer Léon Degrelle, who was sentenced in absentia to the death penalty for his collaboration with Nazi Germany, and Corneliu Codreanu, creator of the Iron Guard, the Romanian fascist organization responsible for anti-Jewish pogroms.

Tomasz Greniuch was the leader of the fascist group National Radical Camp (ONR) in the Opole region of Poland. His many years of extremist activity have been documented by the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association in the ‘Brown Book’, a publication which monitors hate speech and hate crimes. In 2005, Greniuch co-organized a march to commemorate the 1936 anti-Jewish pogrom in the town of Myslenice. A year later, he publicly gave a ‘Heil Hitler’ salute in a student club at Opole University. He was also the founder and co-organizer of the so-called Independence Day March in Warsaw. In 2016, the program of the international far-right music festival ‘Eagle’s Nest’ included a discussion meeting with Greniuch. In 2018, he was awarded the Bronze Cross of Merit by Polish President Andrzej Duda.

Since 2018, Greniuch worked in the Opole branch of the Institute of National Remembrance, becoming head of the branch in November 2019. In January 2021, he organized an exhibition glorifying the wartime Holy Cross Brigade of the far-right National Armed Forces (NSZ), which had openly collaborated with the German Nazis. In February this year, Greniuch was appointed as Director of the Wroclaw chapter of the Institute of National Remembrance. Following protests against his appointment, both in Poland and internationally, he resigned from the position.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization founded in 1996. It has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia. Since 2005, it has led the ‘Racism-Delete’ campaign, which has the objective of removing racist content from the internet. The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is a member of the International Network Against Cyber Hate (INACH). The Association also takes part in projects to counteract online hate speech including ‘Get the Trolls Out’ and ‘Open Code for Hate-Free Communication’.

Additional information:

www.nigdywiecej.org

www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity

www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

HOLOCAUST COMMEMORATION AND COUNTERING GENOCIDE DENIAL IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

To mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, emphasise its universal significance and oppose its distortion, the NEVER AGAIN Association, together with its civil society partners and members in Southeast Asia, has co-organised a special online session on 27th January 2021. It brought together Jews, Buddhists, Muslims and Christians, intellectuals, faith leaders, human rights activists, educators and students from different countries and continents, with a special focus on the Southeast Asian region.

The online round table featured Jeremy Jones, the Director of Community and of International Affairs of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (Australia); Venerable Lablu Barua, Wat Phrmarangsi Buddhist Monastery in Bangkok (Thailand); Sayana Ser, the translator of ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ in Khmer language, Peace Institute (Cambodia); Nickey Diamond, a scholar and human rights specialist at Fortify Rights (Myanmar); and Prof. Rafal Pankowski of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association (Poland). It was moderated by a member of ‘NEVER AGAIN’, Natalia Sineaeva, a Holocaust scholar and Rotary Peace Fellow alumna (Chulalongkorn University Bangkok 2018) and Dr Sanjoy Barua Chowdhury of the International Buddhist College (IBC) in Thailand.

The participants came from Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Germany, India, Israel, Malaysia, Myanmar, Norway, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, UK, USA, and Vietnam. They discussed the legacy of the Holocaust, challenges for its commemoration and the possible meaning of its commemoration in the region of Southeast Asia in relation to the region’s history and experiences of genocide and mass atrocities.

The United Nations General Assembly designated the International Holocaust Remembrance Day or International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust in 2005. The 27th of January marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland in 1945.

Natalia Sineaeva noted in her introductory remarks: – ‘Jews and Roma were mainly targeted for genocide by Nazi Germany during the Second World War, but its significance is universal. Today, when very few Holocaust survivors are left, we need to preserve this memory, and not let it be trivialised, banalised, or even worse, distorted and denied. How can we use and apply the universal lessons of the Holocaust which happened in Europe in a non-European context, where the experiences of the Second World War were different, for example in Southeast Asia? There is often a lack of knowledge of Holocaust history, but there are local histories of conflicts and instances of genocide, and various forms of genocide distortion exist, too.’

The online round table was the first in the series of further events to be organised for the project ‘Identifying and Countering Holocaust Distortion. Lessons for Southeast Asia’ implemented by the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association together with its partners in the countries of Southeast Asia. The project deals with various forms of Holocaust distortion and denial spread in the region of Southeast Asia, e.g., the usage of Nazi imagery, normalisation of the image of Hitler and Nazi Germany in popular culture; conspiracy theories scapegoating minorities and blaming the victims (including the Jews) for past crimes and historical conflicts; the dangerous globalisation of genocide denial, including the rise of ‘multi-deniers’ who distort both the Nazi crimes and other cases of genocide, such as the crimes of the Khmer Rouge or anti-Rohingya violence. Importantly, the project draws on the regional experiences of the Second World War and further instances of genocide in Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand to inspire critical memory discourses and develop capacities to counter Holocaust and genocide distortion in the region. It has been supported by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization founded in Warsaw in 1996. It has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally.

Additional information:

www.neveragainassociation.org

www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity

www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

WATCH OUT – A NEW ANTI-FASCIST EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVE ONLINE

On the occasion of the International Day against Fascism and Antisemitism (9 November, the anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom), the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association announces the launch of an online educational initiative under the title ‘Watch Out’. It is a joint venture by the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association and the Forward Foundation supported by the European network for alternative thinking and political dialogue Transform! Europe.

As part of the project a set of materials directed at high school students was prepared. They include videos, presentations, worksheets and lesson outlines for teachers, NGO educators, scout leaders, organisers of youth camps and for students who want to broaden their knowledge. All the materials are also available in English and can be used all over the world.

The specially dedicated website http://kuprzestrodze.edu.pl/ publishes lectures by experts in the fields of history, sociology and social psychology, covering topics such as the psychology of Nazism, the fascist vision of family, the pedagogy of remembrance, genocide, and forced labour. Dr Jack Bloom (Indiana University Northwest, USA), Dr Michal Bilewicz (University of Warsaw, Centre for Research on Prejudice), Luiza Kulenkampff (Anne Frank Centre, Berlin) and Dr Rafal Pankowski (co-founder of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association, Professor at Collegium Civitas, Warsaw) are among the lecturers involved in preparing the materials.

– ‘Today there are few eyewitnesses or victims of fascism among us, such as former concentration camp prisoners, and less time and space is dedicated to discussing these tragic events in schools. It’s becoming just another remote incident. The history should teach us, be a warning’ – say the project authors.

– ‘Recently the educational system comes under increasing ideological pressure from the far right. Our initiative is meant to be a response to the nationalist propaganda and indoctrination’ – said Rafal Pankowski from the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association.

– ‘Our project is not over and the content will be constantly supplemented. We would like to invite institutions, organisations and individuals to join’ – added Dr Gavin Rae (Leon Kozminski Academy, Forward Foundation).

The Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass, also known as Reichskristallnacht or Reichspogromnacht in German) was a pogrom against the Jews in Nazi Germany on the night of 9 November 1938. It symbolised another wave of Nazi repressions against the Jews, which culminated in the Holocaust. For years the Kristallnacht anniversary has been commemorated as the International Day against Fascism and Antisemitism.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization founded in 1996. It has campaigned against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia, for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally.

Additional information:

www.neveragainassociation.org
www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity
www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

 

BLACK SKIN, WHITE MASKS

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is a partner of the first ever Polish edition of Frantz Fanon’s seminal work ‘Black Skin, White Masks’.

Originally published in 1952, the book is among the key intellectual contributions to anti-racism and critical race theory. It has had a major influence on civil rights, anti-colonial, and Black rights movements around the world.

Frantz Omar Fanon (1925-1961) was a physician and psychiatrist as well as a radical humanist who inspired liberation movements across the world. Born on the Caribbean island of Martinique, he enlisted in the anti-Nazi Free French army during World War II. In the 1950s he partook in the anti-colonial movement in Algeria and died in the USA in 1961.

In the final passages of the book, Fanon wrote: ‘Superiority? Inferiority? Why not the quite simple attempt to touch the other, to feel the other, to explain the other to myself? Was my freedom not given to me then in order to build the world of the You? At the conclusion of this study, I want the world to recognize, with me, the open door of every consciousness.’

In the words of Leonardio Custodio, writing on the London School of Economics and Political Science web page: ‘Frantz Fanon’s classic Black Skin, White Masks is a book of enduring relevance. Fanon’s self-reflexive, philosophical, poetic, literary, arguably clinical and, above all, political analysis is still a powerhouse. It remains a fundamental part of the contemporary constellation of intellectual and activist struggles and discourses working to denounce and contest the effects of racism on the lives and minds of black people and people of colour.’

The first Polish edition of ‘Black Skin, White Masks’, translated by Urszula Kropiwiec, was published by Karakter publishing house and supported by the French Institute in Warsaw. The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is a partner of the publication.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization, it has campaigned against racism and xenophobia, for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally.

Additional information:

www.neveragainassociation.org
www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity
www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

SWEET TEA, BITTER LIFE

On the occasion of the Refugee Week 2020, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association has launched a new video documentary on the plight of the Rohingya refugees from Myanmar under the title ‘Sweet tea, bitter life’ (SEE VIDEO).

The Rohingya refugees are survivors of the ongoing genocidal campaign conducted by the Myanmar military. They have been described by the United Nations as the world’s most persecuted ethnic minority.

The languages of the documentary are Rohingya, Polish and English (with English and Polish subtitles) and it is available freely on the Association’s YouTube channel. It was shot several weeks ago, shortly before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the world’s largest refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh, where approximately 1 million predominantly Muslim refugees from Myanmar are located.

According to the lead maker of the short documentary, Pawel Bolek, its aim was to show the human side of life in the refugee camp, which is largely unknown to the outside world. He says: – ‘The film shows that in our world everybody can suddenly, unexpectedly become a refugee’.

Previously, members of ‘NEVER AGAIN’ visited the refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar in November 2019. During the visit representatives of ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Natalia Sineaeva and Rafal Pankowski met with refugees as well as medical personnel and civil society representatives.

Commemoration of genocide, empowering the victims of violence and the promotion of peace and non-discrimination will be among the subjects of a large-scale international event co-organized by ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association member Natalia Sineaeva, the Global Cyber Peace Conference ‘Envisioning the World After the Great Pause’, held on 27 June.

The conference will last for 24 hours, starting from New Zealand through Australia, Asia, Africa and Europe, ending in the Americas/Caribbean. It will be an interactive online experience featuring speakers and attendees from around the globe. The conference is organized in cooperation with Rotary Peace Centres across the world, Mediators Beyond Borders International, and many other organisations. Almost forty sessions and workshops will be conducted across three conference zones: Asia/Oceania, Africa/Europe/Middle East, and the Americas/Caribbean. The conference themes include topics such as tackling identity-based violence, environment and peace, education and peace, and cultural resources for peace.

Natalia Sineaeva is the Europe regional coordinator for Rotary Peace Fellowship Alumni Association and she is a member of the conference leadership team for Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

During the event a special panel under the heading Cultural Resources for Peace: Peace Project Incubator will be devoted to the question: how do museums and memory sites deal with ongoing atrocities and war? The speakers include the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association’s Natalia Sineaeva as well as Shahriar Kabir, a renowned writer, filmmaker and human rights activist, President of the Forum for Secular Bangladesh & Trial of the War Criminals of 1971; Kornelis Spaans, a member of the International Committee of Memorial Museums in Remembrance of the Victims of Public Crimes of the International Council of Museums (ICOM); Tali Nates, the founder and director of the Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Centre and chair of the South African Holocaust & Genocide Foundation; Naomi Kikoler, the director of the Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Mofidul Hogue, director of the Liberation War Museum in Dhaka, Bangladesh; and Haider Elias, the President of Yazda – Global Yazidi Organization.

NEVER AGAIN’ Association members and friends are also going to speak in several other sessions of the conference, one of the largest of its kind in recent history.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent organization established in Warsaw in 1996. It has campaigned against racism, antisemitism and xenophobia, for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally.

Additional information:

Global Cyber Peace Conference registration: http://rpfaa.org/global-cyber-peace-conference/

www.neveragainassociation.org
www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity
www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ

Sweet tea, bitter life’ documentary:

FAR-RIGHT MEDIA ATTACK ON ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI

A radical-right media outlet has attacked Poland’s top footballer Robert Lewandowski and promoted xenophobic conspiracy theories around the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Warsaw-based anti-racist ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association has noted a recent broadcast on the ‘Idz Pod Prad’ (‘Go Against the Tide’) online television program which targeted Lewandowski. The channel regularly refers to the coronavirus as ‘the Chinese plague’ and promotes a conspiracy theory about its origin. Against scientific evidence, it accuses the Chinese of intentionally producing and spreading the virus. It advocates a military conflict with China and announces, in the words of its head Pawel Chojecki, ‘the war against the Chinese communists is starting to take shape’.

In this context, Robert Lewandowski was attacked for having participated in an advert for a popular Chinese smartphone brand. Chojecki has called for a boycott of Poland’s national team captain by fellow players and media: ‘It is shameful for our leading player, at the moment when a life and death war is underway against the criminals who have the blood of over 100 million people on their hands (…) Mr Lewandowski agrees to be a Europe-wide ambassador for the Chinese communists, it is a shame and a disgrace for the Polish sports, no Polish sportsman should shake hands with Mr Lewandowski and no Polish journalist should pay any attention to his utterances’.

Chojecki failed to mention that already in March this year, the Bayern Munich striker with his wife Anna donated one million Euro to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

In the same broadcast on 15 May, Chojecki attacked the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association, Polish President Andrzej Duda, and Pope Francis who was labelled as ‘a heathen who celebrates Maoist Leninist rituals together with the communist comrades from China’.

‘Go Against the Tide’ is known for formerly employing Marian Kowalski, an ex-presidential candidate. Its founder Pawel Chojecki is a longtime political activist on the radical right and a vice-chairman of the 11 November Movement party. He is also the leader of a religious group called the New Covenant Church.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association has recently published its latest REPORT ‘The Virus of Hate: Brown Book of the Epidemic’. The report documents acts of racism, xenophobia and discrimination which have occurred in the context of the coronavirus in Poland in recent weeks and months. The authors of the report recorded cases of assaults on members of minorities who are unjustly blamed for spreading the virus, as well as numerous examples of hate speech and conspiracy theories about the pandemic spread by the far right. They also noted some instances of xenophobia in the world of sports.

Rafal Pankowski, a co-author of the report of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association and a sociology professor at the Collegium Civitas university, commented: – ‘The global pandemic is also a global crisis of social trust and values amid confusion and anxiety. It is fertile ground for the dangerous growth of xenophobia and conspiracy theories’.

– ‘Examples of hatred are unfortunately coming from the top. In a pandemic, conspiracy theories promoted by public figures: celebrities, artists, politicians, journalists and clergy are particularly alarming’ – adds Jacek Dziegielewski, also a co-author of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association report.

– ‘Companies such as YouTube and Facebook, contrary to their formal announcements, often tolerate such content on their platforms’ – said Dr. Anna Tatar, co-author of the ‘Brown Book’.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an independent anti-racist organization, it has campaigned against racism and xenophobia, for peace, intercultural dialogue and human rights both in Poland and internationally. Since 1996, it has conducted the first anti-racism campaign in Eastern European football, ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of the Stadiums’ and is a founding member of the Fare network.

‘The Virus of Hate: Brown Book of the Epidemic’ (full report in PDF).

Additional information:

www.nigdywiecej.org
www.facebook.com/Respect.Diversity
www.twitter.com/StowNIGDYWIECEJ