Ambassador Wilczek reacts to Gross's op-ed in NYT

On November 17, The New York Times published an opinion piece by Dr. Jan Gross entitled “Poles Cry for ‘Pure Blood’ Again.”, in which the author presents a tendentious, false and prejudicial picture of Poland and Poles.

It should come as no surprise that Jan Gross has decided to capitalize on the surge of misleading anti-Poland news reports appearing in the U.S. to repeat his long standing biased views on Poland on the pages of The New York Times.

Gross’s manipulation of events in order to suit his oft repeated critical views of Poles and Polish patriotism is evident starting from the title through to the last word of his article.

It must be said again: The presence of a rabid group of nationalists is condemnable, but does not represent the entire Independence Day march in Warsaw.

Let’s not allow anecdotal evidence to paint a sensational but highly inaccurate picture.

And yet based also on just a handful of reprehensible signs, Gross labels all marchers – no, all Poles – as crying for “Pure Blood” and filled with Anti-Semitism. This is in violation of all standards of objectivity.

While other American publications have issued corrections and clarifications to their articles which were haphazardly researched prior to publication in the race to break the news, The New York Times’s opinion piece by Jan Gross is filled with even greater generalization and falsehoods than seen elsewhere.

Polish police are currently analyzing footage of the Independence Day. If, as Gross claims, tens of thousands of marchers were yelling “Seig Heil” than this will certainly be uncovered by the proper authorities.

The highest Polish authorities, including the President and Prime Minister, have condemned all expressions of xenophobia and racism. There is no resurging evil genie of fascism in Poland, Mr. Gross.

“If you want a sense of where Poland could be heading, look no further than the events last Saturday in Warsaw” wrote Gross.

Last Saturday close to 20,000 runners took part in the Polish Independence Day Run. Last Saturday crowds gathered at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to join Polish authorities in commemorating the millions of Poles who sacrificed their life for Poland’s independence. And yes, last Saturday thousands of law abiding, patriotic Poles, among others, also took part in an Independence Day March.

If these actions are to tell us where Poland is heading, than our answer is this: Poland is heading towards her 100th anniversary of rebirth, a 100 years during which it suffered both under Nazism and Communism, and is today a proud country that knows the price for freedom.

Piotr Wilczek, Polish Ambassador to US