Ambassador Wilczek’s letter to the New York Times

Ambassador Wilczek’s letter to the New York Times

Read Ambassador Wilczek’s response to the opinion piece by Paul Krugman, which appeared in the New York Times on August 28th.

Democracy in Poland, Alive and Well

Poland’s ambassador objects to a column by Paul Krugman that argued “democracy as we normally understand it is already dead” there.

To the Editor:

I read “Why It Can Happen Here,” by Paul Krugman (column, Aug. 28), with disbelief. We can argue about many aspects of Polish or Eastern European history, but I cannot accept the assertion that Poland’s “historical path” is or ever was fascism — not even as a bad joke.

Poland was the first country to resist Nazi Germany in 1939 and paid an enormous price for it. To refer this way to a nation that lost six million citizens to Hitler’s regime, was completely destroyed and then was handed over to a Communist regime by the Western powers is indefensible.

As for the present situation in Poland, the Law and Justice government is carrying out reforms in line with its electoral platform, which the voters overwhelmingly supported at the ballot box. The reforms are aimed exactly at targeting any forms of harmful abuse of the system, corruption being one of them.

Some of the recent reforms have been heavily criticized by the political opposition and by some Polish media outlets. This wouldn’t be possible if Poland were the country that Mr. Krugman described. We have a very engaged free media, representing a wide range of opinions, a vigorous civil society whose expressions of different views can be seen on the streets, as is the case in the United States, and democratic elections, which brought the Law and Justice party to power.

Piotr Wilczek
Ambassador of Poland to the United States

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