Polish Media Issues lodge a complaint against defamation of “Kotwica” in New York

Polish Media Issues lodge a complaint against defamation of “Kotwica” in New York

A few days ago, unidentified persons were distributing anti-Polish flyers under the people’s doorsteps in New York’s Greenpoint. The authors of the flyer placed the famous “Kotwica” (in English: “anchor”), an emblem of the Polish Underground State and the Polish Home Army, among Nazi symbols. The Polish Radio Rampa from New York reported about the incident.

Members of the Polish Media Issues filed complaints with the New York Human Rights Commission. We encourage other Polish organizations and individuals to do the same via the following link: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/cchr/about/report-discrimination.page

We publish a complaint filed by one of our members.

Dear Ms Malalis and CCHR,

As reported by “Greenpointers”, an unidentified person was distributing offensive and racist flyers in Greenpoint (please see the attachment). The flyer accuses Poles and Polish Americans of being fascists who allegedly stole the Polish WW2 symbol “Kotwica” (Anchor) from the Polish Home Army (AK).

The Kotwica (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kotwica) was a World War II symbol of the Polish Underground State and the Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa). It was created by Anna Smoleńska (b. 28 February 1920) – a Polish girl scout and student of Art History. She was imprisoned by Nazi Germany in the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp on 27 November 1942 (Prisoner no. 26008). She was executed on March 19, 1943. The emblem was used by hundreds of thousands of Poles who were members of the Polish resistance movement in World War II. It was a symbol for the Polish struggle to regain independence during the FASCIST German occupation of Poland. Today, it has enormous symbolic meaning for the Polish people. Poland lost 6 million citizens during the war and the country was totally devastated. Since 2014, the Kotwica has had legal protection in Poland.

As a member of the Polish Media Issues group, an international organization fighting against defamation, I condemn in the strongest possible terms the offensive misattribution of fascist tendencies to Poles and to Polish Americans in that libelous flyer. The symbol of Polish Kotwica, displayed in the flyer, is a symbol of the fight AGAINST Nazis and fascism. It is highly discomforting to see this symbol placed together with true Nazi and fascist symbols.

This is also not the first time the Polish community has been targeted by racial hatred in New York. I kindly request an official investigation into that flyer which was intended to cause racial hatred and to condemn the anonymous provocateur/distributor.  An official statement condemning and/or prohibiting the distribution of anti-Polish flyers in New York City would be appreciated. Please also refer to the report of the Polish Radio Rampa from New York: http://www.radiorampa.nyc/fight-against-nazis-in-greenpoint-polish-kotwica-is-the-symbol-of-the-fight-against-nazis/.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Polish Media Issues

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