Polish Foreign Ministry furious after UK denies entry to far-Right writer who called Holocaust a “myth.”
The Polish Foreign Ministry angrily summoned the British Ambassador to Warsaw on Monday, demanding that she explain why a writer and propagandist with a track record of antisemitic and racist views had been denied entry to the UK over the weekend.
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Szymon Szynkowski vel Sek said that the envoy, Anna Clunes, would be asked to clarify whether “freedom of speech is included in the catalogue of British values” after the UK’s Border Force on Saturday denied entry to Rafal Ziemkiewicz, a columnist for the far right weekly, Do Rzeczy.
Ziemkiewicz flew into London’s Heathrow Airport on Saturday with his wife and daughter, who is about to begin her studies at Oxford University. He told the Polish news agency PAP that he was handed an official refusal stating that his views “are at odds with British values and likely to cause offense.”
Ziemkiewicz is known for making inflammatory statements against those he considers are opposed to Polish interests. In June, he warned that “a major confrontation with international Jewry is coming” after the US strongly criticized recently-passed Polish legislation that closes off the possibility of restitution for survivors of the Holocaust in Poland.
A recent examination of Ziemkiewicz’s writings by the “Never Again” Association — a Polish NGO that combats antisemitism and racism — highlighted his constant use of crude antisemitic tropes.
In his latest book, Ziemkiewicz claimed that “Zionism under the influence of the Holocaust, or rather the myth of the Holocaust that they created, acquired a peculiar cruelty.” Demeaning young Israelis who serve in the IDF as “killing machines,” Ziemkiewicz also attacked what he called “Jewish aggressiveness,” saying that the “ideology of the Holocaust” could be summarized as “Jews, Jews über alles” — a reference to the Nazi anthem.
“Ziemkiewicz uses the term ‘Zionists’ as invective directed against Jews in general, without any connection with the actual meaning of the word,” the ‘Never Again’ Association observed.
In an interview with an ultranationalist website about his experience at Heathrow Airport on Saturday, Ziemkiewicz complained about having been detained alongside people he described as coming from outside of Europe.
“I was arrested with other men, most of whom I could not communicate with in any European language,” he said. “They came from Africa, some middle- and far-eastern countries.”
Ziemkiewicz blamed the “Never Again” Association for the UK decision to exclude him. “I have been called a racist. I have been called an Islamophobe and antisemite … and I have been called, which is the most painful for me, a Holocaust denier. This is a huge slander,” he told the Reuters news agency in an interview on Monday.
Far-right Polish parliamentarian Robert Winnicki leapt to Ziemkiewicz’s defense, attacking what he called left-wing “hypocrisy” that “applauds immigrants who want to push through the borders of Poland,” and “at the same time applauds stopping the legal passage of a Polish citizen who wanted to legally get to Great Britain.”
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