- August 26, 2011
Marshal Józef Pilsudski – Europe’s first fascist?
“After a careful scrutiny, we are overcome with surprise that the first fascist in Europe, it seems, was not the Italian Duce, but our ’beloved’ Józef, in whose veins ran also the blood of Lithuanian nobles” – stated a Lithuania sociologist, Gediminas Merkys, during a conference on historical stereotypes held yesterday in Vilnius. According to Merkys, in the question of bilateral Polish-Lithuanian relations, it has to be remembered that Poland itself is not without blame. History, indeed, shows that at the beginning of the twentieth century, Poland was a fascist, nationalistic country, but this aspect of its development has never been a matter of the scientific or historical debates.
“Nationalism that is cherished by Poland is the foundation of the spiritual life of the Polish nation. It is the axis around which they are trying to consolidate the society, gather the electorate, create the political image and collect political bonuses” – Lithuanian sociologist stressed in his speech.
Merkys argued that one of these political bonuses is the brochure about the massacre in Ponary that has been recently published on the initiative of the head of Polish diplomacy, Radoslaw Sikorski.
According to the sociologist, it is truth in 98 percent, and in 2 percent it is black propaganda. “It seems to me, that the authors of the brochure meant to humiliate Lithuania and Lithuanians. Its primary purpose is falsification and vulgarization of history, as well as presenting Lithuanians as Nazi murderers and the authors of Holocaust” – said sociologist.
Merkys, who did not spare criticism to the Polish side, also noted that Lithuania as well is not without fault. The sociologist argued that one of the biggest problems is the latent ethnocentrism and the discrimination against minorities practiced by the Lithuanian government. It is manifested in the government’s decisions, for example in the case of the standardization of Lithuanian language examination for students of both Lithuanian and national minority schools.
According to the sociologist, standardization of these conditions, would be possible only if the curricula of Lithuanian and minorities schools were standardized. Otherwise, the non-Lithuanian schools’ graduates would have difficulty in entering Lithuanian universities and getting higher education. Merkys also stressed that these would rather be the students with average academic performance who would have to face this situation. It is widely known, that able students from non-Lithuanian schools enter the universities without hassle.
The sociologist does not see a problem in functioning of bilingual or even multilingual plates with topographical names in Lithuania.
Based on: delfi.lt.
Tłumaczenie: Eliza Łuszczewska, w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Czlowieka, www.efhr.eu Translation by Eliza Łuszczewska, as part of vocational training in The European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu
Korekta Małgorzata Juchniewicz w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu