- November 26, 2012
Radczenko: Who is hostile towards a “new beginning” in the Polish-Lithuanian relations?
The fact that AWPL (Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania) exceeded the electoral threshold and they managed to enter the Lithuanian government on more or less equal terms, has created an opportunity for a “new beginning” in the Polish-Lithuanian relations. Obviously, this is inconvenient for those who consider themselves nationalists. And probably this is how we should interpret the Saturday’s provocation in the Rasos Cemetery.
On Saturday, some “jokers” “mined” the mausoleum of Marshal Józef Piłsudski in the Rasos Cemetery. They left a cardboard box next the tombstone which had the following notices on it: “TNT”, “Attention, a bomb here”, “Call the police” and “Poles will die”. There was also a poster above the tombstone with a notice: “Tomaszewski, if you do not cease your activity, you will be buried here”. Interestingly, those threats did not appear last year when Tomaszewski indeed was heavily criticizing Lithuania on the European Parliament forum, but this year when he has toned down a bit and become more accommodating. Clearly, someone is dissatisfied with the fact that there appeared a chance for a historic agreement between Poland and Lithuania.
Polish nationalists, who may be dissatisfied with the “softer” image of AWPL, were accused of being responsible of that provocation by some versions which appeared just after the incident. I do not doubt there are some marginal circles that exist in both Poland and Lithuania that want to take advantage of the Polish-Lithuanian conflict and do some shady business. Obviously, they are not happy about the fact that the Polish-Lithuanian relations may be finally normalized. But I am not a fan of conspiracy theories. As the song by Jan Krzysztof Kelus says that we do not need any neighbor because we have our native scoundrels. The words perfectly suit the Polish-Lithuanian “battle” with tombstones.
There is no shortage in Lithuania of bald idiots with hang-ups who understand the fight for Lithuanian identity in a such perverted way. Skinheads, nationalists and fascists – a Lithuanian version of that morons from Poland who behaved similarly by devastating Lithuanian inscriptions and tombstones in Puńsk. Behind that cannon fodder there are influential people from media and universities who treat the Polish-Lithuanian conflict as their personal political success. This let them spread hate speech under the cover of “fighting for an agreement”. Those Lithuanian “Talibans” were totally crushed in the general elections. And then, it suddenly appeared that bandying about anti-Semitic, anti-Polish and anti-gay slogans does not guarantee a success in elections. But that also does not mean that the proponents became smarter. In three months, hundreds or even thousands of their bald-headed followers will take to the streets and demonstrate their support for the slogan “Lithuania for the Lithuanians”. Meanwhile, they try to attract attention through the most idiotic, barbaric and cowardly way of revenge – a revenge on the dead.
There are a lot of nationalists in Lithuania and Poland. The nationality does not matter – they are like twin-brothers. In fact, they are allies because their hate speech attracts supporters on both sides. Hatred of ones is a prove for hatred of the others. Everything what a nationalist does – he does it for the nation, the fatherland and the faith. Everything which is done against them must be a Jewish, Masonic, gay, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian or German plot. The more active they are – the more perfidious the plot is. Leonid Radzikhovsky, a great Russian publicist, called them directly “Нацшиза” (nationalist schizophrenics).
For hundreds of years, people have made attempts to explain the difference between a good and a bad nationalism. Those attempts are absurd. It looks like Marx’s followers trying to explain that there is something like “good” alia “true” communism and everything that happened in the USSR, China, Kampuchea or North Korea was just an accident and perversion. Both nationalism and communism – even if the ideas behind them may sometimes be noble, they will always lead to that same abuse because abuse is encoded in those ideas. Boris Strugatsky, a recently deceased great Russian fantasy writer, wrote: “In fact, nationalism is like a bit civilized hatred of a hairy savage towards another hairy savage from the other side of the river. That hairy and underground hatred has managed through centuries to cover itself with theoretical embellishments and beautiful phrases but it is still the same and dangerous hatred. This is not the word “nation” but the word “nationalism” that hides danger in it. Let the nations exist. We should get rid of nationalism. I do not know how, though. However, we managed to get rid of those manifestations of religious feelings that were so aggressive and imbued with hatred towards people. We manage to live without making offerings to the gods, without promiscuity and without giving praise to cruelty. We got rid of some of “caveman” features but we have pushed the rest in the darkness of morality. So we can change something in us, can’t we? So it means that centuries which have passed were not pointless. So we can change ourselves when we are forced by “Nature and Art”.
There is no doubt that the great writer was right. There are changes going on in us. Positive ones. But it is sometimes worth helping the Nature and Art with a “knife” of the judiciary. When in June a vandal painted the Columns of Gediminas on the Marshal’s tombstone in the Rasos Cemetery, the police blamed a homeless drug addict, who slept in the cemetery from time to time and stole flowers from graves. This time will not be that easy for the police and they will have to deal with the shady circles in Lithuania that have enjoyed a certain indulgence for years. The new center-left government has an opportunity to show that not only its name is new but also their attitude towards such hatred groups no matter their nationality or the object of hatred.
Tłumaczenie Marta Dubiel w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Marta Dubiel the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.