- July 3, 2014
EAPL ripostes on critics
The majority of Lithuanian portals zealously comment on a statement made by marshal of the Senate of Poland Bogdan Borusewicz in which, according to them, he criticized the chairman of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, EAPL (pl. Akcja Wyborcza Polaków na Litwie, AWPL) Waldemar Tomaszewski.
The statement made by B.Borusewicz does not contain, unlike most media suggest, critics of the EAPL and its chairperson Waldemar Tomaszewski. Downright conversely, during the meeting with Polish journalists B. Borusewicz claimed ‘The most significant role Poles play in Lithuania where they are actively taking part in the governing of the country. In countries where Poles live, the place in society and signification of Polish minority are absolutely different. They are of the greatest significance in Lithuania. The Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania takes part in discharging the government’.
Moreover, this complementary opinion about EAPL which was made abroad is not isolated. In fact, it is impossible not to notice that both EAPL and its leader work hard and honestly, taking care of an ordinary citizen and have great authority not only among Polish minority or representatives of different communities in Lithuania – Belarusian, Russian, Tatars, etc., but also among Lithuanian people who are more often voting for EAPL and Waldemar Tomaszewski.
Severe criticism was announced, on the contrary, by B.Borusewicz at Vytautas Lansdbergis whom he has blamed for tensions against a backdrop of nationality in Lithuania and between Vilnius-Warsaw. He has also strongly criticized the president of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė who, as he thinks, – just according to the media – does not take as much care as is needed to improve the international relations. These pieces of the speech made by marshal B.Borusewicz our national media would better keep silent, instead they exaggerate and announce only a small part of what he has actually said.
Indeed, while commenting the contribution of the chairman of EAPL to the celebrating of the Victory Day (pl.Dzień Zwycięstwa) in Vilnius B.Borusewicz said that the Ribbon of Saint George (pl. georgijewska wstążka) which the leader of EAPL pinned on his costume near the white-red ribbon was inappropriate as it is now associated with the separatism in Ukraine.
The press office of the EAPL is aware of the fact that opinions about the last events in Ukraine are downright different so we should not connect them with the Victory Day which symbolizes triumph over Nazism or with the symbol of Saint George, the patron of chivalry and the fight with evil.
In iconography St George is often presented as a knight fighting with a dragon, symbol of evil. This symbol has existed in people’s conscience for a long time, at least a few centuries. The ribbons’ colours symbolize his heroism in the struggle. It is important to say that it was Soviet people who after bolshevism revolution banned using this symbol and only in 1943 when the country was in the situation of Hitler’s threat it was allowed again. From this time and for the same reason the repressions against the priesthood were in progress. Therefore blaming Waldemar Tomaszewski in the last months in Lithuanian media proves lack of knowledge and awareness of written above facts.
After this year’s celebration of the Victory Day in his comments Waldemar Tomaszewski emphasized that he celebrated, celebrates and will always celebrate because this day is really important in the history, the day of victory over Nazism.
The opinion of the chairman of EAPL is here significant as well because his uncle was taking part in struggles for the liberation of Vilnius which on July 13, 1944 was enfranchised by the Soviet divisions and Home Army (pl. Polska Armia Krajowa) and in which about 800 Soviet and 500 Polish soldiers died. What is more the second uncle of Waldemar Tomaszewski in the ranks of First Polish Army took part in the battles for Berlin. No one can discredit the memory about the soldiers who were fighting against Nazism and gave their lives for this. We must never connect the heroism and shed blood of the members of the anti-Hitler coalition with present geopolitical situation as well as with the tragic history in the postwar period. Today, unfortunately, in the media, are many ignorant people and dilettantes who are discussing historical topics. According to their logic, the Allies of Second World War must not cooperate with Germany today. This way of understanding history is absurd and leads to unnecessary tensions and conflicts.
The press office of EAPL calls on the representatives of the media to work responsibly and professionally and stop dealing with the cheap politicking.
The press office of EAPL