The use of history in politics – some examples from polish actual parlament elections


Roger Boyes writes in The Times about political use of new film by Andrzej Wajda’s.

The article describes a situation, where the Kaczynski twins (President and Prime Minister) try to use Katyn memory for contemporary campaign (on 21st of October there is an parlament election in Poland). President Kaczynski planned to organise the great ceremony for memory of soilders murdered in Katyn in the campaign time, but – because of the suggestions of the families of Katyn soliders and Andrzej Wajda. He still strongly states that his new film must not be interpreted as a part of political discussion.
But not only Katyn masacre is being used by politics. Durign actual campaign there were lot of examples of using history in the discussions. Here you can find some of them:

Two swords before political battle* In the latest debate between prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski and leader of the main opposition party Donald Tusk, Kaczynski talked about german claims to the polish lands on the west and north part of the state. He also pointed that Tusk’s commitment in discovering a Gdansk history is a contestation of the fact, that Gdansk is a polish city. Before this debate Kaczynski made a vision of Tusk giving him a two swords before battle (as it was before battle of Grunwald in 1410, when Teutonic Knights gave swords to the polish king encouraging him to the fight).

* Durging the debate between Jaroslaw Kaczynski and Aleksander Kwasniewski (a former president) the personality of Nicolaus Copernicus was mentioned. Kwasniewski pointed him as a person who was opened for Europe, Kaczynski reminded, that Copernicus also defended Olsztyn againts the Teutonic Knights. The discussion was about the foreign policy.

* In one moment of the campaign there was an issue of the martial law in Poland. Jaroslaw Kaczynski said that if the opposition won the election it could be a new material law from 1981. He later added that it could be because of the reform stopped.
Media and opposition asked then how Kaczynski was behaving during this period.

History can be a bottomless source of political arguments. Dead people from history have no rights in that discussion (as in the case of Copernicus) so they can be easly used. Polish campaign before the parlament election is another example of such situation.

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