CRF Blog

The Ugly Side of Poland’s Booming Economy

by Bill Hayes

Bloomberg Businessweek reports on The Ugly Side of Poland’s Booming Economy.

Curators at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews noticed a change among their visitors earlier this year: More people were pushing back against its version of history. Some asked why there was no mention of Jews selling out their neighbors to various enemies over the centuries. Others questioned whether Poles were really involved in a notorious World War II massacre. Anti-Semitism, it seemed, was acceptable again. Museum guides had to be trained to handle the verbal aggression.

“The dynamic changed overnight,” says Dariusz Stola, the history professor who runs the museum, observing that prejudices apparently had free rein in the wake of a proposed law. “The problem is that young people get used to hate speech. Some people don’t like chips, some people hate Coca-Cola — and some people hate the Jews.”

It’s a jarring piece of recidivism, set amid Poland’s economic boom. [more]