Tuesday , April 20 2021

Poland's largest bookstore chain suspends sale of book by priest accused of anti-Semitism

WARSAW, Poland (AP) – Poland's largest bookstore chain stopped selling a book written by a former priest accused of anti-Semitism after clients threatened a boycott over the weekend.

Empik, a network of bookstores in Poland, started selling "My Fight for the Truth" by Jacek Miedlar on Saturday. The title of the book in Polish echoes the title of Adolf Hitler's manifesto, "Mein Kampf". On Sunday, the network of books interrupted sales of the book.

Miedlar is a former priest associated with Polish nationalists. Last year he was indicted in the western Polish city of Wroclaw for "public incitement to hatred based on religious and national differences" for a speech in 2016 in which he urged hatred of Jews and Ukrainians.

This year, after the outbreak of the crisis between Israel and Poland over what would be illegal to blame the Polish nation for the Nazis, Miedlar began to produce T-shirts with the inscription "I'm not sorry for Jedwabne. "

Jedwabne was the scene of a massacre on July 10, 1941, in which Polish neighbors killed Jewish villagers.

"It is scandalous for anyone to publish a book with a title alluding to Hitler's Mein Kampf and the largest network of bookstores do not realize that they were promoted by radicalism," Monika Krawczyk, CEO of the Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland. , told the JTA.

"We are proponents of freedom of expression, but within the limits of the law," Empik spokesperson Monika Marianowicz told JTA. After many messages and e-mails sent to the bookstore and comments on social networks, the Miedlar book was temporarily withdrawn from the sale. "In the face of numerous reports from our clients about the fact that this book spreads hate speech and therefore violates Polish law, we have decided to block its availability until the situation is clarified," says Marianowicz.

In a blog post, Midelar blamed leftists for boycotting his book, and said that opposition to its publication proves that the book "defers a real blow against anti-Polish values ​​promoted by the nation's traitors."

Empik does not exclude that, after a detailed reading of the book, it is found that it does not break the Polish law, which will appear again for sale.

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