Friday, May 12, 2006

What are they going to teach Polish kids... that catholic-nationalist, arch-conservative, Roman Giertych has become Education Minister?

Polish university students did something they don’t usually do this week. No, they probably didn’t go to the library! They took to the streets of Warsaw and Krakow, in protest against the appointment of Giertych as Minister for Education, part of the deal the government made when it formed a coalition last week with his party, the far-right League of Polish Families, and another fringe party.

Teachers also protested.

Giertych has also, alongside another extremist, Andzej Lepper, been made Deputy Prime Minister.

Cleveland Jewish News comments that, as well as being Education Secretary and DPM:

Giertych is honorary chairman of the All-Polish Youth [which he reformed in 1989], a mostly skinhead group whose members have been photographed giving the Nazi salute. In the 1930s, the All-Polish Youth spearheaded attacks on Jewish university students (and led boycotts against Jewish businesses].

All-Polish Youth is the youth wing of the League of Polish Families, a party that believes that the Catholic Church should have a central place in government, is suspicious of foreign capital and foreigners in general, is rabidly homophobic and is associated with a kind of 1930’s anti-Semitism.

One of the 2,000 protesting students in Warsaw was reported by Bloomberg as saying:

“The All-Poland Youth uses intolerant, racist, anti-Semitic slogans,'' said Dominika Blachnicka, a 25-year-old sociology student. “[Giertych as Education Minister] is the fulfillment of my worst nightmare.'

Giertych has pledged that he will not be trying to introduce his weird ideology into the Polish education system. But it must be tempting for him.

So how would Polish education curriculum look like if he had a free rein to do what he liked?

History classes

Roman Giertych comes from a four-generation line of Polish nationalists. His dad, Maciej, is a nationalist member of the European parliament.

His grandfather, JÄ™drzej, was a contemporary of the 1930’s nationalist leader Roman Dmowski and someone historian Norman Davies has called ‘a professional anti-Semite’.

His great-grandfather, Franciszek, was another nationalist!

Is there a factory some place where they are manufacturing these guys?

Racism and nationalism is in the Giertych blood.

So history classes taught by the new education minister would present Poland as the ‘Christ’ of Europe, a nation that has suffered so Catholics could be free from freemasonry and the Jewish menace, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah…

Biology classes

Maciej Giertych is not just an MEP and nationalist, he’s also a dendrologist (the genetics of trees). Writing for the creationist Answers in Genesis web site he says that:

I know of no biological data relevant to tree genetics that would require evolutionary explanations. I could easily pursue my career without ever mentioning evolution.

[…] Evolution is not a conclusion drawn from observations. It is an ideology to which observations are applied when convenient and ignored when not.

Natural history classes, according to the Giertych syllabus, would consist of the Book of Genesis, and not much else.

Sociology classes

Sociology would be banned as it is taught almost exclusively by commie and liberal scum. Period.

Sex education classes

There would be no sex education classes.

But if the nuns (who would run all schools) had to bring up the subject they would say that the only contraception method acceptable is the ‘natural method’ (close your eyes, cross your fingers and hope for the best).


The boys would be taught that Jews own everything and that’s just not fair.

The girls would be told not to worry their pretty heads about such matters and to go and wash up the dishes and put the dinner on...

The only policy so far to come out of the Giertych camp is to put firewalls around school web sites to 'stop kids looking at porn when they are at school,' said Roman Giertych this week.

Hopefully the rest of his initiatives will be equally as bland.


sonia said...

You call that bland????

That will mean those students will have to wait until they get home to see my blog! That's discrimination!

Incidentally, I think most Poles already believe most things you have mentioned (except for creationism, that's an American thing). However, if their Education Minister tells them to believe it, most of them might quickly change their minds. Nothing discredits an idea in Poland like an authority figure promoting it...

beatroot said...

Spot on, Sonia. Poles always disrespect authority. It's a tradition!

I think that is a bit vacuous, maybe - good authority is good, period - but having people like Giertych in charge of anything will only re-enforce the feeling that politics is a waste of time.

And that's not a good education to give our kids.

beatroot said...

Witam Steppx!

I generally avoid the 'f' word but you are right - there is something proto-fascist about Lepper and something fascist about the fascist Giertych family.

The thing is: what to do about it? If I remember my Adorno correctly he painted a picture where opposition is futile...the dominant forces being so strong.

But that's nonsemnse. Liberals here - who cringe when they see one of these facsists on the TV - turn away, disengage and go shopping.

But this situation does have possibilities for normal Poles to start re-engaging in politics.

The manin issue in Poland, the front line as it were, is homosexuality. This is the isaue where a few are organising politically. The gay pride march in Warsaw on June 10 is crucial. Last year there were 10 of us to 1 of them. Let's make sure that there are 100 of us to 1 of them this time.

michael farris said...

I'm confused, Maciej Giertych is supposed to be a creationist and a Roman Catholic?

Didn't JPII declare that there was no conflict between Genesis and evolution a number of years ago? Is he putting himself above JPII?

AFAIK serious Roman Catholic theology reccomends viewing Genesis as metaphor (God speaking to humanity in a way that humanity can understand) and not as a literal document, a practice that some protestant ideas encourage that is most politically involved among evangelicals in the US who don't regard Roman Catholics as 'true' Christians.

michael farris said...

I wonder what Jarek was thinking in naming the Talking Horse as MOE. I'd assume he's hoping that younger better educated people will be disgusted and disengage from politics (and maybe emigrate and stop troubling him?)

But, it could energize them to get off their apathetic asses and send his backward looking party to the garbage dump in the next elections.

beatroot said...

It's true what you say about catholicism and creationism. But if you read his article from that magazine, Giertych attacls catholic philosophers on this very point.

michael farris said...

Having (now) read the article, I notice also, that it was published first in 1995 a year (give or take a few months) before JPII's announcement.

Curious if he's still attacking catholic philosophers (and be extension JPII)?

beatroot said...

Well spotted. But I don't imagine that, after hearing JP II announcment, Giertych suddenly threw up his hands in the air and said: "OK, it's a fair cop. Evolution is cool and Genesis is a 'metaphor'.

Anonymous said...

Are these ones mates of the Tories as well?

Frank Partisan said...

How large were the protests? Were whole schools closed?

With all the populism and nationalism in Poland, should this be a surprise?

It's hard to see the big picture. Even with Stalinism, education is secular and classical atleast.

beatroot said...

I am very pleased to welcome someone called 'Glenda' to the beatroot (I just like the name)...she's from Texas, so one can understand why she's a bit pissed off.

Anon (give me a name to call you): this lot would make the New Tories and their focus groups run back to their nice flats in Notting Hill in hooror...even UKIP doesn't want anything to do woth them! (although BNP might be interested...there is some links between them adn the youth wing I mentioned...

Steppx...Adorno was a sad guy, I think. He didn't have mich faith in the masses, poor love. Marcuse was better.

Ren: No, the protests did not close down the schools. The Polish student is not very politically active...(students the world over are pretty useless these days)...

And yeah, the old Stalinists were secular for sure, but what they did with socially difficult issues was to sweep them under the carpet. And then 1989 came and a can of worms opened. We are seeing those worms crawling all over Poland today. It was very much their failures that Poland is paying for today. I blame them for just about everything that is wrong with contemporary Poland. They were a disgrace and the failures of socialism are pretty much down to them.

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Beatroot, Thanks for the response. It seems that they are indeed mates of UKIP although Giertych senior has fallen out with them. A google search on UKIP League of Polish families will bring up some old news stories showing the connection. Charming.


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