All-Polish Youth


All-Polish Youth

The All-Polish Youth (Polish: Młodzież Wszechpolska) is a Polish nationalist youth group, formerly affiliated with the League of Polish Families, with a Catholic-National philosophy. Its agenda declares that its aim is to raise Polish youth in a Catholic and patriotic spirit.

Its manifesto from 1989 states, for example, that "one's country is the greatest earthly good. After God, your foremost love belongs to the Homeland, and foremost after God you must serve your own country," and declares itself opposed to "doctrines promoting liberalism, tolerance, and relativism. The earliest roots of Polish Youth reach back to 1922, the organisation was delegalised in 1934 and the present incarnation was created on December 2, 1989. Polish Youth was affiliated with the League of Polish Families, but was never officially its youth wing.[1]

Contents

Pre-war All-Polish Youth

The organisation, properly the Academic Union "All-Polish Youth" (Związek Akademicki "Młodzież Wszechpolska"), was founded in 1922 as an ideological youth organisation with a strong nationalist sentiment[2], and was the largest student organisation in the Second Polish Republic. The Founding Convention of the All-Polish youth took place in March 1922, with Roman Dmowski being selected honorary chairman.

The term "All-Polish" is intended to represent a desire to unify all Polish lands, and accentuate national ties and the equality of all people of Polish origin regardless of their wealth or social status. In the inter-war period, members of the organisation participated actively in academic life, and became the heads of many student organisations. The goals of the organization were focused on three issues:[3]

  1. Defending the autonomy of universities against centralising forces of the government.
  2. Campaigning for lower tuition fees.
  3. Exclusion of non-Polish, especially Jewish students from higher education.

All-Polish Youth was more radical than any of organizations of the National Democracy camp. It openly praised Mussolini and his Italian fascism for its hardline stances towards the left and realisation of "national revolution".[4] Part of the members, including Jędrzej Giertych, also praised Hitler's Germany[5] but understood that it is with the contradiction with Polish national interests. Members of All-Polish Youth also praised authoritarian regimes of the Mediterranean, Salazar's Portugal and Franco's Spain.[citation needed]

They also favoured economically boycotting the Jews, limiting their access to higher education (numerus clausus)[6] and actively campaigned for ghetto benches, segregated seating for Jewish students [7]

Modern days

All-Polish Youth in Kraków, 2009

The modern incarnation of the All-Polish Youth was founded in Poznań in 1989, on the initiative of Roman Giertych, the former leader of the League of Polish Families (LPR). Continuing the tradition of its precursors, the organisation maintains its aim of raising youth with their ideology, and operates across all of Poland, working with high-school and university students. The membership of the organisation is approximately 3,000 people.[citation needed]

In 2006, the Polish Public Prosecutor's office launched an investigation after a video recording from a private party was leaked to the Polish press. In the video, All-Polish Youth members including Leokadia Wiącek, a personal assistant of Maciej Giertych (member of the European Parliament), were seen fraternizing with Neo-Nazi skinheads, listening to Neo-Nazi bands, and saluting the swastika.[8][9][10]. Following the incident, Leokadia Wiącek was expelled from All-Polish Youth [11] however it caused the League of Polish Families to cut their political ties with All-Polish Youth because of their links to Neo-Nazism.[12]

All-Polish Youth have declared that it is only by making Poland a Catholic state that its future will be secured, and chairman Konrad Bonislawski has stated "We do not want to become like Holland with its free drugs and gay marriage....since joining the European Union we have seen attempts to destroy our Catholic values."[13]

All-Polish Youth have gained considerable press coverage due to their staunch opposition of abortion and, particularly, homosexuality (which their website condemns as "unnatural behaviour" and describes Gay Rights marches as "militant homosexualism").[14] This has led to (sometimes violent) clashes with Pro-choice and Gay Rights demonstrators.

All-Polish Youth have been widely condemned as homophobic by various organisations including Amnesty International[15], Human Rights Watch[16], and even the United Nations (which, in their Universal Periodic Review, describes All-Polish Youth as an "extremist homophobic grouping"[17]), as well as a multitude of Gay Rights organisations such as OutRage! and the Polish Campaign Against Homophobia. In 2004, 2005, and 2006, All-Polish Youth members and sympathizers violently attacked people who were taking part in pro-gay demonstrations, throwing eggs, bottles and rocks at them[18][19], and were reported to have shouted "Send the fags to the hospital", "Perverts, get out of Cracow", "Let's gas the fags" and "We'll do to you what Hitler did to the Jews".[15][19]

See also

Footnotes

References

  • Kulińska, Lucyna (2000). Związek Akademicki "Młodzież Wszechpolska" i "Młodzież Wielkiej Polski" w latach 1922-47. Kraków: Abrys. ISBN 83-85827-56-0. 
  • Wapiński, Roman (1980). Narodowa Demokracja 1893-1939. Wrocław: Zakład Narodowy Imienia Ossolińskich. ISBN 83-04-00008-3. 

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