January 26, 2017
Radio Maryja, the media flagship of the populist radical right in Poland, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this week. Headed by an ultra-conservative Catholic priest, Father Tadeusz Rydzyk, Radio Maryja has a long history of broadcasting anti-Semitism to its followers.
ADL documented its anti-Semitic propaganda in a 2006 report, “Poland: Democracy and the Challenge of Extremism.” Two years later, the US State Department’s Global Anti-Semitism Report called Radio Maryja “one of Europe’s most blatantly anti-Semitic media venues.”
Even today, Radio Maryja, the seventh most popular radio station, continues to broadcast anti-Semitic views. In July, Poland’s State Council of Radio and Television sanctioned Radio Maryja for a show which alleged that United States Senators were criticizing the Polish government because the Senators were Jewish.
As documented by the NEVER AGAIN Association, a valued ADL partner in Poland, one regular Radio Maryja commentator, Stanislaw Michalkiewicz, has been particularly egregious.
On October 5, Michalkiewicz said, “Jewish groups in Poland are tasked with providing to the European Commission as much proof as possible that democracy and the rule of law in our unhappy country are threatened by a fascist regime.”
On October 20, he went on a lengthy anti-Semitic rant about how “the mischievous Jews” are today infiltrating the “liberal” political parties.
And on November 23, Michalkiewicz said on his Radio Maryja show that “the Jewish lobby in Poland is demonstrating its racial solidarity with the Ukrainian oligarchs.”
Fr. Rydzyk himself made an anti-Semitic comment during his September 3 sermon, which was broadcast both on Radio Maryja and its affiliated television station, Trwam, when he decried “synagogue-type behavior” among some of his followers.
Nevertheless, the current populist nationalist Polish government has reportedly given subsidies of approximately $7.5 million to organizations affiliated with Fr. Rydzyk and Radio Maryja during 2016, and the government Post Office announced a commemorative stamp for Radio Maryja’s 25th anniversary.