As reported by the Greenpointers, an unidentified person was distributing the following flyers under the people’s doorsteps in Greenpoint:
We want to say loud and clear: the symbol of Polish KOTWICA, displayed in the flyer, is a symbol of the fight AGAINST Nazis and fascism.
“During Word War II – 1939-1945, the “Kotwica” was the basic graphic symbol of the Polish Underground State used on Polish territories occupied by Germany. This sign was primarily associated with the unbending nature of the Polish nation and its unwavering fight with the German occupant. The sign represented hope and comforted the hearts of Poles. The actions carried out by the Polish Home Army during WWII were signed with this sign,” said dr. Iwona Korga, historian, the president and executive director of the Jozef Pilsudski Institute of America, located in Greenpoint.
With regards to the recent wave of hate crimes in the borough, and the influx of the swastika symbol being distributed in different shapes and forms around the neighborhood of Greenpoint, the flyer calls for action against Nazis. The author of the flyer puts the symbol of Polish KOTWICA next the symbols of fascist groups, making it falsely look as equal to the swastika – this is not the truth.
“It is utterly unacceptable for anyone to include the „Poland Fighting” anchor sign in any list of fascist or Nazi symbols, notwithstanding any disclaimers used to explain such a decision,” said Consul General of Poland in New York, Maciej Golubiewski. “That sign – widely used by the Polish underground state and the Polish civilian population during WW2 as a symbol of resistance against Nazi, fascist and later communist totalitarian occupiers – by its original meaning is and remains the sign of freedom – not totalitarian oppression. Today, it continues to be used, often worn as a pin lapel, by many Poles as a visible testimony to the values embodied by those who fought for free and democratic Poland and as a sign of attachment to these fundamentally anti-totalitarian values. Attributing any fascist connotations to its use is manipulative, disingenuous and seems to serve as an underhanded effort to discredit this beautiful symbol that continues to retain important contemporary significance to millions of Poles,” added Consul Golubiewski.
Not only is the symbol of Kotwica of great significance to the Polish citizens, but also, it is their patriotic right to display it proudly. “In 2014, “Kotwica” the Polish Sign of Honor and Respect has become the right and duty of every citizen of the Republic of Poland with a special law was passed by the Polish parliament,” said dr. Korga. “No one should display “Kotwica” the Polish Fighting Sign with any fascist signs, such an action is inconsistent with historical truth,” she added.
The false message of the flyer was loudly criticized by many Polish-Americans living in New York.
Stefan Komar, Polish-American whose father was a member of the Polish non-Communist underground, said: “I would view this leaflet in the context of Russian misinformation warfare that everyone is talking about in regards to the Presidential election meddling, and the deliberate exacerbating of divisions in America society through Social Media. It should be pointed out that this campaign has been waged against Poland for decades with little to no awareness of this in the United States. For some time, Poland has been a target of vicious and outrageous Communist propaganda because it is the nation that always had the most potential to resist, defy and undermine Soviet/Russian/Communist domination in Eastern Europe. The Polish symbol in this leaflet was never stolen by anyone, as claimed in the leaflet, and certainly not by Fascists. It was, and still is, the symbol of Polish resistance to both totalitarianisms of Nazi Germany and Soviet Communism. It is still a symbol that I and many Poles are, and have every right to be, extremely proud of. I would gladly debate anyone in a public forum who feels otherwise, that this symbol has nothing to do with fascism. I suspect, however, that those pushing this misinformation, are not inclined to promote free speech, engage in the the free exchange of ideas, or otherwise support democratic norms. Unfortunately, there is reason to believe this includes some journalists and Editors, past and current, in our extremely tendentious and polarized media, which should be very concerning to the average American. I would venture to wonder if the attempt to smear this symbol of Polish Patriotism and bravery, does not have something to do with the imminent placement of permanent American troops in Poland, which, of course, is vehemently opposed by Russia.”
The matter was also addressed by Victoria Cambranes, Polish-American, the life-long resident of Greenpoint: “The Kotwica is a symbol of the Resistance to Nazi occupation during WWII and the fight for Polish freedom. We will not allow groups that seek to manipulate this history to claim it as their own. Only understanding and education can bring us together, and help us to distinguish those who are active members in the rich tapestry of Greenpoint’s community, and those who seek to undermine it with misinformation and fear.”
Radio RAMPA notified New York Police Department about the misinformation spread by the flyer with regards to the symbol of Polish Kotwica, in order to make sure that those residents of Greenpoint who display such symbol, will not be mistaken with the fascists groups.
“Notwithstanding the likely positive intentions of those distributing the list, the version that includes the „Poland Fighting” anchor sign propagates misinformation. The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland asks all concerned not to distribute it in its current form on any public media platforms,” added Consul General of Poland Maciej Golubiewski.
Radio RAMPA also spoke to the Greenpointers, and they assured us, they will do a story on the Polish KOTWICA symbol and make sure their readers understand that the flyer is misinforming the public in the matter.
Here is the video coverage of the annual commemoration of the Anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It provides useful information on Polish history, symbol of Kotwica, Warsaw Uprising and Polish Resistance Movement: