Statement by Communist Party of Poland (KPP) denouncing the Decommunisation Act
ICP, 13 September 2017
Communist Party of Poland (KPP) released a statement denouncing the actions of the Polish Government representing decommunisation policies. KPP pointed out the exhilaration regarding the "liquidations of monuments commemorating heroes of struggle against fascism".
On April 1st 2016, a de-communization law, fully titled “On the prohibition of propagation of communism or any other totalitarian system through the names of all public buildings, structures and facilities" was adopted by the Polish parliament. The bill bans public display of names commemorating communism, including “people, organizations, events or dates symbolizing the repressive, authoritarian and non-sovereign regime of 1944-1989 in Poland” and criminalizes any propaganda in their favor.
The full statement of KPP, denouncing the actions of Polish government in line with the Decommunisation Act is as follows:
Statement of the Communist Party of Poland
AGAINST DESTRUCTION OF THE HISTORICAL MEMORY
We condemn the changes of street names around Poland driven by the government, and the increasing number of devastations and liquidations of monuments commemorating heroes of struggle against fascism. Recent example is the dismantling of the Mausoleum of the Red Army in Trzcianka. Changing names of the streets and attacks on monuments of Soviet and Polish soldiers, communist partisans and militants of the workers’ movement are a result of the historical policy imposed by the state authorities. It is being implemented by the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) which is questioning even liberation of Poland in 1944–1945.
We oppose the ‘Decommunisation Act’ that imposes changes of the street names and other public objects and liquidation of monuments and memorials regarded as promoting communism. In many places, during public consultations, inhabitants nearly unanimously voiced against changing toponyms of the streets. Due to this resistance many local authorities resigned from conducting decommunisation.
The ‘Decommunisation Act’ and the way it’s being implemented show that opinion of the society is meaningless for the authorities. In frames of this act, the voivodes – local representatives of the central government – gain power to impose new toponyms where local authorities failed to change them. It is an illegal interference in competence of the local authorities, so the appeals against these decisions should be addressed to administrative courts. What’s more, the costs and consequences of these changes will be covered by inhabitants, even those who opposed them.
The main object of the attack are the patrons who participated in the struggle against fascism, they constitute 2/3 of the list of patrons to be changed, composed by the IPN. Historical policy conducted by the authorities leads to replacing these patrons with anticommunists promoted by the IPN. Equating communism with fascism is an element of this policy, and this indirectly leads to whitewashing the later. It also promotes nationalism. The aim of this policy is not only to shape the vision of the history, but also aggressive anticommunist positions, mostly among the youth.
In this situation, the resistance against falsifying of the history is needed. The most efficient way to oppose the ‘Decommunisation Act’ is a broad social resistance. In many cities, there are campaigns to preserve names of the streets and monuments. Communist Party of Poland expresses its support for these activities of the local groups and calls upon all its members and sympathisers to participate in this resistance.