Newspaper front page causes widespread outrage after describing ‘how to spot a Jew’

Newspaper front page causes widespread outrage after describing ‘how to spot a Jew’

A Polish newspaper has sparked widespread disgust and outrage after running a front-page article that taught readers "how to spot a Jew".

Weekly national paper, Tylko Poska (translated to Only Poland), published a list of alleged markers that included "names, anthropological features, expressions, appearances, character traits, methods of operation", as well as "disinformation activities".

The front page of the publication also included a headline that read "How to defeat them? This cannot go on!", and reportedly voiced anger at alleged anti-Polish guest speakers at a conference covering Holocaust studies in Paris last month.

Furthermore, it included a photo of Jan Gross, a Polish-Jewish Princeton University scholar of Polish Complicity in the Holocaust who is also a regular target of nationalist attacks.

JTA reported that the newspaper was first seen at the lower house of the Polish parliament, the Sejm, on Wednesday, as part of the weekly package of publications sent to lawmakers.

After it was spotted, Polish opposition politician Michal Kaminski called for prosecutors to investigate on the basis of inciting hatred based on race or religion, and a lawmaker from the ruling right-wing Law and Justice party argued for the newspaper to be banned altogether.

According to reports, director of the Sejm Information Center Andrzej Grzegrzolka at first claimed that his office could not take action because the paper was being sold from kiosks inside the Sejm, which was responsible for the choice of publications in stock.

Andrzej Duda in Warsaw, Poland on 16 February 2019 (Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images) Credit: Getty

Grzegrzolka suggested that a court could look into the front page to decide whether the paper should be suspended under Polish law. However, he later changed his mind and announced that his office would request that Tylko Poska be removed from the set of periodicals delivered to the parliament.

Current President of Poland Andrzej Duda also released a statement on Thursday, claiming the paper deserved "condemnation".

"Situations such as this publication are absolutely marginal in Poland," he said. "Nonetheless each and every one of them deserves condemnation, including the one in question."

Soon after news of the incident broke, dozens of people took to social media to slam the front page, with some comparing the article to Nazi propaganda from the early 1930s.

"Welcome to 1933. Have we learned nothing?" wrote someone going by the username of @BuFenway. Another with the username @jimmylreader added: "It not only can happen again - it is happening. Around the world and across the U.S."

In addition, @PollyWilkins highlighted events in the week that had just passed, claiming "We have a white supremacy problem".

"So in one week we’ve had white supremacists drive a Dutch-Moroccan family from their home, a Polish newspaper publishing about how to spot a Jew and a white supremacist terrorist attack killing 40 Muslims in New Zealand," she wrote on Twitter. "We have a white supremacy problem."

According to JTA, Tylko Poska is published by Leszek Bubl, a fringe nationalist political candidate who has "sung anti-Semitic songs about 'rabid' rabbis" in the past.