Lustration according to Michnik

The other Poland | Comment is free | “Lustration, according to early estimates, is expected to affect 700,000 people and take 17 years to complete. A list of names found in the reports of the security services is to be prepared and made public. Moreover, it is now the duty of every one of the 700,000 people subjected to lustration to declare that he or she did not collaborate with the security services. Those who refuse or file a false declaration are to be fired and banned from working in their profession for 10 years.”

Timothy Garton Ash: Poland has made a humiliating farce out of dealing with its red ghosts | Comment is free | The Guardian: “Adam Michnik, the influential Solidarity activist and political writer – argued for doing it ‘the Spanish way’. Like Spain after Franco, Poland after Jaruzelski should let bygones be bygones.

This approach can now be seen to have failed. In fact, about the only place I know where it has succeeded is Spain – and even there, only at a price. In every other country where the nasty past was not confronted, it is still plaguing current politics. Having conducted a friendly argument about this with Adam Michnik for many years, I was amazed to open my copy of his paper, Gazeta Wyborcza, the other day and find him arguing that the only thing now, given the Polish mess, is to throw open all the secret police files. From one extreme to the other! But to do this, while protecting basic privacy rights, requires a scrupulously neutral, well-funded, professional archive administration, with well-trained personnel committed to ensuring that, for example, purely personal details drawn from secret police snooping on sex lives and medical histories are carefully blacked out on the photocopies of the records that are opened. Such an administration is precisely what Poland does not have in its highly politicised, chronically leaking Institute of National Memory”

patelnia Krupińskiego


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