18 April 2011

Several hundred cases of racist and extreme-right violence and hate speech have been documented by the ‘Brown Book 2009-2010’, published by the anti-fascist ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association.

In March 2009, unidentified perpetrators tried to firebomb the former Piaskower Beit Midrash synagogue in Bialystok. In August 2009, four Roma graves were desecrated by racists in the local cemetery in Szczecinek. In January 2010, a 27 year old assailant severely beat up a citizen of Ghana. The attacker shouted: ‘You are in Poland nigger, get out!’ and kicked him in the stomach. In July 2010, Bielawa fans booed and threw a banana at a black player of Czarni Zagan FC.

More than 400 entries describing similar incidents with a racist or xenophobic background have been published on the pages of the ‘Brown Book 2009-2010’. The publication documents the results of hate crime monitoring conducted by the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association with the support of the ‘Remembrance, Responsibility and Future’ Foundation (Stiftung ‘Erinnerung, Verantwortung und Zukunft’) in frames of the ‘Monitoring Hate Crimes in Poland’ project.

- ‘The Brown Book shows that racism and antisemitism remain serious problems we are facing’ – said Marcin Kornak, the author of the ‘Brown Book’ and editor-in-chief of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ (NIGDY WIECEJ) magazine.

The ‘Brown Book 2009-2010’ was publicly presented at a ceremony at Warsaw’s Jewish Theatre on 17 April. On that occasion, the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association received the Honorary Medal in Commemoration of the Warsaw Ghetto, awarded by the Association of Jewish Ex-Combatants and Victims of the Second World War. The Medal is awarded annually ‘to those who actively combat xenophobia, nationalism and antisemitism’. In 2007, the Medal was awarded to Dr Rafal Pankowski, a co-founder of the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association, who coordinates its East Europe Monitoring Centre.

The ‘NEVER AGAIN’ Association is an anti-racist educational and monitoring organization established in Poland in 1996. It publishes the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ (NIGDY WIECEJ) magazine and runs the awareness-raising campaigns ‘Music Against Racism’ and ‘Let’s Kick Racism Out of the Stadiums’. Since 2009, ‘NEVER AGAIN’ has set up the East Europe Monitoring Centre documenting racism and xenophobia across the region in cooperation with the Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) network.

A translation of the Brown Book 2010 incidents in English is available on the ‘NEVER AGAIN’ website: http://ksiega.nigdywiecej.org/BROWN_BOOK_2010.pdf