Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Poland: Ambassador to US criticized for saying he's harassed by antisemites

Via Radio Poland (h/t Honestly Concerned):
Ryszard Schnepf, the Polish ambassador to Washington, has said press reports that his father had been a communist agent have triggered an anti-Semitic hate speech campaign against him.

But Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski criticised Schnepf’s comments, saying the ambassador was “exaggerating”. Waszczykowski added: “There is no anti-Semitic campaign [in Poland], although there are people who are haters."

Following an article she wrote for the conservative Gazeta Polska newspaper, Dorota Kania told Polish Radio she had discovered that Schnepf’s father, Maksymilian Sznepf, moonlighted as a Communist agent for the Kremlin in the 1950s, at the height of the McCarthy era in the US, while officially working as an attaché at the Polish embassy in Washington.

Responding to the article and to comments by internet users about his family’s Jewish origins, Ryszard Schnepf said on Facebook that in a case “reminiscent of the worst moments in pre-war and post-war Polish history, the point is to dismiss me from the post of ambassador to the United States.”

He claimed his critics had “reached for a Nazi tradition of blackening the name of [one’s] family”.

Foreign Minister Waszczykowski said that at the beginning of the year, Schnepf had been notified that his term as ambassador to the US would end this summer.

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