With new, less repressive tactics, countries like Serbia, Poland and Hungary are deploying highly effective tools to skew public opinion.
Serbia no longer jails or kills critical journalists, as happened under the rule of Slobodan Milosevic in the 1990s. It now seeks to destroy their credibility and ensure few people see their reports.
Krasnik voted to be “free of L.G.B.T.” two years ago to satisfy conservative voters. Now, the mayor regrets the move, which has led to censure from other European countries and put funding at risk.
But that changed early last year when Bartosz Staszewski, an L.G.B.T. activist from Warsaw began visiting towns that had vowed to banish “L.G.B.T. ideology.” Mr. Staszewski, a documentary filmmaker, took with him an official-looking yellow sign on which was written in four languages: “L.G.B.T.-FREE ZONE.” He put the fake sign next to each town’s real sign, taking photographs that he posted on social media.
Scholars face defamation suits, and potential criminal charges, in the Polish government’s effort to exonerate the nation of any role in the murders of three million Jews during the Nazi occupation.
via The New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-historians-under-attack-for-exploring-polands-role-in-the-holocaust
The other part of that story is that half of the European Jews murdered in the Holocaust were killed in what had been Poland before the war; a Jew in Poland had a 1.5-per-cent chance of survival. Not all the killing was carried out, or even compelled, by the German occupiers. Gross’s book “Neighbors” documents the murder of sixteen hundred Jews by their Polish neighbors: the killing of one half of a village by the other.
Two researchers are on trial for writing that a Polish mayor was complicit in a massacre. Critics say the government is trying to emphasize Polish suffering in World War II and downplay complicity in Nazi crimes.
Polish heroism, however, coexisted with sometimes monstrous acts of violence, a fact that the Law and Justice Party and nationalist outfits have struggled to obscure. In one episode in July 1941, villagers in Jedwabne, northeast of Warsaw, locked more than 300 Jews, neighbors with whom they had previously lived peacefully, in a barn and set it on fire, killing all of them.