February 2008

From Rafal Pankowski for Nigdy Wiecej and Antifa-Net in Warsaw

The latest issue of Nigdy Wiecej (Never Again) – Searchlight’s sister publication in Poland – has revealed how the Polish Ministry of Culture financed a fascist publication.

The publication Templum Novum is a pseudo-intellectual magazine, published by a shadowy ‘advertising agency’ under the name ‘Arte’ and registered in the provincial town of Biala Podlaska.

Nigdy Wiecej has uncovered the fact this is little more than a front for the so-called Narodowa Scena Rockowa (National Rock Scene –NSR), a political and business operation responsible for the production and distribution of fascist material like the CDs of leading nazi skinhead music acts, including the notorious nazi band Konkwista 88.

Apart from the CDs, the NSR bosses have published books such as the Polish edition of Joe Pierce’s Skrewdriver: The First Ten Years about the British band that laid the foundations of the international white power rock scene.

Templum Novum poses as a historical and political review. For example, in issue 4/2007 it presents a very thinly disguised version of fascist ideology including, among other things, many pages of antisemitic ranting by none other than the late Leon Degrelle, the infamous Waffen SS general, based on a speech eulogising Hitler in 1981. The magazine also carries sympathetic articles about other nazi icons like Julius Evola, the Italian fascist ideologue, and presents the ideas of the Polish nationalist neo-pagan writer Jan Stachniuk (the founder of the 1930s extremist group Zadruga).

The most shocking detail in that issue of Templum Novum is its small-print acknowledgment of sponsorship received from the Polish Ministry of Culture. The same information can be found in the next issue, which includes a lengthy interview with Alain De Benoist, the French New Right theorist.

It seems the decision to sponsor the fascist magazine was taken under the previous administration of Jaroslaw Kaczynski who included the extreme right in his government coalition. Nevertheless, the second issue of Templum Novum supported financially by the Ministry actually appeared some two months after the change of the government that took place as a result of the parliamentary election on 21 October 2007. The editors of Nigdy Wiecej have called on the Ministry to check its procedures to prevent such scandals in the future.

At the same time, there is talk of a possible Polish parliamentary inquiry on antisemitism. The British MP John Mann, assisted by Nigdy Wiecej, has been negotiating with his Polish counterparts to convince them to use the example of a similar inquiry in the UK. If the idea of a parliamentary inquiry becomes a reality, the issue of government sponsorship of Templum Novum will be an obvious and immediate topic for investigation.