At the initiative of Polish League Against Defamation, on 24 May 2017, Maciej Świrski filed a lawsuit with the Regional Court in Warsaw against the Spanish El Pais daily. The suit concerns violation of personal rights and demands that the defendant apologise on elpais.com website.
In March 2017, El Pais, the largest Spanish daily, published an online article entitled “Polonia reescribe su historia de la Il Guerra Mundial”, which suggested that Poles are responsible not only for the Holocaust but also for “anti-Jewish pogroms” and “Jew hunts”. The article quotes, i.a., Jan Grabowski and Jan Tomasz Gross.
The text made specific claims, and we asked the publisher to correct these. The website administrator has not responded to our letter yet.
Undoubtedly, this matter is without precedent. So far, such lawsuits in Poland have concerned “Polish concentration camps”, but the text published by El Pais takes it a step further – it suggests active participation of Poles in the murdering of Jews during World War II. Such claims misinform people who do not know the history of Poland very well, or at all.
The lawsuit demands an apology and correction of the information published in the article. However, depending on the newspaper’s response, our lawyers will possibly consider taking action for compensation. If they decide to do so, we will have to pay a court fee corresponding to 5% of the demanded compensation. The lawsuit will be heard in Poland.
Polish League Against Defamation provides legal support to Maciej Świrski, who brought the case against elpais.com. Maciej Świrski is the founder of the League and used to be its President for a few years.
The case is handled by lawyers Monika Brzozowska-Pasieka and Jerzy Pasieka from the Pasieka, Derlikowski, Brzozowska and Partners law firm from Kraków.