Donald Tusk believes Germans are superior to Poles, says Polish foreign minister

The rhetoric in Warsaw has intensified between the two main parties ahead of Sunday’s general election

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: TVP Info
Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau speaks at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London, Wednesday, June 21, 2023. (Henry Nicholls/Pool Photo via AP)

Polish opposition leader Donald Tusk has been accused by Poland’s Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau of promoting German superiority over Poland as election week kicks off in the country.

Rau said he was dismayed at the opposition leader Donald Tusk praising German-influenced “order” without taking into account the partition and occupation of Poland by the Germans.

“A Polish politician should never say something like that. A Polish politician should serve Poland and Polish voters, to whom he is accountable,” he added.

The Polish foreign minister referred to Tusk’s statement during one of the opposition’s election rallies in western Poland, where the left-liberal opposition leader said that “perhaps in today’s Polish politics, basic order is needed” and mentioned “certain qualities that are so valued in Pomerania and Greater Poland because we were more influenced by Western culture.”

The Pomerania and Greater Poland regions were occupied by the Germans multiple times throughout history.

According to Rau, “Tusk is convinced that Poles and Germans aren’t equals” and believes that what was enforced during the partition and occupation “demonstrates the moral, intellectual and cultural German superiority.” This is why it was understandable, argues Rau, that Tusk is “an instrument of German policy in Poland.”

Rau added that “Tusk doesn’t know what his sponsors and superiors in Germany will expect of this, but he knows he will meet their wishes and expectations.”

He also told public television that Kyiv’s pivot toward Germany was Ukraine mixing up “tactics with strategy” and that it has been inspired and initiated in Berlin rather than Kyiv. He felt that the danger for Kyiv was that without an alliance with Warsaw, Ukraine would merely be a client of Germany and the EU.

He said he felt that Germany’s stance on the matter was understandable since Berlin wanted to stop Europe’s center of gravity from moving eastward. However, he saw no sense in Ukraine going along with Germany’s wishes. 

Rau dismissed the argument being put forward by former liberal opposition leader Grzegorz Schetyna that a defeat for the opposition in the upcoming general elections would be evidence of the election having been unfair and invalid. He reminded viewers that Schetyna was the man who framed the idea of total opposition, which would fight on the streets and use foreign influence to bring down the ruling conservatives. 

In an interview with commercial radio last week, Schetyna suggested that it was likely that international institutions such as the Council of Europe, the OSCE, and the European Commission may deem the elections to have been unfair and therefore invalid should the ruling conservative party win.

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