The Red Army monuments should be respected, like all reminders of the hard chapter of European history, Sejm parliamentary member from the Polish People’s Party and former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Marek Sawicki said in a conversation with TASS. Sawicki was one of the MPs who voted against introduction of norms that may lead to removal of Red Army memorials to the country’s legislation.
On October 21, the revised law on decommunization that stipulates removal of monuments and memorials that pay “a tribute to the memory of people, organizations, events or dates that symbolize communism or any other totalitarian regime” will come into effect. The law assigns Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance as the main consulting body that may guide local authorities. Its experts believe about 230 Red Army monuments across the country are propagating communism.
“This is about respectful attitude towards Europe’s complicated history. We moved as nations through neighbor countries. There are certain reminders of it left, and we’ve got common obligations to respect them,” Sawicki noted.
“This pertains to international obligations and agreements,” the MP said.
“No one forbids discussions of history, of the role the Red Army played in the liberation and Polish-Soviet relations after World War II. Still, there is no need to destroy material values,” he pointed out.
Asked on possible influence of the impending removal of the Red Army memorials over Russian-Polish relations, Sawicki said that “it is impossible to make Russian-Polish relations worse than they already are.”
“A certain point has been reached, and its next stage can only be war,” he stated.
In July, Poland’s authorities approved amendments to the law on decommunization, which says that monuments and other similar objects “cannot serve as a tribute to the memory of people, organizations, events or dates that symbolize communism or any other totalitarian regime.” The specified memorials do not include monuments located at cemeteries or other burials, objects that are not open to the general public or are demonstrated for scientific purposes or as works of art, along with monuments listed as pieces of architecture. Poland’s authorities suggest toppling monuments outside these categories within 12 months after the amendments come into effect this October.