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tv   Doc Film - Poland at the Crossroads  Deutsche Welle  August 29, 2018 9:15pm-10:00pm CEST

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some time our chief political correspondent linda crane on the story for us tonight here in berlin thank you melissa. you're up to date with g.w. news i'll be back at the top of the hour with more world news followed by the day i hope to see you the. first day at school. the first economist. doris grand moment arrives in the join your regular chain on her journey back to freedom movement in our interactive documentary tour of an orangutan returns home to mom t w dot com a ring of tanks for.
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the polish capital warsaw last november more than fifty thousand people took part in a march organized by right wing nationalist groups their battle cry get poland out of the e.u. . their opponent liberal western europe it's part of the effort to mobilize white catholics to fight for their country against the european union. kaczynski the leader of the ruling law and justice party was a featured speaker. we will have the poll and we want no one will impose their will on us ever again our victory is mere chance by the british call. what is going on in poland right now i'm returning to
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a country that i thought i knew well but now it seems that i no longer do i worked in. the reporter in warsaw for four years when i left in two thousand and four poland was celebrating its accession to the e.u. the popular vote in favor was overwhelming. russia to help to organize polish support for the e.u. . at that time there was a real sense of optimism throughout the country. last winter i returned to poland for the first time since then and found that things have changed i've received death threats i was called a traitor a form of brussels and a nazi true i was accused of making anti polish propaganda films i was even compared to lenny riefenstahl. and all because i did a report on a woman who had fought passionately for poland to join the e.u.
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russia to today is a member of the european parliament. she's one of the few polish politicians who openly criticize their government. she believes that we fought for decades to establish democracy in poland and now they want to destroy it if this continues poland will become a dictatorship this is the building of the market see into the system enough my reports caused a sensation in polish media outlets that are close to the government. this particular clip was shown again and again on the main news programs as an example of anti polish propaganda. of them this is a scandal it's outrageous that a polish m.e.p. would make such a contribution to a four and propaganda campaign. a member of the ruling party called tune a nazi collaborator later she received death threats in the city of kut she was
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hanged in f. . that's why i decided to return. i want to understand how poland could have gone from being a country that i once perceived as liberal and open to a place where critics of the government are now attacked as traitors. my first stop is war song to me to the tune again. how is she dealing with the pressure the european parliament considered the threats against her so serious that they posted security guards outside her office too doesn't want things like that to happen in poland.
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is she worried about her personal security. because bad of those women. you can't live your life in fear. i'm not going to be intimidated by the fact that i've been threatened in my own country. you have to live a normal life this is my country. i don't want to have to walk around with bodyguards but the god of the money. to leave the political situation in poland has become worse not least because the courts are now largely controlled by the ruling party. and i actually say that if the courts are no longer independent it will be a lot easier to suppress the opposition or rigged election results. that can have a negative effect on the economy. all this amounts to the destruction of post communist poland. but poland's economy is
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doing pretty well right now. few countries have benefited more from membership. still the government seems to be risking an open conflict with the european union. in december the government announced a series of controversial judicial reforms in general they give politicians greater powers over the judiciary. the dismantling of the rule of law has begun. yet is one of more than one hundred thirty court presidents who have been demoted by the justice minister since last autumn. is a respected district court judge she has repeatedly pointed out that the government's proposed reforms are unconstitutional. and she says that's why she was fired. the government's decision caught her completely by surprise. one
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day an official letter arrived and that was that she was no longer head of the court there i think because his advice let me show you. the film of fact that here's the letter. pople the new kid i found on thursday afternoon when i got back to the office the stella actually document. there is the call made signed by the attorney general effective immediately. would you put them lies. they gave no reason not one nothing to chance ago it was a saddening that they did see no reason. i did not and this sort of thing is express lee allowed by the new law it has nothing to do with reforms. it's just moving people around in such a way as to give the government direct control over the courts for the words of the clown that they put these are families they're bringing in people who do just what they're told. there is no other way to explain it.
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he's the better the sick. but more obvious is fighting the demotion she's filed suit against the justice ministry and by doing that she's put her job at risk. that she looks to me to just them. i could be fired at any time. and i believe that every judge has a duty to protest what's going on. because if we don't people in this country will no longer feel secure national with a delicate best of national past. the european union said that the government's plans are an assault on the rule of law and the principles of democracy. in december the european commission called on poland to roll back the reforms at once. a common pattern of all these alleged if changes is that the executive or legislative powers are not set up in such
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a way that the ruling majority can systematically politically interfere with the composition the powers that ministration and the functioning of these authorities. could suspend some of poland's rights within the organization. the government did not seem terribly. asked by this threat. because that any sanctions against us would have to be adopted unanimously and we already know that hungary will not vote against us of anger that the some thirty. the government offered some small concessions but the e.u. said they didn't go far enough poland's relations with the european union are now at an all time low how did we get to this point. at a demonstration in warsaw. person for the first time he is the country's de
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facto leader and as such he is pushing through his political program. political power derives from the fact that he is chairman of the governing law and justice party last year he organized monthly rallies to honor his twin brother who was killed in a plane crash in twenty ten. kaczynski used these events to promote his political agenda an agenda that has become increasingly radical. that big giving any outsiders will not be able to impose their will on us ever again. and if that means that we become isolated within europe so be it but. richard i repeat victory is near. we must keep moving forward with patience and determination. just grammar they accuse the government of lying
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some demonstrators carrying white roses symbols of peaceful resistance kaczynski supporters respond by singing poland's national anthem. the police are here to protect them. officers also arrested a number of the opposition protesters even though their demonstration has been approved by the authorities and through. his element here surrounded by supporters reports. disagree with.
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the party. they're trying to carry out a cultural revolution against the political establishment. and. behavior is completely irrational. where does this insanity come from. actually he's a very intelligent person. but there's no law that says
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a lunatic has to be stupid. you can be intelligent and paranoid at the same time. but only. now he's infecting the polish people with his madness for the show and more and more of them are starting to believe this nonsense just photos and how will it end with chaos and anarchy and i am deeply concerned about that. many of kaczynski supporters now favor an even more radical approach. on polish independence day nov eleventh nationalist groups and the far right away in our organizations held a rally in warsaw. he did not attend but later on t.v. the interior minister said that the participants were true patriots and described the event as a wonderful site. what
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sort of movement is this what motivates people to join it to find out more i set off for eastern poland to the village of one. near the border with bella bruce. it's march fourth. the government has asked poles to honor members of the anti communist resistance movements that was created during the final months of world war two. the rebellion was soon put down by soviet and polish troops the resistance groups have been accused of war crimes against non catholic and non polish minority groups but many view them as patriots. well i am i here today. it's my duty over here it's important for poles to remember
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and celebrate these men. but it is because they were heroes who defended polish independence here in the east when you push really isn't moving toward a zero zero zero zero zero zero zero but the march is also a provocation. many carry pictures of removal dries a resistance fighter who's been accused of committing war crimes in one thousand nine hundred five and forty six the descendants of some of the victims still live in the village and can't believe what they're seeing or enough of this shouldn't be happening until the. the. two blocks away the relatives of the victims gather to remember the dead they are orthodox christians who have lived in this region for generations versions of them for these people removal drys is anything but
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a hero he brought only violence and death to their community look for shifts overengineer multiple didn't like the authorities should ban these marches. but the government supports these people if that's nationalism. the only real poles of a catholics our faith doesn't matter is no no you've got a couple of yes. some at the other rallies shout death to the enemies of the fatherland those who have enemies they need heroes too. they don't care what the orthodox residents think. the a small group of counter-demonstrators has arrived from warsaw there rounded up by the police. start. out how difficult that is that. this poster says our fatherland is humanity. meanwhile the orthodox christians
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are holding a memorial service at their church. was. this was. shot here they remember the victims of the resistance fighters was a it. was. just they don't want any new heroes here they simply want to practice their faith in peace. or you know. this is the village of. about ten kilometers away. in january nine hundred forty six remodelled rise and his men set several buildings on fire here sixteen local residents were killed in the march in hind of khan has reawakened painful memories of those crimes. cloudy i was four years old at the time of the incident she's frightened by the recent nationalist demonstrations and
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fears a new round of violence against religious and national minorities will cut your going to be found at our readership i don't read your she or lost that new job there was a woman who was nine months pregnant leon like you know plenty and her body was burning we saw her later the talk of get up she gave us the she was moaning and moaning love she's here it was too late to save her yeah i think about that every day and again and again i see the flames. i'll see the flames until the day i die the problem there. well i mean. don't tell me that it was but afterward we lived peacefully with the catholics once again if we even held joint services that's how it should be fine she jaida that sure but we told him is of custom crowd we know that there are people everywhere who aren't very smart and the problem is that our
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government has turned those who murdered our families into heroes you think you know a lot of that's the problem starts right at the top of the los according to this problem the bullshit. since kaczynski party came to power a lot of people have joined far right groups like the o.n.r. which they believe that they have the governments backing to root out anti patriotic elements in society. a local cinema is showing a documentary about the resistance fighters but poland is paying a price for portraying those men as heroes should fear and unrest are on the rise everywhere. that you mention. that because we're still dealing with the consequences of world war two. for us the war continues as a party and you can see that in films like this that he does not like poland is being attacked on all sides. really by whom. but this new by
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everyone. the war isn't over. it's just that they were being attacked by brussels by russia but the larousse in ukraine everyone in the theater in. poland has indeed suffered devastating attacks at the hands of its neighbors most recently during world war two so it's easy for politicians to revive the country's siege mentality. but how does this benefit. and his party. you can see pictures of the anti communist resistance fighters on government buildings throughout warsaw kaczynski promotes the belief that poland is surrounded by enemies as part of his campaign to unite the masses. but why does he actually do it. to find out more we need the dust in his
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case a sociologist political scientist and university professor who knows kaczynski well . during the last election she supported him in the hope that a conservative resurgence would unite the country. but today she's alarmed by his policies. he's only interested in political power will do whatever it takes to defend what he perceives to be the national interest but that strategy can easily lead to the destruction of democracy yet there is many out hope for mr now come across. as an escapist believes that the turning point for kaczynski came in twenty ten when his twin brother left was killed in a plane crash. kitchen's he believes that his brother was assassinated even though there's no evidence to support that claim. but when that's pointed out to him for example by opposition m.p.'s he condemns it as treason. the boy to ship it i know that you're
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afraid. the truth do not let my brother's name pass your treacherous lips if you killed him you scoundrels. but. since the plane crash kaczynski sees enemies everywhere and that's reflected in his policies yet a small. matter that felt completely isolated his mother died a few years later he took refuge in a fantasy world. seeing and developed an almost oriental mindset with. everything that he believed that if you could awaken people's aggressive instincts they would reveal their true character the moment cheer. them up until that's a profoundly totalitarian way of thinking it takes on a momentum of its own and he can't stop it. it's like the days of authoritarian
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communism. yet this and it's not easy to escape that spiral the birth of a communist era ended peacefully in poland but only through negotiation between the opposition and the government was the regard you want is a stone says elizabeth. poland was the first country in the soviet bloc to make a peaceful transition to democracy. it all began here in one thousand nine hundred eighty at the entrance to the lenin shipyard in the danske. this was the political process that led to the fall of the berlin wall nine years later. in august one nine hundred eighty labor activist left the inside how to organize a strike at the shipyard and later took part in talks with the governments that led to the creation of an independent trade union the first in the soviet bloc. but kaczynski is a political party now plays down but when says roll he's dismissed as
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a pushover who worked out a deal with. i mean ists instead of declaring war on them. the government seems to be reading writing this chapter of poland's history. perhaps because kaczynski played only a small role. so the government now claims that the when so was an informer who betrayed shipyard workers to the secret police. today he's often heckled in public . but the fact is that the ones that changed the course of polish politics. still you won't find out when's his picture and contemporary polish history books or see him on state run t.v. . he keeps a small office here at the museum of the solidarity trade union in get done. i asked whether it bothers him that the current government has a race ten from the history books does he have
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a grudge against him. this is i'm still your. assumption yes but there's more to it than that. it involves something that's more important and that's kaczynski vision of europe were open he's always talking about polish national values. but i always favored finding common ground with germany and cooperating with the e.u. russia says that today's liberal europe is destroying poland things are moving in the wrong direction and of course i'm standing in the way of a concert you. know when some believes that poland is starting to look more and more like russia. should become a concept you put into government is restructuring the country along russian lines . russia finds enemies everywhere enemies are very important for president putin when people are afraid it's easier to keep them under control and that's just what they're doing here trying to find enemies which are miserable. and they betray
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people like me as new enemies traitors and troublemakers coming in short of those who disagree with them. kaczynski has been a disaster for our country change. but kaczynski is government now decides who the enemies and heroes are those who oppose the official interpretation of history could face serious consequences. in february the senate approved government proposed legislation that would make it illegal to blame poland for any crimes that were committed during the holocaust this includes referring to polish death camps that is nazi extermination camps located on occupy polish territory. both futile doubts he's thought this term has distorted our history for years. some say that we're
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just trying to win votes but we're doing this for all polos votes middleby dish with an awful lot of these cities the government is correct there were no polish concentration or extermination camps they were all run by nazi germany but there was anti semitism in poland at the time some poles betrayed jews to the germans and after the war there were anti jewish riots but now people won't be allowed to talk about this. young jarrin and historian and a senator of the ruling party has no problem with the new law. he says it will help restore poland's was. time reputation. i mean we've tried to protect that reputation through education and enlightenment but it hasn't worked. in western popular culture poland still has
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a negative image when it comes to our role in world war two. the giving the show. john understands why jewish communities around the world have criticized the law. they claim that it helps to trivialize anti semitism in poland today. at the same time the right wing only in our organization has increased its public profile. last april they marched through the downscale. they looked like german storm troopers from the one nine hundred thirty s. . jewish groups claiming that the only who are is openly tolerated by the polish government. i asked whether that's true. the little you. post is yes the government tolerates them as it does all organizations that are
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committed to poland historical heritage and that obey the law. after all poland is a democratic country but that doesn't mean that we accept everything. another by the anti semitic i'll just keep on you maria elena no they're not to be edgy at this point they operate within the framework of polish law i mean if she. but if the only in our fails to do that they could be banned would that ease the concerns of poland's jewish community. to find out more about that i'm travelling to the city of krakow. before the war was a major center of jewish culture. in one thousand nine hundred forty one the nazis forced thousands of jewish residents into a ghetto near the district of cousin mash over the next two years most of them were
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deported to labor or extermination camps. last march jewish groups in poland claimed that there had been a sharp increase recently in anti semitic attacks. i want to discuss the situation with local jews. one of them invites me to visit a cemetery in the mash. it's never easy for germans to talk about anti-semitism in poland it somehow seems as though we're trying to play down the significance of nazi war crimes but as a german i feel that i have a special responsibility to fight anti semitism where ever it occurs. félix to shinseki is particularly concerned about the new holocaust law. he says that some poles did commit anti-semitic crimes and shows me a gravestone that supports this claim there is that of the other people who are
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buried here were murdered by poles after the war there were pogroms at that time even here in krakow you have all just right now we're not allowed to talk about not . usable the right people with the job i think the law is absolutely ridiculous in europe is a political ploy. and it's very dangerous. and the best bits but it's aimed at intimidating people into not talking about these things as opposed to what it is america will stop with to if they just today i heard a journalist talking about this on the radio. and he said oh i must have said too much. vigilance. félix takes us to meet a jewish. community leader today oh yeah. she says she likes wants to show him an article in a pro-government newspaper. it's a report about one of the men who killed a local jews after the war. the article describes him as
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a true patriot one of the government's new heroes. of the both of those guys but that's not true things new. stuff on the holocaust law does exactly the same thing you. do if we're not allowed to talk about certain aspects of the holocaust then it should come as no surprise that we jews are worried and upset right now. the news. today is. one of the few krakow jews to have survived the holocaust he's now seventy nine he and his mother managed to escape from the ghetto and spent four years hiding in the woods bill you put us. to shame so many poles treated the jews very well and we consider them heroes. but many other poles not only betrayed us
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to the authorities but also took part in the killings. of war and we must continue to speak out clearly about this. just not of each. no one has accused. of being anti-semitic but he doesn't seem to pay a lot of attention to these problems including the rise of right wing nationalists . and idiotical into acts of two usual why does the government allow those marches. so that those people will vote for them she it's as simple as that the much it's using. near disappears and what's really dangerous is that some fascist groups have become active again actually action actively if they feel. just a version you fascist of scale. needs to shift of those
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groups should have been banned. if you don't crack down on such groups right away the situation will spin out of control. this issue ation is very dangerous for the jewish community in poland. hitler started out with just a few thousand people but later millions joined him. but the opposition movement is still active these people in warsaw are demonstrating against the government shift to the right despite the risk of arrest . if some of the steps as it should not be such as it is but it's incredible that so many people are here today as an egyptian enough time to muster etc. but the authorities continue to try to intimidate them. recently a leader was arrested and charged with organizing an opposition rally in her hometown the second phase of her trial will begin next week michel martin for the
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hit that have been just about it up it's always on my mind. but when i see things like this it gives me the courage i need to keep on going on. my sets us out of. work. this particular demonstration is far right groups say that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape. they call opponents of the abortion law murderers and nazis. the court ordered to pay a large fine some courts in poland are still independent but the ruling party is now working to bring them all under its control and for these demonstrators that's a major cause for concern. the next morning alina visits her attorney to discuss an appeal of her conviction that she got into trouble because some who took part in the rally wore stickers
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like this. a feminized version of a world war two polish resistance emblem it says fighting for poland. the court find a lina. two thousand swati which is about half the monthly average wage here. i'll tell you that's a lot of money for a minute. but they're just trying to scare people. to keep them from organizing demonstrations should bali. and providing is a stash each when the police were questioning me they kept saying that was your first and last demonstration and you've done ph so you're stuck at the most threats but it's not a gun to the most it's a misdemeanor one you've got to check out and there's nothing about it in the penal code. no yes doctor i'm pretty upset about that as you know i'm a single mother and that's a lot of money that's what it is but. not so what you feel about it yes it's up to
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me right we appeal and you have some german government. the appeal will be heard in three days but there will be no more demonstrations here any time soon. there's been an increase recently in the number of criminal cases involving petty offenses by government critics. many exits and i said in public that kaczynski is a liar because working he's going to use the government for the chargers are groundless that's why we keep filing appeals stuff at boeing and so why are you here when you dress or go he took us up to where the water declare come to power in germany is that it that it's there that's the way things are in this country is that the future was. used for the judge lets us film some of the proceedings we're now going to experience a bit of the absurdity that characterizes part of poland's legal system today. this
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is your kitchen. he's a member of the ruling party and a witness for the prosecution he claims that the defendant used a loudspeaker to interrupt a kocinski speech. but when the judge questioned your kitchen he could not provide a lot of details. before i ask the court's forgiveness i don't remember the exact specifics but there was definitely a disturbance that day. did they use a loudspeaker maybe but i'm not sure. so this happened on april the tenth of. march can't remember you can't remember. the judge questions your kitchen for about an hour but he couldn't remember much the judge then postponed sentencing for a week but one of the first said that the defendant will probably go free.
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this judge always equates people in these kinds of cases. he's a very brave man his ruling still follow the constitution as a business but in the future so that could change. because of this three days ago they were placed the president of the court here too so this judge may be out of a job soon. alina as appeal was rejected so the conviction stands and she now has a criminal record. the judge who made the ruling had been promoted to vice president of the district court the day before. they started almost what i'm go out with bob jones and that's our judicial reforms. the judges are no longer there to interpret and apply the law. they're there to obey the government's orders and if they do they'll be promoted is don't look it's not in your votes yeah. it's like
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being under the communist system and you know put it. back and that really made me feel strange like i'd been sent back decades in time it's sad. but unfortunately this is the present is that enough as you think. it is this has become the proposed to the new models we are being driven into the arms of russia and putin. that's what they're doing to me the courts won't interpret and apply the law will just do what a minister wants. what really scares me is that we're leaving the civilized european community and becoming part of the east again. in the shadow of the former palace of culture and science building i mean tune again. is it going too far to say that poland is behaving more and more like russia . out of the boy yes or no and that's what scares me the most the achievements
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that turn poland into such a wonderful country over the last several years are now being destroyed. and a country where democratic institutions have been destroyed will make an easy target for russia to give them up at this strike. against the yemen pilgrimage is a institute so i very much hope that the e.u. will monitor this situation very closely and stick to its principles which they pose is that latham's but what's really important is that they must not abandon all those poles who want to preserve our democratic values their mission amani with the markets in. russia too and firmly believes that if that happens. populist policies can be rolled back. but at the end of my journey i'm less optimistic about poland's future. the country's return to authoritarian rule has
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been in full swing for some time now. in the end however it is the polish people themselves who will decide will they continue to follow kaczynski and his nationalist agenda an agenda that has isolated poland and has turned us western europeans into enemies. or will they return as they did so enthusiastically in two thousand and four to the pursuit of democracy as part of liberal europe they could still change direction. but it seems to me that poland's devotion to freedom is starting to fade.
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as long as the managers do not go to day nothing would change you know the banks pay you money and so watch the language of a bank money. for speaking the truth global news that matters g.w. made for mines. the belly feel. the scars on some of. the pain still tangible. the suffering for god. for c.b.s. edge by. they have survived but do they also have a future. i really understand people who say they don't want to stay here.
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but i also admire people who want to stay here and who decided to create something . new beginning in peace time more the people making it possible what needs to happen if tolerance and reconciliation or just stand a chance. out of darkness cities after a war. starts september second on g.w. . this is the w. news live from berlin tonight coach walking love takes the blame for germany's
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disastrous world com performance despite fascial out it was almost our consoling me that i wanted to be affected find the still names even more when he could be much of a risk i should to realize that we needed to be less risky. so what does this mean .


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