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tv   Doc Film - Poland at the Crossroads  Deutsche Welle  August 31, 2018 7:15am-8:00am CEST

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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. jaroslav 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 written by a british god. 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 as a 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 of four of brussels and a nazi trial. she was did 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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rosato today to me is a member of the european parliament. she's one of the few polish politicians who openly criticize their government. michelle obama 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 body of the guts in the system as 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 the demagoguery of the mother in scope of this is a scandal it's outrageous that a polish m.e.p. would make such a contribution to a foreign cropper ganda campaign. a member of the ruling party called toon a nazi collaborator later she was the death threats in the city of kut to the she
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was hanged in effigy. 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 torture too and again. how is she dealing with the pressure the european parliament considered the threats against her so serious that they posted security guard. it's 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 both of those women. you can't live your life in fear and. i'm not going to be intimidated by the fact that i've been threatened in my own country. and also if you have to live a normal life this is my country. i don't want to have to walk around with bodyguards sounds 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. if the courts are no longer independent it will be a lot easier to suppress the opposition or regular action results. that can have a negative effect on the economy. all this amounts to the destruction of post communist poland. the poems 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 it 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 arthur booker his advice let me show you. the film of fact that here's the letter. pople the new kid i found it 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 as a couple they gave no reason not one nothing of the chance to go it was a saddening that they did see no reason. i did not and this sort of thing is expressly 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 and whether the claim that they put these are valid they're bringing in people who do just what they're told. there's no other way to explain it.
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has the bad effects occur. but more 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 seemed to just them to thinking shadowman 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 delegate best pitching 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 rollback the reforms at once. called the 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 the georgie can systematically politically interfere with the composition the powers the administration and the functioning of these authorities . could suspend some of poland's rights within the organization. the government did not seem terribly. by this threat. any sanctions against us would have to be adopted unanimously and we already know that hungary will not vote against us. the government offered some small concessions but 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. person for the first time. is the country's de
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facto leader. he's 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. here. that big diminutive 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. region i repeat victory is near. we must keep moving forward with patience and determination about just for.
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good poland is deeply divided members of political opposition groups are here to protest they accuse the government of lying some demonstrators carrying white roses symbols of peaceful resistance. kaczynski supporters respond by singing poland's national and. 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 and through and through. his element here surrounded by supporters reports say that he does not tolerate any criticism of his policies. have been dismissed.
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but. his political party. the party has become deeply and. they're trying to carry out a cultural revolution against the political establishment. and. the rest of your. behavior is completely irrational. where does this insanity come from.
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actually he's a very intelligent person. follow the procedures but there's no law that says a lunatic has to be stupid it's a little. you can be intelligent and paranoid at the same time of the gun but only closer but you can get those up in missouri and now he's infecting the polish people with this madness. and more and more of them are starting to believe this nonsense yet just the 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. unpolished independence day november eleventh nationalist groups and the far right only in our organizations held a rally in warsaw kitchens he did not attend but later on t.v. the interior minister said that the participants were true patriots and described
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the event as a wonderful site. what 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 belarus. 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. boy am i here today. it's my duty it's important for poles to remember and
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celebrate these men through. people are. what it is because they were heroes who defended polish independence here in the east when you push with the isn't moving elysium the the but the march is also a provocation. many carry pictures of removal of rise 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 one of 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 it says for some 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 let's look for shifts over and you motivated by the authorities should ban these marches. but the government supports these people that's nationalism. the only real polls are catholics our face doesn't matter you know it was not in any of the part of a couple yet rather let. their son at the other rallies shout death to the enemies of the fatherland those who have enemies need heroes too . they don't care what the orthodox residents think. the a small group of counter-demonstrators has arrived from warsaw their rounded up by the police. that you have to fill 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. the. was for us. 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. and 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 and has reawakened painful memories of those crimes. claudia was four years old at the time of the incident she's frightened by the recent nationalist demonstrations and fears
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a new round of violence against religious and national minorities will cut your going to be found at the readership i don't read or she we all lost that new job there was a woman who was nine months pregnant leon like you know plenty and her body was burning but we saw her later the talk of get up she gave us the she was moaning and moaning love she's gorgeous 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 means you mom don't go in nashville recently but afterward we lived peacefully with the catholics once again we even held joint services that's how it should be obvious you jaida that little room in his of custom crowd we know that there are people everywhere who aren't very smart and the problem is that our government has turned those who murdered our families into
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heroes you think that's the problem starts right at the top of the los according to his problem the bullshit. since kaczynski is party came to power a lot of people have joined a far right groups like the o. n. r. . they believe that they have the government's 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 fear and unrest are on the rise everywhere. the dimensions. that because we're still dealing with the consequences of world war two. for us the war continues as if i mean you can see that in films like this poland is being attacked on all sides that's really by who. first this news that's why every one of the war isn't over.
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or you were being attacked by brussels by russia but the larousse in ukraine everyone in the united. 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 kaczynski and his party. you can see pictures of the anti communist resistance fighters on government buildings throughout warsong 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 to get the dust on his case
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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 he'll 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 room yahoo flintstone of them across the us and his case 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 drills. 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. fixing and developed an almost oriental mindset that. everything that he believed that if you could awaken people's aggressive instincts because they would reveal their true character the moment. 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. represented it's not easy to escape that spiral. for probably a communist era ended peacefully in poland but only through negotiation between the opposition and the government was the regard you want is there stone says he knows it was. 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 get done. this was the political process that led to the fall of the berlin wall nine years later. in august one nine hundred eighty labor activists left the inside how to organize a strike at the shipyard and later took part in talks with the government that led to the creation of an independent trade union the first in the soviet bloc. but kaczynski is political party now plays down but when says roll he's dismissed
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as a pushover who worked out a deal with the. 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 inside was an informer who betrayed shipyard workers to the secret police. today he's often heckled in public. but the fact is that the winds have changed the course of polish politics. still you won't find his picture in 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 sc. you know i ask whether it bothers him that the current government has a race ten from the history books. he had
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a grudge against him. this is i'm still you have. some for us 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. one 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. when some believes that poland is starting to look more and more like russia. should become a concert into the 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 portray
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people like me as new enemies. traitors and trouble makers coming in short 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 poles votes of middleby dish much of 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 sharon and historian and a senator of the ruling party has no problem with the new law. he says it will help restore poland's wartime 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. all role in world war two. giving the show. jon 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 stormtroopers from the one nine hundred thirty s. . jewish groups claim that the o. and r. is openly tolerated by the polish government. i asked sharon whether that's true. the little you. post is yes the government tolerates them as it does all organizations that are committed to poland's historical heritage and that obey the
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law. after all poland is a democratic country but that doesn't mean that we accept everything. another no by the anti semitic people on my own the a no they're not a jury at this point they operate within the framework of polish law i mean if she . would 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 causing mash. over the next two years most of them were deported to labor or extermination camps. last march jewish groups in
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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 cuz 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 taste of that of the other people who are
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buried here were murdered by poles after the war there were programmes at that time even here in cracow you have all just right now we're not allowed to talk about that but. usable the right people with the job i think the law is absolutely ridiculous it is a political ploy. and it's very dangerous. in the best spirits but it's aimed at intimidating people into not talking about these things as opposed to what it is america will stop with to stay just today i heard a journalist talking about this on the radio. and he said oh i must have said too much. of you joe. félix takes us to meet a jewish community leader today i wish that she felix wants to show him an article in a pro-government newspaper. it's a report about one of the men who killed the local jews after the war. the article
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describes him as a true patriot one of the government's new heroes. of the fall short fall short from short run a speech they're rewriting history someone actually study they're turning bandits and murderers interview rose book of they claim that these men fought for poland was god but that's not true there is new. stuff that 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 billy put us. to share so many poles treated the jews very
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well and we consider them heroes. but many other poles not only betrayed us to the authorities but also took part in the killings and a bit more and we must continue to speak out clearly about this undertow by just above each. millon has accused kaczynski 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 . i did go into active two years why does the government allow those marches. so that those people will vote for them she is violent it's as simple as that with a much history musings. nearby spears and what's really dangerous is that some fascist groups have become active again actually action to flee if they feel.
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still version you know fascist of scale. needs to shit of those groups should have been banned. if you don't crack down on such groups right away the situation will spin out of control us. 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 camps as a chair not meet as it is but it's incredible that so many people are here today obviously enough time to muster here. but the authorities continue to try to intimidate them. recently
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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 of them that have been just up but 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. as a masochist in. this particular demonstration is directed against government efforts to restrict access to abortions poland has some of the toughest anti abortion laws in europe. 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 lina 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
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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 like this. is a feminized version of a world war two polish resistance and. it says fighting for poland in the court find two thousand swati which is about half the monthly average wage here to the concord. i'll tell you that's a lot of money there's nothing i'm going to watch but they're just trying to scare people. but to keep them from organizing demonstrations should borrow it so much that such a providing is just a nasty when the police were questioning me they kept saying that was your first
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and last demonstration and you find p.f.c. us talking at the most threats but he's never got the book at most but it's a misdemeanor one you've got to check out of there's nothing about it in the penal code. i'm pretty upset about that is some of you know i'm a single mother and that's a lot of money at this bus of the sadhaka not so when you feel about it yes the books are right we appeal of 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. and i said in public that kaczynski is a liar go hunting for seven hundred years ago the chargers are groundless that's why we keep filing appeals stuff i don't know so why are you here when you dresser
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he took us up to where the water did not come to power in germany. that's the way things are in this country is that the future was. easy for the judge lets us film some of our proceedings we're now going to experience a bit of the absurdity that characterizes part of poland's legal system today. this is to say sorry you're kiev each 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 the removal i asked 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.
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heart 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. and. this judge always equates people in these kinds of cases with. he's a very brave man his ruling still follow the constitution says it was but in the future so that could change. as 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 a p.r. was rejected so the conviction stands and she now has a criminal record. the judge who made the ruling had been promoted to vice
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president of the district court the day before. they started for much but i know it was bobby jones well that's our judicial reforms that the judges are no longer there to interpret and apply the law. they're there to invade the government's orders and if they do they'll be promoted is don't look in on your votes yet come. it's like 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 in the end do you think. it's because this has become you propose to the new models we're being driven into the arms of russia and putin. that's what they're doing to 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.
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in the shadow of the former palace of culture and science building i mean the tune again. is a going too far to say that poland is behaving more and more like russia. out of the boy yes you know and that's what scares me the most the achievements 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 the market that's not right. to be and so the. institute so i very much hope that the e.u. will monitor this situation very closely and stick to its principles we strongly oppose is that moslems but what's really important is that they must not abandon all those poles who want to preserve our democratic values the reason amani matter the markets in. russia to in firmly believes that if that happens.
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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 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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more intrigue on the international talk show for journalists discuss the topic of the week this week the german city of candidates witnessed street clashes reminiscent of the mob violence to the way to the nazi what is the root of this hate that's a topic on quadriga join a. quandary go thirty minutes on d w.
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with different languages we fight for different things that's fine but we all speak up for freedom freedom of speech and freedom of press. giving freedom of choice global news that matters d. w. made for minds. his creations. his brand mistake of all colors i can of the fashion. look what do we really know about finance behind the dark shades what motivates him how does he think and feel private moments in the life of a great fashion designer going to some special. start september night w. . this
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is deja vu news live from berlin right wing protesters gathering again in the east german city of commons. a rally passes off peacefully with no repeat of the violence seen earlier in the week but the situation in gemma's remains tense with groups from both the left and the right planning to take to the streets again in the.

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