In defense of Bronisław Geremek


The Polish Member of the European Parliament, Bronislav Geremek, historical figure of Solidarnosc, key player of the democratic transition in Poland and former advisor of Lech Walesa, is now facing the consequences of a so-called “lustration” law promulgated by Poland far-right government: M. Geremek risks being stripped off from his MEP mandate because he refuses, on moral grounds, to submit a law that requires polish journalists, academics and elected MPs to sign a declaration stating that they have never collaborated with the security services . This controversial law has been forcefully criticized by members of the European Parliament whom have compared it to a “witch-hunt” inspired by “stalinist methods”.
Unfortunately, to date, scant public attention has been brought upon M. Geremek situation and, beyond, upon the illegitimacy of such a law in respect to basic democratic principles supposedly protected within the E.U.

Yesterday, M. Geremek’s cause may have been given the opportunity the reach broader public attention thanks to former French presidential candidate F. Bayrou who took advantage of a press conference to voice both his concern and support.
Yet, a quick look at GoogleNews in Spain, Germany, the UK or (slightly better) France this morning suggests few journalists have taken up the news. I believe they would be very well inspired to do so asap…

Here is the summary of yesterday’s European Parliament discussion on the Geremek case. And here is a TV news report by France 24, the only one I found to date.

update : This afteroon, Le Monde published a column by B. Gremek explaining why he refuses to accept what he caompares to a “ministery of truth” and a “police of memory”. The text is available here (in French)

update bis : The magazine Le Nouvel Observateur initiated this afternoon a petition for Geremek. It has already been endorsed by Robert Badinter, Elizabeth Badinter, Michel Rocard and Milan Kundera. You can sign it there.


1 Response to “In defense of Bronisław Geremek”

  1. 1 Peter 27/04/2007 at 7:27 pm

    Hey man!

    finally something in English… Google Translation didn’t make your postmodern musings sounds any better ;)

    Anyway, please update your blogroll: I haven’t used the mentioned webaddress for my blog in many months :)

    it’s of course!

    Cheers, see you soon, and go and write that thesis!


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Let this diversity of opinions be propounded to, and laid before him; he will himself choose, if he be able; if not, he will remain in doubt. "Che non men che saver, dubbiar m' aggrata." ["I love to doubt, as well as to know."-- Dante, Inferno, xi. 93] for, if he embraces the opinions of Xenophon and Plato, by his own reason, they will no more be theirs, but become his own. Who follows another, follows nothing, finds nothing, nay, is inquisitive after nothing. "Non sumus sub rege; sibi quisque se vindicet." ["We are under no king; let each vindicate himself." --Seneca, Ep.,33]"
Montaigne - Essais I, XXVI, Of The Education of Children
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