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Author Olga Tokarczuk spurs online lynch mob

PR dla Zagranicy
Alicja Baczyńska 16.10.2015 14:18
In recent days, award-winning writer Olga Tokarczuk has been receiving death threats, and repeatedly called names, ranging from ‘Jewish sl*t’ to ‘Ukrainian wh*re’ for speaking out on Polish history in her bestseller 'The Books of Jacob'.

The widespread hate campaign against the author broke out following the Nike literary award ceremony held on 5 October, where Olga Tokarczuk won the main prize for her latest work, The Books of Jacob.

In a statement made after the gala event, she accused Poland of white-washing its past.

"We contrived a narrative of Polish history depicting Poland as a tolerant, open country, one which has never disgraced itself with any wrongdoing towards its minority groups," the author told broadcaster TVP Info.

"Meanwhile, as colonisers and an ethnic majority we did appalling things, suppressing the minorities; we were slaveholders and murderers of Jews."

In response, right-wing Internet users unleashed a hatemongering spree, accusing the author of treason and advising her to leave the country.

One internet user went as far as to suggest that someone visit her and posted the name of the village where the artist lives online. A group called the Nowa Ruda Patriots threatened the artist would no longer feel safe in her country.

Investigators in the southwestern Kłodzko region, where the author resides, have so far detected 160 online comments out of the 1,000 reviewed so far. Alongside having the aggressive comments removed, the local prosecutor’s office is considering filing lawsuits against the offenders.

Olga Tokarczuk’s statements chime in with an article by historian Jan Tomasz Gross released by German periodical Die Welt in September, where the author accused Poles of killing more Jews than Germans during World War II. The article also met with widespread online criticism in Poland. (aba/rk)

Source: Gazeta Wyborcza

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