Happy B-Day Fuhrer? Polish channel captures neo-Nazis’ antics in undercover doc, triggering probe

Happy B-Day Fuhrer? Polish channel captures neo-Nazis’ antics in undercover doc, triggering probe
Polish neo-Nazis held a birthday party for Adolf Hitler complete with a swastika cake, an investigation by a local TV station has revealed. A crew went undercover to unmask the secretive practices of an ultra-nationalist group.

Polish neo-Nazis held a birthday party for Adolf Hitler complete with a swastika cake, an investigation by a local TV station has revealed. A crew went undercover to unmask the secretive practices of an ultra-nationalist group.

The documentary aired on TV station TVN24 Saturday and sought to expose the activities of the Duma i Nowoczesnosc (Pride and Modernity) movement. Journalists from the station’s Superwizjer (Supervisor) program infiltrated the group over a period of months in 2017, exposing the neo-Nazi sympathies of the organisation.

One of its leading figures, Jacek Lanuszny, is an assistant to MP Robert Winnicki, the president of far-right party Ruch Narodowy (National Movement), an organisation that seeks to be the respectable face of Polish nationalism.

Lanuszny is also a regional president of Ruch Narodowy and in November 2017 organised a demonstration in which portraits of a number of Polish politicians – who decried the appearance of racist and fascist slogans appearing in a country occupied by the Nazis during the World War 2 – were symbolically hung from gallows.

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The undercover footage shows members of the group taking part in a number of bizarre rituals, including holding a party to celebrate what would have been Adolf Hitler’s 128th birthday party. During the shocking celebrations, Nazi flags were displayed on trees and members, some of whom were dressed in Wehrmacht and SS uniforms, constructed an ‘altar’ to their Fuhrer.

Followers gathered in front of a flaming swastika and made a toast “to Adolf Hitler and our homeland, beloved Poland.”

Immediately after the documentary was aired, Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro, ordered an investigation into the “public propagation of fascism” by Duma i Nowoczesnosc.

“After the attack of Nazi Germany, millions of people were murdered in occupied Poland, including three million Poles. So if someone honors Adolf Hitler, who is one of the greatest criminals in history, he deserves merciless treatment. In such situations, the prosecutor's office will always be firm,” TVN24 reports Ziobro as saying.

Far-right nationalism is on the rise in Poland. Last November, tens of thousands of neo-Nazis, from both home and abroad, descended onto Polish streets during national independence day celebrations. Many demonstrators carried placards and signs with racist and anti-semitic slogans.  

Furthermore, US-owned TVN24 was fined $415,000 by Poland’s media regulator for it’s coverage of the protests, prompting allegations that the government aims to silence independent media in the country.