Two years ago – on the 78th anniversary of the massacre in Michniów – President Andrzej Duda solemnly opened the Mausoleum of Martyrology of Polish Villages. On the same day – less officially – the then employees of the Mausoleum partied with alcohol in the museum hall. Today, it’s PiS-related punks. – I will not comment on the events from two years ago – says one of them.
Michniów is a village in the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, where on July 12-13, 1943, the Germans burned and murdered over 200 of its inhabitants. It became a symbol of the fate of thousands of other villages throughout Poland, similarly treated by the occupiers.
– In the Świętokrzyskie region, Michniów is a special place, I am not afraid of this term, even holy – says Ryszard Koziej, historian and local journalist. On the 78th anniversary of the massacre, Andrzej Duda solemnly opened the Mausoleum of Martyrology of Polish Villages in Michniów. On the same day, the then employees of the Mausoleum partied with alcohol in the museum hall. They were Grzegorz Rykowski and Katarzyna Jedynak, who later found employment in the Department of Culture and National Heritage of the Marshal’s Office of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship, as well as Bartosz Bętkowski, a PiS councilor in the Skarżysko poviat. On Monday, he resigned from his job at the Mausoleum of Polish Villages in Michniów.
– This is the son of the marshal (Andrzej Bętkowski – editor’s note), who is responsible for this mausoleum in a certain way, because it falls under the marshal’s office – explains Krzysztof Soczewiński, local journalist, stv.pl television. It was he who made the video public, in which museologists have a great time in the mausoleum, and the vicinity of the mass grave does not bother them.
– This place has been desecrated – emphasizes Marzena Okła-Drewnowicz, KKW Koalicja Obywatelska, Civic Platform. – This is showing the true face, that patriotism is there only for PiS for show, and after hours there is already a party – notes Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, PSL, Trzecia Droga. Katarzyna Jedynak seems to be particularly relaxed in the film. Her superior – Marshal Świętokrzyski – went on leave. Earlier, he issued a statement in which he condemned the libation and announced that there would be consequences for his subordinates. – Zero alcohol in any museums or places commemorating Polish heroes – emphasizes Janusz Kowalski, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sovereign Poland, PiS Committee.
“I will not comment on the events of two years ago”
The declarations of condemnation end there for now, because the marshal’s son, Bartosz Bętkowski, resigned from his job and will not face any punishment. – After the notice period, he will not be an employee of the mausoleum – says the director of the Kielce Countryside Museum, Tadeusz Sikora. He also admits that he could have dismissed him for disciplinary reasons, but in court “he probably wouldn’t have won”. For three more months, the marshal’s son will receive a salary.
Two high-ranking local government officials – Grzegorz Rykowski and Katarzyna Jedynak – can sleep peacefully, because when they were drinking, they were not directly subordinated to the marshal, but to the director of the museum, to whom they no longer report. I really don’t have anything more to add to this. I will not comment on the events from two years ago – says Grzegorz Rykowski, head of the Culture Department of the Marshal’s Office of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship. For the opposition, this is not the end of the matter. – There could also be an insult to the monument there. The consequences of this drinking party, of what happened there, should be as severe as possible, as a warning – appeals Marzena Okła-Drewnowicz, Civic Platform, Civic Coalition.
Main photo source: Krzysztof Soczewiński