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article imagePoland Might Ban ‘Iconic’ Che Guevara Image

By Christopher Szabo     Apr 24, 2009 in World
Polish Minister for Equality, Elzbieta Radziszewska, wants to introduce legislation that prohibits production of all totalitarian propaganda to include clothing or anything related to the 20th Century’s two totalitarian ideologies, Nazism and Communism.
The London Telegraph reports that if the law went through, the ban would include images not only of Adolf Hitler or Heinrich Himmler and Joseph Stalin, but also those of Lenin and Trotsky, as well as Che Guevara, images often seen as “sexy” in the West. The minister argues this would help: “Organisations fighting racism".
Unlike the West, Poland has experienced the reality of Communism, such as the Katyn Massacre, where Soviet NKVD secret police shot thousands of Polish POWs. Professor Wojciech Roszkowski, a leading Polish historian and member of the European Parliament said:
Communism was a terrible, murderous system that claimed millions of lives. It was very similar to National Socialism (Nazism) and there is no reason to treat those two systems, and their symbols, differently. Their glorification should be prohibited
Poles are not alone in this demand. On June 3, 2008, the Senate Czech Parliament adopted the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism, which says, among other things:
Europe will not be united unless it is able to reunite its history, recognize Communism and Nazism as a common legacy and bring about an honest and thorough debate on all the totalitarian crimes of the past century.
And goes on to say: The Communist ideology is directly responsible for crimes against humanity.
Despite movies made about Guevara recently, in which he is shown in a positive light, Cuban organisations accuse him of political murders and killing opponents without any process of law. The Cuba Archive, a group documenting the victims of President Fidel Castro’s rule, says Guevara murdered at least 200 political opponents.
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