Anti-German sentiment has reared its head again in Poland in the run up to the 9 October parliamentary elections. Jarosław Kaczyński, leader of the conservative opposition party Law and Justice (PiS), has evoked – in the words ofGazeta Wyborcza – the “dark forces” that led to Angela Merkel’s election as German chancellor.

In his latest book “Poland of Our Dreams”, the candidate suggests that Merkel’s election as chancellor “was not pure coincidence”. Invited by Newsweek Polska to clarify this statement, he answered that Merkel “knows what I mean”. When the Newsweek journalist argued that the Stasi could not have helped bring Merkel to power, the candidate said – "Let's not talk about it." Pressed again on such opaque utterings on October 4, Kaczyński rebuked a TV reporter by asking him to declare whether he was from a Polish or a German channel.

Michał Kamiński, MEP, has told the Warsaw daily that “the attack against Merkel could be the turning point of the campaign.” The former PiS member and Kaczyński confidante turned political foe believes that “Kaczyński's scandalous words make you wonder if this man is fit to fight for Poland’s money.” A Gazeta Wyborczaeditorialist notes that “It is not the first time Jarosław Kaczyński has played the anti-German resentment card.” In 2005, allegations that the grandfather of then candidate and now PM Donald Tusk had served in Wehrmacht in World War 2 paved Kaczyński’s twin brother Lech’s road to the presidency.