"The twisted face of Poland” headlines Gazeta Wyborcza, complaining that this is the image of Poland that some 60 million students across Europe may get from their history textbooks. According to a report commissioned by the Polish ministry of Foreign Affairs, Poland is presented as a backward country, with images of pitchfork-wielding martyr-faced Poles against a background of smoking factory chimneys. Professor Adam Suchoński, the report’s author, says that “the distorted image of Poland is an outcome of years of neglect” on the part of Polish politicians and academics.
“Contrary to the Germans, French or Italians, who propagate their historical victories, we keep focusing on our martyrdom. We say nothing about our successes,” observes Suchoński, who suggests that Poland should use its EU presidency to change the situation. He also recommends that Polish embassies should monitor Polish themes in school textbooks in other European countries.