“Axel Grysczyk, the chief editor of the HNA newspaper, stated in an interview with me the following words: “We’re total anti-democrats,” “And we’ll screw up Poland!” In German, it sounded like: “Wir sind totale Antidemokraten,” “Und wir rammeln auch Polen nieder!” After what happened in the last century, after the genocide of millions of Poles, no German has the right to say such a thing,” Artur Klose, a German artist from the German Center of Modern Art, who fights for the rule of law in his country, told “Gazeta Polska” weekly.
After Russia’s attack on Ukraine, you painted Wojciech Korkuc’s well-known poster in Poland, “Achtung Russia,” on the wall of your gallery. And in the morning, the police woke you up.
The police arrived early in the morning and kept ringing the doorbell until they woke up my daughter, whom they told to wake me up. Sleepily, I asked what was going on, and then they pointed at Mr Korkuc’s work, which I copied with his permission, and demanded an explanation. When I started talking, they, for a change, said they wouldn’t listen. It was a Kafkaesque situation. They informed me that one of the neighbours demanded their intervention. The neighbours’ reaction was very quick, as the poster was not yet finished.
What was the official reason for the police intervention?
I don’t know. I went to the police because I wanted to see the case files and find out if they like Putin or what their intention was. They told me the files were not ready and asked me to come after 7 p.m. When I showed up at the police station after 7 p.m., it turned out that the files were no longer there; they had been sent to Kassel. And during the night from January 21st to 22nd, the artwork was smeared with some liquid. Of course, I reported it to the prosecutor’s office, but it would be just as effective if I reported it to my brother-in-law’s dog because we know they won’t do anything about it.
Now, you’ve created a new artwork, which was displayed in a gallery on Piotrkowska Street in Łódź, and it certainly won’t be welcomed by the person depicted in it. Who is she?
The artwork is called “And We’ll Screw Up Poland.” It depicts Axel Grysczyk, the chief editor of the HNA newspaper, which belongs to millionaire Dirk Ippen. The words he spoke in the interview with me are placed there: “We’re total anti-democrats,” “And we’ll destroy Poland.” In German, it sounded like: “Wir sind totale Antidemokraten!” “Und wir rammeln auch Polen nieder!” The artwork is 2.5 meters tall, and the chief editor’s face is 80 centimetres. This happened after I asked him why the editorial board forbids a journalist to address the abnormal situation prevailing in the Fritzlar town court. I believe that the director of the Fritzlar town court (Amtsgericht Fritzlar) is suppressing the truth and that this court is depriving me of my rights. Journalist Maja Yüce from the HNA newspaper wanted to write about it. I spoke to her on Friday. We agreed to meet on Tuesday, and when I wanted to confirm the meeting time on Monday, I learned that the editorial board had prohibited her from publishing such an article. I gave her a lecture about what happened in the last century when German editors didn’t want to write about the lack of rule of law in German offices. I was referring to the 1930s and early 1940s. The journalist told me to personally talk to the chief editor. And that’s when I heard those words from him. I was shocked, but I kept my cool and asked if he allowed me to quote his words, and he… agreed. In my opinion, after what happened in the last century, after the genocide of millions of Poles, no German has the right to say such a thing.
The full interview with Artur Klose can be found in the latest issue of the weekly magazine “Gazeta Polska.”