The leader of Poland's largest opposition party, Donald Tusk, announced a lawsuit against the editor-in-chief of the pro-government weekly Gazeta Polska. Reason? The magazine's latest cover likening Tusk to a Nazi.
Ten artykuł czytasz w ramach bezpłatnego limitu

Follow the big issues that shape Polish politics and society by signing up to our weekly newsletter "News from Poland: Democracy at Stake". It allows you to stay up to speed on developments concerning the ongoing assault on democratic institutions, rule of law, and human rights in Poland.

Tomasz Sakiewicz, editor-in-chief of the pro-government Gazeta Polska, is clearly proud of the magazine’s latest cover. On Twitter, he boasted: "The latest issue of @GPtygodnik Gott mit uns, or the former democrat Tusk. He must humiliate us to win".

The cover likens Tusk to Adolf Hitler. The former head of the EU Council is depicted extending his right hand in a gesture much like the fascist salute. Tusk's nose casts a shadow on his upper lip bringing to mind Hitler's characteristic mustache. And the Prussian slogan "Gott mit uns" ("God with us") was worn by German soldiers on their belt buckles during World War II.

State propaganda wants people to believe that Tusk is Germany’s lapdog

The Nazi comparison is only the latest example of Sakiewicz’s sustained propaganda campaign against Donald Tusk. Pro-government media persistently portray the leader of Poland’s largest opposition party as a traitor who puts the German interest over the Polish raison d'etat. In a recent interview for "Polska the Times" (taken over by the state-owned Orlen), Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of the Law and Justice party, said of the former Prime Minister and head of the European Council that he is Germany’s man in Poland "all the way up to the top of his head".

TVP- the PiS-controlled national broadcaster, incessantly airs Tusk’s speech to CDU activists from last January, hammering out one sound bite in particular: "Für Deutschland". Donald Tusk used to be the head of the European People’s Party of which the CDU is a member. The National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT) reprimands TVP on the matter to no avail, as TVP president Jacek Kurski claims it is simply a "correct and truthful depiction of Tusk".

The Civic Platform has already announced two lawsuits against Sakiewicz's weekly. "There is no agreement that public debate in Poland should fall down to the level of the gutter. Sakiewicz and his Gazeta Polska will bear responsibility in court for today's scandalous material" - Party spokesman Jan Grabiec announced on Twitter.

- We will take legal action against the editor-in-chief of "Gazeta Polska," but also against the author of the cover- Mr. Grabiec explained in an interview with Wirtualne Media. - This kind of publication is a violation of the norms of social life, to put it mildly, and a lowering of the standards of political debate. Of course, this publication is in line with what TVP does on a daily basis, where graphic manipulation is very common, designed to dishonor Donald Tusk. This cover is so brazen that it cannot be left unaddressed, for the sake of public life in Poland.

In March, the leader of the Civic Platform already sued Mr. Sakiewicz for saying on public television that Tusk had allowed Putin to kill Lech Kaczyński. "President Donald Tusk filed a lawsuit against Tomasz Sakiewicz for violation of personal rights. The brazen lies must be met with a firm response" - Grabiec wrote on Twitter.

President Lech Kaczyński died in a plane crash in Smoleńsk on April 10, 2010. Among the 96 victims were top government officials, their relatives, and military officers.

Generous funding for pro-government media

It is not the first such lawsuit against Gazeta Polska. In January 2021, Professor Marek Safjan, a judge at the EU Court of Justice, filed a lawsuit for infringement of personal rights against the magazine’s publisher, as well as its editor-in-chief Tomasz Sakiewicz and journalist Piotr Lisiewicz.

In the first quarter of this year, the average total sales of "Gazeta Polska" amounted to 19,831 copies, including 18,253 in print and 1,578 online (data from the Polish Readership Survey). Despite such low circulation, Sakiewicz's weekly gets several million zlotys in advertising from state companies and state institutions.


Every day, 400 journalists at Gazeta Wyborcza write verified, fact-checked stories about Polish politics and society, keeping a critical eye on the ruling camp’s persistent assault on democratic values and the rule of law; the growing cultural tension between religious fundamentalism and human rights; and the ongoing Russian invasion in Ukraine. Our journalists are on the front lines in 32 Polish cities, reporting from the streets, hospitals, and courtrooms about issues that move public opinion.

We decided to make our service available to everyone free of charge in order to provide access to high quality journalism for expats and English speakers interested in Polish affairs.

The access to information should be equal for all.

Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation
Czytaj ten tekst i setki innych dzięki prenumeracie
Wybierz prenumeratę, by czytać to, co Cię ciekawi to zawsze sprawdzone informacje, szczere wywiady, zaskakujące reportaże i porady ekspertów w sprawach, którymi żyjemy na co dzień. Do tego magazyny o książkach, historii i teksty z mediów europejskich.
    Zaloguj się
    Chcesz dołączyć do dyskusji? Zostań naszym prenumeratorem
    Lepiej być porównany z Niemcem niż być esbeckim ruskim konfidentem prawda Balbina ?
    już oceniałe(a)ś
    Bo pisowskie qwy nie mają hamulców .
    już oceniałe(a)ś
    Donald Tusk za długo śmie,ciom pisowskim pobłażał. Owszem,'' polityk musi mieć grubszą skorę'', jak mawiałDT, ale nie może pozwalać NIKOMU, obdzierać go z godności!! Jbć pis, zawsze i wszędzie!!
    już oceniałe(a)ś
    Donald Tusk różni się jednak znacząco od Adolfa Hitlera. Hitler w swoim geście miał pięć palców dłoni wyciągniętych na baczność, a palce Donalda Tuska zaciskają się w pięść.
    To gest Che Guevara...
    już oceniałe(a)ś