Polish artist Jerzy Bohdan Szumczyk’s monument to hate

Sculpture depicting Soviet soldier raping a pregnant woman sparks outrage


East News / Polaris

Soviet soldiers raped hundreds of thousands of women and girls, as their armies advanced toward Berlin in the closing years of the Second World War. Polish artist Jerzy Bohdan Szumczyk made a sculpture depicting one such incident and, in doing so, has ignited fury in Moscow.

Szumczyk’s sculpture, titled Komm, Frau (Come, woman), shows a soldier, identified as Soviet by his helmet, kneeling between the legs of a pregnant woman while holding a gun in her mouth. Earlier this month, the life-sized piece was placed, without official permission, in the Polish city of Gdansk, next to a Soviet tank commemorating the Soviet liberation of the city from the Nazis in 1945. It was on display for only a few hours before police removed it.

Russia’s ambassador to Poland, Alexander Alexeyev, said he was outraged by the “stunt” that “defiled the memory of 600,000 Soviet servicemen who gave their lives in the fight for the freedom and the independence of Poland.” Polish prosecutors investigated a possible charge against Szumczyk for inciting racial or national hatred, but announced last week they had found no evidence to justify doing so. Szumczyk may still face a fine for erecting the statue without permission.

The incident touches still-raw nerves in Poland and Russia about the war and how it is remembered. Poland’s suffering during the conflict was enormous and multi-faceted. The Germans murdered millions, including some three million Polish Jews. Soviet crimes were of a smaller scale, but still amounted to tens of thousands of victims killed, forcibly relocated, or imprisoned in the gulag. When Poles in Warsaw rose up against the Germans as the Soviet army approached their capital, the Soviets held back and watched while the city and its inhabitants were destroyed.

Poles could not openly discuss Soviet war crimes during the 45-year Communist era that followed the war. They can now, and do, but for Russians, the subject remains taboo.


Polish artist Jerzy Bohdan Szumczyk’s monument to hate

  1. Art tells truths people don’t want to hear.

  2. East Europeans know about these atrocities – Moscow is / was an Evil empire ( Ronald Reagan ) .

      • so two wrongs make a right?

        • Two wrongs never make a right, but pride goeth before a fall.

        • Pots like to call kettles black. It makes them feel better, and ‘righter’.

      • I worked at the Nobel Women’s Conference on ending sexual violence in conflict …in 2011. Unfortunately, this stuff is sadly generally the case.

        • Yeah, pillaging and raping have always been a part of war…we’ll have more luck ending war itself.

      • The US forces prosecuted soldiers who raped.

        The Soviet forces did not.

        • Americans didn’t either

          • Heh heh heh… more BS from Emily.

          • Like I said, the US prosecuted rapists.

            No soviet soldiers were hanged for rape.

          • LOL how would YOU know? You can’t even read the para I posted.

          • You were the one who claimed the US did not prosecute soldier rapists, and then quoted a link explicitly saying that the US did indeed prosecute soldier rapists, and even hanged some.

            It can’t be both true and false, Emily.

          • You have reverted to a schoolyard version…..you would happily have gone with just one….have that talk with your family.

          • That doesn’t even make sense, Emily, much less contribute anything to the discussion.

          • Nobody past four gets away with nyah nyah arguments like that Glynn. Talk to your family….not me.

          • Arguments like what, Emily?

            You claimed something which was shown up to be totally false… shown in your own link.

            It’s not my issue that you have no idea what you’re doing.

          • Little kids repeat things like that too…

        • And the source for that? The Dirty Dozen?

    • The authorities removed the statue? How about removing the Soviet tank? Russians, whatever the Americans did, operated and continue to operate on a different and vastly inferior plane.

  3. not “tens of thousand” but “hundreds of thousands”. Russians killed that many Poles.

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