Post-war communist crimes in Poland: an unresolved issue

Swedish politician and journalist Adam Cwejman is PolandIN’s interviewee on the inflamed Polish-Swedish issue of a communist judge Stefan Michnik, accused by the Polish authorities of crimes against humanity, whose extradition from Sweden has been requested for many years.

“There have, during the last 20 years, been a couple of extradition requests [reaching the Swedish government] from Poland for a man living in Sweden since the 1960s. [The man] has been accused of participating in Stalinist show trials, which resulted in people being unjustly imprisoned and in some cases sentenced to death,” said Mr Cwejman referring to Stalinist judge Stefan Michnik.

Stefan Michnik, born in 1929, is a Stalinist-era military judge who sentenced several Polish resistance fighters to death in the 1950s. He is also the older stepbrother of Adam Michnik, the chief editor of Poland’s “Gazeta Wyborcza” daily.

“Some of the Polish prosecutors have enough evidence to put up a trial against him in Poland but the Swedish authorities have repeatedly denied the extradition citing that he is a Swedish citizen,” stressed Mr Cwejman, adding that “the possibility of a trial is diminishing every year.”

PolandIN’s interviewee also said that the Swedish judiciary has based its argument on the man’s advanced age, which in their opinion makes his crimes time-barred. Poland, however, treats Stefan Michnik’s acts as crimes against humanity and that the time-barring argument does not work in this case.

Mr Cwejman’s stance, however, is unflinching regarding the crimes of Stefan Michnik, which he considers should have “no time limit” and “a crime which cannot be forgotten”.

Does public awareness in Sweden regarding communist crimes in Poland exist and what arguments did the Swedish authorities use to refuse extradition of other wanted Polish individuals? Watch the full interview here to find out.