Polish filmmaker in death-threat claim

Filmmaker Aro Korol (left) with Steven Spielberg. Korol was an extra in Schindler’s List, made in Poland

Filmmaker Aro Korol (left) with Steven Spielberg. Korol was an extra in Schindler’s List, made in Poland

A London-based Polish filmmaker says he has received death threats and been the target of a hate campaign for making a film about antisemitism.

Aro Korol believed that the campaign led to him being photographed by people who, he claimed, were Polish government agents.

His claims were strenuously denied by the Polish Embassy, although it admitted that a Catholic political party had complained to the Polish Foreign Ministry about the film, saying it would cause serious offence.

Mr Korol, who is not Jewish, has started work on a film called Hitler’s Daughter, which will examine antisemitism in Poland and, in particular, accusations about antisemitism made against the Catholic Radio Maryja radio station.

“I thought it was about time someone not Jewish said something about antisemitism in Poland,” he said.

He put together a two-minute clip and showed it at the Galway Film Festival before putting it on the internet — which was when his troubles started.

He said: “I was called the ‘biggest Jew’ and attacked as a mason, which I am not, by a Polish anti-masonic website.

“The promotional reel caused great turmoil in the Polish media. Articles were published in Hungary, Germany, Spain and the Czech Republic. I became the object of numerous attacks, received many death threats and many comments very antisemitic in nature, such as ‘leave Poland alone, you Jew, or we’ll cut your hands off’, and so on.”

Soon after, he said, he saw someone taking pictures of him in the street. He then received a call from the Polish Embassy asking him to verify his identity and asking if he was the filmmaker.

Last month, Marek Jurek, a Catholic right-wing ex-MP who now runs his own party, Right of the Republic, asked the Foreign Minister to ban the film as it would cause serious offence .

“There are lots of Nazi symbols in the film and they are taken out of context,” said an embassy spokesman. “This man makes a lot of fuss about himself and tries to be provocative.

“Mr Korol was called and asked who he was, because no-one had heard of him before, and about the progress of his film. This was sent back to the Foreign Ministry, and nothing further has happened. There is no campaign against him. If he says he was followed, there should be some evidence. He should prove that he is credible.”

    Last updated: 4:42pm, November 5 2009