Lodz, Poland – After celebrating the 100th anniversary of Poland’s independence by honouring the Second Republic’s first Chief of State, Marshal Józef Piłsudski, European Council head and former Polish prime minister Donald Tusk called the current populist government “contemporary Bolsheviks” who threaten the nation’s independence.
A strong opponent of Poland’s right-wing government and a likely contender in Poland’s 2020 presidential election, Tusk was speaking on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the country regaining its independence at the end of World War I.
“Jozef Piłsudski was facing a more difficult situation than we have today when he was conquering the Bolsheviks and in fact, defending the Western community against political barbarians,” Tusk said at a forum yesterday. He placed flowers by the Belvedere Palace in Warsaw where Marshal Józef Piłsudski resided after the re-establishment of Poland’s independence.
Piłsudski is widely viewed as the father of the Second Polish Republic that was established in 1918, 123 years after the 1795 partitions of Poland by Austria, Prussia and Russia. As chief of state, Piłsudski went on to defeat the Bolsheviks’ Red Army in 1920.
Tusk also paid homage to Lech Wałęsa, the Solidarity trade union founder who went on to become president from 1990 to 1995.
“Wałęsa had a more difficult situation when he was conquering the Bolsheviks in a symbolic way, when he was bringing out the European, the freedom, the national values in us,” he said. “Why shouldn’t you be able to defeat the contemporary Bolsheviks?” he concluded to great applause.