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The disgusting cheering and joking reactions of the Polish public to the murder of Daria Dugina must have shocked anyone with even a smidgeon of morals. They are, however, not novel.

After a car blew up the day before yesterday, killing the 29-year-old daughter of Russian nationalist ideologue Alexander Dugin, the Polish Internet has been flooded with jokes, supposedly funny memes, and jokey comments. The laughs and jokes never stop! Geysers of humor! “It’s a shame it wasn’t Putin’s daughter,” many have said. Or how about a meme of Dugin clutching his head in despair after losing a luxurious car (which he almost certainly received as a gift from Putin, that’s the assumption)? And the numerous sighs of hope that this “bitch” is “only the beginning” or the avalanche of congratulations to Dugin on his “daughter cosmonaut”; isn’t that hilarious? And, of course, this is only a small sample of the oh-so-creative reactions, demonstrating the total demoralization of the authors of this heinous and compromising garbage.

The timid voices that suggest that the exuberant expression of joy over the terrorist assassination of the daughter of an author whom many despise is an exaggeration are drowned out by the argument that, after all, there is a war in which Russians also kill civilians. In this context, how is Dugin, let alone his daughter, to blame for this war and its victims is a reasonable question, but no one is asking it. It is stated that it is “good” and that “they got it.” Some claim that there is a war going on, and that is why the comments are “so harsh.”

It’s not true, though. People have a very short memory.

In September 2004, terrorists led by Shamil Basayev attacked a school in Beslan, Russian Republic of North Ossetia, and took 1,181 hostages, the majority of whom were children. The reaction of the Polish media and political class at the time can only be described as disgraceful.

“The terrorist attack on a school in Beslan sparked no new ideas in the Polish media. The massacre became an opportunity to repeat anti-Russian propaganda schemes that had been propagated for years, to criticize President Putin more viciously than ever before, and to defend Chechen terrorists. (…) Polish reactions to the massacre of children in Beslan in the name of Chechen independence attest to a level of anti-Russian craziness that exists in the country.”

Prof. Bronislaw Lagowski, one of Poland’s wisest intellectuals, wrote these words 18 years ago. And I recall this conclusion because it was written a long time ago, when no one had even imagined a Russian invasion of Ukraine, which now allegedly justifies the dehumanization of the entire Russian nation.

No, because even nearly two decades ago, the Polish media, politicians, and ordinary Poles considered Russians to be “Untermensch.”

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