On 18 July in the Regional Court in Kraków there starts a lawsuit brought by a 90-year-old Home Army soldier and the World Union of the Home Army.
Claimants brought an action against producers of Generation War, i.e. UFA Fiction and ZDF. They accuse the defendants of violation of their personal goods in the form of the right to the national identity, national pride, national dignity, and the right to freedom from hate speech. Claimants require publication of an apology in TVP and in all TVs that have broadcast the film, as well as damages of PLN 25,000 for violation of their personal rights.
I. Factual situation
In March 2013 the German channel ZDF broadcast a series entitled "Generation War" (Unsere Mütter, unsere Väter). The series was co-produced by ZDF and TeamWorx (currently UFA Fiction). The film was also available on the website of TeamWorx, and it is available at www.youtube.com (in the whole and in fragments).
On 17-19 June 2013 Channel 1 of the Polish Television (TVP1) broadcast Generation War at 8.20 p.m. (during prime time). In the second and third part the Polish society (including soldiers of the Home Army) was shown as anti-Semites and nationalists cooperating with Germans during the Holocaust of the Jewish nation.
The film presents a story of five residents of Berlin, in their twenties, during WWII, and to be more precise, on the day before the attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941. One of the heroes is Victor, a German man of Jewish descent. As a Jew he was transported to Poland, to the German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp Auschwitz. However, he managed to escape from the transport and joined a unit of the Home Army. He took part in numerous military actions, and his courage was appreciated by his comrades-in-arms. However, when they found out that he is a Jew, he was made to leave the unit, since most soldiers, including the commanding officers, had an anti-Semitic approach.
What has to be emphasised here is that the film shows the Home Army and its soldiers in a very specific manner (in a negative way) in all scenes in which the Home Army is presented (Victor's meeting with the unit, all actions, including the climactic attack on a train full of people wearing striped camp uniforms, bargaining with peasants for food, expulsion of Victor from the unit). The unit of the Home Army is presented like a team of robbers, criminals wearing semi-uniforms that partially resemble plain clothes. All members of the unit are full of hatred to Jews. Taking into account their behaviour, they are simply a group of bandits, partially masked by uniforms and by white and red armbands with AK letters (symbols of the Home Army), worn by all partisans in the film - in fact it serves as a kind of caption for the viewer that these are a certain type of bandits (in fact armbands were never worn like this, except the Warsaw Uprising period).
In the film partisans never miss an opportunity to say something bad about Jews, as if their lives under the German occupation focused on this issue only. All figures presenting Poles are absolutely repulsive and may by no means evoke any positive feelings in the viewer.
Claimant - a Home Army soldier - biography
At present a captain of the Polish Armed Forces. When he was 16, in 1940, he was arrested by Gestapo with all other family members (because of exposure of the printing house that published "Walka" magazine) and transported to Auschwitz – Birkenau in 1941 (prisoner number 8258). In the camp there died husbands of his mother's sisters, arrested by Gestapo with the claimant. He was released as a result of attempts made by E. Wedel's family. After his return from the camp to Warsaw he undertook conspiracy activity in the Union of Armed Struggle in Chrobry battalion. In 1942, at his own request, he was moved to the 1st School Assault Company CKM, Region IV, Sub-district V of the Home Army in Warszawa-Śródmieście.
The Claimant's mother's sister was active in the Council to Aid Jews, the claimant also took part in many rescue actions or actions aimed to hide Jewish people. W. Bartoszewski wrote about the claimant's aunt in „Ten jest z ojczyzny mojej”.
After the completion on 11 November 1943 of the Infantry Officer School he was promoted to the degree of senior rifleman. He fought in Mokotów during the Warsaw Uprising. After the failure of the uprising, as a prisoner of war he was taken to Stalag XB Sandbostel (number 221371). After the liberation of the camp, he became a soldier of the Polish Armed Forces in Italy, and later he served in the Polish II Corps as part of the British Armed Forces. In December 1945 he returned to Poland and lived in Kraków. In 1951 he was arrested by the Public Security Bureau and charged with espionage. He was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment. During the so-called 'Polish thaw' the offence of espionage was reclassified into participation in the "organisation" and after the amnesty in 1956 he was released.