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Grzegorz Kucharczyk: “The Vendee massacre was a Franco-French genocide”

Grzegorz Kucharczyk is a Polish historian and Humanities professor, specialised in 19th and 20th century political thinking as well as the history of Germany. One of his latest offerings is a book entitled “Christophobia: 500 years of hate towards Jesus and the Church” ("Chrystofobia: 500 lat nienawiści do Jezusa i Kościoła"). interviewed him by phone on the 2nd of November.


Sébastien Meuwissen: Why did you choose such a title for your book? Why did you not choose the term “Christianophobia”, for example?

Grzegorz Kucharczyk: Because Christianophobia is a manifestation of a deeper process which is called Christophobia. It can be observed as manifestations of hostility towards Christians or Christianity which we call Christianophobia. In fact, it is really about hostility towards the very founder of the Church and His head, i.e. Jesus Christ, and this is the reality that we saw, for example, last year on the streets of our cities. The “red lightning protests [pro-abortion prostests in Poland in Autumn 2020]  where full of hostility towards Jesus Christ. Blasphemous slogans were written on the facades of temples or even masses interrupted. It was really about expressing a certain hatred towards Jesus, and it has been so through the ages. What we call the persecution of Christians and the Church is only the aftermath of this original persecution, or hatred of Jesus.

Sébastien Meuwissen: The book we are talking about was published before these events. Were you surprised that such events are taking place in the Catholic Poland of Saint John Paul II there are such or did you have a feeling that it was coming?

Grzegorz Kucharczyk: It didn’t surprise me, but it is very concerning. History has shown more than once that countries that were considered “traditionally Catholic” were served at times with an accelerated Christophobic revolution. It is enough to mention, for example, Portugal in the early twentieth century or France in the eighteenth century, or Mexico in the first half of the twentieth century. Historical reality confirms that nothing is given once and for all.

These demonstrations last fall revealed certain currents that had been accumulating much earlier and they exploded all at once. It may be painful for many people, but they will have to recognize that the situation is not so rosy as it may seem. We can no longer be reassured that this does not concern us, that Christophobic manifestations take place only in the West, not in our country. It turns out that it may be the last call for many people to acknowledge that the situation is serious.

Sébastien Meuwissen: You begin your book with the Protestant Reformation. What was this Reformation all about? You draw the reader’s attention to the fact many places of worship were not only vandalized but also subjected to all kinds of  blasphemous acts and profanations. How did the societies of those countries that were affected by this revolution react?

Grzegorz Kucharczyk: Contrary to what propaganda says in circles that see the Reformation only as historical progress, the Reformation did not come from below. It was not that people demanded a pure Gospel and the abolition of Holy Mass, Latin, the worship of saints, the destruction of sacred art,… Nobody asked for anything like that from the “common people”.

From the beginning, the Protestant Reformation was a revolutionary project that was born in the minds and hearts of some clergymen of the Catholic Church. Martin Luther was first a priest before he became a “reformer”. It was all about a comprehensive revolutionary program. This revolution was the rejection of the Church as such. It was not about the promiscuity of one pope or another, because it was commonly said in the Church that the situation in the Roman curia was scandalous. It was all about the rejection of the Church as an institution that is called and created by God himself with the mission of leading people to salvation. This was rejected by Martin Luther and others with all the following consequences.

One of them was the cultural vandalism you mentioned. So destroying monuments of sacred art or acts of desecration of the Blessed Sacrament. This was especially the case in the regions where the Calvinist faction was gaining strength. There, the destructive activity was particularly violent, such as in the Netherlands, Germany or England. People protested against it. A whole series of peasant uprisings in England and Sweden showed that the people did not want such revolutionary changes.

Here, the decisive factor was the alliance of the state, that is, the individual rulers who were mainly materially interested in taking over the property of the church. The slogan of a “poor Church” is usually based on the fact that specific people, i.e. the ruler and some magnates or nobility, get rich. In this way, a community of interests was created which, having the instruments of power, turned out to be stronger than the popular uprisings that were against the Reformation.

Sébastien Meuwissen: The crucial role of freemasonry in what you like to call the Anti-French Revolution is a commonly known fact. You have mentioned many times during your lectures that the right question would not be  to ask who belonged to a lodge in France at the end of the eighteenth century, but who did not belong to one. Are the Masons responsible then for the fact that the French Revolution was characterized by the desire to parody the Catholic religion and its sacraments?

Grzegorz Kucharczyk: Various associations of the eighteenth century, such as Freemasons, but also Rosicrucians and Illuminati, rejected the Catholic faith and the institutional Church itself. They produced a sort of paraliturgy, i.e. its own cults, its own rite. Let us pay attention to the whole ritual of admitting new members to Freemasonry. All this clothes, aprons, compasses etc. It is all “liturgy” which has some specific signs of parodying the Christian cult.

At the time of the victories of the revolution, this tendency passed to a wider ground in the form of the so-called revolutionary holidays which on the one hand are to be the expression of this new power and have on the other hand to “educate” primarily the so-called ordinary French to the new order. So, for example, planting small “trees of freedom”, the cutting of which was punishable by the death penalty.

One can also mention the the rejection of the Christian calendar through, inter alia, disposing of Sunday and the creation of a week of ten days. It was all aimed at such a peculiar revolutionary pedagogy which in turn lead to what the Israeli philosopher Jacob Talmon calls totalitarian democracy. Totalitarianism is based on the ambition of state power to penetrate all spheres of human life, such as, for example, measuring time. Here the French Revolution was a prototype as was the case of the genocide in Vendee. It was the first genocide in the modern history of Europe where a popular uprising was drowned in blood by the armies of the Republic.

Researchers of the French Revolution have long stated that the vast majority of the victims of Republican terror were representatives of the so-called third state, that is, the layer of the unprivileged which allegedly was to be the main beneficiary of the revolution.

Sébastien Meuwissen: According to all the information provided by your book, it seems that where the Chrostophobic forces take power, atrocities often take place in the form of, for example, bestial murders. You mention that it was during the French Revolution that the idea of ​​using gas for “more effective” mass killing was raised for the first time.

Grzegorz Kucharczyk: One must follow the research and findings of an eminent French historian who studied the history of the Vendee as a Franco-French genocide. I am talking about Reynald Secher who wrote an excellent documented source book on this genocide. How to kill the largest number of people in the shortest time? This topic was debated in the French parliament. Secher reminds us of these debates. At some point, the is was heard that the parliamentarians raise the idea that “maybe we could use gas”.\

The genocide in Vendee was never punished and is even regarded as a victory for the Republic. This encouraged more genocides. History shows it clearly. For example, Young Turks officers who were in Western Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century were reading about the history of the French Revolution, especially in this aspect of Vendee. These Young Turk officers took power as the Young Turkish party in their country. During the First World War, they organized the first genocide of the twentieth century, i.e. the extermination of Armenians and other Christians in Turkey. In turn, while encouraging his generals to wage a total war against Poland before the aggression at the end of August 1939, Hitler asked rhetorically: “Today who remembers the massacre of the Armenians? Unpunished genocide encourages more genocides. Secher calls the erasing of the memory of such events by the word “memoricide”. that is, memory killing. 

Another thing is the phenomenon that some call “genocidum atrox”, which is not only a genocide but a genocide committed with particular cruelty. This was especially true during the Spanish Revolution of 1936-1939. Back then, in areas under Republican rule, for example, the graves of nuns and monks were desecrated en masse, with their bodies removed from their graves and placed in front of churches. People were posing for pictures with the corpses. It was something to brag about.

So we are dealing here with such a combination of cruelty and contempt. This is a pattern described by Blessed Cardinal Wyszyński, who explained that if someone fights with God, he will certainly raise his hand to the freedom of God’s children, that is, people who believe in God. The successive waves of Christophobia confirm this pattern. 

Sébastien Meuwissen: In Belgium, where I come from, and more broadly in Western Europe, I have noticed a tendency to identify German National Socialism with the far right, which is in a sense related to the Catholic Church or at least with broadly understood Christianity. However, you emphasize that Germans massively killed Catholic priests from 1939.

Grzegorz Kucharczykl: Anyone who claims that German National Socialism was far right and connected with the Church should remember what I write about in the book, i.e. about the regular extermination of the Catholic clergy in Polish lands occupied by the Germans from 1939. The Germans murdered one third of the Catholic clergy who lived in these lands in the Polish regions incorporated into the German Reich, i.e. Pomerania, Greater Poland, and Upper Silesia.

German Nazis also fought with the presence of crosses and Christian symbols in public spaces. Arthur Greiser, a German governor, had crosses and roadside shrines cut down throughout the region of Greater Poland. He ordered the destruction of the great statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Poznań in the fall of 1939. It was one of the first decisions of the Germans in Poznań. We had to deal with neo-pagan governments, as Cardinal Wyszyński rightly called them.

Sébastien Meuwissen: Miklós Horthy has a fairly good reputation among European right-wing circles. However, you point out that he bears some responsibility for the events of the 1930s that led to the Second World War. 

Grzegorz Kucharczyk: Hungary was formally a monarchy all along. Horthy was regent. The criticism of Horthy is that he did not hand over power to the Hungarian King Charles IV of Habsburg who came twice to claim his power in 1921. Charles IV was the blessed king of Hungary and the Austrian emperor. He was elevated to the altars as the last beatification of the pontificate of John Paul II. Horthy did not give up power. With all the consequences that unfolded. There was a Habsburg king in Hungary. 

That is why many historians say, and this is a legitimate thesis in my opinion, that perhaps there would have been a real chance for the Habsburg return to Vienna. If the Habsburg were in Vienna or Budapest, it can be said that the possibility of Nazism infiltrating this region of Europe in the perspective of Austria’s Anschluss would be very limited. It was no coincidence that Hitler personally hated the Habsburgs, especially the figure of Emperor Charles I, King Charles IV of Hungary.

Sébastien Meuwissen: The so-called the generation of 1968, which has a majority in the European Parliament, is considered by you as the heirs of this ideology of relativism, considering this relativism as a dogma. Can they really be called “dogmatists”?

Grzegorz Kucharzyck: I will quote the words of Cardinal Gerhard Muller, who said that no one is more dogmatic than a relativist whom relativism is questioned. This is the pattern we see over and over again. In the times of the French Revolution it was repeated that “there is no freedom for the enemies of freedom.” Today we hear that “there is no tolerance for the enemies of tolerance.” Strangely enough, defenders of freedom of speech remained silent when Président Trump was banned online. All those who talk so much about freedom, tolerance and freedom of opinion somehow failed to react. 

Statutory law ruled by relativists takes power over natural law. Nowadays, we are going a step further. Today, it is not only natural law and nature itself that are being questioned. Look at the redefinition of such things as marriage, family, gender,… The old truth is confirmed that a crisis of faith inevitably entails a crisis of reason. Until recently, it would seem absurd to replace the personal fields “father’s name” and “mother’s name” in questionnaires by “parent A” and “parent B” or to eliminate men’s and women’s toilets in favor of some other strange terms. A crisis of faith always entails a crisis of reason because this sphere of spirituality knows no vacuum. We can see the consequences of this before our eyes.

Sébastien Meuwissen: Do you share the opinion of Tristan Azbej, Hungary’s State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians and for the Hungary Helps Program who claims that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world today?

Grzegorz Kucharczyk: Yes. These are words that reflect the state of affairs because all institutions and agencies that monitor persecution in the world have been saying for years that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world. This is just the statement of a fact.

Sébastien Meuwissen: In your book, you write a lot about martyrs. You present them as a symbol of hope.

Grzegorz Kucharczyk: As Saint John Paul II said, the martyrs resemble the truth that the modern world rejects. In other words, there is some truth that is non-negotiable and irrefutable. It is worth giving up everything for her, including life. This is the lesson from the martyrs. John Paul II called it “the ecumenism of martyrs.” Throughout the twentieth century, we saw that Christians of various denominations fell victim to totalitarian regimes because they remained faithful to Christ.

It is similar today. Various denominations are under attack in Islamic countries. This is also the case in communist countries like North Korea, China and Cuba. It is also a reality that shows that the terrible baptism of blood that the martyrs are going through is – as the Fathers of the Church said – the seed of this Church and its growth. In this sense, martyrs are a sign of hope.

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