New signs from Poland that racism and xenophobia are on the rise. A Polish lecturer at the University of Warsaw, Jerzy Kochanowski, was beat up on a tram in Warsaw for speaking German to a professor from another university, Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reports.
An inebriated man near Kochanowski reportedly told him not to speak German in his presence. When Kochanowski responded that he would continue to speak it because his friend doesn't speak Polish, the drunken man punched Kochanowski in the face. No one helped the professor, the newspaper reports.
It wasn't the only time that a person has been attacked recently in Poland for their use of a foreign language. In the Polish city of ÅomÅ¼a, a local man and a Romanian woman who was performing at a European film festival were attacked by three young men when they spoke in English while walking on the street, Gazeta Wyborcza reported in a separate story. The horrified girl managed to escape and the man found shelter in a store but the shop assistant refused to call the police for help, the paper said.
The man reportedly was terrified that no one tried to help him. The police said the attack wasn't related to the woman's nationality, Gazeta Wyborcza said.