Purge Lithuania of Poles

Poles in Vilnius

Poles in Vilnius

In Lithuania, an internet game whose goal it is to “purge” the country of Poles is gaining popularity. As the Znad Wilii website reports, the nationalistic game E-Sim is advertised in a way that is offensive to Poles: “E-Sim is a strategy game that allows you to become a citizen of a country of your choice. You can be anyone: a politician, an economist or a brave soldier willing to give his life for the country. Lithuania is currently in a deep crisis. Help us: free Lithuania from Poles”. According to the well-known Lithuanian journalist Vidmantas Valiušaitis, this kind of language is unacceptable as not only could it lead to worsening relations between Poles and Lithuanians but it could also lead to acts of violence. Valiušaitis adds that the current political climate causes Lithuanians to perceive Poles as people who often demand something from them; Russians are considered to be a “less problematic” minority. According to an opinion poll published last spring, almost 27% of Lithuanians consider Poland to be Lithuania’s enemy; only 12% see Poland as an ally. What is more, although Lithuanians would prefer Poles as neighbours or supervisors, they would rather welcome Russians into their families.

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