The following interview with a Polish border guard about his recent deployment in Hungary was published earlier this months at the Polish website Nasz Dziennik. Many thanks to Green Infidel for the translation:
Immigrants in disguise
Thursday, 10 December 2015. Piotr Czartoryski-Sziller speaks with Staff Sergeant Marcin Jurewicz, from the Podlasie region regiment of the Polish Border Guard.
Q: A few days ago, you returned from Hungary. You were securing the border with Serbia. What were your responsibilities? A: Our mission lasted a month; we were sent on 4 November, and returned on 3 December. At the beginning, from the Polish Border Guard 43 people were sent. Although after our superiors assessed whether we would need observation vehicles for our operation, additional personnel were sent. In total, until the end of the mission, there were 53 functionaries of the Border Guard. In accordance with what was agreed between ministers and the chief commandants of the subordinate forces, we were directed to assist our Hungarian colleagues right at the border. It was typical border duties — patrols, help during interdictions, identification of people, etc. We were protecting a sensitive 40km section of the border with Serbia. Q: What security measures did you encounter at the border? A: This is the section of the border where a special fence was erected. It looks like this — from the Serbian side, we firstly have 1.5-metre-high razor wire, followed by a 3.5 metre-high fence made out of a dense mesh. The whole arrangement is also joined using razor wire. Our Hungarian, Czech and Slovak colleagues told us, however, that since our arrival there had been a significant drop in the number of people crossing the border. Before that there were 200-300 crossings a day, and after our arrival, when the patrols became more numerous, this was reduced to three to five crossings a day, ten at the most. Q: In what ways do the immigrants cross the fence? A: It’s known that if money comes into play, nothing is impossible. The smugglers who participate in transferring the immigrants displace and cut the barbed wire, which must then be repaired later. But I can say with confidence that the border in that region is really watertight. Even if some immigrants were able to cross the border, they were intercepted by additional patrols stationed three to five km from the border. Q: How many people did you stop a month? A: In total, our four countries which took part in this operation stopped around 100 people. We’re specialists in such matters concerning border control. Other units which were assisting us, especially police units, were less experienced in this field. We took part in around 50% of apprehensions, so we can say with satisfaction that we did our job. The Hungarians themselves very much appreciated our efforts; they were happy that things became calmer on the border, and were worried what would happen after we left. The patrols themselves were mixed, consisting of two Polish Border Guard functionaries, along with a Hungarian policeman and soldier, or patrols consisting of one border guard from Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Q: After returning to Poland, you mentioned that you would not like to meet some of the apprehended immigrants alone in a dark corner.
A: It’s true, but these are only common-sense observations. I’m not prejudiced against other nations and beliefs, and if someone doesn’t want to harm me, I don’t have any issues with him. Here however, we’re dealing with people who, contrary to what many say, do not have peaceful intentions. Out of a hundred people stopped by us, there were only a few Syrians. The rest were citizens of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iraq, Iran, Eritrea and also Kosovo, Albania and Turkey. Q: Were they aggressive? A: During the apprehensions, there were no extreme situations, but we were careful, as information came to us from the Serbian side that sometimes various things happened. Hence we sometimes had to act more decidedly. They tried to escape from us, in any way they could. They still keep trying to reach Germany, and treat the countries along the way as transit countries. Q: Was there a problem with identifying these people? Many of them don’t have verifiable identity documents. A: Some of them don’t have any documents at all. In many places along the border, they left clothes, which many of us could not afford. These are not rags — but designer clothes. In these clothes we also found their documents, among them passports which later turned out to be false. There were, Turkish, Kosovan and other passports. They simply don’t want their identities to be discovered. Q: Were there any dangerous situations? A: I’m not a novice in the Border Guard, and as a functionary I already experienced various things, but it was certainly more dangerous over there [Hungary] than it is in Poland. We’re accustomed to things being relatively calm in Poland, and things such as as what’s happening over there don’t take place in Poland. Admittedly we didn’t have to use weapons, but there were situations where we had to use gas and handcuffs. Q: Will you return there? A: Currently, from what I know, the Hungarian authorities have not requested another contingent. The Hungarians approached the matter quite wisely — they did not aim to catch all illegal immigrants, but rather the channelling of all this movement on the Serbian section of the border. The Serbian side isn’t at all interested in defending the border, they want only to push these people away from their country. Over a month, none of us saw a single Serbian patrol. The Hungarians are acting mainly preventively, by deterring the immigrants. Now Slovenia has the problem, because most of them went in that direction.
Translator’s note: The link is to Nasz Dziennik, which is an ultra-Catholic publication and part of the media empire of Father Tadeusz Rydzyk. His media have in the past given voice to some extreme conspiracy theories, while his radio station, “Radio Maryja”, has at times hosted virulent anti-Semites and aired some anti-Semitic conspiracy theories (mainly to do with Jewish compensation claims against the Polish government). Nonetheless, many of the reports in this media group are also considered accurate, and have been cited by more mainstream websites such as onet.pl, wp.pl and even the leading liberal-left newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza.