In the early autumn of 2011, just as we find ourselves today, Poland was in the midst of a parliamentary election campaign. At that time, the now-defunct paper edition of the metropolitan newspaper, Metro, published by Agora, delved into a significant matter. An activist affiliated with a right-wing party participating in the parliamentary race was involved in a controversial photo shoot, where she posed with a book known for its scandalous content. This incident was reported by Metro.
The book in question turned out to be the renowned novel 'The Camp of the Saints' penned by French author Jean Raspail. Initially, the journalists at Metro were unaware of the book's nature, prompting them to seek insights from experts in French literature regarding "The Camp of the Saints."
Among the three experts consulted, only one was familiar with the author of the book. She characterized him as follows: "he is a representative of the extreme right, an anti-democrat, a monarchist, and a xenophobic nationalist." She further depicted the author's political stance, stating: "Of course, democracy is for all monsters to speak." Concerning “The Camp of the Saints”, Metro conveyed that the book criticized France's immigration policy, leading to accusations of inciting racial hatred.
SIGN UP TO OUR PAGE
I must admit that as I witnessed the dramatic film portrayals of the migrant situation in Lampedusa, which is currently inundated with migrants from Africa, flashes of imagery from Raspail's novel crossed my mind. And I believe many share this sentiment.
This year commemorates the 50th anniversary of the first edition of “The Camp of the Saints.” In Polish, the book was published much later, in 2005, and was promoted at that time as a grim prophecy coming true. So, what does Raspail's novel entail?
Picture a flotilla of ships embarking from India, packed with impoverished locals. Stricken by disease and hunger, their passengers aspire to reach the Old Continent to settle and thrive in its prosperity. This massive influx of newcomers triggers panic among native Europeans. Surprisingly, the Western authorities, including the progressive hierarchs of the Catholic Church led by the Pope, express support and advocate for hospitality toward these migrants in the name of humanity. Consequently, they adopt a capitulating approach toward the intruders. However, a small group of individuals stand ready to defend Europe against this exotic threat, opposing this mindset.