Published: Wed, February 21, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Poland says no apology needed for PM's Holocaust remarks

Poland says no apology needed for PM's Holocaust remarks

"I told him there's no basis for this comparison, between the act of Poles and the acts of Jews during the Holocaust", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israeli reporters the next day, after speaking with Morawiecki at the Munich Security Conference.

Polish MP Michal Kaminski has his "fingers crossed" that Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki "is being stupid and not ruthless", after recent comments and actions regarding Holocaust memory that have upset Jews worldwide, as well as Israeli leaders.

At the Munich Security Conference, Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman asked the Polish prime minister about the controversial new Polish law that criminalizes some speech about the Holocaust.

"Here we have a problem of the inability to understand history, as well as a lack of feeling for the tragedy of our people", Netanyahu tweeted late Saturday, adding that he would speak urgently to Morawiecki.

Mateusz Morawiecki's comments "were by no means intended to deny the Holocaust, or charge the Jewish victims of the Holocaust with responsibility for what was a Nazi German perpetrated genocide", it said.

It noted that the brutal occupation of Poland by Nazi Germany during the war "allowed the Nazi German murder of Jews to take place in the way that it did". "In these bad times, there were individuals among all nations, who were ready to make gestures of the greatest mercy", the Polish prime minister said. "Still, it is undeniable that Jews before, during, and after WWII died due to collaboration and anti-Semitism", said Berger. "But accusing Jews themselves of allegedly being perpetrators in the Holocaust was a stunning reversal of responsibility for the Holocaust, turning victims into perpetrators".

But Jews on these councils were prisoners themselves and "faced impossible moral dilemmas", the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum wrote.

"Poland's suffering at the hands of the Nazi regime was enormous, its bravery in resistance is unquestionable".

Kaminski himself drew fire from Jewish groups in 2001 when he said that Poland should not apologize for the Jedwabne pogrom, in which Poles killed hundreds of their Jewish neighbors on July 10, 1941.

Morawiecki, who has governed Poland with the right-wing nationalist Law & Justice party since December, sought to push back. For example, government ministers defended an enormous march of far-right, anti-immigrant and white supremacist groups through the capital city past year.

Meanwhile, Morawiecki has been trying to stem accusations of Holocaust revisionism with his government.

The Polish foreign ministry contacted its Israeli counterpart on Sunday to demand an explanation for swastikas and anti-Polish graffiti scrawled on a gate of the Polish Embassy in Tel Aviv, according to reports in Polish media.

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