MUNICH, Feb. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — AJC criticized Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s remarks asserting that Jews were among the “perpetrators” of the Holocaust. He was speaking at the Munich Security Conference.
AJC Berlin Director Deidre Berger, who was in attendance, said Morawiecki’s comment “is an unwelcome sign that Polish leaders have yet to understand the tremendous concerns unleashed by the new Polish law criminalizing statements that implicate Polish collaborators in the Holocaust.”
AJC opened its Central Europe Office in Warsaw last March, reflecting decades of engagement with Poland and a unique role in seeking to write a promising new chapter in Polish-Jewish relations.
At the same time, the global Jewish advocacy organization has been clear in opposing the new law and simultaneously determined to help defuse the crisis, if possible, between the Polish government and world Jewry.
The prime minister’s remarks suggesting Jewish complicity, as well as his decision to visit the graves in Munich of Polish fighters who collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II and lay a wreath, are further complicating an already tense situation.
“Poland’s suffering at the hands of the Nazi regime was enormous, its bravery in resistance is unquestionable. There were also Poles who risked their lives to save Jewish neighbors. Still, it is undeniable that Jews before, during, and after WWII died due to collaboration and anti-Semitism,” said Berger.
“It was disquieting to hear the lack of sensitivity of the prime minister to the emotional question of a child of Holocaust survivors from Poland whose family was betrayed by Polish neighbors. But accusing Jews themselves of allegedly being perpetrators in the Holocaust was a stunning reversal of responsibility for the Holocaust, turning victims into perpetrators.”
An AJC leadership delegation, led by AJC CEO David Harris, was in Warsaw last month and met with the Prime Minister. The discussion was friendly and productive, but it occurred when there was no hint of the forthcoming legislation in the Parliament that would stir such a global debate and trigger such strong criticism from the American and Israeli governments.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee
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