Polish PM's father: Jews moved to ghettos of their own accord

Former Polish senator Kornel Morawiecki claims Jews during the Holocaust moved to ghettos of their own accord to get away from non-Jews.

Ben Ariel,

Ghetto Heroes Monument in Warsaw, Poland
Ghetto Heroes Monument in Warsaw, Poland
Flash 90

A former Polish politician who is the father of the country’s prime minister said that Jews during the Holocaust moved to ghettos of their own accord to get away from non-Jewish Poles.

Kornel Morawiecki, a former senator whose son, Mateusz, became Polish Prime Minister last year, made the remark in an interview published Tuesday by the online magazine Kulturą Liberalną and quoted by JTA.

“Do you know who chased the Jews away to the Warsaw Ghetto? The Germans, you think? No. The Jews themselves went because they were told that there would be an enclave, that they would not have to deal with those nasty Poles,” claimed Kornel Morawiecki.

His remarks come amid tensions between Poland and Israel over Poland’s approval of controversial legislation that criminalizes falsely attributing the Holocaust crimes of Nazi Germany to Poland.

The law, which was approved by the Polish Senate and then signed by the president, allows a sentence of up to three years in prison for anyone ascribing "responsibility or co-responsibility to the Polish nation or state for crimes committed by the German Third Reich." It applies to both citizens of Poland as well as foreign citizens.

Israel has criticized the legislation, as has the U.S. State Department, which warned it could violate free speech.

The crisis escalated last month when the prime minister said that the Holocaust had not only German, Ukrainian and Polish perpetrators, but Jewish ones as well. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called the remark “outrageous.”

The prime minister’s spokeswoman insisted the remarks "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."

The Polish prime minister’s father in the interview also touched on alleged Jewish complicity in the Nazi-led genocide against the Jews. He spoke of the Zagiew ring of Jewish informants that the Germans used to infiltrate resistance groups.

“Who sent Jews to the Umschlagplatz?” Kornel Morawiecki asked, using the German word for places, often city squares, where Jews were rounded up to be deported to death camps. “Did the Germans do it? No! The Jewish police were on the Umschlagplatz!”

Leading scholars of the Holocaust rejected the drawing of parallels between Jewish and Polish collaborators with the Germans, citing the fact that the former were prisoners destined for extermination and the latter were occupied civilians who by and large were allowed to lead their daily lives unless they violated Nazis laws.








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