Bronisław Wildstein, a member of the committee appointed by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to solve the differences with Israel over Poland’s controversial legislation on the Holocaust, said Sunday Morawiecki does not intend to apologize for controversial comments he made over the weekend.
Morawiecki caused an uproar in Israel when he said at the Munich Security Conference that the Holocaust included "Jewish perpetrators" as well.
"There were Polish perpetrators, as there were Jewish perpetrators, as there were Russian perpetrators, as there were Ukraine and German perpetrators," Morawiecki said in response to a question by Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman.
MKs from across the political spectrum criticized Morawiecki's statement, including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who said, "The Polish Prime Minister's words here in Munich are outrageous. There's a huge problem of a lack of understanding of history, and a lack of sensitivity to our nation's tragedy. I intend to speak to him as soon as possible."
In an interview on Sunday with Israeli public broadcaster Kan, Wildstein opined that Morawiecki has nothing to apologize for.
“The prime minister didn’t accuse the Jewish nation of the Holocaust, of course. He only said that in a special situation people behave in a special way,” said Wildstein, adding, “We couldn’t deny that in the ghetto there was a Jewish police, and the Jewish police helped Germans send the people to the concentration camps.”
“I don’t want to accuse these people. [Morawiecki] said the truth. There is no sense to apologize for the truth,” concluded Wildstein.
Earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu held a telephone conversation with Morawiecki, telling the Polish prime minister “there’s no basis for this comparison, between the act of Poles and the acts of Jews during the Holocaust". Netanyahu said that he pointed out that "the goal of the Holocaust was to destroy the Jewish people and that all Jews were under sentence of death".
Later, the Polish government clarified in a statement that the prime minister’s comments were “a sincere call for open discussion of crimes committed against Jews during the Holocaust, regardless of the nationality of those involved in each crime.”
The comments made on Saturday “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 statement also said, adding that Poland “wants to continue dialogue with Israel in the spirit of truth and mutual trust.”