• Być wiernym Ojczyźnie mej, Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej

  • 8 lutego 2018

    Redakacja Financial Times opublikowała odpowiedź Ambasadora Arkadego Rzegockiego na artykuł „Poland's death camp law is designed to falsify history” napisany przez Jana Grossa 6 lutego 2018 r.

    W liście do redakcji, Ambasador Arkady Rzegocki napisał:

    Sir, I am sad, although not surprised, by Jan Gross’s remarks in “Poland’s death camp law distorts history” (February 7). This article is yet another example of Professor Gross undermining the good intentions behind the new law, the purpose of which is opposition to the wrongful assigning to the Polish state and nation as a whole the blame for the crimes of the Holocaust meticulously planned and mercilessly carried out by Nazi Germany. It should be emphasised that the law is mainly a reaction to the systematic misrepresentation of Poland’s history, especially through wrongly describing concentration camps set up and operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland as “Polish”.


    Let me be clear: in contrast to what Prof Gross claims, the law does not limit scientific research nor artistic activity. Nor does it ban referring to some criminal acts of individual or groups of Poles on Jewish people during the second world war. There is a crucial difference, which apparently Prof Gross does not want to accept, between those single acts and institutionalised criminal activities of a state, to which Poland never subscribed.


    Quite the opposite: Poland in no way agreed to collaborating with the Nazis. In fact, the Polish government-in-exile, which operated from London, made it a crime punishable by death to blackmail Jews who were hiding, or to blackmail Poles who protected Jews during the Nazi occupation. Poland was also the only country in occupied Europe that created an underground council for aid to Jews. Despite the threat of the death penalty, thousands of Poles were involved in helping Jews escape the Holocaust. German records reveal that at least 5,000 Polish people were executed for hiding Jews.


    By denying the Polish state the right to defend its own citizens against false accusations, Prof Gross is seemingly ignoring entirely the unspeakable cruelty of the German occupation of Poland and to the Polish people, who also suffered extermination. We need to remember that, alongside 3m Polish Jews, around 2.8m ethnic Polish people also died as a result of the German occupation. Polish people believe that they have a moral right to fight for the historical truth in this regard, which is constantly being altered and distorted.


    There is no denying that thousands of Poles, whether because of the direct threat from the Germans, the poverty suffered, their own anti-Semitism or greed, contributed towards the tragic fate of Jews. However, we cannot allow the spreading of responsibility for the crimes of the Nazi Germans to millions of Poles, who did not commit them. It is this sort of generalisation that this new law will fight.


    The truth about German death camps and the cruel realities of German occupation of Poland is also an important element of the history of the Holocaust. We believe that it should be in every good-willed person’s interest to preserve it. I hope that Prof Gross stops trying to search for bad intentions on the part of the Polish government and starts appreciating the legacy that this law is trying to protect.




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