Polish-Israeli relations are very good: PM

In an extensive interview for Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that Polish-Israeli relations are very good, Poland fully supports Israel's sovereignty, and the situation of Jews in Poland is better than in Western Europe.

“I am happy that we were able to reach an understanding with Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu,” the Polish PM said in the interview published on Friday.

“We issued a joint declaration, stating that we should help our nations fight such a narrative [referring to Poland’s shared responsibility for the Holocaust]. Not just because it is blatantly erroneous, but because it diminishes the responsibility of those that were responsible,” PM Morawiecki explained, referring to the discussion sparked by the adoption of the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance in Poland early this year.

“The Holocaust was conceived, orchestrated and carried out by the Germans. The murderous intent to annihilate European Jewry was not only inhumane and abhorrent, but also unique in the history of mankind,” the Polish prime minister said, noting that Jews were not the only victims of German atrocities.

“The Germans also planned the extermination of other nations − of my nation, and that of other Slavic nations, under a Generalplan Ost. The fact that they did not succeed in killing our people entirely should not allow us to forget that. Poland was Germany’s first victim. We lost more than six million Polish citizens − three million of them with Jewish roots,” the Polish PM continued.

“German death machinery was destroying our people with unprecedented ferocity. Over 900 villages were burnt to the ground, their population murdered. In Poland specifically, German Nazis punished those who provided any help to Jews with death for the entire family and sometimes neighbors,” he pointed out.

The Jerusalem Post wrote that out of 26,973 people recognised by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations, 6,883 are Poles who saved Jews. Yad Vashem is Israel's official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.

“Yet, many other Poles slaughtered Jews,” the newspaper wrote.

Addressing this issue, the Polish PM said: “Of course, Germans had some aides of other nationalities. These people also acted on territories occupied by the Third Reich and took part in their atrocities. Many of them were tried and executed for what they did, even during the war by the underground Home Army − a Polish resistance movement, acting on orders of the Polish government in exile.”