Presidential Aide: ‘history is a field of struggle with Russia’

PolandIN interviewed Wojciech Kolarski, Secretary of State in the Chancellery of the Polish President Andrzej Duda. We talked about the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the end of WWII and the centenary of Poland’s victory over the Red Army in 1920.

See full interview here.

“History is the field of struggle in relations with Russia” summed up minister Kolarski regarding the ongoing debate over history with Poland’s eastern neighbour.

The anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz has seen the organisation of one major international forum for politicians in Jerusalem on 23 January and the regular Auschwitz event on 27 January on Holocaust world Remembrance Day which concentrates on the survivors. The President has decided not to participate in the Auschwitz commemorations in Jerusalem. He had no choice but to stay away when the private foundation organising that event decided that he could not speak.

“It is shocking that the leader of the country which lost 6 million of its citizens has been excluded from speaking”, said Minister Kolarski. He also admitted that the Polish President did not want to see Mr Putin once again using the international stage to pursue his campaign of falsifying the history of WWII.

Mr Kolarski revealed that no decisions have been taken as yet on President Duda’s participation at the commemoration of the end of WWII in Moscow as the Polish President has yet to get an invite and details about the format of the event are still unclear. But he also admitted that it was a problematic date for Poland as it did not mark the beginning of freedom for Poles. Wojciech Kolarski quoted President Duda’s words at the anniversary of the beginning of WWII when the Polish President said that “the consequences of WWII were felt in Poland until 1989.”

Asked about the nature of the celebrations of the centenary anniversary of Poland’s victory over the Red Army in 1920 the President’s aide said that most of them would be local in character. But he also revealed that there would be a major parade in Warsaw and the opening of the Józef Piłsudski Museum in Sulejówek.