Education Minister Naftali Bennett said the government of Poland has cancelled the minister’s scheduled visit to Warsaw this week after Bennett pledged to use the visit to “make it clear” that Polish complicity in the Holocaust was an historical fact that cannot be erased.
“I am going to speak truth, where the truth took place,” Bennett told his Jewish Home Knesset faction Monday and noted that while thousands of Poles have been recognized as Righteous Gentiles by the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, “there were also many, too many (Poles) who actively participated in abusing, degrading and killing Jews.”
Bennett’s office said in a release that the Polish government cancelled the visit following Bennett’s remarks, and said Bennett was “honored” by the cancellation.
“Now, the next generation has an important lesson about the Holocaust of our people, and I will ensure they learn it. This decision by the Polish government has a role to play in Holocaust education, even if they intended it to achieve something else.
“Yes, the death camps in Poland were built and operated by the Germans, and we cannot allow them to evade responsibility for these actions. However, many Polish people, all over the country, chased, informed or actively took part in the murder of over 200,000 Jews during, and after, the Holocaust. Only a few thousand people, Righteous Among the Nations, risked themselves to save Jews.
“This is the truth. I accepted an invitation to a dialogue based on truth. The Polish government chose to avoid this truth. No legislation will change the past,” Bennett said.
The cancellation is the latest installment of a week-long diplomatic scuffle between Poland and Israel over Polish legislation that would criminalize accusations of Polish complicity in the Holocaust. Earlier Monday, Polish ambassador to Israel Jacek Chodorowicz did not show up for a ceremony at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem honoring diplomats who saved Jews during the Holocaust, where Netanyahu said “the truth about the Holocaust must always be studied” and called on all nations, including Poland, to internalize the lessons of the Holocaust.,
Polish President Andrzej Duda still has two weeks to decide whether to sign the legislation into law.
By: TPS Staff