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Poland Goes Wild With Historical Revisionism Attempts

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Poland Goes Wild With Historical Revisionism Attempts

The barracks of the former death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim, Poland. Click to see full-size image

On January 23rd, Israel organized the Holocaust remembrance ceremony, to commemorate 75 years since the Nazi death camp Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet troops.

Delegations of 49 countries are attending the main event at the Yad Vashem memorial complex to remember the Holocaust and express commitment to fighting anti-Semitism going forward.

Offended by the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin was invited to speak at the ceremony and he was not, Polish President Andrzej Duda refused to attend. Poland is making its own commemoration on January 27th and he will speak there. Poland is also actively attempting to revise history and its attempts appear to be ramping up over time.

The current Polish government refuses to give the Soviet Union any credit for liberating Auschwitz, or Poland. It, instead, insists that their country was a purely innocent victim of Nazis and Soviets in equal measure.

Duda’s Law and Justice (PiS) party even lobbied the EU to declare this as a historical fact in a parliamentary resolution – to the fury of Moscow, which considers this to be spitting on the graves of almost 27 million Soviet citizens who died in the war against Hitler’s regime, and some 600,000 soldiers who perished to liberate Poland in particular.

This is quite evident in an opinion piece by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki published on Politico. It is titled “Moscow’s Holocaust revisionism,” despite the actual article having little to do with anything as dramatic as this.

But it is a loud title, aimed at gathering views and setting up an attitude even before reading the contents. Holocaust denial is a well-known stigma, and any such claims turn the individual, or state, an outcast in mainstream media.

Morawiecki brushes away the role that the Soviet Union played in the victory over Nazism, and even claims that it was a “a facilitator of Nazi Germany and a perpetrator of crimes of its own.” And that was going on, according to the Polish PM, before and after the liberation of Auschwitz.

He repeated a claim that Poland had been making for a while now, the tragic period of history in Western Europe came to an end when in 1945 Nazi Germany was defeated. But he says it wasn’t the case for many Eastern and Central European countries.

“Soviet occupation, which was to last for another 45 years, cost millions of lives and robbed Poland and Central Europe of their independence and chance for normal economic development.

During its occupation, the Soviet regime also peddled a distorted version of history and World War II, which claimed the USSR “liberated” Europe from Nazism and ignored Moscow’s real role in the conflict.”

According to him, Russia is attempting to revision history, as it publicly recalls that Poland and other European countries cooperated with Adolf Hitler.

“In reality, it was the alliance between Nazi Germany and the USSR in 1939 that paved the way for the start of World War II. The Third Reich would not have been able to rebuild German military capability without the Soviet supply of natural resources and military cooperation. It would not have been able to defeat Poland and France so easily, nor would it have had so much freedom in preparing the devastating machinery of the Holocaust.”

Morawiecki, then, accused the Soviet Union for, in a way, collaborating with Nazi Germany and that the Soviet troops could have liberated Auschwitz half a year earlier.

“In the summer of 1944, the Soviet army stood 200 kilometers from Auschwitz, but the offensive was halted, allowing the Germans time to retreat and organize death marches until January 1945. Rescuing Jews was never a priority for Stalin and the Red Army.”

Furthermore, he said collaboration with the Nazis may have taken place, but that doesn’t mean Poland, or any other European countries enjoyed it. Morawiecki claims they did it out of necessity and because they were forced to do it.

“Despite the potential for severe punishment, Poles created Żegota, an underground organization to help Jews under German occupation. The Polish government in exile in London tried with all its might to tell the world the truth about the inconceivable evil of the Holocaust, whose symbol remains the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. In Poland, collaborating with the Germans or denouncing Jews in hiding was punished with the death sentence by the Home Army, the underground army of the Polish state. And these sentences were regularly carried out.”

In response, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said the following:

“This is another criminal attempt to re-write the history of World War II,” she wrote on Facebook, stating Morawiecki had committed a form of “suicide” with the article, killing “the human within him.”

“Lies and manipulation have become loyal collaborators for Polish politicians discussing the themes of World War II.”

Zakharova further said that Morawiecki’s argument was a “terrible lie,” saying he ignored “dozens of monographs and scientific works based on documents and evidence of witnesses who recorded the feat of Soviet soldiers in history.”

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