Post-communist Jews responsible for antisemitism in Poland, lawmaker says

Source: JTA

Warsaw – Amid a polarizing
debate in Poland and beyond about the country’s complicity in the Holocaust, a
lawmaker for the ruling Law and Justice party said post-communist Jews, not
Poles, should apologize for antisemitism.

 

Krystyna Pawłowicz in an op-ed published Monday on the news website Wpolityce was
commenting on criticism by Jewish groups and the State of Israel on a law
passed last week by the parliament that criminalizes accusing Poland of crimes
committed by the Nazis during their occupation of the country during World War
II. The Nazis killed 4 million Jews in Poland, including 3 million with Polish
nationality. They also killed 3 million non-Jewish Poles, who the Nazis
considered inferior. In parallel, individual Poles killed thousands of Jews.
Thousands of Poles also helped rescue Jews and Jewish families.

 

“The
post-communists and the opposition again today want us, Poles in free Poland,
to apologize once more, this time for their antisemitism carried out as part of
internal struggles between the Soviet governors,” she wrote.

 

Across the former Soviet Union and its satellite countries, there
is persistent antisemitic sentiment centered on the outsize role of Jews in the communist revolution and
regimes that followed. Some of those regimes in Russia, Poland and other areas
adopted antisemitic policies.

 

 

“For
March ’68 let the perpetrators, their ideologues and
descendants apologize,” Pawłowicz wrote. That year, hundreds of thousands
of Jews left Poland, abandoning their possessions and forced to relinquish
their Polish nationality amid a state-led antisemitic propaganda campaign.

 

In
2016, Zsolt Bayer, a co-founder of the ruling Fidesz party, suggested
collaboration in the Holocaust was payback for oppression brought on by
communist Jews. In Lithuania, where collaborators and German troops wiped out
the local Jewish community, authorities launched a probe in 2008 for alleged
war crimes against three Jewish partisans with support from the Red Army. The
probe was dropped amid an international outcry.