Poland’s Kaczyński on WWII and restitution claims

“When I hear appeals today that Poles should, like Austrians, feel both perpetrators and victims (of the WWII) at the same time, I must admit that I become very angry” – said Jarosław Kaczyński in an interview with “Gazeta Polska” today.

Kaczyński stressed that Poland cannot be equated with Austria, because they are two totally different cases. “Hitler in Austria was welcomed enthusiastically by many of the citizens. Austrians constituted a not insignificant part of the crews running the death factories set up by Germans.”* Besides, Hitler himself was an Austrian. Comparing Poland to Austria contradicts basic and easily verifiable historical facts.

The Polish leader stated that Poland must defend itself against such lies because their level has long crossed the “boundaries of insolence and absurdity”.

He reminded that during the war Poles rescued many Jews: “Thousands of Poles took a huge risk while saving Jews because helping Jews meant a death sentence for the rescuer and his/her whole family.

Regarding the demands of some Jewish organizations reclaiming properties from Poland, Kaczyński stressed that Polish law must act equally for all citizens and cannot favor anybody because of ethnicity. “This is a fundamental principle” – he emphasized.


* Many Austrians worked as camp officers in the Sobibór and Treblinka death camps. For instance, Franz Paul Stangl was an Austrian-born police officer who became an employee of the T-4 Euthanasia Program and an SS commander in Nazi Germany. He was the commandant of the Sobibór and Treblinka extermination camps during the Operation Reinhard phase of the Holocaust (Wikipedia).

Picture of Jarosław Kaczyński in Sejm. Source: Adrian Grycuk (Wikipedia).