During the celebrations of the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of the German Auschwitz camp, the Ambassador of Israel Anna Azari called for a change in the Polish Parliament’s amendment introducing, among others, penalties for the wording “Polish death camps”.
The Institute of National Remembrance considers the intervention of the embassy of another country in the amendment of an act which has not yet been passed as inappropriate. The words of the diplomat are all the more puzzling as they were uttered in Poland, which was the first victim of the German occupier. Initially, Poles were the ones who were imprisoned in the Auschwitz camp, which ultimately became the site of the extermination of mostly Jews. During the Second World War, nearly 6 million Polish citizens were killed, half of whom were Polish Jews and half ethnic Poles.
For several dozen years, Poland has been repeatedly slandered and portrayed as Hitler’s accomplice, therefore, defending the good name of our nation against statements that have nothing to do with historical truth seems to be an obvious and necessary stance. Earlier, this defense was not effective enough, and the position of the Polish authorities was not always recognised in the public sphere.
The IPN would like to emphasise that the amendment to the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance does not limit scientific research or freedom of speech in any way, it is merely aimed at eliminating deliberate distortions of history, fighting against desecration of the memory of victims and the shaming of the survivors of German concentration camps.
Provisions regarding penalties for historical lies are also in force in other countries, and the Polish reaction in this matter should not be considered as distinctive.
If well documented, any charges against Poles regarding the period of the Second World War shall not be subject to legal sanctions. In fact, the legislator, the Ministry of Justice, wants to prevent statements of people who, deliberately, publicly and falsely attribute responsibility or co-responsibility to the Polish nation for crimes committed by the Third German Reich or other crimes against humanity, peace and war crimes.
For the Institute of National Remembrance, the fight against lies about “Polish death camps” is a particularly important mission. Last year, the IPN made the list of names of the personnel of the Nazi German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau public, and it ought to be emphasised that not a single person among them was Polish. It is Germany as a state that is responsible for the crimes committed in concentration camps.
The list of names of the personnel of the German Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp:
In response to the vilification of the Polish nation and the publication of historical lies, the Institute of National Remembrance has created the “Truth about German camps” portal in English. Defining Poles as Hitler’s accomplices is a crime and should be strongly condemned while presenting facts.
“Truth about German camps” portal in English:
In view of the above, the IPN has also published a new issue of its “Bulletin” entitled “Germans doomed people to this fate”, devoted to German crimes in concentration camps. The authors of the features describe, among others, how in some countries the memory of these dark pages in history is blurred, especially among the younger generation.
Copyright remark: the image of the ID card of a Polish Auschwitz prisoner is published with courtesy of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.