Commentary

Polish Ambassador in Israel puts record straight on Holocaust dispute

Poland’s ambassador in Israel Marek Magierowski strongly refutes claims of Polish complicity in the Holocaust in an interview for Spanish TV News24. He says it was these defamatory claims which lay behind the disputed defamation law in Poland.

Ambassador Magierowski argued that international media often portrayed Poland as jointly responsible with Germany for the Holocaust. Reactions to this narrative from Polish experts, historians and journalists were not proving effective. This is why, argues the Polish diplomat, a law was formulated to combat such a narrative. 

“I think this law has been misunderstood. People were convinced that this legislation would in some way prevent free debate about the Holocaust, and that people who survived the Holocaust and visited Poland would be prevented from freely telling about their experiences. This is absurd. That was never the intention behind this legislation,” argued Magierowski. 

The defamation law was passed in early 2018 and included provisions to penalize accusing Poland for being responsible for the Holocaust. The penalization clause was later amended after Poland and Israel signed a joint declaration which stated that Poland as a state and nation was not responsible for the Holocaust. 

Ambassador Magierowski also commented on the words of the Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz who said that “Poles suckled antisemitism with their mother’s milk”. Magierowski said that “we understand very well that Israel is in the middle of an election campaign and some politicians will make statements which will help them obtain more votes, but there are some limits on what can be said in public discourse.” 

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