Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki reacts after receiving his nomination during a government swearing-in ceremony in Warsaw, Poland, December 11, 2017..
(photo credit: AGENCJA GAZETA/SLAWOMIR KAMINSKI VIA REUTERS)
WARSAW – Unity with the Jewish community featured early on in the maiden speech of Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki to parliament on Tuesday. In a long speech in which he laid out his agenda as prime minister, Morawiecki said that Polish people had supported Jews during the Second World War and would continue to do so today.
“The deep community dimension is inscribed in our tradition,” he said, referring to Zegota, the codename for the Polish Council to Aid Jews in German-occupied Poland. “This is real proof of what Polishness is and what the community is.”
After the speech, a candle-lighting event organized by Chabad took place in the parliament to mark the first night of Hanukka. While the new prime minister did not take part in the event, other government representatives did.
Morawiecki has Jewish relatives, whom he spoke about at an event earlier this year that honored Poles who rescued Jews during the Holocaust. Morawiecki spoke of two Jewish aunts, one who was rescued by a Polish family during the Holocaust and another who escaped eastward and later moved to Israel.