Polish diplomat seeks removal of Yad Vashem text about ‘Polish police'

His criticism of the text comes amid a diplomatic crisis in Israel-Poland relations.

By JTA
March 16, 2018 08:26
1 minute read.
Star of David

a holocaust survivor wears a yellow Star of David on his jacket during a ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

A top Polish diplomat vowed to “intervene” in having text removed from the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Israel that speaks of “Polish police” under Nazi occupation.

Jan Dziedziczak, the deputy director of the Polish Foreign Ministry, complained about the text in an interview on Thursday while on a visit in Israel, Radio Maryja reported. The text said “Polish police” guarded the entrance to the Lodz ghetto.

His criticism of the text, which reflects a consensus among historians but which Dziedziczak said suggests Poles were complicit in the Holocaust, comes amid a diplomatic crisis in Israel-Poland relations over Poland’s passing last month of a law that criminalizes blaming Poland for the Holocaust. Israel protested the law, which international Jewish groups said prevents open discussion and may limit research on thousands of Poles who betrayed Jews to the Nazis or killed Jews.

“When I saw this inscription, I asked for immediate intervention from our diplomatic mission in Israel,” Dziedziczak said. “We will not leave this matter and we will do everything to change this information immediately.” He added that this would be the first of various "actions to restore the truth."

The Yad Vashem state museum on its website says that most of the police officers who served before the German occupation of Poland in 1939 complied with the occupiers’ order for them to return to duty under German auspices. By 1943, some 16,000 Polish officers, some of them armed, served under the Germans.
Israel urges Poland to change bill regarding its role in Nazi Holocaust, January 28, 2018 (Reuters)

Several historians, including Sylwia Szymańska-Smolkin of the University of Toronto, have studied the Polish police’s role in the Holocaust and specifically in connection with the Lodz ghetto.

It was employed “on a wide scale against the Jewish population,” Yad Vashem wrote, and “had an active role in policing ghettos in occupied Poland and searching for Jews who sought refuge with the local population after escaping from ghettos and camps.” The Polish police demonstrated “absolute devotion” to the Nazi authorities, according to Yad Vashem, “although a handful of cases of assistance to Jews by some officers also occurred.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

July 20, 2019
Presidential advisor accused of corruption

By EZRA TAYLOR

Cookie Settings