The Jewish Labour Bund is deeply disturbed by the Polish Government’s attempts to rewrite the history of the Holocaust. The latest insult is the new law that could be put into effect, which makes it an offence to accuse the Polish nation of committing atrocities against the Jewish people during the Holocaust. What is perhaps more disconcerting is the Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s response to criticism of the law, equating Polish and “Jewish perpetrators” during the Holocaust.
Poland’s long history of being unable to come to terms with its own involvement in the Holocaust is troubling. However, this new proposed legislation is perhaps the most dangerous path yet. If approved, this legislation would be the first step towards legitimising and legalising both the rewriting of history and Holocaust denial.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, a Jewish uprising against the Nazis, which lasted longer than the resistance of the Polish and French armies. This week, the streets of Warsaw are not filled with recognition of the Jewish heroes of Warsaw. They are not filled with praise for the national hero, Marek Edelman. This week, the streets of Warsaw are filled with posters from the Szturmoczy (Shturm Brigade). They read:
“Polish money for Polish hospitals, not for Jewish museums”
The Jewish Labour Bund wishes to reaffirm its commitment to ensuring that the truth of the Holocaust be shared throughout the world. Only in this way can we ensure that history does not repeat itself. We are vehemently opposed to this proposed new legislation and call on the Polish Government to immediately retract this abhorrent form of Holocaust revisionism. We stand with all Poles speaking out against this new legislation and wish to acknowledge their efforts in the fight for truth and justice.
We call on all of our khaveyrim to make their voices heard on this issue. We cannot remain silent. If not us, then who? If not now, then when?