Perpetrators of the Holocaust were Germans. Jews and Poles were the victims

Fot. Sławek Kasper (IPN)

The International Holocaust Remembrance Day in the European Parliament once again showed that there is still a tendency in the European Union to obscure the German perpetration of the Holocaust and the fact that Poles were also its victims.

On January 26, 2023, the European Parliament hosted the President of Israel, Isaac Herzog. Before President Herzog’s speech, a short film devoted to the Shoah was broadcast, in which the “Nazis” were pointed out as the culprits without mentioning their German nationality. The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, made a similar move when she spoke of the “brutality of the Nazi regime” without mentioning that it was German and that Polish Jews and Poles also fell victim to it. “We must never forget the six millions of Jewish women, men and children, and all other victims, among them hundreds of thousands of Roma, murdered during the Holocaust” – she said. “This year will be marked by remembering Jewish resistance and insurgence in Nazi-occupied Europe” – she continued, as if the “Nazis” responsible for these monstrous crimes had no nationality.

The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, spoke in a similar tone. “It was a crime that saw six million Jewish people murdered for being Jewish, that’s a Roma and Sinti people targeted, that saw LGBTI communities eradicated and so many others humiliated and killed because of their ethnicity, disability, identity, race or beliefs” – she said. “The Holocaust did not happened overnight, “Auschwitz did not fall from the sky”, as survivor Marian Turski said three years ago, the alarm bells should have rung before” – she added, without specifying the perpetrators of these crimes.

Meanwhile, it must be clearly stated that many of the victims of the Holocaust were Polish Jews who found refuge in our country from the persecution they were subjected to in Western Europe. When Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany in 1939 and its lands fell under German occupation, there was first the Holocaust of the Jewish people and then the Holocaust of the Polish people. Nazi Germany planned to murder first the Jews and then the Poles in order to create a living space for themselves in this part of Europe. Attempts to distort these facts and whitewash Germany do not help to build good relations. A real partnership can only be built on the basis of truth.

On January 27, we celebrated the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the German Nazi concentration camp and extermination center KL Auschwitz. To commemorate this event, since 2005, around the world we have been celebrating the International Holocaust Remembrance Day established by the United Nations.

As we can read on the website of the Auschwitz Museum, the Auschwitz concentration camp was organized for Poles and they were its first political prisoners. The mass deportation of Jews to KL Auschwitz began in 1942. Soon, Jews became the most numerous national group in this German camp, and their share in the national structure of prisoners was systematically increasing from about 46 percent. in June 1942 to about 68 percent. in August 1944.

Anna Wiejak

Skip to content