Controversy over Polish culpability in the Holocaust flared again on Sunday as Poland’s prime minister declared that his country would not pay reparations to Jewish victims of Nazism.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told a rally in Łódź that paying restitution be tantamount to “Hitler’s victory after his death,” and would be inconsistent with international law.
“We are told that Poland has to pay restitution, but we will not agree to it as long as we are in power,” Morawiecki said at a party rally. “We are being unjustly treated. We are the victims and we are the ones who should be compensated.”
U.S. Senate Act S.447, enacted a year ago, which demands justice for uncompensated Holocaust survivors, has triggered a defiant reaction in Warsaw.
Morawiecki said if Washington were to demand such payments, the Polish government would “redirect that demand to Berlin.”
In response, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein wrote on Twitter: “The Polish leadership is again trying to distort history, and is now trying to thwart the justice it will do in returning the property of Holocaust survivors.”
“Instead of solving the fundamental issues surrounding Holocaust remembrance once and for all, the Polish prime minister again chooses to provoke.”