Monday, May 20, 2019

Arutz Sheva: Poland clarifies PM's comments on restitution

https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/263437

Poland clarifies PM's comments on restitution

Polish Embassy in Israel releases full quotation of PM Morawiecki's comments on paying restitution to Jews who survived World War II.
Arutz Sheva Staff, 

The Polish Embassy in Israel on Monday evening issued a clarification of controversial comments made on the weekend by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, in which he appeared to suggest that paying restitution to Jews who survived World War II would be a victory for Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

In a statement, the Embassy issued the full quotation of Morawiecki’s comments, made during a party convention in Lodz.

"If anyone says that Poland must pay any reparations to anyone, then we answer: we do not agree to it. We do not, and will not, agree. There will be no agreement to this, as long as Law and Justice will stay in power,” the Prime Minister said.

“Because if it were to happen, ladies and gentlemen, at any point in time, this terrible injustice, if the executioner and the victim were swapped in place, it would be an insult to all rules of the international law, and it would also be a posthumous victory for Hitler. This is why we will never allow this to happen,” he added, according to the transcript provided by the Polish Embassy.

On Sunday, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein criticized the comments, writing 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," he added.

Earlier on Monday, Minister Ze’ev Elkin criticized Morawiecki’s statement regarding Jewish property stolen during the Holocaust.

"No one blames Poland for the Holocaust but the Polish Prime Minister's statement is misplaced," Elkin told Army Radio in an interview.

On Monday, the World Jewish Restitution Organization reacted to the quotes attributed to Morawiecki, saying, "This statement, if reported correctly, is deeply insensitive to Holocaust survivors and their families."

An organization statement continued, "It is also simply incorrect — the issue is not about the German Nazi confiscations during the occupation of Poland. It is about property subsequently nationalized by the Polish Communist government that continues to benefit the Polish economy. Indeed, the Polish government introduced draft legislation to address this issue over a year ago. This issue impacts non-Jewish and Jewish property owners and is particularly important for Holocaust survivors whose property was first taken by the German Nazis and then by the Polish Communists. We call for Poland to meet its commitment to non-Jewish and Jewish property owners who have waited many years for Poland to provide them with a measure of justice.”