(June 28, 2018 / JNS)
Revoking the terrible clauses in Poland’s controversial Holocaust law came too late. I’m happy to know our voices were heard, and that our protests against this unjust law made a difference.
We are no longer willing to be silent. I was 16 when I was taken to the cursed Auschwitz death camp on Polish soil. I remember it to this day … I will never forget. No one will silence us.
The Poles still need to be ashamed that after everything they did—to me, to my family and to my people—that they even thought to make a law like this. It is appalling that it even crossed their minds. In my view, they need to make an opposite law—one that tells the entire world the extent to which the Poles were partners to the Nazis.
The time has come for the Poles to confess to their crimes and stop denying this enormous lie.
It is impossible to forget and deny what the Poles did to us. It will always be fresh in my mind: Every Shabbat, I would set the table, and in the center I’d place two silver candle-holders engraved with the words “Shabbat Shalom.” These candle-holders fell into the hands of the Poles and were auctioned off. At the last moment, they were salvaged. Every Friday, I light candles and remember my parents and what the Poles did to us.
I am still angry at the Polish people for what they did during the Holocaust. The law they passed only reflects the immense evil. No government in the world should be allowed to make such laws. I’m glad I fought against it. After everything they did to us, they made a law to punish people who point out they consorted with the Nazis?
The Poles worked hand-in-hand with the Nazis. They are the ones who built the death camps. Instead of making this law, they should take steps to return our stolen property.
Yaffa Peer is a Holocaust survivor.