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Polish prime minister: Restitution to Holocaust victims a ‘victory for Hitler’

The episode exemplified the latest in the strained relationship between Warsaw and Jerusalem.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Friday that were Poland to pay restitution for those whose property was stolen in the Holocaust it would violate “international law and would also be a posthumous victory for Hitler;” therefore, “something like this will never happen.”

Morawiecki made the remarks at a campaign rally in the city of Lodz, which had the second-largest Jewish ghetto during World War II.

Last week, a 65-year-old Israeli man was arrested for spitting at Polish Ambassador to Israel Marek Magierowski and has since apologized.

In February, Israeli Acting Foreign Minister Israel Katz slammed Poland for collaborating with Germany during the Holocaust. Some 380,000 Polish Jews out of 3.3. million—a little more than 10 percent—survived the Holocaust.

“I am the son of Holocaust survivors, we will never forgive and never forget, and there were many Poles who collaborated with the Nazis,” said Katz.

Quoting former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, Katz added that “Shamir said that ever Pole sucked anti-Semitism with his mother’s milk. Nobody will tell us how to express our stance and how to honor the dead.”

Katz’s comments sparked outrage as Poland withdrew from a planned summit in Israel.

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