Ambassador Piotr Wilczek Responds
To The New York Times Editorial
To the Editor:
Re: “Poland’s Holocaust Blame Bill” (editorial, Jan. 30):
Poland is one of the principal guardians of the memory of the victims of the Holocaust and protector of sites sanctified by the blood of innocent Jewish and Polish victims of Nazi German terror.
It is a great injustice that Poland, the first country to resist German aggression during World War II, and a country that suffered dearly at the hands of the sinister German occupier, has been accused of being responsible in part for the Holocaust. Let me be clear: There was no systematic complicity in the Holocaust, not by the Polish nation or by the Polish state.
Individuals all throughout German-occupied Europe — guided by coercion, fear, anti-Semitism, opportunism and greed — collaborated in one way or another with the German occupiers and committed heinous acts, and in occupied Poland as well.
But the Polish underground state and resistance carried out death sentences against collaborators and blackmailers, and Poland never formed a collaborationist government.
Every country could have done more during World War II to save Jews. But only one country bears responsibility for the state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews and millions more non-Jews: Nazi Germany.
It is reprehensible to say otherwise — to blame any other country or people for the Holocaust.
PIOTR WILCZEK, WASHINGTON
The writer is Poland’s ambassador to the United States.