Press release

Today Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has had a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Prime Ministers talked about the fate of people, Jews and Poles who experienced German occupation. They also clarified their positions with regard to the amendment to the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance and a broader issue, that is the need to strengthen the Polish-Israeli dialogue concerning the historical memory.

Both sides agreed to establish joint teams, within which the experts representing both countries will conduct the historical research which will be unencumbered by anything. The research is particularly going to deal with difficult events, the conversation about which requires honesty and responsibility, as well as mutual respect and understanding.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki emphasized that both countries should feel obliged to conduct an intense dialogue, because Jews, Poles and representatives of other nationalities who used to live within the territory of Poland witnessed the extermination of the Jewish nation – the citizens of Poland of Jewish nationality - and the extermination of the elites and a significant part of the Polish nation by the German Third Reich and the Soviet Union. The significant  majority of the Polish victims - out of a total number of 6 million - were murdered by the Nazi Germans. During the war Poland lost 22 per cent of its entire population. As a country and a state - among other countries- it suffered the most. The great nation of Polish Jews was irretrievably murdered by the Germans - Prime Minister Morawiecki added in a conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

The head of the Polish government said that Poland did not agree to equate the German organizers and perpetrators of the felonies with the Nations of the Victims. However, among the exterminated nations - in those terrible times of  war and the Holocaust - there were also the people who collaborated with the occupiers, the people who cooperated with the Nazi evil. They were representatives of various nationalities who commenced their cooperation for fear of death, in the hope of their own survival and the survival of their closest relatives as well as for many other reasons, including the will to get some profit or other motives deserving the absolute condemnation. All these cases require clarification and research. No such an individual case should burden with responsibility the whole nations that were victims of the Nazi German death machine.

The Prime Minister of Poland added that speaking about that is a part of the truth about the Second World War. The truth must not be avoided. However, one has to remember about the context at all times. The Polish Underground State, operating under conditions of occupation, passed death sentences in respect of szmalcowniks  and murderers of Jews. A dialogue about this most difficult history is indispensable, yet this debate requires mutual understanding. The Polish side counts on the continuation of the agreement which will result in the joint and dignified commemorating of all victims of these horrible events and in revealing the truth about them.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was also talking about the personal experience of his mother who survived the war in Stanisławów (at present- Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine) and who saw the fate of Poles being murdered and deported to the labour camps by communists, NKVD and later also being murdered by the Germans. Those pre-planned activities had the nature of a total destruction of the broadly understood Polish elites, as well as the numerous masses of Poles from various social groups.

Mateusz Morawiecki assured that Poland further wants to develop a nearly 1000-year cooperation between our two Nations on the basis of friendly political relations, profound social, educational and cultural contacts. He expressed his hope for the development of a common and coherent position of Poland and Israel in the issues concerning the historical truth.

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