Welcome Iain Dale readers.
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One of the points made by Labour against Kaminski is that he was in effect playing an anti-semitic card by arguing against the apology by then President Kwasniewski for the Jedwabne massacre.
It’s obvious! Any Pole arguing against the form or principle of such an apology has to be at the very least a revolting person, and more probably a horrid anti-semitic extremist.
80% of Poles at the time (2001) felt that is was good that the crime at Jedwabne had been made public, but a similar 80% did not feel any moral responsibility for it – why should they? Opinion on President Kwasniewski’s apology was divided, with a slight margin in favour.
Noting the complexity of these issues, the then Polish PM Jerzy Buzek was very careful in the way he chose his words:
The slaughter in Jedwabne was not perpetrated in the name of the nation, nor in the name of the Polish state. Poland was at the time an occupied country. Yet, if as a nation we have the right to be proud of those Poles who, at the risk of their lives, sheltered Jews then we must also acknowledge the guilt of those who took part in their slaughter.
We are ready to confront even the darkest facts of our history, but in the spirit of truth, without seeking presumed justifications. We will not, however, agree to have the Jedwabne event serve to popularize false theses of Poland’s complicity in the Holocaust or about inborn Polish anti-Semitism.
Hmm. Is that formulation not just a bit defensive. Even … shifty? Surely that crafty drafting masks a deep anti-semitic instinct!
And where is Mr Buzek these days?
Oh yes, here.
Some things are complicated and deeply morally challenging. Simplify them for banal political purposes at your peril.