Poland opposes Holocaust distortion or denial - PM in Berlin
Poland opposes denial or distortion of the history of the Holocaust and is determined to respond to any attempts to use the Auschwitz liberation anniversary for political purposes, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki said in Berlin on Monday.
Morawiecki started his two-day visit to Berlin on Monday, which is also International Holocaust Remembrance Day, with main ceremonies held at the site of the former Nazi German death camp Auschwitz in south Poland.
Before an official concert being performed as part of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Morawiecki said that when Poland regained independence in 1918, no-one would have thought that the Nazis would build on its territory "the most terrible death machine in the history of the world - KL Auschwitz-Birkenau."
"Therefore we oppose the denial and distortion of the history of the Holocaust, we are determined to respond to attempts to use the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz-Birkenau liberation and the memory about the camp's victims for political purposes. Instead of resorting to words of political games, we want to listen to the silence left behind by 60 million WWII victims and six million Holocaust victims," Morawiecki said.
Morawiecki said that Auschwitz was not the only "hell on earth." "The other hell was the Soviet gulag," he said, adding that each of those places deserved special care so that "for the next generation, the past becomes a lesson for the future."
The head of government said that "if we strive for the truth, freedom and goodness, we must be able to separate the perpetrators from the victims, evil from good and crime from innocence."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that "we pay homage to the memory of all the victims of the Shoah, which erased all the values of the human civilisation." "We also remember those who survived," she adding.
"We pay homage to the six million murdered Jews. We pay homage to the Sinti and Roma people. To the disabled. To political prisoners. To homosexual persons and forced labourers. We pay homage to the Polish victims of the German occupation," Merkel said.
"We have the responsibility to ensure that all people feel safe in Europe and in Germany, and for them to feel at home," Merkel said.