President Duda thanks allies for support in battle for historical truth

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Polish President Andrzej Duda on Wednesday said he was deeply thankful to allies for their support voiced following recent statements alleging Poland's complicity in the outbreak of World War Two and the Holocaust.

Duda, in Davos for the World Economic Forum, when asked whether he expects Russian President Vladimir Putin to repeat, during the 5th World Holocaust Forum in Jerusalem on Thursday, his theses suggesting Poland's co-responsibility for the outbreak of World War Two, and whether he was counting on the support for Poland's position from other countries, the president replied: "We will see how our allies will act. This will be a decision by those who will be able speak at Yad Vashem."

President Duda declined to attend the Holocaust Forum event on the grounds that he was denied the opportunity to address the conference. Meanwhile, President Putin is to be one of the keynote speakers during the forum. Poland is to be represented at the event by Ambassador Marek Magierowski.

The Polish president pointed out that "he is deeply thankful to all those allies who have already expressed their support."

At a December 20 sitting of the Eurasian Economic Union, President Putin said the immediate cause of World War Two was not the August 1939 Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union but the 1938 Munich Pact, which secured the cession to Germany of Czechoslovakia's Sudeten German territory and which Poland attempted to use to secure its claims to the Zaolzie region, over which it was in dispute with Czechoslovakia.

He also accused Poland's pre-war government of hedging ties to Nazi Germany, by which they "exposed their people, the Polish people, to the German war machine and contributed to the outbreak of World War Two."

Putin's foreign affairs advisor Yury Ushakov said on Wednesday that addressing the Jerusalem forum, the Russian president will speak about the unacceptability of attempts to falsify history and revise the outcome of World War Two.