Chief Rabbi criticises FBI chief over Holocaust remarks
PR dla Zagranicy
Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich has criticized comments made by FBI director James Comey that appeared to portray Poland as co-responsible for the Holocaust.
Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich on Sunday during commemorations marking the 72nd anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising against the Nazi German occupiers. Photo: PAP/Jakub Kamiński
Schudrich’s comments came as Polish authorities waited for an apology from the FBI director.
“I think it will leave a bitter aftertaste if he does not apologise,’’ the American-born rabbi told Poland’s RMF FM.
‘’But it won’t be a tragedy, it won’t be the end of Polish-American relations,’’ he stressed.
In separate comments cited by The Jerusalem Post, Schudrich said that ''to lump Poland with Germany as the same is false and hurtful [and] his use of words was imprecise and [could be] easily misunderstood to be a distortion of historical facts.”
Comey made his initial address on 15 April at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Dinner, and the speech was later printed by The Washington Post.
“His intention was positive and good,’’ Schudrich noted on Comey’s policy of sending FBI agents to the museum for educational purposes.
''However, even an unintended distortion of history is nonetheless a distortion of history and disrespectful to the Polish nation.’’
The US ambassador in Warsaw Stephen Mull was summoned by Poland’s foreign ministry on Sunday, and he stressed that Comey’s reflections on Poland did not represent the US government’s outlook on the matter.
In a follow-up opinion piece in The Washington Post, historian and journalist Anne Applebaum (wife of former Polish foreign minister Radosław Sikorski) likewise criticized Comey’s remarks, while also acknowledging that some Poles had murdered Jews during the Nazi German occupation of Poland. (nh)