Logo Polskiego Radia

German dailies refuse to print Polish Righteous letter: report

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 02.03.2018 12:13
Two major German dailies have refused to publish an appeal by Polish Righteous among the Nations for Poland and Israel to reconcile, Polish news website Salon 24.pl has reported.
Some of the roughly 2,000 trees marking the Righteous Among the Nations in the garden at Yad Vashem. Photo: Proesi/German Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0 de)Some of the roughly 2,000 trees marking the Righteous Among the Nations in the garden at Yad Vashem. Photo: Proesi/German Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0 de)

Earlier this week, some 50 Polish Righteous urged Israel and Poland to reconcile in a letter addressed to Polish and Israeli officials on Monday amid strained ties over a new Polish anti-defamation law.

Salon24.pl reported that two Polish charities paid for the letter to be published in a number of major dailies across the world.

The Polish website said the letter appeared in about a dozen major dailies in the US, France, UK, Israel and Poland, but that it did not run in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung or Suedeutsche Zeitung.

Both German dailies said the piece required an advertiser's name to identify who would be held responsible in case the content was fake, Salon24.pl said.

But the Polish organisers of the campaign to publish the letter noted it was signed by 50 people and asked how their signatures could be questioned, the website reported.

The website said the Polish organisers were pondering whether the German newspapers had other motives behind the decision not to print the letter.

In the letter “on behalf of the last of the 6,850 Polish Righteous Among the Nations” addressed to Polish and Israeli officials, 50 Poles awarded by Yad Vashem for their efforts to help save Jews during World War II said they did not agree to Poles and Jews being pitted against each other and that they wanted the two nations to build a shared future based on “friendship, solidarity and truth”.

The letter came amid tensions between Poland and Israel.

Relations between the countries soured when Polish parliament passed a bill, later signed into law by Polish President Andrzej Duda, which could impose a jail term for anyone who accuses Poland of being complicit in Nazi German crimes during World War II.

Duda said that he would refer the law to Poland's highest court so it can assess whether the new rules are in line with the constitution.

In Poland, the new rules are seen as a way of fighting the use of the phrase “Polish death camps”, which many say implies the country's involvement in the Holocaust.

Poland has long fought the use of such phrases, which have often appeared in foreign media in relation to Nazi German-run extermination camps located in occupied Polish territory during World War II.

But commentators have said that Israel is concerned that the new law could mean penalties for anyone who criticises individual Poles' role in the Holocaust.

Polish and Israeli teams on Thursday held talks, as earlier promised by both countries' prime ministers, in a bid to ease tensions. (vb/pk)

Copyright © Polskie Radio S.A About Us Contact Us