“The Holocaust Cannot Be Instrumentalized” – Chief Rabbi of Poland
The Holocaust cannot be instrumentalized – said Michael Schudrich, Chief Rabbi of Poland, to a question regarding a recent incident of a Polish far-right lawmaker interrupting a renowned Holocaust scholar during his speech. As the election campaign intensifies, we see more and more incidents, but these should be called out according to Rabbi Schudrich.
It is our obligation to call out Holocaust relativization, to say “this is wrong”. Whether it is in Poland or in other country, whether it is the left or the right or the middle. Whoever does it, it is wrong. It is not about politics, it’s about simply disrespecting the victims of the Holocaust.
The Chief Rabbi believes one of the most complicated issues in Poland is that while some people only focus on talking about those Poles who helped Jews during the war, there are also people, who marginalize, or even forget about the Polish Righteous and want to talk only about Polish collaborators.
The only way to go forward in an honest way is to talk about the good and the evil. The Righteous gentiles, who were the holiest people ever, and the most horrible people, those who collaborated with the German killing machine.
Discussing the different attitudes towards refugees from Ukraine and Belarus in Poland, the Chief Rabbi explained, it is important to know, what we criticize is the response of the Polish government to refugees from Belarus. This is not the Polish people – he added.
Cover image: Portrait of Chief Rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich in his office in Warsaw on Sept. 25, 2013. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.