President Andrzej Duda of Poland wants participants in the January conference at Yad Vashem to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin’s accusation that Poles cooperated with Hitler.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Sunday called Putin’s accusation a lie that needed reinterpretation.
Krzysztof Szczerski, the head of Duda’s Cabinet, is demanding a condemnation from participants of the World Holocaust Forum — the Jan. 23 conference commemorating the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
Putin said last week that Poland had taken “the first step towards genocide” by entering into an agreement with Hitler and joining the partition of Czechoslovakia in 1938, and called the then-Polish ambassador to Germany, Jozef Lipski, “an antisemitic pig.”
Morawiecki in his statement published Sunday wrote that Putin “has lied about Poland on numerous occasions, and he has always done it deliberately. This usually happens when Russian authorities feel international pressure related to their activities.”
Thirty state leaders, including Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron, will come to Israel next month for the World Holocaust Forum. The organisers emphasise that it will be “the largest event focused on the fight against antisemitism.” The meeting will be held under the slogan “Commemorating the Holocaust, fighting antisemitism.”
The conference is organised in connection with the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz on Jan. 27, 1945. On that day, there will be an official ceremony at the former death camp’s memorial in Poland, and some of the world leaders will take part in both events. Putin is not scheduled to come to Poland.
Duda’s office has said it is waiting to see a detailed schedule for the Jerusalem conference before deciding whether the Polish president will attend.