Polish minister cancels plan to build ‘Polocaust’ museum

Poland’s deputy minister of culture has now decided that focusing on non-Jewish Poles who died in WWII would “unnecessarily provoke more tension” between his country and the Jewish state.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Polish Deputy Minister of Culture Jaroslaw Sellin has changed his mind. Last Tuesday, he supported the idea put forward in an article by Marek Kochan, a writer and academic, to build a museum commemorating Polish victims of Nazism. Kochan had coined the term “Polocaust” in his piece, to stress that Poles, like Jews, were targets of Nazi crimes.

On Monday, Sellin backtracked on his support after receiving a wave of criticism.

“It is a complete misunderstanding,” Sellin told the Rzeczpospolita paper, which had published Kochan’s original article.

“Using the concept of ‘Polocaust’ in a way I understand it would hurt Jewish sensitivity and unnecessarily provoke more tension between our nations,” he said. “The Polocaust museum will not be built.”

According to the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, close to six million Poles perished under Nazi occupation, divided almost evenly between non-Jewish and Jewish citizens. “The Polocaust is not the Holocaust. It is something different, but also threatening the existence of an entire nation. Polish victims also have the right to be commemorated,” Kochan wrote.

Although the Nazis considered the Slavs to be racially inferior and the number of non-Jewish Poles who died under German occupation is horrifying, the crucial difference is that there was no genocidal plan to obliterate them as a nation.