Polish PM: Restitution to Jews is ‘Hitler’s posthumous victory’

“The Polish leadership is again trying to distort history,” charged Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that his country will never provide restitution to Jewish citizens who were dispossessed by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Speaking to audiences in various cities during campaign rallies for his nationalistic Law and Justice Party in the upcoming European Parliament elections, Morawiecki insisted that Poland was the victim and Germany the sole aggressor during World War II.

Speaking in Lodz on Friday, he said, “If this terrible injustice will ever happen – when the executioner and victim roles are reversed – it would be Hitler’s posthumous victory.”

The issue of compensation has been a popular topic of discussion in Poland recently. Last Monday, Morawiecki’s government canceled a meeting with an Israeli delegation when “last minute changes in the composition of the delegation suggest[ed] that the talks would primarily focus on the issues related to property restitution,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

A new law passed by the U.S. Congress, known as the Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (JUST) Act, requires the government to report on properties forcibly taken from Europe’s Jews during World War II. Several thousand Poles marched to the American embassy in Warsaw on Saturday to demonstrate against the perceived pressure being applied to their country through the legislation.

“Today, there are those in the world who have the nerve to ask compensation from Poland for German crimes. There is no agreement for such compensation and such behavior,” Morawiecki said in a speech in Cracow on Sunday.

“Germans murdered and looted Poles in a unique way,” he added.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein was outraged at what he called the Polish prime minister’s “provocation.”

“The Polish leadership is again trying to distort history,” he said. “It wants to thwart the justice that would come from returning the property of Holocaust survivors.”