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October 18, 2019
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Poland: Ultra-nationalists troll Auschwitz commemoration for the first time ever

1.2.2019 12:44
The Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
The Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

Dozens of adherents of the Polish ultra-right assembled at the former Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz, which is an open-air museum today, during the commemoration of the 74th anniversary of the liberation of the death camp by the Soviet Army. Those commemorating the liberation did not ever encounter the protesters.

Reuters reported that this is the first time Polish ultra-nationalists have ever held such a demonstration on this occasion. The ceremony honoring the memory of the victims was attended by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and several members of his Government, along with some of the last prisoners of the former camp to have survived the Nazi crimes.

The ultra-right demonstrators waved Polish flags and sang the Polish national anthem in different part of the camp. "The Jewish nation and Israel are doing all they can to alter the history of the Polish nation. Polish patriots must not allow this," declared Piotr Rybak of the self-described "Polish Independence Movement", which organized the ultra-nationalists' assembly.

Reuters reported that critics are accusing Poland's governing party of attempting to downplay the roles that were played by Polish people in the Holocaust. Many in Poland still refuse to acknowledge researchers' findings that the Nazis had thousands of Polish henchmen also involved in the murder of the Jews, even as thousands of other Poles risked their lives to save them.

There were 3.2 million Jewish people living in Poland prior to the Second World War, 3 million of whom were murdered by the Nazis. That number accounts for roughly half of all the Jewish people who lost their lives during the war.

voj, ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Auschwitz, krajní pravice, Nacionalismus, Pietní akce



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