Komorowski defends Russian role in Auschwitz liberation
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish President Bronisław Komorowski has defended the role of Russian soldiers in liberating Auschwitz following controversial comments made by the country's foreign minister.
Foreign Minister Grzegorza Schetyna was accused by Russia of a “mockery of history” after crediting Ukrainians for the liberation of the infamous Nazi concentration camp in occupied Poland.
During a Polish Radio interview, Schetyna was questioned about the decision not to invite Russian President Putin to the 70th anniversary of the liberation, which will take place on the 27 January, given the role of Soviet forces in liberating the camp.
Schetyna replied "maybe it's better to say ... that the First Ukrainian Front and Ukrainians liberated [Auschwitz], because Ukrainian soldiers were there, on that January day. They opened the gates, and they liberated the camp."
President Komorowski responded that in Poland “we know and remember that the most numerous group of soldiers which operated in the Małopolska [Lesser Poland] region and liberated Auschwitz were Russians, and this should be acknowledged.”
Komorowski commented that the anniversary of the liberation should not be used for political purposes, noting that this is likely the last time this many survivors of the concentration camp will be able to take part.
He added that “We should show respect for these people, for instance by putting aside any disputes.”
The Polish President also pointed out that no invitations have been sent out for the ceremony, with the Kremlin being able to freely choose whom to send. (sl)
Source: Gazeta Wyborcza, Associated Press