Survivors on Poles’ role in Holocaust: “They know exactly what they did”

In interviews with Israel News Company, two Holocaust survivors condemned the controversial Polish bill that seeks to outlaw any mention of Warsaw’s part in the Holocaust. “They know exactly what they did. The flames of the chimneys were in Poland,” one of them said.
Auschwitz Photo Credit: Pimke/Wikimedia Commons

Holocaust survivors are among those outraged over the Polish bill that seeks to ban the use of the term “Polish death camps” and outlaw claims of Warsaw being somewhat responsible for the mass murder of millions of Jewish people. In interviews with Israel News Company, two Holocaust survivors claimed that the people of Poland were indisputably responsible for some of the crimes committed during the Second World War against the Jewish population of Europe.

“One Polish woman saved me, but she was one in a hundred,” Richard Vangur, a Holocaust survivor who was born in Poland, said. “I think the Poles were working with the Germans. The Poles whom I knew killed Jews who managed to run away from the Germans, just like me. I would run from the Poles no less than from the Germans. They didn’t commit the Holocaust, it wasn’t the idea of the Poles, but they worked to help the Germans.”

Yafah Par, a 90-year-old Rishon LeZion resident who survived the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, also attested to the Polish involvement in the Holocaust. “The Poles were very savage people and killed plenty of Jews in order to take their homes,” she told the Israeli news outlet. “Now they want to deny [it]? This is a disgrace to mankind as a whole, to all humanity and to all the countries that can do something like this. They know exactly what they did. The flames of the chimneys were in Poland. After the Holocaust, when the Jews wanted to return to their homes, the police told them: ‘You won’t sleep here. If you go home, the Poles will kill you.’”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on the bill during Sunday’s cabinet meeting, voicing his strong opposition. “We will not accept any attempt whatsoever to rewrite history. We will accept no restriction on research into historical truth,” he said. “On my instruction, our ambassador in Warsaw spoke with the Polish Prime Minister during a Holocaust memorial ceremony at Auschwitz last night and emphasized our positions.”

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