A letter from the Polish Prime Minister

Mateusz Morawiecki on Jews, Poles, and the complexities of history

by SHMULEY BOTEACH

A few months ago my friend Jonny Daniels brought then Polish finance minister Morawiecki to my home.

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The purpose was to advance Polish-Jewish dialogue and relations. I was extremely impressed with the future prime minister. I found him warm, authentic, knowledgeable, and eloquent. He told me even then that the Polish people found it very unfair to be blamed for the Holocaust when it was Germany that was solely responsible.

The Nazis were to blame. He agreed, on the spot, to do a Facebook live discussion of this issue, which can be viewed on my Facebook page.

I told him we could not ignore that Poland has a history of antisemitism that dates back centuries. Yitzhak Shamir famously said, “Poles imbibe antisemitism together with their mother’s milk.” The prime minister took great exception to the comment and told me that Jewish life had also flourished in Poland for centuries. I was impressed with the prime minist

er’s willingness to speak off-the-cuff and with no notes on this very sensitive subject.

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