WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo has been criticized for her speech at the Auschwitz Museum, marking the 77th anniversary of the first deportation of prisoners to the camp.
“Auschwitz is a great lesson in today’s turbulent time that everything must be done to protect the security and life of one’s citizens,” Szydlo said Wednesday.
The comments caused outrage throughout Poland with many believing it to be a defense of the nationalist party government’s decision not to accept any refugees as part of a European Union resettlement plan.
“Such words in such a place should never fall from the lips of the Polish prime minister,” the President of the European Council and former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in a tweet.
Takie słowa w takim miejscu nigdy nie powinny paść z ust polskiego premiera. — Donald Tusk (@donaldtusk) June 14, 2017
Polish writer Jacek Dehnel, who in 2011 was honored by the Israeli Embassy and the Polish Ministry of Culture for organizing a regular volunteer clean-up of the Jewish cemetery in Warsaw, wrote in a post on Facebook that “there should be no politics over the graves,” referring to the refugee crisis.