Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

Poland Cancels Israeli Minister’s Visit After He Vowed To Tell ‘Truth’ About Holocaust

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Poland cancelled a scheduled visit by Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett, after he said he would use the opportunity to tell the Polish people the “truth” about Poland and the Holocaust.

Bennett said that while in Poland he was “determined to say explicitly what history has already proved — the Polish nation had a proven involvement in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust,” Bennett said Monday in announcing his trip that had been planned for later in the week.   “I am going to speak truth, where the truth took place,” he said.

Bennett had been scheduled to speak to Polish students and to meet with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Science and Higher Education in Poland, Jarosław Gowin, Ynet reported. He was also to meet with Holocaust survivors and Righteous Among the Nations living in Poland. The visit was not coordinated with the Foreign Ministry, Haaretz reported.

Hours after Bennett announced the visit, Poland cancelled the visit, citing Bennett’s remarks.

“The government of Poland canceled my visit, because I mentioned the crimes of its people. I am honored,” Bennett said in a statement, which also was published on his Facebook page along with a photo of a past visit to Auschwitz.

The incident comes amid a standoff between Poland and Israel over legislation passed in both houses of the Polish Parliament which would criminalize rhetoric blaming Poland for Nazi crimes, including calling death camps set up on Polish soil by the Nazis “Polish death camps.” Poland’s president must still sign the legislation into law.

Engage

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.