Thousands of people gathered to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust at ceremonies in Auschwitz and Birkenau. The presidents of Israel and Poland, Reuven Rivlin and Andrzej Duda, also took part in the 30th March of the Living. Commentators praise clear gestures and hope the dispute over the controversial Holocaust law will soon be a thing of the past.
Say no to anti-Semitism and xenophobia
The speech by President Andrzej Duda is a welcome remonstration directed at part of Polish society, Rzeczpospolita comments:
“President Duda has spoken important words. .. He reminded us of what anti-Semitism and xenophobia can lead to - namely murder on an industrial scale. Such frank words from a head of state are extremely important. Because part of our society seems to believe that it has a mandate from heaven to make an unabashed display of its hatred for others, for foreigners, and for minorities.”
Israel needs Poland
Journalist Piotr Skwieciński sees the Israeli president's visit as a sign that the dispute over the controversial Holocaust law has been resolved. On wPolityce.pl he writes:
“When the crisis in Polish-Israeli relations began I wrote that we shouldn't panic. Because although Poland needs Israel, Israel also needs Poland in many areas. And the governments know that. President Reuven Rivlin's visit shows that I was right. It proves that the Israeli side doesn't want a confrontation, even if it isn't silent about the ways in which the Israeli interpretation of the Second World War differs from ours. Rivlin hasn't suggested that Poland systematically participated in the Holocaust. ... Both sides were at pains to express that they want an agreement.”