Duda apologises to expulsed Jews
Polish President Duda has asked the victims of the anti-Semitic policy of expulsion implemented during the communist era for forgiveness, adding, however, that today's generation bore no responsibility. Jews were also among the leaders of the anti-communist student protests 50 years ago, a fact that the Polish People's Republic then used as an excuse for the expulsions. Is Duda's apology enough?
A dignified gesture
Unlike Prime Minister Morawiecki, President Duda found the right words, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung comments approvingly:
“Morawiecki - and practically the entire right along with him - is oversimplifying things when he says that the Poles had nothing to do with the persecution. Quite apart from the fact that the party leaders were also Poles, the campaign was so effective only because it channelled widespread resentment. ... On Thursday President Andrzej Duda demonstrated a different and more dignified approach to this issue. He, too, stressed that today's Poland bore no responsibility for the dictatorship's crimes - but he also asked the expelled Jews to forgive the Poles for 'this disgraceful act'.”
Apology is not enough
It's not enough to apologise only for the mistakes of the communist nomenclatura in the view of the daily paper Rzeczpospolita:
“This is also about the question of why this happened. After all, it's clear that there were people who participated in the state-organised protests. ... There were people who were infected by the campaign. Looking at the current hateful anti-Semitic commentaries on the Internet and the comments of certain politicians, it's not difficult to see this. 'In the last six weeks I have understood how easy it is to rouse anti-Semitic demons in Poland even though there are hardly any Jews in the country,' the Israeli ambassador Anna Azari said on the 50th anniversary of March 1968. We are all witnesses to this. And once again the politicians were complicit.”