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Warsaw - Poland Honors Wartime Group That Collaborated With Nazis

Published on: August 11, 2019 03:00 PM
By: AP
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Polish officials and war veterans pay tribute to a World War II-era underground force that collaborated with Nazi German forces toward the end of the war in their battle against the Communists, who were imposing control on the nation, in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. APPolish officials and war veterans pay tribute to a World War II-era underground force that collaborated with Nazi German forces toward the end of the war in their battle against the Communists, who were imposing control on the nation, in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. AP

Warsaw - Polish officials joined war veterans on Sunday to pay tribute to a World War II-era underground force that collaborated with Nazi German forces toward the end of the war in their battle against the Communists, who were imposing control on the nation.

A Mass in Warsaw opened ceremonies honoring the Holy Cross Mountains Brigade of the National Armed Forces on the 75th anniversary of its formation. The partisans were honored for their sacrifices to the fatherland.

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President Andrzej Duda’s official patronage and the presence of ruling party officials underlined the right-wing government’s rehabilitation of a partisan unit that fought both Germans and Soviets and which is celebrated by the far right.

It is seen as a part of a broader attempt by the ruling Law and Justice party to appeal to right-wing voters ahead of the nation’s parliamentary vote in October.

Poland had a large underground Home Army under the command of a government-in-exile that never collaborated with the Germans, and remembrance ceremonies traditionally focus on those soldiers.

Although historians say the Holy Cross Mountains Brigade collaborated with the Nazis, a representative of the veterans, Jan Józef Kasprzyk, sought to deny such a link.

Polish officials and war veterans pay tribute to a World War II-era underground force that collaborated with Nazi German forces toward the end of the war in their battle against the Communists, who were imposing control on the nation, in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019.  APPolish officials and war veterans pay tribute to a World War II-era underground force that collaborated with Nazi German forces toward the end of the war in their battle against the Communists, who were imposing control on the nation, in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019.  AP

Kasprzyk described the claims of collaboration as a product of postwar communist propaganda meant to smear the unit’s legacy.

The official rehabilitation of the brigade began when Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki honored its members at a cemetery in Munich in February 2018.

Morawiecki asserted at a news conference the same day that there were some “Jewish perpetrators” of the Holocaust.

The anniversary observances in Warsaw on Sunday were criticized by the children of Polish resistance fighters. Some wrote a letter to Duda saying, “Our fathers fought against the Nazis because they understood their duty toward their homeland. Any cooperation with the occupiers was unimaginable to them.”

Poland’s chief rabbi rejected an invitation to attend the remembrance ceremony, calling it “a personal insult.”

Opponents of the commemorations held a protest where people held banners that said “No! to collaboration” and “Collaborating with the enemy is treason.”

Polish officials and war veterans pay tribute to a World War II-era underground force that collaborated with Nazi German forces toward the end of the war in their battle against the Communists, who were imposing control on the nation, in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. APPolish officials and war veterans pay tribute to a World War II-era underground force that collaborated with Nazi German forces toward the end of the war in their battle against the Communists, who were imposing control on the nation, in Warsaw, Poland, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019. AP


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 Aug 11, 2019 at 05:30 PM HeshyEmes Says:

Now don't get me wrong; my father was from Poland, and I would give a substantial amount of Tzedakeh if every Polish goy, Yimach Sh'mum, got some AIDS / Cancer combo. Having said that, if the collaboration with the Germans was to fight Russia, which was trying to wipe them out (as you recall; Germany & Russia signed a pact & split Poland amongst themselves), and had nothing to do with killing Jews, which all the Poles (well, 99% at least) were thrilled about), then why is this an issue? Under the simple "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" rule, why shouldn't a military unit fighting the Russians, NOT try to ally themselves with the Germans?

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