Poland summons US ambassador over James Comey’s Holocaust comments
US Ambassador to Poland Stephen Mull has been summoned over Holocaust comments made by FBI director James Comey.
Poland’s foreign ministry said James Comey had suggested in a Washington Post article that some Poles were accomplices.
After the summons, Stephen Mull said he made it clear the US believed “Nazi Germany alone” was responsible.
Six million Polish citizens were killed by the Nazis during World War Two, half of them Jewish.
In the Washington Post article on April 16, aimed at raising education about the Holocaust, James Comey wrote: “In their minds, the murderers and accomplices of Germany, and Poland, and Hungary, and so many, many other places didn’t do something evil.
“They convinced themselves it was the right thing to do, the thing they had to do.”
The words sparked a storm of protest in Poland.
Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski told Polish television the comments were an “insult to thousands of Poles who helped Jews”.
PM Ewa Kopacz said: “To those who are incapable of presenting the historic truth in an honest way, I want to say that Poland was not a perpetrator but a victim of World War Two. I would expect full historical knowledge from officials who speak on the matter.”
Ambassador Stephen Mull, who on April 19 attended ceremonies marking the 72nd anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising against the Nazis, said that any suggestion that “Poland, or any other countries other than Nazi Germany, bear responsibility for the Holocaust, is a mistake, harmful and insulting”.
After the summons, Stephen Mull said: “I made clear that the opinion that Poland is in any way responsible for the Holocaust is not the position of the United States.
“Nazi Germany alone bears responsibility. I now have a lot of work before me to make things right in this situation.”
However, Stephen Mull also said he believed the wider message of the article was that many people had either aided the Nazis or not done enough in response to the atrocities, including in the US.
The Washington Post on April 19 published a column criticizing James Comey’s comments.