MOSCOW, January 14. /TASS/. The Polish authorities must apologize for the country’s policies towards the Jews prior to the outbreak of the World War II, Vyacheslav Volodin, chairman of the State Duma (parliament's lower house) said on Tuesday.
"Nazi Germany exterminated more than 3 million Jews on Polish soil. This is a horrifying number, colleagues. The largest portion of the Jewish people in Europe was exterminated in Poland," Volodin pointed out during the Duma’s plenary meeting. "And this is no coincidence. Because it was in Poland where hundreds of concentration camps, death camps were built, where Jews, Slavs, POWs of various nationalities were deliberately exterminated."
The top legislator is convinced the large number of concentration camps was facilitated by the "pre-war atmosphere in Poland and its government’s position which stoked anti-Semitic sentiment in society creating fertile ground for the subsequent genocide and the Holocaust."
"Perhaps, we should demonstrate our position now and demand that the current authorities of Poland apologize for what happened in Poland during the pre-war years and for what is happening now," Volodin emphasized.
The State Duma speaker also took aim at the Polish Sejm, who recently passed a resolution alleging that Moscow was to blame for the start of World War II. He struck back at the Polish politicians and suggested that they study the statement made by the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who acknowledged the key role of the USSR in fighting Nazi Germany.
"Before passing resolutions that aim to smear the memory of the warrior-liberators of World War II…. Our colleagues in the Sejm would do well to learn the statement by US President Franklin Roosevelt," Volodin said. According to the chairman, those who make decisions that distort history — in Poland or elsewhere — must "learn it by heart."
"During the difficult days of April 1942, [Roosevelt] said: ‘On the European front the most important development of the past year has been without question the crushing counter-offensive on the part of the great armies of Russia against the powerful German army. These Russian forces have destroyed and are destroying more armed power of our enemies — troops, planes, tanks and guns — than all the other United Nations put together,’" Volodin quoted Roosevelt’s radio address of April 28, 1942.