Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Paweł Jabłoński told reporters Tuesday during a visit to Israel that the "recognition that Poland was a victim of the Holocaust is the most important thing for us."
Speaking at a press conference in Tel Aviv, Jabłoński said "We lost six million citizens in the war, three million of whom were Jews. Suddenly, the isolated incidents of cooperation with the Nazis become the central issue - that is Holocaust denial."
Jabłoński, who promoted the agreement to renew Israeli educational youth trips to Poland, said that the relations between the countries are currently in a good state. "We will also discuss the hundreds or thousands who assisted the Nazis, but not at the expense of the victims. The youth delegation agreement is intended to encourage Israelis to learn about the current relations between the two countries. We want them to learn what happened so that they do not associate Poland only with the death camps," he said.
When asked about the Nazi extermination camps established with the purpose of murdering Jews, he replied, "There is no competition here about who was a greater victim. Poles were also sent to the camps, regardless of their religion. The Germans wanted to annihilate a large part of the Slavic population as well. My grandfather worked on a German farm, and we are accused of collaboration."
"The Israeli youth delegations will be able to meet Polish youth and get to know Jewish life in Poland throughout history. Part of the heritage was lost in World War II, and we want to rebuild it and develop good relations with Israel and the Jewish people."