Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Rewriting History? Polish FM Sez Ukrainians Liberated Auschwitz… Russia Puzzled

00 auschwitz kids. 21.01.15


The Polish FM’s statement that the Ukrainians liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp puzzled Moscow. V I Churkin, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, remarked that the Red Army, which liberated the camp, was multinational. However, on Wednesday, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Grzegorz Juliusz Schetyna, speaking on Polish radio, said, “The 1st Ukrainian front and Ukrainians liberated [the concentration camp], as on that January day there were Ukrainian soldiers, so they opened the gates of the camp”. That was in answer to a question related to invitations to join the ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Red Army on 27 January 1945.

Following the comment, Ambassador Churkin pointed up to Schetyna that Red Army liberated the concentration camp, adding that the front had the title “First Ukrainian” “because it liberated the Ukraine from the Nazis before reaching Poland through battles”. on Wednesday, in New York, Churkin told the Polish UN envoy, Bogusław Walenty Winid, speaking at a UN conference commemorating the liberation of the camp, “Like all other parts of the Red Army, [the front] was multinational and consisted of Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Central Asians, and many others… from more than 100 Soviet ethnic groups” . Churkin urged Winid to explain the grave mistake to the Polish FM saying, “I’m sure he didn’t intend to offend so many peoples”.

UK-based journalist and writer Neil Clark told RT that interested parties rewrite history for political purposes, saying, “Fact is, the Soviet Red Army liberated that appalling camp Auschwitz. Yet, now, in 2015, we rewrite history to write out the role of the Red army in liberating Auschwitz for political purposes”.

In 2015, the Polish government issued no specific invitations for the commemoration event… the Polish authorities passed this duty to the Auschwitz Museum and the International Auschwitz Council. The organisers of the ceremony stated that they asked all nations who contributed funds to the site to see if they were going to take part, without personal invitations. On Tuesday, Putin’s spokesman D S Peskov said that Putin wouldn’t attend the event, as he hasn’t received any invitation. Meanwhile, S B Ivanov, the Head of the RF Presidential Administration, will represent Russia.

The commemoration of the liberation of the Nazi death camp shall take place on 27 January. It comes 70 years after Soviet troops liberated it in 1945. The Nazis imprisoned about 1.5 million people at Auschwitz, many of them Soviet citizens.

21 January 2015




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