Poland’s role in the Holocaust is multifaceted, having been a victim as well as an enforcer of its horrors. The government’s decision to legally repress the discussion of Poles’ participation in crimes against Jews ignores history, asserts Edna Friedberg of The Atlantic. There are many examples of locals taking advantage of the Nazi occupation to murder, torture, rape, rob and blackmail their Jewish neighbors. This national shame doesn’t sully the heroic ways that Poles saved Jews and violently resisted the Nazis. Poland was a huge victim itself, but we must never forget the atrocities that some of its citizens took part in.
The Polish government is justified in reminding the world of Poles’ resistance and comparatively low cooperation with the Nazis during the war, argues Moshe Arens of Haaretz. While some Poles did participate in atrocities, there was a clear difference with collaboration in places like France, Slovakia, Hungary or Romania, where it happened on a much more significant level. The Polish government never cooperated with Nazi Germany, going into exile in London and guiding resistance agents back home. Poles were alone in aiding Jews during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. We mustn't forget its people's heroism.