21 July 2016, 13:09
The Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia is against exhumation of Jews killed in Poland during the war
Moscow, July 21, Interfax - President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FJCR) Alexander Boroda condemned the intention of the authorities of the Polish town Jedwabne to exhume remnants of those who fell victims of the pogrom in 1941, calling it blasphemy and an attempt to justify Hitler's Polish allies.
"Jedwabne Mayor Michael Chajewski is not the first official who tries to take off responsibility from local collaborators for the murder of Jews and lay it on Germans. We saw such statements earlier in the Baltic countries, Ukraine, and Hungary. They look crazy as it is impossible to understand how historical truth can be changed, if remnants of the poor victims would be taken from their graves," Boroda was quoted as saying by the FJCR press service.
According to him, Mayor Chajewski's words are even more scandalous as Jedwabne has become a symbol of eliminating Jews by local people and it was recognized by Polish authorities.
Boroda further said that "such revisionism is a direct way to retouching bestial behavior of collaborators during the war and leaving behind truthful memories of victims among Jewish people during Holocaust."
He added that mass exhumation would be a blasphemy and "mockery at commemoration of the victims." "Probably, it was not enough to kill them once, it is necessary to make their assassins "right," the FEOR president said.
Local residents killed about 1,500 Jews in Jedwabne on July 10, 1941. Majority of them were burnt alive. Before 2000, it was officially recognized that Germans were guilty in this murder, but in 2001, the book by historian Jan Gross was published, where he proved that the pogrom was performed only by Poles. The book shocked Poland, then acting President Alexander Kwaśniewski apologized for it, but certain circles of the Polish society tried to relieve Poles of the responsibility for Jedwabne events.
The Institute of National Memory announced that there were significantly fewer victims and dozens of German bullets were found at the site of the crime. Current president Andrzej Duda, speaking in 2015 said at the pre-election debates that Poles did not participate in Holocaust and such condemnations are lies. In July 2016, there appeared a petition in the Internet demanding to exhume bodies of the victims to check if it was German soldiers who killed them. Jedwabne mayor Chajewski in his interview with Gazeta Vyborcha said he is ready to sign such a petition.