Living in Truth
Special statement by Prime minster Jerzy Bużek regarding the slaughter of Jews in Jedwabne in 1941.
[The following is an unofficial translation by Peter K. Gessner of the Prime minister's statement as reported in the Warsaw-based daily, Gazeta Wyborcza, on March 7, 2001 -- A large collections of Polish language articles published about Jedwabne by the Warsaw daily, Rzeczpospolita can be reached by clicking on the banner.]
The slaughter perpetrated 60 year ago in Jedwabne upon Polish Jews, our fellow citizens, terrifies in its savagery. Our duty is to honor the victims in a dignified way and to establish the truth. The investigation that is being conducted by the Institute of National Memory will establish the particular circumstance of the crime and identify its perpetrators. As a nation we can only live in truth. The participation of Poles in the crime in Jedwabne is undisputable, it isn't questioned by any respectable historian.
The slaughter in Jedwabne was not perpetrated in the name of the nation, nor in the name of the Polish state. Poland was at the time an occupied country. Yet, if as a nation we have the right to be proud of those Poles who, at the risk of their lives, sheltered Jews then we must also acknowledge the guilt of those who took part in their slaughter.
We are ready to confront even the darkest facts of our history, but in the spirit of truth, without seeking presumed justifications. We will not, however, agree to have the Jedwabne event serve to popularize false theses of Poland's complicity in the Holocaust or about inborn Polish anti-Semitism.
I want to say that the crime committed in Jedwabne 60 years ago cannot inculpate all of its current inhabitants. I believe that we will find them to be our allies in our quest of truth and reconciliation.
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