WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland has summoned the United States’ ambassador in Warsaw over an article written by a top U.S. intelligence official on Poland’s alleged responsibility for the Holocaust during World War Two, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Sunday.
The article by FBI director James Comey, published in the Washington Post earlier this week, prompted an outcry in Poland and drew condemnation in the media and from politicians.
A foreign ministry spokesman said on his Twitter account that the U.S. ambassador would be summoned to the ministry over the article, and that Poland would demand an apology.
Comey said in the article: “In their minds, the murderers and accomplices of Germany, and Poland, and Hungary, and so many, many other places didn’t do something evil. They convinced themselves it was the right thing to do, the thing they had to do.”
Poland says the passage wrongly implied it was complicit in the Nazi genocide of European Jews.
Poland’s ambassador to the United States said in a statement the remarks were “unacceptable”, adding that he had sent a letter to Comey “protesting the falsification of history, especially ... accusing Poles of perpetuating crimes which not only they did not commit, but which they themselves were victims of.”
Shortly after Poland’s announcement, U.S. Ambassador in Warsaw Stephen Mull told reporters he would attend a meeting at the foreign ministry on Sunday afternoon.
“Suggestions that Poland, or any other country apart from the Nazi Germany was responsible for the Holocaust are wrong, harmful and offensive,” he added, speaking in Polish.
“I think that Comey’s wider message was that there were many people in the world that aided the Nazi criminals, or there were people who did not respond sufficiently, ... also in the United States.”
Poland is one of the United States’ closest European allies, and bilateral relations have been strengthened by the conflict in Ukraine and related tensions with Russia. Polish politicians have repeatedly called for an increased U.S. military presence in the region.
Reporting by Wiktor Szary; editing by Clelia Oziel