As the world commemorates 75 years since the liberation of the Nazi German Auschwitz death camp, Piotr Cywiński was cited by The Times of Israel as saying that the main event to mark the anniversary should take place in Poland and not in Israel.
“For years, the organizer of this Forum has been making attempts to create it as an alternative commemorative event for the memorial site,” Cywiński was quoted as telling the paper in an interview.
He added, according to The Times of Israel: “… It is simply so provocative and immature that I do not find the words to comment on it.”
The interview was conducted a few days before some 50 world leaders and top dignitaries were set to gather in Jerusalem to commemorate the anniversary, The Times of Israel reported.
According to the newspaper, the 50th World Holocaust Forum has been co-organised by the office of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial centre and the World Holocaust Forum Foundation, which was founded by Moscow-born philanthropist and Jewish activist Moshe Kantor.
The Times of Israel said Kantor serves as president of the European Jewish Congress and is believed to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The paper added that Cywiński, a Warsaw native who has headed the Auschwitz Memorial and Museum in Oświecim, southern Poland, since 2006, backed Polish President Andrzej Duda’s decision to boycott the commemoration in Jerusalem.
The Times of Israel noted that Poland’s Duda was unhappy about the fact that he was not allowed to speak at the ceremony at Yad Vashem.
The paper also reported that world leaders including Israel’s Rivlin are expected to gather at Auschwitz to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.