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Monday, 14 April 2008

Never again

On 14 April 2008, President of the Republic of Poland Mr Lech Kaczyński together r with the President of the State of Israel took part in a ceremony commemorating the martyrdom of the Jews at the Monument in Treblinka. The President was accompanied by Undersecretary of State in the Chancellery of the President Mrs Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka. Among participants, there were also 550 pupils from Israel.

At the ceremony, the President said the following:

”We are in a place wehere approximately nine hundred thousand Jews perished, most of them the citizens of my own country but also of many other countries of the world. One could ask a question: why did they die? For what? For the single and only reason that they were of Jewish nationality or Jewish decent. This was the only reason why they died: a sentence on a nation. It was passed regardless of age, gender, regardless of any other circumstances. It was here that more than three hundred thousand Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto perished. Most of them: the citizens of Warsaw, one of the largest Jewish cities of the pre-war time, for their number in Warsaw approached four hundred thousand.

What can one say in the face of such a crime? The only thing to be said is: Never again. Never again may man’s nationality, creed, beliefs be grounds for anyone’s death or anyone’s persecution. This is the only message that I have from this place, the place that is for me, as a man for whom the Holocaust is part of memory, not my personal recollections but the memory I have from my earliest childhood about the slaughter of the Polish Jews. A moment ago, I lit this candle for the righteous among the nations. There were thousands of them, also in our country. This is also the best opportunity to thank Mr President Shimon Peres for his support granted to the candidacy of Mrs Irena Sendler to the Noble Prize. She managed to save more than two thousand Jewish children. While recalling this unimaginable crime let us also remember those who were saving people’s lives under the penalty of death: one’s own death and one’s family, too. Let us not forget about the future, either. We on our side shall do our utmost to have possibly best relations with the State of Israel that is going to soon celebrate its 60th anniversary. We believe this is our duty and we trust that this will meet with full understanding.

Once again, I wish to bow to the all the victims of the crime that was perpetrated in this place.”
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