In latest broadside, Moscow says Polish resistance army killed Jews in WWII

Russia’s defense ministry accuses Armia Krayova of ‘destroying Jews’ in Warsaw, amid feud with Poland over war’s history

Soldiers of the Armia Krayova (Juliusz Bogdan Deczkowski/Public Domain)
Soldiers of the Armia Krayova (Juliusz Bogdan Deczkowski/Public Domain)

Russia’s defense ministry on Friday accused the Polish resistance movement that staged the Warsaw uprising of 1944 of “destroying Jews,” in the latest salvo of Moscow’s feud with Poland over WWII history.

The accusations were posted with a trove of declassified documents called “Warsaw Under Fire” on the 75th anniversary of Soviet forces’ taking the city after more than five years of occupation by Nazi Germany.

The Russian defense ministry published a multimedia website Friday to mark the anniversary with scans of documents about Nazi concentration camps, photos and lengthy reports by Soviet officers.

“The documents show that parts of Armia Krayova (Home Army) destroyed the remaining Ukrainians and Jews in the city, while holding as hostages the Soviet officers that escaped German prison,” the ministry said of the Polish resistance force during occupation, which answered to a London-based government in exile.

Poland’s foreign ministry on Friday launched a “liberation without freedom” campaign on Twitter to mark the anniversary, saying that the coming of the Red Army “didn’t mean liberty for Poland.”

Anti-semitism in the Polish resistance is a hugely sensitive issue in today’s Poland, where the fighters of Armia Krayova are regarded as heroes.

In 2018, a Polish court ruled that German ZDF television channel must apologize and pay damages after a documentary on the subject.

Russia’s publication Friday is the latest volley in an exchange of accusations over the roles of Moscow and Warsaw before and during World War II, sparked when Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed Poland and Western powers for the war’s outbreak.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki gives a speech during the Munich Security Conference on February 17, 2018 in Munich, southern Germany. (AFP/Thomas Kienzle)

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki accused the Russian leader of deliberately lying.

Poland’s president has pulled out of an event in Jerusalem next week marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation by the Soviet Red Army of the Auschwitz death camp, while Putin is set to visit.

Poland meanwhile has not invited Putin to its own commemoration of the anniversary on January 27th.

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