Polish outrage at Spiegel cover story

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Jaroslaw Kaczynski, Poland's former prime minister, has seemed lackluster of late. He has only seldom thrown himself into the ongoing campaign ahead of European Parliament elections in two weeks. Instead of delivering his accustomed tirades against the European Union, he has meekly called on his fellow citizens to go to the polls on June 6. It seemed that he was short on issues.

This week, though, Kaczynski has found his old form again -- with the unexpected help of SPIEGEL."The Germans are attempting to shake off the guilt for a giant crime," he said, commenting on the latest SPIEGEL cover story," The Dark Continent: Hitler's European Holocaust Helpers."

The feature describes how foreigners aided the Germans during World War II in the killing of 6 million Jews. Some of the accomplices -- who represented a small minority in each of their countries -- were forced into their roles, others denounced Jews in exchange for money. And some shared the Nazi's anti-Semitic beliefs and joined in out of conviction.

The reference to this particular aspect of the Holocaust is seen in Poland as an attempt by"the Germans" to shift the burden for at least part of the responsibility for the mass murder onto others. If Poland allows"such practices" to happen in Germany, Kaczynski added, then his country shouldn't be surprised one day if Berlin demands reparations for the German soldiers who died during the bloody crushing of the Warsaw Uprising.

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  • Editorial in Spiegel Online: Hitler's European Holocaust Helpers

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