Opponents have accused Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo of making political remarks during a ceremony at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. “In today’s troubled times, Auschwitz is a great lesson that everything must be done to defend the safety and the lives of citizens,” Ms Szydlo said. The remarks were interpreted as defending her nationalist government’s migrant policy.
But a government spokesman said they had been taken out of context. A tweet highlighting the quote on the ruling Law and Justice party feed was deleted, when it prompted a series of critical responses. The speech marked the 77th anniversary of the first Nazi transport of Polish prisoners to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi German death camp. Among the 728 Poles sent to the concentration and extermination camp in June 1940 were political prisoners, soldiers, students and Jews. But it came a day after Poland was among three countries targeted by the European Union’s executive for refusing to accept its allocation of refugees under an EU solidarity plan. Poland had originally agreed to the plan but reversed its decision when Law and Justice came to power. Several political opponents were critical of Ms Szydlo’s remarks.—Agencies