Letter: Poles were Holocaust victims too

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The Independent Online
Sir: Anyone without a detailed knowledge of the history of the Second World War, on reading your editorial (8 April) would gain the impression that the Poles were second only to the Nazis in their determination to destroy the Jewish people. What a gross calumny. It is too often forgotten that the Poles (as a Slavonic people) were also categorised by the Nazis as sub-human and as a result millions of Christian Poles met their deaths in Auschwitz alongside their Jewish compatriots.

Anti-Semitism undoubtedly existed in Poland before the war, but it was also by no means unknown in other European countries, Britain included. Who then can be complacent enough to be certain of their integrity in a country broken and ravaged by Nazi occupation? We were fortunate here in Britain - we were never put to that test.

Of course the march of the Polish skinheads was a disgusting exhibition which should have been roundly condemned by the Polish government and clergy, but to use these facts to suggest wholesale national involvement in the Holocaust is a repugnant defamation of a courageous and long-suffering nation.

Susan Jarosz

Melrose, Roxburghshire