Polish minister: ‘Polocaust’ museum will not be built

‘Polocaust’ museum would create tension between Poles and Jews, Polish government minister says.

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Yossi Zeliger/Flash90

A “Polocaust” museum dedicated to non-Jewish Polish victims of the Nazis will not be built, a Polish government minister who supported the idea said.

Deputy Culture Minister Jaroslaw Sellin on Monday walked back his support of the idea, floated last week by writer and scholar Marek Kochan in the Polish daily Rzeczpospolita, saying it would antagonize Jews, Reuters reported.

The Nazis murdered nearly 2 million Poles during World War II. Of the six million Jews murdered, about 3 million were Polish Jews.

“Using the concept of ‘Polocaust’ in a way I understand it would hurt Jewish sensitivity and unnecessarily provoke more tension between our nations. The Polocaust museum will not be built,” Sellin said in an interview with Rzeczpospolita published Monday.

When the idea was published last week it met with criticism from many circles.

The suggestion comes on the heels of Poland’s recently passed Holocaust law criminalizing claims that the Polish nation or state is responsible for Nazi crimes. The new law has triggered protests from researchers, historians and journalists, as well as Holocaust survivors, Israeli leaders and Jews around the world.

The term Polokaust has been used on some Polish Twitter accounts since at least 2012. Poland already runs a Museum of World War II.