Commissioner Vera Jourova told the EU parliament that she rejects claims that paint Poland as a perpetrator instead of a victim of World War II, which lasted from 1939-1945.
“Organized and targeted dissemination of distortions and disinformation is something we have to oppose and reject”, Jourova said.
The move comes amid increased tensions between Poland and Russia over Poland’s role in the war. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin has blamed Poland for the outbreak of the war, while the Polish PM has blamed Putin for lying in order to hide his political failures.
Jourova said she will not tolerate Putin’s attacks on Poland during a debate called “Distortion of European history and remembrance of the Second World War”. The leader of the European People’s Party, Manfred Weber, blamed Russia for trying to rewrite history.
Putin has blamed the Western powers for allying with Adolf Hitler, and has citied documents in which, according to him, the Polish ambassador in Germany “expressed full solidarity with Hitler in his anti-Semitic views”.
World War II began with Poland being invaded first by Nazi Germany, then by the Soviet Union. The invasion happened days after the two states signed a pact to divide Poland and the Baltic states. The EU Parliament angered Putin when it adopted a resolution that says that, because of the pact, the Soviet Union partly bears responsibility for the war, alongside Germany.
“These are the facts”: Jourova said, reiterating that the 1939 Hitler-Stalin pact marked the beginning of the war. She, however, said the Soviet Union’s turning against Nazi Germany paved the way for securing victory.
Some 6 million Polish citizens were killed in the war.