Martin Bright

Michal Kaminski: An Astonishing New Twist

Michal Kaminski: An Astonishing New Twist
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David Miliband has really gone for it in the Observer. Far from apologising for his Labour conference attacks on David Cameron's right-wing alliance in the European parliament, he has suggested that Churchill would have been ashamed of the modern Tories for getting into bed with Poland's Michal Kaminski and Latvia's Roberts Zile. 

I interviewed Mr Kaminski last week, and I found his responses to my questions on the wartime massacre of Jews by Poles at Jedwabne in north east Poland unconvincing. His comments to me have been picked up by The Observer today. Most worrying is the idea that he believes this massacre to be of a different order to Nazi war crimes. He told me: "I think it's unfair comparing it with a Nazi crime and putting it on the same level as the Nazi policy."

His admission that he used to wear the symbol of a Catholic totalitarian group, the Chrobry Sword is also very odd. 

Many of Kaminski's claims about his past seem to be unravelling.

Now I notice Craig Murray, a former UK diplomat in Poland, who knew Kaminski as a young activist, has waded into the debate. Murray has no doubt Kaminski was connected to the campaign to prove that Polish presidential candidate Alexander Kwasniewski had a Jewish grandparent. As president, it was Kwasniewski who took it upon himself to apologise for the massacre at Jedwabne. 

Murray's blogpost, Michal Kaminski, the Tories and Polish, Anti-Semitism, is worth reading for the detailed picture it gives of the political context in the mid-1990s.

"When Alexander Kwasniewski defeated Lech Walesa to become President of Poland in 1995, Kaminski was one of the right-wing activists involved in lobbying the media to publish stories stating that Kwasniewski's grandmother was Jewish. The accusation became the focal point of the entire election campaign."

If true, this latest twist is devastating for the Conservative Party's case that Michal Kaminski is someone which the opposition and potential future government of the UK should be doing business with.