WARSAW—Poland summoned the U.S. ambassador over a remark by the head of Federal Bureau of Investigation suggesting Polish responsibility for the Holocaust, marking a rare diplomatic rift between Washington and one of its closest European allies.
An op-ed article by FBI Director James Comey, published in the Washington Post last week, sparked a public outcry after he mentioned Poland in a passage about those complicit in the Holocaust.
“Good people helped murder millions,” Mr. Comey said in the piece, adapted from a speech he gave Wednesday at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. “And that’s the most frightening lesson of all: that our very humanity made us capable—even susceptible—of surrendering our individual moral authority to the group, where it can be hijacked by evil. Of being cowed by those in power of convincing ourselves of nearly anything.
“In their minds, the murderers and accomplices of Germany, and Poland, and Hungary, and so many, many other places didn’t do something evil. They convinced themselves it was the right thing to do, the thing they had to do,” the FBI director said.