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Polish PM comes under fire for appearing to defend anti-migrant policy at Auschwitz

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Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo came under fire on Wednesday for what critics called an inappropriate political speech at a ceremony at the wartime Nazi death camp in Auschwitz where she appeared to defend her government's anti-migrant policy.

At a ceremony commemorating the 77th anniversary of the first transport of prisoners who entered the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, Szydlo said that "Auschwitz is a lesson showing that everything needs to be done to protect one's citizens".

The comments caused widespread outrage with many taking them as a defense of the Polish nationalist-minded Law and Justice (PiS) party government's decision not to accept any refugees under a European Union resettlement plan.

The European Commission opened a legal case on Tuesday against three eastern EU members, including Poland, for failing to take in asylum-seekers to relieve EU states on the front lines of the bloc's migration crisis.

"Such words in such a place should never come out from the mouth of a Polish prime minister," Donald Tusk, European Council president and an ex-prime minister of Poland, said in a tweet.



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