“The inability to speak in regard to this matter is against the interests of (Poland),” Duda said in a televised speech earlier this month.
However, organizers for the event said the only planned for leaders from the four wartime allies during World War II -- the U.S., Great Britain, France and Russia (formerly known as the Soviet Union) -- Germany and Israel, CNN reported.
“I am afraid this will not help the commemoration of the Holocaust,” Dariusz Stola, a Polish historian and former director of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, told the AP. “Now the past is serving the aims of current politics.”
Auschwitz was liberated by Soviet troops on Jan. 27, 1945. The camp, also known as Auschwitz-Birkenau, opened in 1940 and was the largest of the Nazi concentration/death camps. More than 1 million people died at the camp, and Allied forces found thousands of starving prisoners and piles of corpses.
The Soviet Union had signed a nonaggression treaty with Nazi Germany shortly before the war began in 1939. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact contained language where both powers agreed to partition Poland and Eastern Europe. That pact was violated when Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941.
Security was tight Wednesday as world leaders arrived in Israel. "Operation Future" has deployed 6,300 police officers in Israel, along with border patrol officers, undercover units, special patrols and anti-terrorist units, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The security angered French President Emmanuel Macron at one point Wednesday, the Times reported. Macron was entering a French church in the Old City of Jerusalem. The newspaper reported that Macron wanted to enter the church with his own security detail, and not with Israeli guards.
“Please respect the rules,” Macron said in English. “They are for centuries. They will not change with me, I can tell you. So everybody respects the rules. Please.”
“I don’t like what you did in front of me, Go outside. I’m sorry. But we know the rules. Nobody — nobody has to provoke. Nobody! OK?"