A reported claim by a German MP that Poland provoked Nazi Germany was condemned as "very dangerous," today by a deputy foreign minister in Angela Merkel's government.
Cornelia Pieper said that remarks seeking to diminish responsibility for the outbreak of the Second World War could endanger German-Polish relations.
Pieper's statement came after Erika Steinbach, a member of Merkel's Christian Democrats who heads a group representing ethnic Germans expelled from Poland, was quoted as saying that Poles were mobilised against Germany in March 1939.
The Nazi invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, triggered the outbreak of the war.
Opposition politicians demanded Merkel and her party distance themselves from Steinbach's words.