In our capacity as the Executive Board of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland we would like to express our support and encouragement for prof. Barbara Engelking and prof. Jan Grabowski, eminent scholars whose needed and thorough research has become a target of unprecedented attacks.
There is no doubt that the studies undertaken by prof. Engelking and prof. Grabowski deal with difficult – and for many, painful – issues. But they are of key importance for our knowledge of history nd for the future of Polish-Jewish relations. We are convinced that history and facts do not slander, and that their knowledge and correct description, allow to confront the past and to build relations on the foundation of a conscious acceptance of history.
Freedom of academic pursuits is a fundamental value which cannot be muzzled by cynical actions intended to instill fear and to silence the scholars. In our opinion, the media attacks on prof. Engelking and Prof. Grabowski, have to be construed as dangerous actions which threaten academic freedoms generally – and this we cannot agree with. The campaign of hate which wants to frighten the scholars will put to question the freedom of scientific research in Poland, and it will damage the image of Poland abroad. Once again, we would like to express our appreciation and support for the eminent scholars without whose work our knowledge of the difficult past would be incomparable poorer.