Recently, attempts have been made to strike against historians and journalists who are trying to fairly present the fate of Polish Jews under the German occupation. The trial brought against professors Barbara Engelking and Jan Grabowski and the questioning by the police of editor Katarzyna Markusz are just the latest examples of this.
The courtroom is not a place where historical truth is determined; we condemn such attempts and we show solidarity with people who are affected.
State institutions more and more often support, sometimes in a veiled manner, sometimes directly, financially, or through career advancement, an unreliable historical narrative. The announced appointment of the ONR [the National Radical Camp] member as the chairman of the IPN [the Institute of National Remembrance] branch in Wrocław is only one of the latest examples.
The state should not be a side in the historical debate, and especially it should not support historical untruths or hatred: we condemn such attempts whose victim is the quest for historical truth.
The statement on which Markusz was questioned: “dislike of Jews was widespread among Poles, and Polish participation in the Holocaust is a historical fact”, is confirmed in many historical studies and in the collective memory of Polish Jews.
We would prefer our history to look as rosy as someone would want to picture it – but the history is what it is. If the prosecutor’s office were to initiate an investigation into the words of Markusz, it should also include all signatories of this statement.
Michael Schudrich, Naczelny Rabin Polski
Marian Turski i Piotr Wiślicki, Stowarzyszenie Żydowski Instytut Historyczny
Anna Bakuła, Anna Barbur, Magdalena Tarczyńska, Zespół Szkół Lauder-Morasha w Warszawie
Agata Patalas, Dyrektorka Prywatnego Liceum Ogólnokształcącego im. Zuzanny Ginczanki w Warszawie
Magda Dorosz, Fundacja Hillel Polska
Andrzej Friedman – B’nai B’rith Polska
Aleksandra Leliwa Kopystyńska, Stowarzyszenie „Dzieci Holocaustu” w Polsce
Helise Lieberman, Centrum Taubego Odnowy Życia Żydowskiego w Polsce
Janusz Makuch, Festiwal Kultury Żydowskiej w Krakowie
Jonathan Ornstein, Centrum Społeczności Żydowskiej JCC w Krakowie
Agata Rakowiecka, Centrum Społeczności Żydowskiej JCC w Warszawa
Alina Świdowska, Stowarzyszenie Drugie Pokolenie