Wiesenthal Center Condemns Recent Attempts By Polish Government Institution to Intimidate Research and Commentary on Holocaust-Related Issues

March 5, 2019

The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), a leading Jewish human rights NGO devoted to the legacy of the Holocaust, condemned recent efforts by the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) and other Polish activists to pressure and intimidate researchers and commentators on issues related to Poland and the Holocaust.

Mark Weitzman, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Director of Government Affairs condemned, “the frivolous lawsuit filed by Poland’s IPN, an official government institute against NBC journalist Andrea Mitchell, despite her quick apology for ‘the unfortunate inaccuracy’ of a recent remark about Poland and the Holocaust made during last month's Middle East summit in Warsaw.”

Weitzman expressed our “alarm over the presence of IPN representatives at last week's Holocaust conference in Paris where Polish activists disrupted an academic presentation with anti-Semitic chants. These actions led to the conclusion that IPN is using last year’s controversial law that attempts to limit open discourse on the Holocaust and Poland as a club for intimidation and to shut down uncomfortable opinions and research.”

“IPN’s involvement with these actions, while it still employs Arkady Wingert, the Polish publisher of neo-Nazi materials and convicted Holocaust denier David Irving as well as the Nazi glorifying Mariusz Bechta, clearly demonstrates the hypocrisy and political agenda behind IPN’s crude actions."

The SWC official commended French Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation Frederique Vidal, “for her strong condemnation of the Polish attempts to disrupt and intimidate the recent conference and her reiteration of the commitment to ‘academic freedom of teachers and researchers’ and to the study of the Holocaust.”

Read more: Centrum Wiesenthala krytykuje IPN i inne polskie instytucje, wywierające naciski na badaczy Holokaustu

For more information, please contact the Center's Communications Department, 310-553-9036. join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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