Wiesenthal Center Slams Polish Court Decision as 'Travesty of Justice'
February 9, 2021
The Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced a Polish court decision ordering Holocaust scholars to apologize for publishing a book about the fate of Polish Jewry during WWII. “Today’s ruling in a Warsaw courtroom that found eminent historians Barbara Engelking and Jan Grabowski in violation of Polish civil law for having published a deeply researched book about the fate of Jews in Poland during the Holocaust is simply a travesty of justice,” said Mark Weitzman, SWC’s Director of Government Affairs.
“By ordering the scholars to 'apologize' it puts both historians and victims on trial and offers protection to the reputations of Poles and others who collaborated in the murder of Jews. This ruling opens the door to further intimidation of scholars and researchers and is clearly meant to whitewash unfortunate aspects of Polish history and to offer protection for anti-Semites. The verdict is a verdict against history and free speech and is a miscarriage of justice,” Weitzman concluded.
“There are those in today’s Poland who want to deny or deflect the fact that some of their countrymen abused and even killed Polish Jews during WWII. They only want to remember the horrors wrought on the Polish nation by the Nazis, while denying this sordid truth. The Jewish people simultaneously revere the memory of thousands of Righteous Poles who, often at great personal risk, saved Jews during this period, while at the same time denouncing the people who abused and killed Polish Jews. Polish history is complicated and the only ones who should be apologizing are those who seek to rewrite it,” added SWC Associate Dean and Global Social Action Director, Rabbi Abraham Cooper.
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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).