In 2018, Poland’s nationalist government enacted a law which criminalized speech that holds Poland responsible for Nazi crimes. Forced by international pressure to withdraw the criminal provisions, nationalists promised instead to use civil litigation to achieve their aims. In 2021, for the first time, the law was used to target Holocaust scholars in civil court. As Poles wrestle with their ancestors’ roles during the Holocaust, observers inside the country and across Europe are sounding alarms over the whitewashing of history.
The politics of memory was the focus of a Museum program with leaders in Polish civil society, including Dr. Jan Grabowski, one of the historians sued for his research; Dr. Dariusz Stola, the former director of POLIN: Museum of the History of Polish Jews; and Konstanty Gebert, a journalist and founder of the Polish Jewish monthly Midrasz. The discussion was co-presented by Descendants of Holocaust Survivors (2G Greater New York) and moderated by Rachel Donadio, a contributing writer for The Atlantic.
Watch the program below.
This program’s original recording transcript is below. This transcription was created automatically during a live program so may contain inaccurate transcriptions of some words.
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Hi everyone, my name is Sydney Yaeger and i'm the public programs coordinator at the Museum of Jewish heritage, a living memorial to the Holocaust.
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Sydney Yaeger (she/her): I am honored to introduce today's program rewriting history, the politics of memory in Poland.
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Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Today, we will be discussing holocaust denial and revisionism a conversation, which has become critically important because, as survivors pass away those of us who are still living have now become the stewards of Holocaust memory.
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Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Throughout today's program please feel free to put questions in the zoom Q amp a box and also, please note that today's program may last up to 90 minutes.
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Sydney Yaeger (she/her): On the program is co presented by descendants of Holocaust survivors and we are joined by Ellen greenberg the founder of the group and i'm now going to pass things over to Ellen to introduce our panelists great.
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Ellen Bachner Greenberg: Thank you Sydney and thank you to the museum for sponsoring today's program with us it's my pleasure to introduce today's panelists.
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Ellen Bachner Greenberg: Dr darrius stroller isn't historian and professor at the Polish Academy of Sciences he served as Director of Poland, the Museum of history of Polish Jews from 2014 to 2019.
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Ellen Bachner Greenberg: Dr Yang Grabowski is the Co founder of the Polish Center for Holocaust research in Warsaw and the author of hunt for the Jews.
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Ellen Bachner Greenberg: trail and murder in German occupied Poland which one the audition international book prize Dr Grabowski was recently sued over his research and a high profile court case which will be discussed today.
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Ellen Bachner Greenberg: Constant Gilbert is a journalist at want to pull his biggest newspapers and an associate fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
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Ellen Bachner Greenberg: A former dissident He founded the Polish Jewish monthly mid Ross moderating the discussion is Rachel denied to a Paris space journalists, a contributing writer for the Atlantic.
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Ellen Bachner Greenberg: And a former Rome bureau chief in European culture correspondent for the New York Times, I now turn it over to you Rachel Thank you.
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Rachel Donadio: Thank you so much Ellen and welcome to caustic and yon and dari so i'm really looking forward to our discussion today.
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Rachel Donadio: We could start in many places, I was thinking that in 2015 I was in Moscow reporting a story.
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Rachel Donadio: And the film producer said that in Russia, the future had become unpredictable and so had the past, and I think that that is also the case, these days.
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Rachel Donadio: In Poland, I wanted to set the scene, a little bit before we dive into some of the issues.
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Rachel Donadio: We could start with 1795 when Poland was divided between Russia and the Russian and Habsburg empires, or we could start with World War, one after which Poland had a brief period of sovereignty.
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Rachel Donadio: or with World War Two or the show up in which 3 million Jews living in Polish territory were slaughtered that's half of the Jews who died in the Holocaust and 10% of Poland, then population.
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Rachel Donadio: We could start with the Cold War, we could start with 1968 when half the country's Jewish population was stripped of its citizenship and kicked out of Poland, following student protests.
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Rachel Donadio: or with the fall of the Berlin Wall, which gave Poland, a chance to join Western Europe.
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Rachel Donadio: or 2010 when Polish President elect Kaczynski and much of the country's ruling elite died in a plane crash that's still haunts the country and its leadership.
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Rachel Donadio: But let us start in October of 2015, which is when the Law and Justice Party, known as peace, p is came to power in Poland.
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Rachel Donadio: on a platform of asserting Polish nationalism and all countries need a story and Law and Justice His story seems to see.
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Rachel Donadio: Poland story as one in which Poland kind of defines itself against internal and external enemies and obviously this is part of some much larger weather patterns, which will discuss.
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Rachel Donadio: So, since pieces come to power, Poland has kind of pushed back against the EU, while also relying on it.
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Rachel Donadio: And since the refugee crisis at the pole in Belarus border it's kind of seen itself also is defending europe's borders.
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Rachel Donadio: And it's past many different kinds of contentious legislation, including laws allowing politicians to find on fire judges.
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Rachel Donadio: To make it a now civil offense to assert Polish responsibility for Nazi crimes, setting a statute of limitation on restitution claims for private property that it was taken during the Second World War.
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Rachel Donadio: Trying to ban abortion controlling the media basically a lot of this is the direction the country's been going.
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Rachel Donadio: And it really seems like it's been riding a line I suppose between independence or isolation and that's a big question and, on that note.
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Rachel Donadio: I wanted to ask each of the three of you, if we could begin in a kind of fast round i'll go whoever's face I see first, and I want to ask you how or why is it that the current Polish Government.
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Rachel Donadio: has been revising history and putting a different slant on it, what has changed, and what is different now from the past, why don't I start with yon whose face I see clockwise.
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Jan Grabowski: Well, thank you Rachel for this introduction, indeed, we could start in different various periods of times.
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Jan Grabowski: However, very briefly, what we are witnessing in Poland nowadays is a whole scale attack on something that we call civic civic and civil society and the distortion denial of the holocaust, in a way.
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Jan Grabowski: is somehow tied to this broad offensive that you have mentioned, which plays itself out on various fields now in the area of our today's interest which is.
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Jan Grabowski: Which is the rewriting of history of the Holocaust, there are many factors at play and some of them are of internal and it's a matter and some of them.
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Jan Grabowski: are linked to to they brought it to the to the exterior now for the what the nationalists are doing today what has been done by the way, previously, but has been reinforced nowadays.
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Jan Grabowski: Is this and I call it a new version of Holocaust denial, which means Holocaust happened, but our people, our tribe our nation had nothing to do with it.
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Jan Grabowski: So this is the new forum and off denial, which in Poland has acquired this let's say approval, not only approval, but.
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Jan Grabowski: enforcement by the state they are doing it for internal reasons because they consolidate this way around this.
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Jan Grabowski: mythic historical mythology their electorate and beyond, they can actually look to expand their electorate and in terms of.
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Jan Grabowski: Often activity abroad well Holocaust has become a universal benchmark of evil and society's attitudes during the war time toward the Holocaust.
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Jan Grabowski: has an absolutely fundamental importance in terms of the image projected abroad so here you have a policy which ones basically to rewrite history in order to consolidate.
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Jan Grabowski: Your own electorate to look for internal support, and as besieged fortress of virtue and to diffuse.
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Jan Grabowski: The let's say very frequent accusations of Polish society as being anti Semitic what is new, I still have a minute, I guess, I will not abuse my time here very quickly.
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Jan Grabowski: So, in terms of what is it what happened after 2015 is this incredible reinforcement of this message.
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Jan Grabowski: The overpowering the resources which have been thrown by the state, on this so we'll dignity file are simply huge, we are talking about hundreds of millions of US dollars per year.
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Jan Grabowski: In order to control consciousness commemoration and memory.
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Jan Grabowski: and using the law in a different ways which had not been used before to muscle and freedom of historical expression and research, so this is just in terms of the.
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Jan Grabowski: let's say to whet your appetite just to open up the discussion, but there is, of course, much more points which need to be to be raised.
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Rachel Donadio: Thank you for that dari us.
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Dariusz Stola: Well, I think that's because it pays off.
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Dariusz Stola: It works, and it has been for a long time that many politicians, but especially that Mr Kaczynski and his party were deliberately.
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Dariusz Stola: performing a very controversial aggressive memory policy that means policies to change the ways we imagine the past and we understand it.
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Dariusz Stola: And they realized that you can politically capitalized on the emotions.
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Dariusz Stola: inside it in such a controversial undertakings it started already in the late 1990s and actually the best book on the topic was written by American political scientists.
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Dariusz Stola: Michael about enough, then yankovic co wrote about the 2009 anniversary of the 1989 elections and realize.
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Dariusz Stola: That in many East European countries, there are different strategies of approaching this past, but to politicians stood out.
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Dariusz Stola: And they call them Amina Monica warriors and that was Mr Armand in Hungary and Mr Kaczynski in Poland.
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Dariusz Stola: People who deliberately inside controversy deliberately destroy consensus about what happened in the past.
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Dariusz Stola: to release emotions and then capitalize on them, they love, or about the past and they began with fighting against they saw the political enemies and quite late Time started to use the Polish Jewish history, and in particular the Holocaust to pay the same day, I would say, up to.
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Dariusz Stola: Seven years they didn't look like anti Semitic they make effort not to convey Semitic and they're actually one of the most prized rally parties in Poland.
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Dariusz Stola: At the same time, but still they love to explore the data emotions that the anti Semites were rising, in particular the resentment, which is the key emotion used by the populists.
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Dariusz Stola: And what what the role is better for the politician, then, to defend the national hormonal against some nasty foreigners, especially when this foreigners are ungrateful groups.
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Dariusz Stola: So this is choppy speaking the rationality behind the aggressive number to politics to do.
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Rachel Donadio: I will have a lot to unpack costs.
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Konstanty Gebert: Right.
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Konstanty Gebert: Well, difficult the speaker for to search eminent professors, but one thing that we need to include in our overview is that the Kaczynski government didn't just plug in.
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Konstanty Gebert: historical revisionism it reversed, a trend that have been present in published public life for the previous 15 years or so, which actually was based on that surprisingly, honest and deep attempt to come to terms with the past.
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Konstanty Gebert: When young Thomas Ross book neighbors in 2000.
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Konstanty Gebert: became a trailblazer in that you attempt to look at poland's past most of the country reacted with this may birth biologic supplicate Eve, this is the past we to deal with it, and in fact the debate with deeper and was more honest than I for one would have ever dare to expect.
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Konstanty Gebert: And this came as part and parcel of a major transformation of pearland which for the first time in modern history started to believe it's a success story, and it was.
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Konstanty Gebert: The country was booming economically, thanks to its the Asian to the EU.
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Konstanty Gebert: was having a non problematic political life in fact for eight years, the party and power stated that its political program can be resumed by the idea of hot water on tap.
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Konstanty Gebert: It seems that we are on the way to become an Eastern European Switzerland and that might be wish of growing old and boring country will actually be realized.
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Konstanty Gebert: The problem with that was manifold one was that it means that Poland as a success story needed to wean itself from it's historically an ingrained self perception as the victim nation.
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Konstanty Gebert: In the 19th century statement, Poland is the Christ of the nation's unjustly suffering for the sins of others, but taking on itself the sins of the world and therefore redeeming the world.
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Konstanty Gebert: The Christ of the nation's cannot be even.
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Konstanty Gebert: Coincidentally involved in genocide.
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Konstanty Gebert: and makes them successful and strong enough to face it's passed down, but then it has to give up to its claim of being the Christ of the nation's.
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Konstanty Gebert: And while we believe that this in fact is the case we've simply outgrown this neurotic fixation on past suffering, it was not.
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Konstanty Gebert: The Liberals and power essentially eliminate that history from high school textbooks stuff around 45 arguing that since post war history somewhat contentious.
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Konstanty Gebert: they're not going to impose the curriculum they want do what the Communists, did they want impose one version of a street it's a free market of ideas and lead the better ideas when.
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Konstanty Gebert: Well Gresham rules says that it's not necessarily the best courtesy that wins, but the cheapest currency and here to.
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Konstanty Gebert: While the Liberals were unwilling to impose a narrative other people more than happy to by recalling the myth of the innocent the suffering, Poland and innocent the suffering and therefore similar less.
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Konstanty Gebert: And this actually preceded the peace takeover of power in in.
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Konstanty Gebert: We saw the first symptoms that you're years earlier in public opinion polls and we were very surprised and we rather thought it must be a fluke because the polls were going wonderfully with people more and more aware and more and more accepting the past.
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Konstanty Gebert: i'm the radical historical revisionism and over the anti semitism came as almost as an afterthought, the first year of the piece machine.
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Konstanty Gebert: The ruling party stop it can juggle its historical revisionism and it's genuine friendship with Israel, where similarity nationalist and populist party was in power and the Israel under and then yell was more than happy to go along with it until reality here.
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Konstanty Gebert: And both sides were surprised and suffered.
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Konstanty Gebert: But the bond with Israel was really the last limit that the government can put on its historical revisionism the ones that bond was broken.
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Konstanty Gebert: Then anything good pass, and in fact did just to conclude and we'll come back to it later ensure.
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Konstanty Gebert: The turning point really was when our Prime Minister during an official visit in Munich Germany decided to lay a wreath of flowers, not on the graves.
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Konstanty Gebert: of Polish prisoners and the Nazi concentration camp of Dachau.
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Konstanty Gebert: Both on the graves of Polish soldiers of the Holy cross mountains brigade, the only unit of the Polish underground, which has collaborated with the Germans.
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Konstanty Gebert: This was a stronger declaration, as you can essentially it meant we are revising our approach to history, we might have decided, we fought on the wrong side of World War Two and then everything else follow from there.
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Rachel Donadio: This was in 2018.
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Konstanty Gebert: This was.
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Rachel Donadio: 2016 16 already you know secure.
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Jan Grabowski: ID it wasn't at.
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Konstanty Gebert: 18 okay.
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Konstanty Gebert: Thanks for correcting me.
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Konstanty Gebert: Okay, so.
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Rachel Donadio: This 2018 is also the year that this legislation was passed that at first made it a criminal offense to talk about Polish complicity in Nazi.
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Rachel Donadio: crimes and then that was downgraded to a civil offense and I think we should go to ya now to talk about his actual experience as a historian who has been.
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Rachel Donadio: prosecuted under this law, you co edited a book that, as I understand is 1700 pages long, with 3500 footnotes and in one passage a Holocaust survivor says here's a Polish village elder who.
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Rachel Donadio: helped tip off the Nazis and and about 20 Jews died this now brought about a case in which you find yourself sued for defamation by the niece of this former village elder.
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Rachel Donadio: And this strikes me as an extremely significant.
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Rachel Donadio: Development it's also made you quite a popular guy among certain circles in in Poland, but can you tell us a little bit about what the implications and ramifications of this case have been and also just how does it feel to be at the target here.
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Jan Grabowski: Right Thank you Rachel so the thing is that this trial acquired this litigation acquired a certain notoriety.
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Jan Grabowski: And because of not because of this accusation because, finally, there are so many trials involving historians nowadays, no one will really pay any attention whatsoever if there were no.
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Jan Grabowski: larger context to it, so, as you mentioned, there is a plaintive a humble woman from rural Poland who read the 2000 pages and found it and if we are to believe.
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Jan Grabowski: The story found a problem with with with with us writing about her her long deceased uncle now to put the very long story short, is within a couple of.
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Jan Grabowski: days it became obvious that the driving force behind the hole and the hole litigation.
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Jan Grabowski: was not the this humble woman who had all the rights to let's say investigate historians or accuse them and to claim.
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Jan Grabowski: The honor of her family, but in reality the whole trial has been propelled funded research organized mounted.
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Jan Grabowski: By an organization which use this in Poland differently ridiculous name by the it's called the readout of defense of the good name of the Polish nation.
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Jan Grabowski: abroad, they sell themselves as Polish anti defamation League, for obvious reasons, and now this organization was a fringe extreme nationalistic.
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Jan Grabowski: organization before 2015 now after 2015 they were infused with money with authority with power ministerial support they became a player, so to say, they did not acquire, however.
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Jan Grabowski: A common sense in the together with this acquisition so with thing is that very quickly became obvious that what is at the Center of the trial.
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Jan Grabowski: is to basically do exactly what the Polish Prime Minister model he promised at the end of June of 2018 he said, we are decriminalizing now, and this particular law but we as a state.
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Jan Grabowski: And that will reserve all the rights to go after these awful slanders on the way of civil litigation, furthermore, we shall empower the NGOs that wants to work with us, and this was exactly what happened and empowered NGO went after us.
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Jan Grabowski: Now, once again, in Polish what's the larger context, if it's not the reputation of the Boston and gayle King my co accused.
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Jan Grabowski: It is something more, and one thing is the the the low side introduced into.
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Jan Grabowski: into the mix very nebulous and legally undefined the concepts such as not right to national dignity right to national pride.
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Jan Grabowski: Now, the thing is that an agent every civil Codex or civil procedure, you have a right to defend your rights to your honor.
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Jan Grabowski: Now right to end the owner is somehow defined in legal terms, however, national pride and national dignity are not they are impossible to be defined legally.
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Jan Grabowski: Now this NGO, together with the authorities, tried to insert these concepts saying that if a historian Odin let's say slanders the or takes away or wounds this.
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Jan Grabowski: there's a right to notch national dignity, then each and every poll can feel somehow wounded and upset therefore each and every poll can file a lawsuit against defending historic.
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Jan Grabowski: So, if this is actually, this is actually what happened in February last year when we lost our case in the first instance, and the Court agreed that there is such a thing a right to national dignity and national honor.
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Jan Grabowski: So this stood this of hopefully was dismissed on appeal, but in February last year it was very nice, the second is the court in our case, the Court, the first instance actually went further and said that historian that we know the.
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Jan Grabowski: The justification of the verdict went that we don't that accusing poles of complicity in the Holocaust is alive.
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Jan Grabowski: I don't know where the judge took her insights because I very often right and I will write the segments parts of Polish society were involved in the Holocaust.
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Jan Grabowski: But for the board so court worse or Court decided what was the historical truth, it was a precedent, and it was an oval precedent furthermore.
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Jan Grabowski: What we were told, is that if we see a two kinds of testimonies which go against one another as historians, we are not allowed to reach any conclusions.
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Jan Grabowski: We were given by the Court marching orders, so to say how we should behave in our evaluation of the value of historical evidence which is completely.
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Jan Grabowski: Sorry insane from the point of view of practicing historian, which I am and, finally, what was in and i'm feel I don't want to over let's say overstayed my welcome just the final point, which made it this case.
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Jan Grabowski: And will still makes this case so important for all historians working not only in Poland, mind you, because.
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Jan Grabowski: The temptation to use civil litigation to muscle us is international Okay, I believe me, I am working few countries traveling a lot and I see the pattern in not only in Hungary Turkey or Russia, but even west of Poland.
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Jan Grabowski: And this willingness to use this these tools powerful tools of intimidation, so the final thing which was really which which got me going, I must say at the time was when we were told in about to the.
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Jan Grabowski: little value of Jewish testimony I mean I heard in the courtroom courtroom words you know these people in Jews, they constantly change their story.
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Jan Grabowski: I mean, how can you trust their testimony if you know, one day, they are name is let's say one thing, and in any case, this was an attack on Jewish testimony which I.
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Jan Grabowski: The witness the Holocaust survivor testimony which I never thought I would witness so soon, so it was a.
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Jan Grabowski: harbinger of things to come now, I have many other things I would like to raise for you, but just before I finish.
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Jan Grabowski: Just to tell you that we want on appeal last August, which I thought was was the end of the story, and now I learned it's not because the Polish authorities are now entertaining the idea of using a special legal club.
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Jan Grabowski: called extraordinary complained created by this government, three years ago, which allows them to set aside even legal sentences so with this, I, I will make a polls.
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Rachel Donadio: that's a lot, so your case has been emblematic in many ways, Doris and cross dock do you feel like the this case that yan is involved in.
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Rachel Donadio: It definitely has larger implications but was the intention to kind of just go after a couple historians here and there, and just.
00:26:41.460 --> 00:26:56.280
Rachel Donadio: cause a chilling effect and make historians wary of actually doing history or was it or was it kind of just something that was supposed to be under the radar just you know that was this meant to be publicized or to be kind of hidden away.
00:26:57.360 --> 00:27:06.360
Dariusz Stola: It was it was publicized especially to the to the target groups, because the propaganda of the ruling party is quite sophisticated in terms of.
00:27:07.260 --> 00:27:15.270
Dariusz Stola: segmenting their constituency set and defining the target groups and, clearly, the intention was to make a chilling effect.
00:27:15.840 --> 00:27:25.260
Dariusz Stola: And we saw it already you know I remember a phone call from a from a teacher in a small town in central Poland in the spring of 2018 before the low.
00:27:25.830 --> 00:27:37.050
Dariusz Stola: lost its most controversial fragments this personalization of certain statements are calling me and asking that use the i'm about to publish a fragment of a memoir.
00:27:37.530 --> 00:27:43.380
Dariusz Stola: Of a survivor from our town and she rides that pose killed her brother.
00:27:44.280 --> 00:27:55.650
Dariusz Stola: Does it meet I am about to violate the low, so the law was deliberately muddy in its wording to make such things and clear and leave a lot of room for the decision of the Public Prosecutor.
00:27:56.190 --> 00:28:02.520
Dariusz Stola: which you know for the teacher in a small town means a lot of trouble, even if he eventually would have one, so he decided.
00:28:02.940 --> 00:28:17.250
Dariusz Stola: To suspend it for a time now, I can imagine how many teachers, how many students, how many journalists for twice before doing this, and especially historians well some historians in this country continued the tradition of.
00:28:20.970 --> 00:28:31.590
Dariusz Stola: heroic intelligentsia, but you cannot do expect everyone, including the doctoral students to choose topics of the citation that lead to not a toy car a year, but rather to the trouble.
00:28:32.700 --> 00:28:50.370
Dariusz Stola: The problem of the chilling effect is its effects are invisible, you cannot measure, the number of books that were underwritten because of it, and the consequence of chilling effect is things that don't have and i'm afraid it's already it's already started to work.
00:28:53.790 --> 00:29:04.950
Konstanty Gebert: I fully endorse what you said about the chilling effect, it is wide and i've had very concrete signals from people changing their masters topics, for example.
00:29:05.400 --> 00:29:17.220
Konstanty Gebert: or journalists deciding not to investigate something in the light of the slow, whose wording is obviously intentionally on the clear.
00:29:19.380 --> 00:29:25.890
Konstanty Gebert: However, as soon as the low became low I published a paper a column, which I said that.
00:29:26.970 --> 00:29:35.640
Konstanty Gebert: It has come to my knowledge of their numerous members of the Polish nation actually have participated in numerous German crimes and.
00:29:36.210 --> 00:29:46.350
Konstanty Gebert: I realized that by making the statement I am breaking the law and then calling the attention of the public prosecutor that fact and then nothing happens.
00:29:46.920 --> 00:30:06.990
Konstanty Gebert: So, after a few days, I started calling some prosecutors, I personally love and saying well guys, I actually broke the law couple of days ago and them well they what they said I can do with my law breaking was anatomically slightly improbable but, clearly, they were not interested in prosecuting.
00:30:08.040 --> 00:30:11.250
Konstanty Gebert: The goal of the low was to scare away.
00:30:12.330 --> 00:30:22.020
Konstanty Gebert: It wasn't to establish a dogmatic truth it was to establish the truth cannot be established and you better.
00:30:23.460 --> 00:30:40.050
Konstanty Gebert: you're taking your interest somewhere else, nothing the area where are we don't want you to investigate however there's one, as the two so many aspects, but especially two aspects of that low, which are particularly dangerous one there's.
00:30:41.940 --> 00:30:55.050
Konstanty Gebert: The core statement of the low is that it is a crime to allege that the police state of the Polish nation was responsible, or a core responsible for that war crimes of the German Nazi third right.
00:30:56.100 --> 00:31:13.620
Konstanty Gebert: Now, in terms of the Polish state this, this is a very clear statement the border state existed for the Germans from the first day to the last day of the war, if somebody alleges something different, will you saying an untruth and they already are.
00:31:15.030 --> 00:31:34.920
Konstanty Gebert: Legal instruments to prosecute untruths, if necessary, however it's a statement of the published state was called responsible for Nancy war crimes is about as ridiculous as saying that the earth is flat the publishing nation is a different thing we don't have a legal definition of nation.
00:31:36.060 --> 00:31:46.470
Konstanty Gebert: um and, clearly, the low did not mean by published nation, the collectivity of Polish citizens because.
00:31:47.580 --> 00:32:00.330
Konstanty Gebert: Another article of that low makes it a crime to deny crimes of Ukrainian nationalists who, after all, were members of the Polish civil nation.
00:32:00.960 --> 00:32:23.550
Konstanty Gebert: Through being published citizens, therefore, it does seem that the low has in mind the Polish nation as an ethnic body, excluding Ukrainians probably Germans possibly Jews and if my country has just endorsed have at that time.
00:32:25.110 --> 00:32:32.340
Konstanty Gebert: Legislation about who is a member of the published navy and, therefore, who isn't.
00:32:33.150 --> 00:32:44.430
Konstanty Gebert: i'd like to be informed about that, because this past very immediate and direct consequences, which was the real reason why I wanted my court case and never had it.
00:32:45.150 --> 00:32:57.180
Konstanty Gebert: But the other issue with that low is that it was fast, with the support of the opposition yeah there was one vote against, and being.
00:32:57.990 --> 00:33:09.570
Konstanty Gebert: Matisse p&g ski no longer a Member of Parliament, the opposition swallow the government line who robbed and singer and essentially.
00:33:10.170 --> 00:33:26.610
Konstanty Gebert: i'm, even if they had some doubts, they were emotionally blackmailed into not expressing that things changed when the International scandal merged them in the Center of the opposition, suddenly got its bearings together.
00:33:27.270 --> 00:33:41.670
Konstanty Gebert: But clearly, this is an area in which the ruling and nationalist Sunday intimidated Liberals can find some kind of movies event and this frankly, is much more scary than just a little itself.
00:33:42.870 --> 00:33:51.240
Rachel Donadio: What motivated them to support the law, and also in the bigger picture is there any way to push back against this, what can be done, what have been.
00:33:51.480 --> 00:33:53.160
Rachel Donadio: The most positive developments have.
00:33:53.160 --> 00:34:00.720
Rachel Donadio: seen that have been signs of resistance against this, or do you just feel like this is just moving very quickly in a bad direction unstoppably.
00:34:01.290 --> 00:34:13.920
Konstanty Gebert: i'm just very briefly to answer first of all, there was a very strong civil society reaction against the low, we had the rallies we had manifestations, we got public figures speak out and condemning that.
00:34:15.300 --> 00:34:21.720
Konstanty Gebert: Some voices were missing to my deep regret Berta for civil society.
00:34:23.190 --> 00:34:35.880
Konstanty Gebert: dead rise to the occasion and stood in defense of its fundamental values, and this needs to be remembered, however, it is not polar civil society that decided the change in the low.
00:34:36.360 --> 00:34:51.900
Konstanty Gebert: But very strong international opposition from Israel from the US from Canada from France, the US at that time, having the strongest voice today, the US as treated by the US Government as an enemy and frankly.
00:34:54.000 --> 00:35:06.450
Konstanty Gebert: Because of its insistence on Poland, respecting rule of low and respecting freedom of the media, but then it was the vice from that on from Washington that was decisive and eventually.
00:35:07.260 --> 00:35:30.270
Konstanty Gebert: The most outrageous element of the low the finalization of making the statement headquartered earlier was removed through negotiations between unnamed published representatives and allegedly the massage and the remote location and yeah now, the whole thing being grotesque beyond.
00:35:30.270 --> 00:35:38.310
Konstanty Gebert: Words deep a humiliating even if i'm very happy that some kind of positive result was achieved.
00:35:39.990 --> 00:35:48.270
Dariusz Stola: Like to continue to answer your question why the opposition didn't resistor is it's a continuation of this effective practice.
00:35:48.900 --> 00:35:56.220
Dariusz Stola: The intimidation of the opposition was to none other than the easy because if they didn't if they voted against the low immediately.
00:35:57.030 --> 00:36:13.200
Dariusz Stola: The Kaczynski party would call these people don't want to defend the whole lot of Poland, we want to defend our hundred against the slander completely false accusations that the Polish nation and state collaborated with the Nazis, which is obviously untrue.
00:36:14.700 --> 00:36:23.760
Dariusz Stola: And if you don't support it you're the enemies, so this is the skill of this aggressive memory, a policy, this is how it works.
00:36:24.450 --> 00:36:31.470
Dariusz Stola: And the most positive change, since this moment in the last three years was that there are so many topics.
00:36:31.980 --> 00:36:38.670
Dariusz Stola: Where not only the civilized society but gradually also the the leaders of the opposition learned to oppose the ruling party.
00:36:39.180 --> 00:36:45.390
Dariusz Stola: On the most of the topics that means they have made so many outrageous decision so many horrible laws they have an act.
00:36:46.200 --> 00:36:53.850
Dariusz Stola: That this list is long, however, you know if you protest every second week against nothing important there is a kind of inflation of protest.
00:36:54.690 --> 00:37:11.940
Dariusz Stola: and certain fatigue, the protest so it's about time, you know how long can we resist this offenses on the values in various fields on values, France and how how the general mood will change to eventually get rid of this government.
00:37:13.350 --> 00:37:20.730
Jan Grabowski: Can I jump in for a second here, so the thing is that you asked also what can be done your question was and the thing is.
00:37:21.180 --> 00:37:27.540
Jan Grabowski: I was at the Center of this fairly large movement of mobilization of international public opinion.
00:37:28.080 --> 00:37:37.710
Jan Grabowski: Over the last year in order to expose the fallacies of Polish so called Polish history policy on the of this holocaust denial a distortion going on here.
00:37:37.980 --> 00:37:47.850
Jan Grabowski: The problem is, and here I like to quote jankowski a very in Poland, well known carrier and they're from 1940 from occupied Poland to the West, he said that.
00:37:48.420 --> 00:38:02.550
Jan Grabowski: You know, there was that this Jewish issue, as he said, his didn't forms this narrow path narrow bridge on which vast majority of Poles meet the Germans.
00:38:02.940 --> 00:38:16.620
Jan Grabowski: Now looking fast forward to today, I would say that this last preserve when majority of Polish society, including opposition parties me to the nationalists is the dignified.
00:38:17.280 --> 00:38:25.860
Jan Grabowski: And that's where they still it's, not only because they are intimidated, or they are forced into they really believe in, and this is a huge problem as.
00:38:26.700 --> 00:38:36.300
Jan Grabowski: It has been mentioned here and that's why the level of analysis of what anti Semitic discourse in the public arena in Poland has reached the.
00:38:36.780 --> 00:38:45.450
Jan Grabowski: proportions which I did not think possible four or five years ago, and now the thing is that in in Poland things which.
00:38:46.050 --> 00:38:55.140
Jan Grabowski: are completely impossible to imagine from my Canadian perspective let's say are simply swallow the without much reaction, therefore.
00:38:55.440 --> 00:39:02.400
Jan Grabowski: What can be done, what should be done what has to be done is constant barrage of pressure coming from the from the from abroad.
00:39:02.910 --> 00:39:12.870
Jan Grabowski: Telling also Polish society that doing these things calling these names putting these laws through is not a correct thing to do, and because.
00:39:13.560 --> 00:39:18.720
Jan Grabowski: I am very sorry to say, inside Poland ideas which are exotic.
00:39:19.080 --> 00:39:29.580
Jan Grabowski: abroad are very much a part of the mainstream I don't want even here to articulate them because they don't give don't want to give them any more currency so relentless pressure, this is something that I.
00:39:30.000 --> 00:39:38.100
Jan Grabowski: I let's say not wasted, but I set aside part of my life in order to become someone that's very alien to me.
00:39:38.580 --> 00:39:46.140
Jan Grabowski: Public history and other way engaging public debate, I thought this is so important that I still think that this is a time not wasted.
00:39:46.440 --> 00:39:56.550
Jan Grabowski: But it's very time consuming, and here the role of ritual of people are like us essential you cannot you, you will be reminded, so this is what can be done.
00:39:57.540 --> 00:40:05.580
Rachel Donadio: Well i'm glad we can have this conversation with the with our with our audience our virtual audience with real feelings about about these topics.
00:40:06.090 --> 00:40:17.160
Rachel Donadio: Getting back to I want to go back to Doris for a minute and to Poland, the Museum of the history of the of the Jews of Poland, which is a terrific museum, I was there just the week before the 2016 election.
00:40:17.460 --> 00:40:24.030
Rachel Donadio: And I was very moved by it and learned a lot I think it's don't tell I think it's better than the one in Berlin, by far.
00:40:24.540 --> 00:40:30.600
Rachel Donadio: But I wanted to ask you a little bit the moment in which that museum emerged was as.
00:40:31.020 --> 00:40:42.330
Rachel Donadio: Christ was saying earlier, a different moment and Polish history when it seemed like all the governments after Communism really had a something of an investment in in the Jewish history of Poland and making that.
00:40:42.780 --> 00:40:46.770
Rachel Donadio: Making it known and kind of honoring it and then things have somehow shifted.
00:40:47.010 --> 00:40:58.050
Rachel Donadio: tell us a little bit where things stand with the museum your contract is director was not renewed and that's clearly in the current political context, what what happened to you, and what will happen now to the museum.
00:40:59.190 --> 00:41:07.500
Dariusz Stola: literal you're right because Polish Government really invest in in the music, that means that this beautiful building decide by not mlm marquee was paid for.
00:41:07.770 --> 00:41:10.860
Dariusz Stola: by the Minister of Culture in the city of Walsall together.
00:41:11.250 --> 00:41:21.690
Dariusz Stola: And the city and the Minister our co founders of the museum, together with the association of the Jewish historical 92 which by the way this complex legal structure of the Public Private Partnership it's saved the museum.
00:41:22.320 --> 00:41:32.700
Dariusz Stola: From an item to take over by the Ministry because we we saw another institutions being taken over or atoms to take over our cultural institutions so.
00:41:33.060 --> 00:41:42.360
Dariusz Stola: There is a you know quite a expansive strategy to take control of autonomous cultural institutions and especially music so but, at the beginning of the.
00:41:42.690 --> 00:41:52.710
Dariusz Stola: Of the of the of the role of the of the country's key party, I was afraid knowing what they had to dawn with the past in previous debates, especially the debate.
00:41:53.070 --> 00:42:05.520
Dariusz Stola: About 1989 was the revolution or a betrayal of the revolution, you know who are the secret agents in the Solidarity movement and so on, and knowing they're quite interesting.
00:42:07.860 --> 00:42:15.480
Dariusz Stola: fascination with the State of Israel, and especially the government Minister Netanyahu, I suppose that we may be spared now even.
00:42:16.170 --> 00:42:28.800
Dariusz Stola: In the President, the duda the piece politician was elected President of Poland, he visited the museum I guided him at the end standing in front of the cameras, he said, every young people should visit this museum.
00:42:29.610 --> 00:42:38.640
Dariusz Stola: Well, and the Minister kept paying his shirt you know that this is something like 25% of the annual revenue of the museum is the subsidy of the Ministry of Culture.
00:42:39.000 --> 00:42:53.610
Dariusz Stola: But things are rapidly deteriorate in early 2018 because of a coincidence first this in a famous Holocaust complicity low was exactly voted by the Parliament in Italy, right after the the.
00:42:54.150 --> 00:42:59.010
Dariusz Stola: anniversary of the liberation of outfits camp actually that was you know, on the worst day they could imagine.
00:43:00.690 --> 00:43:14.130
Dariusz Stola: And second of March 2018 was the 50th anniversary of 1968 so called anti Zionist campaign so we prepared a large excellent exhibition of what happened in Poland 1968.
00:43:14.550 --> 00:43:23.820
Dariusz Stola: Especially the anti Jewish propaganda and the immigration of about half of all the publishers, as a consequence, and then know we crossed a line or.
00:43:24.360 --> 00:43:37.770
Dariusz Stola: In in between, in the meantime the ruling party radicalized there is an innate tendency for radicalization of various factions try to out beat each other in being patriotic and defending the national pride.
00:43:38.280 --> 00:43:44.430
Dariusz Stola: No such parties are never stable, they can expand it can be more aggressive or they can decline.
00:43:44.970 --> 00:43:51.240
Dariusz Stola: So this inner tendency was pushing them what had been acceptable for them two years before was no longer acceptable.
00:43:52.200 --> 00:44:04.200
Dariusz Stola: And the third thing that coincided was an at that time I didn't realize what is the meaning of it, namely the minister declared that his intention was to establish the new museum of the world, so get.
00:44:05.820 --> 00:44:15.480
Dariusz Stola: And all the later I realized that this is a tactics of establishing parallel institutions, we have a few cases like this, for example, the solidarity Museum in the dice.
00:44:15.990 --> 00:44:21.090
Dariusz Stola: Which resisted their first of takeover now has a parallel institution of the same admission.
00:44:21.810 --> 00:44:36.390
Dariusz Stola: and government and money coming from the government, so I didn't realize after the moment when the minister demanded me to give 5 million euro to this non existent yet institution, you know I can betray my hardest principle, but I cannot give up 5 million euro.
00:44:37.590 --> 00:44:40.710
Dariusz Stola: And then things just deteriorated with every month.
00:44:41.820 --> 00:44:45.090
Dariusz Stola: or longer the ongoing controversy about the Holocaust complicity.
00:44:47.940 --> 00:45:06.450
Rachel Donadio: I think this is a good moment to talk a little bit about Treblinka never a bad time to talk about Treblinka no I mean, I want to ask yon about this, because there has been another kind of revision of history going on there, and can you just tell us a little bit about.
00:45:06.810 --> 00:45:10.470
Jan Grabowski: Very quickly, because this is something that really sort of.
00:45:11.640 --> 00:45:18.600
Jan Grabowski: brought me to a state of boil which becomes more and more my permanent state nowadays, everything is imagine that true because.
00:45:18.840 --> 00:45:25.620
Jan Grabowski: All of our listeners know is the second largest Jewish cemetery in the world, close to 900,000 dead juice murdered between.
00:45:25.950 --> 00:45:40.710
Jan Grabowski: A July of 1942 in July or August 1943 most of them now Lo and behold, it in the current state of let's say commemorative paranoia and so prevalent in Poland and insists on massive.
00:45:41.040 --> 00:45:53.340
Jan Grabowski: let's say an effort to shore up the myth of a righteous Poland, in other words that default position of the Polish nation was to run in order to save all the Jews, that we could.
00:45:53.760 --> 00:45:57.240
Jan Grabowski: which of course it's nonsense it's fallacies that big bold lie.
00:45:57.870 --> 00:46:05.580
Jan Grabowski: So there is a special institute called either beget ski Institute, there is a minister responsible for culture, Mrs Dr garvey.
00:46:05.850 --> 00:46:12.330
Jan Grabowski: Who are littering let's say the countryside, with special monuments devoted to pose who are who lost lives and.
00:46:12.660 --> 00:46:20.790
Jan Grabowski: who lost life saving the Jews, the idea is of course not to honor these individual polls, the idea is to convey in Polish and in English.
00:46:21.030 --> 00:46:30.870
Jan Grabowski: And, meaning that pose save the juice now to plant this monument as it happened last month and the holy of the holiest of Jewish suffering.
00:46:31.710 --> 00:46:41.940
Jan Grabowski: At the at the at the platform of railway station and Treblinka was something I can't say dignity undignified it was shameless and and.
00:46:42.750 --> 00:46:50.760
Jan Grabowski: And what was that started to do my own inverse historical investigation of sources, I found out that it was simply based on.
00:46:51.570 --> 00:47:01.530
Jan Grabowski: Lack of proof for the idea was that there was a poll, who was shot for trying to bring water to Jews who are waiting for their turn to be delivered to gas chambers.
00:47:01.710 --> 00:47:12.570
Jan Grabowski: And he wanted to bring them water out of altruistic purposes, and she was shocked by the Germans, well, the problem is that what happened at railway station Treblinka and many other railways on this line.
00:47:12.810 --> 00:47:23.910
Jan Grabowski: was a horrible scenery of Polish Youth gangs selling for exchanging water for for for diamonds for gold for for hard currency, and we have.
00:47:24.240 --> 00:47:44.310
Jan Grabowski: more than enough of Jewish proofs of this so now to turn around and still creating a very morally dubious atmosphere without historical sources to create in a place called Treblinka and monument to Polish of virtue, is something that tells you volumes of of how undignified how.
00:47:45.660 --> 00:47:54.180
Jan Grabowski: horribly hurtful these policies can become for every person that has some empathy for the victims of the Holocaust, so this is just the.
00:47:54.390 --> 00:48:05.820
Jan Grabowski: Recent little piece of this puzzle, which I found absolutely impossible to start at the stomach and, by the way, this coming Saturday, there will be a large article in the main opposition that I wrote.
00:48:06.060 --> 00:48:16.470
Jan Grabowski: In the main opposition or a daily Poland does it at the bottom and I prepared also an English version so Rachel if you can help me in placing the English version somewhere i'll be extremely grateful.
00:48:17.700 --> 00:48:20.160
Konstanty Gebert: This connect side yeah just.
00:48:20.340 --> 00:48:30.900
Konstanty Gebert: Add to that policy of promoting polls, who saved the Jews falls into a series of extremely interesting.
00:48:32.040 --> 00:48:40.890
Konstanty Gebert: Historical paradox, first of all, they absolutely deserve commemoration each and every one of them is a hero.
00:48:42.300 --> 00:48:50.730
Konstanty Gebert: After the unspeakable bravery and selflessness and they absolutely deserve to be commemorate, however.
00:48:51.840 --> 00:49:04.980
Konstanty Gebert: Whereas the campaign of promoting their sacrifice is seen by the government as a campaign of what promoting the positive image of the Polish nation.
00:49:05.490 --> 00:49:12.270
Konstanty Gebert: There are more and more voices within the Polish lesion protesting the campaign by saying that.
00:49:12.690 --> 00:49:31.680
Konstanty Gebert: is true, this was wrong, it was wrong to kill the Jews were always were and they still are our enemies and therefore people who helped the Jews do not deserve to be commemorate that they deserve to be condemned, I first run into this.
00:49:33.000 --> 00:49:51.480
Konstanty Gebert: In good vibe in the town that gentleman Ross wrote about where a simple percent women in the village nearby had saved five juice throughout the war from the massacre till the liberation and they suggested that and Mayor of your the bad nexus of good let's say a wonderful person.
00:49:53.040 --> 00:50:14.460
Konstanty Gebert: The local school should be given her name and he just laughed at me and I said well how about that a commemorative plaque and set in this town that's black would not survive the night she's a traitor the reaction to her act when it was known was that published partisans beat her blue.
00:50:15.750 --> 00:50:40.920
Konstanty Gebert: As punishment for treason and, finally, the deepest problem with the commemoration of those Polish heroes who once again these learn our utmost admiration gratitude and respect the deepest problem is that the man in Treblinka if the story is true with killed by German.
00:50:42.450 --> 00:50:53.850
Konstanty Gebert: Directly most of the Polish favors who lost their lives lives, their lives because they were denounced other pills, so if the story is to be total.
00:50:54.900 --> 00:51:03.060
Konstanty Gebert: It is a story of folders pills, and a phone with treason, not a story does government wants to hear.
00:51:04.320 --> 00:51:14.460
Dariusz Stola: me I follow, I agree with Constanta that it's fully right and how Honorable to commemorate the Polish rescuers of the Jews.
00:51:15.210 --> 00:51:19.170
Dariusz Stola: And I think it's good, especially as it, because if you commemorate them, it will be.
00:51:19.830 --> 00:51:26.490
Dariusz Stola: difficult for you to commemorate those who are killing the Jews or who are intimidating those righteous people as as constantly said.
00:51:27.150 --> 00:51:42.720
Dariusz Stola: that the problem begins when the government tries to hide those not righteous behind the righteous or to introduce kind of obligation that you cannot talk about collaboration with the Nazis, without mentioning the righteous.
00:51:44.280 --> 00:51:48.600
Dariusz Stola: So this is their problem and, in the case of tribeca, the main problem is well.
00:51:49.410 --> 00:52:00.870
Dariusz Stola: The only source, upon which the public institution established the small monument was the single account by a single person record 40 years after the war.
00:52:01.860 --> 00:52:11.970
Dariusz Stola: So don't we really have hear us to have a stronger record stronger evidence that we have to handle someone who has such a dubious record for his does.
00:52:12.540 --> 00:52:19.890
Jan Grabowski: Just to jump in to finish this story before it's very briefly, I do agree with that he was more than I do agree with Constantin I said that.
00:52:20.220 --> 00:52:32.910
Jan Grabowski: I think my voice is pretty solitary in this area in Poland, at least, I said that I would put a halt to all of these commemorations of Polish virtue and or the for the time being because, for the time being it's not the.
00:52:33.450 --> 00:52:40.410
Jan Grabowski: that's a we have a fundamental problem in which folio society perceives its own role during World War Two and these monuments reinforce.
00:52:40.740 --> 00:52:50.430
Jan Grabowski: This very false idea I said Okay, if you want really to participate in commemorating and, I repeat, each and every time, if you want to commemorate a brief polls will save the Jews.
00:52:50.610 --> 00:53:00.960
Jan Grabowski: Have the courage, at the same moment, at the same street, and the same Treblinka railway station to erect a monument to all the Jews who exactly in the same location have been.
00:53:01.350 --> 00:53:11.520
Jan Grabowski: killed in with the Director or or indirect, the participation of their Polish neighbors and if you have problems in finding the names I will be more than happy to provide you with them.
00:53:11.910 --> 00:53:24.960
Jan Grabowski: So this is all I say it's simply, there is no innocuous and innocent celebration of Polish very true, as long as you are not prepared to build exactly the same monument to Jewish victims of Polish murderous activities.
00:53:26.580 --> 00:53:39.270
Rachel Donadio: turn to a dichotomy I see between Jews as a construct and then also actual Jews and Jewish practice and Jewish life in Poland today and in in the past.
00:53:39.960 --> 00:53:49.860
Rachel Donadio: over many decades there was a sense of kind of his heritage revival and non Jews were kind of discovering the Jewish heritage of Poland and.
00:53:50.130 --> 00:54:08.400
Rachel Donadio: And and kind of helping recover things and making the past come to light has that ended, and how does that kind of coexist with with the current tendency to you know focus on on Polish virtue, as opposed to Jewish victimhood.
00:54:09.330 --> 00:54:16.050
Dariusz Stola: It isn't and it certainly i'm on a jury of the polina Ward would give a word for people who exactly those.
00:54:16.470 --> 00:54:21.960
Dariusz Stola: who try to commemorate the Jewish past of the small towns and regions all around Poland and.
00:54:22.380 --> 00:54:32.790
Dariusz Stola: This year we had something like 150 application submitted by by various friends and observers of various people really great people you know really is a fantastic people doing the hard work.
00:54:33.090 --> 00:54:51.900
Dariusz Stola: To do it, so this this tendency which constantly note that, which dates back to the 1980s and 1990s is going on, so you have several levels and it's quite obvious, Poland is a diverse society, you have people have very different opinions that what has changed is the polarization.
00:54:53.760 --> 00:54:54.150
Dariusz Stola: Is there is.
00:54:54.510 --> 00:54:55.260
Dariusz Stola: no middle ground.
00:54:55.560 --> 00:54:57.840
Dariusz Stola: But in Poland is not unique in this matter, I think.
00:54:59.190 --> 00:55:08.370
Dariusz Stola: Americans would can understand it very well, so this is continue but at another level, you have active ization of neo fascists open racists.
00:55:09.000 --> 00:55:22.020
Dariusz Stola: and other people who vote various reasons or very link and quite skillful sometimes in distorting the past, so this thing's coexist, and the problem is how to help the right guys, not the bad guys.
00:55:24.990 --> 00:55:33.180
Konstanty Gebert: and often is the case anti Semitism has extremely liberal anything at all to do with actual Jews.
00:55:34.710 --> 00:55:45.210
Konstanty Gebert: It is the anti Semites reaction to their distorted imagination it's not a reaction to what the actual physical Jews do or do not do.
00:55:46.530 --> 00:55:55.290
Konstanty Gebert: The drawbridge revival in Poland bad starting in the late 70s and I was had the privilege of being part of it from the very beginning.
00:55:56.010 --> 00:56:07.710
Konstanty Gebert: enjoyed substantial support from non Jewish power civil society as something valuable in its own right as a moral obligation and there's something beneficial development.
00:56:08.340 --> 00:56:29.160
Konstanty Gebert: And this has not changed, we function within and you which, with which we are in dialogue, which is welcoming which is supportive and by far is not some kind of extreme minority within our society, however.
00:56:31.110 --> 00:56:45.990
Konstanty Gebert: The anti Semite who thing for quite some time to feel that they've lost control of the national debate are back and force they know that the government has their back.
00:56:46.620 --> 00:56:57.990
Konstanty Gebert: And just as importantly, their pockets are full of government money being my money your money your money this all is funded by the taxpayer.
00:56:59.100 --> 00:57:07.920
Konstanty Gebert: And therefore, the anti Semites are obviously much more visible and louder, especially as they say things which.
00:57:09.600 --> 00:57:21.090
Konstanty Gebert: In the merge of the Western world are still unsayable in public, to give you just one practical example and some 25% of the polls believe in ritual murder.
00:57:21.960 --> 00:57:39.030
Konstanty Gebert: Blame Jews, including us living today for the murder of God and some 27% agree with the statement that it is a good thing that, after the war, Poland became a mono ethnic society.
00:57:41.070 --> 00:57:47.910
Konstanty Gebert: Which means only this that them well on the balance the shot was a good thing.
00:57:50.880 --> 00:57:53.940
Konstanty Gebert: Now any self respecting government.
00:57:55.140 --> 00:58:15.840
Konstanty Gebert: should be trying to act against such movements, not because they're bad for the Jews, although they are because they're bad for civil society of the battle, the country they threaten the country, sadly, as I say, those people know that they can count on the government.
00:58:18.030 --> 00:58:30.900
Rachel Donadio: We have a lot of questions from the audience and i'm going to start throwing some of those out to you, but a lot of them are really do you risk prosecution even having this discussion with us and are you, you know.
00:58:32.190 --> 00:58:33.360
Rachel Donadio: and has that you know.
00:58:34.590 --> 00:58:38.040
Rachel Donadio: Are you in trouble just for for for talking to us today.
00:58:39.330 --> 00:58:53.640
Jan Grabowski: not really I don't think so, however, one has to understand that the situation is evolving fairly quickly and some of my closest friends are now under investigation from Article 55 of the law.
00:58:54.060 --> 00:59:00.240
Jan Grabowski: Of the IP and law, which has not been changed, has not been decriminalized it's three years in prison.
00:59:00.600 --> 00:59:10.470
Jan Grabowski: And there is the notorious Article 133 of criminal of criminal code, which stipulates three years in prison for simple slander of the Polish nation.
00:59:10.770 --> 00:59:23.130
Jan Grabowski: So it's only the question of willingness of the authority so investigations are in process, I know that some people, personally, who are under investigation, I know that I have been reported to the.
00:59:23.790 --> 00:59:35.190
Jan Grabowski: To the state prosecutor's office so The thing is, they have the tools and they have created atmosphere, so I don't think that constant together to be imprisoned tomorrow but or that you're still are put in a dungeon.
00:59:35.730 --> 00:59:48.270
Jan Grabowski: But they are, they have the tools and if they want to relate to use them and they are and let's not mince words they are stupid enough to use them occasionally so, and so, so we, the question is, we simply don't know.
00:59:49.380 --> 00:59:49.740
Jan Grabowski: Whether.
00:59:51.540 --> 00:59:53.310
Konstanty Gebert: That well.
00:59:53.970 --> 00:59:58.950
Dariusz Stola: I wanted to say that I don't feel it fratton I have a position to have an academic position.
01:00:00.150 --> 01:00:07.320
Dariusz Stola: So where there will be costing attacking me about things that were unimaginable you know, two weeks ago, maybe imaginable to promote.
01:00:08.070 --> 01:00:14.910
Dariusz Stola: This is this this this expansive logic of of radicalization now I have spoken many times to Polish media.
01:00:15.210 --> 01:00:25.530
Dariusz Stola: At various online seminars and conferences, by the way, now we have the pandemics So things are different than the government so basically if some other things you know other than a Jewish Museum in the world, so, for example, I think that.
01:00:25.800 --> 01:00:31.350
Dariusz Stola: covered is great for protecting the polling museum from from the appetites of of the of the ruling.
01:00:31.770 --> 01:00:41.940
Dariusz Stola: party so as long as they have many of our problems, and the number of problems, the government has been increasing almost every week, you know, including the highest number of the highest death rate.
01:00:42.450 --> 01:01:01.620
Dariusz Stola: In Europe competitor creek all the times we are the relatively relatively safe but some faction or a subgroup supporting the government may find it useful at the moment to play again the Jewish card, because nothing is better than protected the whole lot of follow up against the Jews.
01:01:02.430 --> 01:01:03.960
Konstanty Gebert: Well, the honor of Poland is.
01:01:04.110 --> 01:01:18.000
Rachel Donadio: Saying other problems to inflation is 8% the government's issuing a commemorative coin documenting how commemorating how Poland has been defending the borders of Europe and pushing back refugees to Belarus, but a coin won't go as far as it did a few weeks ago.
01:01:20.070 --> 01:01:22.440
Konstanty Gebert: that's a solo a love that said.
01:01:23.820 --> 01:01:28.050
Konstanty Gebert: I do feel threatened, but not as opposed to the Polish democrat.
01:01:30.210 --> 01:01:37.770
Konstanty Gebert: They do have the instruments that they've been using them it is dangerous to go out on the street and demonstrate.
01:01:37.830 --> 01:01:39.060
Konstanty Gebert: Especially if you're.
01:01:39.180 --> 01:02:00.210
Konstanty Gebert: Young and female my gender and my age protect be somewhat but i'm I wouldn't put too much trust in that protection, but I think that, yes, before they go for the Jews they'll go after the democrats, and this is that a risk that I think that Polish democrats realize that we are facing.
01:02:01.260 --> 01:02:06.600
Konstanty Gebert: And this is them geographical latitude in which things happen.
01:02:07.710 --> 01:02:21.630
Jan Grabowski: And you know, going back to your original question when we started with saying that the attack on the history of the Holocaust, the attack on history is just a part of a larger bottle that the nationalists are wielding against all of us here.
01:02:22.980 --> 01:02:28.500
Jan Grabowski: is so true when you look for instance of politics of exclusion.
01:02:29.520 --> 01:02:41.880
Jan Grabowski: Of the other what what's going on on the polls bill Russian border, and if you look at the kind of language which is being used to depict and to exclude foreigners, most of all.
01:02:43.020 --> 01:02:50.130
Jan Grabowski: let's say have a different pigmentation of skin and it harkens back to the darkest years actually.
01:02:50.580 --> 01:02:58.080
Jan Grabowski: Of the 1930s and 1940s, the imaginary of imaginary Jus the way the Jews have been detected.
01:02:58.350 --> 01:03:11.520
Jan Grabowski: is being applied in the official discourse today so so as I mentioned this conflict with the past, it has it said it percolates and hits us on the face today in the context of current political events.
01:03:14.880 --> 01:03:31.860
Rachel Donadio: We have a question about can you how do you imagine restoring a historical narrative that will not be subject to historical manipulation, as it is now what's the role of scientists and the media who plays plays a part in that so big question.
01:03:34.680 --> 01:03:55.290
Konstanty Gebert: Look, the bait about history will always be there and the history that's not being debated and challenged is false or dead or both the point is that for debate, to make sense, it needs to follow rules and it needs to subject itself.
01:03:56.370 --> 01:04:19.080
Konstanty Gebert: to rip basic methodology of fact checking and verification what the government seems to be saying is not so much that we are right and everybody is wrong, but we say this, they say that it's impossible to know the truth so don't bother.
01:04:20.430 --> 01:04:44.700
Konstanty Gebert: The only way that genuine historical debate beatable the shop beauty about anything else can be reinstated is if we are able to agree on what constitutes truth and this might be a problem when we get the possibility to start to rebuild the country after this government is over.
01:04:45.060 --> 01:04:55.980
Jan Grabowski: You know I have been a professional historian for close now to let's say 35 years, so it is a long, long time but professional I mean, starting with PhD and so on.
01:04:57.180 --> 01:05:05.940
Jan Grabowski: And one thing I have learned is that the involvement of this machinery of the state in historical debates is something to be avoided.
01:05:06.270 --> 01:05:12.420
Jan Grabowski: States will is to fund the historical research and stay the hell out of historical debates.
01:05:12.810 --> 01:05:24.210
Jan Grabowski: So this so this, and the second thing I have been writing history of the Holocaust now for more than 20 years, not one word of what I wrote percolated into the into the textbooks in schools.
01:05:24.630 --> 01:05:38.550
Jan Grabowski: And so the thing is that these things need to be done evacuating the State in terms of direct intervention away from history and making the findings of historians available to future generations of young people in Poland.
01:05:39.540 --> 01:05:48.300
Dariusz Stola: Let me, let me take an institutional perspective, in addition to the philosophical questions that Constanta has raised First, we need independent judiciary.
01:05:49.170 --> 01:05:54.990
Dariusz Stola: not to be afraid of, of course, in Poland, second independent, autonomous academia.
01:05:55.350 --> 01:06:00.960
Dariusz Stola: Media no longer public media controlled by the government, as they are at present the tube of the ruling party.
01:06:01.260 --> 01:06:09.510
Dariusz Stola: So the restoration of the plurality of independent voices and especially in the academia, this is a precondition for anything like this second.
01:06:09.930 --> 01:06:13.710
Dariusz Stola: is about i'm very glad that polls are so much interested in history, you know this way.
01:06:14.040 --> 01:06:24.360
Dariusz Stola: There is a lot of room for historians and actually the the public of the museums in Poland is bigger than the public of the football matches, you know before the pandemics, it was 38 million tickets sold annually.
01:06:25.020 --> 01:06:31.320
Dariusz Stola: This is this is interesting, but for the public debate, what we have another these the deterioration of the quality.
01:06:31.830 --> 01:06:38.430
Dariusz Stola: Of the debates on the past, and all public debates in the last about a decade and this coincided.
01:06:39.030 --> 01:06:53.730
Dariusz Stola: With a technological change, the debates are no longer in the printed media, they are on the social media, so, if I may ask my American friends, please call the Nice people in Palo Alto California and tell them to change this algorithm.
01:06:55.020 --> 01:07:04.650
Dariusz Stola: Because this is what besides the dynamics of the public debate in social media and this debate, as a rule, are counterproductive they never lead to a short conclusion.
01:07:05.970 --> 01:07:20.190
Rachel Donadio: In this Poland is not alone, this is very much a part of international patterns here, but you mentioned at different points in the conversation young grosses book neighbors which came out in 1999 2000 about your vibe near the town where many Poles.
01:07:20.820 --> 01:07:29.910
Rachel Donadio: murdered their Jewish fellow neighbors without orders from the Nazis and this of course set off a big debate.
01:07:30.210 --> 01:07:41.190
Rachel Donadio: One of our audience members writes in and just asks about what can you talk about the segments of Polish society that are trying to continue those frank difficult conversations that began in 2000 after the book.
01:07:41.430 --> 01:07:51.570
Rachel Donadio: Where they currently putting their energies is their historical commemoration interfaith dialogue and and, in short, this this this participant asks Where is there hope.
01:07:53.700 --> 01:08:06.720
Dariusz Stola: Well, as I said that i've been in touch recently with some of the people who do this work, especially in provincial Poland, and they are great you know my father, he the man who won the award this year is a younger.
01:08:07.260 --> 01:08:16.350
Dariusz Stola: Is a young sportsman from a small town in the south in Poland who not only build a monument commemorating the George victims in his hometown but.
01:08:16.890 --> 01:08:27.630
Dariusz Stola: encourage people from our towns in the region to do to do the same, but all of the all of those who are nominated for the award said that now it's more difficult than it was.
01:08:28.920 --> 01:08:42.540
Dariusz Stola: A local government who in the past was supportive of making a day of Jewish culture or the story the synagogue is less support they have other priorities to spend the money, and they are afraid of touching this difficult topics, and this is exactly the chilling effect.
01:08:43.080 --> 01:08:52.650
Dariusz Stola: You don't need to put the and grab of Ski to jail, to make a local mayor in a small town think twice before supporting an initiative like this one, but this people are Sturdy.
01:08:53.640 --> 01:09:00.960
Dariusz Stola: And there is, I think it's more than inertia, because the this process of restoring the Jewish history in Poland.
01:09:01.680 --> 01:09:18.570
Dariusz Stola: Actually, expanding the knowledge, how important were Jews in politics history started, many years ago I think it's been slow down, but it has been not reversed complete so maybe i'm maybe this is wishful thinking, but I see just slower, but not destroyed.
01:09:19.830 --> 01:09:27.990
Konstanty Gebert: there's also another factor yet to happen there is that rather close to the Russian border where today.
01:09:28.710 --> 01:09:51.540
Konstanty Gebert: Polish uniformed forces are responsible for the deaths of some two dozen people, and I sincerely hope that those crimes will be prosecuted and that people will go to jail for that, however, regardless of an incredible value of hate propaganda they record that the refugees.
01:09:52.740 --> 01:10:06.360
Konstanty Gebert: There is an underground railroad that are locals helping the refugees, knowing that they are going against the wishes of their authorities and that they can suffer for it.
01:10:07.350 --> 01:10:30.090
Konstanty Gebert: And one of the reasons they give is well my grandma helped us during the war, so I have to live up to that, but possibly more interestingly, another answer is my grandma didn't help Jews during the war, so I have something to make up for.
01:10:31.470 --> 01:10:51.840
Konstanty Gebert: me, and this, I think, is the empirical test of the public dialogue about public Jewish relations that we've been having for decades fascinating in itself, but it never have the opportunity to actually pass the reality test.
01:10:52.710 --> 01:11:10.230
Konstanty Gebert: It is passing it right now on the Polish below Russian border and I I just cannot express enough my admiration for the people who are running that underground railroad taking the risks because they have drone the lessons from the debate.
01:11:14.160 --> 01:11:22.860
Rachel Donadio: In the way that we've talked about Jews, the construct an actual Jews of Poland, Poland, Poland are loom very large in the.
01:11:23.280 --> 01:11:33.330
Rachel Donadio: imagination in the memory of families of Holocaust survivors, in part, in some ways, because so many Jews were murdered in from Polish territory in Polish territories.
01:11:33.540 --> 01:11:46.680
Rachel Donadio: But Germany, as we know, had this decades of kind of detoxification and confronting its history, in a way that I think Poland, perhaps didn't and I wonder if that is a factor in in the current situation as well.
01:11:47.190 --> 01:11:55.800
Jan Grabowski: Well, you know, the thing is that something that very often is forgotten, especially in Poland, there is a sentiment of Jewish lack of gratitude.
01:11:56.370 --> 01:12:04.680
Jan Grabowski: You can you can read it in 1946 1968 nowadays Jews are ungrateful people because Look, we have been saving them now.
01:12:05.100 --> 01:12:23.040
Jan Grabowski: The problem is that Poland has for variety of reasons abroad, especially in the states at Israel and well grounded well found that reputation as a nation of anti Semites now, the problem is this related to the war experience it's not that hosts were.
01:12:24.120 --> 01:12:33.690
Jan Grabowski: responsible for all these many deaths it's the fact that each and every survivor jury survivor who emerged from the war had.
01:12:34.920 --> 01:12:45.660
Jan Grabowski: Very much so very many of his close friends and family members die at the hands of the polls are being denounced by the polls, now the millions who are dragged to.
01:12:46.020 --> 01:12:50.760
Jan Grabowski: screaming and shouting to death chambers are troubling calif know memos behind them.
01:12:51.570 --> 01:13:08.280
Jan Grabowski: But, but here we have a problem that, in the eyes of the Jewish survivors only society largely failed them during the during the war and the consequences of course loom large because this this international let's say condemnation or in or.
01:13:09.330 --> 01:13:21.000
Jan Grabowski: or observation clashes with the Polish and let's say perception of own nation, so this is a huge problem which, which will not go away anytime soon.
01:13:21.900 --> 01:13:24.000
Dariusz Stola: To speak against exceptionalism.
01:13:24.810 --> 01:13:25.260
01:13:27.150 --> 01:13:30.780
Konstanty Gebert: To comparing Poland and Nazi Germany.
01:13:31.170 --> 01:13:34.800
Konstanty Gebert: They do not belong in the same category at all.
01:13:35.670 --> 01:13:37.350
Konstanty Gebert: But yea.
01:13:37.740 --> 01:13:38.940
Konstanty Gebert: Big sorry that.
01:13:39.780 --> 01:13:40.260
Dariusz Stola: Go ahead.
01:13:41.040 --> 01:13:43.200
Konstanty Gebert: Thank you, in a way.
01:13:44.430 --> 01:14:02.250
Konstanty Gebert: The upper horror of Nazi Germany was what for the Germans to pay their path because they really had nowhere to go there will be no more fig leaves there was no more hyper chrissy.
01:14:03.510 --> 01:14:09.090
Konstanty Gebert: They have to come from their past because it was sitting all over them and then destroyed.
01:14:11.070 --> 01:14:23.460
Konstanty Gebert: All the other nations of Europe, which in different ways and forums had participated in the German endeavor while resisting it could always find an explanation.
01:14:24.660 --> 01:14:37.980
Konstanty Gebert: And this is why the Germans are ahead of everybody else in acknowledging of their crimes, just as they were ahead of everybody else in the crimes themselves.
01:14:40.950 --> 01:14:48.690
Dariusz Stola: Well, again, speaking about Polish exceptionalism, of course, we cannot compare Poland to to Germany, you know it would make some how.
01:14:49.770 --> 01:14:57.450
Dariusz Stola: strange to compare the occupier, we have occupied nation and especially taking into account the horrible Nazis policies in Eastern Europe not only Poland.
01:14:57.930 --> 01:15:03.630
Dariusz Stola: Not occupied Soviet Union Baltic states, and so on, but comparing to other occupied European nations.
01:15:04.500 --> 01:15:10.200
Dariusz Stola: That seniors and frank debates about what were the attitudes towards the Jews during the war started late.
01:15:10.590 --> 01:15:16.170
Dariusz Stola: In the 80s or 90s, the French debate you remember the Switzerland, the neutral country and elsewhere.
01:15:16.530 --> 01:15:30.870
Dariusz Stola: And what is interesting practically everywhere in Europe, there were debates about how we we the nation behaved during the Holocaust, except for two countries, to my knowledge, everywhere, you know from Finland to Greece, but not in Russia.
01:15:32.400 --> 01:15:39.210
Dariusz Stola: Russia, not in Belarus so it's very much about the present political situation rather than the past.
01:15:40.080 --> 01:15:51.450
Dariusz Stola: The defining factor is the nature of the political regime and how much space for the frank discussion, you have So in this sense, Poland was the avant garde in Eastern Europe.
01:15:51.900 --> 01:16:02.070
Dariusz Stola: In late 1980s 1990s and then we sold the backlash in the 21st century, the backlash which was strengthened with the algorithm of the social media.
01:16:02.520 --> 01:16:14.490
Dariusz Stola: It the algorithms will favor the backlash against sincere and critical critical approach so i'm still hopeful, but I see do take us years, if not decades.
01:16:15.900 --> 01:16:20.040
Dariusz Stola: To first restore work has been destroyed in the past five years.
01:16:23.280 --> 01:16:30.870
Rachel Donadio: I think we should start kind of wrapping up, but I think that one of the questions I would like to ask all of you again, is one of the ones that.
01:16:31.470 --> 01:16:46.110
Rachel Donadio: People have been asking in the comments just a technical question does the Polish law apply to scholars outside Poland, if someone wants to do research in the United States or abroad are they at risk of coming under fire to.
01:16:46.980 --> 01:16:57.510
Jan Grabowski: Well, you know what is an expert now against the quantum law against myself, I can tell you that, yes, once once again the enterprising people in.
01:16:57.870 --> 01:17:10.200
Jan Grabowski: In in Poland, I mean the enterprising nationalist a can of course issue in a court of law and I already received numerous queries from my colleagues who, for instance, say that they are not going to.
01:17:10.590 --> 01:17:17.700
Jan Grabowski: German or American Canadian friends, we are not going to publish our books in Poland, because we are afraid of possible.
01:17:18.180 --> 01:17:26.970
Jan Grabowski: outcomes legal consequences, and I cannot tell them, you are silly or don't do it, or just go ahead and publish it because I don't have a crystal ball and.
01:17:27.450 --> 01:17:38.040
Jan Grabowski: This freezing effect, although much less felt that translates into certain anxiety remember humanists are very quarterly animals dependent on governmental.
01:17:38.550 --> 01:17:49.200
Jan Grabowski: grants and permissions to travel to visit the archives, so they prefer to be very, very prudent and So yes, there is an impact that can be felt outside of Poland, certainly.
01:17:50.430 --> 01:17:54.540
Konstanty Gebert: Not publishing in Poland might not be enough to save their bacon.
01:17:54.660 --> 01:17:56.520
Konstanty Gebert: shot that's trollish slow.
01:17:57.570 --> 01:18:17.250
Konstanty Gebert: is today, driven by the ambition of being respected worldwide, the Polish Constitutional Tribunal has just ruled that a section of the European Charter of Human Rights, namely Article six that guarantees the right to the fair trial is unconstitutional and burdened.
01:18:19.290 --> 01:18:19.680
Konstanty Gebert: yeah.
01:18:19.770 --> 01:18:21.840
Konstanty Gebert: So we don't yet.
01:18:21.930 --> 01:18:25.380
Konstanty Gebert: have the means, but we certainly have the will.
01:18:26.880 --> 01:18:35.310
Jan Grabowski: Just jumping for a second here, I can tell you that, during my travails and my problems, the legal problems in Poland, and my my university of auto.
01:18:35.490 --> 01:18:47.640
Jan Grabowski: professors association funded me one hour of the bait of discussion frank discussion with an Eminence Toronto lawyer who simply wanted, I wanted to ask him some questions and he said, Mr Grabowski.
01:18:48.000 --> 01:18:57.300
Jan Grabowski: They can do whatever they want with you as long as we're in Poland that once you hit the Canadian shores, they can hear he used some anatomical things what they can do to me.
01:18:57.990 --> 01:19:06.240
Jan Grabowski: Because this nonsense stops at our border, but, of course, you know, this is, this is something that you, you never know until very late.
01:19:07.200 --> 01:19:12.900
Rachel Donadio: So there's the Polish state the Polish nation, and the Polish metaverse to right, so we have to see what happens on.
01:19:13.800 --> 01:19:26.520
Rachel Donadio: In the virtual world, but I think you know to wrap up if there any concluding comments that any of you want to make and then, finally, I would ask you to just tell us a little bit more about what you think the international community can do and what you think.
01:19:26.670 --> 01:19:33.210
Rachel Donadio: What you hope will happen, both domestically in Poland and internationally to perhaps reverse some of these adverse trends.
01:19:35.100 --> 01:19:54.330
Dariusz Stola: Well don't treat Poland some backwaters exotic country in Eastern Europe, getting what what the pose deserves i'd rather see the government of the populist party as an avant garde of a broader movement with Mr audubon and some other leaders who want to make the country great again.
01:19:55.350 --> 01:20:03.930
Dariusz Stola: So this is rather difficult future than a bad past so not only to help the poor polls, but to help yourself.
01:20:05.160 --> 01:20:12.360
Dariusz Stola: Protect some basic ideas of liberal democracy, the division of low autonomy of the academia.
01:20:12.900 --> 01:20:28.380
Dariusz Stola: and so on, and then, if you can help, for example those people who, in small Polish towns build the monuments to the dead, the Jews, of the town try to help them because they are doing a great job, this is not easy and deserve they deserve all kind of help we can give them.
01:20:30.150 --> 01:20:32.550
Konstanty Gebert: A couldn't agree more with you.
01:20:33.600 --> 01:20:44.820
Konstanty Gebert: If this was just a case of Polish and Hungarian backwardness I would feel much more comfortable, because that would mean Okay, so we are losing historical time again.
01:20:45.270 --> 01:20:54.180
Konstanty Gebert: we'll have to catch up with Europe again, but there is something to catch up with and when they look at Europe.
01:20:54.930 --> 01:21:06.900
Konstanty Gebert: i'm not sure I mean the percentage of friend voters who want to vote that the two French equivalence of Mr Kaczynski is the same as the percentage that we got Mr Katrina scale back doesn't Poland.
01:21:08.880 --> 01:21:19.980
Konstanty Gebert: and Italy sylvania Milan government today seems unthinkable, the way that a trump Presidency was unthinkable in the US couple of years back.
01:21:20.640 --> 01:21:38.580
Konstanty Gebert: So this is a pan European disease and, therefore, yes, any support you can give Poland is another element in the pan, European struggle it's not about helping the polls only it's about helping Europe.
01:21:39.600 --> 01:21:53.700
Konstanty Gebert: But ultimately in Poland, it is us cool how to do the hard work voting the unspeakable out of office cleaning up the mess, they have left behind.
01:21:54.570 --> 01:22:11.100
Konstanty Gebert: rebuilding a country that has been badly damaged and trying to make up for time last and normally I would say that this is a hopeless endeavor, but I have a moral principle that says that somebody who witnessed.
01:22:13.290 --> 01:22:16.560
Konstanty Gebert: For reference forever loses the right to be pessimist.
01:22:17.580 --> 01:22:33.330
Konstanty Gebert: so serious, I mean 1989 should have never happened and evil empire collapsing, because it realized it's not loved I mean come on grow up get the life if 89 was possible, we can do it again.
01:22:34.020 --> 01:22:37.290
Jan Grabowski: we're out of time, I guess here, so I will forego my vote here.
01:22:38.130 --> 01:22:40.140
Rachel Donadio: You go go.
01:22:40.800 --> 01:22:47.880
Jan Grabowski: i'll just very briefly, since we started with the Holocaust right let's let's not delude ourselves in the world, there are very many countries.
01:22:48.390 --> 01:22:54.540
Jan Grabowski: That have no democracy that they have no, they have no court three courts and so on, and somehow he might he goes.
01:22:54.900 --> 01:23:04.200
Jan Grabowski: goes about its own business, however, this button that really we touched upon here, which is the history of Holocaust is something that, for reasons which we don't have the time to enter.
01:23:04.680 --> 01:23:15.450
Jan Grabowski: Here into moves people around the world, so as long as Polish authorities or a segments of Polish society violate this commemoration violate distrust.
01:23:15.750 --> 01:23:23.790
Jan Grabowski: And then pressure should be born pressure should be applied, because this is what makes it quite quite unique and, quite honestly, this way we can.
01:23:23.970 --> 01:23:36.060
Jan Grabowski: Open the open and healthfully society to transform the rest, including the courts and democracy, they are tied together violation of the history of the Holocaust, with a violation of democracy are inherently tight.
01:23:37.470 --> 01:23:44.100
Rachel Donadio: I think that is an excellent note to end on, and I want to thank all three of you for really terrific and thought provoking.
01:23:44.370 --> 01:23:56.760
Rachel Donadio: Discussion i'm sure that the audience also learned a lot from it and will want to help in whatever way possible i'm going to turn things over now to Sydney but thank you very much again and with the struggle.
01:23:58.530 --> 01:24:09.810
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): yeah, I would like to echo everything that Rachel said, and also say thank you to Rachel for moderating today and also thank you to the descendants of Holocaust survivors for co presenting today's Program.
01:24:10.530 --> 01:24:13.980
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Everything we do at the museum is made possible through donor support.
01:24:14.490 --> 01:24:28.740
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): To those of you watching we hope you'll consider making a donation to support the museum or becoming a member and joining us for upcoming programs, but you can check out the link in the zoom chat have a great afternoon, and thank you all again so much for joining us bye.
01:24:30.030 --> 01:24:30.510
Sydney Yaeger (she/her): Thank you.
Learn More About the Lawsuit Against Dr. Jan Grabowski
In 2021, Polish Holocaust scholars Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking were sued in civil court over their book Night Without End: The Fate of Jews in Selected Counties of Occupied Poland. The book documents the story of Edward Malinowski, the mayor of a small Polish village before World War II who aided in the murder of 22 Jews by leading the Nazis to them. Learn more about the case against Grabowski and Engelking in this New Yorker article.
Reflect on the Work of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum
Museums lie at the center of public debate over historical memory in Poland. That debate includes the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum (ABSM), which is run by the Polish government on the site of the former Nazi camp. Watch Pawel Sawicki, a press officer for ABSM, discuss his museum’s work and offer a partial virtual tour of the camp in this Museum of Jewish Heritage program.
Explore the Politics of Memory in Another Country
Like Jews in Poland, Jews in Argentina have faced complex and evolving “memory politics” related to antisemitism. Key subjects of dispute in Argentina include the large number of former Nazis that found refuge there after the war and the legacy of the 1994 AMIA bombing. Explore issues of justice, truth, and memory in Jewish Argentina in this Museum program.