2018-04-05 09:39:45 UTC
?He who controls the past controls the future."
Polish historian says he was forced to switch jobs because of his
Adam Pulawski may have fallen foul of Poland's new Holocaust law
A historian employed by the Polish government has said he is to be
transferred away from his post at a state-affiliated institute because
of his work on Poland?s wartime relations with Jews.
Adam Pulawski said he was informed he would be moved to another city
by the Institute of National Remembrance, a research body founded 20
years ago, in what he called an effort to impede his work.
It has also decided not to publish his latest book on the subject, he
A controversial law passed by Poland?s parliament earlier this year
made it an imprisonable offence to suggest the Polish nation or state
was complicit in the Holocaust.
?They want to remove me to [another] branch. They want that I will not
speak about Polish-Jewish relations,? Dr Pulawski told the JC.
?They have a view about [the Polish-Jewish relationship] completely
different than mine and completely different than most researchers.?
He said that the trauma of seeing his life?s work disrupted had left
The Institute of National Remembrance refused to comment to the JC.
Dr Pulawski?s case comes at a time of confusion and tension over how
Poland?s new law should be interpreted.
Polish activist Rafal Pankowski said there was ?political pressure on
historians to conform to the right-wing nationalist view of Polish
history,? citing what he termed the ?government?s interference in the
exposition of the Museum of World War II in Gdansk.?
He said he was himself targeted after he addressed the Global Forum
for Combating Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem last month.
Mr Pankowski said he had spoken about the Polish government?s
promotion of an alternative Holocaust narrative and the resultant rise
in public antisemitic sentiments, while prime ministerial adviser
Andrzej Pawluszek sat in the audience scowling. The adviser later
tweeted that Mr Pankowski had ?attacked his own country?.
?I was really disappointed by Mr Pawluszek?s series of hostile and
vicious tweets, which provoked threats and abuse,? Mr Pankowski said.
?It is not the role of a public official to dictate what can or cannot
be said by a Polish citizen during a conference abroad and it is not
the role of a public official to engage in online attacks on critics
Laurence Weinbaum, co-author of a book in Polish on the revolt in the
Warsaw Ghetto, said the ?shameful treatment to which Adam Pulawski has
been subjected is, unfortunately, symptomatic of the all-out assault
on Polish scholars who refuse to tow the party line.
?Historians are being targeted for producing and publishing research
that pokes holes in the [government?s] sacrosanct official narrative,?
Dr Weinbaum added.
Late last month, Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Glinski publicly attacked
the head of Polin, a Warsaw museum of Polish-Jewish history, for what
he termed ?very deep political involvement?.
The museum was ?supposed to create positive values, and not arouse
conflicts,? Mr Glinski said, adding he had begun a ?conversation with
the entities that co-host this museum?.
Auschwitz Museum director Piotr Cywinski has also been publicly
harassed, while Polish-Canadian Holocaust researcher Jan Grabowski
said he received death threats after being accused by the Polish
League Against Defamation, a nationalist group, of falsifying the
history of Poland.