Important Statement from Museum President and CEO and Board Chair

The Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum is deeply concerned over a recent ruling by a Polish court that may compromise the future of Holocaust scholarship in Poland.

Poland has long struggled to come to grips with its role in the Holocaust, as both victim and perpetrator. Its 2018 law banning statements that accuse the Polish state and nation of complicity in Nazi crimes deliberately obscures the participation of Polish collaborators in the murder of Jews.

Dr. Jan Grabowski, a distinguished Holocaust historian, has been an outspoken critic of Poland’s distortion of history, facing harassment and even death threats over his scholarly research. Just this month, a Polish court ordered Grabowski and fellow historian Dr. Barbara Engelking to apologize for writing that a Polish village mayor collaborated with the Nazis during World War II in their recent scholarly work, Night Without End. They are appealing the decision.

Holocaust historians working in Poland must be free of politically-motivated criticism from politicians, courts, and political organizations. Rulings such as this one have a chilling effect on Holocaust scholarship. The court’s ruling opens the door to Holocaust distortion which can lead to Holocaust denial, antisemitism, the spread of anti-Jewish conspiracy myths, and violence against Jews.

We support the earnest efforts by many in Poland who work to promote unfettered academic scholarship and public discourse on the Holocaust’s unique history and role in the country.

As part of our efforts to support and encourage scholarly engagement with the history of the Holocaust in Poland we are hosting Dr. Jan Grabowski as this year’s Mittelman-Berman Educational Series speaker. Dr. Grabowski will talk about The Politics of Memory: Holocaust Distortion in Poland, Wednesday, February 24 at 7pm (CT). Please visit dhhrm.org to register to hear this important talk.

The mission of the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum is to teach the history of the Holocaust and advance human rights to combat prejudice, hatred, and indifference.

– Mary Pat Higgins, Museum President and CEO
– Mark Zilbermann, Board Chair

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