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  • Faithful to my Homeland, the Republic of Poland

     

  • EDUCATION

  • Deputy Minister Jan Dziedziczak: After opening of Ulma Museum 40 countries wrote about Poles who saved Jews, PAP dispatch from 6 February 2017

     

    Deputy Foreign Minister Jan Dziedziczak said in Rzeszów on Monday that articles about Poles who rescued Jews were published in 40 countries following the opening of The Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews. Dziedziczak presented  a report in Rzeszów titled "The opening of The Ulma Family Museum of Poles Saving Jews during World War II – the role of the MFA and diplomatic missions as well as the media response”. He said that it was one of the “most important events in the field of public diplomacy, historical diplomacy in 2016”.

     

     

    "Words Matter" video against defective codes of memory

     

    On January 24, 2017 the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, DC presented an educational film as part of the Against “Polish Camps” campaign.

     

     

     

     

    Deputy Minister Jan Dziedziczak attends “What really happened? German camps, Polish heroes” conference on November 16, 2016

     

    “By dealing with the past, we are investing in the future,” the Secretary of State in the MFA Jan Dziedziczak said while opening the conference on historical diplomacy. The conference discussed Polish history, the causes behind the spread of negative stereotypes about Poland around the world as well as the effective counteraction of the publication in the foreign media of the defective memory code “Polish concentration camp”.

     

     

    Minister Witold Waszczykowski meeting with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance

     

    Poland’s co-operation with the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) as well as joint projects with the Romanian rotational presidency of the organization, were among the main topics of Minister Witold Waszczykowski’s meeting with the IHRA Chair, Ambassador Mihnea Constantinescu and its Executive Secretary Dr. Kathrin Meyer on October 5, 2016. The latter were visiting Warsaw on the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

     

     

    IHRA: “Polish camps” distort history

     

    Using the expression “Polish camps” has officially been considered as a historical distortion thanks to Poland’s diplomatic efforts. The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) adopted a working definition of “Holocaust denial and distortion” at a conference in Toronto, which took place October 8-10, 2013.

    During a conference in Toronto on 8-10 October, representatives of 31 countries—historians, teachers, diplomats—agreed that the spread of the phenomenon of Holocaust denial has to be challenged. Thanks to Polish diplomatic efforts, on the last day of the conference, its plenary session concluded that “attempts to blur the responsibility for the establishment of concentration and death camps devised and operated by Nazi Germany by putting blame on other nations or ethnic groups” are a form of Holocaust distortion.

     

     

     

    EXAMPLES OF INTERVENTION LETTERS 

     

    We offer model letters in English which can be adapted for individual interventions. Download them here >>>>>

     

     

    EXHIBITIONS

     

    The Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Cologne helped facilitate the organization of an exhibition about Auschwitz in Warsaw

     

     

     

     

     

    On March 31st, 2017, an exposition titled “Death factory Auschwitz. Topography and Daily life of a concentration and extermination camp” was opened at the “History Stop” of the Janusz Kurtyka Educational Centre at the Institute of National Remembrance.

    The exhibition was created on the initiative of the National Socialism Documentation Centre (NS-DOK) in Cologne in collaboration with the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. It presents technical drawings and architectural plans of the camp, pieced together by former prisoners and it contains their biographies and accounts of life in the camp. So far it has been shown in Cologne (2015), Auschwitz (2016), Łódź (2016) and Lublin (2017).

    The Consulate General of Cologne played an important role in organizing the exhibition. The diplomatic mission helped facilitate the exhibition in Warsaw, suggesting the IPN Office of National Education as a partner for the NS-DOK. During the coordination of the activities and the substantive evaluation of the exhibition, IPN asked to change the inscription on one of the plaques. As a result of the negotiations conducted by the Consulate General in Cologne, the NS-DOK made modifications as requested by the IPN. NS-DOK, which has a wealth of archival material, has organized numerous educational projects in the past with the Consulate General of Cologne, including those related to the outbreak of World War II.

     

     

    ARTICLES

     

     

    A polemical article by Dr. Maciej Korkuć on communist camps in the territory of Poland

     

     

     

     

    As a result of efforts made by the Polish Embassy's embassy in Vilnius, a polemical article by IPN historian Maciej Korkuć was published in two important Lithuanian portals. The article challenges statements contained in Eldorado Butrimas' text on communist camps in post-war Poland. The text was printed by 15min.lt, one of the largest and most read Lithuanian portals as well as bernardinai.lt, a Catholic portal targeting the Lithuanian intellectual elite. The article was also published Polish-language media appearing in Lithuania: Radio Vilnius, Radio Znad Wilii and the Wilnoteka portal.

    On February 6, 2017, the largest Lithuanian daily "Lietuvos Rytas" published a comprehensive article by Eldorado Butrima titled "The recesses of the past are again disturbing Poland", which is a description of Marek Łuszczyna's book titled "A small crime. Polish concentration camps." The author in a completely uncritical manner duplicated the arguments of the Polish journalist without providing the historical context of that period.

    "The fact that during World War II the largest German concentration camps were in Poland is well known to almost everyone. On the other hand, that at the end of the war these camps were not demolished but rather were converted into Polish centres of torture and imprisonment is something that hardly anyone knows about. Soviet Warsaw hid this scandalous information from the people, and the current authorities also tried not to talk about it,” E.Butrimas wrote.

    "The claim that this Stalinist creation was simply Poland, and that the Communist camps, prisons, or even mass terror, were simply Poland (with the omission of their communist, forced anti-Polish character), is a falsification of history. (...) Lots of publications talk about the use of German camp infrastructure. Including KL Auschwitz-Birkenau, where the NKVD and then the UB created camps where people would once again die – including innocent victims of mass arrests,” M. Korcus replied.

    The article of Maciej Korkuć was originally submitted to the Lithuanian newspaper "Lietuvos Rytas", however the publication decided not to use it.

     

     

    "Haaretz" publishes a polemical article by prof. Grzegorz Berendt on the participation of Poles in Holocaust crimes

     

     

     

     

    On February 2, 2017, the "Haaretz" newspaper published an article titled “Bad Neighbours – Polish Participation in the expulsion and murder of Jews asking for help” written by Ofer Aderet, a journalist specialising in the history of Holocaust.

    The article was based on statements made by Prof. Jan Grabowski, a historian specializing in the extermination of Polish Jews at the University of Ottawa, linked to the Centre for Research on the Holocaust at the Polish Academy of Sciences. The article appeared in English on February under the title 'Orgy of murder': The Poles who 'hunted' Jews and turned them over to the Nazis.

    The article coincided with the new Hebrew translation of Prof. Grabowski’s 2011 book "Hunting for Jews," in which the academic presents his research on the situation of Jews in the German occupied Dąbrowa Tarnowska. In the article, Prof. Grabowski presents a thesis regarding the involvement of the Polish population in the murdering of Jews.

    “More than 200,000 Jews were killed, directly or indirectly, by Poles in World War II, says historian Jan Grabowski, who studied the brutal persecution of the victims. His conclusion: There were no bystanders in the Holocaust,” Aderet writes.

    It cites in detail accounts collected by Prof. Grabowski of the relations of the Jewish inhabitants of Dąbrowa Tarnowska and its surroundings, from which a clear negative image of Polish neighbours emerges – as blackmailers, opportunists and, in extreme cases, murderers of Jews seeking refuge from the German occupier.

    On February 24, “Haaretz” published a substantive answer to these allegations by Prof. Grzegorz Berendt. Prof. Berendt works for the IPN in Gdańsk, is a lecturer at the University of Gdańsk as well as a member of the Jewish Historical Institute's Academic Council. (The full English version of the article is available here).

    In the article titled The Polish People Weren't Tacit Collaborators With Nazi Extermination of Jews, Prof. Berendt recalls the difficult conditions of life during the German occupation and the great risk involved in providing help to Jews.

    He cites the example of the district of Dabrowa Tarnowska, in which about 5,100 Jews were deported by the Germans to death camps or murdered in various Aktions. In addition, at least another 239 Jews who succeeded in escaping were caught and murdered afterward, and at least 193 of them perished because they were informed on, or captured by Poles. Of the 61,000 Aryan residents of this district, 135 peasants were accused after the war of collaborating in the murder of Jews. Certainly this is not the entire number of informers and murderers but, Prof. Berendt points out, this can be taken as the scale of the direct involvement of local residents in the annihilation of Jews.

    “No one disputes that thousands of Polish citizens heightened the Jewish tragedy – impelled by the occupier’s threats, by anti-Semitism or by poverty and greed. Those are facts. In contrast, there is no agreement concerning the extension of responsibility for their crimes to tens of millions of people who committed no crime. In the civilized world the principle of guilt by conjecture is not respected,” he said.

     

     

     

    PUBLICATIONS 

     

     

    "From the Pages of Polish History - Nazi German Camps on Polish Soil During World War II"

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    "Defective Codes of Memory" - a post-conference publication after a scientific conference organised jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the University of Warsaw’s Institute of European Studies and the Warsaw School of Economics’ Chair of European Law in 2013.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    "German Nazi concentration camps"

     

     

     

     

     

    "What was the Truth? German Camps, Polish Heroes"

     

     

     

     

     

     

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