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Holocaust researchers in Poland win closely watched libel case on appeal

WARSAW, Poland — An appellate court in Poland rejects a lawsuit brought against two Holocaust scholars in a case that has been closely watched because it was expected to serve as a precedent for research into the highly sensitive area of Polish behavior toward Jews during World War II.

Poland is governed by a nationalist conservative party that has sought to promote remembrance of Polish heroism and suffering during the wartime German occupation of the country. The party also believes that discussions of Polish wrongdoing distort the historical picture and are unfair to Poles.

The Appellate Court of Warsaw argues in its explanation that it believes it’s not the responsibility of the courts to judge scholarly research.

The ruling is welcomed by the two researchers, Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking, who declare it a “great victory” in a Facebook post.

“We greet the verdict with great joy and satisfaction all the more, that this decision has a direct impact on all Polish scholars, and especially on historians of the Holocaust,” they say.

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