Krzysztof Jasiewicz, professor at the Polish Academy of Sciences and well-known expert on Polish-Jewish relations, caused outrage last week by claiming in an interview in popular Polish magazine Focus that Jews took an active part in the murder of other Jews during World War II.
The interview appeared in a special edition of the magazine focusing on the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising next week. The board of the Polish Academy of Science is scheduled to meet to discuss whether disciplinary steps will be taken against Jasiewicz.
‘The scale of the German crime was only possible because the Jews themselves participated in the murder of their own people’
In his “Are the Jews themselves guilty?” interview, Jasiewicz said, “This nonsense about Jews being killed mostly by Poles was created to hide the biggest Jewish secret: The scale of the German crime was only possible because the Jews themselves participated in the murder of their own people…
“The Jews have a problem because they are convinced they are the chosen people. They feel they are entitled to interpret everything, including Catholic doctrine… I am convinced that there is no point in dialogue with the Jews, because it doesn’t lead anywhere,” said Jasiewicz.
Commenting on the massacres of Jews by their Catholic Polish neighbors during the war, he said, “I am completely convinced that the crime at Jedwabne and other pogroms were not committed to seize Jewish property or as revenge for the many terrible things that Jews did to the Poles in the past. The pogroms were mostly motivated by great fear of the Jews.”
In the 1941 Jedwabne pogrom, some 340 Polish Jews were murdered and buried in two mass graves. A 2003 investigation found local Poles, with the complicity of the Germans, were the culprits.
“These desperate murderers may have told themselves that they were doing terrible things, but that their grandchildren would be grateful to them. I think that such an interpretation is possible — though it does not absolve them of the crime,” said Jasiewicz.
‘For many generations, the Jews, not the Catholic Church, worked to bring the Holocaust about’
Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves, said Jasiewicz. “For many generations, the Jews, not the Catholic Church, worked to bring the Holocaust about. It looks like the Jews haven’t learned their lesson and haven’t come to any conclusions yet,” he said.
Eugeniusz Krol, director of the Institute of Political Studies, compared Jasiewicz’s statements to the tone of Nazi newspapers.
“I am shocked and disturbed. I talked to my colleagues and they are also shocked by this case. The things that were said in this interview can be likened to the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer.
“I realize that it hurts our institute’s image, especially since professor Jasiewicz is the head of one of our departments. This is professor Jasiewicz’s personal opinion, and I deeply disagree with it,” said Krol.
Focus editor-in-chief Micahel Wojcik apologized to those offended by Jaskiewicz and noted other articles written by the magazine’s editors in this and earlier editions show they hold opposing views.
“We were very surprised that such extreme views were expressed by a highly educated scientist and researcher,” said Wojcik.
“We showed that anti-Semitism among scientists doesn’t just belong to the past, but still exists today.”
I’ll tell you the truth: Life here in Israel isn’t always easy. But it's full of beauty and meaning.
I'm proud to work at The Times of Israel alongside colleagues who pour their hearts into their work day in, day out, to capture the complexity of this extraordinary place.
I believe our reporting sets an important tone of honesty and decency that's essential to understand what's really happening in Israel. It takes a lot of time, commitment and hard work from our team to get this right.
Your support, through membership in The Times of Israel Community, enables us to continue our work. Would you join our Community today?
Sarah Tuttle Singer, New Media Editor
We’re really pleased that you’ve read X Times of Israel articles in the past month.
That’s why we come to work every day - to provide discerning readers like you with must-read coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.
So now we have a request. Unlike other news outlets, we haven’t put up a paywall. But as the journalism we do is costly, we invite readers for whom The Times of Israel has become important to help support our work by joining The Times of Israel Community.
For as little as $6 a month you can help support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel AD-FREE, as well as accessing exclusive content available only to Times of Israel Community members.