Right-wing groups in Poland say Holocaust conference anti-Polish
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Right-wing groups in Poland say Holocaust conference anti-Polish

Researchers attending event write about Polish persecution of Jews in World War II; protesters call them ‘xenophic’ and ‘unreliable’

Polish author Jan Tomasz Gross, author of the 2001 book, 'Neighbors,' about the murder of Jedwabne's Jewish community by Polish neighbors. (East News)
Polish author Jan Tomasz Gross, author of the 2001 book, 'Neighbors,' about the murder of Jedwabne's Jewish community by Polish neighbors. (East News)

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — Right-wing Polish organizations are protesting against a conference in Paris that includes researchers who describe in their work cases of Polish hatred toward Jews during the World War II.

“The New Polish School of Historical Research on the Shoah” is the title of the three-day conference, which is scheduled to open on Wednesday in Paris. Organizations including Polish Media Issues, the World Union of Polish Patriots, the Polonia Institute and the Coalition of Polish Americans are demanding its cancellation.

“As descendants of Poles who fought and died en masse in the fight against Nazi Germany on all fronts…we cannot accept the fact that the prestigious EHESS [School for Advanced Research in Social Sciences] lends its scientific authority to anti-Polish, unreliable characters from the world of science,” they wrote in a protest letter.

The conference will be attended by historians Jan Grabowski and Jan Gross.

Far-right groups hold a demonstration in front of the presidential palace to call on President Andrzej Duda to sign the bill that limits some forms of Holocaust speech in Warsaw, Poland, February 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

Grabowski is a Polish-Canadian Holocaust researcher, co-founder of the Center for Holocaust Research in Warsaw, and author and editor of numerous publications about the Holocaust. In 2014, his book “Hunt for the Jews” received the Yad Vashem International Book Prize for Holocaust Research.

Gross’s book “Neighbors,” about the pogrom in Jedwabne on July 10, 1941, against Jewish residents of the village by Poles, initiated the Polish debate on the responsibility of Poles for the crimes committed during World War II and the murder of Jews.

According to the protesters, the activity of the speakers at the Paris conference “bears a clear xenophobic and anti-Polish character.” They would prefer that representatives of the Poland-based Auschwitz Museum or the Institute of National Remembrance be invited.

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