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Poland under fire over Holocaust ruling

Israeli embassy hits out at ruling Law and Justice party's appointment of far-right figure Tomasz Greniuch to ideological watchdog

ISRAEL’S Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial says it is “deeply disturbed” by a Polish court’s instruction to two Holocaust researchers to apologise for their work on Polish complicity in the murder of Jews under Nazi occupation.

Historians Barbara Engelking and Jan Grabowski were instructed to apologise on Tuesday on the grounds that their book Night Without End: The Fate of Jews of Selected Countries of Occupied Poland slandered Edward Malinowski by suggesting he helped kill Jews during the second world war. The case was brought by his niece, Filomena Leszczynska.

“As with all research, this volume about the fate of Jews during the Holocaust is part of an ongoing discussion and as such is subject to critique in academia, but not in courts,” Yad Vashem said.

Critics of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party say the government is criminalising historical research in a bid to promote its favoured reading of history, which absolves the Polish far-right of any involvement in the Nazi Holocaust that killed three million of Poland’s 3.3 million Jewish population.

And Poland’s Israeli embassy has attacked the appointment of a man with ties to the fascist and anti-semitic National Radical Camp (ONR) to head the Wroclaw branch of the Institute of National Remembrance (INR), a state ideological watchdog that promotes ahistorical narratives presenting Nazism and communism as equivalent “crimes against the Polish nation.”

The Israeli embassy said it was “surprised” at the appointment of Tomasz Greniuch to head the INR in Wroclaw. Mr Greniuch has been criticised in Polish media for having given Nazi salutes at ONR rallies held to celebrate a 1936 anti-semitic riot at Myslenice.

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