Menu JTA Search

Polish nationalists defend historian who blamed Jews for Holocaust

(JTA) — Leaders of a Polish nationalist movement said a historian’s claims that Jews helped perpetrate the Holocaust were “factual” and “necessary.” 

The historian who made the claims, Krzysztof Jasiewicz, was “far from politically correct but his statements are supported by historical facts,” Robert Winnicki, president of the All-Polish Youth, said in a statement published Tuesday on the website of the ultranationalist organization, which has a few thousand registered members.

Artur Zawisza, a former lawmaker in the Polish parliament, is quoted as telling the news site NaTemat.pl that Jasiewicz “said too much common sense that has long been present in the literature.” He said the historian’s claims were a "necessary part of open debate."

Jasiewicz, a professor at the Polish Academy of Sciences, made the claim in an interview that appeared this month in a Focus Historia edition focusing on the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. 

“This nonsense about Jews being killed mostly by Poles was manufactured to conceal a big Jewish secret: That the scale of the German crime was made possible by the Jews themselves, who participated in the murder of their own people,” Jasiewicz wrote. He added that “dialogue with the Jews was pointless.”

Following indignant reactions by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and other groups, the board of the Polish Academy of Science said it would consider taking disciplinary steps against Jasiewicz. Winnicki called the protestations “by fringe groups outrageous and unacceptable.”

NEXT STORY