Holocaust scholar Jan Blonski dies


WARSAW (JTA) — Scholar Jan Blonski, whose writings were important catalysts in Poland’s exploration of its role during the Holocaust, has died.

Blonski died Wednesday, according to an announcement from the Judaica Foundation-Center for Jewish Culture in Krakow. He was 77.

Blonski, who was not Jewish, was a founder of the foundation and had served as its board chairman. He was a professor at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University.

In 1987, his essay "Poor Poles Look at the Ghetto" ignited a heated debate in Poland on Polish moral responsibility in the face of the Holocaust.

"He was a virtuous man, an eminent humanist and scholar," said Joachim Russek, director of the Center for Jewish Culture.

Blonski’s death came two days after that of Maria Orwid, a Holocaust survivor and psychiatry professor at Jagiellonian University whose writings on the Shoah and the impact of trauma were influential.

Orwid was a founder of the Children of the Holocaust project. She was 78.

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