Princeton Holocaust scholar grilled by Polish policy for saying Poles killed Jews


WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — A Polish prosecutor interrogated a Jewish historian who researched Polish complicity in the Holocaust to determine if he had criminally insulted the nation.

Jan Tomasz Gross, a Polish-American professor based at Princeton University, published an article in the German newspaper Die Welt that said Poles “had killed more Jews than the Germans did” during World War II.

Gross was questioned for five hours Tuesday in the district attorney’s office in Katowice. His article published by Die Welt last September concerned the Syrian refugee issue and the lack of consent to their absorption by Poland.

The crime of publicly insulting the Polish nation is punishable by up to three years in prison. Gross has not been charged with a crime.

“I said straight out that I was not going to offend the Polish nation,” Gross told The Associated Press. “I tried to make people aware of the problem of refugees in Europe. I’m just telling the truth, and the truth sometimes has the effect of shock on people who previously were not aware of the case.”

In February, the office of Polish President Andrzej Duda confirmed that it would consider revoking a national honor bestowed on Gross in 1996. Gross received the medal for his activities in opposition to Poland’s communism and for his historical works on Poles deported to Siberia.

Gross is the author of the controversial 2001 book “Neighbors,” about a 1941 pogrom perpetrated against Jews by their non-Jewish countrymen in the town of Jedwabne.

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