Polish culture minister denies involvement in anti-Semitic event


KRAKOW, Poland (JTA) – The Polish culture minister denied any involvement in an anti-Semitic event though its organizers said he helped put it together.

Piotr Glinski’s statement Friday was over a discussion in Lodz last week about a 2014 book titled “The Jewish Political Lobby in Poland.” Far-right activists advertised the discussion about the book, which features many anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, as having been co-organized by Glinski.

“We would like to clarify that Professor Piotr Glinski was not informed about the event with Marian Miszalski, author of the book,” his office wrote in a statement Friday night. The minister “does not identify with the theses of this author, which he demonstrated on numerous occasions by persistently denouncing all forms of anti-Semitism as a manifestation of evil in the social and political space.”

However, a spokesperson for Glinski, who is also the first deputy prime minister of Poland, is quoted as telling the Gazeta Wyborcza daily that Glinski’s office had been in contact with the event’s organizers during the planning stages. He said this did not mean that Glinski endorses their worldview.

Earlier this year Gazeta Wyborcza unearthed anti-Semitic and revisionist statements on the Holocaust by Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz. In 1996, he wrote in the newspaper Glos, where he worked as an editor, that Poles did not kill Jews in the town of Kielce in 1946, despite ample historical proof that dozens of Holocaust survivors were killed there by Polish police and civilians.

“It’s a brazen lie and a defamation to accuse the Polish people of the Kielce crime,” Macierewicz wrote in Glos, according to investigative journalist Tomasz Piatek. “It is not acceptable that Jews and communists are the only ones that are to investigate these documents,” he also opined, adding: “We have to create a National Tribunal at least to defend us against the defamers.”

Last year, the Anti-Defamation League urged the Polish government to reconsider its nomination of Macierewicz, citing his statement in 2002 in which he said that the anti-Semitic forgery “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” contains some truth.

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