Polish Holocaust researchers verbally attacked at Paris Shoah research conference


WARSAW, Poland (JTA) —  Polish researchers of the Holocaust were verbally attacked after a conference in Paris.

Professor Jacek Leociak from the Polish Academy of Sciences was insulted after leaving the School for Advanced Research in Social Sciences, or EHESS, where the conference was held, and he received death threats in online commentaries. A similar situation happened to Professor Jan Grabowski, who works at the University of Ottawa, when after leaving EHESS, a group of Poles called him a “a dirty Jew.”

Polish groups protested against organizing in Paris the conference, titled “The New Polish School of Historical Research on the Shoah,” because – according to the protesters – the activity of the speakers at the conference “bears a clear xenophobic and anti-Polish character.” Polish organizations do not accept the results of research carried out by historians, which indicate participation of some Poles in murdering Jews during the Holocaust.

Leociak at the conference spoke about the beginnings of Polish research on the Holocaust. During his speech some of the audience reacted with shouts and patter. “During the whole two days of the meeting we were accompanied by a large group of Poles under the spiritual protection of a Catholic priest,” said Leociak.

“Two or three years ago, these people would not have dared to enter and to disrupt university lectures. Today, however, emboldened by the support of the Polish state, they are ready to show their faces and to confront scholars on their own ground,” wrote Grabowski on his Facebook page. When he left the EHESS building, a group of Poles shouted: “Shame on you, Grabowski”, “shame on you, you dirty Jew!”

Grabowski has sued the Polish League Against Defamation after it accused him publicly of ruining Poland’s good name and charging that his research falsifies the nation’s history.

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