Jan Meisels Allen
Two Polish historians, Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking, with the Polish Center for Holocaust Research in Warsaw, are facing a libel trial for a scholarly examination of Polish behavior during World War ll. The case’s outcome is expected to determine the fate of independent Holocaust research under Poland’s nationalist government. The verdict is expected in Warsaw’s district court on February 9.
The case centers on a 1,600-page, two-volume historical work in Polish, Night Without End: The Fate of Jews in Selected Counties of Occupied Poland, which was co-edited by Grabowski and Engelking. An abridged English version is due to be published in a few months. A spokesperson for the Simon Wiesenthal Center called the book “meticulously researched and sourced book that details thousands of cases of complicity by Poles in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust.”
The case is the first major legal test in the wake of a 2018 law that makes it a crime to falsely accuse the Polish nation of crimes committed by Nazi Germany. The law has caused a major diplomatic rift with Israel.
Poland’s conservative party, Law and Justice, which won power in 2015, has sought to discourage investigations into Polish wrongdoing during the wartime German occupation, preferring instead to almost exclusively stress Polish heroism and suffering.
A number of historical institutions such as Yad Vashem and Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah have condemned the case as the verdict nears.
To read more about the libel case see:
I have not read the book nor is my posting to be construed as an endorsement of the book. It is mentioned solely for the information of the reader in regard to the libel case.
Thank you to David Oseas, JGS Conejo Valley and Ventura County webmaster for sharing the information with us.
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee