February 18, 2019

Poland and the Jews

A Week in Auschwitz is a blog written by an unnamed British female PhD student whose research focuses on the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum’s adaptation to the digital age. She is also Administrator for the Holocaust Research Institute at Royal Holloway, University of London. The blog has been around since 2012 and is thoughtfully written. The author has written a post entitled In Defence of the Auschwitz Museum in which she responds in an enlightening way to a recent allegation that the Museum is rewriting” Holocaust history one tweet at a time.” The author of blog explains that:

Antisemitism existed in Poland before, during, and after the Holocaust, just as it did in many other countries in Europe. That’s a fact. That’s indisputable. However you define complicity’ — reporting Jews in hiding, killing Jews, settling into the homes of deported Jews and auctioning off their possessions — it happened. To suggest that Auschwitz-Birkenau had Polish roots’, however, is misleading and unjustified.

She adds that the Museum operates in a challenging political environment and, in her view, is doing its best to navigate those waters in a responsible way:

Auschwitz Museum is a State Museum which receives a significant portion of its funding from governmental organisations (last year, 24% of the Museum’s budget was derived from Ministry of Culture and Heritage funds). If the Museum were to speak out against the current Holocaust law’ — however far-fetched it is — what then? What would happen to this funding, which is needed to preserve the Museum and ensure that people from all over the world can still visit safely? (footnote omitted)

This strikes me as a useful perspective on what has become a highly charged issue.


Poland Jews Auschwitz Antisemitism Holocaust Blog London


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