Statement of Zygmunt Stepinski, Director of POLIN Museum of History of Polish Jews

Widok muzeum z masztem z flagą biało-czerwonoą
fot. Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich

On behalf of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, I wish to express solidarity with eminent scholars: Professor Barbara Engelking and Professor Jan Grabowski.

It is with regret that I see the unjustified attacks - both personal and institutional - launched against scholars who conduct their research according to the best practices and standards accepted in the academic world and whose mission is to study facts and phenomena related to one of the most tragic periods in the history of Poland and the world.

I was especially alarmed upon hearing of the civil suit brought against the above-mentioned historians, co-editors of a two-volume study entitled "Night Without End. The Fate of Jews in the Selected Counties of Occupied Poland." The involvement in this legal trial of an organization that has enjoyed substantial financial support from public funds can easily be construed as a form of censorship and an attempt to intimidate scholars who may refrain from publishing the results of their research out of fear of a lawsuit and the ensuing costly litigation.

I appeal to the institutions and groups which have a full right to criticize the studies published by the Center for Holocaust Research (in the world of academia, critiques are a force that propels further research) to abstain from doing so in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. It does bring the worst memories from the past.

The truth will defend itself.

Zygmunt Stępiński
Director of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews