Poland drops Holocaust speech case against journalist

Prosecutors in Poland say they have found no breach of the law in an article about the role of Poles in the Holocaust and have dropped their case against the journalist who wrote it for a left-wing daily.

Prosecutors in Poland say they have found no breach of law in an article about the role of Poles in the Holocaust and have dropped the case against the journalist who wrote it for a left-wing newspaper in October.

The police questioned Katarzyna Markusz this month after a complaint that her article, “Polish participation in the Holocaust” in the Krytyka Polityczna daily, allegedly “insulted the Polish nation”. Anyone found guilty of breaching that law can face up to three years in prison.

Critics took issue with a sentence that asked if Polish authorities will ever admit that there was widespread aversion to Jews before World War II and that “Polish participation in the Holocaust was a fact of history.”

A spokeswoman for prosecutors in Warsaw said that they found no breach of law in the text and discontinued the case.

Markusz told The Associated Press that it was the “only logical decision” that could have been taken, but added that the case should not have been opened at all.
She said she only stated known facts.

Poland’s conservative authorities don’t deny that some Poles harmed Jews during the Holocaust, but they believe the focus on Polish wrongdoing obscures the fact that most of these killings occurred under the orders and terror of German Nazis who brutally occupied Poland during World War II.

Some 3 million of Poland’s 3.3 million Jews were murdered during the war, as well as more than 2 million Christian Poles. The Germans punished anybody helping Jews with instant execution, yet thousands of Poles have been recognized by Israel for taking the risk to save Jews.

In 2018, the right-wing government tried to make it a crime to falsely blame the Polish nation for Holocaust crimes, but the law was withdrawn after it sparked a diplomatic dispute with Israel.

related

Subscribe to EJC newsletter

Get EJC's bi-weekly newsletter, including the latest statements and news from the European Jewish communities, direct to your inbox.

European Jewish Congress will use the information you provide on this form to contact you. We will treat your information with respect and will not share it with others. By clicking Subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

Statements

“The pandemic has created the social conditions where antisemitism thrives,” Moshe Kantor warned at the release of Antisemitism Worldwide report

The significant rise in extremism and the widespread increase in antisemitic conspiracy theories over the last year could have profound effects on Jewish communities in a post-Pandemic world, said EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor at the release of the Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide 2020, by the Kantor Center at Tel Aviv University.

EJC President Kantor congratulates Greece on 200 years of independence

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor congratulated the Hellenic Republic ahead of the 200th anniversary of its independence on March 25th 2021.

EJC welcomes European Anti-Racism Summit

The EJC strongly welcomes the European Commission’s Anti-Racism Action Plan and the holding of the Anti-Racism Summit, a seminal event to enhance anti-racism policies in Europe.

EJC President Kantor praises the Pope for impromptu visit to Holocaust survivor

EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor praised Pope Francis who visited a Holocaust survivor in her Rome apartment to pay tribute to all those who suffered from what he called “the craziness of Nazi populism.”