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    Auschwitz museum protests against lies

    A few weeks ago we reported a polish civil court verdict in a case where an elderly woman from a remote village won against two acclaimed international writers who accused her uncle of murdering Jews during the second world war. Her uncle, in fact, had saved Jewish lives but the authors mistook his identity with someone else’s. The case is mentioned in an article in the New Yorker magazine where columnist – Russian-American and -Jewish Activist – Masha Gessen blames Poland and Poles for complicity in the Holocaust.

    In a story titled “the Historians Under Attack for Exploring Poland’s Role in the Holocaust”

    Masha Gessen wrote:  The two historians’ legal troubles stem from the Polish government’s ongoing effort to exonerate Poland—both ethnic Poles and the Polish state—of the deaths of three million Jews in Poland during the Nazi occupation.  

    According to Masha Gessen, whose grandfather came from Białystok, where local Poles hid members of her family, the Polish nation and the Polish state are complicit in the holocaust.

    Piotr Cywinski, the director of the Auschwitz museum, said the New Yorker article “contains so many lies and distortions that I find it a bit hard to believe that it is a coincidence.” “Furthermore, when it concerns the Holocaust, any distortion of historical truth is very dangerous. This applies to all forms of denial, revisionism, and deformation of historical truth,” Cywinski said.

    David Harris, the CEO of the American Jewish Congress, said that the article’s subtitle was “defamatory.”  “Germany — and Germany alone — was responsible for the Nazi death camps, from Auschwitz to Treblinka,” Harris wrote on Twitter, adding that “the infamous words at Auschwitz — `Arbeit macht frei’ (Work makes you free) — were written in German, not Polish. And that must never, ever, be forgotten.”

    Masha Gessen sustained her accusation and answered on her social media profile that her critics’ command of English is insufficient to properly understand her text.   



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