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    New Yorker article slandering Poles modified by author

    Yesterday we reported on “The New Yorker” magazine story by Masha Gessen. Poles and Holocaust researchers are upset by this counter factual accusation of Holocaust complicity. According to author is the state of Poland to be blamed for murder of 3 millions of Polish Jews. The text caused outrage and the publisher modified it slightly.

    After calls from the Auschwitz Museum, the American Jewish Congress and the Embassy of Poland, The New Yorker’s editors have modified the controversial text slightly. The current subtitle accuses the Polish authorities of persecuting researchers in order to clear the nation of accusations of participating in any way in the extermination process of three million Jews during the German occupation. However, the request of the Polish embassy in Washington to remove the text remains unanswered. Moreover, the Polish side emphasizes that despite changes in the content of the publication, it still contains many errors.

    Masha Gessen is Russian American, Jewish and an LGBT activist. She wrote the text in defence of Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking. The two acclaimed international writers accused Mrs Filomena Leszczyńska’s uncle of murdering Jews during the second world war. In fact, this person had saved Jewish lives but the authors mistook his identity with someone else’s. The authors lost the civil case in a Polish court but had refused to apologize to an elderly woman from the remote Polish village. 

    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.”



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