The Salem State University Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies strongly condemns the interruption (and eventual cancellation) of a lecture by our friend and colleague, Professor Jan Grabowski, Ottawa, Canada.
The talk which was scheduled for Tuesday, May 30 at the Warsaw German Institute for Historical Research had just begun when an elected Polish politician approached Professor Grabowski's podium, disrupted the speech and began damaging the sound equipment.
This was an active effort to silence Professor Grabowski, whose award-winning work explores the collaboration of segments of the Polish population with the Nazis during the Holocaust. Previously, Professor Grabowski and the book’s coauthor, Professor Barbara Engelking, were charged by government proxies with defaming the reputation of the Polish people.
Poles were indeed murdered by the German occupiers and a sizable number of Poles helped rescue Jews. The attempt to stifle research on the large number of Poles who facilitated or participated in the murder of their Jewish neighbors is a grave violation of academic freedom and freedom of ideas. Moreover, the false comparison with the Jewish genocide amounts to distortion and even denial of the Holocaust.
Christopher E Mauriello