As director of the Galicia Jewish Museum, I express my strong protest against the actions of Mr. G. Braun, member of the Polish Parliament, who on May 30, 2023, violently disrupted a lecture by one of Poland’s best-known Holocaust scholars, Prof. Jan Grabowski.
The Holocaust is one of the most horrific events in human history. It is an event that demands careful study, reflection and remembrance, as well as constant courage to challenge false narratives, myths and misrepresentations.
It is academics and researchers such as Prof. Jan Grabowski who dedicate their lives to uncovering the truth, combating lies and educating new generations about the Holocaust.
Mr. Braun’s behavior, which until long ago would have seemed unimaginable, is a frightening testimony to the crossing of new boundaries, to the brutalization of our world, in which the response to inconvenient truths becomes violence, in an act that is very reminiscent of the worst actions of the fascist militias of the 1930s.
Such actions threaten the basic values of a democratic society. They crumble the foundation on which modern Poland is built.
I expect that this act of violence will be met with an appropriate response from the Polish parliament, Polish authorities and law enforcement agencies.
At the same time, I express my support for Prof. Jan Grabowski and the organizers of the lecture, as well as other historians and researchers who, unfortunately, are increasingly often becoming victims of attacks by politicians and members of the government.
I also express concern about the instrumental use of the Holocaust for internal party rivalry in Poland, manifested by the creation of film and graphic materials targeting opponents. The greatest genocide in the history of 20th-century Europe should not be a tool of political struggle, violating the memory of its many victims, Jewish, Polish, Roma and of other nationalities.
Galicia Jewish Museum