Holocaust center has ‘obsessive hatred of Poles’ – leaked emails between Polish PM, journalist

The journalist advised Morawiecki to “promote Polish martyrdom using Jewish martyrdom, because it is possible.”

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

On the heels of an ongoing diplomatic spat between Poland and Israel, a Polish newspaper leaked emails between the prime minister, a prominent journalist, and several government advisors strategizing on how to improve Poland’s global image via international media.

The left-wing Socialist news outlet Wyborcza published email exchanges between Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and “right-wing” journalist Bronisław Wildstein, which took place in 2018, as the diplomatic crisis between Poland and Israel first began.

In January 2018, the Polish parliament passed a law stating that researchers, teachers, or journalists who publicly discussed Poland’s role in the Holocaust could face up to three years in prison.

The bill sparked international outrage, along with harsh condemnation from Israel. As deteriorations in relations continued, Israel withdrew its ambassador from the eastern European nation.

According to emails obtained by Wyborcza, Morawiecki and Wildstein began discussing ways to shield Poland from the international outcry and restore relations with the Jewish State.

However, Wildstein charged that many Holocausts scholars and institutions are inherently biased against Poland.

He suggested that Poland float the idea of a joint Holocaust research project with Israeli scholars, who would parter with the Institute of National Remembrance, a Polish pro-government Holocaust research group known by its Polish acronym IPN.

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“Ideally, it would be done by Yad Vashem together with the IPN,” Wildstein wrote.

“This should be forced on the Israeli authorities, since now all contacts with Israeli historians are monopolized by the Holocaust Research Center, whose main figures [Dr. Jan Grabowski and Dr. Barbara Engelking] are simply enemies of Poland.”

In a separate email, he said that “the Center for Holocaust Research presents an almost obsessive hatred of Poles.”

Wildstein also stressed the importance of seeking out journalists who were “sympathetic” to Poland, suggesting that they work to promote a narrative around World War II and the German occupation of Poland that would present Polish victims of the era as equivalent to Jewish victims.

He advised Morawiecki to “”promote Polish martyrdom using Jewish martyrdom, because it is possible.”

An advisor to Morawiecki, Andrzej Pawluszek, traveled to Tel Aviv in March 2018 with the goal of connecting with local journalists and government officials who could help them rebuild relations with Israel.

“I made great contact with a journalist from the Jerusalem Post, we drank a sea of beer, but it was well worth it,” wrote Pawluszek in an email recounting the efforts on his visit.

He suggested that the Polish government mobilize funds to help “correct Hebrew Wikipedia entries and position Israeli pages on Google” regarding Polish crimes in the Holocaust.

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Earlier this year, Israel suspended its annual trip to Poland for high-schoolers in the face of an ongoing diplomatic crisis regarding a 2021 Polish law banning the descendants of Holocaust victims from attempting to gain compensation for their seized or stolen property.