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February 14, 2021 11:33 am

Yad Vashem ‘Deeply Disturbed’ By Polish Court Verdict in Holocaust Libel Case

avatar by JNS.org

The ‘Hall of Names’ commemorating victims of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Photo: David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center said on Thursday that it was “deeply disturbed” by the implications of a Polish court’s recent ruling in a libel case involving the alleged wartime actions of Edward Malinowski, the former mayor of Malinowo, Poland.

On Tuesday, the court ordered professors Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking, the editors of “Night Without End: The Fate of Jews in Selected Counties of Occupied Poland,” to issue a retraction of their work and apologize to Malinowski’s niece, who initiated the libel suit. The two-volume study cites a Polish survivor as saying that Malinowski gave up Jews to the Nazis.

“Any attempt to limit academic and public discourse through political or legal pressure is unacceptable and constitutes a substantive blow to academic freedom,” said Yad Vashem in a statement.

While acknowledging the verdict, Yad Vashem said that it “knows and respects the professional work of the scholars” and will publish the English edition of the book, which the museum said was grounded in “scrupulous analysis of a body of existing documentation.”

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