Newsletter February 2020

Newsletter

European Association of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

February 2020

Pour la version française, cliquez ici ! 

Invitation: “Who Will Write our History?” – Ringelblum archives at Sorbonne, Paris

We are delighted to invite you for an exceptional screening in Paris of a para-documentary movie by Roberta Grossman about the Oneg Shabbos Archives collected in Warsaw under the supervision of Emanuel Ringelblum (1900-1944): Who Will Write Our History? The movie was prepared with experts from the POLIN Museum and is narrated by Adrien Brody (Academy Award / Oscar winner for The Pianist in 2003).

Tuesday, 10 March 2020
5:30 PM
Sorbonne Université – Campus Malesherbes
108 Boulevard Malesherbes, 75017 Paris

The movie will be presented by one of the researchers interviewed in the movie, Dr. Karolina Szymaniak from the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw and University of Wroclaw. Dr. Szymaniak is a leading expert in Yiddish of her generation.
She will be accompanied by the Professor Agnieszka Grudzinska and by Dr. Anna C. Zielinska.
Event will be in French. The entrance is free, but registration is obligatory (for security and capacity reasons) – click here to register.
Check the Facebook event & our webpage devoted to the event.
The first screening was cancelled due to strikes in the public service in France.

POLIN Museum

More petitions supporting Dariusz Stola, who has still not been officially appointed Director of the POLIN Museum by the Polish Minister of Culture

The POLIN Museum still does not have a director – despite the competition won by Dariusz Stola in May 2019 (click here for the chronology of these events), the Polish Minister of Culture has still not published the official nomination. Under the link below you will find the English translation of a text showing the malaise caused by the Museum in the eyes of the current Polish government. Click here to read more about the current imbroglio of the POLIN Museum.

On February 11, 2020, Polish independent media OKOpress published a dramatic statement by Dariusz Stola (read more in English):

Aware of the damages incurred by the Museum, and of the threats that it continues to face, I wish to issue a formal statement, bearing in mind the Museum’s best interest. I declare that I am ready to accept any conditions that would allow to resolve the current crisis. I am inclined to refrain from exercising my right on condition that the three Museum co-founders reach an agreement that is requisite for the institution’s further functioning. (read the whole statement)

London, January 30, 2020

London mayor Sadiq Khan, who attended the Auschwitz 75 commemorations, told Jewish News he was anxious about the way in which the Polish government was speaking about its role in relation to the Nazi genocide. He said he was unhappy about Polish president Andrzej Duda’s decision to block the reappointment of Dariusz Stola, the former director of the Polin museum of the history of Polish Jews in Warsaw.

Source: Jewish News

Warsaw, January 30, 2020

The city of Warsaw and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland demanded government action on Stola’s reappointment.

We can no longer accept the situation in which one of the most important institutions of culture in Poland remains in a state of limbo,” Warsaw’s mayor and the board chairman of the private Jewish historical association said in a joint statement.

Source: Associated Press

POLIN Museum

320 805 visitors at the core exhibition in 2019 !

See this short movie about 2019 at the POLIN Museum, with a surprising meeting of Marian Turski and Mike Tyson ! 

Remarkable speech by Marian Turski

Marian Turski et Emmanuel Macron, le 3 février 2020

On January 27, 2020, Marian Turski, historian and journalist, Holocaust survivor, vice-president of the association of the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland, member of the International Council of Auschwitz and president of the council of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, made a remarkable speech during the commemoration of the liberation of the Auschwitz camp (click here to watch the video): “Do not be indifferent!

In addition, he was able to chat with French President Emmanuel Marcron recently during his visit in Warsaw on February 3, 2020.

POLIN Music Festival 2020

28 February – 1 March 2020

Three evenings, five concerts, musicians of world-renown and premieres of special projects – all these await the audience of the third edition of POLIN Music Festival to be held at POLIN Museum between 28 February and 1 March.
Among the distinguished musicians to perform on our stage are: Michael Guttman, Lara St. John, Jing Zhao, Ohad Ben-Ari, JP Jofre, Matt Herskowitz, Pierre Genisson, Bastarda trio and the orchestras: Sinfonia Varsovia and NFM Leopoldinum.

Click to see the program

Auschwitz Death Camp Liberation
75 anniversary

In 2020, the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp (January 27, 1945) was commemorated in two places. In Jerusalem (Yad Vashem), on January 23, 2020, and in Auschwitz, on January 27, 2020.

The Jerusalem ceremony was very controversial from the point of view of Polish-Russian relations: Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently advanced a reinterpretation of Second World War history which erased the collaboration between Stalin and Hitler (1939-1941) and that has shown Poland as a German ally. According to Mr Putin (and contrary to the facts), Russia’s role was to save the Jews from the Nazis and the Poles (cf. dw.com).

Invited to Jerusalem on January 23, Polish President Andrzej Duda was not offered the possibility to make a public statement, whereas Mr Putin was the guest of honor and invited to make a speech. In consequence, Mr Duda declined the invitation.

After the ceremony, the « Israel’s Holocaust memorial museum (Yad Vashem) has apologised for giving a world stage to President Putin’s “distorted” rewriting of the USSR’s role in the Second World War. Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial and research centre, promised to investigate how the World Holocaust Forum allowed the Russian narrative to dominate the ceremony. The forum, marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, was organised by Moshe Kantor, a Russian oligarch close to Mr Putin, in collaboration with Yad Vashem and the Israeli government » (thetimes.com).

Dariusz Stola’s statement about the Yad Vashem event in Forward.com:

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda decided not to attend because of a series of speeches by President Vladimir Putin of Russia, a main speaker at the Jerusalem Forum, in which Putin blamed Poland for alleged complicity in causing the World War II and conspiring with Hitler to exterminate the Jews. “Essentially they colluded with Hitler. This is clear from documents, archival documents,” Putin told Russian defense leaders at a meeting.

Putin’s words were shocking for their a-historical revisionism.

Far from an instigator, Poland was the first victim of Nazi aggression; the German attack against Poland on September 1, 1939 marked the beginning of the war. In fact, this act of war was accomplished with the consent of the Soviets. In 1939, Poland refused Hitler’s offer to join together against the Soviet Union, while Stalin accepted Hitler’s offer to partition Poland. Hitler had prepared Germany for war for a long time, but he gave the orders for attack when his minister of foreign affairs returned from Moscow with the Ribbentrop-Molotov non-aggression treaty of August 23, with its secret protocol defining the partition of Poland and division of all of Eastern Europe between the Baltic and the Black Seas into the German and Soviet spheres of influence.

For a more in depth analysis:
  • JTA & Katarzyna Markusz, Polish Jewish Community Leader Defends President’s Decision to Skip Holocaust Memorial Event, Haaretz
  • Ofer Aderet, Israel Sold the Memory of the Holocaust to the Interests of Foreign Nations, Haaretz
  • Anshel Pfeffer, In New Battle Over Auschwitz Legacy, Poland Falls Victim to Holocaust Geopolitics, Haaretz
  • Vanessa Gera & Aron Heller, Russia-Poland feud over history clouds Auschwitz anniversary, The Times of Israel
  • Norman Davis, Auschwitz and the so-called Soviet liberation of Poland 

Events

Conference on POLISH-GERMAN HISTORY

Paris, 12-13 February 2020

A New Historiographical Field and its Contribution to the History of Europe – for more information, click here.
Polish Academy of Sciences coorganizes a conference where, among other things, will be discussed « the contribution of Polish-German history and other »binational« historiographies like Franco-German history to the project of writing European history especially when it comes to the specific approaches forged or adopted by historians in these fields (transfer, shared history, histoire croisée, connected history, entangled history, Zwischenraum). ».

***

Image principale: galerie Shoah au Musée POLIN.

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