Polish born Mordechai Fox, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor, wears a yellow Star of David on his jacket during a ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A prominent Princeton history professor warned on Thursday that the current Polish government is seeking to rewrite history through new education reforms designed to downplay the country's role in the Holocaust, according to The Jewish Chronicle.
Polish-American academic Jan Tomasz Gross, whose work highlights the role some Poles played in the Holocaust, said during an interview with The Chronicle that "the current regime in Poland is nationalist, xenophobic, and authoritarian."
"It openly states that it will enforce a political agenda with respect to teaching and commemorating Polish history," he added.
Gross and the Polish government have been at loggerheads as of late, when Gross discovered two weeks ago the ruling Law and Justice Party was considering rescinding the Order of Merit award given to him in 1996 for his research into the Holocaust and Polish-Jewish relations.
The Polish government has already levied a censure against the academic after he said that the "Poles killed more Jews than Germans" during a October 2015 interview with German newspaper Der Welt.
Gross continued by saying that "students in schools and universities will have their curricula skewed, impoverished, and falsified if need be, to conform with a nationalist agenda. Critical thinking and respect for multicultural values will be discouraged."
He added that if the current government is allowed to continue with its educational purge, it was in danger of becoming "spiritually marginalized within the European community".
Gross could possibly face jail time for his comments, saying that the Polish prosecutor's office had been urged to investigate him under a statute in the law that makes it illegal to "slander the Polish nation."