(photo credit: Bloomberg)
KRAKOW – Krzysztof Jasiewicz, a professor at the Polish Academy of Sciences and a well known expert on Polish-Jewish relations, has caused outrage by claiming in an interview with Polish magazine Focus last week that Jews took an active part in the murder of other Jews during WWII.
The interview appeared in a special edition of the magazine focusing on the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising this week.
In the interview, titled “Are the Jews themselves guilty?” Jasiewicz shared views that sound like they were taken from a Nazi propaganda bulletin.
“This nonsense about Jews being killed mostly by Poles was created to hide the biggest Jewish secret. The scale of the German crime was only possible because the Jews themselves participated in the murder of their own people,” Jasiewicz said.
Jasiewicz also said that the Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves.
“For many generations, the Jews, not the Catholic Church, worked to bring the Holocaust about. It looks like the Jews haven’t learned their lesson and haven’t come to any conclusions yet,” he said.
He continued, accusing the Jewish people of harming their relations with Poles.
“The Jews have a problem because they are convinced they are the chosen people.
They feel that they are entitled to interpret everything, including Catholic doctrine. They will always criticize whatever we did or will do. It will never be enough, it will always be wrong and not generous enough. I am convinced that there is no point in a dialogue with the Jews, because it leads nowhere,” said Jasiewicz.
He also commented on the massacres of Jews by their Catholic Polish neighbors during the war.
“I am completely convinced that the crime at Jadwabne and other pogroms were not committed in order to seize Jewish property or as revenge for the many terrible things that Jews did to the Poles in the past. The pogroms were mostly motivated by great fear of the Jews.
These desperate murderers may have told themselves that they were doing terrible things, but that their grandchildren would be grateful to them. I think that such an interpretation is possible, though it does not absolve the crime.” Jasiewicz explained that because “Jews are blinded by their hate and desire for revenge” they “cooperated with communist groups before the war and joined the communist secret police after the war.
“I believe that anyone with some education and intelligence will understand that the Jewish version is not always true and not always better than others.”
The professor also attacked scholars who believe the “Jewish version” and Jewish scholars who, he said, try to hide their religious identity.
Eugeniusz Krol, director of the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences, likened Jasiewicz’s statements to the tone of the Nazi newspaper Stuermer.
“I am shocked and disturbed.
I talked to my colleagues and they are also shocked by this case.”
Stuermer’s slogan, Krol said, came through in Jasiewicz’s interview. Their slogan, he said, was “‘Everything is the fault of the Jews.’ Maybe this was not deliberate on his part, but it sounds disgusting and very bad.
I realize that it hurts the image of our institute, especially since Professor Jasiewicz is the head of one of our departments. This is Professor Jasiewicz’s personal opinion, and I deeply disagree with it. His thesis is too farreaching, even shameful.”
Krol said he was perplexed by the interview since in previous articles Jasiewicz expressed different opinions.
“He is behaving as if he has abandoned all his knowledge as a historian. I do not know how to explain it, I hope that it was some kind of mistake or misunderstanding” said Krol.
He also said that he intends to speak with Jasiewicz in an attempt to understand what made him express these views.
The board of the Polish Academy of Science is also scheduled to meet in the near future to discuss whether steps will be taken against Jasiewicz.
Michael Wojcik, the editorin- chief of Focus, explained his decision to publish the controversial interview with Jasiewicz.
“We showed that anti-Semitism among scientists doesn’t just belong to the past, but still exists today. We could not refrain from writing about it.”
He agreed that Jasiewicz’s statements were not in line with the views of the magazine’s readers and apologized to anyone who was offended by Jaskiewicz’s words. He noted that other articles written by the editors of the magazine in this and earlier editions show that they hold views that are opposed to Jasiewicz’s.