With support from the University of Richmond

History News Network

History News Network puts current events into historical perspective. Subscribe to our newsletter for new perspectives on the ways history continues to resonate in the present. Explore our archive of thousands of original op-eds and curated stories from around the web. Join us to learn more about the past, now.

Poland may sue historian Jan Gross over claim Poles killed more Jews than Germans during war

Related Link Coverage of the story in the Yale News

Polish prosecutors on Thursday opened a libel probe against a US historian after he claimed Poles killed more Jews than Germans during the second world war.

Last month, German newspaper Die Welt ran an article by the Polish-born Princeton University professor Jan T Gross in which he sought to explain Poland’s wariness of accepting Syrian migrants streaming into Europe by referring to anti-Semitism during the war.

“The Poles, for example, were indeed rightfully proud of their society’s resistance against the Nazis, but in fact did kill more Jews than Germans during the war,” wrote the 68-year-old Jewish historian.

The Warsaw prosecutor’s office has since received more than 100 complaints from individuals and organisations saying they found Gross’s claim offensive, according to office spokesman Przemyslaw Nowak. 

Nowak told public television that the office was acting under a paragraph of the criminal code that “provides that any person who publicly insults the Polish nation is punishable by up to three years in prison”. ...

Read entire article at The Guardian