Statement on Disruption of International Symposium on Polish Research on the Holocaust

IHRA Chair, Ambassador Georges Santer expresses grave concern about the recent disruption of the international symposium held in Paris.

“On behalf of the experts of the Academic Working Group of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, we express our grave concern about the recent disruption of the international symposium held in Paris from 21-22 February, entitled “The New Polish School of Historical Research on the Shoah”. An organized, appointed group of Polish Nationalists aimed to interrupt the debate and they harassed the speakers. Publicly voiced antisemitic remarks have been reported to the public prosecutor.

We commend the swift reaction of Dr. Jerzy Duszyński, President of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and stand with the Academy and our Polish colleagues in championing the right to academic freedom. We also appreciate the intervention of the French government with Polish authorities, defending uncensored academic discussion. We abjure the hate speech applauding the incident that circulated on social and public media and we support the statement issued by the organizers condemning threats against and intimidation of researchers. We offer the organizers and all researchers our full support.

The IHRA welcomes efforts to throw light on the still obscured shadows of the Holocaust and calls on the political leaders of our 32 Member Countries to commit to the IHRA’s priority theme “Safeguarding the Record and Countering Distortion” and to speak out against all efforts and attempts to suppress or undermine historical research.”

Ambassador Georges Santer
IHRA Chair

Professor Yehuda Bauer
Honorary Chairman of the IHRA

Dr. Wichert ten Have
Advisor to the IHRA

Dr. Dominique Trimbur
Dr. Deborah Dwork
Dr. Daniel Gerson

Past, current and future chairs of IHRA’s Academic Working Group