Jewish leader quits Auschwitz board over right-wing politician’s appointment
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Jewish leader quits Auschwitz board over right-wing politician’s appointment

Polish communal figure Stanisław Krajewski said he would quit the museum's council over the the nomination of the Law and Justice party’s Beata Szydlo

Students on the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET)/UJS Lessons from Auschwitz Universities Project, visiting Auschwitz. Photo credit: Yakir Zur
Students on the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET)/UJS Lessons from Auschwitz Universities Project, visiting Auschwitz. Photo credit: Yakir Zur

A Polish right-wing politician has been appointed to a board of the Auschwitz state museum, leading to a Jewish member’s resignation on Wednesday amid claims of politicisation.

Stanisław Krajewski said he would be leaving the International Auschwitz Council over the nomination of the Law and Justice party’s Beata Szydlo, Onet reported.

Culture Minister Piotr Gliński, a member of the same right-wing party, announced the nomination of Szydło, who had served as prime minister for nearly two years until 2017, on Tuesday.

“I understand it as a politicisation of the Council,” Krajewski, a philosopher and former leader of Polish Jewry, wrote in a letter to Gliński, Onet reported. “In such a situation, I do not see any possibility for myself to continue my function within its framework.”

Under Law and Justice, Poland has been accused of manipulating the historical record on the Holocaust – an allegation the party has rejected, arguing it is preserving the country from such abuse. In 2019, Law and Justice passed a controversial law that outlaws blaming Poland for the Holocaust.

The Auschwitz state museum has largely stayed out of that debate and maintained its status internationally as a major site of preservation and research.

However, the museum was largely seen as having politicised its capacity as a venue for Holocaust commemoration ceremonies, in which Poland’s government under Law and Justice effectively disinvited Russian President Vladimir Putin from attending.

Russian troops liberated the Auschwitz camp, which Nazi Germany built in occupied Poland.

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