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.
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.
We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.
Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”