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Rewriting the History of Polish-Jewish Relations from a Nationalist Perspective: The Recent Publications of the Institute of National Remembrance
The article draws attention to the recent publications of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN). The Institute was created in 1998 as the custodian of the massive archives of the Polish communist secret police. It was also given a sweeping legal and educational mandate, becoming a clearing-house for historical research and information. Hundreds of historians, archivists and lawyers have been hired to help the Institute fulfill its mandate. After the 2005 Polish elections the IPN became a useful tool in the hands of the ruling populist-nationalist coalition. Some of the recent appointees to positions of influence at the Institute were roundly criticized both for their lack of academic standards, and for their militant nationalism. The articles and books reviewed in this article indicate that the history of Polish-Jewish relations during the war has been the first victim of the ideological zeal of the “new IPN”.
Sharon Kangisser Cohen