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Polish Historian Says Nazi Invasion ‘Not Very Bad’ For Jews

WARSAW, Poland (JTA) – The Polish Institute of National Remembrance has distanced itself from one of its historians who wrote in an op-ed that the situation of the Jews “did not look very bad” after the Nazis entered Poland.

The piece by Tomasz Panfil, the historian responsible for education at the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, or IPN, appeared Monday in the Gazeta Polska, a weekly newspaper.

“After the aggression of Germany into Poland, the situation of the Jews did not look very bad,” Panfil wrote. “Although the [Nazi] occupation authorities took over, they ordered the wearing of armbands with the star of David, charged them heavy taxes, began to designate Jews-only zones only for the Jews, but at the same time permitted the creation of Judenrat, that is, organs of self-government. ”

Institute leaders in a statement sent to the media said the statement “is in no way consistent with the position of the IPN.”

Other Polish historians criticized the op-ed.

“This is a complete absurdity. This ignorance is frightening,” Dariusz Libionka, head of research at the State Museum at Majdanek, told the Polishj-language Kurier Lubelski newspaper.

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