WARSAW, Poland (JTA) — A Polish historian who said the country’s Nazi invasion was not so bad for Jews on Friday received a medal from the Polish Minister of National Education “for special merits for education.”
Tomasz Panfil, who is responsible for education at the Institute of National Remembrance, earlier this month wrote an article in which he stated that “after the aggression of Germany into Poland, the situation of the Jews did not look very bad.”
In his opinion “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.”
Panfil was criticized for that by the Institute of National Remembrance.
The Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper this week revealed that in 2014 he issued an expert opinion to a Polish court in which he wrote that the swastika is an ambiguous symbol – not only related to Nazism, but also symbolizes happiness in some cultures. He also claimed then that the NSDAP, or the Nazi party, was a leftist party.