The EAJS Executive Committee wishes to express its deep concern regarding recent statements made by the Polish minister of Education and Science directed against Professor Barbara Engelking, founder and Director of the Polish Centre of Holocaust Research at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Science, in view of her remarks in the media communicating her research results. These remarks by Professor Engelking happen not to comply with the minister’s views on how to interpret the recent Polish past, and especially the period of the Second World War and the Holocaust.
The EAJS Executive Committee considers such statements as a direct threat to academic freedom and scholarly autonomy. It wishes to express its solidarity with Professor Engelking as well as with the broader scholarly community in Poland whose work seems under a growing risk of being assessed and funded not according to academic standards, but by political views held in government departments. It therefore endorses an open letter expressing support for Professor Barbara Engelking, and welcomes members of the Association, as well as of the European scholarly community, to sign it.