Information – A statement by ”Reduta Dobrego Imienia“– The Polish League Against Defamation  in connection with the 75th anniversary of the taking over of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.

Information – A statement by ”Reduta Dobrego Imienia“– The Polish League Against Defamation  in connection with the 75th anniversary of the taking over of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp.

January 27 will mark the 75th anniversary of the Red Army’s occupation of the German death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest and most deadly in the archipelago of death camps built in occupied Poland by the security apparatus of the German Third Reich. The names of German concentration and death camps – Auschwitz, Sobibór, Treblinka, Bełżec, and Chełmno –  elicit horror to this day and remain an open wound inflicted upon the Polish soil during World War II by the genocidal German government.

The camp in Auschwitz, built using the slave labor of political prisoners from the first transports sent there, was initially intended for Poles who resisted the German authorities. After the “final solution of the Jewish question” moved into its horrific implementation stage, the Germans began to transport Jews to Auschwitz not only from Poland but from all of Europe. There, they methodically and without exception carried out the extermination of the Jewish population in accordance with the homicidal Nazi ideology enshrined in the German Third Reich law.

The camp in Auschwitz from the beginning to the end of its existence was managed by the Germans – the criminal German organization of the SS. It was the Germans who were the masters of life and death – for Jews, Poles and the prisoners of all the other nationalities that went through this hell on earth from which few came out alive.

German attack on Soviet Russia turned Stalin, Hitler’s erstwhile ally and fellow occupier of pre-war Polish territory, into an enemy of the Third Reich. As the allies advanced towards Berlin in the later stages of the war, the Red Army drove the Germans from the conquered territories of Eastern Europe, including Poland. And so, the Soviet state that had a giant archipelago of murderous concentration camps (Gulags) of its own, came to occupy the German death camp in Auschwitz. Shortly after, the Soviet security apparatus, NKVD, began using the Nazi camp as a prison for the Polish freedom fighters and prisoners of war. Similarly, the NKVD adapted other Nazi camps in occupied Poland to the needs of the terror apparatus during the consolidation of communist power in Poland after World War II.

The upcoming anniversary of January 27, 2020 will remind the whole world of what German Nazism was, what the criminal system of German concentration and death camps- built on the territory of occupied Poland and managed by the genocidal security apparatus of the German Third Reich –was. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent lies about the outbreak of World War II, his attempt to white-wash Soviet complicity, and his blatant historical revisionism show that the truth about the events of World War II must always be guarded against those who, like Putin, want to manipulate the narrative, in order to achieve their ad hoc goals of expansive foreign policy.

Reduta Dobrego Imienia – The Polish League against Defamation reminds everyone who will be commenting on the anniversary of the occupation of the Auschwitz camp by the Red Army that the Polish Government in Exile did not have any power over the territory of the Polish State from September 17, 1939 – the moment of Soviet aggression against Poland in collaboration with Germany. Were it not for this assault and, as a consequence, the collapse of the Polish State, the Holocaust and other crimes that were a simple consequence of transferring the genocidal practices of both totalitarian occupants to the territory of occupied Poland would not have taken place.

The Polish League against Defamation reminds everyone who will be commenting on this anniversary that the Auschwitz camp was a German Nazi death camp founded by the Nazi Third Reich in occupied Poland. Denying or diminishing the responsibility of Nazi Germany, or shifting the responsibility for the Holocaust from the Germans(Holocaust denial) as well as all lies about the perpetration of Holocaust crimes are hate speech. Diminishing responsibility for crimes and passing them on to the victims is not only denying the truth, but also an attempt at humiliate and again take away the dignity of the victims.

Maciej Świrski

President of the Polish League against Defamation

 

Warsaw, 16 January 2020

 

The Polish League against Defamation has been around since 2013. He deals with, among others initiating and supporting activities aimed at straightening false information appearing in the media and public space about the history of Poland, especially the course of World War II, and propagating knowledge about the history and culture of Poland. Reacts in many fields, including by sending requests for correction in the event of the use of the words ‘Polish camp’, ‘Polish ghetto’, ‘Polish SS’ or similar. He conducts court cases regarding freedom of speech and national identity, including in the context of reproduced historical inaccuracies.

Since the beginning of its activity, the Polish League against Defamation has won several court cases.

  1. Against the media group Ringier Axel Springer Polska, which spoke to the plaintiff’s mother, a woman led to death, for collaboration with Germany and prostitution with the occupier.
  2. Against Newsweek.pl, which suggested the existence of “Polish concentration camps” after the end of World War II.
  3. Against the Ringer Axel Springer Polska concern for slandering an innocent man, a hero of the fight for Poland’s freedom, for “communist crimes”.
  4. The case of a Home Army soldier wrongly accused of collaborating with the communist Security Office (UB) after World War II.
  5. Against the publisher of the weekly ‘Wprost’, in defense of two brothers from the Bąk family, who were portrayed as criminals and murderers, even though they acted on behalf of the Polish Underground State and executed death sentences on Polish traitors and Nazi occupiers, as ordered by the Polish underground authorities .
  6. In defense of national identity, against racism and discrimination based on nationality.
  7. Against the German ZDF television for the series “Our mothers, our fathers”, which portrayed Polish Home Army soldiers as bandits and anti-Semites.

 

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Putin’s Propaganda Assault on Poland – A Review of Russian Media Reporting (December 19th, 2019 – January 8th, 2020)

We present to you our report on the reaction of the Russian media to the recent remarks of the Russian President Vladimir Putin. On the 19th of December 2019, he accused Poland of having been vicious anti-Semites who collaborated with the Nazi Germany. Today’s Poland – so claims Putin – is falsifying history. Unsurprisingly, Putin’s words were spread wide and far in Russian state-controlled media.  While attacks of this kind are always disappointing, it is particularly concerning that this attack came roughly a month before the 75th anniversary of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

This report focuses on the coverage by leading Russian media organizations such as TASS, Izvestia and Sputnik. Our analysis confirms that the Kremlin’s new anti-Polish stance is in fact not new at all. Indeed, the main talking points such as the allegedly particularly vicious Polish anti-Semitism or Poland’s supposed collaboration with “the fascists” have been in use since even before the Second World War.

Not only are the talking points old – so are the methods used to back up these claims. By citing rather obscure figures such as the then-ambassador Lipski and completely ignoring the historical context, it is implied that Poland was willing to help Hitler in ethnically cleansing Europe of Jews and was even willing to build a monument for Hitler. This is – of course – nonsense. Unfortunately, there is no counterweight to this narrative in Russia as the opposition media and also historians who do not toe the Kremlin line have been systematically marginalized.

As a result, we have to expect further attacks of this kind, especially as Poland continues to invest in national defense, shifts its energy consumption away from Russian gas, and deepens its alliance with the USA and NATO.

The full report can be found here:
Atak propagandowy Putina na Polskę. Przegląd rosyjskich mediów (19 grudnia 2019 – 8 stycznia 2020)

RDI Annual Report for 2019

On the last day of 2019 –aside from wishing you a happy new decade – we present you our annual report for the current year. We also offer some of our thoughts on the current Polish-Russian diplomatic crisis, and we invite you to share your insights on this matter. Our full analysis will be published sometime after Epiphany.

1. In the annual report, we present a detailed statement detailing the legal and anti-defamatory activities of RDI. 2019 was a year of extraordinary legal successes. Among them were two victories over Ringier Axel Springer in which the publisher was forced to pay 100,000 zł in restitution after being found guilty of insulting Polish women. Onet.pl was further directed to post an apology on its webpage for a week; the apology had to cover at least ¼ of the screen. The apology had to be dedicated to Mr. Krystian Brodacki whose own mother had been insulted by the German-owned Onet.pl. The site had used a photograph of women being executed by the Germans during the Palmiry Massacres to illustrate a story about prostitution during the German occupation.

Aside from defending the good name of Poland in the courts of law, we were also very active elsewhere:

– We sent out 70 newsletters, reaching 5,545,194 people
– We published 57 articles on our website www.rdi.org.pl
– 194,910 people visited www.rdi.org.pl this year
– We published 458 tweets on Twitter, and were followed by 10,292 people
– We published 165 posts on Facebook, where we are liked by 19,397 people and observed by 19,556
– We sent out 275 requests for correction. Our requests were followed up on in 170 cases.
– We published 4 editions of our magazine “Reduta Online”

The report can be downloaded by clicking on the link on the bottom of this page.
We invite you to have a look!

2. Putin’s recent attack on Polish history is not his first one, which shows once again that for Moscow, history is a yet another battlefield in its campaign of disinformation. From the introduction of the report:

“As a principle, historical policy is an essential component of most if not all states’ internal but also foreign policies. A serious historical policy is supported is consistent with a state’s interests, and is thus supported by the all possible means. This enables the country to have an impact on international politics it otherwise would not have.”

When standing up to Soviet-era informational warfare, it is essential to respond with a measured, thought-out historical policy. The latest crisis has demonstrated that it is not simply enough to tell the truth about Polish suffering and heroism. Any successful Polish historical policy also has to tell the greater truth about communism and its murderous legacy. Such an anti-communist direction is in my opinion essential to push back against the disinformation spread by people like Putin, who for the most part is simply reiterating old Soviet propaganda from 1939 that was used to justify Stalin’s alliance with Hitler and later easily allowed the Western Allies’ to renege on their promises to Poland at Yalta and Potsdam. In particular, accusations of Polish anti-Semitism have time and time again featured prominently in Soviet propaganda whenever Poland did anything significant that ran counter to the wishes of the Kremlin.

Thankfully, the international reaction to Putin’s statements has been rather positive, especially following the release of Prime Minister Morawiecki’s statement. Aside from international media, foreign countries such as Germany and the USA – via public statements of their ambassadors – reaffirmed the historical truth and thus stood by Poland’s side. If Putin’s attack was intended to sow discord within NATO, it is fair to say that this attempt has failed. However, it is likely that this is not going to be the last initiative of this kind, and we have to be brace ourselves for further attacks.

Our Documentation and Analysis Department is currently preparing a report detailing the events and dynamics as well as highlighting what organizations such as the RDI can do. The report is due to be released on the second week of January. However, it has to be said that while we can indeed provide support, it is primarily up to the Polish government to deal with such high-level attacks – task which it is evidently is capable of completing.

That being said, some of the responses from parts of the opposition media as well as some opposition politicians are rather unfortunate and in some cases even irresponsible. For example, it is disappointing to see politicians with years of experience in government suddenly fall into blind activism, and simply discarding the need for a measured response. These calls for rashness emerged mostly in the shape of criticism deriding the President of Poland for not reacting fast enough or that the entire government is doing nothing and that this is the fault of Poland’s ruling party. Even though many of these people should be very well aware of the fact that the crisis management of this kind must not be done in a hasty fashion, they nevertheless insisted on it. This type of behavior is nothing more than the cynical exploitation of a crisis manufactured by a foreign country.

3. As mentioned above, our Documentation and Analysis Department is preparing a report concerning the ongoing diplomatic crisis with Russia. This report will also include an analysis of the reaction Putin’s attacks received in various NATO countries. Membership in the defensive NATO alliance has been one of the main cornerstones of the security policy of every Polish government since Poland’s accession in 1999. It is thus critical to maintain a positive image among our allies. Therefore, I would kindly ask those who are currently living in other NATO countries to share your experiences. If you can tell us how normal people (your friends, acquaintances, colleagues, etc.) felt about Putin’s statements, we would be very grateful.
In case you feel inclined to do so, feel free to send an email to:
kontakt@reduta-dobrego-imienia.pl
with the subject line: Reactions to Putin’s Statements

The link to the RDI Annual Report for 2019 can be found here – LINK

On a final note, we would like to thank you very much for your support. Without your support and generosity, we would not be here. May you and your close ones have a blessed year!

Important Victory for RDI! Hans G. Found Guilty of Defamation, Issuing Death Threats!

Today, the Regional Court in Wejherowo reached a verdict in the criminal case against Hans G, in which RDI supported the plaintiff with financial and legal aid, helping to initiate court proceedings. The court found Hans G. guilty of defaming Natalia Nitek Płażyńska as well as threatening her with death! The judge sentenced Hans G. to 8 months on probation and a 20,000 PLN fine. In addition to the 20,000 PLN fine, Hans G. has been ordered to pay around 10,000 PLN in damages. Hans G. has further been ordered to cover 50,000 PLN in trial expenses. This is not the only case RDI is currently involved in, and we provide legal assistance in another criminal case.

After the verdict was announced, Natalia Nitek-Płażyńska wrote: “I won against a German Nazi in front of a criminal court! Hans G. has been found guilty of defaming me because of my nationality as well as of making death threats. Among other things, he said that he would kill Poles while pretending to shoot a gun.  I have already written on here that I will not allow us to be defamed, and I have kept my word.” The court ruled that Hans G. had violated Article 216, Paragraph 1 of the Polish Criminal Code.

While working for the Pomeranian company POS System, Natalia Nitek-Płażyńska was verbally harassed by its owner Hans G. over a period of several months. At the company, she had managed various projects at the company between June 2015 and January 2016. Hans G. harassed her based on her personal and national background, and frequently used hateful phrases reminiscent of German occupation of Poland between 1939 and 1945, in which millions of Poles were murdered. Among others, Hans G. referred to Poland and the Poles as “shit”, “idiots”, “I hate these idiots”, “idiot Polak”, “suckers”, “better is Africa”, “fucking stupid country”, “should I stand them on the wall [sic!; pretends to fire a gun] Kill them? I wanted, I want! No problem for me! I would kill every Pole, scheißegal!” At the same time, he personally told Natalia Nitek-Płażyńska that he “would put you in line with PiS and shoot you” as well as things like “you are stupid because you listen to Kaczyński,” “fucking pisior,” or “crazy fascist.”

Previously, on the 11th of February 2019, the District Court in Gdańsk had reached a verdict in a civil case against Hans G., ordering him to apologize to Natalia Nitek-Płażyńska in the newspaper “Gazeta Polska” and the television channel “Telewizja Republika”. In addition, Hans G. was obliged to donate 50,000 PLN to the Piaśnica Museum in Wejherowo. The presiding judge Piotr Kowalski justified his decision on the grounds of the historical roots of German racial prejudice and feelings of superiority, which were evident in the behavior of Hans G. RDI was a joint plaintiff in this case and assisted Natalia Nitek-Płażynska, providing legal and financial assistance.

This case confirms that defending the dignity of Poles against defamation is a fruitful endeavor and that the legal strategy endorsed by RDI is being vindicated by the courts!

Thank you very much for your support. Without your support and generosity, we would not be here!

Listopadowy numer magazynu “Reduta Online”

Przedstawiamy Państwu listopadowy numer magazynu Reduta Online.

W nocie Od Redaktora Szanowni Czytelnicy znajdą refleksje na temat tegorocznych obchodów Święta Niepodległości. Ciekawi jesteśmy, czy mają Państwo w tym roku podobne odczucia – zachęcamy do komentowania.

W dalszej części numeru przedstawiamy tekst na temat wyzwań, jakie stoją przed edukacją historyczną w okresie formowania się społeczeństwa informacyjnego i gospodarki opartej na wiedzy. Szczególnie zachęcamy do lektury relacji z wydarzenia, w którego organizacji brała udział Reduta Dobrego Imienia – we wsi Strzelcowizna upamiętniona została 80 rocznica przemarszu 110 Rezerwowego Pułku Ułanów z Wołkowyska. W tekście znajdą Państwo informacje na temat wydarzeń z czasu II wojny światowej, a także noty o dowódcach 110 RPU, ppłk. Jerzym Dąmbrowskim (“Łupaszko”) i mjr. Henryku Dobrzańskim (“Hubal”) oraz oficerze taktycznym, kpt. Macieju Kalankiewiczu.

W numerze również kolejny fragment wspomnień wojennych Zenona Skupińskiego, a w nim miedzy innymi relacja z “dyżuru” w roli zakładnika u Niemców. Oczywiście w numerze nie brakuje felietonu z cyklu Okiem Wodza – Tȟašúŋke Witkó w tekście “Dwa światy” przywołuje żołnierskie wspomnienia z roku 2004 w Iraku…

Listopadowy numer magazynu “Reduta Online”

Zapraszamy do lektury!
Maciej Świrski

Prof. Andrzej Nowak odznaczony Orderem Orła Białego! Gratulujemy

Członek Rady Reduty Dobrego Imienia prof. Andrzej Nowak został odznaczony przez Prezydenta RP Orderem Orła Białego! Jak podkreślił prezydent Andrzej Duda – Order dla prof. Nowaka został przyznany w uznaniu za wybitne działania na polu historii, za propagowanie wartości patriotycznych oraz monumentalne „Dzieje Polski”.

Profesor jest postacią polskiej nauki, której nikomu przedstawiać nie trzeba. Jest znany z pasji i umiejętności pokazania historii w sposób niezwykle ciekawy i budując także postawy patriotyczne. Ale co więcej, prof. Andrzej Nowak w swej działalności pokazuje to, co dla nas Polaków od ponad 1050 lat oprócz fundamentu chrześcijańskiego fundamentu jest najważniejsze, co jest istotą trwania naszego narodu – jest to ogromne pragnienie wolności będące przecież wielkim elementem spajającym polskość – powiedział prezydent Andrzej Duda.

Prof. Andrzej Nowak podczas ceremonii wręczenia orderu stwierdził: Znaleźć się w tym gronie odznaczonych jest dla mnie wielkim zaszczytem i rodzi wiele uczuć. Pierwszym z nich to wdzięczność.

Andrzej Nowak urodził się w 12 listopada 1960 roku w Krakowie, jest historykiem, badaczem stosunków polsko-rosyjskich. Jest kierownikiem Zakładu Historii Europy Wschodniej i Studiów nad Imperiami XIX i XX wieku w Instytucie Historii PAN oraz Zakładu Historii Europy Wschodniej na Uniwersytecie Jagiellońskim. Specjalizuje się w dziejach rosyjskiej myśli politycznej oraz stosunkach polsko-rosyjskich w XIX i XX w. W 2015 roku został powołany przez prezydenta Andrzeja Dudę jako członek Narodowej Rady Rozwoju. Od 2016 roku jest członkiem Kolegium Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej. Jest także członkiem Rady Reduty Dobrego Imienia. Autor wielu artykułów i książek, z których w dorobku profesora można wyróżnić m.in. następujące:

  • Jak rozbić rosyjskie imperium? Idee polskiej polityki wschodniej 1733-1921, Warszawa 2005.
  • Polska i „trzy” Rosje. Studium polityki wschodniej Józefa Piłsudskiego (do kwietnia 1920 roku), Kraków 2001.
  • Historie politycznych tradycji. Piłsudski, Putin i inni, Kraków 2007.
  • Dzieje Polski. Skąd nasz ród, t. 1, Kraków 2014.
  • Dzieje Polski. Od rozbicia do nowej Polski, t. 2, Kraków 2015.
  • Dzieje Polski. Królestwo zwycięskiego Orła, t. 3, Kraków 2017
  • Niepodległa! 1864-1924. Jak Polacy odzyskali Ojczyznę, Kraków 2018.
  • Metamorfozy Imperium Rosyjskiego 1721-1921. Geopolityka, ody i narody, Kraków 2018.
  • Dzieje Polski. Trudny złoty wiek, t. 4, Kraków 2019.

101 rocznica odzyskania Niepodległości – świętujmy!

Szanowni Państwo!

W 101 rocznicę odzyskania Niepodległości życzę wszystkim Państwu w imieniu załogi Reduty radosnego i szczęśliwego przezywania Niepodległości.

Świadomoć cudu istnienia Niepodległej Polski musi na towarzyszyć, tym bardziej że nic nie dane jest na zawsze, jeśli nie dba się o to, żeby tę Niepodległość umacniać i ochraniać przed wrogami zewnętrznymi i wewnętrznymi. Dlatego obowiązkiem każdej i każdego z nas jest polską Niepodległość chronić, dbać o nią i zabiegać o Polskę silną, suwerenną i Niepodległą.

Maciej Świrski

Judge hears opening arguments today in the libel case against authors of “Night Without an End. Fate of Jews in Selected Counties of Occupied Poland”

Oral arguments in the civil suit filed in May 2019 against Polish historians Barbara Engelking and Jan Grabowski, co-authors of the controversial book Night Without an End, begin today in the Warsaw District Court. The case was brought by Mrs. Filomena Leszczyńska, the niece of Edward Malinowski, whom the two historians accuse in their book of denouncing Jewish inhabitants of his village to the Nazis during World War II.

According to the plaintiff, the authors’ careless research confuses two different and unrelated people, both named Edward Malinowski, and creates a fictitious Nazi collaborator out of Mrs. Leszczyńska’s late uncle, real-life village mayor and war-time hero, who risked his life hiding Jews during the Holocaust. The plaintiff is represented by a private non-profit, the Polish League Against Defamation.

In January 2019, Mr. Grabowski filed a libel suit against the Polish League Against Defamation, after the non-profit published an open letter signed by more than 100 scholars who questioned the methodology and quality of his historical research.

“In a case such as this, a thorough review and an in-depth verification of primary sources is in order. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the authors of Night Without an End failed to do either of those things, and smeared an innocent man. Consequently, in their publication, Grabowski and Engelking presented a false picture that I believe is harmful not only to the reputation of Mr. Malinowski and his family, but to the reputation of every Pole,” said Maciej Świrski, president of the Polish League Against Defamation, the non-profit that supports Filomena Leszczyńska’s efforts to clear her late uncle’s name.

Świrski adds that creating what amounts to a fictitious character out of biographies of two different men is not the only factual mistake that the authors made. He offers some examples: Information about Edward Malinowski’s alleged involvement in the murder of Jews was based on Maria Wiltgren’s testimony submitted to Yad Vashem in 1996. But the same Maria Wiltgren (a.k.a. Estera Drogicka) testified as a witness for defense in Edward Malinowski’s Stalinist trial in 1950. Maria Wiltgren (Estera Drogicka) testified in his case yet again shortly after the war when she successfully applied for a job with the communist security police (her employment files containing a signed contract are available in the archives).

According to the plaintiff, the authors of Night Without an End did not verify archival documents as basic as the extant biographies of Maria Wiltgren, who appears in various documents relevant to the Edward Malinowski case, under four different aliases. Moreover, Grabowski and Engelking never mention the biography she submitted shortly after the war as part of her security police job application, which offers important details. “In my opinion, such selective use of available evidence and archival sources by the authors of Night Without an End does not meet the most basic standards for factual accuracy, intellectual integrity, and honest scholarly research. Thanks to Mrs. Leszczyńska, we now know about the Edward Malinowski story, but we have reason to believe that there are many other mistakes in this book, as various historians have already pointed out,” adds Maciej Świrski.

Night Without an End portrays Filomena Leszczyńska’s late uncle Edward Malinowski as “an accessory to the murder of several dozen Jews who were hiding in the woods and were denounced to the Germans.” Not only was Edward Malinowski not complicit in their death, but, in fact, he helped Jews. In falsely accusing Malinowski of collaborating with the Nazis, Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking do not appear to have examined the available documents with proper attention to detail, a professional standard expected of a historian. Had they done their job properly, they would have been able to distinguish between Edward Malinowski, the son of Stanisław and mayor of Malinów, and another Edward Malinowski, the son of Adolf and former mayor of the village – many families in Malinów were named “Malinowski,” after the name of their village. The two men had the same name; during the occupation, both had contact with Maria Wiltgren whose 1996 testimony, according to the defendants, gave rise to the accusations made against Filomena Leszczyńska’s late uncle, Edward Malinowski.

However, Edward Malinowski was tried in 1950 and found not guilty; the accusations against him were proven false when the survivors he saved during the war testified at the trial in his defense. Maria Wiltgren herself would only able to offer hearsay: she was not in Malinów at the time the Jews hiding in the forest near the village were denounced. She came only a year later, and did not witness the events. And yet, in Night Without an End, Barbara Engelking and Jan Grabowski chose to cite her and not the more reliable, eye-witness and survivor testimony from Malinowski’s 1950 acquittal. They use Wiltgren’s 1996 testimony about events she only heard repeated by others more than half a century earlier, a curious choice.

According to the plaintiff’s lawyers, the defendants did not properly analyze the documents referring to Maria Wiltgren. Nor have they cross-referenced those documents with available archival files or the evidence presented at the 1950 trial. Had they done so, they would have discovered that the Edward Malinowski whom they describe in their book as a Nazi collaborator responsible for deaths of his neighbors is in fact a man who risked his own life to save them.

The plaintiff, Filomena Leszczyńska, demands that the defendants repair the reputational harm done to her family by issuing public corrections, publishing Maria Wiltgren’s full testimony (taking into account all four aliases, including statements made under the name Wiśniewska), and paying damages in the amount of PLN 100,000.

The Polish League Against Defamation covers all legal and administrative costs of this case.

Sprawa przeciwko autorom kontrowersyjnej publikacji „Dalej jest noc” rozpoczęta

W Sądzie Okręgowym w Warszawie rozpoczął się proces przeciwko Barbarze Engelking i Janowi Grabowskiemu, współautorom kontrowersyjnej książki „Dalej jest noc”. Wszystko wskazuje na to, że pozwani, oskarżając Edwarda Malinowskiego o to, że w czasie II wojny światowej donosił i doprowadził do zagłady Żydów mieszkających w jego wsi, popełnili błędy badawcze i metodologiczne – między innymi myląc dwie różne osoby o tym samym imieniu i nazwisku i scalając ich biogram w jeden. Proces przeciwko autorom publikacji w obronie dobrego imienia swojego stryja wytoczyła bratanica Edwarda Malinowskiego, Filomena Leszczyńska. Jest ona wspierana przez Redutę Dobrego Imienia. W rzeczywistości Edward Malinowski był polskim bohaterem, który ryzykując życiem pomagał Żydom i ukrywał ich przed Niemcami.

Na dzisiejszej rozprawie nie doszło jednak do wysłuchania stron z powodu nieobecności prof. Jana Grabowskiego, którym zdaniem jego pełnomocników nie był prawidłowo powiadomiony.

– W tej sprawie należało – naszym zdaniem – przeprowadzić bardzo solidną weryfikację źródeł historycznych. Niestety, według mnie autorzy „Dalej jest noc” tego nie zrobili, pomawiając niewinnego człowieka. Publikacja Grabowskiego i Engelking zaprezentowała fałszywą wersję wydarzeń, a takie działania – w mojej ocenie – godzą w dobra osobiste nie tylko samej bratanicy, ale każdego Polaka – podkreśla Maciej Świrski, prezes Reduty Dobrego Imienia, która wspiera Filomenę Leszczyńską w walce o dobre imię jej stryja. Jak dodaje, podczas dzisiejszej rozprawy pełnomocnik pozwanych bagatelizował „pomyłkę” jak nazwał scalenie przez naukowców życiorysów dwóch Edwardów Malinowskich w jeden. To nie jedyny błąd autorów kontrowersyjnej książki. Informacja o rzekomym współudziale Edwarda Malinowskiego w zamordowaniu Żydów została przedstawiona w oparciu o świadectwo Marii Wiltgren (którą uratował Edward Malinowski), złożone w 1996 roku dla Yad Vashem. Warto jednak dodać, że zupełnie inne świadectwo składała Maria Wiltgren (wówczas jako Estera Drogicka) w 1950 roku, broniąc Edwarda Malinowskiego na jego procesie. A jeszcze inny życiorys przedstawiła Maria Wiltgren (wówczas Estera Drogicka) tuż po wojnie, kiedy starała się o pracę w UB (umowa o pracę została z nią podpisana). Zachowała się również jej teczka jako pracownika cywilnego Urzędu Bezpieczeństwa. Naukowcy – zdaniem strony powodowej – nie zweryfikowali podstawowych dokumentów, jakimi są życiorysy Marii Wiltgren (występującej w dokumentach pod czterema różnymi nazwiskami) i całkowicie pominęli ten, który kobieta złożyła tuż po wojnie starając się o pracę w Urzędzie Bezpieczeństwa. `pominęli świadectwa zawarte w aktach procesu z 1950 innych Ocalałych, którym Edward Malinowski z narażeniem życia pomagał. Zachowanie autorów publikacji jest – w mojej ocenie – sprzeczne z ideami rzetelnej pracy naukowej. Na tę historię natrafiliśmy, obawiamy się jednak, że tego typu błędów jest tam znacznie więcej, na co zwracali już uwagę wcześniej inni historycy – dodaje Maciej Świrski.

Edward Malinowski, stryj Filomeny Leszczyńskiej, został przedstawiony we fragmentach publikacji „Dalej jest noc” jako „współwinny śmierci kilkudziesięciu Żydów, którzy ukrywali się w lesie i zostali wydani Niemcom”. W rzeczywistości pomagał Żydom. Jan Grabowski i Barbara Engelking oskarżając Malinowskiego, nie przeprowadzili – jak się wydaje – oczywistej dla każdego historyka, dokładnej analizy dokumentów. Gdyby się tak stało, nie doszłoby do sklejenia życiorysów Edwarda Malinowskiego, syna Stanisława, sołtysa Malinowa z życiorysem innego Edwarda Malinowskiego, syna Adolfa, byłego sołtysa tej wsi. Obaj mężczyźni nazywali się tak samo, zaś w czasie okupacji obaj mieli kontakt z Marią Wiltgren. A to właśnie jej zeznania, jak twierdzą pozwani, stanowiły podstawę do oskarżeń wysuwanych pod adresem Edwarda Malinowskiego – stryja Filomeny Leszczyńskiej.

Zarzuty te zostały obalone w trakcie procesu sądowego w 1950 roku, w którym na rzecz oskarżonego świadczyli sami Ocaleni. Co do relacji samej Marii Wiltgren trzeba podkreślić, że była ona jedynie tak zwanym świadkiem ze słyszenia. W czasie, gdy doszło do denuncjacji Żydów ukrywających się w lesie niedaleko Malinowa, nie było jej w tej wsi. Przyjechała tam dopiero rok później. Co więcej, swoje świadectwo, które wykorzystali Barbara Engelking i Jan Grabowski, składała w 1996 roku, czyli ponad 50 lat po wydarzeniach z Malinowa, relacjonując jedynie to, co usłyszała rok po wydarzeniach. Zdaniem prawników reprezentujących Filomenę Leszczyńską pozwani nie dokonali odpowiedniej analizy dokumentów i świadectw Marii Wiltgren, a także w sposób niewystarczający uprawdopodobnili swoją tezę o tym, że oskarżenia kobiety dotyczą opisywanego w książce Edwarda Malinowskiego.

Filomena Leszczyńska, przy wsparciu RDI, domaga się usunięcia skutków naruszenia dobra osobistego poprzez publiczne złożenie oświadczeń, dodruku, zgodnych z prawdą, zeznań Marii Wiltgren (wówczas jako Wiśniewskiej) i zadośćuczynienia w wysokości 100 000 złotych. Reduta Dobrego Imienia ponosi koszty tej sprawy (adwokackie i sądowe, administracyjne, koszty opinii biegłych i historyków).