The conference, attended by the Deputy President of the Institute of National Remembrance, Dr Mateusz Szpytma, is being held at the IPN’s “History Point” in Kielce where scholars are discussing Polish-Jewish relations during the German occupation of Poland.
- The organizers [of the conference]have focused on the time of German occupation. It was Germany who then set the rules. Polish-Jewish relations were shaped by the conditions created by German occupation, said Dr Mateusz Szpytma in his opening address to the participants.
The introduction of racist laws by the German authorities radically changed the relations between the Polish and Jewish populations on Polish lands. Not only was the policy of universal terror to lead to the disintegration of society and the breaking of its will to resist the German occupant, but also to isolate Poles and Jews. The actions of the German administration within the framework of oppressive legislation and the extension of the scope of acts recognized as crimes were in large part intended to prevent any form of assistance to be offered to Jews during the Holocaust.
The repressive German policy and the reality of the years of terror brought about various phenomena and attitudes, both positive and negative, in the field of Polish-Jewish relations. The reality of occupation put human beings to the highest (most severe) test, it exacerbated the selfishness of particular social groups and revealed the complex mechanisms of the functioning of communities threatened with annihilation.
It is these aspects, namely, Polish-Jewish relations in the reality of German occupation, that are the subject of the third conference of the series on Polish-Jewish Relations in the Twentieth Century. Research - Controversy - Perspectives. The organizers of the meeting are the Institute of National Remembrance Branch Office in Kielce and the Institute of History at the Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce.
IPN’s “History Point” Educational Center
5 Warszawska str., Kielce