Holocaust lecture disrupted by far-right lawmaker in Poland

Grzegorz Braun, a lawmaker of the far-right Confederation party, disrupted the Holocaust lecture about to be given by Jan Grabowski in Warsaw, Poland.

Polish-Canadian historian Jan Grabowski was about to deliver a lecture in Warsaw on June 6 in an effort to reveal how Polish leaders suppress uncomfortable truths about the history of the Holocaust and the country’s antisemitism during the Second World War.

However, before Grabowski could get started, a far-right Polish lawmaker, Grzegorz Braun of the Confederation party, stormed the speaker’s podium, smashing the microphone, knocking over loudspeakers, and yanking cables, reports The Jerusalem Post.

Upon the arrival of the police, Braun invoked his parliamentary privilege and refused to leave Warsaw’s German Historical Institute, even though the event was called off and the crowd left the building. Braun reportedly refused to leave the building because „I am protecting the Polish nation against a provocative attack on our historical sensitivity. The Germans will not teach us history in Poland.”

Braun, known for having a record of antisemitic statements, later claimed that he disrupted the event to defend Poland’s good name against Grabowski’s „historical propaganda.”

Jan Grabowski is a Warsaw-born professor at the University of Ottawa whose father was a Jewish Holocaust survivor. Grabowski has been a vocal critic of Poland’s efforts to constrain discussion of the Holocaust since it became illegal in 2018 in Poland to accuse the country of complicity with Nazi crimes.

Grabowski recently published an academic study exposing the alleged distortion of Wikipedia articles on the Holocaust in Poland, which led to the Wikipedia Arbitration Commitee’s opening of a case, ending in the ban of the accused editors. His research was strongly condemned by right-wing nationalists, and he has even been prosecuted over it.