November 15, 2019

Holocaust Survivors Sue Polish Publisher for Publishing Holocaust Denial Books

A couple of Holocaust survivors and a former Polish Home Army member are suing a Polish publishing company for publishing books that feature Holocaust denialism.

The publisher, Andrezj Ryba and Katmar, published the books The Age of Hitler 1 and The Age of Hitler 2. Hitler the Democrat, which were written by former SS Officer Leon Degrelle. The books openly deny the Holocaust and spew pro-Nazi propaganda, as evident by passages that downplay Jewish suffering during the Holocaust as “pro-Zionist” propaganda that was “designed for financial gain.” The books also attempt to portray Hitler in a more favorable light, claiming that “being cruel was not in his nature.”

The attorney for the survivors, Wojciech Kozlowsk, told the Jerusalem Post that this was the first time such a lawsuit has been issued in Poland.

“Although promotion of Nazism and Holocaust denial is a criminal offense in Poland, and in theory prosecutable in the criminal courts, in practice the public prosecutor fails to act effectively in the majority of cases,” Kozlowsk said.

The plaintiffs, who remain anonymous, are in their 80s. Two of them were rescued from the Warsaw Ghetto and the other was a part of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. They are requesting that the publisher pay 40,000 Zlotys ($11,600 in U.S. dollars) to charity and issue an apology.

“The motivation behind my involvement in this case is to protect historical truth about Nazi crimes and to pass this truth on to the young generations of Poles,” a plaintiff said.

Brooke Goldstein, executive of The Lawfare Project, which is supporting this lawsuit, hailed the plaintiffs as “heroes.”

“Their harrowing testimonies are a reminder of the unimaginable horror of the Nazis,” Goldstein told the Post “Despite their age, and the trauma of their experiences, it is humbling to see their courage in standing up for the truth.”