Auschwitz

The “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate at Auschwitz with the bitter irony of the German words: “Work Will Set You Free”  

Three members of an advisory council for Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Poland have resigned in protest after a senior politician from the ruling party was appointed to the group by the government.

Polish Culture Minister Piotr Glinski, who appointed former prime minister Beata Szydlo to the council, said he was astounded by the resignations, according to the AP. He said on Friday that they were unjustified and threatened to “politicize the discussion around the most important museum of martyrdom in Poland, a place of world heritage,” according to the report.

Philosopher and leading member of the Polish Jewish community Stanislaw Krajewski, was the first to quit the council last week. He told the AP that he does not remember a politician ever being named to the council.

“It’s hard to say what would happen, but it would change the nature of the body very considerably. I don’t want to be on the same council with a major politician of the ruling party today,” he said.

“The fear is that this would be another move in the direction of making also the Auschwitz-Birkenau museum part of their historical policy,” Krajewski said, according to the report.

Poland’s right-wing Law and Justice Party has been accused of whitewashing the country’s history for patriotic and political purposes.

Krajewski’s resignation on Tuesday was followed by that of historians Marek Lasota, who also belongs to the ruling party, and Krystyna Oleksy, a former deputy director of the Auschwitz Museum. JN