Auschwitz, the Director's Cut: How Poland Is Rewriting the Holocaust Narrative

Polish officials are going to lengths to stress the suffering endured by their countrymen in World War II, while downplaying discussion of the Shoah and of the help Poles gave the Nazis. Israel's government is ignoring this trend, but may soon be forced to face shifts in the collective memory of the war

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and museum director Piotr Cywinski at Auschwitz, December 6, 2019.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and museum director Piotr Cywinski at Auschwitz, December 6, 2019. Credit: KACPER PEMPEL/Reuters
Ofer Aderet
Ofer Aderet

The visitors’ books at museums rarely stir up any special curiosity. “Interesting,” “Thank you” or “Recommended” are some of the terms that frequently recur in them, in one form or another. At memorial sites, certainly in former death camps, visitors are also prone to leave comments such as, “We will never forget” or “We will not forgive.”

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