Video Chronicle

Polish Society and the Destruction of the Jews
18 July 2014


On July 18, 2014 Prof. Jan Grabowski gave a public lecture on "The Attitudes of the Polish Society Towards the Destruction of the Polish Jews". The lecture was part of the Fifth Summer School of Jewish History and the Multiethnic Past of Central Europe  .

Immediately after the September events of 1939 the Germans took control of the Polish police. Police officers were urged to work for the so-called Polish Police of the General Government, which was subordinated to the Ordnungspolizei (ORPO), and the criminal police ("secret") for to the Security Police (Sicherheitspolizei - SiPo). Both police forces played an important – and hitherto unexplored – role in the extermination of the Polish Jews. Sometimes the Polish police acted on the orders of the Germans, and sometimes they hunted Jews on their own initiative. The lecture material is based on archival research in Poland, Israel, Germany and the USA.

Jan Grabowski received a master's degree in history from the University of Warsaw in 1986 and a doctorate in history from the University of Montreal in 1994. Since 1993 Prof. Grabowski has been teaching history at the University of Ottawa, and his research interests relate primarily to the Holocaust of Polish Jews. Prof. Grabowski has taught at universities in France, Israel, Poland, and the USA. In 2011 he was appointed the Baron Friedrich Carl von Oppenheim Chair for the Study of Racism, Anti-Semitism, and the Holocaust at Yad Vashem  (Jerusalem). Jan Grabowski is the author and editor of 13 books and dozens of articles that have appeared in scholarly journals in English, French, Polish, German, and Hebrew. The latest book by Prof. Grabowski "Hunt for the Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland" was published by Indiana University in October 2013.