News from Open Republic


Statement of Professors Engelking i Grabowski


The Warsaw Appellate Court rejected today the lawsuit filed against us by Mrs. Filomena Leszczynska. The Court of Appeals upheld the arguments raised by us in our appeal and roundly rejected the verdict of the Warsaw District Court. We greet the verdict with great joy and satisfaction – even more because this decision has a direct impact on all Polish scholars, and especially on historians of the Holocaust. We are deeply grateful to our attorneys, Mr. Michal Jablonski and Dr. Aleksandra Gliszczynska-Grabias, who agreed to represent us. We are also indebted to all those who gave us their support over the last two difficult years.

Barbara Engelking and Jan Grabowski



European Day for the Victims of Hate Crime

22 July marks the European Day for Victims of Hate Crime. Established by the Council of Europe’s “No Hate Speech Movement” it commemorates the 77 young victims of Anders Breivik’s 2011 attack on Utøya island near Oslo.


Anniversary of the beginning of the great liquidation action of the Warsaw ghetto

On July 22, 1942, the Germans began deporting the inhabitants of the Warsaw ghetto to Treblinka. The brutal liquidation action that lasted nearly two months resulted in the death of over 300,000 Jews. During the ninth March of Remembrance we will especially commemorate Adam Czerniaków – the educator, social activist and journalist, city councilor of Warsaw, senator of the Second Polish Republic. In the Warsaw ghetto, he was the president of the Judenrat (Jewish Council). On July 23, the day after the ‘resettlement’ began, Adam Czerniaków committed suicide, which was an expression of protest and helplessness against the deportation of the ghetto inhabitants, especially small orphans.


Anniversary of pogrom in Jedwabne

On 10 July 1941, soon after the Soviet forces’ withdrawal and after the German troops entered the North-East Polish town of Jedwabne, the local Polish people began to gather the Jews from the town and the surrounding area in the town square. The Jews were publicly humiliated, and several were killed. A few dozens, including the rabbi Avigdor Bialostocki, were then selected to destroy a Lenin’s monument nearby. The group was then led to an earlier prepared mass grave in a barn where they were murdered and buried together with the Lenin’s bust. The remaining several hundred Jews were led to the same barn. They were doused with diesel before the barn was locked and set on fire. The mass murder was committed by several dozens of local people with many more witnessing it. The German forces in town didn’t take an active part in the pogrom, but they have most likely encouraged it in the spirit of Reinhardt Heydrich’s doctrine about encouraging local populations to take part in pogroms.


Anniversary of the Kielce pogrom

Jewish pogrom in Kielce took place 74 years ago. The persecutors of their Jewish neighbours were Poles, and the tragic events took place in Poland just liberated from Nazi occupation.

The events known today as the “Kielce pogrom” took place primarily in the building at Planty 7/9 street, where about 200 people lived and where offices of Jewish institutions (Jewish committee, congregation, Kibbutz Zionist party Ichud, etc) were located.  Pogroms of the Jewish population were also reported in other locations in Kielce, as well as on trains passing through the city on that.

40 people were murdered during the Kielce pogrom (including three Polish nationals). Two people were murdered on Leonard Street. 35 people were injured.


NGO’s against education reform

“An attack on schools’ autonomy and the long-established, democratic principles of their functioning” – this is how the Open Republic, together with other signatories of a joint statement, describes the reforms being considered by the government. The changes championed by the conservative education minister, Przemysław Czarnek, will allow School Superintends to appoint and dismiss school heads at will and give them complete discretion over which NGO’s will be allowed to work with schools.


NGOs’ protest against Lukashenka’s repressions in Belarus

Over 50 Polish non-governmental bodies and associations are among the signatories of a protest against Lukashenka regime’s repressions following the unlawful forcing of a Ryanair flight to land in Minsk and the arrest of the activist, Roman Protasevich and his partner. The letter of protest demands immediate freeing of those detained and all political prisoners and people arrested during the protests following the falsified 2020 Belarus general election. The signatories appeal to the Polish government for more active help and support for the Belarus citizens seeking refuge in Poland and the international bodies for sanctions to exert pressure on Lukashenka’s regime.


Open Republic Annual General Meeting

The meeting elected the following persons to the Association’s board:

Magdalena Czyż, Marek Gumkowski, Jan Herczyński, Katarzyna Kuczyńska – Koschany, Piotr Jakub Piotrowski, Krzysztof Podemski, Irena Wóycicka and Damian Wutke.

The board then elected the following executive board:

Chair – Marek Gumkowski; Vice-chair-people – Magdalena Czyż, Zofia Wójcicka; Treasurer – Jan Herczyński; Secretary – Damian Wutke; Members – Katarzyna Kuczyńska – Koschany, Piotr Jakub Piotrowski, Krzysztof Podemski.

Antoni Sułek, Natalia Woroszylska and Ludwika Wujec will remain the Audit  Committee members.

Dariusz Stoła was elected a member of the Program Board.