While Holocaust denial is easy to identify and straightforward to explain, Holocaust distortion is a more insidious and complex threat. Unlike the deniers of yesteryear, people, states, and institutions engaged in Holocaust distortion do not deny the factuality of the event. They argue instead that their nation, their people, their tribe, had nothing to do with it. There were some corrupt individuals, no doubt, but helping and rescuing of Jews was the default position of our people, argue the nationalists. And, with the formidable funding provided by the states engaged in Holocaust distortion, the Shoah is being re-branded into a positive narrative in which enthusiastic and altruistic Gentiles strive to save their Jewish neighbors from the clutches of the Germans. We thought we knew that the German genocidal plan had many willing helpers across Europe but this knowledge is now being put to question and assaulted by the agents of Holocaust distortion.
This lecture is a live, in-person event in Cameron Hall. You do not need to pre-register to attend – just show up.
Jan Grabowski is a professor in the Department of History at the University of Ottawa. His research includes the issues surrounding the extermination of the Polish Jews as well as the history of the Jewish-Polish relations during the 1939-1945 period. He is the author of numerous journal articles and several books, including Hunt for the Jews. Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland (Indiana University Press, Bloomington & Indianapolis, 2013) which won the Yad Vashem International Book Prize for 2014. A recipient of the 2014 Faculty of Arts Professor of the Year Award, he teaches survey courses and graduate and undergraduate seminars on the history of the Holocaust. Professor Grabowski is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
This lecture will be part of the Neuberger Foundation’s Holocaust Education Week