Adam Puławski

Adam Puławski is a Polish historian and former researcher for the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN). His research focuses on the Polish Underground State and the Polish government-in-exile and their actions toward the Jewish citizens of Poland during the Holocaust. Puławski has argued that the Polish government often treated Polish Jews as foreigners and their extermination as a secondary issue.[1][2] In contrast to claims made by the Law and Justice party that the Polish government-in-exile did its best to help the Polish Jews, Puławski found that there were attempts to censor news of the fate of Jews.[3] Moreover, Puławski argued that there are historical myths about Jan Karski. According to his research, Karski's mission was not devoted to alerting the Western Allies to the Holocaust.[4]


After working for the Institute of National Remembrance for eighteen years, in 2018, he was transferred to a different division of the institution where he would not have the opportunity to do historical research. At least 130 historians from various countries, including Timothy Snyder and Norman Davies, signed a letter objecting to this decision and stating that it would not help the credibility of the IPN.[3] Because he was not allowed to do historical research, Puławski quit.[3][2][5] Puławski said that the IPN was focusing too much on how Jews treated Poles during the war: "if a Jew survived and had to steal a carrot at the same time, for example because he was starving—now we are to say that this Jew is evil"—and seeking to portray Jews as ungrateful for Polish rescue attempts.[5] In contrast, Puławski believes that in order to achieve an accurate and balanced historical interpretation, it is necessary to examine the entire situation, rather than one aspect of it, and to leave moral judgements to the reader.[5]

Publication of his 2018 book was blocked by the IPN, but Puławski collected 24,000 zł in donations and had it published by the Rocznik Chełmski association.[2][5] The book received positive evaluations in academic journals[6][7] and Andrzej Żbikowski [pl] of the Jewish Historical Institute stated, "In further research on the extermination of the Jewish population, the results of his [Puławski's] research cannot be omitted in silence or ignored".[5] Writing about Puławski's 2009 book, Wojtek Rappak wrote that his "meticulous study of the flow of information about the Holocaust, from the local to the various higher levels of the underground state and then on to London, looks like the definitive study on the subject."[8] The book was denounced by the right-wing historian Wojciech Muszyński who described Puławski as a "sick man".[9][5]

In September 2020, he received his habilitation from the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University. He had to pay the fees (about 20,000 zł) himself, and has been unemployed for much of the time since leaving the IPN.[1]


  • Puławski, Adam (2009). W obliczu zagłady: Rząd RP na Uchodźstwie, Delegatura Rządu RP na Kraj, ZWZ-AK wobec deportacji Żydow do obozów zagłady (1941-1942) (in Polish). Instytut Pamięci Narodowej. ISBN 978-83-7629-088-1.[10]
  • Puławski, Adam (2018). Wobec "niespotykanego w dziejach mordu": Rząd RP na uchodźstwie, Delegatura Rządu RP na Kraj, AK a eksterminacja ludności żydowskiej od "wielkiej akcji" do powstania w getcie warszawskiem (in Polish). Stowarzyszenie Rocznik Chełmski. ISBN 978-83-946468-2-0.


  1. ^ a b Leszczyński, Adam (17 September 2020). "Adam Puławski, szykanowany za badania nad Zagładą, dostał habilitację". Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Leszczyński, Adam (13 June 2018). "Historyk z IPN przeniesiony za niesłuszne wyniki badań rezygnuje z pracy. "Byłem grillowany"". Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Leszczyński, Adam (16 March 2018). "Nowe fakty w sprawie historyka odsuniętego od badań naukowych przez IPN. Ukarany za niesłuszne wyniki". Retrieved 1 October 2020.
  4. ^ Gmiterek-Zabłocka, Anna (2019-07-05). "Historyk obala mity na temat Jana Karskiego. Po latach badań stwierdza: Był bohaterem, ale w innym sensie". TOK FM (in Polish). Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Gmiterek-Zabłocka, Anna (16 February 2020). "IPN nie chciał go docenić, ale doceniają inni. Książka byłego badacza Instytutu Pamięci Narodowej rozeszła się na pniu". TOK FM (in Polish). Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  6. ^ Chrobaczyński, Jacek (2019). "Adam Puławski, Wobec "niespotykanego w dziejach mordu". Rząd RP na uchodźstwie, Delegatura Rządu RP na Kraj, AK a eksterminacja ludności żydowskiej od "wielkiej akcji" do powstania w getcie warszawskim. Biblioteka Rocznika Chełmskiego, Chełm 2018". Res Gestae. Czasopismo Historyczne. (in Polish) (9): 139–145. ISSN 2450-4475.
  7. ^ Rappak, Wojciech (2019). "Polskie państwo, polscy obywatele, polscy Żydzi. Kilka reϐleksji o książce Adama Puławskiego Wobec "niespotykanego w dziejach mordu"". Zagłada Żydów. Studia i Materiały (in Polish) (15): 609–632. doi:10.32927/ZZSiM.2020.15.25. ISSN 1895-247X.
  8. ^ Rappak, Wojtek (2014). "Holocaust Rescue Revisited: An Unexplored Angle". Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs. 8 (1): 131–135. doi:10.1080/23739770.2014.11446633. S2CID 146610103.
  9. ^ Flieger, Estera (27 June 2018). "Historyk IPN publikuje nazistowski plakat zachęcający do kolaboracji. "Rocznicowo!"". Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  10. ^ Nyzio, Arkadiusz. "Smutek precyzyjnej ambiwalencji. Recenzja pozycji "W obliczu Zagłady. Rząd RP na Uchodźstwie, Delegatura Rządu RP na Kraj, ZWZ-AK wobec deportacji Żydów do obozów zagłady (1941–1942)" Adama Puławskiego". Rocznik Chełmski, tom XVII, Chełm 2013, ISSN 1425-6665, s. 388-390.

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