WARSAW July 10, 2002


The accusatory tone and broad conclusions of the final report of The Institute of National Memory (IPN) on Jedwabne are, in fact, contradicted by the detailed facts and evidence which are buried deep in the report.

It is evident that the people who wrote the report did not want to be absolute liars but at the same time they were anxious to please powerful special interests served by mendacious propaganda in need to make the Polish nation responsible for the atrocity committed in Jedwabne on July 10, 1941.

Thus somehow the grain of truth was preserved despite the need not to offend those who could harm the writers both politically and financially.

The basic truths preserved by the report are:

1. The atrocity did not represent a local spontaneous initiative.

2. The leadership and the inspiration was German and not Polish

3. Far from being the whole local Polish population only about 40 Poles were involved. (These were mostly local criminals or persons acting under severe duress.)

4. Not 1600 but about 300 Jewish victims perished

5. Logical conclusion: only complete exhumation of the two graves can determine the actual number of victims and the cause of death of each one of them  (In forensic science partial exhumation is as valid as partial pregnancy)

The report's crucial omissions:

1. The facts about the German confiscation of the barn on the eve of the atrocity

2. No professional pyrotechnic evaluation was provided to explain the fierceness and magnitude of the fire which killed the larger of the two groups of victims.
The 8 liters of kerosene mentioned in the report could not have produced such an effect. (Instead of "kerosene" ambiguous word "naphta" was used by the Institute of National Memory in its English version of the report.

3. Negative and positive witnesses about German presence are assigned different levels of credibility in accordance with the predetermined bias of the authors.

4. The physical proofs of the presence of Germans at the barn was insisted upon.

5. No proof of Polish presence at the barn was produced or required.

6. There is no documentary evidence of the presence of anyone at the fire. There is no documentary evidence of what actually happened at the barn

J. T. Gross's triumphal statement claiming full support by the IPN report should have been immediately and publically refuted because the basic truth mentioned above make the basic tenets of his book Neighbors null and void.

Gross's trump card is the backing of powerful and influential groups who hope to gain by his misinterpretations, distortions and out of context presentation. Gross's bad luck is that the accusatory tone of the report and Gross's indictment of the Polish inhabitants of Jedwabne and with them of all the Polish society is contradicted by the basic facts buried in the IPN report.

Prof. Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski, Nasza Witryna, 2002-07-10