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"Haaretz": Yad Vashem apologises for "distorted" historical facts at the World Holocaust Forum

TVN24 | TVN24 News in English

TVN24 News in English, PAP

The Yad Vashem Institute has apologised for visual content presented at the World Holocaust Forum, which "distorted" historical facts regarding the course of the World War Two - Israeli daily "Haaretz" informed on Monday.

In a letter to Israeli daily "Haaretz", Yad Vashem admitted that materials presented at the World Holocaust Forum contained "inaccuracies" and "biased presentation of facts", which "left biased impression".

At the Forum, attended by dozens of world leaders, video materials were presented that included "purportedly historical content, but having various inaccuracies and falsification, some technical, and others appearing as biased" - the daily wrote.

"Yad Vashem apologises"

The daily published the contents of the letter that was to appear in Tuesday's edition of Hebrew "Haaretz". The letter mentions that the materials presented at the conference in Jerusalem did not mention the atrocities committed by the Soviets during WWII, nor the Soviet Union's role in the war's outbreak. "(The materials) did not contain any reference to Poland's partition by the Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany, nor to the occupation of Western Europe in 1940" - Yad Vashem wrote in the letter quoted by "Haaretz".

Furthermore, it was pointed out that maps shown in the visualizations had contained erroneous borders of Poland and its neighbours, and they had not shown Ukraine at all - as "Haaretz" wrote - a country currently in open conflict with Russia. Another mistake was mixing up concentration camps with death camps.

"We apologise for this regrettable accident (...). It is our duty, and will remain so, to Israel and the Jewish nation, to stick to historical facts, and as long as it's possible, researching, in order to stand against attempts to eradicate or distort the political discourse in various countries" - the head of Yad Vashem Institute Dan Michman wrote in the letter.

"This duty also means admitting one's own mistakes and inaccuracies, and being ready to highlight and correct them, both in this case, as well as in others" - he added.

"Problematic mix of politicians"

According to "Haaretz", the letter did not address the criticism leveled at the organizers, after they had rejected President Andrzej Duda's request to be allowed to speak in Jerusalem. Furthermore, the daily wrote, there was no information in the letter regarding "the extent of Yad Vashem's responsibility for the content presented during the ceremony".

"Haaretz" also claims that in its letter Yad Vashem "actually admitted to creating space for distorting facts about the Second World War and the Holocaust", which "were meant to serve political and diplomatic interests of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin". The daily argued that such actions "stand in contrast with professionalism and, above all, loyalty to history".

The Israeli paper also stressed that high number of people involved in the ceremony "created a problematic mix of politicians, diplomats and scholars". "This came under criticism by historians, politicians and other public figures, in some instances also leveled directly at Yad Vashem" - "Haaretz" wrote.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP