History and politics in Poland
  • Interview with Valentin Behr — Docteur en Science politique — CNRS et Université de Strasbourg (SAGE)
On January 26, 2018 the Polish parliament passed a law that makes it an offence to “assign responsibility or joint responsibility to the Polish nation or the Polish parliament for Nazi crimes committed by the Third Reich […], or for other war crimes or crimes against humanity”. For Valentin Behr, who holds a doctorate in political science, this law results from the policies of conservative ruling PiS (Law and Justice) party regarding Polish history. For decades these policies have included support for denying Polish involvement in exterminating Poland's Jews. Who are the historians and politicians who devised this policy? What is the context to this law? Is the situation comparable to that in France, where the state's share of responsibility in the genocide of the Jews long went unrecognized?
Valentin Behr provides long-term analysis of the measures introduced by the January 26, 2018 law within the current political context in Poland, comparing it to the reappraisal in France of the critical social sciences using the notion of “repentance”.
Interview published on 07-04-2018
Last modified on 10-26-2022
Original language: English Lire la version French
  • Biography
  • Bibliography of Valentin Behr
  • Thematic bibliography

“Historical policy-making in post-1989 Poland: a sociological approach to the narratives of communism”, East European Politics and Societies, vol. 18, n° 1, 2017, p. 81-95.

“Genèse et usages d’une politique publique de l’histoire. La ‘politique historique’ en Pologne”, Revue d’études comparatives Est-Ouest, vol. 46, n° 3, 2015, p. 21-48.

Barbara Engelking, Jan Grabowski, Dariusz Libionka (eds.), Dalej jest noc. Losy Żydów w wybranych powiatach okupowanej Polski, Varsovie, Centrum Badań nad Zagładą Żydów, 2018.

Jan Tomasz Gross, Les Voisins: 10 juillet 1941, un massacre de Juifs en Pologne, Paris, Fayard, 2002.

Robert Paxton, La France de Vichy: 1940-1944, Paris, Le Seuil, 1973.