Joint official statement of Prof.
Leon Kieres and Rabbi Jackob Baker issued after the official meeting at the Polish Consulate General in New York on Feb 12, 2001.
On February 12 th, 2001 the Polish Consulate General in New York hosted a meeting between the President of Poland's Institute of National Remembrance, Professor Leon Kieres and Rabbi Jackob Baker, accompanied by Morlan Ty Rogers, representing the Jedwabne Jews in America.
During the meeting Professor Kieres outlined the main goals of the Institute in the area of gathering and administering the documentation pertaining to the area of crimes committed against the Polish nation between the periods of 1939 - 1945 as well during the Communist regime, as well as the Institute's goals in the field of national education. Professor Kieres disclosed the results of the outgoing investigation into the Jedwabne massacre, where in July 1941 an estimated 1600 Jews were brutally murdered.
During the meeting Professor Kieres expressed his personal determination, and the determination of the Institute's investigators and historians , to establish all existing documentation which would enable to unveil all facts, and in effects the truth, about Jedwabne.
The Institute remains committed to presenting the final results of the investigation in the shortest possible time, hopefully in the coming moths. Professor Kieres indicated that all available evidence undeniably confirms the fact the Jews of Jedwabne were murdered by Poles, their neighbors. There is no evidence proving otherwise.
Professor Kieres acknowledged that while the investigation is still underway, there is the need for contemporary Poland to face the historical truth, as difficult and painful as it may turn out, and to acknowledge that there did also exist dark pages in her past. This process also includes the need to replace the false and misleading inscription on the existing monument in Jedwabne, which places blame solely on the Nazi occupier.
Rabbi Baker and Mr. Rogers expressed their satisfaction with the work undertaken by the Institute, and emphasized their support for what remain the Institute' s immediate goals - and is the full disclosure of the facts in the Jedwabne case. "NO one alive on earth today has the authority to forgive those who committed these brutal and inhuman crimes against our friends and relatives in Jedwabne. We do, however, recognize that the Polish authorities today are treating the issue of Jedwabne with the seriousness that it deserves and they are trying to do right thing".
All participating in the meeting acknowledged that these actions are an essential element of the healing process between Jews and Poles. This process will set the pace of Polish - Jewish reconciliation and will indeed serve the generations to come as a beacon, allowing for the separation of right from wrong.