At the request of Professor Dariusz Stola we thereby publicize his formal statement addressed to Mr. Piotr Wiślicki, President of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland, and to Mr. Rafał Trzaskowski, Mayor of the City of Warsaw. It is a response to their joint statement issued on January 29th, 2020.

Professor Stola expresses his gratitude for their statement and, having reflected upon the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage’s reaction to it, he declares:

Aware of the damages incurred by the Museum, and of the threats that it continues to face, I wish to issue a formal statement, bearing in mind POLIN Museum’s best interest. I declare that I am ready to accept any conditions that would allow to resolve the current crisis. I am inclined to refrain from exercising my right on condition that the three Museum co-founders reach an agreement that is requisite for the institution’s further functioning.

For that reason Prof. Stola has decided to issue a statement of his own which you may find below:

STATEMENT

The dispute between the co-founders of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews— between the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage on one hand, and the City of Warsaw and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute on the other –—has reached its peak. Nearly a year ago, when my term as POLIN Museum Director was about to end, the three co-founders reached an agreement that a new director would be selected in an open competition. On 10 May 2019, the Selection Committee indicated me as the competition winner. Eight months have passed since, and the Minister has not yet appointed me to the post, inventing false excuses for his failure to act.

In the past few days, following repeated attempts to engage in a dialogue with the Minister, Mayor of Warsaw Rafał Trzaskowski and President of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute Piotr Wiślicki issued a joint statement protesting against the Minister’s failure to comply with the above-mentioned agreement. The Ministry of Culture responded in a vague and perfunctory manner, which testifies to a clear breach of the agreement between the co-founders. There are grounds to believe that the Minister’s failure to act is in fact repugnant to the law.

Aware of the damages incurred by the Museum, and of the threats that it continues to face, I wish to issue a formal statement, bearing in mind POLIN Museum’s best interest. I declare that I am ready to accept any conditions that would allow to resolve the current crisis. I am inclined to refrain from exercising my right on condition that the three Museum co-founders reach an agreement that is requisite for the institution’s further functioning.

I wish to thank for the trust and support I was granted by Mayor Trzaskowski and Chairman Wiślicki, who have always been guided by POLIN Museum’s best interest. I am deeply convinced that in the future they will continue to seek the best solutions for the institution. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who showed me gestures of solidarity over the past year, and especially to the Association board who—in consultation with the Mayor of Warsaw and with the support of Museum donors—persistently canvassed for my appointment.

I would also like to thank my colleagues from POLIN Museum, its donors and friends, members of the Museum Council and its advisory boards, for their commitment and kindness they have shown me on many occasions. It was an honor and utmost pleasure to work with them. I kindly ask them not to give up their endeavors to support the Museum so that it can continue to fulfill its great mission: “to restore and preserve the memory of the history of Polish Jews, contributing to the mutual understanding and respect amongst Poles and Jews as well as other societies of Europe and the world.

Dariusz Stola

February 10, 2020