Europe

Poland's treatment of Holocaust scholar tests speech freedom

  • FILE-- In this April 13, 2016 file picture , Princeton professor Jan Tomasz Gross speaks to The Associated Press in Warsaw, Poland. Poland's nationalistic authorities decided recently to continue an investigation into whether Gross publicly insulted Poland, a crime carrying a prison term of up to three years, for comments on Polish violence against Jews during World War II. The case is seen as a test of the right-wing government's respect for freedom of expression and acceptance of open inquiry into the difficult issue of Polish-Jewish relations during the Holocaust. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz,file)

    FILE-- In this April 13, 2016 file picture , Princeton professor Jan Tomasz Gross speaks to The Associated Press in Warsaw, Poland. Poland's nationalistic authorities decided recently to continue an investigation into whether Gross publicly insulted Poland, a crime carrying a prison term of up to three years, for comments on Polish violence against Jews during World War II. The case is seen as a test of the right-wing government's respect for freedom of expression and acceptance of open inquiry into the difficult issue of Polish-Jewish relations during the Holocaust. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz,file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE-- In this Jan. 22, 2008 file photo Princeton-based historian and sociologist Jan Tomasz Gross looks on during a meeting with readers in Warsaw, Poland. Poland's nationalistic authorities decided recently to continue an investigation into whether Gross publicly insulted Poland, a crime carrying a prison term of up to three years, for comments on Polish violence against Jews during World War II. The case is seen as a test of the right-wing government's respect for freedom of expression and acceptance of open inquiry into the difficult issue of Polish-Jewish relations during the Holocaust. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz,file)

    FILE-- In this Jan. 22, 2008 file photo Princeton-based historian and sociologist Jan Tomasz Gross looks on during a meeting with readers in Warsaw, Poland. Poland's nationalistic authorities decided recently to continue an investigation into whether Gross publicly insulted Poland, a crime carrying a prison term of up to three years, for comments on Polish violence against Jews during World War II. The case is seen as a test of the right-wing government's respect for freedom of expression and acceptance of open inquiry into the difficult issue of Polish-Jewish relations during the Holocaust. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz,file)  (The Associated Press)

Poland's nationalistic leadership is refusing to give up a fight against a Polish-American scholar who has claimed that more Jews than Germans were killed by Poles during World War II, a hugely controversial statement in a nation proud of its resistance against the Nazis.

The question is whether Princeton professor Jan Tomasz Gross publicly insulted Poland, a crime punishable by up to three years in prison. A prosecutor recently ordered the continuation of a yearlong investigation until April, overriding a lower-ranking prosecutor who recommended dropping the case after finding no intent to defame Poland.

The case is seen as a test of freedom of speech under a right-wing government that has been centralizing power.