The objective of this five-year project, which is supervised by Professor Piotr Madajczyk, is to examine and popularize the achievements of 20th-century Polish legal thought, with a particular focus on Polish intellectuals, chief among them Rafał Lemkin.
Scientific conferences, exhibitions and publications, organized on an annual basis, will centre on a discussion of the new paradigm of sovereignty, human rights, and international law in the wake of the catastrophe of the Second World War.
The full name of the project is “The contribution of Polish legal and scientific thought to the shaping of the concept of genocide. Rafał Lemkin and the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the Polish experience of occupation by National-Socialist Germany”.
The project is financed under the “Szlakami Polski Niepodległej” Program of the Ministry of Science and Higher Education for the years 2018–2023.
The debate „Why Lemkin” is intended to bring to the attention of wide audiences the significance of the concept of genocide – a new crime under international law – both in the context of the tragic experiences of the Second World War and in the present world, 70 years after the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations Organization (which happened on 9 December 1948). The author of the concept and the driving force behind its codification was Rafał Lemkin, a Polish lawyer of Jewish ethnicity.
During the Second World War, many Poles helped their Jewish compatriots. Such assistance was offered both institutionally and spontaneously, at grass-roots level. But irrespective of what exactly they did, those who aided Jews in any way risked their very lives, risked being arrested, or simply risked being deported to a concentration camp. To illustrate this point, we would like to present the history of the Lubkiewicz family, which similarly to the Ulms paid the highest price for saving their co-citizens.
October 30, 2017,
on the 100th anniversary of the October Revolution,
was held the debate
On the occasion of the 41st Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee (2-12 July 2017, Kraków), the Witold Pilecki Center for Totalitarian Studies published its first book – Chronicles of Terror. Warsaw – in both Polish and English language versions.