The Canadian government protects Jan Grabowski

The Canadian government protects Jan Grabowski

The Canadian Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research, a governmental body promoting high ethical research standards and addressing allegations of breaches of Tri-Agency Policies, rejected PMI’s complaint over manipulation of a scientific source by professor Jan Grabowski from the University of Ottawa.

In February 2018, Grabowski provided Amanda Borschel-Dan, an Israeli journalist of The Times of Israel, with a totally distorted number of fugitive Jews killed in occupied Poland. The Canadian scholar quoted the Polish-Jewish historian Szymon Datner as the source. Effectively, Borschel produced the following lead:

Complicity of Poles in the deaths of Jews is highly underestimated, scholars say according to a 1970 article, 200,000 Jews died at the hands of their Polish neighbors. A new law in Poland could make it difficult to publish these findings today.

Actually, the above quoted article of Datner stated among others:

I estimated the number of surviving Jews – chiefly thanks to assistance provided by Polish residents – at approximately 100,000. According to further estimates, another 100,000 people were seized by Nazi authorities and murdered („Biuletyn ŻIH” 1970, nr 75, s. 22).

PMI sent letters of protest to the University of Ottawa and on April 19, 2018 we filed an official complaint. However, our objections were rejected by Sylvain Charbonneau, Vice-President, Research of the Canadian university. We went a step further and lodged a complaint with the Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research. More than one year later, on May 30, 2019, the Secretariat decided to dismiss PMI’s complaint. We were informed about this unfair decision on July 16, 2019.

Please read the Secretariat’s statement and our response to it.



Our response dated July 21, 2019:

Dear Ms. Blakeney,
Thank you for your email dated July 16, 2019 to Mr. Jezewski. My colleague shared it with me.
Unfortunately, we can accept neither the way in which the Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research treated us during the complaint process, clearly setting us at a disadvantage as compared to UOttawa, nor the final findings of the RCR Framework lacking any form of explanation and abusing the established facts.  
By condoning the manipulation of historical sources by prof. Grabowski – who clearly and with no doubt falsified the findings of Jewish scholar Szymon Datner – and qualifying such a grave scientific misconduct a matter of opinion, Canadian authorities send a very wrong signal to the global scientific community. 
We cannot and will not accept it, also in consideration of the good of the Canadian community.
We will make your statement public and submit it to the judgement not only of the world scientific community but also the Canadian electorate and their candidates in the coming federal election. 
Yours sincerely,
Dr. Marek Błażejak
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