Talk:Warsaw concentration camp

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Quote from Christian Davies[edit]

I would like to add a quote of Christian Davies to the article. To anyone not familiar with Davies, he's a Warsaw-based correspondent for the London Review of Books and The Guardian. His piece, Under the Railway Line,[1] was the instigator to uncovering this issue on Wikipedia earlier this year (see User:François Robere/sandbox/KL Warschau). In response to Daniel Blatman, who's quoted in the article, Davies writes the following:[2]

In 2010, Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance (IPN) asked a respected historical investigator called Zygmunt Walkowski to establish the facts about the camp. Walkowski was able to establish not only that Trzcinska’s thesis was wrong, but that it had essentially been bogus from the start, resting on demonstrable falsehoods that could have been easily refuted even back in the 1970s.

Walkowski submitted his report to the IPN in 2017. In the meantime, however, the state body had been taken over by Poland’s ruling right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS) after its victory in elections in 2015. PiS has long sided with the nationalist activists in the KL Warschau dispute, and the man it had appointed as the new director of the IPN, Jarosław Szarek, had himself promoted Trzcinska’s campaign in his former life as a right-wing journalist.

Not only has the government-backed IPN flatly refused to publish or even to publicize Walkowski’s report disproving the hoax, but it has actively sought to prevent him from presenting his findings under its auspices. In its public statements, including on social media, it continues to pretend that the last word on the subject was a book published in 2007 which disagreed with Trzcinska’s thesis, but, crucially, did not disprove it.

I would like to cite this in the relevant place in the article. I believe it's WP:DUE, and as it's about current or recent affairs - something in which the author's credentials are established - I don't think it violates TA sourcing restrictions. Nevertheless, for the sake of caution and consensus, I'm presenting it here first. François Robere (talk) 11:46, 4 December 2019 (UTC)

I'd say it certainly should be added - but which part specifically do you want to quote? I assume not the entire text given here.--Ermenrich (talk) 14:19, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
Of course not. Probably just a sentence or two along the lines of "CD, who has written on the subject, disagrees with Blatman. He notes that the IPN refuses to allow the release of a report by ZW that could refute Tr's claims." François Robere (talk) 18:05, 4 December 2019 (UTC)
The source is no less reliable than the prior newspaper pieces, but which of Blatman's claims present in the article is he disagreeing with? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 01:57, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
That this isn't about politics as much as it is about Wikipedia's reliability: "In discussing who is to blame for the distortion of history, Blatman writes that Wikipedia is 'a truly guilty side'..." (for some reason we don't quote the first part of his argument, but that's the gist of it). François Robere (talk) 11:30, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
I think the references to the encouragement of the conspiracy by the Polish government were largely removed. Probably they should be added back.--Ermenrich (talk) 14:20, 5 December 2019 (UTC)
I'd like to see some more sources/specifics because accusing governments of conspiracies. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 01:41, 7 December 2019 (UTC)

Just a suggestion. Maybe it will be better to describe at first place the whole conspiracy theory and the process of its debunking? (as in the article at pl.wiki). Especially few more words about Walkowski findings should be added. IMHO the series of press articles from 2019 are not the the most important part of this story.Dreamcatcher25 (talk) 12:22, 5 December 2019 (UTC)

I think this is the better approach. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 01:41, 7 December 2019 (UTC)
The above opinion piece doesn't fulfill the criteria as required by sourcing restrictions and thus cannot be added.--MyMoloboaccount (talk) 22:28, 7 December 2019 (UTC)

Explanation from Davies[edit]

@Piotrus: I've emailed Mr. Davies about the reasons behind that statement. He replied with the following, which he kindly allowed me to quote here:

The statement is based on my extensive interviews (about 8 hours in all) with Walkowski himself - i.e. with the original source. It is also supported by the fact that the IPN have made no public announcements on Walkowski's findings, nor have they published his findings in any of their publications, nor have they held any public events where he has been able to present his findings, nor will they answer my questions as to why I received completely different and contradictory answers concerning the IPN's position on the issue, as well as the fact that in their social media activity they continue claim that the most recent investigation into the issue was made by Boguslaw Kopka in a book published in 2007. They only acknowledged the existence of Walkowski's report once I published on social media a letter from an IPN prosecutor confirming that there had been an investigation that ran from 2010 to 2017.

François Robere (talk) 16:02, 17 December 2019 (UTC)

Interesting. The best course of action would be if he could get this published somewhere, then we could reference it properly. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 04:59, 18 December 2019 (UTC)
I believe "Under the Railway Line"[3] is based partly on that. He makes the same claims in the second half of the story. François Robere (talk) 11:28, 18 December 2019 (UTC)
@Piotrus: See here. François Robere (talk) 17:19, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

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