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Sir Eric Pickles' visit at the IPN

On 9 March 2017 Deputy President of the IPN Dr Mateusz Szpytma hosted Sir Eric Pickles, United Kingdom Special Envoy for Post-Holocaust Issues and Chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel, Natalie Tamam, Chief of Staff to Sir Pickles and Christopher  Thompson, Head of Foreign and Security Policy of the British Embassy in Warsaw. The meeting was also attended by Prof. Grzegorz Berendt, Head of the Branch Historical Research Office in Gdańsk, dr. hab. Mirosław Szumiło, Director of the Historical Research Office, Agnieszka Jędrzak, Head of the Division of International Relations and Joanna Kumor. Taking into account the scope of activity of Sir Eric Pickles, the visit at the Institute was an important point in his timetable. Sir Eric was particularly interested in the activity of  various pillars of the Institute such as historical research, education, especially with regard to the Holocaust,  and exchange of documents. It was stressed that thanks to the IPN’s activities in the field of research and education historical knowledge is spread through teachers to Polish society. Sir Eric inquired about the IPN’s resources and the digitization process. He also raised the subject of exhumations of the German victims of WWII. Sir Eric stressed the role of Poland as a Custodian of the Holocaust Remembrance, as no other country had suffered so much during WWII. The greater the esteem for those who risked their lives to help the Jews. President Szpytma, in turn, expressed the gratitude for the support of Great Britain for the Polish Government in exile during the war, which thanks to the British hospitality was able to talk openly about the atrocities of war and morally support the Poles. It was unanimously agreed that further cooperation in commemorating the Holocaust is of vital importance for the sake of truth and future generations. Poland and Great Britain are united through common history, especially WWII during which they had fought arm in arm.

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