On 7 February, at 2PM, the representatives of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute were invited by Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Gliński and Deputy Minister of Culture and National Heritage Jarosław Sellin for a meeting at the Ministry office at 15/17 Krakowskie Przedmieście Street. The meeting was to focus on the appointment to the post of director of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which—in compliance with the Museum’s founding agreement—is the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, subject to acceptance of the remaining two co-founders: the City of Warsaw and the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute.
On the part of the Association, the meeting was attended by President of the Board Piotr Wiślicki, who also acted as a proxy of the Mayor of the City of Warsaw, as well as Marian Turski and Maciej Kozłowski. They began the meeting by confirming that Professor Dariusz Stola remains the joint candidate of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute and the City of Warsaw. Next, they listed the rational and compelling arguments for appointing Prof. Stola for the post of POLIN Museum director, such as:
- the fact that Professor Stola won the competition organized on the initiative of the Ministry, and the Deputy Prime Minister Gliński’s assurance that he would appoint the candidate who wins the majority vote of the Selection Committee;
- Professor Stola’s achievements as POLIN Museum director and the most spectacular successes that the institution enjoyed under his management, including accomplishments in the fields of culture, education and academic studies, as well as the most prestigious global museum awards;
- Professor Stola’s academic achievements as a distinguished historian and researcher of Polish-Jewish relations.
The Association representatives also argued that appointing Professor Stola to the post would be the best solution for Poland from the perspective of Polish-Jewish relations. Prof. Stola is considered an unquestioned and well-respected authority by the Museum donors and by Jewish communities in Poland as well as in Israel, the United States and all across Europe. The authority of Professor Stola has been well documented in the letters of support addressed to the Museum founders and issued by the most important world Jewish organizations.
A long discussion ensued. Referring to the will of the political milieu he represents, Prof. Gliński presented an official stance of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage as the Museum Organizer. Deputy Prime Minister informed the meeting participants that he would not agree to the appointment of Professor Stola to the post of POLIN Museum director, and that, in effect, he was not willing to nominate him. This declaration was repeated once more by Minister Jarosław Sellin in a telephone conversation with President Piotr Wiślicki held at 8PM on that day.
The representatives of the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland informed Deputy Prime Minister Gliński that they would convey the Ministry’s official stance to the Mayor of the City of Warsaw.