Bednarz, Władysław

Władysław Bednarz was a Polish investigative judge who, after the war, led the Polish judiciary’s investigations into what transpired at the Chełmno Camp. He interrogated witnesses and supervised forensic excavations and sample-takings on the former campgrounds. He also investigated the wreck of a moving truck on the Ostrowski factory grounds, which some witnesses had claimed was a gas van used to kill deportees. To Bednarz’s credit, he concluded that the truck was not a gas van, but he failed to confront the witnesses about their false statements. Rather, Bednarz cherry-picked from these statements what fit into the evidently preordained narrative of a mass-murder camp, and discarded what refuted it, was contradictory or blatant nonsense. Thus, he forced the discordant evidence he found into an artificially created “convergence of evidence” to make it look superficially convincing. (For more details, see the entry on the Chełmno Camp.)

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