Reviewer: Mr. Jan Peczkis
The Widely-Read and Highly-Acclaimed Jerzy Kosinski vel Lewinkopf’s PAINTED BIRD: A Rescued Polish Jew Who Expressed His Gratitude By Slandering His Rescuers. His Peasants- Are-Evil Mendacity Lives on in the Recent Media-Touted Pronouncements of Jan T. Gross, Jan Grabowski, and Barbara Engelking
This book surveys Kosinski’s early life, his new life in the US, his travels, his celebrity status, his sexual libertinism, and his suicide. That latter is portrayed as a well-planned event.
ONCE AGAIN, TELLING LIES FOR A BETTER ANTI-POLISH STORY
Author James Sloan comments: “Only Kosinski knew that the peasants he had encountered, while certainly no angels, had been nothing like the villains depicted in his novel.” (p. 421). The incident about the altar-boy Kosinski being thrown into a pit of excrement, for accidentally dropping a missal, is admittedly fictional. (p. 36). For more on the specifics of Kosinski’s mendacity, read the detailed English-language Peczkis review of Czarny ptasior (THE UGLY BLACK BIRD).
JOINING THE ZYDOKOMUNA: “YOU KNEW I WAS A SNAKE”
The Soviet occupation followed the German occupation. Here is how the Lewinkopf family expressed their gratitude for the Polish rescue of Jerzy and other Jews:
Jerzy’s father, Mieczyslaw (Moishe) Lewinkopf, joined the overcrowded ranks of rescued Jews who turned against the Polish nation by becoming actively Communist (p. 49, 53), thus making himself complicit in the Soviet subjugation and oppression of Poland. (Sloan sugar-coats participation in Communism as a manifestation of anti-fascism and idealism: pp. 46-47). Oh, please! The criminality and terror of Communism had by then been well-known, if not long before–not to mention the fact that anyone supporting Communism was well aware of the fact that it was odious to the vast majority of Poles.) Moishe Lewinkopf also associated with Jerzy Urban, another Jewish Communist. (pp. 5859). (Urban later became a pornographer, editor of the magazine NIE!, and a well-known vicious anti-Catholic slanderer of Pope John Paul II.)
GERMAN GUILT DIFFUSION
Surprise. Surprise. When THE PAINTED BIRD came out, its German-language edition was well received. (pp. 234-236). (Decades later, after the present book was written, Gross’ NEIGHBORS also came out in a German-language edition that was enthusiastically received.) This clearly served a need: To relativize German conduct and dilute German guilt in the murder of 6 million Jews–by making lurid, mostly-bogus, relatively-trivial accusations against Poles.
MORE POLONOPHOBIC RERUNS
The same anti-Polish and anti-peasant themes of THE PAINTED BIRD showed up in Lanzmann’s SHOAH. Kosinski gave an evasive answer when asked about the objectivity of the latter. (p. 419).
Kosinski’s I-am-a-constant-victim-of-Poles fibs continued. He changed his story about his NY apartment invaded by a bunch of Polish goons, first saying that he used a gun to scare away the assailants, and then saying that he never had a gun (p. 245).
KOSINSKI/LEWINKOPF: A JEWISH NIHILIST WHO LOVED TO OFFEND JEWS AS WELL AS POLES?
Sloan portrays Kosinski as a man confused about his heritage, and a loose cannon prone to offend both Poles and Jews. (Yes, but the former offensiveness has enjoyed far greater publicity. THE PAINTED BIRD is still widely read, and is used in American classrooms. The latter is long forgotten.) In terms of the specifics of the latter, Kosinski favored a universal theme for the remembrance of Auschwitz in preference to a Judeocentric one (p. 419).
FOR ONCE, KOSINSKI VEL LEWINKOPF DOES NOT BLAME EVERYTHING ON THE POLES
Kosinski suggested that Jewish snobbery provoked Polish anti-Semitism (p. 409). Really? Finally: “At one point in Jerusalem when a reporter asked what the Poles had done to save the Jews during the war, Kosinski snapped: `What did the Jews do to save the Poles?'” (p. 420). Touche!