The Painted Bird, by Jerzy Kosinski (Lewinkopf). 1965
Reviewer: Mr. Jan Peczkis
Here We Are 60 Years Later, and the Very Same Lurid Anti-Polish Accusations, of This Highly-Acclaimed But Demonstrably-Fraudulent Book, Are Freely Repeated By Far Too Many Jewish Authors and Journalists as Fact
My review is based on the original 1965 Edition of PAINTED BIRD. In the front insert, this book is lauded by the LIBRARY JOURNAL, the (surprise) NEW YORK TIMES, and COMMONWEAL. In fact, COMMONWEAL calls it a “deeply moral work” (Reader: Try not to laugh).
Fact is, this book is a fraud of the highest order. For instance, see my reviews of:
JERZY KOSINSKI by James Park Sloan
CZARNY PTASIOR (THE UGLY BLACK BIRD), by Joanna Siedlecka
THE LOWDOWN ON THIS BOOK
Jerzy Kosinski vel Lewinkopf came from a well-to-do Jewish family. He was rescued by Poles during the Nazi German occupation of Poland. And now—in true “You knew I was a snake” behavior—he returns the favor by using his talents to write a bestselling book that slanders the Poles.
THE FALSEHOODS OF THIS BOOK NEVER DIE
This book has value in showing how astonishingly the same anti-Polish stories get revived, repackaged, and repeated. Fifty years later, we constantly still hear slightly- modernized versions of Kosinski-Lewinkopf’s lies as facts, over and over and over again. If this is not propaganda, then what is? I now discuss just some of the specifics:
POLONOPHOBIC MEME: THE SADISTIC JEW-TORTURING AND JEW-KILLING POLISH PEASANT
Kosinski-Lewinkopf made Polish peasants into vicious brutes: He purportedly “witnessed” assaults by women peasants against another woman. (pp. 47-48). He himself reported being beaten by peasants for no reason. (pp. 53-54). But wait, it gets even better. Kosinski-Lewinkopf then tells the reader that peasants were about to grab him in order to burn him alive. (p. 85). And what else?
Think of post-Stalinist Jan T. Gross and his NEIGHBORS. The Polish peasant murderers behead a Jew and kick his head around like a soccer ball. The screeds of Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking are little better. The latter features the fantastic Polonophobic Holocaust lore of 200,000 fugitive Jews killed by mostly-rural Poles.
POLONOPHOBIC MEME: THE POLES ARE GLAD THAT THE GERMANS ARE KILLING THE JEWS
Consider the trains carrying masses of Jews to the death camps. Kosinski-Lewinkopf reported Polish peasants lining up on both sides of the track, and waving cheerfully to the engineer the stoker, and the guards. (p. 85). Really?
How many times have we heard the “Polish death camp” lie? And, failing that, how many times do we hear the second falsehood that covers the first? It goes like this, “So Poles didn’t run the death camps. But they were glad that Hitler did the dirty work for them.” Think also of the “Goodbye Jews!” scene, viewed by over 120 million Americans, in SCHINDLER’S LIST (SWINDLER’S LIST).
POLONOPHOBIC MEME: THE GREEDY POLISH THIEF OF JEWISH BELONGINGS (READ: HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY)
Kosinski-Lewinkopf writes of Polish peasants coming to the railroad tracks at the places that Jews had tried to save themselves by jumping off the death trains, and stripping the Jewish dead of their clothing and shoes. (pp. 86-87).
This “Poles owe Jews” message has been honed to perfection by post-Stalinist Jan T. Gross in his GOLDEN HARVEST. Nothing is said about the abject poverty that drove Poles to take whatever property they could—both Jewish and non-Jewish. And never mind the fact that, in wartime, the property of the dead is appropriated by the living as a matter of course. And never mind the fact that this has nothing to do specifically with Jews. Just go ahead and accuse the Poles, heedless of the facts and circumstances.
POLONOPHOBIC MEME: BLAMING THE CHURCH (DEICIDE), IN PLACE OF THE ACTUAL GUILTY PARTY (THE GERMANS), FOR THE HOLOCAUST
Kosinski-Lewinkopf hears Polish peasants discussing how the Lord was punishing the Jews, through the Holocaust, for having crucified Him. (p. 84).
Blaming Christianity for the Holocaust, coincidentally with German guilt diffusion, is now standard operating procedure in academia and media. Never mind the fact that religion- based Jewish-Christian hostilities went both ways. Never mind the fact that anti- Semitism predated Christianity. And never mind the fact that Nazi ideology had nothing to do with Christianity (in fact, it scorned Christianity as yet another oppressive Jewish invention.)
POLONOPHOBIC MEME: THE CRUEL, HATEFUL, JUDGMENTAL CATHOLIC
Kosinsk-Lewinkopf, the altar boy at Mass, reports dropping a missal and falling, and being beset by the angry, red faces of the Catholic faithful. (p. 123). Better yet, they try to drag the poor Kosinski-Lewinkopf boy into a manure pit as punishment for dropping the missal. (pp. 123-124).
Think of the countless media articles and movies that depict Catholics as (what else?) hateful and judgmental because they disagree with the hedonistic lifestyles of much of western societies.
POLONOPHOBIC MEME: POLAND’S CATHOLICISM AS A BASTION OF REACTION
Kosinski-Lewinkopf depicts a sick priest who had evidently not been helped by the indulgences that had had earned during his pious life. (p. 114). So, in Kosinski- Lewinkopf’s anti-Catholic imagination, indulgences are some kind of Brownie points by which Catholics try to leverage assorted favors from God.
The author positively describes an encounter with the Russian Gavrila. The Russian patiently enlightens Kosinski-Lewinkopf about the fact that there is no God, and that the “cunning priests” had invented God so that they could trick the people. (p. 168).
How often do we hear a welter of disparaging remarks, about the Church, from the cultural Marxists, LEWAKS, and even the KATOLEWICA? On the other hand, whenever Church teachings coincide with left-wing ideology, then all of a sudden the Church is “progressive.”