That some individual Poles, in a country under German occupation and continuous terror, did abet or profit from the genocide is an entirely different matter. Vultures, vermin and parasites are always drawn to the dying, the more so when their own environment is dying too. They did so throughout German-occupied Europe, where there was little German terror but many times the small Polish ratio of collaboration with the Nazis. They do so in every war of annihilation and every other major human disaster.
The same voices of opprobrium and outright slander as in Israel were raised by the international Jewish media and practically the entire major progressive press (Caveat: there is no non-progressive press). Time Magazine’s title was typical: “Poland Just Passed a Holocaust Bill That Is Causing Outrage” (2.1.2018). There was no mention of what causes outrage in Poland. There is hardly ever a mention of the Poles’ pain and suffering, but the writings about Jewish pain and suffering-–undeniably great but not outside the range of comparison to Poland’s–could fill the granaries of a medium-size country.
Jewish opinionators were worse than that. Let Lahav Harkov’s tweet (Twitter, 1.27.2018) stand to sum up the tenor of Israeli opinions, and Harry Maryles’s “Polish Death Camps” (JewishPress.com, 1.31.2018) stand for the Jewish diaspora’s opinions, without wasting verbiage on small nuances in the rest of them.
Harkov’s tweet consisted entirely of “Polish Death Camps” repeated 14 times. It’s a disgrace equal to the worst antisemitic slurs. I wonder how Jews would feel if I produced a post consisting of a phrase like “Elders of Zion,” or “Yagoda + Madoff = Jews” duplicated 14 times and conveying, ipso facto, that it sums up my opinion of the Jewish people.
Maryles’s article contains subjective assertions that could be challenged, but I’ll focus on just one that has the appearance of being more objective: “Except for the righteous gentiles among them, the Poles were perhaps the most eager participants of all nationalities in helping Nazis send Jews to the death camps of any other country. Just about every Polish Jew who survived the Holocaust–that I have ever spoken to–has made this claim.”
I’ll leave the rest of this text to formulate the anti-claim.
There were hundreds of other additional Poland-bashing utterances by Israeli and Jewish media, Jews of all stripes, politicians homing in on an easy target of a country “shockingly” 99.5%+ white, and the enormous Western media megaphone of them all. We have space just for one.
In mid-February, The Ruderman Family Foundation, one of those “inclusion and diversity”-obsessed American-Jewish outfits that do all they can to generate new American antisemites where there were none before, started a petition at NeverDeny.org, urging people to sign under the plea, “In the name of 6 million Jews, The United States must suspend relations with Poland now!” The Ruderman people also placed a professionally produced video on YouTube under the title “I will go to [Polish] jail,” with a lineup of American Jews saying “Polish Holocaust” and urging the United States to suspend its relations with Poland.
In Poland, the tempers boil, but the supposedly “far-right” government is strangely timid in this matter. Polish media are abuzz, but as far as the world is concerned, if it’s not in English it didn’t happen. It may well be that so many Jews with a public voice will continue hammering on this hot iron in an incendiary way that they will at last succeed in minting millions of new antisemites in Poland too.
Attempts to massage all these gratuitously offensive, racist, Poland-bashing statements do not work either. Emmanuel Nahshon, spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry, tweeted on January 29: “The issue is NOT the death camps. Of course they were not Polish. Those were German death camps. The issue is the legitimate and essential freedom to talk about the involvement of Poles in the murder of Jews without fear or threat of penalisation.” A day earlier, Mr. Nahshon had tweeted: “We expect the Polish government to change the wording of the bill before its final adoption and to conduct a dialogue with Israel on the subject.”
Let me discard the earlier statement before I put the later out of its misery. For a sovereign country to declare so brazenly what line it “expects” another sovereign country to follow, is an outrage. It’s imprudent too for a small, remote Jewish country not entirely essential to the daily reality of Central Europe. And it’s foolish when directed toward the key country in the bloc standing athwart the Socialist-Muslim alliance–-the Jewish scholar of Islam, Bat Ye’or, called it “Eurabia”–that’s smothering the life out of that continent, its civilization, and its 2000+ year-old Jewish community.
Eurabia, whose leaders like Angela Merkel, and pal of Yasser Arafat Federica Mogherini, cry crocodile tears on Holocaust Remembrance Day and rail against “antisemitism” while being directly responsible for importing that antisemitism, via millions of their beloved Muslim “migrants” and the resulting contagion of public harassment, beatings and murder of Jews the like of which Europe has not seen since Hitler. Not to mention the form of antisemitism that masquerades as anti-Israelism whose purveyors are the same Communist-Socialist circles from which both Merkel and Mogherini and so many other European Union grandees have sprung.
How strange what Israel’s crème de la crème chose to criticize on the 2018 Holocaust Remembrance Day, and what it chose to pretend not to see.
Now to Emmanuel Nahshon’s earlier statement. We all know-–or do we?-–that the term “Polish concentration camps” was invented in 1956 by Alfred Benziger, a former sergeant in the Nazi Abwehr and post-war head of the spook Agency 114 that was sluicing Nazi war criminals into counter-intelligence work against the USSR with a wink and a nod of the CIA. That was a coordinated effort to shift blame for the Holocaust from Germany to the country that Germany had enslaved, destroyed and used as a territorial basis for carrying out its genocide of the Jews.
And we know, presumably, that this term has been used in German national and provincial media along with other massive bleaching operations seeking to relieve the guilt over Germany’s deeds during the war, including but not limited to the “Poor, noble German soldiers/ Jew-hating Polish resistance” TV mini-series “Our Mothers, Our Fathers,” a flagship product of the national public channel ZDF.
To acknowledge that “Polish concentration camps” were not Polish is as much a concession as allowing that Spanish flu was not Spanish.
Lastly, even if not “Polish” death camps, why in Poland? We know that answer too, don’t we: because those hidebound Polaks hate the Jews. That was the unambiguous statement of Yair Lapid, chairman of a minor party in the Knesset and Israel’s former Finance Minister. But maybe there is a simpler explanation devoid of casual anti-Slavic racism: Poland, because that’s where the Jews were.
Over one third of Europe’s 9-plus million Jews were in Poland, another 2.5 million in next-door Russia, and another 1.35 million in other countries then-bordering on Poland: Romania, Czechoslovakia and the Baltic states. And there were Germany’s own 525,000 Jews and Austria’s 190,000, with the united Reich not even bordering on Poland but having swallowed it whole either by direct annexation or through the Nazi-ruled “General Governorate.” All that makes for over 7.5 million Jews in a contiguous zone of Europe whose center was Poland. If you had the analytical German mind of people like Adolf Eichmann, was there another choice?
Let us now move to the most controversial and long-simmering part of the dispute, and the one that the Polish nation’s less strident foes in Israel, represented by the “conciliatory” voice of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, express as “talk about the involvement of Poles in the murder of Jews.” Of course, let us talk about that.
How many Poles snitched on Jews to the Germans, or murdered them, or grabbed whatever Jewish assets they could, has not been established and cannot be established as long as the maximalist side is represented by a sociologist posing as historian who is sponsored by critical theory-infected Princeton university, George Soros media such as Project Syndicate, and ultra-progressive/neo-Marxist German media such as Der Spiegel and Deutsche Welle-–remember the whitewash agenda there. Not to mention such purveyors of fake news as the American, Jewish-controlled newspaper that found only a Soviet idyll in Ukraine during the worst period of Stalin’s genocide there and, curiously, downplayed Hitler’s genocide of the Jews because it was bad for business.
The same newspaper that on December 10, 1942, published an article under the headline, “Poles Ask Allies to Halt Slaughter,” that started with the sentence, “The Polish Government has asked the Allied governments if there is any possibility of restraining the Germans from continuing their mass extermination of the Jewish population of Poland and their plans to obliterate the Poles as a nation.”
On Page 8, and to no effect whatsoever.
The same paper that, on February 6, 2018, published an article under the title, “Poland’s ‘Death Camp’ Law Tears at Shared Bonds of Suffering With Jews,” even though the reverse title, “Jews’ response to Poland’s ‘Death Camp’ Law Tears at Shared Bonds of Suffering With Poles” was equally viable.
Jan T. Gross, for that’s the name of the Poland-bashing star of the progressive zeitgeist, is the son of a Polish Catholic woman who saved his Jewish father’s life during the war and later married him. He has built a stellar career out of a gross libel of the Polish people, anchored by such nuggets as his statement that Poles during the war murdered more Jews than Germans. His selective retelling of well-known (in Poland) stories like the Jedwabne massacre has already been refuted by Polish scholars with better and more appropriate credentials, such as Marek Jan Chodakiewicz and Piotr Gontarczyk. As to Jedwabne specifically, a three year-long (2000–2003) investigation by the Polish Institute of National Remembrance concluded in two reports–203-pages and 1059 pages–that the massacre took place, there were about 340 victims (Gross: 1600), and about 40 Polish men participated in the crime (Gross: “half the village”), watched over and most likely forced by German soldiers who provoked (Gross: “permitted”) this crime in the first place.
A massacre remains a massacre regardless of the count of victims, but a major error or empty hyperbole that remains unrectified eighteen years after it was published evinces at best sloppiness, if not ulterior motives. Particularly so when the author is an academic and holder of an endowed chair in history, as Gross was then. The shabby intent transfers to repackagers of the libel, of which one reads many in the Israeli, German, and American press.
The kind of image Israelis have built of the Poles based on Jedwabne and Kielce is analogous to an image of Israelis that one might construe based on the Deir Yassin massacre or the terrorist bomb attack on King David Hotel. Throw not stones if you live in a glass house.
But it’s not only Israelis. Without a scintilla of knowledge in the subject matter, Heather Nauert, spokesperson for the US State Department, issued a statement on January 31 on behalf of her boss, Rex Tillerson. Opening with some bromides about the Holocaust as “painful and complex,” she proceeded to threaten “Poland’s strategic interests and relationships-–including with the United States and Israel” over the new law. Among the questions that statement arouses, one is especially piquant: does the US State Department speak for Israel too? And if that is the State Department of the “Alt-Right” president, why do we need to worry about the Left?
Not that it was dormant. “Poland’s Jews fear for future under new Holocaust law,” trumpeted the Guardian on February 10, 2018, opining further that the law “proved a diplomatic and public relations catastrophe abroad, as scholars, Holocaust survivors and friendly governments alike have lined up”–of course, to bash Poland with any “progressive” cudgel at hand.
As one of the proofs why Poland’s Jews now “fear for the future,” the Guardian-of-the-Left relayed that an editorial on the “rightwing” TV Republika webzine described the crisis as a “test of loyalty” for Polish Jews. Oy vey, antisemitism, again. What such agitprop always manages to omit is the telling detail. The telling detail of TV Republika is that it was founded by a patriotic Polish Jew and important journalist, Bronisław Wildstein. Wildstein is one of the most outspoken foes of the kind of Sorosesque Jews, and Poles too, who dig under his country with their “diversity,” “antisemitism,” and “refugees” backhoe.
Just to make sure we get how much Jews in Poland have to fear today, the lefty Brit juggernaut graced its article with a photograph entitled, “A crowd surround a dead man on the street in the Warsaw ghetto around 1940.” The crowd is mostly well-fed and decently dressed; none show much concern for the dead man, and some are smiling to the camera. Those nasty, cruel Poles. The only thing missing is a caveat that Poles had no entry to the ghetto; everyone in the photo is a Jew.
I will not go here into the worn-out story of Yad Vashem’s “Righteous Gentiles” and its 6,706-strong undercount of Poles who risked their lives to save Jews. But let me quote a bigger authority than Yad Vashem: my mom.
Part 2: The History
My mother, a bearer of both Polish and Jewish genes, saw her parents hauled off to no-return Majdanek and her brother shot point blank by a German SS-man during a Sunday promenade with her in a center-city square. She lost a cousin to the NKVD in the Katyn forest, and what would have been her future mother-in-law to the OUN Ukrainian Nazi allies. She was one of the few survivors of the Janowski death/labor camp and would be state’s witness against its commandant/sadist-from-hell. She jumped from a death train going straight to the gas chambers of Belzec. She heard the train engine’s Polish crew risking their lives to warn the still-hopeful crowd at the platform in Lvov that Belzec was not just another “concentration camp.” She then wandered, expiring, through the endless frozen forest until saved first by a Polish peasant and then by a German colonel. She endured prolonged interrogations, beatings and weeks of dungeon imprisonment first by the Gestapo and, a year later, the NKVD. And a sexual assault — exactly what kind she could not bring herself to tell — by a Soviet Army cavalry squad of “Asian-looking” soldiers whose odor would wake her up in the middle of the night, even 50 years later.
That’s what I call “seen it all”: a double Holocaust. And she told all and sundry, whenever the occasion arose: “If it weren’t for the Poles, not a single Jew would have survived in Poland.” About 100,000 survived, hiding among the Poles. There must have been many more “righteous” among the latter than Yad Vashem’s 6,706.
It is generally ignored, despite the mountains of documentary evidence, just what sort of hell the German occupiers imposed on Poland. In that kind of environment, the worst human elements emerge from the dark corners where they lurk in normal times. That goes both for the perpetrators –- to look at portraits of dozens of the worst Nazi executioners like Oskar Dirlewanger or Heinrich Müller is to see pure evil -– and the victim populations.
The Poles who snitched on Jews or killed or robbed them did not do so because they were Poles but because they were criminal, base or cowardly. And some, we have no means of knowing how many, also because they hated Jews. Just as we have no means of knowing how many Poles Jewish commissars in the Commie secret police -– people like Salomon Morel, Julia Brystygier or Izaak Fleischfarb — tortured to death because they hated ethnic Poles, how many because they hated anti-communists, and how many because they were conscience-less opportunists.
Symmetrically, some Holocaust deniers adduce Jewish ghetto police, kapos, snitches, brutalizers and exploiters of wartime Jews as evidence that Jews are themselves complicit in the Holocaust. But no; Jews too have their minority of unsavory specimens, and the unalloyed horror of the Holocaust allowed them to surface.
The tragic history of the “Polish Anna Frank” and her family offers a peek at the reality of those times: ghetto, rescue due to the privileged status of an uncle in the Judenrat, rescue again by a noble German officer, rescue again by multiple Poles in two cities, and a tragic end at German hands because of an anonymous snitch.
To smear the Polish nation as a whole with the broad brush dipped in the worst of its worst is no better than talk of “Jewish usury,” “Jewish perfidy,” “Jewish bankers” or “Jewish bolshevism.” But there is more.
For the nearly hundred years between 1850 and 1945 and to a lesser degree up to now, antisemitism in the eastern third of Europe, including Poland, has been deeper and more paranoid than in the West, excepting the anomalies of the Third Reich and, now, the Muslim component of Eurabia. There are multiple causes, some quite bilateral, others inherent in the tragic fallacy of multiculturalism. Both sides tell only their convenient parts of the truth, and it’s all too much to discuss here. But it’s strange and unwarranted that all this Israeli and Jewish fury is directed toward Poland, and only Poland. Let me explain.
First, it is likely that the entire genus of Ashkenazi Jew would have been extinguished in the German, French and other Black Death and crusades-related pogroms and expulsions of the 13th and 14th centuries, had not the Polish sovereigns Duke Bolesław Pobożny (Bolesław the Pious) and king Kazimierz III Wielki (Casimir III “the Great”) given the fleeing remnant a refuge and royal protection.
Second, Poland was the only country in German-occupied Europe where there was neither a collaborationist government nor volunteers in the Waffen SS or any other unit doing the Germans’ wet work. There were no Polish concentration camps, and no Polish guards in the German concentration camps -– but there were Russian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Latvian and other such guards-executioners. My mom saw them “at work.”
There was but one ignoble exception: the “Blue Police.” Subordinated to the German police, it consisted of about 11,000 pre-war Polish policeman who had been called to report to duty by order of Poland’s Nazi ruler, Hans Frank, under penalty of death. While their task was to maintain simple law and order, they did participate in street round-ups and many engaged in extortion, snitching and other vile acts toward Jewish individuals –- but not in the mass killing. And whatever they did, it still pales in comparison to the war-era French, Dutch, Norwegian and other police forces in German-occupied Europe. Moreover, in Poland’s zone occupied by the Soviets in 1939–1941 there was the “Red Police,” composed of Soviet-collaborating Jews, Ukrainians and Belarusians who were doing to Poles what the “Blue Police” was doing to Jews in the German-occupied part.
There were over 400,000 Poles fighting the German occupiers in the largest underground army in Europe, and they executed anyone collaborating with the Germans to the detriment of Poles or Jews. There was the largest in Europe number of gentiles risking their lives to help and shelter Jews in the only country in Europe where the penalty for doing so was death to the protector and his entire family. And there was the largest army-in-exile fighting Hitler too: 250,000 men under British command, unable to help their ravaged homeland but instrumental in many decisive battles on the Western front.
The only semi-balanced article I have seen by an Israeli author in the Israeli press about the Holocaust libel law, Seth Frantzman’s “Setting history straight – Poland resisted Nazis,” (Jerusalem Post, January 29, 2018) contains this sentence about the Polish resistance: “A few posters being put up and torn down pales in comparison to millions of Jews sent to death camps.”
It was quite a bit more than “a few posters being put up and torn down.”
The horror, death, enslavement and wholesale destruction of Poland: its people murdered by the millions, its culture, its entire infrastructure, schools, hospitals and its capital all in ruins, was much greater than Israelis and Jews at large seem interested to learn about. 1.4 million Poles were hauled from their homes and forced to work as slaves in German factories and fields, not counting 300,000 military prisoners who were so forced also. Between 35,000 and 50,000 Polish women were snatched off the streets and forced to provide “services” in German military brothels. A quarter million boys were kidnapped from their mothers and brought to Germany to be shaped into future Aryan SS-men, with the laggards exterminated by phenol injections and gruesome medical experiments.
The number of ethnic Poles murdered by the Germans was not “at least 1.9 million” as Frantzman’s article states, but 2.77 million, i.e. almost equivalent to the 2.7 to 2.9 number of murdered Polish Jews. And that does not include the 150,000 Poles murdered by the Soviets with significant collaboration of Polish Jews in the years 1939–1941 and 1944–1945 [figures from Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), 2009]. Moreover, much of that mass murder was a targeted “decapitation,” pursued by Germans and Soviets in their respective occupation zones, to wipe out Poland’s administrative, intellectual, scientific, spiritual, law and military elites, before more “culling” and then the formal enslavement of the remaining population. [See a compact, referenced account of these crimes]
There is hardly a Polish family that did not suffer murder at the hands of Germans, whether in arbitrary retail or planned wholesale, hauling to concentration camps or Gestapo abattoirs, brutal impression into slave labor or expropriation and exile far away from family home and land. Frequently, all of the above. The physical damage to Poland at German hands, alone, stands at $850 billion–$1 trillion in 2018 dollars. Germany has not paid reparations even for that, though between 1952 and 2017 it paid so many billions in Deutsche marks and euros in so many reparations agreements with the State of Israel and Jewish Holocaust survivors, with additional agreements pending, that a non-specialist has no way to add it all up.
And third: as opposed to this fixation on Poland, this hateful, worldwide baying from all quarters of Israeli and Jewish society, one does not hear much about their outrage concerning present veneration of many Nazi-collaborators and direct perpetrators of persecutions, round-ups and mass murder of Jews in countries like Croatia, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine and others.
How many Israeli politicians and media mavens commented on the giant portraits of Nazi allies and Jews’ (and Poles’) mass murderers Stepan Bandera, Roman Shukhevych and Yevhen Konovalets, borne by adoring crowds of the “Maidan revolution” in Lvov and Kiev, said “maidan” enjoying the enthusiastic support of at least two Jewish-Ukrainian oligarchs with Israeli citizenship?
I am yet to hear about Israel government’s condemnation of Croatian mass celebrations of Ante Pavelic and the Croatian Ustasha who made of the Jasenovac concentration camp what Israelis call gehenom and Poles call gehenna, more macabre than the Germans’ worst.
There is no American Jewish Committee thunder about the Jobbik party in Hungary, that country’s third largest with 20.5% of the votes in the 2014 National Assembly elections, openly fascist and as ravingly Jew-hating as to, among others, wade on the parliament’s floor in 2012 into advocacy for the Tiszaeszlár blood libel and its notorious trial that already in 1883 had been dismissed by Hungarian judges as prosecutorial fraud.
No coordinated storm of outrage in Israeli and Jewish media at Lithuania. No Jan T. Gross bestsellers about the massive Lithuanian collaboration in the corralling and delivery of Jews to their executioners, and volunteering to Waffen SS and to guard units at German concentration camps. And now, some of the chief criminals, e.g. Jonas Noreika, are honored with public plaques, and the head of Lithuania’s collaborationist government Juozas Ambrazevičius, who, per Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center “collaborated with the Nazis” in the mass murder of Jews and “actively encouraged” Lithuanian participation in it, gets an official state burial with full honors, in 2012.
Kaunas, where that solemn funeral took place, was the locus of the Lithuanian Holocaust. Thousands of Jews were murdered there by Lithuanian militias before the arrival of the German army. It was here where Seventh Fort was constructed, the first and Jews-only concentration camp in German-occupied territories, staffed by Lithuanians, the chief task of their Tautinio Darbo Apsaugos Batalionas being the murder of the Jews of Kaunas and elsewhere in Lithuania and Belarus.
With all that, a public Israeli/Jewish storm about a Polish law demanding to put the Holocaust on the doorstep of the country whose government and people carried it out, Germany? Why, one may start noticing the grumbling by some Poles that this is all about money. Applying the vise of media-manipulated public opinion and the U.S. Congress as well as the British Parliament to gain an advantage in negotiations with Poland’s government about “restitution” for any and all unspecifiable assets that had no heirs after their Jewish owners were murdered in the Holocaust.
Which would be quite a unique arrangement, given that Poland bears no responsibility for the German murder and expropriation of the original owners, and the American Jewish and Israeli organizations that would collect the loot in 2018 have no evidence of title and are, in any case, not successors in title to the heirless and intestate Jewish citizens of Poland who perished at the hand of Germans under German occupation between 1939 and 1945.
Moreover, Poland has already provided restitutions under treaties with multiple countries for all legitimate property claims in Poland. Further claims may be pursued in Poland by the usual judicial means. Lastly, pursuant to a Polish law in 1997, Jewish organizations in Poland received restitution for over 2,500 German-expropriated or destroyed communal properties such as synagogues, cemeteries and cultural centers.
All this notwithstanding, there is quite a lot one can achieve by orchestrating an international storm about “Polish murderers of Jews,” some sleight of hand with history and, astonishingly, recruiting the United States Congress and the British Parliament to do your bidding. And that recruitment appeared in March to have resulted in American heavy-handedness exceeding perhaps any comparable precedent.
On March 6, Politico (Europe) revealed the existence of a recent memo from the U.S. State Department declaring the new Polish law as an unacceptable violation of freedom of speech. The memo gave the Polish government a three-point ultimatum: either “resolve” this issue –- needless to say to America’s and international Jewry’s satisfaction — or else Poland’s leaders will be barred from White House meetings, U.S. Congress will block funds for joint military projects in Poland including the stationing of U.S. troops there within the NATO framework, and there will be further “dramatic” consequences in case an American citizen is charged under the new law.
Michael Brendan Dougherty asked on the pages of National Review, “Is NATO in Poland to Deter Russians or Poles?” Indeed.
Leaving aside what you get for “blasphemy” in Dar al-Islam, in Thailand, insulting the king will get you a prison sentence for 3 to 70 years. In Great Britain, a tweet expressing your dissatisfaction with the Pakistanization of British demographics or the Islamization of its culture will gain you a police knock on the door at 3 a.m., next morning, while if your child niece was “groomed” by a gang of “Asians” for 15 years, law enforcement for that entire period would have been in a state of catatonic hypersomnia. In Germany, a former Stasi agent, Anetta Kahane, has been chosen by no less than Justice Minister Heiko Maas to oversee the German Internet, remove “hate speech,” and prosecute its authors.
In Sweden, opposition to “immigration” in conversation or a social media post will get you a criminal hacking and “outing” by the far-left Expressen newspaper, including your photo, legal name, email and physical address, so that fascist Antifa thugs may better find you. And also, for your employer, neighbors, fiancée and family to know exactly what a racist Nazi you are, and do what’s right. In the United States, criticism of “people of color” or honest talk about racial or gender differences will bring on an automatic termination of your job, livelihood, and lifetime career too.
The United States has willed itself to blindness in all these egregious instances, but it bullies and blackmails Poland under the pretext of “freedom of expression” because Poland no longer wishes to be libeled as the perpetrator of the Holocaust. Who in the Trump administration put this sorry farce in motion?
Part 3: Before we talk
There is nothing in the new Polish “Holocaust libel law” that prohibits or penalizes talk about malfeasance by Poles toward Jews during the Holocaust or at any other time. It pertains only to blaming the Polish nation for the Holocaust and whitewashing German responsibility for it. By all means, let such talk flourish, as well as talk about the Poles who saved Jews from murder. But let it be a conversation, not a monologue.
Let us also talk about the persecution and murder of Poles by Jews, and following that, the persecution and murder of Russians and Hungarians — all in varying intensity throughout the first 55 years of the 20th century. Certainly not all Jews were involved in communist mischief, but chief founders of the respective Communist parties and executors of communist terror and mayhem were either in their majority (Hungary, particularly in 1919, ditto Germany) or astonishing plurality (USSR in 1917-1935) and Poland (1918-1920, 1939–1941, 1944-1956), Jewish.
I cannot conclude without revisiting at least one of the latest compliments paid especially by American Jews to the land neither they nor their immigrant ancestors who had lived in Poland for 600 years, mostly as an alien and alienated colony, have had the slightest true interest in.
Making sure to first flash some creds in Western culture by citing Voltaire and later Santayana, Rabbi Menachem Levine declared on the pages of the Washington Times (February 20, 2018) that “Poland’s new Holocaust law is yet another pack of tricks played upon the millions of murdered Jews in the Holocaust.” Citing his other creds as a “grandchild of four Polish Holocaust survivors” (I am the grandchild of none), Levine calls that law “a disgrace and a mockery.”
While injecting the cliché about “6,700 Poles recognized by the Yad Vashem,” Levine proceeds to iterate all the arguments how it was the Poles who “made the Holocaust possible,” including “passively observing” and “enthusiastically supporting,” and why all that happened in Poland, which “both allowed and assisted in the Holocaust.” All that under a picture of the Polish flag with the Nazi hakenkreuz imposed upon it –- removed hastily from the original article (bad for business etc.) but preserved in Polish media, e.g. here.
I hereby sentence the good rabbi to compulsory participation in a four-day seminar that I will hold in the Church of the Good Shepherd Yeshua in Freedomia as a preamble to the truthful dialogue about who murdered whom in Poland. As a condition of attendance, class, please take down these names and prepare to know something about them when we meet on the first day:
- Jakub Berman
- Hilary Minc
- Roman Romkowski (aka Natan Grünspan)
- Anatol Fejgin
- Józef Światło (aka Izaak Fleischfarb, aka “The Butcher”)
- Jacek Różański (aka Josek Goldberg)
- Antoni Alster (aka Nachum Alster),
- Helena Chaja Altenberg
- Leon Andrzejewski (aka Lejb-Wolf Ajzen)
- Gustaw Auscaler (escaped to Israel)
- Zygmunt Braude
- Mieczysław Broniatowski
- Julia Brystygier (aka Julia Prajs, aka “Bloody Luna”)
- Józef Czaplicki (aka Izydor Kurc)
- Berek Eisenstein
- Marek Fink
- Stefan Finkel
- Alicja Graff
- Kazimierz Graff
- Mieczysław (Szmul) Gross
- Maria Gurowska (aka Maria Zand)
- Wiktor Herer
- Adam Humer
- Edward Kalecki
- Pauline Kern
- Józef Jurkowski, (aka Josek Jungman, escaped to Denmark)
- Wacław Komar (aka Mendel Kossoj)
- Julian Konar
- Józef Kratko
- Ajzer Mąka
- Pinek Mąka
- Emil Merz
- Stefan Michnik (aka Stefan Szechter, escaped to Sweden)
- Mieczyslaw Mietkowski (aka Mojzesz Bobrowicki)
- Salomon Morel (escaped to Israel)
- Zygmunt Okręt
- Bronisław (Boruch) Nechamkis
- Henryk Piasecki, (aka Izrael Chaim Pesses)
- Lola Potok
- Leon Rubinsztein
- Maksymilian Schnepf (aka Maksymilian Sznepf)
- Shlomo Singer
- Michał (Mojżesz) Taboryski
- Benjamin Wajsblech
- Aleksander Warecki (aka Aleksander Warenhaupt)
- Zygmunt Wizelberg
- Helena Wolińska (aka Fajga Mindla Danielak, aka Helena Brus, escaped to England)
These are 47 names of Jews who ran the Communist terror machine in Poland in the years 1944- 1955, most of them in military uniforms and with close links to the Soviet NKVD. Some were secret police officers, interrogators and torturers, some were concentration camp and prison commandants, some military judges and prosecutors, and others ideologues constructing the rationale for communist terror. And two, Jakub Berman and Hilary Minc, were two thirds of the triumvirate of hardline Stalinists that ruled Poland with an iron fist on behalf of Uncle Joe.
A specialist historian could come up with many more names and instances of Jewish executors of this terror, but I am just a non-specialized writer, albeit with a broad academic background devoid of a pre-programmed agenda. And this is difficult territory to navigate, requiring scrupulous research free of both politically correct inhibitions and antisemitic confirmation bias.
What’s important to keep in mind is that these names stand for a group that constituted over 37% of just the security terror apparatus when Poland’s Jewish minority, after emigration of some, numbered at most 100,000 — about 0.4% percent of the Polish population reduced from 35 million in 1938 to 23.6 million in 1946.
It will take you some weeks to research these names, but without that you have no business trying to form an opinion about any aspect of Polish-Jewish relations in the post-war era. You will find referenced Wikipedia entries about the more prominent names. There is some relevant literatures in English, e.g. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz’s The Dialectics of Pain: The Interrogation Methods of the Communist Secret Police in Poland, 1944-1955 and John Sack’s An Eye for an Eye, though the latter presents the dozens of post-war Polish communist concentration camps run by Jews as pertaining only to German inmates, though there were many prisoners from the Polish anti-communist, anti-German underground, and from the Polish Silesian minority as well. If there is a single brief Polish online text you should struggle with, it’s Faces of Security Services in the Polish People’s Republic in the years 1944 – 1956 (translated title), with photos.
Part 2 of the seminar is called “The impact of Polish Jews’ collaboration and participation in the Bolshevik invasion of 1919–1920 and the Soviet invasion and genocide in Poland, 1939–1941.” Note that Jedwabne was in the zone of the latter invasion. In preparation, please research the name Jan Karski. Go to the Hoover Institution Archives website, Jan Karski web page, click on “Mission,” click on “Karski’s Reports.” Click on the tag “Jewish Questions at Home” .” Read the report. It’s heartbreaking but our focus here will be on pages 6 and 7. The report is in Polish, but your interest in this field is insincere unless you learn to read Polish. A further bibliographical list will be distributed in class.
Part 3 is called “The shoe on the other foot -– Jewish rescuers of anti-communist Poles during their intensive 1945-1955 persecutions and murders by the Soviet-Polish-Jewish Communist authorities.” Your lecturer’s page is blank on this, so the roles will be reversed. You will research the subject independently and will present your findings in class.
The seminar will conclude with a lecture entitled “If you embrace, you are embraced.” Contrary to the massive international propaganda image of Jews and Poles as mutually exclusive, hostile camps, with the former a victim of genocide by the latter, we will discuss Jews who, as Polish patriots, fought in the front lines of military and cultural battles for Poland, and are to this day honored in that country. They were a minority among the Jews, but it’s obvious that they had good reasons to love Poland and die for it, too.
There are too many on the cultural front to mention here, but as far as military matters go, among several others we will discuss Berek Joselewicz, a colonel and commander of an all-Jewish light horse regiment of the Polish insurrection army during the Kościuszko Uprising, later in other Polish formations in the Napoleonic wars; Major Bernard Mond, an infantry battalion commander during the 1919-1920 war against the Bolshevik invasion army and by 1939 the commanding general of the Polish 6th Infantry Division; and Countess Krystyna Skarbek, Winston Churchill’s and Ian Fleming’s favorite special-ops spy.
Among other markers will be the 650 Jewish volunteers in the Polish Legion fighting for Polish independence during World War 1, Polish towns where the Jewish communities allied with their Polish neighbors against the 1919-1920 Bolshevik invasion in opposition to those Jewish communities that supported it, several hundred Jews fighting in the Polish nationalist underground army during World War 2 (by 2001, about 250 had been identified by name), in addition to the estimated 100 thousand who had been drafted into the Polish Army in 1939 and experienced the hard fate of Polish soldiers and officers in the war years.
I first encountered the most horrific of the Jewish names adduced here when playing with my lead soldiers under a table around which the adults were whispering out of the earshot of commie snitches on the other side of the wall. The adults were ethnic Poles, Polish Jews, and my parents, who were a mixture of both. All survivors of their respective Holocausts, and all friends.
This collective hunt that the world’s Jewry has been pursuing against Poland and the Polish people unrelentingly for the last 20 years, with the United States Congress and the British Parliament acting as beaters of the prey, is a disgrace. Combined with continuous attempts to squeeze property and billions of dollars from a country attempting to stand on its feet after 500 years of fighting off invaders from east and west, then sacrificing its treasure and many of its best men to save the West at the gates of Vienna in 1683, followed a few decades later by 146 years of the triple yoke of Russian, Prussian and Austrian occupation, followed by just 20 years of independence started with a desperate two-year war that stopped the Bolshevik invasion of Europe, followed by the hell of almost 6 years of German occupation, followed by betrayal by the Allies and the looting and squashing of the Poles for 45 more years of Soviet occupation, followed as of 1989 by the looting of Poland’s industry, commerce, agriculture and natural resources via the harmful premises of Jeffrey Sachs/George Soros economics, followed, since November 2015, by a relentless assault from the Union of European Multiculti Socialists (EU) and its worldwide amen lobby — why, that’s more than a disgrace.
I will leave the choice of the descriptive word to you.