The murder of Jews in the village of Jedwabne in 1941 became the tool of the very heinous and massive propaganda against Poland. This aggressive propaganda uses completely false and baseless arguments. We can show it, we can prove it, we can make fun of those who say such things, but they shrug and say “and what are you going to do to us?” Actually almost nothing, except that we can speak up about it – loud and clear. One of the Polish historians explains how this anti-Polish propaganda is designed, developed and promoted. Step by step, he explains lies and manipulations that led to the present crisis.
Welcome everyone. I am pleased to introduce our guest, Leszek Zebrowski, writer and historian, who for many years has been standing up to political correctness, and proclaims the truth, which often angers some people. Please welcome Leszek Zebrowski:
Jedwabne belongs to those issues, which become our trademark in the world at the moment. Poland is viewed through this prism. Not as the normal state in Europe, in which something happened and will happen, but it is viewed in this very heinous way. Massive propaganda against Poland uses arguments that are out of the blue, untruthful. We can show it, we can make fun of those who say such things, but they shrug and say: “and what are you going to do to us?” Well, actually nothing. They can do anything with impunity.
In 2001, when the story about Jedwabne suddenly exploded, hardly anyone knew anything about these events. Very few people were interested in it. Therefore, we can say that the Polish people were not prepared for this attack. Who studies in advance documents, old files and lawsuits, examines, checks, compares witness testimonies, reads memoirs? Not just Polish sources – all sources are needed to have the broad knowledge about this subject in order to discuss all this? When this story broke out, there were only a few people, who dealt with this subject. But the other party was very carefully prepared. They had media behind them, not only internationally but also in Poland, with the invaluable role of Gazeta Wyborcza.
This attack was convincing because people brought up in the West, in the so-called free countries, with no experience as ours from the past with the occupation, they don’t understand what censorship really is. The censorship is imposed on them in a different way. For them the written word, tv, radio, these are reliable sources. Also school books. How can you challenge the textbook, whether for school or for academia? Someone who wrote them has the title of Professor. He was paid for it. Often we, the taxpayers, pay him. How can this be untrue? Hence, the Poles must be the ones who don’t say the truth! And how do they defend themselves? With anger! Of course most of the Polish people are angry about how it is possible to lie in such a way. So, the argument goes like this: “See how they react? They are ashamed, but react incorrectly. Instead of accepting the guilt and paying compensation, they deny any responsibility.”
Three Sources of Jedwabne Lie
On Jedwabne we have three types of knowledge. First, the so-called circulated knowledge. What do we do today when we don’t know something and want to find out? We go to Wikipedia – an encyclopedic source of knowledge. One looks up and immediately knows. Later he says to me: ‘Hey you! You said these things, but I checked with Wikipedia, and it’s written otherwise there. No discussion is possible with such a person. For him, what’s written there is sacred. He does not understand that anything can be placed there. To verify it, he would have to read documents, whether issued in print or archived, he would need critical thinking skills in order to properly evaluate such documents. He would need to have something to compare with. We didn’t prepare for this challenge, and now we don’t have time for all this. We think that it is unnecessary. And besides, most of the Polish people represent this catastrophic attitude: “After all, we know very well how it was, so why even bother with it?” Just because the world doesn’t know it! They get false knowledge. And by ignoring it, the Poles make false impression of confirming it.
This circulating knowledge is bad for us. But if it were only this, nothing more, still the situation would not be so bad. But it is a catastrophe because there is also the knowledge of pseudo-scientists or scientists. People with titles and academic degrees confirm this circulated knowledge. It is they who lie and when caught red-handed are not ashamed of it.
Let’s take an example of Prof. Bauman, who died in 2017. Comrade Major Zygmunt Bauman (Malersowicz), is recognized by the entire world as a preeminent authority, welcomed by the Pope, quoted by the Pope. He was caught by a British student named Peter Welsh on transcribing fragments from Wikipedia and making it his own book. Once this Briton proved it to him, in response there was nothing like an admission with blushing, “I am sorry, maybe I was not careful enough, my oversight.” No! He explained it in a very interesting way. I do not recommend it because even in elementary schools such an excuse would not pass. Well, he explained it this way: “I have a method of mental work that does not apply the quotation marks.” And all luminaries immediately approved of it. “Well, how great, how wise he is, and yet how street smart at the same time.” Well, this way the loop closes. It is ok to lie, we only need to know who lies, where, and on what matters.
The third type of lie, which props up the first type of the so-called circulated lie on Jedwabne is the politicians’ lie. Politicians who want to be visible and would proclaim the truth and fight with the Jedwabne lie are immediately finished. They will be eliminated by propaganda: “You deny? You are an anti-Semite! Racist! You deny the Holocaust. How can you? After all, this is a scientific work of Jan Tomasz Gross. If you question it, and after all, you don’t know, but he knows, then you lie. Is this who you are?” Which politician would like to be trampled into the ground that way? How many will be able to defend themselves? Maybe a few at a great cost.
So, we have these three types of Jedwabne lies: this circulating (pseudo) knowledge of Wikipedia, which enters school textbooks. Unfortunately, that is what happens. This circulating knowledge is for us the worst, but if only this were a problem and nothing else, it would not be that bad. But it is a disaster because there is this pseudoscientific baloney or science. People with titles and academic degrees lead this campaign. They lie. When caught red-handed, they shrug, are not ashamed. There used to be such a thing as a sense of honor. It was obvious. The man who wrote something and it turned out that it was a plagiarism was rejected by the community. No one shook hands with him.
Jan Tomasz Gross and Jedwabne Lie
Speaking about these matters, I will address the matter that should close once and for all any discussions on the greatness of Jan Tomasz Gross as the eminent historian. He is not a historian by training but this is nothing wrong. Many people that deal with history did not graduate in history. I too, I’m not an historian. I had to teach myself. But the achievements of 20 or more books, hundreds of articles, participation in academic conferences, the development of entries and articles for encyclopedias, reference works, this is what I can bring. I can be proud of my knowledge, in a good sense of this word. This is an accomplishment that stands by itself, although formally I am not an historian. I stand on my own record based on how much I researched, how much time I spent in the archives reviewing documents. This is the most important area, the most difficult, daunting.
Well, Jan Tomasz Gross when asked by an American newspaper in New York City as to where he drew his knowledge from, whether he was in the archives, examined witnesses about the Jedwabne events, he replied in a very interesting way. He knows what happened in Jedwabne because he had a revelation. “I have an epiphany,” he said. I had a revelation. Well, if that is the case, then there can’t be any debate.
This is a calling. In the Russian language and in the Russian tradition there were people called “urodivi,” in other words, fools. Such a haunted man arrived in the village, an old man, ragged, but as haunted, he was treated as a holy man. He was allowed everything. In the case of Jedwabne, we have such a haunted man in the world of science. A man who had a revelation does not have to check anything. Does not need to verify. Does not need to read a lot of things. For what? He already knows.
In addition, Jan Tomasz Gross also stated that his book is a scientific book. Why? He also explained. He responded to the journalist this way: “If you take this book, it is easy to see that it is accompanied by footnotes and references.”
That is why this is a scientific book. But if someone is a bit well-read, especially in these matters, he knows that in the communist Poland many books came out in print, in huge volume, speeches for instance by Bolesław Bierut, Wladyslaw Gomulka, Edward Gierek, Wojciech Jaruzelski, and there were many footnotes there. So, we would have to formally treat them that way. Does that mean this is a scientific work? Can we do so? No, because that would be, of course, not true.
How to Establish the Truth about Jedwabne?
How then we can derive knowledge about Jedwabne? I am not talking about already published books. There are already quite a few of them. But where is this elementary source knowledge contained, as with any other cases?
First, there are documents. In the case of Jedwabne we have first of all court cases from the period of communist Poland, from late 1940 ‘s. We also have case files of the Institute of National Remembrance investigation, specifically the decision of Prosecutor Ignatjev from June 30, 2003. (I will get back to it.) We also have reports, various memoirs, both printed as well as those in all kinds of manuscripts, typescripts, in various archives. Without the knowledge of this type of documents we are stuck on getting around blindfolded. Everyone can write whatever he or she wishes, the biggest nonsense, and we are not able to verify anything.
I didn’t mention here one type of documents, and probably no one noticed it. How about German documents? Documents on Jedwabne? In Jedwabne and the vicinity operated Einsatzkommanda, that is, special extermination units. At the time when the Soviet-German war began, these groups followed the frontline and “cleaned”, as they called it, the entire area behind the frontline. These Einsatzkommanda were highly specialized. They had to kill, exterminate. Not a few, not dozens of people, but hundreds or in some places even thousands of people. They did it day after day, at night, at different times of the day. As the frontline was moving eastward, they too moved East. Some of these groups stayed a little longer to “clean” the field, as they called it. Thus far, no one disclosed any such documents pertaining to the operations of Einsatzkommanda in Jedwabne. But these documents exist.
And this is the most upsetting. No Polish historians, or Polish politicians ever demanded, in the appropriate, visible, unambiguous way, that these documents be made available.
Such documents were produced every day, sometimes several times a day. Germans recorded everything. How many bullets they used, how many people participated that day in executions, how many victims there were, what happened to them, whether they ordered the locals to bury the victims, because after all, they did not like to dig. They mostly supervised burying, hiding the bodies, and moved on to the next village. And again the next report: date and place, sometimes hours, from–to, how many victims, and so on. Why is no one looking for these documents?
We know that there was a German officer, Commander of the Einsatzgruppen of Ciechanow, partly composed of local Volksdeutsche – that means [German] people who knew the Polish language and were well informed about Polish affairs. His name was Hermann Schaper. He died very recently. Hermann Schaper was convicted in the late 60 ‘s for his crimes. His guilt was proven before the German courts, something not that simple, and did not happen very often.
Germans did not account for their crimes. But where the Jewish factor was present, where the Jewish witnesses were available, they forcefully pressured the German state to do something about it. Schaper did not get any terrible penalty and did not serve a full prison term. When the Jedwabne story broke out Hermann Schaper was alive, but no one from Poland was looking for him. But a strange thing happened. It was Germany that announced: “We have someone, Hermann Schaper. He was convicted for the Jedwabne crime.”
The Polish prosecutors went to Germany to undertake appropriate steps, to interrogate him, because in order to indict and prosecute someone, charges must be formulated first. So, first he had to be interrogated as a witness to these events, a direct participant. This man was recognized by the Jews, that he was in the Jedwabne area as commander and personally murdered them. He was recognized by the Jewish witnesses in such a way that they were shown dozens of photographs of uniformed officers. This is not such a simple matter. And each time they said: this [one] – Hermann Schaper. Of course, they did not know his name but knew that was him. That’s why he was convicted.
So, it seemed that the work of Polish prosecutors would be short, clear, and would bring some results. He testified very specifically. However, when it came to the Jedwabne case, he hesitated and stated that he was sick. What did the Polish prosecutors do in this situation, when in the Jedwabne case he hesitated and felt ill? They returned to Poland. Subsequently, he lived in good health for many years, but this matter was never finished.
Unanswered Questions – Number of Victims
Therefore, we have Jewish publications in the world, based on Jewish reports. What is most interesting about it is this: There is not a single direct eyewitness to the Jedwabne crime among them. There is not a single Jewish direct witness who was there, who saw, remembered, wrote it down, gave details that are verifiable. There is no one! In these publications, we have 1200 victims, 1600 victims, as well as 3,800 victims. The numbers don’t matter. Everyone can choose at will.
How should such things be verified? If it was 1200 or 1600 or even 3800 victims, such numbers should be compared with the reported Jewish population in this town and surrounding area. How many Jews were there? This area was occupied by the Soviets until the arrival of the Germans June 23, 1941. There was the Soviet administration, Soviet NKVD, Soviet militia, Soviet administration, and they had very accurate registers of the local population, done for several purposes. First of all, the so-called referendum, and later, Soviet elections. They registered everybody. And, of course, they registered nationality: A Pole, Jew, Belarusian. There were also individuals of other nationalities. All this information was recorded shortly before the Germans came. These Soviet documents show that in Jedwabne there were 562 residents of Jewish nationality. So if there were 562 Jews living there, how could 1200, 1600 or 3800 be killed there?
But the number of 562 cannot be equated with the number of victims. Why? Because the Soviets recruited out of this population the local NKVD auxiliary apparatus. There was the Soviet militia there, made up of such citizens. They constituted a part of the Soviet administration. These people, at a time when war broke out, fled the area for obvious reasons. They had good reasons to run away. And besides, as the Soviets were retreating, they took all their loyalists, particularly those employed in their structures. This is one group. We do not know how big this group was. Probably several dozens of people.
The second group consisted of conscripts, recruits, those who must or could join the army. When fleeing, the Soviets tried to take with them as many young people as possible because it’s cannon fodder that needed to be incorporated to the Red Army. They succeeded. Again, this is at least dozens of people. This is more or less the same number, that is, again, dozens of people.
Next, there are those who somehow did not make it on time to leave Jedwabne with the Soviets, or got lost along the way because the Soviets were retreating faster than they could keep up. They were no longer in Jedwabne. They were scattered all over the area. Therefore, on the spot there could remain about 300 persons. These are estimates. We don’t know – 250, 350? But certainly not 560 and certainly not 1200. In this case, the numbers are important, because they reflect on the reliability of the story.
I remember a discussion live in the first program of the Polish Radio in which I took part. I decided to speak up about the numbers and I said: “How can we talk about something if we don’t even have victims properly counted. We talk not about 10, 15, or 20 percent more, but several times more, or ten times more, or in the case of 3,800 -several dozen times more victims. We approach absurdity.” At this point, my microphone was turned off. They shut down my voice.
This is one of these categories of lies. They say 1,200, or 1,600 or 3,800 – that is what Gross does. But we cannot question it because once we begin to bring it down to the proper level – this is anti-Semitism. It is denial of the Holocaust! And this is one of the worst allegations in the world! Even terrorists are not treated as badly as those people who don’t deny it, but want to tell the truth about the Holocaust.
Unanswered Questions – Crime Scene
The next thing: the crime scene. Where these crimes were committed? According to the Jewish testimonies, accounts and stories, there were 2 places. One was a barn – this famous shed, very small, which was roughly the size of this room, and the second place was the Jewish cemetery, where a group of young people, strong, fit (allegedly) the Poles, committed murders with such long knives. Did they have machetes? Apparently so. And they buried people there. Later, attempts were made to search for these remains but no corpses were found there. That was not true!
In the barn, there are two types of graves – not graves but rather places of murder. The first group together with the Rabbi died from bullets in the pit dug inside, previously prepared. The Germans buried them there. The second group, the weaker but more populous, was pushed into the barn. Next the barn was set on fire, and exploded.
This wooden barn with thatched roof did not ignite right away, as pointed out by Professor Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski, Polish historian, scholar, a man who had a high position in the American society, a prisoner of German concentration camps. After the war he remained abroad. As an engineer, technical mind, he started to think: what does it mean “explosion as a result of fire?” Fire means that something burns. But if something explodes, it means that there must be some chemical agent that causes explosion.
Not disclosing the purpose of it, he commissioned with US firemen an expert report, paying for it himself. He described initial conditions by drawing up a barn of such a size, built of such material, and asked a question: What is needed to cause explosion of such a barn? He got the answer – 400 liters of gasoline. Once the barn is properly sprayed with petrol and ignited, then yes! There will be an immediate explosion. That day in the entire Jedwabne there was 7 liters of kerosene according to the accounting records of local shops, kerosene for lamps. After all, not everybody had electricity. Not all. Therefore, with 7 liters of kerosene nothing could have been done.
But the story goes that those “hateful Poles” were such that when this explosion occurred some people tried to run away from the barn, escaping from explosions and fire. Children were escaping as well. What did the Poles do? Children were tied in bunches, stuffed on pitchforks, and with a ladder, from the top, dropped into the fire.
Has anyone ever seen a burning barn, wooden? I saw one in the Kielce region, from very far away because it was impossible to come close to it. The fire fighters did not intervene. They were on the scene but did not intervene at all. They said that in such cases nothing can be done. Cars were located several dozen meters from the fire. An explosion of the straw at a height of several or dozens of meters, from the thatch only, without this type of fuel. This is simply impossible.
But the Poles were unstoppable. They placed ladders against the burning walls, and threw these children, tied in bunches, on the pitchforks, back into the fire. We can say that this is impossible. This is not true. But people, who live in Argentina, Australia, somewhere out there in the United States, do they know what the barn is? What is thatch? What this type of fire looks like? They have no idea. If it is written it means it was that way. The Poles did it.
These are falsified Jewish accounts of various kinds. A few of them are available. From people who were close by, not eyewitnesses but those nearby, who on a regular basis knew what happened, left reports. Some of them were printed in all kinds of Information books, Jewish memoirs.
The Jews have what we don’t have. Meticulously record everything. The quality of it is, in most cases, questionable. There is no emphasis on attention to facts. No one checks accuracy of it. Any person, who relates the story should be scrutinized: You say this – but think about it carefully. Are you sure it was that way, because it is impossible. And this is how we can discern the truth.
There is no verification there. I’ve read such stories that if I had hair it would bristle even now. For example, in the Vilnius ghetto a group of Jews was hiding in the bath. During the pacification of the ghetto by the Germans, this group survived because the Germans did not check the bath. How many people, according to this story, survived by hiding in this bath? 60 thousand! So, what’s now? The affirmation or the questioning of Jewish sources? Do I question the Holocaust, saying that it is absurd, that this is not true? No. We just want to narrow it down to a normal level. But this is impossible.
A person who is the key witness for the Polish prosecution in the first Jedwabne prosecution is Szmul Wasersztajn, a local Jew, 20 some years old, who survived. He was hidden by the Polish people, in a group of 7 Jews, by the Wyrzykowski family, who lived on the outskirts of the town. They dug a shelter near the house, in the field. The shelter was masked. These Jews survived the whole German occupation there. One of them was Szmul Wasersztajn. After the war, his numerous stories were written down based on his recollections.
In each of these stories, which were very different and completely conflicted with each other, he was saying that he was everywhere, saw and knew everything. This must not be denied. A witness to the Holocaust is like a Saint. No one can question the holy man. He already has such power, such authority. But here, in this case not only we can, but we should question it.
Yet another manipulation of this story. There were 7 people hidding there, women and children. A Jewish child was born there. What happened to him? He was killed by those in hiding. What was the reason for it? His crying. There is a problem with a baby. Moreover, it was common that in cases where Jews were hiding, small children were killed. This can be in some way be understood from the perspective of those in hiding. But on the other hand, after all, they could give away such children. But how? Give away the Jew? Apparently it was better to kill him. This information doesn’t appear anywhere except one place, a very specific place. This information was found in the testimony of Mr. Wyrzykowski, the host of the hiding Jews, made for the Jewish Historical Institute. Nowhere else such information can be found.
Szmul Wasersztajn, as I said, presented several stories. Either he wrote them, or they were written down for him. They are at different levels: long, short. Actually, everybody can take from them whatever they want: 1200, 1600 victims. Here you are. And here we have another story that we can use. We can find something for everyone there.
One interesting part of these stories is about the horrible Poles who jammed the cries of raped women and girls, who were being butchered with wooden saws. The Poles were cutting off their heads. It takes half an hour. They sawed, sawed, the victim is screaming, hollering, and all this noise needs to be somehow jammed. How? With music. The Poles played on clarinets to quell all this.
But there were no such instruments there. These instruments could be found in Jewish bands and in Jewish communities. They actually played on the clarinets. The Poles did not have such instruments. The primary reason being that they were too expensive. But in such stories they can assign to the Poles what they themselves played. This is the quality of these testimonies.
One of those stories related by Wasersztajn is short and goes like this: eight Gestapo men were present. The next sentence consists of two words, very simple: “us killed.” The word “us” was changed into “not” or “not killed.” It means that someone later forged this document to clear the Germans of the murders.
So, these stories read like this: Gestapo arrived. It is in itself absurd because Gestapo had about one thousand something men throughout the occupation. This formation was not that large, but the Gestapo was a symbol. You say Gestapo, and it is enough. So this is probably not true, but apparently some Germans came. And now, please listen. “They talked with the Polish authorities of the town.” Polish authorities? There were no Polish authorities since September 1939, but let’s say there is a partner to talk. The Germans explain: “We need the Jews to work. We have war. We need craftsmen to sew, repair uniforms, make and repair shoes. And you have many Jewish craftsmen here. We want them to work.” But the Poles do not agree and say to the alleged or real Gestapo men, if some were there, they say: “No!” We disagree. These Jews all have to be murdered.” The Germans reply: “Well, how is it? Then who will work for us? ” And the Poles reply: “We’ll work for you instead.” Well, Germans throw up their hands helplessly, “do whatever you want” and left. This is what the Jewish stories look like.
Everyone who has a minimal concept of how the German occupation looked in Poland knows how it was. Today, unfortunately, there are very few witnesses who can say what these people went through, but in Poland this knowledge exists. There was no conversation whatsoever with the representatives of the German state. There was no negotiation. No one could oppose them, because the penalty for it was, practically, one – Auschwitz or another death camp, or a shot in the head on the spot, and it was over. You protest? You don’t like? You are the Untermensch, you are the subhuman. I don’t talk with you.” But in Jewish stories the Poles have the power. They can impose their will on the Germans.
In this story Germans respect the Poles under occupation. The Poles have more power than Germans. For the Poles this is obviously false, implausible. But for Americans, for Scandinavians, why not? It is written. And since it is written, it is real. So, it had to be that way.
Witnesses Presented by Jan Tomasz Gross
The next problem. The entire prosecution in the years 1947, 48, when the first case of Jedwabne went before the Polish Court, and later a book by Jan Tomasz Gross, based on testimonies of Jewish witnesses who testified before the prosecutor, to tell what happened. Two key witnesses testified for the prosecution. This was a man called Abram Boruszczak, and another, Elias Simon Gruntowski.
Very interesting stories are associated with them. Abram Boruszczak had never in his life been to Jedwabne! The second witness, Elijah Gruntowski, actually was. He was a resident of Jedwabne, the nephew of the President of the Jewish community there. However, in 1940 he stole from NKVD a gramophone. They played some music outside, in the summer, and the gramophone was somewhere in the window. Cool equipment. He took it and fled. But they caught him and shipped him to Siberia. He returned to Jedwabne only in 1945. So he could not be a witness for the prosecution in the Jedwabne murder from 1941.
And now let us compare their testimony filed in the District Office of Public Security Ministry in Łomża. Gruntowski testified on 19 and 26 of January 1949. Boruszczak testified on 20 and 22 of January 1949. Their testimonies look like this:
In 1941 when the German occupation forces entered the town of Jedwabne, Łomża County, residents of Jedwabne proceeded to murder citizens of Jewish nationality. They wiped out about one and a half thousand people by killing, burning in the barn, and so on.
Gruntowski testified on different days, not at the same time:
In the year 1941 when the German occupation forces entered the town of Jedwabne, residents of Jedwabne proceeded to murder citizens of Jewish nationality. They wiped out about one and a half thousand people by burning in a barn, killing, and so on.
Please tell me what are the differences in these testimonies? Punctuation marks. Witnesses were taught by heart what to say and they said what was needed. One of them was never in Jedwabne, the other one was not in Jedwabne at the time of the crime, because he was in Siberia for thievery.
How could anyone accept this type of testimony as the truth? How can anyone use such testimony in a publication recognized widely in the world as scientific? It is impossible, but it turns out it is possible. This is a source for knowledge about the Holocaust. Such things should not happen but they do. Whatever such a man says it is sacred. It is just like talking ex-Cathedral. When the Pope talks ex-Cathedral on the important matters no one is allowed to question it.
Here is the next problem, to complete these court matters and legal proceedings. […] There was the second investigation carried out later by the Institute of National Remembrance, in the Białystok office of the Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation. This investigation was closed on June 30, 2003. Prosecutor Radoslaw Ignatiev, head of the local office of the Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes […], acting in the case of taking part in the killings of Polish citizens of Jewish nationality on 10 July 1941 at Jedwabne, decided […]
And this is actually the decision that closes discussion, because we all believe it. All the publicists wrote like this: “Well, back then it was People’s Poland under Communism. But now, the inquest by IPN confirmed everything and has shown everything, and the Polish Prosecutor completely confirmed it.”
Who among you saw this decision? Who knows what it actually says? Always go to the source. Examine it. The Prosecutor in this decides to “terminate the investigation because perpetrators of the acts were not found.” And so the case closes. In fact, the prosecutor arbitrarily decided that people convicted in 1948, about 12 people who were then convicted, are to blame.
Therefore, all others are also guilty. But in this order the following phrases are used: “a group of at least…;” “in an undetermined way…,” “in unknown circumstances….” This is not the language that has the right to appear in an order of the Prosecutor. This is vague and imprecise. I can talk that way. You can speak that way. But not the Prosecutor. He must say “yes” or “no”, “I know” or “I don’t know.” If I don’t know, I don’t touch this matter. If he didn’t know he should not say “what if”, “perhaps,” “unidentified,” or “in unknown circumstances” something happened. Don’t do that because this is not evidence in the procedural sense.
The witnesses of this Prosecutor were very interesting as well. A few years before the Jedwabne decision, Teodore Francis Rucinski, who back then, when the Jedwabne murder took place in July of 1941, was 13 or 14 years old, submitted a very comprehensive report. His younger sister, younger by 2-3 years, Mrs. Leokadia, later after her husband Blaszczak, but originally Mrs. Rucinska, also testified before this Prosecutor. They lived very close to the scene of the crime. They were direct eyewitnesses of the conduct of this column of Jews. They testified that there were Germans, that the Jews were expelled from their homes, that they had with them all sorts of bundles because they were supposed to be deported, so they could take with them various things. Anyway, the later attempts of exhumation that were interrupted in an egregious, illegal way, revealed gold, silver coins, jewelry, wedding rings, ornaments of precious metals. All this was found with the bodies. Keys from homes, everyday equipment, some cutlery, this sort of thing. They were convinced that they were going to the ghetto in Łomża. So they were taking such things and Germans allowed them to do so.
These 2 witnesses testified before the prosecutor, but many years later. Please compare. Between 1941 and 2002 or 2003 when these witnesses testified, it’s been a very long time. Between their testimonies are inconsistencies. In details they differ.
I do not know what I did 3 days ago. I would have problem with it. A month ago, 10 years ago, but 50, 60 years ago, as to the details, I’m not able to remember whether I’ve seen something myself or someone talked about it. Really it is difficult but it is verifiable. If there are inconsistencies in the testimonies, the public prosecutor has the responsibility to confront these people and establish the truth, that is a step by step progressing towards the truth. A normal legal procedure. In this case both witnesses had been rejected as unreliable. It was irrelevant that they were present, that they witnessed it directly, if in details they differed.
Instead, Prosecutor Ignatjev relied on the main witness named Stanisław P. who was born in the year 1955, and became the key witness for the prosecution of the Poles for the Jedwabne murder from 1941. In these cases, we should be critical of everything.
Particularly where there are allegations of that gravity, accusing the Polish community of being haters who cut off heads with a wooden saw while playing Clarinets. Why wooden? To suffer longer. It is even written how long it took -half an hour; cutting off the head with a wooden saw. Impressive? Of course. And no one even ponders whether this is possible, whether this is true, virtually no one.
It is the great misfortune that Poland up to the first years of 2000 was giving up materials, documentation, photos, testimony, various reports about German crimes committed on the Jews to the Germans. Poland gave Germany the originals of tens of thousands of documents, if not more. Photos from the pacifications, testimonies of the direct witnesses, not leaving for the Polish side even copies of these documents. All this documentation was transferred from Poland because Germany allegedly better led the investigations. They did not complete any of such investigations, but today the documents are unavailable. Poland cannot use them because they are being reviewed. That is, for so many years Poland neglected essential matters. How could we give the perpetrators the evidence of their crimes? This was going on. Therefore, many documents are missing.
Problems with Exhumations
The next falsehoods relate to the attempted exhumation. It seemed obvious. In any matter where a crime is committed, the basic tasks include the following: determination who the victims are, the number of victims, who are these victims. All this should be established as closely as possible.
If today we can take the mummy of Pharaoh from before a few thousand years and through science determine his last meal, what was it, that two of his teeth had cavities, he had a fractured limb in this place that was put back a bit awry. All these facts forensic scientists are able to determine today. Hence, victims of prior decades can be examined much more easily. This must be done.
The third thing that the prosecutor must do is to determine the culprit. Who committed this crime? Find a motive. In this case, we know more or less the motive. Were any of these tasks done? Yes, but how? In an outrageous way.
The determination of the number of victims was done be by so-called approximation. There were supposed to be 1600, or 3800 of them. In the end, that was incorrect, as evidenced by a study carried out by Professor Andrzej Kola, a Polish forensic expert, the most outstanding expert in this field. He carried out exhumations in Katyn, Kharkov, other places out there in the East, all the time. Never questioned. And in Jedwabne he did the same. As soon as he started, immediately the exhumation was blocked, because things that were completely contrary to the official narrative started to come to light. Whether we take the number of victims, or the cause of death, or the robbery and desecration of the corpses, because all this gold, including gold teeth, all those things were found with the corpses. So nothing corresponded with the official version. Thus the exhumation was discontinued.
The explanation was and still is the same: it is incompatible with the Jewish religion. In the Jewish religion the cemetery cannot be touched and the peace of the dead must be preserved. But first, Poland is not a state where religion governs. This is no Israel. But even in Israel they also dig and move their graves. If for thousands of years there were human settlements there, it’s hard to find a place where it would be such a wilderness, where no human remains would be found. They could not exist, would not be able to build, develop, and so on. They are doing it and it does not bother them.
For Jedwabne a special version was invented that says the Poles are not allowed to exhume bodies. The peace of the dead is important, but it’s not a cemetery. This is a crime scene. In the cemetery we don’t dig. We respect the cemetery under one condition. Unless a crime was committed, and the circumstances of this crime must be explained. Then the peace of the dead is outweighed by the importance to find out the truth, because, after all, we are committed to find out the truth. And here the exhumation was discontinued, under such a pretense.
In Hamburg, on kirkut, the Jewish cemetery, a supermarket was built. Only a plaque states that this place was once a kirkut and that is all. Hence, where values other than spiritual come to play, such obstacles can be overcome. In very many places Jewish cemeteries are either transferred or demolished and nothing happens. Only in one, Jedwabne, it is not allowed, not allowed and that’s it.
We have an individual named Jonathan Daniels, a friend of Poland. We also have a documentary of what he is doing in Poland. He travels with a shovel, digs out some bones, and nothing happens. He shows us that we also can. Who knows why he does it, but there are no consequences. No problem that he digs in Jewish graves. He can. But where the crime was committed, it is forbidden. The interpretation of the Rabbis is such, that not only is it allowed, but it is required to dig and search, if this is a crime scene. There is authorization to dig, but there is no political will. Someone was very keen to stop it.
The exhumation was stopped and discontinued. But based on what has been done, Prof. Andrzej Kola estimated that there were about 150 human remains. This is an estimate, of course, imprecise. And this was done by a professional, a man who at first glance not only explores but also evaluates and knows, because he carried out many such exhumations and conducted a variety of forensic analyses.
This was his first version. The reaction was: “No! Well, it may not be so few. No, Professor,” and bargaining began. Finally, I will not even say on whose request but you can guess, they arbitrarily agreed for 340 people, and later added one more significant word, “at least.” Of course “at least” could also mean 1600. This way we get absolutely nuts. Bodies are not multiplied, the number of people buried there is significantly less. If we take 1600 we have more than 10 times less, with 3800 it is even hard to say how many times less. But this is not the end of the story, because the number of victims itself is not enough.
The Cause of Death
The establishment of the direct cause of death is important in every murder investigation. There are bullets and there are bullet casings at the crime scene. The Polish people were not armed. Therefore, how did this type of weaponry end up in these death pits? Someone had to have such weaponry, someone had to use it. When this information went to the world, the first were the American rabbis, not fully aware of what that meant, it was quickly negated. Later it was interpreted that these were the bullets from the first world war, because the front line went there. But the front line was everywhere. Wherever you go. So it was also argued that the bullets ended up there later, after 1941. But they had the date 1939! Well, they fell there accidentally. The children were playing. You know, the children having fun, wearing, throwing. These hundreds of shells they just threw there. Therefore, they were found there. That is how these types of stories lead to absurdity.
The way these people were killed – by burning in a barn – is not a unique thing, but the Poles are viewed as the authors of this barbarity. Is it specially of Poland? The first burning of the people by Germans on the territory of Poland took place at the beginning of September 1939. The Germans invented and started it. Hundreds maybe thousands of different kinds of structures were burned by the Germans throughout the occupation.
The last such crime, a big one, committed by the Germans, not a small one but one of these biggest ones, although known the least in Poland, is not well known in the world because there were no Jewish victims there, so there is nothing to say. More than 1000 victims, 1016 or 1019, this is the town of Gardelegen between Berlin and Hanover. On April 13, 1945, people who were already released from liberated concentration camps in Germany were going back to their homes in the East – Poland, today’s Belarus, today’s Ukraine, from where they were kidnapped. For safety, they did not go alone but formed larger columns. Most of them were Poles.
In the village of Gardelegen the local community suggested that they rest. “It’s evening, you are tired, we give you water, we bring you food, here you have a huge barn, there is straw and hay, you can sleep. In the morning you will go on.” Friendly Germans, devout, local small community. And what happened? They locked those tormented people in the barn, sprayed it with gasoline and burnt it. No one survived. Just a handful of victims was identified, perhaps a dozen or several dozen people. The rest were not. So, they were burned by the Germans. Any responsibility – almost none. Several Germans were prosecuted, some small prison sentences and that was all. The story, which never became the story, which does not exist, which is of no interest to anybody.
We have a duty to demand from representatives of our state, the truth. If we are guilty of something, let the truth come to light. After all, it’s not we who are guilty, we do not bear responsibility, because there is no guilt by association. But a part of the collective guilt in a moral sense, we will have to take on, but just make sure it is true. Not speculation, not libel, not hateful, disgusting allegations that when we object, when we show that this is not true, then we are immediately accused of antisemitism, of everything the worst of all, because it is forbidden to negate those lies. No, it is not forbidden!
Archives. Soviet archives, the Polish, German archives. This is the enormity of knowledge, but also the enormity of the work that needs to be done, so that we can learn and have elementary knowledge, to be able to discuss all this. But with whom? With whom can we discuss this matter? With Wikipedia, with Gross? He was caught red-handed, on repeated lies, on inability to use sources properly. He relied on a few sources, and where he used them, he showed very low quality as a man with a doctorate. And nothing happened. He has become big, loud, famous. Whereas, when we point out problems, when we show these absurdities – this is taken against us.
In 1947, a Jew from Jedwabne named Całka Migdal Hill, who left Poland in 1937 and settled somewhere in Paraguay or Uruguay, wrote a letter that he had learned that in Jedwabne a crime was committed. It should be examined because his family was there. Caler Kahil is Całka in diminutive, as we say Jozio as short for Jozef. According to Jan Tomasz Gross he was a woman because it sounds that way. Calka sounds like a woman. This is a Jew who does not know, cannot distinguish even Jewish names. But for him, of course, this is not a problem.
The scientific imposter, who does not know the sources, who quotes in one place a fragment of a document, and in the narrative, in the book, when he describes, there is quite something else. If it’s in the same book, we know that he used it. Did he forget, didn’t know, doesn’t know how? This is not how we deal with history. But he, of course, can do that. And his total affirmation of Jewish sources. He believes that once a Jew wrote something, a Jew related the story, now it is on us to negate it, prove that is was not true. He does not need to explain anything, because it is right. But everybody who will attempt to do so, it means it is an attempt to negate the entire Holocaust. The issue has been brought down to the absurd.
We know that at the time when the communist investigations were underway, when these hearings in the Public Security District Office in Łomża took place, they were conducted by Jewish officers, including the chief officer, investigation department, and investigative officers. They were not some Polish peasants. These were activists of a pre-war Communist underground in Poland, or who later came from the USSR. Such people conduct these investigations. We know that during this time from 80 to 100 people had been killed in this Security District Office during interrogations. Why? Simple. You don’t talk, you don’t know, you’ve forgotten, you were not there? Not all were subtle. The argument of force was decisive. Many lives were lost during these interrogations. Maybe not intentionally, they didn’t want to kill. But stronger hits in the right place were fatal for the victims. For one victim it could have been an accident. But for a few dozens of victims in a short period, it’s no longer accidental.
Yet another problem. Professor Pawel Machcewicz, was a former head of the Education Division of Institute of National Remembrance at the time when the Jedwabne documents and reports were issued, in 2002-2003. What’s most interesting? The most important document in the case of Jedwabne was not included in these publications, and to this day cannot be found anywhere in its entirety. It hasn’t been published anywhere. This is a criminal court report prepared by Professor Andrzej Kola, who undertook the first exhumation, then wrote down everything, and all those inconvenient facts came to light. He wrote: Not so many victims, not this type of death. And since there are bullets there, there are bullet casings there, it means that it was not the Poles who were murderers, because the Poles did not have such weapons. This document has not been published anywhere in full! We only know some fragments of it. How did it happen? Why don’t we have a document of this importance, of such significance? It’s not there.
In these documents on Jedwabne there are two types of testimonies: Jewish stories and Polish stories. About Polish stories, Professor Machcewicz writes: “they are characterized by subjective emotions, often contain information overheard, unverified, reflecting the circulatory knowledge, or stereotypical judgments.” Doesn’t matter that they were actually present there, they were eyewitnesses. These are testimonies that are rejected as subjective. Contain overheard stereotypical stories.
The second type of reports, memoirs, these are the Jewish stories. According to Machcewicz “Jewish stories have advantages and disadvantages characteristic of the memoirs. They contain some emotions, otherwise fully justifiable considering the tragedy they have experienced. Most of them are an expression of individual experiences, but some represent common knowledge.” What is such common knowledge worth? Nothing, in the procedural sense, and in clarifying the matter also nothing.
This means that the Polish stories are void but the Jewish stories are absolutely valid even if they were untrue. As I mentioned, there are no Jewish direct eyewitnesses to these events. There is no one! There are only indirect witnesses, people who were close to those events, who later met Jews, who were rescued from this tragedy. It’s not true that they all died. I will come back to this. They later ended up in ghettos or other places of hiding. and told what they saw. After all, those who survived talked about how their loved ones had been destroyed. They talked about the Germans. There is a lot of material from these first Jewish accounts of this event. Germans are there. Later, as the years went by, their stories are doctored to implicate Gentiles, and in the next version, the contemporary one, implicates Polish peasants. But it’s not the peasants who lived in the Jedwabne town, those were townspeople.
Distortion of Holocaust History
Jedwabne was not a village with 200 people but a town with about 3000 inhabitants. Most of them had nothing to do with peasants. But “a Polish peasant” sounds good. A Catholic, traditional, he comes with a Pitchfork, plays the clarinet, and murders Jews. If it is possible to damage history this way, it can be done in every other way, in a way that is incredible.
Speaking of the victims. We have 562 Jews from the Soviet census, a few dozens taken by the Red Army, dozens by police and NKVD, those who served in the Soviet administration and escaped with the Soviets, plus dozens of other people who survived by hiding. That is, out of the 560 there were about 300 Jews in Jedwabne.
What picture is being spread? On July 10, 1941, the murder takes place. The Poles are doing it. Germans are absent. All the Jews are killed. The next day there is no pogrom, no orgies, no lust for killing. Not because there were no more Jews. They were there. From 100 to 200 Jews were hidden by their Polish neighbors, in Polish homes, in hiding places, cellars, storage compartments, somewhere in potato fields and elsewhere. We have their testimonies; we have their accounts. They survived. So, the number of victims drastically falls. It has been untrue from the beginning to the end. What’s happening with these people after such a dreadful slaughter, such a rout as killing children, women, the aged? These people do not escape from Jedwabne, they are not leaving. These people stay; they continue living among the alleged perpetrators of this crime.
They live there for the next several months. There was no ghetto there, there was no wall. No such thing was built there. Germans did not require it. They live like the Poles. No one hurts them.
What does the culprit do, who has such crimes on his conscience? Eliminates witnesses. This is the basis, the first thing to do. He committed a crime, and here is this family, some few people. They later will go after him, they will seek revenge, all will come to light. So, what do they do? They eliminate witnesses. But here, no one from this group was killed. No one was hurt. They survived in the local Polish community, mixing with the Poles. It was only in November 1942, when Germans ordered them to move to a large ghetto in Łomża, or to other places they went, except for those who have not followed.
Pro-Polish Jews Stigmatized as Traitors
What’s characteristic. The President of the pre-war Jewish community in Jedwabne, Israel Grondoski survived, hidden by the Poles. After the war, after 1945, there were in Jedwabne at least several, if not dozens of such people. We don’t really know. No one was checking, no one researched it. We have documents that prove it. We have these witnesses as Israel Grondoski, who later became Jozef Grondowski because on August 19, 1945 he was baptized in gratitude for what the Poles had done for him, for his rescue. So, he was baptized, became a Catholic, lived up to the beginnings of the 70’s in Jedwabne, among alleged murderers.
What do the Jews do to him? He is a traitor! Betrayed religion! Was baptized. They spit at him in the nastiest way. They wrote that on July 10, as the pogrom began, and Jews were murdered, he ran to the rectory and asked the pastor to baptize him. The pastor immediately did it. Then he took a knife and went to kill his next-of-kin, because he was now the Polish Catholic, and not the Jew to be killed. Therefore, he delivered the final stroke to this crime. This kind of story is in the Jewish publications, also in academic publications. Did he do it? How could they do it to him? We think that it is impossible, that you can’t. It turns out that everything is possible.
Alleged Jedwabne Victims Identified Elsewhere
Also, it turned out that those who supposedly perished in Jewabne and were included in all sorts of lists of victims of Jedwabne pogrom, they could be found alive all over the world: in Poland and abroad, in Australia, in the United States. Not many but at least a dozen such names and people from the lists of Jedwabne victims, it turns out they were alive.
What’s more. The Jews included in the list of victims from Jedwabne a man named Guzowski, Lejba. He was a resident of Jedwabne, a citizen of this city, and a Soviet NKVD henchmen who in June 1940 was killed by the Polish underground for persecuting the Poles. He was killed as NKVD tormentor of the Polish people, not as a Jew. But he was a Jew, so it’s a pity to forget such a victim. The Poles must be blamed. The credibility of this case is not in doubt. On June 22, 1940, the obituary for the Soviet NKVD officer was published. It said that “these bastard Polaki shot and killed our officer Lejba Guzowski.” But he is on the list of Jedwabne victims, from July 10, 1941, a year later.
We can quote many other cases like this one. Moshe Adamski. He died in Szczuczyn not in Jedwabne. Lubin, Gronowicz, sent to the ghetto in Łomża. This ghetto was established in August 1941. They died in the ghetto, or elsewhere. Not at the hands of the Poles. Perez Frumoski, who was alive back in the 50 ‘s, but is also on the list of Jedwabne victims. And so on.
We can enumerate at least a dozen of such people, to show the scale of this lie. In the end, what it is – it’s hatred against the Poles. Well, because how can we explain it otherwise? Assigning to us deeds that for obvious formal reasons were impossible. How could we murder someone who died before, or lived later, after this murder? It turns out you can, you can really do anything.
What kind of expectations do we have right now, expectations associated with doing what is absolutely necessary, what we must categorically demand – it is to carry out the exhumations. These expectations are not met.
There is also the background to this case. Mentioned earlier, Jonathan Daniels, the greatest friend of the Polish people, gave an interview to the Lublin press and there was this question that, after all, certain things should be clarified. The exhumations should be carried out in order to determine how it really was. If we are to be guilty, we will have proof that we are guilty, but maybe we are not guilty. This is the obvious method to search for the truth. Besides, it is the requirement of every investigation to carrying out the exhumation. Do you know what he said? “Even if all the 40 million Poles sign the petition, we will never allow for the exhumation.” That means – we forbid you. Why? Fear. But not ours. We are not afraid of it. We want to know the truth.
But they don’t want it. These petitions are circulating. They are necessary. But even if the Polish authorities do not want the exhumations, the investigation still should resume, because it was aborted illegally, and has not been completed. Since 2003, when the investigation was closed, many new things, new evidence came to light. Documents, reports, expert opinions. Moreover, information about those Jews who are on the lists of the victims, but survived, or died previously, or died in other places. So, there must be something more to all this. There are many other elements that should be further explained. For example, the search for German documents. This is basic, it is our duty, duty of the Polish state. This was not done. So, the investigation should be resumed. Even without the exhumation we can find out the truth, we can do something.
If someone tells this story on the basis of Wikipedia, on the basis of these alleged findings, pseudo revelations by Gross – such a person acts against the Polish State. We pay for it in the world with terrible, really terrible opinion. To take off this odium we must determine the basics, we must find out the truth.
As I said, if it is possible to learn from the remains of Pharaoh after thousands of years, why can’t we carry out exhumations in Jedwabne? Because we are not allowed? Why we, as voters have to passively accept this status quo? Do we want to have an impact or do we passively accept this? No, we cannot do anything, we don’t want to do anything about it. That is fine. We will pay $330 billion US dollars then.
The aim is to get the most out of people, as much as possible. Nothing is due? It doesn’t matter, if payment can be made. This is the case of Switzerland. They did not want to, but ultimately paid. Who proved that it was Jewish property? Do you remember the case of the golden train? These myths, legends? Germany exported gold from Poland. The train was hidden and covered up. Some groups went to dig and search for it. Immediately the Jewish delegation came and proclaimed “This is our gold. For sure.” Why? “Well, because only we had gold.”
We have to learn how to navigate this difficult landscape.
– Sir, in the seventies there was a Russian Jew, Jerzy Kosinski-Levinkopf. He wrote a book, this famous Painted Bird. It turned out, not long ago, that he was hidden by a Polish family. This came to light only now. In this book there is his escape, how he ran away from Poland. This work, and I have his other books, this is schizophrenia. Was he the inspiration for such people as, for example, Gross?
– No, the Jews have many such stories. Every once in a while there will be another surprise. Now it is the work of Jan Grabowski, or Barbara Engelking, who said publicly, out loud, and it has been recorded, that the death of a Pole was a biological death, nothing special. But the death of a Jew was a tragedy, something metaphysical. And we have to deal with it. Meaning we are not human beings, merely Gentiles, meaning human cattle. Not cattle, but human cattle.