August 12, 2022
Book Reviews

Holocaust Education Manipulations in Poland

History, Education and Conflict Transformation,

by Charis Psaltis et al.

Article by Michal Bilewicz: “How to Teach About the Holocaust”

Reviewed by Jan Peczkis

My review is limited to the contained article by Michal Bilewicz: “How to Teach About the Holocaust” (pp. 169-197). Bilewicz is a far-left operative in Poland, with ties to the so-called Stefan Batory foundation, which is funded by George Soros. He regularly promotes the left-wing agenda under the guise of such things as “promoting tolerance.”

In this book, the author compares Holocaust education in Germany with that in Poland. He thus implicitly puts Germany and Poland on the same side–against the Jews. Not surprisingly, Bilewicz has not one word to say about the genocide of Poles under the Germans.

THE STAGGERING SCALE OF HOLOCAUST SUPREMACY IN GLOBAL EDUCATION

Bilewicz writes, “The most recent analysis of historical education in 135 nation states (Carrier et al. 2015) showed that in approximately half of these countries, Holocaust is part of teaching curricula–most frequently covered within history curricula, but also in human rights education, ethics, philosophy and general social studies.”  (pp. 169-170). What other genocide gets this kind of attention? Now tell me that there is no such thing as Holocaust supremacism.

USE OF HOLOCAUSTSPEAK

Michal Bilewicz employs the standard Orwellian language, “Therefore, the aim of educating about the Holocaust is not only to provide knowledge about this prototypical genocide…” (p. 170). Notice the rhetoric. No one calls the Armenian genocide or the Ukrainian genocide “prototypical”. Is this racism, or what?

THE ANTI-POLISH AGENDA

Bilewicz repeats the Jedwabne lie as fact. He also makes these revealing comments, “Apart from inappropriate school education and defensive approaches of governments, the failures of Holocaust education could be affected also by psychological processes involved in learning about negative history of one’s national group.” (p. 180).

He adds, “This is why any guilt-inducing Holocaust education might not address its aims in improving current intergroup relations of Poles, Germans or Hungarians with Jews. It might in fact increase antisemitic responses among young people instead of constraining them.” (p. 182).

So Poles must learn their Jewish-specified “negative history” and go through a guilt-inducing experience. But no nation must do the same regarding its crimes against Poles. And Jews, of course, are exempt from learning their own “negative history”, or go through a guilt-inducing experience, by learning all the wrongs that they had done to the goyim. If this is not a double standard, then what is? The only objection that Bilewicz has to guilt-inducing Holocaust education is that it may backfire: Instead of making Poles more Judeocompliant, it might make them more Judeo-independent (read: anti-Semitic).

HOLOCAUST SUPREMACY MANIPULATION: “COMPASSION” AND “EMPATHY”

Bilewicz comments, “Empathy-based approach and moral-exemplars-based approach suggest that student’s attention can be redirected to individualized stories that allow to personalize education about the Holocaust.” (p. 186).

He elaborates, “As an alternative to dominant forms of Holocaust education, we propose three approaches that are not based on national identities, national-level emotions (guilt, shame, pride) and national-level responsibilities. First of them, empathic education, leads to greater focus on victims experiences and generates feelings of regret instead of collective guilt.” (p. 188).

In other words, manipulating emotions is just fine. Two can play this game, and compassion is a two-edged sword. How about some empathy with all the non-Jewish victims of genocide, for a change? What if we would start having empathy with those Poles that lost all their belongings to unscrupulous Jewish usurers? What kind of empathy should we show to the Poles that were murdered by Jewish bands at Koniuchy? And what if we showed some empathy to those Poles that were tortured and murdered, in Communist prisons, by the Jews of the Zydokomuna (Judeo-Bolshevism)?

MORAL EXEMPLARS

Bilewicz writes, “The second, moral-exemplars approach, stresses the diversity of behaviours in times of the Holocaust presenting individual heroism as a counterpoint to the passivity or cruelty of others. Such way of education about the Holocaust allows to overcome essentialist and entitative perceptions of groups.” (p. 188). OK, let’s apply this to Jews. We can talk about the Jews that were loyal to Poland alongside the many other Jews that were not.

THE “FIGHTING ANTISEMITISM” RHETORIC FOR HOLOCAUST EDUCATION

Bilewicz concludes that, “Apart from failures in providing knowledge, Holocaust education was also ineffective in changing attitudes. The results of studies from Poland and Germany presented in this chapter show that current Holocaust education fails to reduce antisemitism and promote tolerance among students. The only measurable effects of such education were as follows: threatened national identities (Germany) and biased perception of the Holocaust history (Poland). Neither of them could be considered a desired outcome of Holocaust education.” (p. 188).

If “fighting antisemitism”, by teaching the Holocaust, is so important, then why is not “fighting anti-Polonism” (not the least of which comes from Jews), by teaching the Polokaust, equally important? To ask this question is to answer it.

THE PRETENCE OF PROMOTING TOLERANCE

And what’s this sham about “promoting tolerance”? How does putting the Jews’ Holocaust on a pedestal, in such transparently racist fashion, to the marginalization of all the genocides of non-Jews, a means of “promoting tolerance”? How does the Jedwabne lie “promote tolerance?” And how is the classroom-used MAUS, with its bigoted portrayal of Poles as well-fed pigs under the German occupation, a means of “promoting tolerance”?

USING THE RHETORIC OF INCLUSION FOR HOLOCAUST SUPREMACY

Bilewicz writes, “The third approach, based on local identities, aims to include the victims into the common local identity, and to acknowledge the losses in the local Jewish population.” (p. 188).

Let the Jews practice what they preach. Let them drop Holocaust supremacism, and include the Poles as co-equal victims of the Nazis, in Jewish thinking and Jewish policies. Now THAT would be the day.

“IMPROVING THE WORLD”: STALE RATIONALE FOR HOLOCAUST EDUCATION

Bilewicz makes the following trite statement, “Holocaust education is often considered not only a part of historical education, but also an important experience that could prevent future crimes, cruelty and conflicts.” (p. 188).

So only teaching about the Jews’ Holocaust can “prevent future crimes, cruelty, and conflicts”, believes the author. What nonsense! Let’s equally teach ALL genocides in order to “prevent future crimes, cruelty, and conflicts.” Will this ever happen? I doubt it.

Holocaust Education Inequities: Manipulations and Rhetorical Devices for Promoting Holocaust Supremacy. Bilewicz

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