Sunday, June 26, 2016

No More Polish Vermin


The Guardian June 26, 2016

"Racist incidents feared to be linked to Brexit result"


"People have been reporting incidents of racism believed to be fuelled by the result of the EU referendum, including alleged racist graffiti and cards reading “no more Polish vermin” posted through letterboxes.

Suspected racist graffiti was found on the front entrance of the Polish Social and Cultural Association (POSK) in Hammersmith, west London, early on Sunday morning.

The Metropolitan police confirmed they had been called to the cultural centre on Sunday morning and were pursuing inquiries related to “allegedly racially motivated criminal damage”."


Thanks to the author of With Blood and Scars for this article.

Friday, June 24, 2016

John Guzlowski "Echoes of Tattered Tongues" on the Leonard Lopate Show

Buy Echoes of Tattered Tongues at Amazon here

On Monday, June 20, 2016, Poet John Z Guzlowski appeared on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show. This is a big deal. Lopate is a serious and well-informed interviewer. 

I've been listening to the show for years. I don't think I've ever heard anyone present the Polish side of things on the show. I'm not saying it hasn't happened; I'm saying I've never heard it, and I am a regular listener. 

That John Z Guzlowski was able to appear on the show and present our story in poetic form is a big deal. A very big deal.

I was fascinated by Lopate's first two questions. I'm not sure they were really his first two questions; they are the first two that struck me. 

My paraphrase: "But but your parents were Polish Catholics. How did they end up in a Nazi concentration camp?" 

Really. Really. This very well educated man had to ask that. 

Second question. "How was the treatment of your parents different from the treatment of Jews?" 

Really. Really. John's parents, like many Polish Catholics during WW II, lived through hell. 

And that ... is somehow ... in and of itself ... not worthy of what ... not worthy of attention. 

The rape, murder, torture, dismemberment, enslavement, dispossession, concentration camp internment -- somehow not significant. Somehow must be seen *in comparison to* another story. 

No one would interview a Jewish poet writing about his father's experience of Buchenwald by first asking, "How did your parent's suffering compare to Gentile suffering?" 

Look -- we all know that the Holocaust deserves special attention. 

But if you are a talk show host and your guest is poet John Z Guzlowski, perhaps show some attention, upfront, to what his parents went through. And don't belittle him, his work, or his parents by putting them in the shadow. 

Let them tell you their story. 

Listen to John Z Guzlowski read from Echoes of Tattered Tongues here

Bieganski Lives on "Adult Swim"

I just stumbled across Bieganski in a Google search.

I was searching "fictional character New Jersey Polish" to see what Polish fictional characters from New Jersey I could find.

And I found Bieganski.

Carl Brutananadilewski epitomizes Bieganski.

Here's what Wikipedia says about Carl Brutananadilewski

"Carl Brutananadilewski is a fictional character on the Adult Swim animated television series Aqua Teen Hunger Force (also known by various alternative titles) and the online series Carl's Stone Cold Lock of the Century of the Week. Carl is a short-tempered, vulgar, tacky, ignorant and sarcastic man … He is often the victim of the villainous plots … he used to work at a Styrofoam peanut factory

Carl studied 'elevator repair,' and in another episode he is seen trying to sell cheap counterfeit clothing made by Chinese immigrants … Carl's expenses are divided between Chinese food, beer and strippers … 'I don't know if I believe in God, but I think he must hate me. Because he allowed you to create a dog that constantly rapes me!' Carl has also stated that he was Catholic.

Carl is the son of a cruel father who worked in a carpet factory, and made him work there as a child, even on Christmas. His father was also the former star of a series of amateur porn videos on VHS that Carl owns and treasures. Carl's mother lives at a VA Hospital, and occasionally asks him for very small amounts of money such as $10 for food, which Carl immediately dismisses. Carl sometimes loses tolerance when she asks him for favors, but has been shown on occasions that he genuinely loves her.

Carl has a cousin named Terry, an illegal plastic surgeon … he and Master Shake were both briefly married to a mail-order bride from Chechnya named Svetlana, who quickly runs off after the marriage. In 'Big Bro' he accidentally impregnates a woman named Darlene, and later fakes his own death to avoid responsibility, leaving Frylock to raise his illegitimate son"

Wake up, Polonia. In the 2000s, American creative youth created this vulgar, stupid, ugly character, and gave him their idea of a stereotypical "Polish" sounding name. And, yes, those ideas are part of the cultural baggage of all living in the West. And, yes, the Bieganski stereotype does play a role in how the West understands you and your history.

Read "Bieganski" Organize. And change this.

Addendum: Lyle S Henretty wrote in response to this post, " I told the jokes and laughed at them, and then found myself surprised when I heard that Polish scientists had made a scientific breakthrough. The jokes had worked on me, and I hadn't known I was capable of that kind of ugly prejudice. It was a shock, and I didn't like myself very much."

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Proposal: Museum to the Victims of Jihad.

No Polish content. Some Jewish content. We say "Never again." Why?

Proposal: The Museum of the Victims of Jihad

This piece appeared at FrontPage Magazine here

Museums play a key role in defining societies and establishing priorities. Dorothy's ruby slippers and the Wright Brothers' plane at the Smithsonian, the Museum of Natural History's life-size blue whale, the Uffizi Gallery's David, Amsterdam's Anne Frank House, the Israeli Shrine of the Book's Dead Sea Scrolls: all exemplify the essential work museums perform.

There was a time when people weren't sure how to name or recount what has come to be called the Holocaust. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum does the hard work of curating a nightmarish tale that must be told. Hitler asked, "Who speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" In 2005, Nobel Prize laureate Orhan Pamuk mentioned the Armenian Genocide in an interview. Turkey prosecuted Pamuk for "insulting Turkishness" and he had to flee his homeland. Institutions like the USHMM guard against such revisionism.

Museum exhibits receive the tender care a religious society extends to objects of veneration. Artifacts might be sealed in nitrogen chambers and handled only with gloved hands. Lights are lowered and visitors speak in hushed tones; thus, artifacts are accorded all but eternal life. This veneration highlights museums' duty to prioritize. For whom do we shed tears? What detail must never be eliminated from the canonical history? Museums influence and reflect policy, spending, and curricula.

Exactly because museums are so powerful, controversy surrounds them. Conflict over the treatment of Native Americans in museums has been fought in the courts. The 9/11 Memorial Museum has been criticized for its admission fee, its architecture, its inclusion of the Ground Zero Cross, and its treatment of Islam.

The twenty-first century needs a Museum of the Victims of Jihad. Jihad is a major force in world history, affecting everything from desertification to international trade routes, for example Christopher Columbus' discovery of America.  

Koran 9:5 and hadith of Bukhari 1:24 are just two of the verses that stipulate that Muslims are to fight non-Muslims until they become Muslim. Muslims, citing these texts, have been killing non-Muslims for 1400 years. Motivations such as greed, bloodlust, jealousy, tribalism, territorial expansion, revenge, hunger, and dynastic disputes have long sparked war. There is, though, perhaps no other written texts that have for so long and so unambiguously instigated murder. Soldiers in war killed for Nazism, for example, for a mere six years.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

72 Polish Catholic Women Tortured in Ravensbruck. Their Story: Lilac Girls

"Carolina Ferriday, far right, arranged for 35 of the tortured women to come to the States for physical and mental rehabilitation. She celebrated Christmas with some of them in her Connecticut home in 1958." Source
"German doctor Herta Oberhauser, who was desperate to be a surgeon and performed many of the brutal experiments. She was eventually sentenced to 20 years in the Nuremberg Doctors’ Trial, but only served five." Source
Available at Amazon here

From the New York Post:

"The Polish woman had returned to Ravensbrück, 70 years after she had last seen the place. This time, she was in a wheelchair, strolled around by an attentive volunteer who called her his “auntie” and wore a Polish flag scarf with her concentration camp number emblazoned on it. They would stop periodically to take selfies with some of the young people who had gathered to celebrate the anniversary of the liberation of the camp.

Stanislawa “Stasha” Sledziejowska-Osiczko was one of the lucky ones. She had made it home.

Stasha was a member of the Ravensbrück rabbits, 72 Polish Catholic female prisoners who were subjected to a series of inhumane medical experiments by Nazi doctors at World War II’s only all-female concentration camp. The group’s name came from their treatment as medical lab rabbits — and also, because the cruel experiments often left them with injuries and deformities that meant hopping was the only way they could get around.

Their story has never been widely told, but now, a new novel called “Lilac Girls” by Martha Hall Kelly, describes their incredible journey, which spanned from the concentration camp to the United States, where a well-known philanthropist and socialite named Caroline Ferriday would help them recover from their horrific injuries. Her circumstances could not have been more different than that of the Ravensbrück prisoners — and yet she became one of their biggest defenders during a time when the reality of concentration camps seemed very distant to most Americans …"

Read more at the New York Post

Friday, May 6, 2016

Bieganski Lives in Rabbi Zev Friedman's Protest at the Polish Consulate

"Some 200 demonstrators outside the Polish consulate in New York protested what they termed 'attempts to deny Polish war crimes during the Holocaust.'"

The rally was organized by Rabbi Zev Friedman, the dean of a suburban New York high school, in response to the interrogation last month of a Polish Jewish scholar, Jan Gross, by prosecutors concerning statements he made implicating Poles in the persecution of the country’s Jews during and after World War II..."


And of course Polish Americans are SHOCKED SHOCKED SHOCKED that someone is saying something bad and untrue about Poland!!! Who would do that? Why? What can we do?

And then they pull the covers over their heads and fall asleep until the next incident. 

Read Bieganski. Discover what this stereotype is and why it exists. 

Then read The Crisis in Polonian Leadership, Organization, and Vision. And discover what you can do to change things. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Poland Warns about the Holocaust. Another Heartbreaking Historical Document.

General Władysław Eugeniusz Sikorski and Winston Churchill
Migration Museum Project
Michal Karski writes:

"The Polish wartime government in exile has recently come in for the kind of attack which was common currency in the days when Stalin was doing his utmost to discredit the Poles, in other words, it is being described as essentially a clique of reactionaries and anti-Semites. A British historian who shall remain nameless - (I don’t particularly want to publicize the book he is promoting for him) - has chosen to paint General Sikorski and co in the most negative colours in a few British publications.

"Critics might like to note that this same Polish government was responsible for trying to bring to the attention of the world the plight of Polish Jews and others from all parts of Europe. A booklet was issued and publicized in which Nazi atrocities taking place on Polish soil were described. The date of publication is notable since the information was made public far earlier than is commonly supposed in the Western World: December 1942. Why was so little done in response?  Perhaps the historians who are so quick to criticise the Polish government might like to offer some explanations of their own."

Michal is too courteous to name the offending publication that is slandering General Sikorski, but it is The Scotsman. Its slanders, AFAIK, have not made an impression outside of the UK; if I am wrong, please correct me.

If you want to read The Scotsman's slanders, or if you want to read attempts to correct them, you can read more here and here.

And of course you should read "Bieganski," here.

Below please find the historical document Michal refers to, above. This is just one of many attempts by Poles to alert the Allies to what was transpiring in Poland.

Click on the image for a larger version, or view the document on the web here. Thanks to Otto for help with this blog.