Monday, July 16, 2012

May the Poles Burn


I just read this in a facebook post.

I want to repost it, because it is such a succinct summary of one understanding of the Bieganski stereotype. Here it is:

***

"My father, who lost his entire family in Poland, told me: 'For a thousand years we lived there -- and still they turned us in. May they all burn.'

Racial policies against Jews were in place years before the German occupation. Limits on Jewish life was not a German invention. The Germans picked Poland for the location of the death camps because they knew that country was a fertile ground for Jew hatred.

What I find the most loathsome is the Polish idea of their own victimhood. OMG, at least hide your head in shame and shut up, hoping no one will notice.

And, incidentally, how do you explain the pogroms against Jews AFTER the poor muselmen came back from the ovens to their home towns? Who forced those on your poor Poles?"

***

My answer to this gentleman's concerns can be found in "Bieganski."

I think everything said here is important and needs to be addressed. I attempt to address it in the book. Perhaps this gentleman will read it and report back how confronting another point of view has affected his conclusion that all Poles should burn.



A follow up added after the author of the above post responded in the comments section, below:



Yori, I'm fascinated by your initial post because it is so short and yet it sums up so very much of the Bieganski stereotype. My book addresses your every point, and I hope you read it.

What you say, Yori, MANY people say, and believe. Not just Jews. Regular readers of this blog know that I have reproduced material even from Catholic publications that support these anti-Polish views. I have met college professors and average Americans who are not Jewish who are 100% invested in the very view you express here.

The Bieganski stereotype is very powerful and very widespread and I hope Polonia will join me in combatting it.

What I understand as your points, in sum, is below. Obviously this is my paraphrase of your main points:

***

Poles are essentially guilty of unspeakable atrocities and therefore they deserve our hate and they deserve to suffer.

We are righteous to hate them and to wish Poles ill.

I can say this because I am a victim of Poles' hate. My suffering justifies my position.

There was a teleological inevitability of the Holocaust. Even with a thousand years of history, it was inevitable that Poles would kill off all the Jews.

Poles are so essentially guilty that any according of sympathy to them for their suffering is itself an obscenity. Poles must be denied victim status at all costs.

Poles are so very bad that they are the only nation on earth that killed Jews after the Holocaust.

***

Indeed, every one of these powerful assertions is debated head-on in "Bieganski." I hope you will read it and get back to the blog and tell us what you think.

***

Yori, thank you for following up with a post in the comments section.

You and I have a lot in common.

You are deeply invested in your Jewish ancestry.

I am deeply invested in my Polish and Slovak ancestry, and my Catholic faith.

You have a grudge against Poles.

As regular readers of this blog know, I have a grudge against Germans. If I had had the power, after World War II, I would have used nuclear weapons against Germany. I would not have done that out of any just or strategic reason. I would have done that out of hatred of Germans and Germany.

Otto, a contributor to this blog, slightly nudged my mind on my hatred of Germans, in his blog post "Ripples of Sin."

I know what it is to feel what you feel, Yori.

Yori, you wrote, "My hatred is not based on stereotypes."

I will politely disagree.

Yori, you wrote, "All I have is a black hole where my family used to be." Please accept my human condolences for your human sorrow. We are both human and we both know what it is to grieve and we both know what it is to care and we both know what it is to make amends and to work for a better future. We can do all these together, both as individuals and as peoples.

Yori, you wrote: "I pray for a fire that will start at the Ural Mountains and sweep across the plains and burn down your cursed Europe where our Jewish shadows are roaming in the night air."

I can certainly understand that righteous anger.

I will say, though, that as I read these words, I feel concern for your eternal soul.

God did say, in Deuteronomy, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay."

We are not God. It is not ours to avenge in the manner you recommend.

It is ours to understand, and to seek forgiveness where possible, and to find humanity in our fellow humans.

42 comments:

  1. Sick as he neglects to see the war taking place and the Polish killed by not just Nazi or Soviets but Jewish military and/or police. My family were not drinking tea in Warsaw and cheering on the Nazi. They were killed in Katyn, sent to Siberia and fighting for a free Poland with "Poland Home Army". So he'll have to excuse them for being to busy fighting and dying only to loose a country they loved.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I just read the synopsis of your book and i understand your position and your mission. Alas, I did not grow up in the U.S. and I am familiar with Polish history and culture. My hatred is not based on stereotypes. I'm well aware of Polish contributions in the world of art, science, philosophy, diplomacy. I translated into English recently a book about two gentile Polish women who saved the baby daughter of their Jewish friend who had herself perished in the ghetto.

    My sense of betrayal, which I inherited from my father, is not born by ignorance but by full knowledge. What your parents and grandparents have dome to mine was not a fantasy. It was murder. Cowardly. Loathsome.Dark. And unlike many Germans, you've never repented. In your narrative you are the helpless virgins, sheer victims, too fragile and timid to be of help.

    But you served the Nazi boot, you guarded the death camps, you turned in those of us who could "pass" with a little luck. You were vicious and voracious.

    Where is my grandparents' home in Brzeziny? One of you is living in it, no doubt, right where my father and his family used to spend their meals and sleep time, holidays and weekdays.

    Where is our store? One of you owns it today.

    No doubt you have mountains of reasons and explanations and excuses and perspectives with which you explain away the fact that you descend from cowardly snitches. All I have is a black hole where my family used to be.

    And so I pray for a fire that will start at the Ural Mountains and sweep across the plains and burn down your cursed Europe where our Jewish shadows are roaming in the night air. We are only ghosts, but you will never be rid of us. You'll turn around and there we will still be, with our striped pajamas, skeletal, brittle, almost dust...

    Put that in your book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Yori. I added this to the blog entry:


      Yori, I'm fascinated by your initial post because it is so short and yet it sums up so very much of the Bieganski stereotype. My book addresses your every point, and I hope you read it.

      What you say, Yori, MANY people say, and believe. Not just Jews. Regular readers of this blog know that I have reproduced material even from Catholic publications that support these anti-Polish views. I have met college professors and average Americans who are not Jewish who are 100% invested in the very view you express here.

      The Bieganski stereotype is very powerful and very widespread and I hope Polonia will join me in combatting it.

      What I understand as your points, in sum, is below. Obviously this is my paraphrase of your main points:

      ***

      Poles are essentially guilty of unspeakable atrocities and therefore they deserve our hate and they deserve to suffer.

      We are righteous to hate them and to wish Poles ill.

      I can say this because I am a victim of Poles' hate. My suffering justifies my position.

      There was a teleological inevitability of the Holocaust. Even with a thousand years of history, it was inevitable that Poles would kill off all the Jews.

      Poles are so essentially guilty that any according of sympathy to them for their suffering is itself an obscenity. Poles must be denied victim status at all costs.

      Poles are so very bad that they are the only nation on earth that killed Jews after the Holocaust.

      ***

      Indeed, every one of these powerful assertions is debated head-on in "Bieganski." I hope you will read it and get back to the blog and tell us what you think.

      ***

      Yori, thank you for following up with a post in the comments section.

      You and I have a lot in common.

      You are deeply invested in your Jewish ancestry.

      I am deeply invested in my Polish and Slovak ancestry, and my Catholic faith.

      You have a grudge against Poles.

      As regular readers of this blog know, I have a grudge against Germans. If I had had the power, after World War II, I would have used nuclear weapons against Germany. I would not have done that out of any just or strategic reason. I would have done that out of hatred of Germans and Germany.

      Otto, a contributor to this blog, slightly nudged my mind on my hatred of Germans, in his blog post "Ripples of Sin."

      I know what it is to feel what you feel, Yori.

      Yori, you wrote, "My hatred is not based on stereotypes."

      I will politely disagree.

      Yori, you wrote, "All I have is a black hole where my family used to be." Please accept my human condolences for your human sorrow. We are both human and we both know what it is to grieve and we both know what it is to care and we both know what it is to make amends and to work for a better future. We can do all these together, both as individuals and as peoples.

      Yori, you wrote: "I pray for a fire that will start at the Ural Mountains and sweep across the plains and burn down your cursed Europe where our Jewish shadows are roaming in the night air."

      I can certainly understand that righteous anger.

      I will say, though, that as I read these words, I feel concern for your eternal soul.

      God did say, in Deuteronomy, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay."

      We are not God. It is not ours to avenge in the manner you recommend.

      It is ours to understand, and to seek forgiveness where possible, and to find humanity in our fellow humans.

      Delete
    2. Brian Koralewski (Brian Lewski)July 16, 2012 at 6:27 PM

      Yori forgets that it was Poland who was tolerant enough to open its borders and allow peoples of all races and religions to live in relative peace for nearly 1000 years, including the Jews.

      "And so I pray for a fire that will start at the Ural Mountains and sweep across the plains and burn down your cursed Europe where our Jewish shadows are roaming in the night air. We are only ghosts, but you will never be rid of us. You'll turn around and there we will still be, with our striped pajamas, skeletal, brittle, almost dust..."

      A most Polonophobic statement. Were one to say it about Israel, one would be labeled an "anti-Semite." Shame on you and your blatant bigotry.

      Delete
    3. Yori writes that he is "familiar" with Polish history. What does "familiar" imply? That he knows bits and pieces?

      His entire comment is a mixture of non-facutal statements and anti-Polish bigotry.

      Who were those Poles guarding the Death camps? I want names, places and numbers, and sources.

      How many Poles turned Jews in? I want names, places, dates, and numbers, and of course, sources.

      And I ask you, what do YOU know about Jewish complicity in the betrayals of Poles in Polands former Eastern Lands after the Soviet invasion in september 1939? What do you know about murders of Poles by Polish Jews who joined the Soviet milita or NKVD?

      What do you know about Polish-Jewish Gestapo agents and spies in the Generalgouvernement? How many hidden Jews did these Jewish turn in?

      What do you know about the role played by the Jewish Ordnungsdienst in the deportation of Jews to the death camps?

      What do you know about the trials against Jewish nazi-collaborators in post-War Poland?

      What do you know about the fact that Polish Jews denounced anti-communist catholic Poles to the communist secret service in 1944-47.

      Delete
  3. Peter RechniewskiJuly 16, 2012 at 10:02 AM

    Where is this post, Danusha? You can email me privately on FB.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Peter. It appeared in my facebook feed. Roman Solecki responded to it. That's how it got there.

      Delete
  4. Hello Yuri, Danusha, Peter and all, I too have a black hole where a swathe of my family used to be. They disappeared from history the day that the Red Army arrived in their small town. My family owned a tiny wooden house with a little bit of land - very valuable to them as they could grow food on it. But they were Poles, and the ones that survived were "ethnically cleansed". Russians live there now. Should I hate all Russians and wish some terrible harm on them?

    I am happy to say I don't. They had a terrible time too.

    This is extracted from my review of Dr.Goska's Bieganski:
    "...she includes this quote from Bismarck, Chancellor of Germany (1871-1890), who said: "Personally, I can sympathise with (the Poles) position, but if we want to exist, we cannot do other than extirpate them. A wolf is not to blame that God made him as he is; which does not mean we shouldn't shoot him to death whenever possible."

    Those words bore terrible fruitage in the next century, when, by 1939, any vestiges of sympathy or fellow feeling were to be banished. "On August 22, 1939, on the invasion of Poland, Hitler gave explicit permission to his commanders to kill "without pity or mercy, men, women, and children of Polish descent or language"". (Wikipedia)"

    And it wasn't for lack of trying that he didn't succeed. Should I hate all Germans because of that, and wish something terrible to happen to them?

    I am so glad I don't. They too had an awful time - and I would hope that the terrible revenge taken on German civilians after WW2 would be a powerful warning not to take revenge.

    The truth about WW2 is that both sides did terrible, ungodly things.

    My dear aged parents bought me up in harmony with this command of the God of Abraham, who has taught us that love "does not keep account of the injury". For which I am very grateful, as I would have a lot of injuries to keep count of, if I wanted to.

    And there is a further one, in that the Official history of WW2 is now being spun so much that it seems the Evil Axis Powers will soon become Poland, Poland and Poland. And that within living memory of the events.

    However, I have every faith in the true God, the God of Abraham. He has told us that vengeance belongs to Him, that He will repay. And I know He will sort things out in the right way, in the right time, and with loving-kindness. And then, when Paradise is restored I hope He will remember my aged parents, wake them from the sleep of death and that they will live again. And I hope that all those who died in the horrors of WW2 and its aftermath will live again.

    So many of them died so young. There was some memorialising of the Battle of Britain recently, and I thought how young those pilots were, fighting in the sky, in their precarious machines.

    I hope the God of Abraham will remember them all and call them from the sleep of death, and they will wake up in the restored earthly Paradise, where we will "study war no more".

    By the way, re the fire and the Ural mountains burning up all us horrible Europeans... I can only say: crumbs! - and, more importantly, do you know the prophecy in the Book of Daniel - at Daniel 2:44? Only it says that: “...in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite;"

    The incoming Kingdom of God, whose coming we pray for when we say The Lord's Prayer, will put an end to all the kingdoms of men. It will end the time on the earth when "man has dominated man to his injury".

    Can't we trust that promise? Have any of God's promises failed to come true?

    Jehovah is the God of all comfort - and His word shines like a saving beacon - a light shining in a very dark world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The chosen should always be spared the difficulties of what the rest have to pay for in blood and/or sweat. We are so special, just ask us. we've written about about it even, a best seller. Welcome to the real world, Nemo.

      Nemo

      Delete
    2. Those words bore terrible fruitage in the next century, when, by 1939, any vestiges of sympathy or fellow feeling were to be banished. "On August 22, 1939, on the invasion of Poland, Hitler gave explicit permission to his commanders to kill "without pity or mercy, men, women, and children of Polish descent or language"". (Wikipedia)"

      Yeah, think I saw this recently on The Battle of Russia". GREAT reprisal photos, but not 1300/13

      Nemo

      Delete
  5. Sue, thank you for rejecting hate and vengeance and counseling love and forgiveness, and thank you for sharing about your own family.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for giving me the opportunity Danusha. As a Pole/Polonian, God knows I have plenty of hurts and betrayals I could be nourishing, but I don't think I am. I know that Jehovah's way is always for the best. And, as you say above, God has told us that if any vengeance is necessary, He will deal with it. We can safely leave it to Him.

    And re that fire that Yori is hoping is going to come surging over the Ural mountains and burn me up, I can only say that has made me rather grateful for the rain! You won't get me complaining about our bad summer from now on. It has to get across the English Channel too which is looking especially wet today (hurray).

    ReplyDelete
  7. "I translated into English recently a book about two gentile Polish women who saved the baby daughter of their Jewish friend who had herself perished in the ghetto ... No doubt you have mountains of reasons and explanations and excuses and perspectives with which you explain away the fact that you descend from cowardly snitches"

    ReplyDelete
  8. When I hear such responses, I ask which of my Polish and Polish American relatives should I apologize for: those who fought with the American army, those who were imprisoned or killed by the Nazis or the Soviets (when they were allied with the Nazis), those who were imprisoned by the Soviets and later fought with the British, those who fought the Nazis in the Polish underground (many of whom paid with their lives, some of whom were burnt to death by the Nazis) or those who were honored by Yad Vashem. More Poles were honored by Yad Vashem than people of any other country, despite the penalty of death for the entire family of the rescuer.

    ReplyDelete
  9. In the end, please answer this:

    Moshe Yanover owned a three-story residential building with rental apartments on Novolipya Street in Warsaw. Chanina Yanover owned a large home and a department store in Brzeziny, outside Lodz. The overall value of these properties probably reach several million dollars.

    Even if we disregard all the collaboration and the moral failure, I, their living heir, am entitled to receive the stolen property. But your government, using your victimhood policy, offers no avenue to apply for reparations.

    This is where the deceitful and the practical meet.

    Discus amongst yourselves...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mr Yanover,

      I believe that you are wrong.

      The Republic of Poland is a rule of law country where the exercise of judicial power belongs to courts and tribunals and not to "the government" that you refer to.

      If your family's real estate in Warszawa and Łódź was stolen, I would wholeheartedly encourage you to file a suit in a Polish law court. I assure you that thousands of plaintiffs benefit from this procedure every year.

      It may do more good than praying for a genocide ("I pray for a fire that will start at the Ural Mountains and sweep across the plains and burn down your cursed Europe").

      Delete
    2. Brian Koralewski (Brian Lewski)July 17, 2012 at 7:41 AM

      "But your government, using your victimhood policy, offers no avenue to apply for reparations."

      - You must seek reparations from the Germans or Russians, NOT the Poles who were victims of both regimes.

      Delete
    3. I agree with Mr Koralewski that the idea that the Republic of Poland, the victim of the German Nazi invasion in 1939, should pay reparations (to whom? to herself?) is absurd. This being said, the Republic of Poland provides for the rule of law. If Mr Yanover's real property in the Republic of Poland was stolen, he should file a law suit in a Polish law court.

      If your family's real estate was truly stolen, Mr Yanover, it was not stolen by "the Poles" (I, for one, do not claim to own any real estate in Warszawa or Łódź) but by individuals. Bringing them to justice within the legal framework provided for by the Republic of Poland makes more sense than moaning about and wishing death on all Polish people. Wouldn't you agree, Mr Yanover?

      Delete
    4. Peter RechniewskiJuly 17, 2012 at 9:13 AM

      Actually the situation is much more complex. If Yori's family's apartment buildings survived the war intact he is entitled to claim for them in the courts. It's his responsibility to make these claims and if he hasn't done so he has no reason to complain. If the buildings didn't survive intact and were either destroyed or badly damaged and rebuilt by the Polish state with taxpayers money after the war the situation is different.

      There are many people of of Jewish descent who are making claims in Poland for family property. I know several of them and have translated letters for some of them. The process is slow for Jews and non-Jews alike.

      Delete
    5. I quite agree. Legal proceedings, once initiated, may be long and complex on procedural and evidentiary grounds.

      It is true that a fair share of buildings did not survive the Second World War. Most Polish buildings were constructed or scrupulously reconstructed after the war.

      Warsaw was, for most intents and purposes, razed to the ground (http://digitaljournal.com/image/75197). Here is what Warsaw looked like in 1945 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrlE99I_Q9A&feature=endscreen&NR=1) according to the Warsaw Rising Museum (http://www.1944.pl/en).

      Mr Yanover argues that his family owned "a three-story residential building with rental apartments on Novolipya Street in Warsaw". I am not familiar with the Novolipya Street, but the Nowolipie Street was part of the Warsaw Ghetto. This is what it looked like in 1945 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Warsaw_Ghetto_destroyed_by_German_forces,_1945.jpg).

      Would you care to comment, Mr Yanover? Or at least let us know that you've read it?

      Delete
    6. Mr. Yanover,
      Most likely You are a rightful owner of one brick standing on an empty parcel. What can I say, there was something called "war" here in Poland. Maybe Your daddy didin't tell You that. If I were You I wouldn't count on "several million dollars" from the Polish state.
      And that thing about Jews who could "pass" always makes me smile. Simply "passing" wasn't enought. Without shelter, food, and clothes, Jews were as good as dead. Germans, hunger, winter. Forget about manna from haven. If a Jew survived in occupied Poland it wasn't thanks to his "Rambo" skills. It was thanks to Poles. Poor, uneducated, catholic Poles. Unarmed peasants who are blamed for not stoping the Germans. Germans with cannons, tanks, flamethrowers and machine guns. Several powerful armies couldn't stop the Wehrmacht. And yet some guy from distant America expects that civilians could have stopped them. (Yes, that was about You, Mr. Jacob Flaws. You fool.)
      From what I've understood Yanover family was rather well-off. And things changed after German army came. Foreign army. And they herded Jews in the getto. And poor Jews did nothing. They didn't resist. Because they were defenseless. And before anyone asks, Poles were defenseless too. And the Germans were psychopaths. With guns. So, I'm not sorry that my countrymen didn't charged on Germans with pitchforks and scythes.
      And spare me those lies how Jews were betrayed. Mezuzah affixed to the doorframe, and Jews wonder how Germans found them. Yiddish instead of polish. Sidelocks, beards and shtreimels. Not what I would call a masters of disguise. Thousand years was enought to learn polish language. To make friends not just clients. So don't blame us for Your own failures. Aliens by choice.
      As for those Polish guards from concentration camps. They are like modern sasquatch. Have You seen any? If not, then don't invent them.
      Poles were victims. Our country was invaded. Not America. Our cities were destroyed. Not American. And too many of us died. In combat, in camps, on streets or in our own homes. Aliens will not tell us that we didin't suffer enought.
      And if You want Poles to burn, then You should know that many did. For hidding Jews. Happy?

      Delete
  10. We can see the agony of polish people in this post and their sufferings too. Always there will be tug between jews and polish people,

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello Yori (and all), I'm feeling a bit anxious today as the rain has gone and stopped and I might burn a bit more easily (as per your stated wish) - however the English Channel is there, reassuringly wet, thank goodness. By the way, when you say: "I pray for a fire that will start at the Ural Mountains and sweep across the plains and burn down your cursed Europe where our Jewish shadows are roaming in the night air.", do you mean just "Eastern Europe", or is the whole of South Coast England going to go too?

    I'm sorry you haven't got any compensation, but have most people caught in the horrors of the last century been compensated? When you look at the horror that Stalin brought to the Ukraine, for example, not only has there been no compensation (as far as I know), but has even one of Stalin's willing executioners ever been brought to trial?

    And have we - the children of Adam - learnt one single thing from this constant memorialising of WW2?

    If we had, could we have begun a new millennium by re-starting The Crusades?

    I rest my case, except to ask if you have ever wondered why things have got so terrible from 1914 on? Two world wars, the new Crusades, and the earth polluted from Pole to Pole. Only, if you have wondered, the Inspired Scriptures, both Hebrew and Christian Greek have something very interesting to say. And so comforting too, as they tell us we are living in the darkest hour before the dawn. Anyway, if you want to know more, Dr.Goska has my email address and she is welcome to give it you.

    I was out on the doors this morning, zimmering about with one of my sisters, trying to bring this lovely message to peoples' doors - and we had a couple of good conversations.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'm very proud of the posters here who are responding with compassion, rationality, and non-violence to a provocative post from Yori.

    I clicked on Yori's name and discovered that he is the author of at least two books.

    The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption

    This one has an intriguing premise. That the followers of a charismatic rabbi clone him, and the clone is female.

    It received some very good reviews on Amazon.

    the other book is "How Would God Really Vote."

    ReplyDelete
  13. Weather Report from the South Coast UK: No fire surging at us from the Ural Mountains as yet...

    Actually we seem to have learnt less than nothing from WW2, given that it is still possible for someone to think and publish a hope for the extermination of a whole people.

    Anyway, I hope its giving me greater and greater appreciation for Jehovah's wisdom. And I think this did help me to get out on those doors this morning. I felt so bad (the joy of arthritis), could hardly move, but I wanted to show God how grateful I am for the joy and hope He gives us - and will give to all who want it.

    As you see, I am in a bit of a vulnerable position, as the chances of me being able to outrun that fire, should Yori finally get his box of matches to work, is nil, nil and nil again.

    Every elderly tortoise on the South Coast is overtaking me at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Quite often, I read or hear about Poles supposing that the Jews hate Poles more than they hate Germans. The vile, bigoted tirade that began this section of your blog seems to bear this out.

    Funny how you never hear Jews calling curses on the Germans who, after all, are the ones who murdered 5-6 million Jews.

    How to explain this? Could there be some truth to the premise of an age-old German-Jewish symbiosis? Could there be some truth to the premise that Jews tend to support powerful? Of course, Germans are more powerful than Poles in many ways.

    Makes one wonder...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Could there be some truth to the premise that Jews tend to support powerful?"

      Jan, we are responding to one post by one man. Not all Jews.

      It is a HUMAN trait, not a Jewish trait, to support the powerful. Poles do it, too. I could provide you with many examples.

      Delete
    2. Not necessarily. Poles often stood up to the powerful Russians and the powerful Germans--and paid the price.

      So this brings us back to the original question [I am speaking of general trends.]: Why do Jews hate Poles more than Germans, when (last time I checked) it was the Germans who had murdered 5-6 million Jews?

      Delete
    3. I think that szmalcownicy are best example of Poles who supported the powerful. Thugs in Jedwabne did that too. But Poles are not proud of them. And those men didin't boast with their deeds. They were a margin of society. Compare this with Jewish "partisans" who boasted about killing Poles. In America they are heroes. Here they are no better than pogromists.
      In Poland partisan is someone who fights for his country in his country. We had one resistance here - Polish Resistance. Others were traitors (commies) or aliens (ruskies). The only Jews who deserve to be called partisans were those serving honorably side by side with their fellow countrymen. All other were scum and they earned a short rope on a tree branch. Right next to a volksdeutsch and szmalcownik.
      I know that pre-war Poland was no haven. No country was or is. United States included. But loyalty to homeland is a duty. Like in marriage. Betrayal is inexcusable.
      I knew people who hid Jews. They were poor. Almost second class citizens. Unlike Mr. Yanover's family. But I never heard them whinning about their status.
      Mr. Yanover wrote a book about Righteous Gentiles. But, with all due respect, he learned nothing.
      I belive in equality. And that includes equal standards of morality. And I'm tired with all those accusations of betrayal. All those demands of loyalty, heroism and sacrifice. Made by men with selective memory. They remember antisemitism, Jedwabne and szmalcownicy. But ask them about Stara Huta, Żegota, or Baranek, Kowalski and Ulma families. Silence of the Jews - that is their response.
      I'm not angry. I'm dissapointed and a little disgusted. Long time ago a good man was nailed to a cross by foreign soldiers who occupied his country. And an innocent nation was blamed for that because the real perpetrators were powerful. Lie became a tradition. Tradition became a dogma. Sounds familiar? So, who wants to repeat history? Pogrom, anyone?

      Delete
    4. "If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile ... For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?"

      Personally, I have little problem with people who believe that I, my family and my entire nation are evil. So what? The "we are good and you are bad" narrative is not entirely original.

      I seriously doubt that I will ever meet Mr Yanover in person. I do not wish him ill. His words do not insult me.

      What really offends me is injustice and the distortion of the truth. As Zygmynt Bauman, himself a Polish Jew, emphasized in "Modernity and the Holocaust" (1989), the Holocaust was designed and executed within the framework of modern, rational and efficient statehood. The human tendency to define ourselves through "the Other" - the tendency that sometimes leads us to believe that "the Other" is less than human - can be especially deadly in the conditions of modernity.

      It is easy to believe that the Holocaust happened because of backward ("not like us!"), medieval ("not like us!") and superstitious ("not like us!") peasants ("not like us!") living in the semi-mythological fairyland of Eastern Europe ("not like us!"). It is both morally wrong and dangerous.

      Delete
  15. "Why do Jews hate Poles more than Germans, when (last tme I checked) it was the Germans who had murdered 5-6 million Jews?"

    Again, it isn't just Jews. There are Catholics who also place the blame on Poles. Just one example, cited in Bieganski and on this blog: James Carroll, author of Constantine's Sword, and former Catholic priest.

    "Bieganski" offers an answer to this very question. I hope interested parties will read and study it.

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  16. Łukasz did a great summation above: my compliments to his brevity and focus. As a regular blog reader I appreciate those contemporary Polish perspectives.

    I am also curious if Yori's family made any legal recovery efforts under the old PRL government or if any attempts they made have been recent.
    MB

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  17. Re it being a human trait to support the powerful, here is the problem for Poles/Polonia, as I see it. For political reasons, reasons of political correctness, we have been defined as "unter", so we are easy to attack. In fact, is it sometimes seen as a way of currying favour with the powerful to attack us? At any rate, there are no real consequences. Perhaps the odd slap on the wrist when someone goes too far and makes the political agenda too blatant, but that is about it.

    Which brings me back to my point about learning nothing whatsoever from all this memorialising of WW2.

    When i look at what Yori said - that he wants me and my family exterminated, by fire - I try to see it as something designed to persuade me off the narrow road that leads to life by causing me to start brooding about all the wrongs and betrayals suffered by my family, and ending up full of hate for my siblings (as we are all the children of Adam).

    I know I must not let it do that, but must try to keep on steadily doing what God has asked of us at this time of the end.

    So, I hope to be able to totter out this morning and try to tell others about the rescue that is so close at hand - the incoming Kingdom of God. Oh, and, yes, of course, I'll keep on wearing my new asbestos suit! No sign of fire on the horizon as yet... but you never know. Once Yori dries that matchbox out, I fear the worst.

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  18. Joy Zamoyski KochJuly 18, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    Mr. Yanover’s original text and subsequent posts are laced with hate speech, something that an ‘editor’ ought to know better. Don’t be surprised if you receive a visit from the Anti-Defamation League. So much for understanding and respect for those who perished.

    My reply is to pose several questions to Mr. Yanover.
    Was WWII history taught in the school(s) you attended?
    Have you read Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder? If not, which books do you recommend on the subject?

    Since you seem to want to collect on a Warsaw building, were you aware that 85% of all the buildings in Warsaw were destroyed by the German military and 250,000 Polish citizens were murdered as they participated in the 1944 uprising (another on-going attempt at ridding themselves of the German oppressors) while the Soviet army sat and watched for two months?
    -Are you aware that it was the German Nazi Regime that murdered 6 million Polish citizens? If not, then please advise.
    -Did you know that over 400 entire Polish villages were burned to the ground and all of the inhabitants murdered by the German military as a punishment for often just ONE villager aiding a fellow villager that was Jewish?

    Your sentence that accuses of collaboration and moral failure is curious...whose collaboration or lack thereof and moral failure are you referring to exactly? The Jewish?? The Polish?? The Polish Jew?? The Germans?? The Americans and Brits?? The dead??
    -Do you know why 2 million adult Polish Jews failed to join up and fight for their nation, their freedom and their children? I don't, but I'd like to be educated, should you know. Did the average Polish Jew in 1939, 1940, 1941 have the expectation that someone else is responsible for their life and their survival?
    -The responsibility of WWII with its loss of 55 MILLION souls is justly laid at the feet of Germany and Soviet Russia and their horrifying ideologies. Don’t you agree?
    -Did you know that British officials and the President of the United States of America were visited by Home Army resistance fighter Jan Karski and were told in no uncertain terms what the German regime was doing. That the Germans had been torturing and murdering ethnic Poles for years in concentration camps and now had begun an extermination of Polish Jews en masse the likes the world had never seen? This news fell on deaf ears and those governments chose to do nothing. Shouldn’t they be held up for ransom too?
    -Why is it that you hold Poland and its ethnic citizens in contempt for what the Germans and Soviets did to those of Jewish faith? What exactly do you believe should have been done differently?

    You, Mr. Yanover, seem to be in the camp accusing Poles of not doing enough. Have you overlooked that it took the combined might of the US, the UK, and the USSR (when it finally changed sides), plus the Polish forces fighting with Britain in the West, plus the armies of the various British Commonwealth countries (Canada, Australia, NZ, India etc., etc.) to defeat Nazi Germany? Not one of these forces ever came to the assistance of occupied Poland. And yet people unthinkingly assume that unarmed civilians should have stopped the German atrocities. Also, very few people know that for almost TWO YEARS Poles were invaded by and subjected to occupation by BOTH the Wehrmacht and the Red Army SIMULTANEOUSLY. This history was taught according to the dictates of Moscow during the entire 50-year period of occupation post WWII.

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  19. Joy Zamoyski KochJuly 18, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    Continued:
    In terms of post war compensation, all Central and Eastern European civilians should be compensated by Russia for the illegal takeover of their gov’ts, land, possessions and tens of millions of lives post war. And while we are at it, the 'Allies' should generously donate as well since they gave Stalin land and properties and the ability for him to murder additional millions of lives with impunity. I ask you what recompense have the families of those 55 million killed during the war and those post war received for the loss of their loved ones?

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  20. Yes, Joy, exactly. Very very few have been compensated for the horrors of WW2, and very few will be. My family - those that survived - lost everything in the material sense. All my father had when he reached England, was the army uniform he was wearing. He made a titanic effort to get across occupied Europe and rejoin the fight against Hitler. And of course I am so grateful to him, otherwise he would never have met my mother and me and my siblings would never have existed, never for one moment seen this beautiful earth. But, subsequent history has shown that the nations that managed to stay neutral and keep out of it did much better, and they don't come in for any of this vilification either.

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  21. No fire - as yet - on the South Coast of England... In fact, we have had two rainbows over the Channel, and what could be more reassuring? It is a beautiful evening, a lovely light. What a privilege it is to see this amazing world, even for the short time we, the imperfect, dying children of disobedient Adam, have.

    But I hope to be watching the sun go down over the sea a million years from now, with a million sunsets behind me. And no two of them will ever be the same.

    The gift of everlasting life is an "undeserved kindness", so I can hope. We all can.

    I do think, and hope, that the transcendent beauty of the creation can help us not to get heated up by the present system of things on the earth. It will soon be gone, and if we remember that, then it surely helps us to keep strong in the face of all its injustices.

    I'm doing a bit of bracing here, as I am wondering what will be next on the agenda.

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  22. I will be cynical here (and I am sorry,for I really love humans and life).What has WW2 taught me?

    1. If Your good, no one remembers or cares, if You are bad, no one cares and everyone respects You. In Isreal, according to Haaretz, 25 percent of Israelis think Poles are as guilty as the Germans (the latter of back than, of course).They like and respect Germany (as a shrink I am suspecting Stockholm Syndrome.Please read the book Fania Fenelon has written about her stay at Auschitz! Maria Mandl (head overseer) seems to be a jolly friend while f.e Polish women are spat upon by her, the Jewish French...).Try google translate and google Poland and Germany in Hebrew for pictures. Poland is basically maps and Auschwitz, Germany is modern skylines,cars,Merkel.

    2. If You are about to commit genocide,wear designer clothes by f.e Hugo BoSS. F.e Asians will dig it, making it automatically less evil.Seriously, I have .met s.o in Japan wearing a full SS uniform.Here some other pictures: http://static.flickr.com/97/272055074_bc161f9ada.jpg or here: http://postimg1.mop.com/2011/08/14/13133098979686131.jpg
    Is s.o dressing up as Armia Krajowa? No,of course not.

    3. Being good is nearly the same as being stupid and thus warrants no respect at all. In Israel, they are erecting more and more monuments in honour of the soviet army.Does s.o remember Zegota? Of course not. Does s.o remember the collaboration in other countries? Of course not.

    4. Our people MUST change or it will surely perish. I am stating this with a sad face. But, I really started to think we should become relentless bastards like everyone else.

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    Replies
    1. Hanna, those photos of Japanese in Nazi uniforms are very disturbing.

      As to why people choose Poles to demonize and not Germans -- please I beg of you please read "Bieganski." That's the whole point of the book -- to answer that question. It cites the book you mention, "Playing for Time" by Fenelon.

      Delete
  23. Hello Hanna, and, yes, Danusha does discuss Fania Fenelon in "Bieganski". Its disturbing - as is the whole book. But she is discussing something very disturbing, as she is giving us a glimpse into the cruel mechanisms behind this current system of things on the earth.

    And, yes, if this was about anything people have done, about killing people, then Stalin and his Red Army would not be "goodies" in the official version of WW2. His victims would matter too. And also the countries that did actually fight on the Axis side would presumably come in for a lot of blame and vilification. They don't. I am not wanting that they should by the way. Both sides did terrible things during WW2, and I don't see that either side has the moral right to judge the other. But it does show that this is all politics.

    Your last point: that we must become ruthless and nasty to survive... I am a Polonian so I understand why you say that, and I so much hope these words will be as strengthening and comforting for you as they are for me. They show us that our Creator knows exactly how "the world" is going to make us feel, and He shows us how to deal with it.

    "Do not show yourself heated up because of the evildoers. Do not be envious of those doing unrighteousness."

    So, we need to stay cool. Don't envy those doing unrighteousness, because they flourish. Why? God tells us:  "For like grass they will speedily wither, And like green new grass they will fade away."

    They will soon be gone. What is it we must do?  "Trust in Jehovah and do good; Reside in the earth, and deal with faithfulness."

    Trust in our Creator, the God of Abraham. We must not let "the world" pressure or persuade us into behaving as it does. We should do good, stick to the truth, be faithful.

    Jehovah knows how angry and upset "the world" can make us feel, or else why this advice, written down thousands of years ago, and preserved till this day? "Let anger alone and leave rage; Do not show yourself heated up only to do evil. For evildoers themselves will be cut off, But those hoping in Jehovah are the ones that will possess the earth. And just a little while longer, and the wicked one will be no more; And you will certainly give attention to his place, and he will not be. But the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, And they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace."

    Didn't Jesus himself confirm this promise, when he said that "the meek" (those meek towards their Creator) would inherit the earth?

    There is more happiness ahead of us, right here on the earth, once the wicked and the violent have been removed from it, and God's Kingdom is ruling over us, than we can now imagine. Please don't let "the world" (which lies in the power of "the father of the lie") persuade or pressure you off that strait road that leads to life.

    Have any of God's promises ever failed? As a reassurance, I would love to discuss the prophecy in Daniel, which not only told the Jews the exact year the Messiah would appear on the earth, but also said what would happen afterwards. Everything was fulfilled, exactly as written down. But i don't suppose such a dicussion belongs in this blog. Danusha has my private email address, and she is welcome to give it you if you want it.

    The quoted verses are from Psalm 37 by the way. Please do read it all. It is a strengthening aid, and a comfort.

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  24. This whole discussions is silly. Mr. Yori is obviosly a provocateur at best & someone who just wants to vent his biases at worst. I frankly find the post entertaining - the man does not seem to be "skeletal" or "brittle." On the contrary, he appears well quite well fed.

    Everyone's responses here easily play right into his hands - there is a saying, I believe, do not feed the troll. Do you really think you will convince him? Have you seen his preferred "fresh

    And whining is never an attractive quality. Some people will not love you - live with that. A wise person (on this topic) once said: "I don't care whether anti-semites will like me - so long as they respect me." Some of the commentators seem to pine for love & think that they will convince a person who has no interest in being convinced. Do you think that the soccer hooligans referred to somewhere else here will ever be "convinced" that they should not spit out anti-semitic nonsense? Do you think that the strategy that is aimed at such people aims to "convince" them?

    Don't let your buttons be pushed so easily - that, frankly, plays right into the stereotype.

    & Mazel Tov on the blog!

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    Replies
    1. They are worth thinking about and dissecting because, like it or not, troll or not, these lingering distortions of the past fester in people like him. And that crafts lies that shape peoples' thinking.

      Delete

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