Monday, December 31, 2012

"Poland: A Living Deathscape of Diaspora Jewry"

Bieganski, the Brute Polak Stereotype speaks at length about March of the Living and other approaches to Poland that support the Bieganski, Brute Polak stereotype.

This blog has devoted several posts to March of the Living, including March of the Living: A Rabbinical Student's Sermon and March of the Living Responds.

A previous blog post addresses the work of Prof. Jackie Feldman at Ben Gurion University: Why Stereotype Poles? Why Distort WW II History? Here's Why.
Prof. Jackie Feldman's 2010 book, "Above the Death Pits, Beneath the Flag," is summarized on Amazon thus:

"Israeli youth voyages to Poland are one of the most popular and influential forms of transmission of Holocaust memory in Israeli society. Through intensive participant observation, group discussions, student diaries, and questionnaires, the author demonstrates how the State shapes Poland into a living deathscape of Diaspora Jewry.

In the course of the voyage, students undergo a rite de passage, in which they are transformed into victims, victorious survivors, and finally witnesses of the witnesses. By viewing, touching, and smelling Holocaust-period ruins and remains, by accompanying the survivors on the sites of their suffering and survival, crying together and performing commemorative ceremonies at the death sites, students from a wide variety of family backgrounds become carriers of Shoah memory. They come to see the State and its defense as the romanticized answer to the Shoah. These voyages are a bureaucratic response to uncertainty and fluidity of identity in an increasingly globalized and fragmented society. This study adds a measured and compassionate ethical voice to ideological debates surrounding educational and cultural forms of encountering the past in contemporary Israel, and raises further questions about the representation of the Holocaust after the demise of the last living witnesses."

In his review, prolific Amazon reviewer Jan Peczkis states that the book clearly depicts Poles being blamed for the Holocaust in a way that German Nazis are not. Jan Peczkis' review of "Above the Death Pits" is here.

I am grateful to Jan Peczkis for drawing my attention to the book.


  1. This reminds me of two visits I made to Lodz in Poland, in order to research a novel (The Last Room, published by Salt, June 2013). I visited the Jewish cemetery there, among many of the places I visited. It's an old cemetery, and gives a clear image of the long-established community of Polish Jews and the role they played in Lodz. It's a beautiful place, and the citizens of Lodz treat it with respect. In the cemetery, there is the Pole Gettowa, the place where the Nazis buried the dead of the ghetto, mostly Polish Jews, but also ethnic Poles and Roma people. I saw the holocaust pilgrims visit the graveyard, and I was sad to see they went to the Pole Gettowa, they visited the memorial wall, and the pits that were apparently dug by the last inhabitants of the ghetto to be their own graves, but the Nazis ran from the Red Army before they could kill the survivors. They didn't visit the rest of the graveyard, that told a much older story of the Polish jews. They visited the site of the Litzmannstadt Ghetto, but they didn't seem to visit any more of the city. I felt that, to them, Poland was not a country in its own right, it was a memorial, a museum to the horrors of the holocaust, and a holocaust that was imperfectly understood.

    1. Yes, it is coming to seem like a cult of the dead. Dr.Goska does (bravely)discuss the politics behind this vilification of Poland in her book "Bieganski".

      I have pretty much come to feel that I don't want to hear anything about WW2 ever again - but am forced to to some extent if I am to go on trying to tackle one Polish media issue a month.

      On the plus side - and it is a giant silver lining - this continues to underline the wisdom of Jehovah, the God of Abraham, when He tells us that love "does not keep account of the injury".

      How much better we, the human race, would all be getting along with each other IF we had chosen to listen.

      What I need to be careful about is that all this doesn't goad me into keeping account of the many injuries done to me, and my fellow Polonians. I think I had better go off and do some studying of the Inspired Scriptures pronto before I start writing a Professor Jan Gross style trilogy of my own.

  2. Thank you, Dr. Goska.

    Remember also the interviews of Israeli teenagers in Marzynski's SHTETL. They also had seriously distorted and strongly negative beliefs about Poles and Poland--something that they could have only learned from their elders. To see my analysis of this, please click on my name in this specific posting.

    1. The teacher in that clip was Michael Steinlauf. I'd love to hear any comments he has to offer us about it. Maybe someone here would email him.

    2. I really don't like that those teenagers are accompanied by Israeli bodyguards. In Poland we had some incidents with them and it's seems that they are mentally ustable people. Maybe they have seen to much violence in Israel. Sending them to friendly country is not a good idea. Not only they are superfluous, but they also make Jews look bad. Aggressive behavior and inability to even mumble a single word in polish makes them a liability. They are not proper men in proper place. Presence of Jewish children gives them protection.
      Anyway, we Poles don't like armed foreigners on our land. Many of us still remember our "dear Soviet allies". Their contempt and arrogance.
      For the benefit of both Poles and Jews those trips must change. Our contacts can and should be based on mutual respect.

  3. Thanks Danusha for drawing my attention to Feldmans essay-I have send it to several Israelis I know and who think Poland is just a huge graveyard. What makes me angry,as a Pole, are two things-

    1. The Germans have gotten away with it.Literary. As well as all those nations that did nothing or worse, participated.Such as France. Poles are left with the debris and the bad fame. Similarily with Hungary-no one is defaming Petain for his share in the Holocaust (he did nothing to help his Jewish Frenchmen, au contraire) but in Western Europe, they are lecturing Hungarians that Horthy was an abysmal,horrible anti-Semite,oh, and todays Hungarians are as well.Compared with Petain-Horty did everything he could to keep his Jewish compatriots from being deported, it took Nazi German occupation in the end to do so.

    2. Our government is not one safeguarding national interests. If I were the Polish government I would actively try to chance the way this Israeli nation-building measures function. We Poles should not become the target for the hatred they should have towards those Germans who did that to Jewish people. Poland is Israels faithful partner-but seriously, at one time, the patience of everyone has an end.

    1. I, too, have wondered why the Polish government is so passive in the face of those who would push Poland around. Is it gross incompetency or direlection of duty? Or is the Polish government in some kind of Targowica-like secret agreement with those who would abuse Poland for their own ends?

    2. Dear Mr Jan Peczkis,dear Danusha,

      No, there is no Targowica/conspiracy-If You would like to understand this phenomenon plz. read this book here,which is on the bestseller list in Poland right now: (no worry,this book is NOT about Dmowski,or the endecja movement in general-rather about certain ideals they had regarding the state)

      I believe every Pole and Polonian should read this.Everyone.

      After having observed what goes on in Poland I have come to the following conclusion (like Ziemkiewicz)-Your country is sick-and it does not have anything to do with Poles being worse humans or having a bad character to begin with.

      These people, Radek and friends, will not do anything about Poland being defamed and pushed around? Why? Because that would be "chauvinistic", so old-fashioned. They want to be "modern".

      They believe that critizising ones own country all the time is in and of itself "modern".Western leftist elites say so. They have very low self-esteem. Because Poland is not rich, because Poland is not "modern", its not "secular", "multicultural" blah blah.

      They do not understand why such a "modernity" is destroying the West.

      These "elites" are not true elites, ones, that deserve to be at the top. These "elites" are the creatures of Soviet social-engineering.How? After the Soviets took over Poland they pushed and promoted those who were not professinals, but whom they could trust.

      This was called the BMW principle (bierny, mierny ale wierny-passive,meek but faithful).True elites were demoted,they and their progeny lost their earned socio-economical status. The elites of the II Republic were true elites and great patriots-they had to be demonted to make a "new nation".

    3. These people and their children and their children, they knew/know that they are not legit as elites.Them being "elites" rested on Moskow, towards which they had an inferiority complex.

      They became some kind of white Creoles. And as such, they hated their own people in order to compensate.

      Moskow went and Bruxelles came. These "elites" stayed.How? Well, their socio-economical status was not abolished after the Round Table Talks, on the contrary.

      Their inferiority complex is now directed towards "Europe", their hatred towards their people who is "backward" (not secular), "rascist" (because of singular incidents that happen all the time in Western Europe) "hateful" (because Poles what to see Communist criminals punished) "stuck-in-the mud" (because more and more young Poles want to know the truth about the PRL and Polish history), "chauvinistic" (because young Poles do want to feel pride in being Polish) ect.

      Poles are hated by these "elites" who want do transform them into they will be praised for by their new idols, now in Western Europe.

      You can observe this also in Africa were dictators look to their true homeland, to France, instead of lifting their peoples up whom they despise.

      But how to transform the Poles? Simple- make them ashamed of being Polish. So ashamed that they will want to become "modern", to become "Europeans".

      Shame them into shedding their Polish soul and identity. Tell them how "anti-Semitic, racist,hateful,backward" ect they are. All the time.

      Allow others, the "white men" (Western Europeans) to lecture the white tribal Africans of Europe how to be "civilized" like them.

      So, this being the case-why on earth would such "elites" even think about advancing the cause of the Polish people in the world?

      Its not really their nation, after all. Poland to them is an ugly old woman, so she must be cheap and not "demanding" (f.e respect)

      Like I said, having observed what goes on in Poland for over 30 plus years I have to agree with Ziemkiewicz. He also offers some ideas how to change things.

      Danusha, about Radek Sikorski-he just had no time to promote Your insightful book. He had to promote his wives books,f.e a book on cooking (btw-he is NOT allowed to do that using taxpayers money like he did) and one called Between East and West.

      In the latter she claims that it was okey that stalinist criminals that had fled to Israel were not extradited to Poland to stand trial.

    4. Their crimes were because of "revenge for anti-Semitism" so that makes them, apparently, okey.

      Also, Radek Sikorski is very busy trying to sell Polish assets in foreign countries like the beautiful villa housing the Polish consulate in Cologne-which was the envy of everyone and a great meeting place for the local Polonia. It was bought when Poland was even poorer than now, by the true elites of the II Republic.

      They will rent(!) another place, a "modern" (but tiny one,not showy,which will not be really cheaper).There are not many places left in Cologne.The quarter they are envisioning is quite seedy. It seems that they dont mind having the Polish consulate between table-dance bars.

      In conclusion-people like Sikorski are of no help-They do not understand the term "national interest" "national reputation" "patriotism".So dont worry, You did what You could the best way You could.

      Lets hope the next foreign minister will be different.If you can vote-plz vote for a better option.

    5. Thank you, Mieczyslaw, for your response. I will try to get the book. (Meanwhile, if you are interested in the variety of "Endek" perspectives that had existed, please click on my name in this specific posting.)

      I am well aware of the fact that Poland has never been fully cleansed of Communism. However, the Round Table agreements had been some 23 years ago now.

      Historically, Polish leaders had been bold, notwithstanding Poland's weaknesses. Why has no new class of Polish leaders appeared--leaders who would support Polish interests, who would not be docile and afraid, who would not be intimidated by Poland's poverty, who would not try to be "modern" by western, politically-correct standards, etc.?

    6. Thank you, Mieczyslaw, for bringing Ziemkiewicz to my attention. I have now reviewed his work. (To see my review, please click on my name in this specific posting).

      You are absolutely correct about the "bierny, mierny..." business. Ziemkiewicz points out that Poles, long ruled by others, have very much of a docile, subservient, colonial-peoples mentality.

  4. Mieczyslaw, I so wish "Bieganski" could be published in Poland.

    I have tried so hard. I had two signed contracts, both from publishers who later claimed that they went bankrupt.

    I have written to Radek Sikorski to ask for help -- he claims to care about this topic -- nothing.

    Frustrated, tried.

    1. Glad you have written to Radek Sikorski Danusha, though I am sorry he has not responded. But he is a politician, and they have to go with the politics. And this is political.

      Mieczyslaw, I too keep making the point that nations that stayed out of WW2 and stayed neutral are treated much better than Poland - and did not suffer in the way Poland did. And, as you also point out, even the nations of the Axis Powers are not vilified in this way.

      This is always difficult to talk about, as I am not wanting them, or their people, vilified. Surely the truth about WW2 is that both sides did terrible, ungodly things?

      Followers of Christ stayed out of it, stayed neutral and tried to do good to all. And were severely persecuted by both sides.

      But this does go to show that it is all politics - and isn't related to anything Poland has done or not done.

      Why, therefore, have Poland's politicians not taken the lesson and stayed neutral, and stayed out of the current Crusades in the Middle East?

      I suppose it comes back to the politics once again, but I notice that France and Germany had the good sense to stay out. So surely Poland could have done?

    2. Sue, Radek Sikorski did not ignore my attempt to contact him because "this is political."

      Radek Sikorski ignored my attempt to contact him for the same reason that while I've been invited to speak by Jewish Studies Centers, Synagogues, etc, Polish groups have not invited me to speak. For the same reason that Polish American have declined to purchase or read "Bieganski" in any significant numbers. For the same reason that Poles do not support their own artists and storytellers. For the same reason that "Bieganski" has not been published in Poland.

      Poles and Polonians decline to unite, support each other, and act strategically. That is why others tell the Polish story.

    3. He is a politician though, and the issues you raise in Bieganski are very politically incorrect.

      It was an amazing achievement to get it published - getting it publicised is (so far) proving a bridge too far.

      But that could change.

      Also I think we do need to make the area of Polish media issues as comfortable for each other as we can.

    4. Publicizing Bieganski is a bridge too far because Polonia won't support it. The Kosciuszko Foundation, the Embassy, the Polish Museum, others, could invite me to speak. They do not. Radek Sikorski has spoken about stereotypes of Poles ... but won't address the only scholarly book specifically addressing the topic.

      Poles don't, in critical mass numbers, unite, don't support their own, and don't tell their own story or support those who do. That is the heart of the problem.

      When Poles and Polonians change, Bieganski the Brute Polak will die a well deserved death. Not before.

    5. On the plus side, with the help of his lovely wife's poignant articles in the Washington Post, Mr. Sikorski got Mr. Polanski out of prison (it was the French really but he gets some credit too) - score one for pedophiles.

  5. The author of this book, Jackie Feldman, sounds like a real Poland-Hater.

    This element of the Jewish community which non-stop is always screaming about Poland being the "most anti-semitic country" in the world and Poles are all horrible terrible people blah blah blah...either shows that they are mentally ill or they are deliberately knowingly pushing hatred against Polish people. I don't think they are mentally ill so I choose the latter.

    First off.....lets assume these vocal Jews are 100% correct about Poland and that in Poland....while Jews lived there for ONE THOUSAND YEARS.....Poles were persecuting Jews.....24 hours a day...7 days a week.....365 days a year. Well WHAT THE HECK???? IF Poles were this horrible to Jews....WHY WHY WHY did Jews CHOOSE to live in Poland for ONE THOUSAND YEARS????? Are they dumb? Are they insane? Are they masochists?? This just makes no sense for a people...who like to think of themselves as being so do.

    All this talk by a certain vocal element of the Jewish community about how Poland is the world's most anti-semitic country blah blah blah makes no sense since Jews disproportionately CHOSE Poland to live in for ONE THOUSAND YEARS. I'm sure there were some bad Poles since there is good in bad in all groups of people.

    But if there was this overwhelming anti-semitism in Poland.....24 hours a day....7 days a week....365 days a year....for ONE THOUSAND YEARS...then WHY did most Jews CHOOSE to live in Poland...for ONE THOUSAND YEARS??????? That's nuts!

    If Poles were as anti-semitic as these Jews claim...then Jews have to be the most INSANE or FOOLISH people in the world!

    A lot of this "Polish people are the worst anti-semites in the world" I see when I have read Jewish nationalist ethnic newspapers like the "Jewish Press" and the Jewish "Forward". But the very strange thing about these newspapers is that while they go on and on and on and on....blasting Poland for its "long history of anti-semitism"....they also IRONICALLY talk about how Jewish culture had FLOURISHED and grew a lot in Poland. HOW can this be???

    Its too bad these Jews always criticizing Poland....never talk about the great rabbi Moses Isserles who said...."If it were NOT for Poland...the existence of the tribe of Israel would have been unbearable". Indeed rabbi Isserles is correct. Yet Poland NEVER EVER gets credit for letting Jews into Poland when most other countries kicked them out. Jews NEVER give Poland credit for ANYTHING. So if the Poles were this horrible....WHY did Jews continue to CHOOSE and STAY to live in Poland for ONE THOUSAND YEARS??? That makes no sense unless they are crazy or foolish.

    Most of the greatest Jewish rabbis and philosophers came from POLAND....NOT other countries. Gee I wonder why. It must have been all of that "Polish anti-semitism" that allowed this to happen.

    And if Poland was this horrible to Jews....WHY didn't they leave Poland hundreds of years ago???

    Something really doesn't add up with all these crazed anti-Polish criticisms from this element of the Jewish community.

    According to them the Poles didn't do ONE good thing for Jews...yet most Jews CHOSE to live in Poland for ONE THOUSAND YEARS.

    Absolutely Amazing.

    1. Hello Anonymous - at least we are getting an upclose and personal look at the way the current system of things on the earth works. God has warned us that "the father of the lie" is in charge. How can we doubt that, when we see the truth so easily turned on its head?

      We urgently need to be "no part" of the world - avoid its attitudes, take no part in its politics, its wars - and warn others. This present system of things is going to be destroyed at Armageddon, so, unless we stand clear, won't we be swept away with it?

      Its very difficult though when we are continually being lied about and vilified by the most powerful media in the world.

      However we have a safe guide through the spiritual minefield we live in.

      "In fact, to this [course] you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving you a model for you to follow his steps closely. He committed no sin, nor was deception found in his mouth. When he was being reviled, he did not go reviling in return. When he was suffering, he did not go threatening, but kept on committing himself to the one who judges righteously." - 1 Peter 2:21.23

      If we do our best to follow Jesus' footsteps closely, we will keep safe, and we can be effective even now. For example, I noted that a recent column by Debbie Schlussel, which was very nasty about the Poles, resulted in a retaliatory and very nasty email which called her "a bitch". Or course, she gleefully posted it on her site. The writer had played right into her hands.

      Jehovah, our Creator, will give us self-control and teach us it. We have a perfect model in His annointed Messiah, and, above all, we have the sure promise of a rescue.

      For example Proverbs 2:20-22 says: "The purpose is that you may walk in the way of good people and that the paths of the righteous ones you may keep. For the upright are the ones that will reside in the earth, and the blameless are the ones that will be left over in it. As regards the wicked, they will be cut off from the very earth; and as for the treacherous, they will be torn away from it."

      The wicked and the treacherous, the haters, the liars, will be removed permanently at Armageddon. We need to trust in God with all our hearts here. Has any one of His promises ever failed?

      By the way, talking of "the father of the lie", do you notice how the teaching of the "Rapture" reverses what God promises?

      Rapturists (?) says that the good will be removed from the earth and the wicked will remain. But doesn't the Bible say the exact opposite?

  6. First of all: Happy New Year to all of You :-)

    To Anonymous- Well, You are totally right. If You want more of this misery (and have become cynical enought to laugh) go to The Times of Israel. search for articles about Germany and about Poland.Compare both,also the comments. The tone is different, but Poland is really the object of hatred. Poles are interested in Judaism? Poles converting to Judaism? Jewish congregations being rebuild? Who cares? They are "horrible anti-Semites" and "Jews should leave immediately before the polaks murder them again" (original quotes)

    There are many explanations for that-in Danushas book Bieganski f.e. Personally, I have come to believe that this is some kind of collective Stockholm Syndrome. (please read Fania Fanelons book about the girls orchestra at Auschwitz-how much hatred for those who are in her situation-Polish women,btw, how much adulation she has for f.e Maria Mandl (nickname: "Beast"),the SS head overseer-this is pathological,but also understandable given the situation).

    One thing that really made me laugh (in a cynical way) are two articles about recompensation. One is about Poland being "The worst offender" with regards to Shoa restitution (in general, this is to a great extent about Jewish American orgs wanting Poland,and other countries, to pay restitution for heirless or communal property which, according to normal law all over the world, was inherited by the Polish/other nation).

    It mentions 1/3 of Warsaw being "Jewish" (which is true, but these people were Poles of Jewish faith and not a separate nation)-apparently these orgs think they are entitled to being "restituted" 1/3 of Warsaw. I am not making this up-please read the article for yourself. Jewish Poles are against these demands from abroad-and former Polish Foreign Minister, Adam Daniel Rotfeld (who happens to be Jewish himself! These anti-Semitic Poles!) said that such demands,if fullfilled, would spell ruin for Poland for good. Of course, they don’t care-why should they care for such murderous anti-Semites such as the Poles?

    1. The faith is an illusion - as is Polish Catholicism - this is all tribal Blut und Boden stuff

      Everyone talks about "Jewish Poles" when there is a need to emphasize their level of assimilation or the fact that they were Poles like their persecutors who stupidly failed to understand that (e.g., Jewish Poles contributing to the sciences, non-Jewish Poles attacking their neighbors),

      But, away from the cameras, it is always "(Polish) Jews" and Poles

      For that reason "conversion" to Judaism is a rather confusing exercise - and to most orthodox religious Jews, not conversion at all (as opposed to reformed and, sometimes, conservative) - if you think you or your ancestors hail from the land of Salomon even though you are fair haired, pudgy faced with light skin and eyes then you should see a psychiatrist before you see a rabbi.

      Similarly, although Catholicism proclaims to be, well, catholic, Polish Catholicism (but not only - see Irish Catholicism) was mostly used to separate Poles from Russians, Swedes, Germans, Jews - a black man converting to Catholicism in Poland does not a Pole make - by the view of most people in that country (and I surmise a white Protestant would more easily be accepted - same, by the way, for Israel where many Russians of dubious Jewishness have been fairly well assimilated but many blacks with relatively coherent claims to Jewish ancestry struggle).

      As far as "compensation" is concerned, then, I think, this is a question that the Polish government should resolve for all of its citizens (for private since communal property has already been restored). Without touching on the question of who should get what, my sense is that the Polish government is simply part incompetent part not willing to touch a hot potato - Jewish organizations are, predictably (see Ms. Goshka's main thesis), more competent in "organizing" than any Polish individual heirs - rather than organize along the same lines, many Poles give these organizations the evil eye with stereotypical commentary.

      Poland is the "worst offender" because, unlike so many other countries who put this behind them, it has not done so - for whatever reason. I prefer not to draw more from that than just that.

      Poland's Foreign Minister post (and not only) has been consistently since 1989 occupied by an individual either of part-Jewish ancestry or friendly to the Jewish population - this has been true of Meller, Rotfeld, Geremek, Bartoszewski of Zegota or Mr. Sikorski whose wife is Ms. Applebaum. Polish-Israeli relations are quite good as Poland is frequently a big supporter of Israel (see Durban or the EU discussions). This is unlikely to change (barring massive Arab immigration) and has been a stated policy goal of every government of Poland - Jewish organizations are, I assume, at the very least "quite aware" of that (as well as of the fact that virtually all mass media in Poland are very pro-Israel from the left leaning MSM Haaretz like GW to the centrist MSM RP to the "rightist" (the only independent major paper) GP.

      All of that being as it is, it does not change two things (1) the property that was stolen from the victims of the Holocaust has not been returned to their heirs (except in some cases) - over this Poland has some say and (2) the Holocaust as the founding ingredient of the State of Israel is a necessity and, while broadly speaking, the entire continent of Europe can be tainted with it, the fact is that its most potent symbols sit, predominantly, in Poland - this is a curse and a poison but nothing (or, rather, nothing anyone should wish) will change that and every Polish government has to live with it

  7. What takes the cake is the deliberation how to pressure the country into submission.

    Quote: Such appeals to the pocketbook are significant, since the West can no longer hold out admission into the European Union or NATO as an incentive, said Rabbi Andrew Baker, director of international Jewish affairs for the American Jewish Committee and a longtime restitution negotiator. Eastern European countries already have won admittance to these international bodies.

    I know quite a lot Jewish Poles who are just appalled by such behaviour of people, who are constantly telling them to "migrate to Israel" ( they are not doing themselves -.-) because of "Polish anti-Semitism".
    Of course most people fail to see that these hyenas are only a tiny minority and not “the Jews”. I don’t fail to see how certain anti-Semitic stereotypes may arise.

    The other one is lauding Germany for increasing their reparations for “poor Holocaust survivors” as well as the “increase of Holocaust related education” (note: already German pupils are spending around 7 months learning exclusively about it (with the exclusion of f.e the genocide against Slavs)-afterwards,they don’t want to hear about it or WWII anymore- it really does not help to make people truly sympathetic towards Jew I believe.I know for I have went to school in Germany).

    1. Very revealing points, Hanna. Your allusion to the Holocaust Industry shows that it is very much alive and well, and that its real goal is the acquisition of payment (actually, tribute) for heirless and communal properties, and not merely the acquisition of compensation for those who are legally entitled to it.

      The articles you cite seem to support Polish suspicions that the Germans get a pass--and even praise--because they continue paying off the Industry. What had begun in the early 1950's has continued to grow.

      Education continues to slight the non-Jewish victims of the Germans. This, too, has been going on for a long time.

      Yes, the hyenas (to use your term) are a small minority, but, unfortunately, they are the ones with the influence. They shape not only Jewish opinion, but also much of world opinion, against Poles and Poland.

    2. Yes, I feel I too never want to hear anything more about WW2 ever again, but because I try to tackle one Polish media issue a month, I have to, to an extent.

      I even found myself watching "The Dambusters" the other night - as my husband was watching it, and I could not be bothered to make the effort to get myself off the sofa (arthritic knees). So I half read and half watched. There were a ton of films on about WW2 and the crimes of the Axis powers during Christmas week - peace on earth!

      Anyway, the Dambusters is about the Brit bomber squadrons that successfully bombed the dams in the Ruhr.

      It was piercingly sad to watch. All those young men flying off, and so few coming back again. Most of them died that night. And the defenders, desperately trying to save the dams, and failing. And all the people living below them swept away in a tsunami in the middle of the night.

      To quote Conrad - the horror, the horror.

      What a mess we, the children of Adam, have got ourselves into.

      And of course now there is an extra layer of futility added. Given that it now turns out the Axis Powers were Poland, Poland and Poland, what on earth were those young men up to, bombing dams in Germany?

  8. To Jan:

    I have forgotten to add another point-Rotfeld had both his parents murdered by Nazi Germans-he survived thanks to his Polish compatriots of Christian faith :-).He is absolutely opposed to these demands.

    What really gets me is the "heirless" and "communal goods". In my opinion victims and their heirs do deserve compensation-its a shame that it takes so long-but no country is faster. With regards to the rest-Poland is the rightful heir-this is the standard all over the world. But, of course-if a Jewish congregation would like to rebuild real Jewish life f.e in a Polish city the Polish state should give them every support possible or/and give them an appropriate building they would be the owners of in the future. Not as a duty- but out of humanity and compassion.

    "Germans" pay- well, lets rather say-the German taxpayer, no matter what the ethnicity. Poles living in Germany (many of whom have German citizenship) also pay. Ironic,isnt it?

    Personally, I am afraid of else- I believe that, like during the Kosovo War (illegal agression against Serbia), Auschwitz might be used instrumentally by Germany in order to have wars of agression against other countries which will be accused of commiting Auschwitz 2.0 by Germany.Like Serbia, which was accused of genocide against the Kosovo Albanians by Joschka Fischer (Green Party,though he did not mind having Serbia bombarded with uranium-propelled missiles) who yelled: Never again Auschwitz! (never mind also that it turned out to be a deliberate lie....)

    About Slavic victims of the Holocaust- Lately,a memorial for murdered Gypsies was erected in Berlin-Which is great,of course.At the same time Germany is deporting, en masse, in general well-integrated Kosovo Gypsies back to Kosovo-where they are hated, prosecuted, where they dont speak Albanian and have no future whatsoever.Nice,isnt it? When Bartoszewski at the end of last year went to Berlin to talk about a memorial for murdered Poles/Slavs his German counterpart was all like-yeah,but there are still many demands form the German minority unfulfilled...(imagine a barrel without a foundation with regards to their demands.I am not being cynical here-for we still have no German universities in Poland, no German television, no German football league ect)..then we will see.
    In short- The Germans are not keen at all to remember victims without due, constant pressure!!!

    Also, this minority of hyenas is absolutely toxic.Imagine what a Polish rabbi told me. During a Passah about 5 years ago, he and his congregation was visited by Jewish Americans who told them about how horrible anti-Semites these Poles were ect. When asked about why they came up with stuff like-I am sure they want to kill us like their ancestors, its in their eyes, the look at us in an uncanny way-You see what you want to see,apparently. They knew everything about the Poles, from America-who taught these young people to hate? The rabbi is very worried-but what can he do? There is no pope of Judaism...

    1. I disagree with letting other ethnic groups (re)establish themselves in Poland - this is a potential for a new disaster - first, the interest of A are not the interests of B and if A and B are not of the same stock then B will always demand rights, representation, voting, etc. Once those are granted, he will watch out for his particular interests first. Then C will come and say B has these rights why not me C - no principled answer can at that point be given - so you do the same for C - eventually, representation becomes political influence and pretty soon you find out that Chuck Hagel can't be your Secretary of Defense.

    2. "The Germans are not keen at all to remember victims without due, constant pressure!!!"

      Of course, but who is? Do you think that the Germans would be talking about the Holocaust absent Jewish groups' pressure? The challenge for Poles is that they do not have the same pressure capability - reasons being mostly because of a snowball effect - no one wants to build a new edifice from ground up - it is much easier to attach oneself to something already existing - which also accounts for the popularity of Jewishness - the only time that does not hold true is if you can't attach yourself - e.g., in the German occupied Poland during the XIX century - but that is hard to wish on Poles (though this site does an admirable job of preserving grievances - also why the Polish FM likely does not want to help raise its profile).

      If the EU keeps going where it's going, whether Poland exists or not 100 years from now, my bet is that Poles will have by and large been assimilated by then - every single example of the Polish diaspora thus far points to that - the Polish elites of course know that but they seem to not care because, presumably, it is better to live a prosperous life than maintain your identity but lead a crappy one - the same can be said of the Jewish experience in the past except there at least some Jews made different choices.

      Nations are brands - to sell them (including to your own people) you need to make them more attractive. Far too often in Eastern Europe, however, the answer of the frustrated governments have been to stomp their feet and demand loyalty in exchange for nothing.

    3. To Anonymous-True,no pressure no gain. But I would disagree a bit about the snowball effect- this has rather much to to with Poland not having true national elites.

      The problem is that, at the very same time, Germany is doing A LOT to preserve and especially, maintain its gievances (like planning to place a memorial for expelees (of course, without mentioning their involvement in f.e crimes against f.e the Polish nation) right next to the Holocaust memorial in Berlin).

      I am not angry at them-if I were German I would do the exact same thing-f--- the Poles, who would care? Germany is also doing lots to keep their minorities in the diaspora from assimilation (partly even with Polish money)-again, i am angry at the Polish government in the first place.

      They are postcommunist "elites"-the same way they were having inferiority complexes with regards to Moscow-now, they are having the same thing with regards to Bruxelles/the "West".

      They dont believe things that are obvious to the rest of the world-that there are national interest, that you have to fight for them, that there is no "end of history".

      I think that in 100 years, if things go on like now, there will be no Poland as a souvereign state.

      I have always been a proponent of the EU-now, I am having second thoughts-with Poland having signed a fiscal pact which will deprive her of the right to use tax money without the control of Bruxelles-or rather, Germany.

      Identity is the key to national prosperity-let me explain. Only in a nation state a member of that nationality has every chance to reach the very top.Try to be elected president,major CEO ect in Germany having a foreign name-or,for that matter, every country that is not like the US/Australia ect. Most people want to stay in their own country, where they have spend their childhood, where they have the same mentality. The "they dont seem to care about" is because these people have fallen victim to a postmodernistic lie-namely, that the nation state is a relict of the past, that they can become happy and prosperous everywhere,that culture has no meaning.

      Many Poles experienced that lately-during an economic crises they, who were welcomed as workers, are now hated because they "take away jobs from Britons/Irish/ect).

      Nations are brands indeed-but not only. Nations are also cultural collectives of solidarity with their own history,language,customs. I would rather say they are resembling companies, the brand thing being the PR of that company.

      Of which its citizens are the share-holders and the government is the board of directors- and Poland is in dire need of a new one, obviously I think.

      Also-plz give me examples of governments stomping their feets and demanding loyality for nothing.

      About the Polish FM- judging from everything he has done before I think he is just incredibly incompetent and nothing else.

  9. Of course victims and rightful heirs are entitled to restitution. No one questions that.

    It is also certainly correct that heirless and common properties legally revert to the state, and not to any individual or group. Thus, for instance, heirless properties of Italian Americans belong to America. No Italian or Italian-American individual or organization has any rightful claim to them.

    This is where the Holocaust Industry comes in. They come to Poland with deep pockets and claim, with no legal basis whatsoever, that they are "owed" compensation [actually, tribute] on behalf of all the murdered Jews, since the Holocaust was "special". Since this has no legal basis whasoever, they are willing to resort to extortion. They want to so shame Poland, through defamation, that the weak-willed Polish government caves in to their demands, and pays them off.

    For more on how the Holocaust Industry works specifically in Poland, please click on my name in this posting.

  10. I've just finished reading Bieganski. Congratulations Dr. Goska. At first I was sceptical, but I soon recognised this book as a serious contribution to the debate. I don’t know whether the Minister of Foreign Affairs is the right person to ask to get it published in Poland. I would try Michnik, if I were you, Agora also publishes books. Anyway, I am sure that there are no political reasons why the Poles in Poland wouldn’t agree with you.
    Once more congratulations. Malgosha

  11. Finally, the author of this blog permits (as is her right, of course) posts by Mr. Jan Peczkis - Mr. Peczkis' comments here and elsewhere have certainly crossed the line of what is "acceptable" in American, at least, Polish-Jewish relations "dialogue" - for example, the Finkelsteininan term Holocaust "industry" is, arguably, anti-semitic under such US standards - whether Mr. Peczkis is right or wrong on some points is beside the point as he is not going to change perception (and certainly not via such postings) - the other terms used such as "tribute," "defamation" or "extortion" - or using the snide quotes around "special" - also leave a bad aftertaste - was the Holocaust not special? how does the Polish government "cave" to Jewish groups in the question of restitution? Specifics?

    With all due bows to free speech, having his postings here detracts from the message of the blog - I assume such detraction is not intentional

    1. Exactly. this the non stop snide remarks, the little not-so-clever innuendos that show what Jan P has in his heart, and it is not reconciliation. Moreover, as we see, below, he does not believe in dialogue. Where has the "dialogue" left us? Precisely at the spot we are in--where others dictate what we can and cannot think and say, and they say whatever they please about us.
      I ask Mr P. Where has the dialogue left us? Has there been a dialogue yet? I dont think its even started. Has he been involved in dialogue. Does he take his arguments, as Danusha recommends elsewhere to Jewish people respectfully, seeking allies rather than endleslly accusing? If he is tired of Jews endlesly accusing Poland, why does he continue to enlessly accuse Jews?

  12. If so, then, considering how extremely self-effacing Poles have been, they should be liked by everybody.

    Where has the "dialogue" left us? Precisely at the spot we are in--where others dictate what we can and cannot think and say, and they say whatever they please about us.

    "Acceptable"--to whom?

    "Bad aftertaste"--to whom?

    So the term "Holocaust Industry" is anti-Semitic. I guess then that Norman Finkelstein, the Jewish author who coined the term, is an anti-Semite in spite of himself.

    1. Well , since you refer to your critic Tom on Amazon as a self hating Pole, i guess its fair for some jews to feel Fink is a self hating jew.

  13. Thank you for such an informative no-holds-bar post, along with supportive links.

    I do not think that anyone in his or her right mind thinks that the Holocaust Industry represents all or even most Jews (remember, that Finkelstein is Jewish), much less that the Holocaust Industry represents some kind of monopoly of Jews upon greed.

  14. "The WJC has consistently lobbied the Polish government to enact legislation that would ensure the restitution of private property seized during the Nazi occupation and later during the Communist regime."

    so, what's wrong with that?

  15. I wish that you had read my January 3rd posting. Not doing so just drives us in circles.

    Here is part of what I had said:

    "Of course victims and rightful heirs are entitled to restitution. No one questions that."

    I was actually focusing on heirless Jewish properties and former Jewish communal property. This lawfully belongs to the state (Poland), and not to any self-appointed Jewish (or other) group. Please read about what I had said would happen if Italian or Italian-American organizations had tried to acquire the heirless properties of Italian Americans.

  16. Dear Dr. DG

    i agree completely with Dr. Feldman's assessment. but i am disappointed that you point anyone to self-styled scholar Jan Peczkis's Amazon reviews. . I have read his writing. Leaving aside his ad hominem and immature personal attacks on anyone who disagrees with him or points out flaws in this logic or thinking, ((he called me an ignoramous for example) i find his his tone, his rhetoric, and his content offensive and Judeophobic. I have not found a single review of his so far, and i have read about 20, in which he misses the opportunity to cherry pick content in an attempt to single out alleged Jewish perfidy on every account, as well as make unsubstantiated claims that fit the typical judeophobic tropes such as Jewish dominance of the economy, etc , etc., , while at the same time practicising overt denial of the kind of Polish antisemtism that you talk about being essential not to deny on your blog. I cannot find a single positive thing he has said on Amazon about Polish Jews or American ones for that matter. i have not scene a single critic on his part of Polish behavior in its treatment of Jews. I find him offensive, and i never play the anti-semite card; i dont blame Poland for the Nazis and i am very comfortable critiquing jews and also learning about errors, etc , in Jewish history. i have no problem with Peczki's as above, debating , e.g. the fairness of the the WJC attempting to gain restitution of private property. But if you will look further, on Amazon, you will find far more than than, age old Judeophobic tropes, etc. To me Peczkis is beyond the Pale, no pun intended. Thank you.

    1. Ignoramus? If the shoe fits, wear it. And what about the many false statements you made about me in Amazon comments? Your other comments make it sound as though you have not read my reviews too carefully. This is why I had stopped answering your comments under my reviews on Amazon.

      I am afraid that denialism is primarily not from the Polish side of things.

  17. Those readers interested in more about the attitudes of Israeli teenagers visiting Poland, note that they are discussed in the book, A CROOKED MIRROR. To see my recent review of this item, which is about Polish-Jewish reconciliation, please click on my name in this specific posting.


Bieganski the Blog exists to further explore the themes of the book Bieganski the Brute Polak Stereotype, Its Role in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture.
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