Monday, March 3, 2014

Poland Must Come to Terms with Its Nazi Past: Bieganski on Amazon

Poles fought the Nazis. Source: Wikipedia. 
Poles were victimized by Nazis. Source: USHMM
In the Bieganski stereotype, though, Poles ARE Nazis. 
The Bieganski stereotype conflates Poland and Nazism. In the Bieganski stereotype, Poles are the world's worst anti-Semites, and, therefore, they must be Nazis, and their country must be the home of Nazism.

Bieganski-style conflations of Poland with Nazis and Nazism are common in contemporary Western culture. One such conflation can be found in an Amazon review of the 2013 Beacon Press book "The Crooked Mirror: A Memoir of Polish-Jewish Reconciliation" by Louise Steinman.

The reviewer quoted below is a member of Amazon Vine Voice, a select group of reviewers whose reviews are promoted by Amazon. Kayla Rigney further identifies herself as a Holocaust historian. In her review, Rigney writes,

"Poland's Nazi past IS connected to Poland's own cultural antisemitism -- and it will always be so connected. Just because small groups of Polish people are helping to rescue tombstones stolen from Jewish graves, repair empty synagogues, and are building museums/cultural centers to honor Poland's Jewish *past*, doesn't mean the entire country has come to terms with its Nazi past.

It will take many generations to heal the wounds of what was Jewish Poland, if it is possible to heal them at all. True reconciliation between hell and the human heart takes *time.* …My heart breaks for Poland, because *true* reconciliation is *emotionally and spiritually painful* in the country of Oświęcim. In real life, I'm a Holocaust historian."

So, there you have it. In this Amazon review, we see the conflation of Poland with Nazism. In fact, of course, Poland has no "Nazi past." Nazism was a German movement. Bieganski, though, in many minds, is more powerful than historical reality.

What can concerned persons do about this? For ideas please read this series of blog posts.

You can read the above quoted review here.

1 comment:

  1. The irony of this egregiously Polonophobic review that you cite is the fact that the author of THE CROOKED MIRROR specifically repudiated many of the anti-Polish views that are prevalent in the Jewish community. I elaborated on this in my own review of this item, which can be read by clicking 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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