I got compared to Hitler today on the internet. And someone I thought of as a "friend" "liked" the "you are like Hitler" post. And I was blamed for various massacres of Jews.
Many Holocaust historians have written that only in Poland did occupying Nazis institute a public policy that it would be standard operating procedure that any aid to any Jew would be punished with death to the entire family.
I've heard that in lectures from reputable Holocaust scholars.
I've read that in books from reputable Holocaust scholars.
A retired professor, Jewish American, said that that is not true.
I said, I'm not a historian. I can't say that it's true. All I can say is that canonical scholars in canonical books have made this claim.
I linked three books by received, celebrated scholars: Norman Davies, Lucy Dawidowicz, and Gunnar S. Paulsson. Published by Harvard UP, Yale UP, and Penguin.
In response, the retired professor shouted at me, "Jedwabne! Kielce!" referring to a horrific massacre of Jews by Poles, and a horrific pogrom of Jews by Poles.
Neither one of us had mentioned Jedwabne or Kielce in the conversation. These references had nothing to do with anything anyone had said. It boggles my mind to think that a *professor* would respond to citations from scholarly books on a different topic with such a racist and inflammatory comment.
Then a woman, also Jewish, who had not participated in the conversation up to that point, threw in the Hitler comparison. Then my Facebook friend, also Jewish, liked her comment.
I contacted my Facebook friend privately. I said, why did you "like" a comment that compares me to Hitler for citing three scholarly books?
He wrote back, "I think that conversations about historical events as entangled & multisided as the Shoah can't be entirely free of biases held, consciously or unconsciously, by participants in the debate. This thread, though an important & consequential one among the multitude of threads in the Facebook universe,& though more immediate & edgy than many, is not unique & will not avoid tensions & wounded feelings. Whether or not we agree, I will continue to call you my friend & will not cease to admire your writing."
I don't know what that means. I wish he had just said, "I don't think it is Hitler like to cite scholarly books to try to find out whether or not a statement is true."
I think there is anti Polish sentiment at work here. In my experience, Polish anti-Semites are street rabble and fringe figures. But there are plenty of people who are professors in universities who really don't like Polish people.