Friday, October 4, 2019

The Fake Nazi Death Camp: Wikipedia's Longest Hoax, Exposed Haaretz

from Haaretz
Falsified image of fake gas chamber
From Haaretz:

This dry description of the systematic murder of ethnic Poles by Nazi forces during World War II was taken from the English-language Wikipedia article for the “Warsaw concentration camp,” also known as Konzentrationslager Warschau. The site where the camp stood is an object of pilgrimage for some in Poland, who hold periodic ceremonies on what they believe is hallowed ground. They come to honor the memory of thousands of Poles murdered in a gas chamber located near the Warsaw West (Warszawa Zachodnia) train station – which still exists – and have even erected monuments and plaques in their memory.

There’s just one problem: No such death camp ever existed. There is no historical evidence of German gas chambers ever existing in Warsaw, and nowhere near 200,000 people died in the cluster of Nazi internment centers that did stand at the basis of the myth of KL Warschau.

“It’s fake history,” says Prof. Havi Dreifuss, a Tel Aviv University historian and Yad Vashem’s expert on Poland and the Holocaust, when asked about gas chambers in Warsaw. Other Holocaust historians share her unequivocal position: “It’s a conspiracy theory,” says Prof. Jan Grabowski, a Polish-Canadian historian from the University of Ottawa, when asked about the legend behind the death toll. Yet both claims appeared, almost without interruption, for 15 years on the English-language version of Wikipedia in what is said to be Wikipedia’s longest-standing hoax.

Since the Wikipedia article on the “Warsaw concentration camp” was opened in August 2004, and until it was completely rewritten this past August, it falsely claimed that there was an extermination camp in the Polish capital. The article was translated into a dozen languages, and false bits of information from it permeated other Wikipedia entries on related subjects, gaining over half a million views in English alone. For example, bogus details on alleged prisoner numbers and the death toll found their way to central articles on the Holocaust on Wikipedia. These include “Nazi crimes against the Polish nation” and even the entry “Extermination camp,” where KL Warschau was listed alongside camps like Auschwitz and Majdanek for over 12 years.

The nature of this falsehood – the fact that it’s a well-known conspiracy theory that was deliberately pushed out – alongside the scope of its impact on other articles and their longevity within Wikipedia are what turn the extermination camp at KL Warschau into the longest-running hoax ever uncovered on the online encyclopedia. The first version of “Warsaw concentration camp” said the site was home to “death camps” where Warsaw’s Gentile population was “exterminated,” and before the article was partially rewritten this past May, it was called an “extermination camp” in the opening lines.

The person who first discovered the scale of the distortion – and is now arguing to have it recognized as Wikipedia’s longest hoax – is an Israeli editor dubbed Icewhiz, who refuses to be identified by his real name but agreed to speak with Haaretz. Icewhiz has already rewritten the English-language article for KL Warschau to reflect the accepted historical truth, but his attempt to cleanse other Wikipedia articles that incorporate material from it reveal that the principal entry is only the tip of an iceberg. An examination of his claims by Haaretz reveals the existence of what seems to be a systematic effort by Polish nationalists to whitewash hundreds of Wikipedia articles relating to Poland and the Holocaust.

This attempt to revise the accepted history of the Shoah on the internet encyclopedia parrots the revised historical narrative currently being trumpeted by the Polish government. In this narrative, the Poles in general – not just the country’s Jewish population – were the main victims of the Nazi occupation. This line attempts to shift the light away from a growing body of research into cases of Polish cooperation and collaboration with the Nazis in the persecution of Jews. The effort to rewrite Polish history on Wikipedia joins Holocaust distortion efforts by Polish think tanks – picked up and echoed by nationalist media outlets – that try to increase the estimate of the number of Poles who perished during the so-called Polocaust, a term that has gained popularity in recent years and is used to describe the mass murder of non-Jewish Poles at the hands of the Nazis. Many times, this also includes minimizing the number of Jews who died during the Holocaust. And while this new Polish narrative has failed to make headway in academia or the world media, on Wikipedia it has thrived...

Read full article here


  1. Havi Dreifuss...Jan Grabowski...some unidentified Icewhiz...

    Look who is talking!

    1. Hello Mr. Peczkis,

      Icewhiz is an Internet troll who for a long time was only suspected to be an Israeli. Well, that turned out to be true.
      Icewhiz tried to erase professor John Radzilowski from the Wikipedia.

      Jan Grabowski is an expert on colonists-natives relations in North America. He got his PH.D. for that.
      I assume it's a touchy subject, since he prefers to write books on other relations. On another continent.

      As for Havi "expert on Poland" Dreifuss she doesn't speak a word in Polish. Not exactly a person qualified to write about Poland.

  2. Thanks for posting about this, Danusha. I hadn’t heard of it before. It’s complete bs, a “nationalist fever dream,” as Christian Davies (link below) phrases it.

    Here are the money quotes from the Davies article:

    “So, why was almost no one in Poland aware of the existence of this additional death camp in the centre of the country’s capital? The answer reads like a nationalist fever dream, in which all of the nation’s historic enemies play a role: the Germans covered it up because they didn’t want to pay reparations for Nazi crimes; the Jews covered it up because they didn’t want to give up their share of the global victims’ market; the Russians and Polish communists covered it up because they ran the facility after the war (in these circles, ‘Jew’ and ‘communist’ are often used interchangeably); Poles in the know covered it up because they were bribed or brainwashed by foreign interests.”


    “It’s perhaps unsurprising, given the decades of propaganda directed at Poles by various occupying powers, and the cover-up of real atrocities such as the mass execution of Polish officers by the Soviets at Katyń in 1940, that some should believe that a huge death camp in the nation’s capital could have been hidden for so long. The Germans did plan to enslave the Poles, murder the educated classes and eradicate the national culture, and they did succeed in destroying Warsaw. But they never attempted the systematic mass murder of all Polish citizens. The worst thing about being in that tunnel was not that the people around me believed that so many of their compatriots were gassed there. It was that they so desperately wanted it to be true.”

    Link to Christian Davies’ article in the London Review of Books:

    1. The history of WWII is a history of hoaxes. The world believed that the Germans murdered Poles in Katyn, that 4 million people died in Auschwitz. The basic question - "was France able to stop Germany in 1939 ?" is ignored, such macrohistoric problems are replaced by microhistory - did Rycz brothers kill a number of Jews ?(a real problem described by Barbara Engelking). The accused brothers (Hryć) did not live in their village and were not ethnic Poles, a Communist judge acquited them but a Warsaw professor 70 years later repeats false accusations.

  3. The caption of the photo Omer Benjakob uses for his 4 Oct 2109 article, entitled “The Fake Nazi Death Camp: Wikipedia’s Longest Hoax, Exposed”, reads “Prisoners in the Warsaw concentration camp”.

    However, Wikipedia’s entry, entitled “Gęsiówka”, has the same photo with the caption “Jewish prisoners of Gęsiówka and Polish resistance fighters of the Home Army's “Zośka” battalion after the camp’s liberation in August 1944”.

    Another Wikipedia entry, entitled “Warsaw concentration camp” notes that the conspiracy theory has been debunked in scientific literature and even cites the Haaretz article as a source.

  4. The "death camp" story has been published in Poland by a judge Maria Trzcińska and debunked by several authors, so it wasn't a "hoax" but a controversial subject to at least 2007. Please remeber that only a small number of Polish editors participates in English Wikipedia, so they are not able to verify thousands of pages describing history of Poland.

  5. Jan, you submitted a link. I clicked on it and scrolled upward and found posts saying that Anne Frank didn't die, that there are no human remains, and other Holocaust denial material.

    Would you care to comment on that?

    1. Auschwitz accounts were written by Communist Jews? What is this site you linked to

    2. No, I do not want to post a link to a Holocaust denial site where someone is posting that Jews make good lampshades. Yes, i am taking this material from the comments section but that is what the link you sent me leads to, the comments section.

    3. Jan I had a look at the main page of the site of the link you submitted. It features numerous anti-Semitic and anti-black articles.

      this really worries me Jan.

    4. Jan, you've submitted another link to the anti-semitic website you submitted a link to before.

      I have researched this website. It is vile. It publishes pure filth. Jews drink Christian blood .... the Holocaust never happened ... blacks ... Hispanics ... No, I will not post to that website.

  6. Icewhiz has been punished by Wikipedia "enforcement", now he fights for acquittal. There are only few Polish editors in English WIkipedia and Icewhiz is able to make the number lower. No academician has ever described image of Poland in English Wikipedia. Generally people from Eastern Europe and Balkans are persecuted there, there are rules (laws) against them.


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.
These themes include the false and damaging stereotype of Poles as brutes who are uniquely hateful and responsible for atrocity, and this stereotype's use in distorting WW II history and all accounts of atrocity.
This blog welcomes comments from readers that address those themes. Off-topic and anti-Semitic posts are likely to be deleted.
Your comment is more likely to be posted if:
Your comment includes a real first and last name.
Your comment uses Standard English spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Your comment uses I-statements rather than You-statements.
Your comment states a position based on facts, rather than on ad hominem material.
Your comment includes readily verifiable factual material, rather than speculation that veers wildly away from established facts.
T'he full meaning of your comment is clear to the comment moderator the first time he or she glances over it.
You comment is less likely to be posted if:
You do not include a first and last name.
Your comment is not in Standard English, with enough errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar to make the comment's meaning difficult to discern.
Your comment includes ad hominem statements, or You-statements.
You have previously posted, or attempted to post, in an inappropriate manner.
You keep repeating the same things over and over and over again.