One of the main arguments of my book "Bieganski: The Brute Polak Stereotype" is that in contemporary Western culture, Poland is conflated with the Holocaust. As one of my informants said when asked how he would react if he were on a TV game show and he won an all-expenses-paid, round-trip ticket to Poland, "I wouldn't want to go anywhere associated with the Holocaust."
Poland is "brick to brick, concentration camps," another said.
You can read their words in the book, along with further evidence to support my assertion.
New evidence of this conflation of Poland with the Holocaust appears regularly.
In a November 13, 2020 article, Ellen J. Kennedy, a MinnPost columnist, conflates Poland with the Holocaust. Poland is on the verge of turning into Nazi Germany and murderding millions of Jews, she writes.
In her opening paragraphs, Kennedy revisists the rise of Nazism. After this intro, she writes, "We know the ending of the story: 6 million Jews were exterminated, simply because of who they were."
Poland = Nazi Germany, she informs her readers. "The six concentration camps used exclusively for extermination during the Holocaust, including Auschwitz, were all located in German-occupied Poland. That a country with a history that includes the presence of the Holocaust’s worst horrors is again the site of hatred against a vulnerable group is almost unimaginable ... This is the rhetoric in Poland today: gay-free in a place that, 75 years ago, nearly became completely Jew-free."
What is happening in Poland that is JUST LIKE THE HOLOCAUST?
President Duda "Vetoed a gender recognition bill that Parliament passed which would have given legal recognition to transgender identities. He went on to campaign with rhetoric declaring that LGBTQ individuals are 'not people,' claiming that like communism, they are a foreign import and he would protect Poland and its people from being under attack by this evil influence. He is fully supported by the Catholic Church, which wields great power in Poland."
I support gay rights. I reject homophobia. If I were in Poland, I'd proudly march under a rainbow Madonna of Czestochowa.
But Kennedy's hyperbole is a crime. It's tantamount to Holocaust denial. Duda is not Hitler. Opposition to the kind of extremism that is occuring in the West -- people fired from jobs because they accidentally call a female student "she" -- is not Nazism. And that extremism is a foreign import.
Again, I don't support Duda's or anyone's scapegoating of gay people. I loathe the criminals who threw rocks at a gay pride march in Bialystok. I want to see gay people enjoying full equal rights in Poland. And I can say all that without ever conflating Poland with Nazi Germany.
Kennedy is an idiot. She has no idea that Poland was Nazi Germany's first victim.
What can concerned citizens do about the conflation of Poland with the Holocaust?
You can read Ellen J. Kennedy's full article here