Thursday, June 28, 2012

Nominating Bieganski

Dear Stephen M. Leahy, Awards Committee Chair,

We, the undersigned, nominate Bieganski the Blog for the PAHA Skainy Civic Achievement Award. We understand that there is no cash prize for this award. We hope that the award will serve to highlight the important work of Bieganski the Blog, and encourage other Polonians to take up this work.

Bieganski the Blog is doing work that no other Polonian individual or entity is doing. It is refuting, in scholarly, publication-quality blog posts, the Brute Polak stereotype that is currently used to distort immigration history, race relations, Christian-Jewish relations, the Holocaust, and World War Two history. Bieganski the Blog has also presented an action plan for the wider Polonian community to take up this work. Bieganski the Blog is not just about politics. It has featured literary essays, poetry, and memoirs.

Bieganski the Blog has existed since 2010. The primary author of the blog is Danusha V. Goska, author of "Bieganski, the Brute Polak Stereotype." Access to the blog is free. Goska receives no financial or institutional support from any source.

The blog has also featured guest blog entries. "Ripples of Sin," by Otto Gross, details the roots of his Nazi father's hostility toward Poles, Catholics, and Jews. "Looking Down a Mine Shaft" by Chris Jaworski, is an average Polish-American's reflections on his father. UK crime novelist Danuta Reah's "Making Monsters" talks about the process of ethnic demonization.

Bieganski the Blog has been the springboard for protests against distortions of WW II and Holocaust history, see, for example, the open letter to Clair Willcox regarding the book "They Were Just People," a university press book that claims, inter alia, that the Home Army was an anti-Semitic organization that never did anything to help Jews. Bieganski the Blog was the first to initiate organized protest against the Pier 21 film "Oceans of Hope" that conflates Polish Catholic rescuers of Jews with Nazis. This protest began when Malgorzata Tarchala, a Polish activist living in Germany, contacted Bieganski the Blog.

Unlike all too many such initiatives that protest stereotyping of Poles and other Eastern Europeans, Bieganski the Blog is never chauvinist and it supports its protests with intellectual foundations. For example, in the blog post "Why Stereotype Poles?" Bieganski the Blog explained exactly why books like "They Were Just People" and films like "Oceans of Hope" work to discredit Polish Catholic rescuers of Jews. It has provided the intellectual foundations of the Bieganski, Brute Polak stereotype in the series of blog posts entitled, "Inside the Mind of a Bigot." Bieganski the Blog has celebrated Polish-Jewish amity and cooperation in a four-part series of blog posts entitled "Poland's Importance to Jews; Jews' Importance to Poland."

The blog has included literary essays that were eventually published in print media, for example "My Vow: Never Be an Immigrant," and it has reproduced poetry and essays by all-too-little-known Polish-American poets like Christina Pacosz and John Guzlowski, and it has drawn attention to the Polish-Jewish memoirist Edward Herzbaum. The blog has included updates from present-day Poland from Goska, during her 2011 speaking engagements there, and from Poles living in Poland. The blog has published scholarly analyses of brute Polaks in film, novels, and scholarly books. The blog has presented an action plan for Polonia in its response to the brute Polak stereotype in the post "The Crisis in Polonian Leadership, Organization, and Vision."

Bieganski the Blog has refuted the tendency to lay blame for the stereotypification of Poles on any one ethnic group, including Jews, for example in blog posts entitled "Stop Blaming the Jews."

The blog has proved to be a place on the internet where concerned Polonians can meet, chat, reminisce, and talk strategy. Non-Polonians also read the blog, and have left comments on it attesting to their learning much about Polonia from the blog.

There is no other entity in Polonia doing the work that Bieganski the Blog does. The PAHA Awards committee can make an important contribution to Polonia by acknowledging the importance of the blog's work with the Skainy Civic Achievement Award.

Thank you.


Blog readers: if you would like to add your name to this request, please do so in the comments section. It would be greatly appreciated. Again, there is no cash award involved here. I would just like to see more Polonians and others engaged in the work outlined above, and one step toward that would be the bestowing of this award on the blog. Thank you.


  1. Good luck on getting recognition so well deserved!

    To everyone who reads D's blog actively or as a lurker,now is one of those times you can make a difference and show that you think this blog should win.

  2. Danusha, thank you for writing the book and the blog. All of Polonia should thank you.

  3. Prof. Antony Polonsky adds his signature. He had trouble with the posting system so I am adding his name for him.

  4. A thought-provoking, very worthwhile blog with a very sensible moderating policy.

  5. Bieganski the Blog is always an interesting and educating read. It helps bring like-minded people together and enables them to discuss a variety of Pononia issues, both current and historical. I do hope that the Bieganski Blog receives the positive acknowledgement that it so clearly deserves.

  6. A German-American in the US, a Polish-Canadian in Canada, a Polish-Jew in England, readers in Australia and France.

    I like that about this blog. Thank you all for participating. :-)

  7. I agree that Bieganski and Dr. Goska deserve this award.

  8. "A unique blog, always interesting to read. Kira Nemirovsky, Production editor, Academic Studies Press"

  9. I totally support, without reservation, this request. The value and the unique nature of the blog itself, are both beyond question, and it richly deserves all the recognition, support and readership it can get.

    Don Freidkin

  10. Christina Pacosz adds her name.

  11. Terese Pencak Schwartz is also totally supporting this!!!

  12. I add my name in support of this breakthrough work.

    --Mr. Jan Peczkis

  13. Kathy Cherwinski LongJune 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    I support this award for Danusha and her Blog

  14. Yes, this is a brave blog, and always interesting to read. A worthy nomination.

  15. i would like to support bieganski s nomination also antoinette cooney

  16. This blog is the place to meet and discuss important issues concerning Polonia. It brings us together - both old and new Polish emigration. I have learnt a lot here. I have changed. I believe we can now change the world.

  17. Bieganski the blog and Bieganski the book are both vital pieces of Polish cultural knowledge. It deserves all the acclaim that scholarship and public attention can give it.

  18. I urge PAHA to award the Skainy Civic Achievement Award to Dr. Danusha Goska's thought-provoking, lucid, beautifully written "Bieganski the Blog," from which I have learned a great deal about the Polish-American experience, the Polish tragedy during WWII, and Polish-Jewish relations.

  19. I support this blog and it is definitely worthy of a nomination for this award. Excellent work and cause!

    - from Poland

  20. I would like to nominate this blog. It is always thought provoking, and addresses very important issues.

  21. I would like to nominate this blog. It is always thought provoking and addresses important issues. Danuta Reah

  22. "Bieganski the Blog" simply deserves this award.
    Łukasz Klimek

  23. Please add my name, David Jan Niechwiadowicz, to those supporting this nomination

  24. I would like to nominate this informative and neatly-written blog.

  25. Piotr Adamczyk

  26. I think that the Bieganski blog is the perfect candidate for the Skalny Civic Achievement Award. The entries are well researched, well written and entertain topics so vital to our community at this moment.

    Andy Golebiowski
    Buffalo, N.Y.

  27. I would also like to nominate Danusha's blog. Mark Schaffer

  28. I highly recommend Bieganski the Blog for the PAHA Skainy Civic Achievement Award. I appreciate the very high quality of research and writing.
    Teresa Klatka
    Rock Springs, Wyoming

  29. Danusha, do not forget me, a Polish Swede! :-)

    As many before me have stated; this blog deserves to be awarded!!!

    Artur Szulc
    Writer and historian

  30. I also join with pleasure those who support this blog !
    Sebastian Rejak

  31. I'd like to add my support.
    Bartosz Michalski

  32. I support the efforts of Danusha Goska and others who, in contributing to Bieganski the Blog, have "advance[d] PAHA's goals of promoting research and awareness of the Polish-American experience and/or have made significant contributions to Polish or Polish-American community and culture."* May the Polish American Historical Association (PAHA) recognize and honor this blog with the Skainy Civic Achievement Award.

    Chris Jaworski


  33. I support the nomination of Bieganski the Blog and salute the efforts of Danusha Goska to use wit, humour and intelligence in her comments on Polish history and society and the fraught questions of Jewish-Catholic relations, man-woman relations, black-white relations, and other quandaries of the divine comedy that is human life.

  34. Danusha, add my name to my post supporting your nomination which I just sent you if that help, best wishes, Mick Gold, London

  35. I support the nomination for Bieganski the Blog for the PAHA Skainy Civic Achievement Award. Danusha Goska is a very thoughtful and witty commentator and researcher of sensitive and complex subject. Thank you Danusha. Good luck.
    Joanna Wroblewska, London

  36. I find this blog an outstanding work and recommend it for the PAHA Skainy Civic Achievement Award.
    Piotr Muszyński


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.