Friday, November 23, 2012

Beata Chomatowska Commemorates the Jews of Muranow and a Disgruntled Pole Complains

Photo: Adam Galica. Source
NBC news just published "The Ghosts of Muranow: A Journalist's Mission to Illuminate Poland's Haunted Past," by Donald Snyder. Snyder's article records Polish journalist Beata Chomatowska's efforts to bring attention to Jews who were murdered in Muranow by the Nazis. Muranow is a district of Warsaw.

The full article is linked, below.

There are comments below the article.

One of those commenting wrote:

"Yes, it is nice to remember history, but not to falsify it. The woman remembers Jewish history, but not Polish history which I know a lot better than she.

I lived only a block from there and have seen the destruction myself. I lived through German occupation, the bombings, the extermination of Polish population by the Germans and then the Soviet under Jewish leadership of Jakub Berman.

'Communist rulers.... purposely erased its Jewish history ' what b.s. ! The Communist rulers were Jews sent by Stalin who were too busy exterminating Polish patriots who fought Germans and who were being hunted down like dogs by the Jewish Communist mafia with Stalin's blessing.

This women so concerned with Jewish propaganda forgets the suffering of her own people (if she is Polish at all ) that she has no clue what actually happened.

I find this article disgusting because I have seen the suffering first hand and remember freezing and being hungry within 500 ft. of the picture. The Jewish whining about being victims and forgetting their part in bloody extermination of Poles is beyond my comprehention [sic]. All this Jewish propaganda is to try to justify killings of Palestinians, for which there is no excuse. One crime does not justify another."

My response to this person.

If you want people to remember Polish history, you have to do what Ms. Chomatowska and others are doing to educate people about Jewish history.

You have to read books, buy books, and get books on syllabi. You have to unite with your fellows, organize, and act strategically. In short, you have to do this.

The world is tired of Poles who do not get their own story out there, or support those who do so, but who do manage to sit on the sidelines, complaining bitterly, when others tell their story publicly. The person who posted the above message is like the dog in the manger. He isn't doing the work necessary to commemorate his own history. He spitefully rants against those who commemorate a history he does not value as part of his own. By his anti-Semitism, he shames his own history.

Link to the Donald Snyder's article about Beata Chomatowska commemorating the murdered Jews of Muranow is here.

Thank you to Otto Gross for sending this in. One of Otto's previous blog contributions can be read here.


  1. “The Poles”? Id like to politely disagree with You-Come on, normally,You are doing way better ;-). In my opinion,there are always 3 parties involved in any quarrel.Two extremes and the people in between. In the one hand, there are people who really tell you that you are an “anti-Semite” if you dare to say that people of Jewish faith were not the only victims of the Holocaust, if you tell them about how much the Polish Underground State did for Jews. Once,I was told my an Jewish-American that I (who has spent considerable time researching Judaism,its history ect.and who happens to know some Jewish congregations in Poland and elsewhere) was “uninformed” “that I needed to do my homework (in a much more condescending way) but that they “do not say that I am an anti-Semite,but the Poles ect”-it makes you want to smash you keyboard. On the other hands,there are idiots claiming that “the Jews” are guarding “their monopoly on the Holocaust” and “instrumentalizing” it for various means” ect. Both extremes are like mirror images of each other.Also, it is quite impossible to have a honest discussion, it seems, because of extremism.(BTW, what I have enjoyed very much about You book was, that actually, You were not writing about Jews and Poles but-about people.We have similar quarrels all over the world,people in the West just don’t know about them). I mean the stuff about “the Jewish Communist mafia with Stalin's blessing.” is a case in point.The truth is that Soviets very much enjoyed hiring criminals from any minority,it does not mean that Jew are morally worse than anyone else and thus it should be possible to talk about criminals such as Helena Wolinska (because they are murderers,not because they had a Jewish background) without getting a knee-jerk reaction ala “this is probably,because she is Jewish, ect”. It should be-but it is not.Also, the suffering of millions of Slavs and Gypsies is not really commemorated (my grandparents told me how horrible it was under Nazi German occupation-so I need to “do my homework” and learn that Poles not only were cheerleaders of the Shoa but robbed “the Jews” and lived like kings---)-one extremism is fueling the next- a vicious circle, truly. You are right-we should “get the Polish story out there”-but there is the next problem.Its not “the narrative”. When the BBC basically smeared Poles and Ukrainians as rascist-kryptofascist-anti-Semites it was the same. To achieve this, the misquoted the rabbi of Cracow,Ornstein, who was furious. He said that he suggested the BBC interviewing some Polish-Isreali footballers,who are happily playing for Polish teams and he was told that “it did not fit the story”.A German, who happens to be the grandson of a SS man and a friend of the Polish/Czech people,Selbmann has written an article about why newspapers and media in Germany are writing little to nothing, and if,than mostly in a negative way,about both countries-because its “what the readers want”.Of course, You are right-we need to fight, but,well, have You tried to talk about Bieganski in the f.e NYT? Or other newspapers? I still have one,albeit cynical hope,namely that, when multi-culturalism fails miserably, when Israel will have to fight for its sheer survival, hatred and disdain for Poles will migrate to Muslims.Apparently,people are born haters, they need to hate for their failing at live.Is just should not be Poles so suffer for it ;-)

    1. Hanna, I'll be honest -- I read only the first line of your post. You say quote the Poles unquote.

      Please let me know to what you are referring. What are you quoting. The words "The Poles" don't appear in the blog post, above. Thanks.

    2. Sorry,this was meant to be posted on FB :-)

  2. That is why I am grateful to all, like yourself, who are getting our story out there. I think that is a very powerful way to circumvent the politics.

    That is why I have published my father's poem - and thanks so much to you for blogging it. It tells what happened to him, and so many others, because of Hitler and Stalin, but without vilifying others.

    If we wish to please our Creator, we will not retaliate in kind.

    1. "That is why I am grateful to all, like yourself, who are getting our story out there"

      Thank you, Sue. I really appreciate it. I really do.

  3. I suppose that the best way to handle this matter is to always remember the following: Poles were sometimes victims. Jews were sometimes victims. Poles were sometimes victimizers. Jews were sometimes victimizers. It is no more complicated than that. Why can't some people just leave it at that?

    1. Jan Peczkis, thanks for reading and commenting.

      I think we, Polish Catholics (and for the purposes of this debate, even Sue, a JW, and Danuta, an atheist, are Polish Cahtolics) -- I think we have got to stop griping.

      As I've said many times, JP, I admire the conscientiousness you devote to your Amazon reviews. We don't agree on a few important points, but that does not take away my admiration of your work ethic and your service.

      But too many Polonians, like the anonymous author of the above quoted internet post, do zip, and just sit back and gripe and take potshots at others, and toss in anti-Semitic garbage to boot.

      That stance is not doing Polonia any good, believe me.

  4. What do you think of this article?

    The Noble and the Base: Poland and the Holocaust

  5. Dear Danusha, have You tried to get Your book published in Poland? We would really need it here :-)

  6. Mieszko, I tried very hard to get Bieganski published in Poland. I know you need it. I was jerked around by a series of Polish publishers. I gave up.

  7. Good question- Danusha,could You tell me which publishers You have written to? Perhaps there are some You have not tried ;-) If so, let me know- I would like to help You a little bit, as much as I can. I do believe there is selling potential, because Poles in general are quite interested in Judaism, but also shocked at the disdain coming from certain people of that background-it would help to foster mutual understanding-so,plz let me know, I think You should give it a second try ;-)

  8. Hanna or anyone else should feel free to contact Polish publishers.

    I will no longer do so. My experiences were so negative. It's a waste of energy.

  9. Again, Poles and Polonia constantly point the finger outward, blaming blaming blaming others for negative stereotypes of Poles.

    In my experience, Poles and Polonia would benefit from self examination.

    My publisher in the US were Jews. They accepted the book quickly, published it quickly, and I've had no problem with them.

    A publisher in Poland should publish Bieganski there. It will be a good thing if that ever happens.

    It has not happened, and that is nobody else's fault. Pointing the finger at others does not help here. Rather, Poles and Polonians need to step up to the plate.


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