Friday, January 4, 2013

Zahava Englard "The Death Camp Debate"

From "The Death Camp Debate" by Zahava Englhard on the Times of Israel blog

"The other night, at my daughter’s school there was an assembly of faculty and students to discuss the annual trip to Poland. I didn’t attend. I saw no point in it. Although I had told my daughter that joining her class on the trip to Poland must be her decision to make and not mine, I’m totally against it.

These organized trips, whether they be through schools or through other organized tour groups do little more than line the pockets of the descendants of those who collaborated with the Nazis. Yes, the Poles today are laughing all the way to the bank each time groups of hundreds of Jewish students at a time embark on Polish Air, reserve rooms at Polish hotels, rent Polish buses and pay the salaries of Polish tour guides as well as Polish security guards that escort these groups."

Full text is here. Thank you to Andrew Golebiowski for sending this in. 


  1. There were others who had originally opposed the Israeli Holocaust-related visits to Poland because Poland would "profit" for them and look better internationally because of them. For an example of this, please click on my name in this specific posting.

    Unfortunately, for some, nothing good should happen to Poland--now matter how indirect.

  2. Mr Peczkis-perhaps they, the Israelis, should buy property in Poland, open their own stores, own cafes and see to it that these Israeli tour groups stay/buy/eat&drink only at these places-than the "profit" would go back, in most parts, to Israel. Perhaps that would make it ok? I am just joking,of course.

    Ive read the article-what is interesting is how she is attacked by people of Jewish faith who ACTUALLY went to Poland-they tell her how wrong she is, how great Poland/the Poles are ect and that she is a hater. To me, this is hope.The best thing that could be done, I believe, would be to get as many Israelis/Jewish Americans to meet with real Jewish Poles, to make their own experiences.

    People like Englard are an impediment to the progress of humanity.Sorry for being harsh-but who saws hatred is an enemy of progress.

    1. Thanks for the laugh.

      For the dealers in Israeli trips to Poland, it appears that those of an anti-Polish mindset are in a benefit/cost tension: Is the instilling of Israeli nationalism, Holocaust-consciousness, and blame-Poland thinking worth the benefits to Poland in terms of tourist-related financial profit and enhanced international prestige? Owing to the huge and growing number of such visits, the answer generally appears to be "yes".

      As for positive Polish-Israeli relations, they must be balanced by the decidedly negative overall tone of the Israeli teenagers' visits to Poland. If you have not seen it already, see the recent blogspot at this blog, titled: "Poland: A Living Deathscape of Diaspora Jewry". See also my review of a very revealing book by a Jewish author by clicking on my name in this specific posting.

      Finally, it is not so much the opinion of ordinary Israelis that matters. What matters is the opinion of influential people, for they are the ones that set the tone of how Israelis, Diaspora Jews, and others see Poles and Poland. Almost everything I have seen to date indicates that this tone remains generally hostile to Poland, and will remain predominantly so for the foreseeable future.

  3. Youre welcome ;-)

    To be honest-things like these have made me loose faith in humanity altogether.Humanity is just stupid, I am afraid. And thinks only in very short terms.In bashing Poland (and ignoring Eastern Europe altogether) Israel is making a stupid choice-here is why-

    Have You been to Europe? The main difference between Western and Central/Eastern Europe is the fact that the West is being literary colonialized by muslims. There is no conspiracy here-these people came from the former colonies (like Algeria,Kongo and the likes) and they are having far more children, plus more of them are coming as refugees-who, of course, do not want to go to Poland when they can get 1800 Euros plus per family and other benefits 4 free in the West.In a forseeable future,muslims will make up enough to be valuable as voters.And, in general, muslims dislike Israel because of Palestine.

    Israel should be nice to Poland (and other states) that will stay Christian/secular-at one point in the future, the assistance of even smaller states such as Slovakia, may turn out to be very valuable.

    Mr. Peczkis, which book are You referring to? I wasnt able to find it...

    And true again-next time I will go to Poland I will try to talk to some Polish rabbis.This is a problem and I would like to see if we can do about it. I have got to know many people of Jewish faith who had the same prejudice and afterwards made a 180 grade turn. It is worth a shot, I believe.

    Hate begets hatred. I dont want to see a situation where Israel will need help, the semi-islamized countries of the West wont help and Poland will not want to help after having been smeared by a small yet loud group of Poland-haters.

  4. Thanks, Mieszko, for returning. You raise some interesting points.

    Yes, I have visited Poland, and am also well aware of the situation in western Europe.

    To find the book, click on my name, Jan Peczkis, in this or my previous posting. This will take you directly to my review of the eye-opening book I had mentioned.

    If you still cannot find it, then go to, and type-in the title, which is ABOVE THE DEATH PITS. Be prepared to be amazed in a way.

  5. To be fair to the Times of Israel's readership, virtually every comment there is bashing the author.

    Henryk Siewierynski

  6. This woman is seeking publicity and all the people answering her are doing nothing better but feeding the troll. In other words, she's a publicity whore of sorts. The more outlandish ideas she sports, the better it works for her in this regard and more "clicks" she gets. Ads sell much better thus.
    She openly admits that as never being there she has no qualifications to express opinion on contemporary Poland, nevertheless she fires one broadside after another. Certainly, there's a freedom of speech so she can do as pleased, but do all her respondents really need to answer this gobshite?

    Tomas Linetzky

    1. Tomas, Hi, again. Forgive me for repeating myself.

      The main concern of this blog is what I've called Bieganski, the Brute Polak stereotype. I used that name from William Styron's Sophie's Choice.

      It's shorthand, like Shylock or Sambo or Bimbo or Guido or any number of other terms for stereotypes.

      I don't mention Zahava's column here because I think it has value. I mention it because, like Giles Coren's column, or various other items described here, it is another example of Bieganski.


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.
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