Friday, October 24, 2014

Adam Zucker's New Film "The Return" in The Times of Israel. Bieganski, the Brute Polak is Dead ... Or Is He?

From Adam Zucker's new film "The Return" Source: Times of Israel
On October 24, 2014 the Times of Israel published "New Film Suggests a Bright Future for Polish Jews," about Adam Zucker's new film "The Return" about Jews in Poland today.

The interview is hopeful. Zucker rejects the Bieganski, Brute Polak stereotype of Poles as the world's worst anti-Semites.

Unfortunately, in the comments section, it's clear that many Jews cling to Bieganski. Examples below:

Samuel Emil Malul wrote, "'Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community of Jedwabne' by historian Jan T. Gross. An immaculately detailed book which shows how this horror occurred with practically no input by Germans, the delight of the Polish neighbors in torturing, pillaging, raping and killing. The execrable acts against the Jewish people in Poland during the war could never have taken place without the conscious intent of their Polish neighbors."

Tuvia Fogel wrote "As far as Jews are concerned, Poland is nothing but the biggest graveyard in the world. Who the hell would want to live in a cemetery?"

Daniel L. Remler wrote "Unfortunately the director, in the paragraph where he compares Germany and Poland, understates the amount of Polish anti-Jewish acts during the war. Yes, the Germans ran the show. Yes, the Germans did far far more. But anti-Semitic attacks on the part of Poles were not limited to just a a few 'incidents.'"

Eddie Belz wrote "When I was younger, I knew many survivors (including my Polish father) and they often spoke about how horribly anti-semitic their fellow Poles were."

elimhauser (sic) wrote "While anecdotal, the refugees from Poland I have met by and large affirmed that anti-semitism was a large part of being in Poland, as demonstrated by the various pogroms after the war as collaborating experience"

In the article, the director himself takes a very different position. An excerpt:

"By and large, anti-Semitism is really not a big deal in Poland. I mean, there are some events that take place and they’re usually caused by the same skinheads that are racist and homophobic and all those other things. What is more noticeable is the philo-Semitism, the love and fetishism of all things Jewish. You go to the JCC at Krakow, there’s no metal detector — anybody can walk in the doors. And that’s not the case at Jewish synagogues in France or Sweden or elsewhere. So, if you were to quantify anti-Semitism in Europe, which is in fact on the rise, Poland is definitely low on the totem pole."

Big, big dziękuję, thank you, and תודה לך to Liron Rubin, mother of the cutest baby I've ever seen, for sending me this link. With apologies to all other babies.

Read the full article here


  1. One poster mentioned a survey that identifies Poland as the most antisemitic country in Europe, or one of the most antisemitic. Here is a link:

  2. This item has previously been featured on this Bieganski site.

    The "study" is so superficial that even some Jewish commentators noted that, had they taken the survey, even they would be labeled anti-Semitic.

    Finally, the "study" is useless because it does not identify why people feel the way they do. For instance, prominent Polish Jew Adam Michnik-Schecter warned about "secondary anti-Semitism": Poles lacking a single anti-Jewish bone in their body becoming anti-Semitic because of the constant accusations of anti-Semitism among Poles (not to mention the constant attacks on Poland in other contexts). For more on Michnik-Schecter and "secondary anti-Semitism", please click on my name in this specific posting.

    1. Why refer to Adam Michnik as Michnik Schecter?

    2. Simple. Adam Michnik himself wants his old Jewish surname, Schechter, used.

    3. I don't see it being used anywhere on the web.

    4. This was some time ago, and I do not recall where I heard it. It was not a formal name change, so that is probably why it is not now mentioned.

      Occasional reference to old surnames serves another purpose. It raises consciousness about a lack of justice. Multitudes of Communist criminals had changed their names to Polish ones under false pretenses, and had tortured and murdered thousands of Poles. Not one of these criminals has ever been brought to justice.

  3. To anonymous who sent the "Poland is for Poles" comment. Please provide a name.

  4. Anonymous, please sign your posts. Then I will think about posting them. You are posting inflammatory material -- you don't want Jews in Poland -- and you are posting anonymously. When I consider where to post material or not, I use the criteria listed here. Inflammatory plus anonymous does not recommend your posts for publication.

  5. This is like trying to prove that you are not a pedophile. You may succeed but in the end you'll still look tarnished. The topic of this discussion is way off - instead of complaining about the past we should look towards the future!

    1. Why not tell that to the other side? They are the ones who are keeping all these old antagonisms alive.

    2. The other side? Jews are not the other side. Give it a rest.


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.
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