Tuesday, June 23, 2015

On Ynet Calling Poland "The World's Largest Jewish Cemetery"

Otto sent this in. It is his response to Ynet calling Poland "the world's largest Jewish cemetery." 

I find it difficult to understand why you and other writers seem to confuse Poland the victim of Nazi Germany invasion and occupation with the Poland as some active member of the Axis. 

Camps set up by the Germans were done so because it was convenient and not some sign of Polish complicity. 

One never reads this type of slander against the French in the same way even though the Vichy government, for example, was an active and willing participant. 

Poland was on the receiving end of victimization, Poles died in the same death camps fighting for decency and freedom. With their lives. 

When you call it "the world's largest Jewish cemetery", while graphic and statistically true since so many murder victims, it reinforces the silly notion that Poland was a willing participant in the reign of evil under Nazi Germany. 

Have you ever thought up a catch phrase for France in the same why? Not likely. But the insult to Poland goes unchecked over and over again. Unfair, untrue, and just plain insulting. The first victim in war is the truth, so I hope we can make sure to not repeat any mistakes of the past. Words are powerful things and can send big lies when used carelessly.

Otto's father was a Nazi soldier. Otto wrote Ripples of Sin


  1. Thanks Otto and Danusha - appreciated. Increasingly it seems that the history of Poland begins and ends with Auschwitz - oh, and anything else that ProfessorJanGross chooses to write about. And Poland, which fought on the Allied Side, is being blamed for the crimes of the Axis.

    Am I being too cynical to suppose that, should the crimes of the Allies come to have any political weight, we will find ourselves catapulted back onto the Allied side at the speed of light?

    Which brings to mind an interesting scenario in which WW2 begins when the Axis Powers of Poland, Poland and Poland attack the Allied Powers of Poland, Poland and Poland, devastating the quivering country of Europe (sic) until, with one mighty bound, America, America and America...

    I think I had better go and lie down. But, before I do, let me also say that German history did not begin and end with Hitler - and that surely the truth about WW2 is that both sides did some terrible, ungodly things, and neither side exactly has the high moral ground from which to judge the other?

    And perhaps if we (the children of Adam) chose to remember that and stop judging, we would all be getting along much better.

  2. Hi Dr Goska

    I was wondering if you had seen this? There is a small bit about Poland in it. It is from 2009, but probably still holds true.


    Chris Helinsky

    1. Chris, thanks. I talk, in Bieganski, about the relatively positive attitude towards Germany that many Jews have.

  3. Sorry for getting back to you so late. I purchased and read your book a few months ago and I was captivated. As you say in the book Jews have a mostly positive view of Germany both after and before the Shoah. What Leon Weliczker Wells said about his own family's affinity for German culture and your exploration of the contrast between the urban literate Jews and Germans to the mostly rural illiterate Poles is enlightening.

    Another thing in your book stuck out to me but only in comparison to American history. In American a great deal of wealth was generated by the slave economy that existed. To a certain extent modern America would and its wealth would not exist if not for slavery. You mention the role that Jews played in Polish society and the economy as a middleman but also as agents of the aristocracy. So I was wondering if the wealth of Poland's Jews, whatever there was to be had, was based on the despoiling and exploiting the serfs?

    Chris Helinsky


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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