Monday, November 23, 2015

Wroclaw: Jewish Effigy Burned

Reuters photo 
On November 18, 2015, demonstrators in Poland burned an effigy of a Jew.

Some will rush forward and say, "Of course I understand this. All Poles are anti-Semites and this is what Poles and anti-Semites do."

Others will rush forward and say, "Of course I understand this. These Poles were protesting mass, unvetted migration, and anyone who doesn't want open borders is a bigot."

I don't believe either "explanation," offered above, so neither explanation is available to me.

I look at the man in the photo, and I wonder what is going on in his head. He needs to be understood. Just writing him off as a Pole behaving the way all Poles behave explains nothing.

How is it that this degree of anti-Semitism flourishes, to the extent that it does, in Poland today?

According to the article, Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich said "This is just one more example showing how the hatred for migrants comes from the same place as the classic hatred for Jews."

I find the rabbi's statement unhelpful. Rabbi Schudrich is conflating two distinct phenomena that are not related: the mass, unvetted migration into Europe now, which many voices agree is a catastrophe, and anti-Semitism. Yes, bigots will embrace both. No, not all who resist mass, unvetted migration are anti-Semites. In fact many Jews reject the mass, unvetted migration because it is certain to make them less secure. See France.

I am glad this action has been condemned. I am sad that it fuels the Bieganski stereotype. I hope and pray that good Poles will step forward and communicate that anti-Semitism is unacceptable.

If you read the comments under the articles about this event, you will see many commenters saying, paraphrase, "Poles are idiots. Always have been; always will be. Poles are bigots and anti-Semites; always have been; always will be. This is proof. Case closed."

Here's a typical comment from someone calling himself "Bruce Vodka" at the Washington Post article, linked below: "They're at it again, however this time they're after the wrong semites, but then again, they are polish :-) "

At the Jerusalem Post article, linked below, a commenter wrote "Poland's diminished miniscule Jewish population and still the dumb Polacks still demonstrated against Jews, antisemitism is a disease that afflicts the mentally challenged."

Jacob Rumsfeld posting in Algemeiner wrote "75 years ago they built death camps and now they turn against the Jewish people again. I thought Poles had become more civilized in the 21st century, but I guess i was wrong."

There are many more such comments at the Jerusalem Post.

Poles call for crackdown on hate speech see article here

Prosecutors launch a probe see article here

Washington Post coverage here 

Many anti-Polish posts at Algemeiner here

Jerusalem Post with many anti-Polish posts from readers here

Update: Wroclaw Catholic Church condemns burning of Jewish effigy here

November 24, 2015 update: Poland's Catholic Church condemns burning of Jewish effigy here


  1. Memo to the Polish government: Szanowne Panie i Szanowni Panowie

    These kind of shameful scenes would not have been allowed in Pilsudski's day. Even the much-maligned Sanacja regime would have had the police intervening. Many veterans of both the army in exile and the Armia Krajowa will be mortified to see this happening on Polish streets. Wstyd.

    Memo to those who hijacked the demonstration: wstydcie sie.

    1. Michal I'm a big believer in free speech but this is beyond that. They are using public property to perform their despicable act. They should have been arrested.

    2. A democratic society has the right to demonstrate peacefully, but the burning of the effigy completely cancelled out any point the demonstrators were trying to make, whether people agree with them or not.

      It will be a test of the new government to see what they intend to do about the individuals responsible, who seem to be quite happy to drag Poland back to the Middle Ages.

  2. Jews have regularly been--let's put this diplomatically--making unflattering statements about Poles, and doing so without the slightest inhibition.

    So why are we so excited about the fact that--for once--the unflattering conduct has gone in the opposite direction?

    1. Unflattering statements is one thing, but when was the last time a Christian was burned in effigy by Jews?

    2. To answer your question--all the time.

      They do it through the media, the educational system, and especially the Holocaust establishment.

      For them, there is no need to literally burn someone in effigy. It is old-fashioned kid stuff in comparison.

    3. And what have Jews got to do with a demonstration against mass immigration anyway? You're on shaky ground, Jan.

    4. Our comments are by-passing each other. It looks like you can't resist an opportunity to lambast the Jews in general. A bit like those individuals in Wroclaw. The anti-immigration demo voices peoples' genuine concerns - people with an axe to grind are peripheral troublemakers.

    5. Nope. I only return the favor to those who attack Poland, and not to everyone in any given group.

      I am well aware of the BIEGANSKI book. I reviewed it.

      It is the other side--and not I--that conflates protest against Jews and protest against unrestricted immigration.

      As for evil, this is a matter of making value judgments. I think that those who defame Poland are at least as evil as the effigy-burners in Wroclaw.

  3. Jan wrote:

    "Jews have regularly been--let's put this diplomatically--making unflattering statements about Poles, and doing so without the slightest inhibition.

    So why are we so excited about the fact that--for once--the unflattering conduct has gone in the opposite direction?"

    I find Jan's comment to be utterly incomprehensible.

    Jan, do I really need you to tell me that some defame Poles?

    May I remind you that I, at considerable risk to myself, showed the courage, and made the sacrifice, to write a book about people defaming and stereotyping Poles?

    And that this entire blog is devoted to that very topic?

    Are you really not aware of that?


    Second, what these people did is EVIL. Four letters. Evil.


    1. I agree the protests of these Anti-Jewish Poles crossed the line. They should be condemned no doubt. But as I mentioned in my post this morning on the "Alegemeiner" website as "Mike" (6:37am)....there is good and bad in all groups of people.....and its not fair to DEFINE ALL Poles by bad Poles just like its not fair to define all Jews by the bad Jews in the "American" TV media who have been pushing Anti-Polish the Nazi originated "Polish Jokes".

      Here is my post on the Alegemeiner website I posted earlier today:

      There is good and bad in all groups of people.

      The actions of these Anti-Jewish Poles should be condemned. No doubt about it. But Jews have bad people to. As usual the predominately Anti-Polish media uses the action of bad Poles to DEFINE all Poles. How would Jews like it if they were ALL defined by those bad Jews who disproportionately participated in the slaughter of Poles and Slavs by Communist Jews who collaborated with the Soviets? Google: “Stalins Jews” and “Communist Jewish Atrocities”.

      How would Jews like it if they were defined by the vicious Left-wing Jews at powerful TV networks like NBC=TV, CBS-TV, etc which have for DECADES been pushing NAZI originated “Polish jokes” into the American public to create MASS anti-Polish Bigotry in America? SHOULD ALL Jews be defined by the Jewish Anti-Polish Bigots at the TV networks?

      Just last month…Jewish Lourne Michaels of “Saturday Night Live” had Colin Jost BASH Polish people with a NAZI originated “Polish joke”. Lourne Michaels in 1992 had a picture of the Polish Pope RIPPED UP on national TV! He claimed he “didn’t know it was going to happen” but that was only after there was a big backlash against him and NBC-TV.

      One of the producers of the Anti-Polish show “2 Broke Girls” continues to push a “Polish character” who has Subhuman intelligence….which is meant to CONDITION Americans to see Polish people as having subhuman intelligence. The number of Nazi Anti-Polish imagery coming from Jewish producers in “American” TV is too long to list here. Its been going on for DECADES! Would it be fair to define ALL Jews by the Jewish bigots who have been bashing Polish people for decades??? And these Jews pushing Anti-Polish Bigotry are pushing NAZI propaganda Anti-Polish Bigotry! What is up with that?????

    2. Bravo, "700 KFF". Well said!

      Maybe this long thread is finally getting somewhere.

  4. This is truly a heinous act and the people involved are deplorable. That being said the attempts at prosecution under hate speech laws worries me. One person's criticism could be someone's hate speech. Another reason I think it is a bad idea is that problems of racism and related bigotry can be swept under the rug. When the bigots are allowed to speak you can't help but notice which means the problem is harder to deny. I am not the only one who thinks so:

    I hope Poles do not ignore the bigotry that exists.

    Chris Helinsky

    1. In the UK this kind of stunt would probably be prosecuted under the Public Order Act, I imagine. Where does free speech end and hate speech begin?

      As for Jan's comments, if he sees nothing wrong with burning an effigy of what is clearly meant to be a Jew and no other member of any other group "defaming Poland", then he is out of tune with civilized opinion and has learned no lessons from the horrors of the last war.

    2. Please read, or reread, what I had earlier posted:

      "As for evil, this is a matter of making value judgments. I think that those who defame Poland are at least as evil as the effigy-burners in Wroclaw."

      In other words, I disapprove of both. Bigotry is bigotry--whether printed or verbal, or art-symbolic, whether directed collectively at Poles are directed collectively at Jews.

      On the other hand, we should remember what leftists tell us about repulsive art: Good art is SUPPOSED to make one uncomfortable, and even to provoke and offend. That is what they say when they make, and defend, art that mocks Christianity.

      What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    3. Glad to hear you disapprove of the effigy burning, but the rest of your arguments smacks of sophistry. If these people were purely against those "who defame Poland", then why didn't they burn effigies of the German ZDF producers who wrote "our Mothers, Our Fathers"? The only effigies that get burned over here in the UK are of a single individual on November 5th, a person who tried to blow up parliament. He does not represent all Catholics, whereas the Wroclaw effigy is clearly meant to represent all Jews.

    4. Michal yes. As if a "yes" were needed. This act is indefensible and Poles must condemn it. And no one is in any position to lecture me about stereotyping of Poles.

    5. Michal, hate speech is free speech. If you claim to be for free speech you must protect hate speech as well. It is a matter of principle.

      Chris Helinsky

    6. Sorry, Chris - I only just noticed your comment. I'm not sure what the law is in Poland regarding this, but I'm pretty sure these individuals would have been marched away pretty pronto here in the UK. This is the continuous debate, isn't it? About the limits of free speech. I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't be allowed to go out on a street in the USA and do the kind of thing these effigy burners did, and for good reason. There are some other obvious instances I could think of - inciting racial hatred by means of what you call "hate speech". It all comes down to being civil to each other. Why can't we make the points we want to make without insulting each other? Life is too short for hate speech.

    7. The issue isn't civility, but government power. The government having the power to throw someone in prison for saying something, no matter how offensive, is bad for everyone. In America hate speech is protected by the First Amendment. I think burning effigies is protected speech here in America as well though I could be wrong. The only things that are not protected are threats of violence and incitement to violence.

      Chris Helinsky

    8. Maybe a US citizen could legally burn an effigy of a particularly obnoxious politician, for example, but somehow I doubt if the law would let him get away with doing that with an effigy which was meant to represent an entire group or a race of people. I'd be interested to find out what the position was. Maybe there's a lawyer in the house.

    9. Chris,
      The First Ammendment to the US Constitution does not apply to Poland. Just the way the Polish Constitution does not apply to America, save one or another's citizenry travels to the other's country.

      The legal concept of Free Speech does not forego the concepts of responsibility and accountability. One may be free to use their speech for the inciting of violence, but they can be held responsible for acts of violence that are directly caused by their speach.

      The classic example is the packed theatre and someone yells, "fire!" There is no fire, but people are injured because pandemonium is caused. The yeller is held culpable by the law for their irresponsible speech. Likewise, Hate Speech laws provide order in society by holding responsible those who, though free, use their speech to incite violence and hatred of a race, ethnicity, creed, gender, etc.

      Freedom is a concept exercised "for" something responsibly and with full understanding that one can be held accountable.

      Fr. Phil Tangorra

    10. "Life is too short for hate speech."
      How true, Mr Karski.

      By the way, You have unpurposely reminded me the first poem that I've learned in kindergarden. Long time ago.
      “Why are you quibbling so madly?
      Why the stupid altercation,
      When soup is our destination.”

    11. Mr. Tangorra

      I am aware that the US Constitution does not apply to Poland. I bring up the American example because I believe it to be worth replicating elsewhere. As for hate speech, I am critical of hate speech laws because I do not trust the state to act as censor. Hate speech laws don't punish incitement to violence, they punish bigoted speech. This leads to a problem. Who decides what is bigoted. The decision about what is hate speech becomes arbitrary. Whoever has the power can decide what is bigoted. Unless someone is threatening another person I do not think that speech should be constrained.

      Chris Helinsky

    12. Chris I don't know if this matters to you, but Father Tangorra is a priest. I address him as "Father" or Rev rather than mister. But you should feel free to address him as you see fit. Just wanted to let you know. Carry on. :-)

    13. Thank you for the heads up. I would rather dispense with titles and address Mr. Tangorra as an equal.

      Chris Helinsky

  5. The inability of some Jews to see the change in Polish society from the 1930s to today is disturbing, but not entirely surprising. The idea that anti-Semitism is eternal, inevitable and unchangeable has deep roots in Jewish thought. But many of us recognize that an anti-Semitic incident doesn't necessarily reflect an anti-Semitic society.

  6. I've updated the above blog twice with condemnations from Catholic leaders. Here is the latest:,24178,episkopat-potepia-rasistowskie-zachowania-wobec-zydow.html

  7. German Polonophobia and Jewish Polonophobia are both real, but are separate issues. There is no sophistry here. [BTW, "Our Mothers, Our Fathers" is just a German spinoff of the usual Holocaust-related attacks on Poland.]

    The effigy-burner was probably expressing his frustration with Jews who talk down to Poles and tell Poles what kind of nation they should have. Recall the liberals' adage about voiceless people using disagreeable methods to get attention: "Sometimes you have to make some noise to be heard."

    As for the collectivist aspects of the effigy-burning, this very much works both ways. For instance, we hear prominent Holocaust-related personages saying that Poles as a whole must "face up to the dark chapters in their history" and "come to terms with the past" just because some vanishing fraction of 1% of Poles collaborated the Nazis in the unmasking and killing of fugitive Jews. Needless to say, there is never any collective reckoning done by the other side.

    I was not lecturing anyone on anything. Nothing in my posts is directed personally at anyone on this forum.

  8. You're still trying to justify what was an inflammatory - in every sense of the word - incident directed at at a group which had absolutely nothing to do with the reason behind the demonstration.

    The extreme radical rightist individuals are hardly "voiceless". Anyone can get their views heard in a democracy without resorting to this kind of display which shames the country in the eyes of the world.

    1. Hello,

      When I saw that effigy burning, my first thought was: "But why a Jew?"
      Later I asked myself: "Why not an Arab doll?"
      That Jewish doll was so out of place.

      Personally, I'm ashamed for that outrageus act. It has hurt many good Poles. And disgraced us all.

      I tried to understand it.

      We don't have Haredi or Chassidic Jews in Poland. Not anymore.
      But they were here. They lived among us. Well, next to us. Let's not delude ourselves, they were an epitome of failed integation.
      I think that this effigy represented a foreigner. Someone out of place.

      Currently, our Jewish community is small. But they are Polish Jews. They are in Poland and of Poland. They are enriching my country. Our country.

      The West wants to make Poland multicultural. It once was. We know how that ended, don't we?
      Western ideas are our past mistakes.

    2. The multi-cultural Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was not a Western idea. At its best, Poland was a peaceful, tolerant state ahead of its time while the rest of Europe was knee-deep in religious wars.

    3. I don't think Mr Klimek meant that multicultural societies are a Western idea. I believe Mr. Klimek meant that the West is adopting a social model that he believes was detrimental to Poland. The reference to Jews was to illustrate that while having lived in Poland for centuries many Jews were unassimilated and lived lives that were segregated, both unwillingly and willingly, from Poles. From what i understand there is similar phenomenon in other European countries in regards to their minorities, such as their Muslim populations. A belief in multiculturalism can make this worse as immigrants are encouraged to maintain their culture turning them into perpetual aliens in their new home.

      Chris Helinsky

    4. A very valid point about multiculturalism. Immigrants to any society fare best when they adapt to the prevailing majority. That doesn't mean they have to give up their own culture or traditions but they are bound to make things easier for themselves if they become engaged citizens of their adopted countries.

    5. What I meant to say was that current Western experiment is nothing new in Poland. Been there, done that.
      Besides I wasn't thinking about P-L Commonwealth, but the Second Polish Republic.
      Wehrmacht and Red Army were invaders, but Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz or Ukrainian Insurgent Army didn't came from abroad.
      Minorities can cost so much.

    6. "Besides I wasn't thinking about P-L Commonwealth, but the Second Polish Republic.
      Wehrmacht and Red Army were invaders, but Volksdeutscher Selbstschutz or Ukrainian Insurgent Army didn't came from abroad.
      Minorities can cost so much."

      Good point. Minorities can and do seek independence or to join their ethnic brethren, which can cause trouble. This can make an ethnically homogeneous state attractive. However, multiculturalism is in vogue so I expect to see a great deal of conflict ahead. I also expect Poland to be regularly condemned for its relatively high ethnic homogeneity. A state in which 97% of people are ethnically Polish and 99% white. Not on Europe's watch!

      Chris Helinsky

  9. The posts on this entire thread show what I think is the chief problem with us Poles, and has been for a long time. I guess that it is part of Bieganski.

    We have--using African-American lingo--an Uncle Tom mentality. We are docile and self-effacing, internalizing the Polonophobia that is directed at us. We think that we must never offend anyone--and heaven forbid if we do. We are desperate to please others and to let others dictate to us what is and what is not shameful.

    The other side, of course, has not the slightest shame in how their lie about us. Just the opposite.

    We are more excited about one foolish effigy-burner in our ranks than we are about the mountains and mountains of vile things that are said about us Poles and Poland.

    Being nicey-nicey, and all sugar and spice, has gotten us nowhere.

    I would like to live to see the day that Poles finally wake up, stop being such Uncle Toms, and finally start fighting fire with fire.

    I have made my point. That is probably all I will say on this thread.

    1. Nice way to go about creating Polish solidarity, Jan - by insulting everybody left, right and centre. Good luck with your fighting fire with fire.

  10. Jan I find your final post to be utterly delusional.

    Again, there is a prize winning scholarly book that addresses stereotyping of Poles. I wrote it.

    There is a blog dedicated to stereotyping of Poles. I maintain it.

    And you call me an Uncle Tom.


    1. Hello,
      The first edition of "Bieganski The Brute Pollack"in polish was postponed. Again.
      It's now December 12, 2015.

      Back to our discussion.
      I do not think that Dr Goska is an Uncle Tom. Yes, I've read that book.
      I do not think that Mr Peczkis is delusional.
      I wouldn't waste my time to visit this blog if I had thought so.
      Mr Peczkis is a fighter.
      But this case is a lost cause.
      Burning of that effigy was harmful to Poland's image. It offended many good people.
      And it made anti-polish bigots tick. Gave the an argument.

      Now someone should give an official apology.

  11. Burning a Jew in effigy in Wroclaw is the despicable, unjustifiable act of a cretin and an evil human being.

    There is no excuse for it. No justification. It deserves to be condemned and decent people are condemning it, without equivocation.

    There are no ifs, no ands, no buts to that.

  12. Good grief. I never called you an Uncle Tom. I was speaking about the self-apologizing Polish attitude in general.

    Please reread what I wrote.

  13. Replies
    1. I actually think that Jan believes he has some kind of monopoly on Polish patriotism and if we all don't see things his way then it makes us less committed to the welfare of Poland. I'm paraphrasing, of course, but that's what I understand. It's incredibly insulting to the efforts of many people who don't happen to share his extremist views.

  14. Relax, folks, and take a deep breath.

    More than once in my life I have been told that I am the gadfly that gets everybody going.

    One of my nicknames is Pesky Peczkis. I did not get that nickname for nothing.

  15. At present, East-European nationalism seems like a positive force, protecting countries from the ravages of political correctness.
    At the same time, nationalism has a minor drawback, which people have learned to overcome. A nationalist observer often fails to differentiate between sub-groups of another nation. "All Poles are the same". Or "All Jews are the same". Preconceived ideas may have a tiny grain of truth, as they feed from past experiences. However, when you get closer, the picture shows more details. Not just at the level of the individual. There are large layers of society in the East-European countries I know (Romania, Hungary) who are not antisemitic, and are only nationalistic in a positive, progressive sense. Other layers of society have more closed brains and they congregate together on that basis.

    Europeans are seldom indifferent about Jews. Could be that fact that they are not allowed to spend more than 6 days without observing a Jewish tradition (it's called weekend). Anyway, the ration of filo- and anti- semites varies, depending on the circumstances. In extreme cases, one side or another achieves 90%. At more balanced times, it's 60% - 40% and don't ask which way.

    Overseas observers like Danusha and myself are facing an extra problem. Europe is divided into West and East. Basic concepts like identity, empathy, left-right are understood differently in the two halves of the continent. The English-speaking countries of the new world are closer to the Western half of Europe in this regard, although are not identical to it. So, when discussing Eastern Europe, basic terms become tricky.

    1. Given the Left and Right are different in Eastern Europe, it would probably be a good idea to ditch the Left/Right spectrum.

      Chris Helinsky

    2. The old left-right paradigm has been defined in a context of class warfare, as an internal division of a given society (during the French Revolution). As such, it is not directly applicable now.

      However, a different definition of left-right is also possible, in a way which makes it very relevant today. The Left extends empathy as wide as possible. Far-away people, creatures large and small on the surface of Earth attract the loving care of the left of the west.
      On contrast, the Right has empathy and identification more on the axis of history, tending towards the depth of time.
      Horizontal vs vertical.

  16. Danusha and Jan, you are both valiant fighters in the Polish Media Issues arena. And I am grateful to you both. Its very very difficult. We have been put in a Catch 22 here, in which, if we don't try to defend ourselves, then all this "untering" must be true, or we would try to defend ourselves; but when we do try to defend ourselves, that proves how "unter" we are, to dare to deny our "unterness".

    The Biblical standard is to treat everyone with kindness and respect. Which sounds perfect to me, and it rules out effigy burning. So all I can say is how important the Christian preaching work is and thanks to you both for trying - its not easy to keep going. And now I must go and lie down, as my head is spinning away with all this political spin. I am off to visit a friend in a nursing home. She has dementia, and I think she is going to be an area of good sense and loving-kindness compared to the madness of "the world".

  17. On the subject of the limits of free speech, I said at the beginning that Pilsudski wouldn't have stood for this kind of display and I imagine he is probably quite a hero to the new conservative government. Those of us here who are familiar with Polish history will know that he had many critics who accused him of being a virtual dictator. His heirs, the Sanacja, also quite autocratic, would probably have used the police against both extreme rightists and extreme leftists.

    I can't post any links - my PC is playing up (again!) - but there have been a couple of stories recently dealing with the issues discussed by both Chris and Father Phil which reveal the differences in the way different countries handle these situations. The Guardian reported that some ads were taken down from the New York subway because they might offend and also a French comedian is facing a jail term for remarks he made following the Charlie Hebdo killings. This was reported in the Telegraph.

    If the Polish government wants to be taken seriously, then it must realise that any message the population might be giving about European immigration policy was completely drowned out by the attention focused on a group of cynical opportunists.

    1. Cynical opportunists or maybe even paid provocateurs, it seems. Perhaps old communist-era methods die hard.

    2. Looks like the provocateur theory might be too complicated, judging by the various articles and comments on Polish websites and it is, in fact, a case of a few individuals hijacking an anti-immigration demo with their own particularly extreme agenda. The Polish government seems to be preoccupied with constitutional issues at the moment, but they might like to note that this incident makes the country look less appealing for tourists than some others in the region.

    3. Hello Mr. Karski

      The New York subway case is a simple issue. Assuming it is an advertiser, they can turn down any ad they want. Free speech exists to protect people from being thrown into prison for saying what they think, offensive or unoffensive. The First Amendment is sacrosanct here in America.

      The issue is not completely one of reputation. There is a certain sensitivity to antisemitic displays of this nature. People may overlook the graffiti issue, but burning an effigy has violent connotations. Assuming president Duda says anything he will almost certainly condemn or face the wrath of his father-in-law.

      Chris Helinsky

    4. Yes, it would be good to hear a clear statement about this from President Duda. The damage done by a single incident must be apparent to most people in Poland.

      And I'll call you Mr Helinsky if you prefer but I kind of assumed that we were all friends here.

  18. The provocateur theory, for the Jew-effigy-burning, is a fascinating one, and would not be the first time it has happened in post-Communist times.

    Consider Rafal Pankowski, an ultra-leftist professor. [Pankowski has recently been quoted, as some kind of authority figure, by the ADL in their attack on Macierewicz over a dug-up decades-ago supposedly non-negative remark about the PROTOCOLS].

    Years ago, there circulated a picture of a Polish patriotic group, with a member giving the Hitler salute. In an Amazon discussion, our old friend Tom presented it as fact.

    It turns out that Pankowski allegedly staged the whole incident, and made the Hitler salute himself. For details, please click on my name in this posting, and read my review and comments underneath.

    If this Jew-effigy-burning was indeed staged, it only goes on to show how well-trained we Poles (myself included) are to believe all kind of accusations against us.

    Regardless of its veracity or otherwise, the incident appears to be part of the current left-wing smear campaign directed at Poland’s new conservative government.

    1. This of course is another difficulty - so many lies and so much political spin. There has been ongoing vilification of Poles and all things Polish, so who knows? I don't. How can I?

      The lesson we can take from it is how perfect the advice in Psalm 37 is - and how much we will need to hang on to divine wisdom as this present system of things on the earth crashes to its end.

    2. I started to read your review, but you lost me with the term "Judeocentric". It would be too easy to simply dismiss you as an anti-Semite, because you clearly respect people like Joselewicz and other patriots, as you prove on the post following this. The problem lies in perception, it seems to me - how Polish patriots are perceived. If you step into the shoes of an outsider - say a potential tourist who is thinking about going to Wroclaw or even elsewhere for the Christmas markets perhaps - he or she isn't going to be bothered about the effigy-burners being genuine right-wingers or some stooges planted by someone else to discredit a third party. All they see is a Pole on a Polish street setting fire to an effigy of a Jew. It may be someone's nefarious propaganda, it may be the act of mindless vandals. Whatever it is, it should be clearly condemned by the Polish authorities.

    3. My comments were to Jan, of course, and not to you, Sue.

  19. 700KFF please post under a real first and last name.

    1. The situation in the US sounds fairly grim compared to the UK where you just have the occasional anti-Polish outburst from an uninformed individual correspondent or media personality, but unfortunately, even though "Mike" may be highlighting some real issues, his post does rather sound like a bit of a rant, especially as he has chosen to remain anonymous.

    2. It seems the effigy was indeed meant to represent an individual: specifically the philanthropist George Soros, who is being blamed by the extremists for wanting to impose EU-sanctioned mass immigration into Poland.

      Whatever the explanation of the nationalists might be, to the outside world it is still nothing else but an illustration of anti-Semitism on the part of Poles.

      Memo to the incendiaries: thanks a million, lads. You have made Poland look like Nazi Germany in the thirties.

    3. I should add, for those in Poland who may be unfamiliar with English irony, that Nazi Germany in the thirties is considered by most civilised people on the planet as the beginnings of one of the most evil regimes which ever existed. I'm afraid my Polish isn't good enough to express what I want to say.

    4. Another message to the nationalists: if it was meant to be Soros specifically, then why didn't you at least make a bit of an effort to make it look like him? As it is, you haven't got a legal leg to stand on because the effigy was clearly nothing more or less than a caricature of a Jew. You have dragged the good name of Poland through the mud.

    5. Having done our bit to slam the extremists, it has to be said that there were some particularly vile remarks about Poles in general in the comments sections of some of the articles mentioned above.

      It's amazing how quickly some people seemed to jump onto the anti-Polish bandwagon.

    6. Hello Michal Karski, As I mentioned to Danusha in an earlier communication, my name is Mark Kanzer....but I like using names like "Mike" and 700 KFF because I like em. :-)

      Having said that, I don't think the situation in America is "Dire" as you say. Indeed there are anti-Polish elements of the media.....but like I say about groups of people, I say about our media, there is bad and good...or shall I say media that is fair to Polish people that have no ax to grind against against Poles. This is generally the sports media or other media that highlights competition among participants to get high ratings. Fortunately for us Polish people....we have quite a few Polish people who are talented in various sports and even "entertainment sports" like singing....which gets a lot of play on TV media. So actually the picture here in America for Polish my opinion is a mixed bag. Yes you have from time to time Anti-Polish imagery put out (but its no where as bad as it was in the Anti-Polish 1970's) but to counteract that we do have here Fair minded sentiments on Poles reported in various media.

      Here are some examples:

      People who make jokes about Polish people being ignorant and dumb….only make themselves look ignorant and dumb

      Rob Gronkowski is one of the best NFL football players of all time. In his last game, after he got hurt....they were saying on National TV how he is WELL RESPECTED throughout the league which he is. I don't have that clip but there are tons of Youtube high light videos on him

      On Spike TV the Polish boxer Fonfara beat his last opponent in a big match. It was reported in various newspapers even over seas in the Guardian.

      Also just recently, there is a Polish American Girl named Korin Bukowski who is on the National TV show "The Voice". She is in a singing tournament and so far the American fans seem to like her since they have voted to keep her in to this point. TONIGHT she will be singing again...and hopefully she will be voted in to keep her spot. But even if she's voted out...she's done well.

      Here are some background links on her

      After introduction Korin Bukowski is well received Click on “Cecilia and the Satellite”
      She will be loved, Korin Bukowski is voted through on twitter....

      So my point is....yes there is Anti-Polish bias in some parts of the media.....but the competition oriented media in the US has been fair to Polish people....and don't see race, religion or ethnic background when highlighting its participants.

      So after examining and fighting Anti-Polish media bias on this blog (which I think its good we do) its refreshing to say that we have quite a few Polish people who get highlighted in the sports and competition media who do us Poles well :-)

    7. Hey Mark
      Thanks for all the links. I had a listen to Korin Bukowski: what a great voice! And generally the sports links are good news. Nice to know that not everyone with a Polish surname is looked down upon. In fact – and I mentioned this to Danusha before – the name Kowalski, which seems to have been the go-to surname whenever a Polish character is required (Stanley Kowalski, of course, in ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’, Walt Kowalski in ‘Gran Torino’), appeared recently in space as played by George Clooney in ‘Gravity’, with no racist or misogynist bone in his body. So maybe things are generally improving.

      Having said that, there are still undoubtedly people who seem to jump at the opportunity to give any Polanders a good kicking – (‘Polanders’: a term in frequent use in the 18th century, it seems) – and now that Poland itself has elected a right-of centre government, there is immediately alarmist talk of a “lurch to the right” or even “neo-fascism”, all echoing the age-old Stalinist propaganda aimed at discrediting Poland. I would still like to see an unequivocal condemnation by some influential figure in Poland – if not from the government itself, then maybe former President Walesa? I wonder what he thinks?

      In the meantime, Danusha is doing a great job with this blog and everyone else doing this kind of work – writing in English to present a truthful picture of Polish and Polonian life, like BE Andre with her book, for instance – deserves our support.

      Here’s a heads-up for Sue who is here in the UK. On BBC 4 tonight (Wednesday 2nd December), there’s a programme about the rebuilding of Warsaw after the Nazi destruction presented by art historian Dan Cruikshank, who spent some of his childhood in Warsaw.

    8. Thanks Michal - I understand that the Warsawians did a wonderful job rebuilding the old city... I hope I will be watching it tonight. I wish we here in the UK had tried to restore and re-create more of what had been blitzed than we did.

      What a mad time it all was!

  20. Mike 700 wrote: There is good and bad in all groups of people

    There is great progress here for Jews. For millenia, we were in asymmetric warfare. It was OK to denigrate Jews, but not the other way around.
    I'm aware the world does not move forward by denigrating each other. There are better ways for making progress for all members of humanity.

  21. Condemnation of the effigy burning, of course, not the government. (We've had plenty of that already)

  22. To those who are still interested in this effigy burning, there is a new article out that clarifies the incident. To see the article, please click on my name in this specific posting.

  23. Addendum: By clicking on my name in this specific posting, you can view a letter of protest, by Polish-American organizations, on the very biased way that the American media has been treating the new Polish government, including the Jew-effigy-burning incident.


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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