Friday, March 2, 2018
"The Jews in Poland Since the Liberation" PDF at Wisenthal Center
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.
This blog welcomes comments from readers that address those themes. Off-topic and anti-Semitic posts are likely to be deleted.
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I found the report on the U.S. National Archives website. It’s dated May 15, 1946, labeled as an “Intelligence Research Report”, and was distributed by the Office of Intelligence Coordination and Liaison, an office in the Department of State’s Division of Map Intelligence and Cartography.ReplyDelete
The report’s 50 footnotes, which serve as its “intelligence sources”, are unclassified. Directly relevant footnotes are dated between July 1945 and May 1946. Sources cited by the footnotes consist mainly of Jewish sources and FBIS (Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service) Daily reports. Jewish sources are the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Organizational Committee of Polish Jews in the USSR, Central Committee of Jews in Poland, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Independent Jewish Press Service, Polish Committee of the American Jewish Congress, World Jewish Congress, American Foundation of Polish Jews, and Jewish Labor Committee.
Although The Jerusalem Post and Simon Wiesenthal Center would have readers believe the proudly publicized “gotcha” report supports the memes of congenital Polish anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish acts surpassing German savagery, no link is provided to enable readers to become properly enlightened.
The report contains some odd assertions. One is that “surviving Polish Jews remain victims of a political quarrel that is not of their making.” Because anti-Semitism has emerged as a tool of the opposition to unseat the leftist regime, incidents of violence continue even though anti-Semitism was made a crime.
A second assertion is that the opposition maintains a pro-fascist attitude and hopes for an eventual war between the Western Powers and the USSR. As long as the opposition agitates for such a war, anti-Semitism and anti-Jewish acts will continue.
A third assertion is that the opposition sees the Government’s leftist trends as purely Jewish creations or as a Soviet-Jewish conspiracy. As a result, the opposition will continue its anti-Jewish activities in its attempts to unseat the Government.
As The Jerusalem Post self-righteously reports, a fourth assertion is that “…the anti-Semitic overtones in pre-war Polish politics predisposed many Poles to the acceptance of Nazi racial theories, and there is evidence that Poles persecuted the Jews as vigorously as did the Germans during the occupation. The retreating Nazis, moreover, left in their place a heavy residue of their racial theories.” (Continued in next post)
(Continued from previous post) Interestingly, nowhere in the report do the words “communist” or “communism” appear. The Government is nondescript and portrayed as having a “generally favorable attitude toward the Jews”, which is “found in the fact that a number of Jews now occupy important governmental or other public positions. Among them are Hilary Minc, Minister of Industry, Leon Chajn, Vice Minister of Justice, Jakub Berman, Under Secretary to the Premier, Jerzy Boreisha, Head of the State Publishing Trust, Boleslaw Drobnor, Henryk Altman, S. Szer, Jerzy Szapiro, Feliks Mantel, in various ministries and other posts.”ReplyDelete
After the Holocaust: Polish-Jewish Conflict in the Wake of World War II, by Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, provides a factually-based corrective to the report’s assertions. In Chapter VII, “Insurgent Self-Defense or Polish Anti-Semitism”, Chodakiewicz outlines 12 “factors that bore directly on the independentist animus toward and aggression against the Jews.”
“The first and most important factor was Jewish participation in the institutions of the Communist regime, especially the secret police…” A second factor “was free-lance informing, which often took the form of squaring accounts with anti-Semitic perpetrators, real or alleged, with the assistance of the NKVD and UB.” Third, actions taken by the insurgent opposition forces [independentists] against enemies, bystanders, and Jews “were conditioned by the intensity of the secret police terror against the independentists.” “Fourth, anti-Jewish animus was conceivably a reaction to the underground complaints of the civilian population concerning property disputes with the Jews and persecution of the Poles by the Communist authorities acting at the behest of often legitimate claimants.” A fifth factor was the protection of Polish civilians from robbers, “their ethnic roots notwithstanding.” A sixth conceivable factor for harming Jews and others was “a universal paranoia of the underground concerning spies and agents.” A seventh factor was the inadvertent harming of Jews in underground anti-Communist operations. An eighth factor was “the possibility of revenge on family members of Jewish Communist perpetrators.” A ninth factor resulted from the “high level of decentralization and lack of supervision of rank-and-file insurgents” who, when occasionally coming into contact with Jews and strangers, could “adversely affect” their fate. A tenth factor was based on the degree of mutual relations between insurgents and Jews; “…where personal cordiality existed, Jews needed not to fear but, otherwise, suspicion on both sides was palpable.” An eleventh factor consisted of occasional insurgent “attempts to induce Jews to leave a locality under threat or through the application of force.” “Twelfth, the stereotype of żydokomuna influenced the insurgents to consider the Jewish community collectively as adversarial and pro-Communist and (however, only in combinations with any of the elven factors listed above) a legitimate target of retribution, which could range from assaults and property confiscation to outright killing of Jews.”
Hello Mr. Sokołowski,Delete
To quote Adam Michnik:
"But it was also clear to us that the stubborn categorization of Poland as an anti-Semitic nation was used in Europe and America as an alibi for the betrayal of Poland at Yalta. The nation so categorized was seen as unworthy of sympathy, or of help, or of compassion"
Both things are trueReplyDelete
Yes, communists used antisemitic incidents in Poland after the war as propaganda
Yes, there were antisemitic incidents in Poland after the war.
Denying this doesn't help anything.
I'm currently reading this report. I will post my opinion about it soon. Meanwhile I have found an interesting article. Link below.
I think that we need to keep two different things separate:ReplyDelete
1. That there was anti-Semitism in Poland and in Anders' Army (where wan't it?)
2. That Anders' Army was systematically anti-Semitic, and this showed that Poland was "as bad as the Germans".
Two different things. They should not be conflated.
The latter, not the former, was the essence of Communist propaganda and the latter, not the former, is the theme of the JERUSALEM POST article.
Duplicity and naivety all mixed up together.
Puppet regime imported from Soviet Union is called "the Polish Government". Those who oppose are called "right-wing antisemites".
Home Army is blamed for anti-Jewish violence. That is strange, since the AK was officially disbanded on 19 January 1945.
Claims that Jews were deserting Anders' Army to join other Allied forces are ridiculous. Those Jews were joining Irgun or Haganah and they fought against British. But mentioning that would be inconvenient.
In fact some Jews rejected by the British Army enlisted to the Polish one.
Pro-Soviet stance of this report is evident. And so stupid.
Communist takeover of Poland is called "political evolution". Like it was something natural and normal. It wasn't.
Author sees only one reason for Jewish migration: Polish antisemitism. He doesn't mention poverty, brutality of Soviet troops, UPA bands, NKVD terror and common banditry. Tens of thousands of Poles were killed or send to gulag camps.
Many ethnic Poles fled commie-Poland. Others were not willing to return from the West. And not because the lack of patriotism. Report doesn't mention that. For who would be to blame?
I have met many Poles (mostly peasants) who have lived through that period. And none of them was spreading "Nazi racial theories". They knew nothing about eugenics, genetics, social Darwinism and other scientific mumbo-jumbo. Seems that German contempt for Poles coupled with language barrier has limited the spread of ideas from one culture to another.
The name "Polish Jews" is constantly used despite Jews' obvious desire to use Yiddish language.
American concern for Jews in Poland in that report is fake and belated. It serves only to justify the betrayal of allied country and Polish soldiers who fought in that war from the beginning to the end.
As usual I add a link to an article.