|Jan Maletka source|
|Thank you to Lukasz Klimek for sending in this photo of the monument.|
Prof. Jan Grabowski and others object strenuously. Grabowski insists that Poles are largely anti-Semitic criminals, and Poles have no right to erect monuments to those who attempted to help Jews during WW II .
"Bieganski: The Brute Polak Stereotype" is dedicated to controversies like this. One side wants all Poles to be criminals, and it allows only stories of criminal Poles. One side want to acknowledge Polish rescuers. That side is demonized by the other side as being pro-Nazi.
Bieganski and this blog have always taken the exact same stance. Name and condemn Poles who engaged in criminal behavior during WW II. Name and honor Poles who behaved heroically. Do not support narratives that serve hate. Advance truth.
Haaretz reports that Jan Grabowski objects to commemorating Maletka.
Prof. Jan Grabowski, a Polish historian and Holocaust researcher who resides and teaches in Canada … According to Grabowski, the monument was put up to serve a fictitious narrative, which presents the Poles as having come to the aid of Jews in the Holocaust, in order to obscure the involvement of many more Poles who helped the Nazis.
“They erected a monument to celebrate Poles killed for rescuing the Jews in – of all places – the Treblinka railway station," Grabowski said. He added that scores of testimonies – Jewish and Polish alike – paint a different picture, in which Poles exploited the suffering of the Jews, selling them water but not giving it to them. "Diamonds, gold, money changed hands," he said. "Some of these Poles have been shot by the Ukrainians guarding the trains."
According to Grabowski, the authorities in Poland – in this case the official in charge of culture in the Polish government, Magdalena Gawin, and the Pilecki Institute – acted “scandalously” in installing the monument near the camp. “I’m in shock from the gall of those people who simply decided to write a new history of the Holocaust by themselves," he added. In an article published in the daily Gazeta Wyborcza, he wrote: “How easy it is for Poland to falsify stories and commemorate a handful of fair Poles who sacrificed their lives to help Jews, in a sea of Poles who persecuted, murdered and helped murder at least 200,000 Jews who escaped the camps and the ghettos.” …
The Pilecki Institute, a Polish government body tasked with research and preservation of the history of Polish experiences in World War II and its aftermath … claimed that the memorial was intended to commemorate a single person, rather than a group, and that the stone was not set up near the Treblinka death camp, but 4.5 kilometers (2.8 miles) from it. The institute also said that the monument commemorates the Jewish victims of the camp as well.
The monument is indeed dedicated to one person, but the Pilecki Institute website states that Maletka did not act alone and that the railway workers in the area, as a group, acted to help Jews. According to the Pilecki Institute, two of Maletka's friends were also involved in the story, but their names are not recorded in the monument, because they were not killed by the Nazis…
… historians like Grabowski doubt the authenticity of some of [rescue] stories. It is difficult to rely on the historical accuracy behind them, they add, because the entities promoting them have a political agenda, which is to defend the “good name” of the Polish nation – and not necessarily historical truth.[Of course, accounts of Poles persecuting Jews face similar criticism.] …
The Pilecki Institute is relying on, among other things, the testimony of one of Maletka’s partners, Remigiusz Pawlowicz, who survived the war and told his daughter Barbara about the incident. Barbara, who was born in 1948, was filmed for a video distributed by the institute saying: “My father and Maletka offered water to Jews who were coming on the train to Treblinka.” She added that her father told her that at first the Germans were not bothered by this, but at some point they had had enough, and began shooting at them.
Paweł Jędrzejewski wrote in Salon 24:
The Jewish lodge B'nai B'rith operating in Poland issued a statement in which we read: "Polish historical policy has reached the limits of disgusting. This time it was performed by the deputy minister of culture, Magdalena Gawin, who unveiled in Treblinka - attention, in Treblinka! - a monument to the Poles! saving Jews. "
In the discussion on Facebook, Piotr Cywiński, director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, reacted by correcting the erroneous information given in B'nai B'rith's statement: "1.Not in Treblinka, in the sense: in the camp, and at the station a few kilometers away. At the same station, where a young man was shot, who tried to give water to Jews in wagons. 3.Not a general monument to saving Jews, but a commemoration of this event. to be omitted because the place is inadequate.
Inciting hatred towards Poles causes hatred towards Jews. The principle is always the same: hostilities mutually stimulate each other, a spiral forms. Hatred takes over and rules. And that's what manipulators are all about! They want hate because they themselves hate. That's why they use a lie. They are victims of these liars and their lies. Liars use them for their political ends: building hatred towards Poles.
In addition, all this happens just a dozen days after a professor of the Jagiellonian University - Jan Hartman (former vice-chairman of B'nai B'rith) published in his column on Polityka's blog such a horrendously unfair, outrageous sentence about Poles: "It millions of people who, in the darkness of their souls - although they will never admit it - sympathize with the Nazis. "
Fanatic haters, as you can see, happen on both sides. Such people are everywhere: in all nations, ethnic groups, societies. They are inevitable. Some people shout their shameful words full of lies in the market square in Kalisz; others on the Polityka blog.