Thursday, December 30, 2021

Anti-Polish Activists Object to Commemoration of a Pole Who Tried to Help Jews -- Reports


Jan Maletka source

Thank you to Lukasz Klimek for sending in this photo of the monument. 

According to reports, Jan Maletka was a young Polish railroad worker who was shot to death by German Nazis in 1942 for attempting to give water to Jews deported to Treblinka. a death camp, where estimates are that c. 800,000 people were murdered, most of them Jews and c. 2,000 Rom aka Gypsies.
The Pilecki Institute erected a monument to Maletka.


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.


Jedrzejewski comments:


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.



Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Blame the Catholic Church: Mark Regev in the Jerusalem Post on Polish-Israel Relations


In the December 9, 2021, Jerusalem Post, op ed writer Mark Regev suggests a possible solution to tension between Poland and Israel:


"If there is to be a diplomatic solution to the Jerusalem-Warsaw face-off, it may be found in a formula that includes both Israeli recognition that Poland was a victim of Nazi aggression and Poland’s acknowledgment that numerous Poles either actively or passively collaborated in the mass murder of the Jews."


Regev works hard to produce an even-handed approach. He lauds Polish heroism and mourns Polish losses.


But then we get this, "Polish national identity and Catholicism seemingly went hand in hand. Thus, at best, for large numbers of Poles, the Jews were tolerated outsiders; at worst, they were the Christ-killers of the medieval Church."


Let's tinker with this a bit.


"Jewish identity in Poland went hand in hand with Judaism. Thus, at best, Polish Catholics were poylishe kop peasants (poyer) and at worst they were unclean, godforsaken goyim as warned against in the ancient Talmud."


Regev implies that Catholicism is responsible for the Holocaust. The tinkered with version of Regev's sentence could be used to argue that Judaism contributed to Jewish indifference to Polish suffering at various times in Polish history, including when Jews welcomed invading Soviet tanks with bread and salt, and when Jews were disproportionately represented among the Communist murderers, torturers, and erasers of history in post-WWII Poland. In fact, there are people who make that argument, and they are anti-Semites.


You immediately see the problem with the second sentence. The second sentence is an anti-Semitic sentence that locates the source of conflict between Poles and Jews in Judaism itself.


Decent people don't do that.


And yet Regev did just that – he located the source of conflict between Poles and Jews in Catholicism. He made no reference to the very real socioeconomic tensions between Poles and Jews in a prototypical middleman minority setting, or to Jewish teachings that Jews brought with them to Poland and that made their integration into Polish life difficult.


Otherwise, I like Regev's article and I admire his effort to address a difficult topic in a fair and evenhanded way. And of course I, like most Poles, acknowledge, as Regev states, that "numerous Poles either actively or passively collaborated in the mass murder of the Jews." We acknowledge this with great grief and a determination to live our lives in a way that makes the world a better place. By, for example, not distorting history to malign a religion, not Catholicism, not Judaism.  


You can read Regev's article here


Thank you to Jerzy Pankiewicz for sending this in.

"Poland is the land of death": "Memory and Neighborhood: Poles and Poland in Jewish-American Fiction after WW II" by Lucyna Aleksandrowicz-Pedich


Lucyna Aleksandrowicz Pedich published her book "Memory and Neighborhood: Poles and Poland in Jewish American Fiction after World War II" with Peter Lang in 2013. Scripta Judaica Cracoviensia reviewed the book in 2016 and blog reader Jerzy Pankiewicz kindly shared the review with me.
The review will not surprise anyone who has read "Bieganski the Brute Polak Stereotype" or this blog. "Poland" is "the land of death" as the review states. Poland is "the site of Jewish extermination." Poland is conflated with other Eastern European nations, including Ukraine and Russia, and anything bad that happened in those lands is used against Poland. Poles are "primitive, strong, savage, cruel, and dishonest."
You can read the review here.

By the way, the book has no Amazon reviews. I hope this blog post inspires someone to order the book and review it. 

NYT: Poland May Destroy Western Civilization


On December 29, the New York Times published an op ed arguing that Poland is "in the vanguard of European disintegration and democratic dismantling."
You can read the full article here.
Excerpts from the article, below.


What Happened to Poland?


By Karolina Wigura and Jaroslaw Kuisz


Ms. Wigura is a sociologist and historian of ideas. Mr. Kuisz is a political analyst who is writing a book about Poland's illiberal turn.


…The government, led by the Law and Justice Party, has picked fights with the European Union, co-opted the courts, created legislation designed to muzzle independent media and taken a hard-line approach to women's rights … Poland possesses a traumatic, nervous sense of itself. The current government has tried to channel that anxiety, inveighing against migrants, Brussels and liberals to create a fortress mentality … Across Central and Eastern Europe … nativist governments or political movements are common. The region, whose experiments with nationalism resonate widely across the West, is something of a test case. By concerted effort among opposition groups, it can still be won back to liberalism and democracy. But if you want a sense of what the future of Europe might hold, look to Poland.


…The country set about joining the West, and did so with great success. The economy soared, Poland took its place in the European concert of nations, and citizens were mostly convinced that the West would bring them not only safety but a better life. Yet by the time the country had fully integrated, many had grown disenchanted. Free movement across the bloc led to a brain drain, leaving an aging population to an inadequate health care system. For workers, average wages lagged behind those enjoyed by Western counterparts.


Capitalizing on voters' frustrations, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of the Law and Justice Party, skillfully articulated the second path for securing sovereignty. Poland should follow the example of the interwar state, known as the Second Republic, which restored Poland's sovereignty after World War I … It was, after a coup in 1926, an authoritarian state. Democracy and the rule of law came second to a muscular projection of sovereignty …


But it comes at a cost. The country's growing isolation — which the government believes is a sign of Poland's independence — is in fact opening it up to the influence of Russia, something officials are loath to admit. The situation in Ukraine hints at where that may lead. To stave off invasion, President Vladimir Putin of Russia has demanded, among other things, that NATO limit the deployment of troops in post-Communist countries, including Poland. The prospect of falling once again under Russian tutelage is grimly possible.


Yet for now, the government seems to be tapping into a sentiment shared across the West. Sovereignty, as an organizing principle for political action, is back. In Britain and America, of course, clamors to restore faded national glory led to Brexit and the presidency of Donald Trump. In Europe, Mr. Kaczynski in Poland and Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary are inspirational figures for the hard right, serving as examples to Éric Zemmour and Marine Le Pen in France and Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni in Italy … they could conceivably end the Western model of liberal democracy as we know it. And unless it can settle its nervous sovereignty into democratic collaboration, Poland may have shown the way.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

"Is Yad Vashem Transforming Holocaust Memory into Political Activism?": Eldad Beck in Israel Hayom


Konstanty Rokicki, Stefan Jan Ryniewicz, and Aleksander Ładoś

On November 16, 2021, Eldad Beck, Israel Hayom's Berlin-based correspondent, published an article in Israel Hayom alleging that Yad Vashem was purposely denying earned status as Righteous Among the Nations to Polish diplomats who worked to save Jews during World War II. Beck reports that Poles read this denial as politically motivated, and caused by hostility to Poles and Poland. You can read Beck's entire article here. There are excerpts below.
Thank you to Lukasz Klimek for bringing this article to our attention.


Excerpts from the Israel Hayom article follow.


Is Yad Vashem Transforming Holocaust Memory into Political Activism?


Holocaust Remembrance Center's refusal to recognize two Polish diplomats as Righteous Among the Nations who saved thousands of Jews in Europe during World War II is particularly puzzling in light of the fact that they meet all of the criteria for recognition…


By Eldad Beck Published on 11-16-2021


Three Polish diplomats were members of the Berne Group (also known as the Lados Group, after the head of the group Alexander Lados). The group worked during World War II at the Polish embassy in Switzerland to save thousands of Jews in occupied Europe by supplying them with forged South and Central American passports, which saved some of these Jews from being sent to the death camps. The response to the request for recognition by Yad Vashem raises many questions about the quality of the work of those who deal with these requests, and as many questions regarding the motivations of the decision-makers responsible for the issue…


The person who initiated the process of recognizing the Polish diplomats from the Berne/Lados Group is Markus Blechner, a Swiss Jew who will celebrate his 80th birthday this week and whose family came from Poland…


we know about the existence of tens of thousands of forged passports and around one thousand Jews who were saved thanks to them…


The position of the Polish diplomatic missions in Switzerland was particularly sensitive, in light of the constant pressure from the Nazi regime on the Swiss authorities to close them down. At any moment, the illegal activities to forge passports could have given the Swiss a reason to close the mission and jail the staff for criminal activities…


The intensive activities to forge passports were done with the approval of the person responsible for the mission, Alexander Ladosh, and with the involvement of his deputy Stefan Ryniewicz…The diplomat who was responsible for the forgeries was the consul, Konstanty Rokicki. The rescue work was carried out in order to save persecuted Jews and not for profit and there is ample evidence and testimonies regarding the existence of the operation. Hence, all the conditions for recognizing the Polish diplomats as Righteous Among the Nations are in place…


Yad Vashem decided to reduce its dimensions. A while after the outbreak of the "Crisis of Holocaust Memory" between Poland and Israel around what was dubbed in Israel the "Polish Holocaust Law," the committee for recognizing Righteous Among the Nations decided to recognize only Consul Konstanty Rokicki…


Since I was involved in media exposure of the rescue operation, I approached Yad Vashem and I blamed them for their mistake…


The relatives of Rokicki announced that they would refuse to accept the award of Righteous Among the Nations as long as the remaining diplomats weren't also recognized…The Polish government saw the carelessness of the committee as a deliberate Israeli political move aimed at preventing recognition of the efforts of the Polish government-in-exile to save Jews during the Holocaust and to perpetuate the impression that Poland was complicit in the Holocaust…Survivors and their descendants, who owe their lives to the Berne/Ladosh Group, made an official complaint to Yad Vashem, who agreed to re-examine the issue of recognition in light of the many documents that were uncovered over the last three years. For the sake of this issue, Mordecai Paldiel, who served as the head of Yad Vashem's Righteous Among the Nations department for 24 years, was also recruited to check every aspect of the affair, reaching the unambiguous conclusion that every Polish diplomat deserved recognition…


only full transparency regarding this issue will make it clear if Yad Vashem is playing a role in the deterioration of the crisis between Poland and Israel, and what is motivating Yad Vashem to recognize only some of the Polish diplomats – not only in Switzerland – as saviors of Jews.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

"Books Blaming Jews for Covid Sold in Warsaw Church": The Jerusalem Post. Readers React with Anti-Polish Hatred

A Facebook friend directed me to the article, discussed below. It alleges that a Catholic church in Poland was selling disgusting anti-Semitic material. 

I read the article and was horrified by it. 

Then I read the comments. The bigoted hatred for Poles and for Catholicism expressed in the comments section sickened me. 

Yes, there are anti-Semitic Catholics and Poles. These people, for the most part, occupy the nether regions of society. Decent people recognize them as monstrous and reject them. 

Too many "nice" people, though, including too many "nice" Jews, repeat bigoted statements about Christianity, about Catholicism, and about Poles and Poland. These prejudices find their way, not into marginal books that arouse outrage and elicit condemnation, but into publications that win academic and journalistic awards. 

I have documented this in my book, Bieganski the Brute Polak, and on this blog. 

I am disgusted by, and I condemn, the phenomena described below: anti-Semitism, Christophobia, and hatred of Poles. I welcome anyone who joins me in condemning all three. 

In the comments, someone alleges that the books were not being sold in or by the church, and also alleges that the journalist is far-left. Also, a commenter pointed out that the photo the JP used to illustrate an article about anti-Semitism in Poland was in fact from France. See that photo,  above. 

The full Jerusalem Post article is here. An excerpt is below.

Books Blaming Jews for Covid Sold in Warsaw Church

Many antisemitic titles were sold at a beatification ceremony, the first step toward sainthood, of two revered Catholic figures in Warsaw's main church last week, Algemeiner reported.


Titles included Scum and the Jews in Today's Poland, Judeopolonia II - Anatomy of Enslaving Poland and Homoterror. Additionally, there were books that blamed Jews for the COVID-19 pandemic.


Aside from prominent Catholic figures, the ceremony was attended by Poland's President Andrzej Duda, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and the head of the country's ruling Law and Justice Party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski.


Wojciech Karpieszuk, a journalist who attended the ceremony, wrote an article for the Gazeta Wyborcza describing his unease at the sight of the books and the fact that no one else around him seemed to be bothered by them.


"During those 40 minutes, I didn't see a single reaction of indignation. Nothing," he wrote. "Many of the clergy, and even one bishop among them, passed by the stands indifferently."

End of excerpt. Excerpts from the comments section, below. 


Fake story.

Those people were street sellers; they weren't part of the ceremony.

Btw Karpieszuk is a journo for a far-left news outlet.


Royston Langdon

20 September, 2021


Roman Catholicism always was a factory of antisemites that eagerly awaited two simultaneous things: first the permission or indifference of the State, and second the silence of the Pope, to unleash another Judgment Day against the 'Cursed Race of Cain.'


After the annihilator end of the WWII and the unexpected creation of the state of Israel, the Second Vatican Council left traditional antisemitism in the background in order to focus all forces into the creation of a Palestinian state that would gradually, or suddenly, destroy the state of Israel, this time with the help of the worst enemy of Christianity: the Islam.


That is why the papists very much like to resort to a quotation from the gospels to justify the change of orientation, which is found precisely in Paul's letter to the Hebrews 13:8: 'Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever'.


Donald Fbulu

19 September, 2021


Poles were more harsh than Nazis.


Donald Fbulu

19 September, 2021


Most Polish were Nzi Sympathizers.


National Radical Organization (Polish: Narodowa Organizacja Radykalna) was a Polish collaborationist pro-Nzi organization, founded following the 1939 German invasion of Poland by Andrzej Swietlicki and Stanislaw Trzeciak.


In March 1940, NOR co-organized with Germany a series of assaults on houses and shops of Warsaw Jews, known as the Easter pogrom. During the incidents, NOR representatives appealed to the Polish society for participation in pogroms.


Kacper Czajkows

19 September, 2021


Typical Polish behavior.


Anti-Semitism was a way of life in Catholic Poland.


"Prior to World War II, anti-Semitism was an increasingly visible factor in Polish society, and government authorities took formal measures to exclude Jews from key sectors of public life. A nationalism deeply rooted in Catholicism was central to that struggle."



20 September, 2021


I think we have to accept that Poland, with its long history of domination by the Catholic Church, will take many generations before this deeply-rooted racist bigotry will be expunged, although I am not hopeful it ever will.


Donald Fbulu

19 September, 2021


Is brutality in Polish blood?



19 September, 2021


This is typical of the Polish Catholic Church and the Polish right-wing, nationalist government. Anti-Semitism is endemic in Poland. Why would the journalist in question be surprised by the sale of anti-Semitic books in Warsaw’s main church at a beatification ceremony?



19 September, 2021


Such short memories but are we surprised that the Cathloic Church persists in its disgusting portrayal of the Jewish people.

Where is the condemnation by the Pope?


Donald Fbulu

19 September, 2021


Poland dumber than the rest of Europe? … Poles are savage … these people have yet to evolve



19 September, 2021


As much as we love to hate the Poles, stuff like this is "peanuts" compared to what's being disseminated in Western Europe (not to mention the Arab world)



19 September, 2021


Poland had anti-semitic laws before WW2 that were similar to Germany's.  Just one year after Hitler gained power, Poland signed a friendship treaty with Nazi Germany. In 1935, Hitler hosted a memorial service for Poland's leader Pilsudski. The Germans double-crossed their Polish friends, but the Poles still blame Jews for their misfortunes. Even though almost no Jews remain in Poland (who can blame them?), Jew hatred runs deep.


And on and on and on. This is just a small sampling.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Sarah Silverman, Seth Rogen, and Christian-Jewish Relations

 American entertainers Seth Rogen and Sarah Silverman have released a series, "Santa Inc," through HBO. "Santa Inc" is an obscene cartoon that mocks Christmas. Reviewers have panned "Santa Inc" and audiences really hate it. "Santa Inc" has racked up record low scores at the and Rotten Tomatoes user review sites.  

In response to the negative criticism, Rogen and Silverman are claiming that anyone who doesn't like "Santa Inc" and its obscene attack on Christmas is a Nazi and an anti-Semite. 

In fact, some of the people criticizing the production are anti-Semites, but they are a minority of critics. Most critics are simply people with good taste. 

Press coverage here, here the Rotten Tomatoes page here; the imdb review page is here

Sarah Silverman's character in "Santa Inc." 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Gazeta Wyborcza, Hypocrisy, and Bieganski


A Polish reader sends in the following observation:


Gazeta Wyborcza is a leading Polish leftist/liberal paper. It fanatically opposes the Polish government position of not allowing into Poland the illegal migrants who have been brought by the Belarussian dictator to the Polish frontier.


Well, today Gazeta Wyborcza reported that a funeral of an unborn child was conducted in a cemetery. A migrant woman miscarried; it was her miscarriage that was buried with a ceremony.


What's interesting is that Gazeta Wyborcza, which is strongly pro-choice, used the term "unborn child." Otherwise, they always use terms like "fetus." Moreover, they condemn using the term "unborn child." They violently oppose any kind of funeral or other ceremony connected with the bodies of these kinds of children – whether they are the bodies of the miscarried or the aborted. Gazeta Wyborcza used this term only now - when writing about the miscarriage of a woman from Iraq.



Language is manipulated – shamelessly and cynically – to serve a master narrative. This is exactly what happens in the creation of Bieganski the Brute Polak Stereotype.