Thursday, December 29, 2022
In January, 2020, presidential candidate Joe Biden told the New York Times that he rejected Polish-Americans in favor of "smart people."
"Well, look what's happened. Look what started to seep in, beginning and probably even with candidates during our administration. We stopped showing up at the Polish American club. We stopped showing up, and we all went to you, the really smart people. We had a new kind of coalition we were putting together. College-educated women and college men and boom, boom, boom and so on."
Presidential Candidate Joe Biden, New York Times, January, 2020.
Recently, Joe Biden laughed uproariously as Sacha Baron Cohen, as his character Borat, denigrated Poles by equating them with the "number one Jew crushing nation." Cohen hides behind "Kazakstan" -- which is bad enough as is -- but in fact Borat is Polish. Cohen offers many clues to Borat's true identity, but in the YouTube clip below, you can see and hear Borat speaking repeatedly in Polish.
For a detailed analysis of how Cohen communicates that Borat is really Polish, please see my book, Bieganski: the Brute Polak Stereotype.
Thanks to Jan for sending this in.
Wednesday, December 14, 2022
A twitter account called "StopAntisemitism" blames Poland for the Holocaust.
AISH, a Jewish website, published a claim that Poles were living their lives normally during World War II. This claim is so obscenely wrong it would take a book to refute it. Of course this claim reinforces the Bieganski, Brute Polak stereotype.
A quote from the AISH website:
"'Poland is a beautiful country. I found it mind-boggling that all this evil was happening in a beautiful country. People were living their lives normally, while right next to them were gas chambers. There were apartment buildings right outside the camps. How can people live like that?'"
AISH has a pop up chat window. I addressed Rabbi Keyak, who appeared to have read my message. I see no attempt on his part to respond to this flagrant falsehood. I will leave the link for this post on the website so he can respond here if he cares to.
You can read the AISH piece here
Thanks to Jerzy for sending this in.
Polish is a diabolically difficult language. It is often ranked one of the most difficult languages for an English speaker to learn. This point will be significant in Gandelman's account.
In Lodz, Gandelman saw "two buildings from the ghetto time period" being taken down. "History was being destroyed before my very eyes." The implication is that Poles are erasing the Holocaust.
Poles, he says, are similarly ignorant and unaware of the significance of the Warsaw Ghetto.
"The remnants of the Warsaw Ghetto were not very different. Save for a few fragments of the ghetto wall (hidden inside a school, apartment building, and near an electrical closet), there were close to no remnants of the once expansive ghetto. Polish people walked to and fro as if nothing ever existed there, and besides the occasional Israeli tour group, no one acknowledged the history, behind the spaces we were in."
Gandelman recounts an anecdote about an encounter in a coin store.
I walked into the store, eager to buy, and greeted the owner with "Dzien dobry" (good morning in Polish). His eyes widened and he immediately yelled out "nie Żydów" ("No Jew"). I was stunned. My dad kept asking me to translate, but I was too stunned to process it. Simply because of my kippah, this man refused to sell to me. Once I translated, my dad immediately grabbed me and we walked out of the store. We walked to the hotel in silence. It hurt to know that even through everything the Jewish people suffered through in Poland, there is still antisemitism rampant there today.
Gandelman does not name the store. There is no way of checking on this anecdote with the store owner.
Responses to Gandelman's article include the following:
Comments from Algemeiner:
"Antisemitism and lack of consideration for human feelings and hurts is at a pre-1939 level. Jews should stop going to Poland."
"Every other week, there is a story about the vibrant anti-Semitism in Poland, Germany, and Ukraine. And all this is true."
"Poland is a rather insane country … antisemitism is still widely present."
"The Poles are born with Jew hatred in their DNA."
"Poland has been antisemitic forever. The Polish underground stood by and watched the Warsaw Ghetto burn and didn't lift a finger. Poles are still living in Jewish owned homes with Jewish owned furniture. When the few survivors of the death camps returned to their homes their lives were threatened, some were killed."
"he had a very authentic polish experience."
Poles did push back. Here are comments from Algemeiner:
"It's highly unlikely a Pole would say something as odd as "nie Żydów". It makes no sense linguistically. It would be strange even if he was panicking or drunk. It could be something along the lines of "nie dla Żydów", "nie obsługujemy Żydów", or "nie chcemy tu Żydów."
Another poster wrote,
"No Polish person would ever say "nie Żydów", as this is not in Polish. I agree with Ignazio's suggestion that it looks like a poor attempt at using Google translate. It doesn't look good for the credibility of your report. Yes, there are cases of antisemitism in Poland, same as in the US. You will mostly find those with poor and uneducated people. As for the lack of remnants of the Warsaw Ghetto - if you knew anything about the history of the second world war, not related to Holocaust, you would have known that there was a Warsaw Uprising in 1944 (from August to October), and that after it failed Germans destroyed the remnants of buildings - over 94 % of my city was a pile of rubble. I would strongly suggest to first ask questions and learn, before making a judgement."
I posted the following:
Luiz Gandelman, like you, I visited Poland in November, 2022. As you can see from the photos on my Facebook page, I visited many Jewish sites. My visit was very short and very demanding. I was in Poland to attend a conference and there were extensive demands on my time. Even so, I used what free time I had to visit Jewish sites, photograph them, and post those photos on Facebook to educate my friends.
I am not Jewish. I am Polish Catholic.
Luiz, you chide Poles for, as you say, " walking to and fro as if nothing ever existed there" and for demolishing buildings that can't be saved.
Luiz, you missed a few things in your visit to Poland. You "walked to and fro" without awareness, it seems.
You appear to be unaware of the fact that Auschwitz was initially built to torture and murder Poles. That for almost the first two years of its existence, the camp was mostly a Polish camp. (I use Pole as a term of art, as is customary. Scholars use it to be mean Polish and not Jewish)
You went to Lodz. You do not mention the Nazi concentration camp for Polish children in Lodz. (Polen-Jugendverwahrlager der Sicherheitspolizei in Litzmannstadt)
You do not mention the Warsaw uprising. You do not mention the Nazi's genocidal, total destruction of Warsaw, beginning in 1939, with the inhuman blitzkrieg, ending in 1944. You do not mention Communist occupation and hegemony.
I, as an American Catholic of Polish descent, made it a point to revisit (this was not my first visit to Poland) sites of Jewish culture and Jewish martyrdom, and to share that information with my friends via social media.
I look forward to the day when you make yourself aware of what happened to non-Jewish Poles in Poland and when you mention those sufferings in any account of WW II in Poland and how Poles today deal with the overwhelmingly vast number of horrors committed on their soil by Nazis and Communists for many, many years.
You can read Gandelman's full article, "What I Saw as a Jewish Teen Visiting Poland," here.
You can see the Facebook discussion of Gandelman's piece here.
Friday, December 2, 2022
|West wore a bizarre costume to the Alex Jones show.|
Kanye West is an African American rap star. He was formerly married to celebrity Kim Kardashian. Alex Jones is a conspiracy theorist who claims that school shootings are "false flags" and that child victims are merely "crisis actors." Jones also sells various snake oil products.
West has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which causes grandiosity and paranoia.
West recently had dinner with Donald Trump at Mar-a-Largo, the former president's club and residence. West brought along Nick Fuentes, a neo-Nazi.
On Thursday, December 1, Kanye West appeared on Alex Jones' program. West voiced his support for Hitler and Nazis. This event has been covered extensively in the press. One account is here
Thursday, November 24, 2022
From Onet; full story here. Excerpts below.
A Polish woman conquers Norwegian bookstores. "I'm not your Pole", a bittersweet story about emigration
The book "Jeg er ikke polakken din" (I'm not your Pole) by Ewa Sapieżyńska conquers the Norwegian best-seller lists, and the Norwegian Culture Council has decided to deliver the book by the Polish woman to libraries all over the country. And so the discussion about what it means to be a Pole in Scandinavia, what racism is and where are its limits.
October 30, 2022, 07:24
In Norway, we systematically encounter worse treatment of minorities not only because of skin color, but also because of the country of origin - reports the situation of Poles in Scandinavia, Dr. Ewa Sapieżyńska, whose book "Jeg er ikke polakken din" ) storms Norwegian bookstores
Although the book is not yet available in Polish, the Polish woman's publication has caused a stir among Norwegians, revealing what many migrants in Scandinavia have been silent about for years
"Poles do not know how to smile or think, because they are horses. They work 14 hours a day," says one of the Norwegian employers about Poles
— Polish thinking in exile: "I'll bite my teeth, I'll last five more years, and then I'll come back to Poland and we'll build a house" - the sociologist explains the mechanism
I read all the publications that came out in Norway before the "Black Lives Matter" movement. Norwegians have sworn that there is no discrimination against minorities.
Scandinavian idyll - there is money, order, peace, space, respect for rights...
Meanwhile, in Norway, we systematically experience worse treatment of minorities not only because of skin color, but also country of origin or ethnicity. Reading and crying over stories of discrimination, I noticed that there are no Polish voices at all.
Meanwhile, Poles are the largest minority in Norway! According to statistics, nearly 105,000 people live here permanently. Poles. Norway is a small country with only 5 million inhabitants, so 105,000 Poles matter.
In fact, there are almost 200,000 here. Poles, if we take into account people coming to work seasonally on drilling platforms, on construction sites, in fields with potatoes or strawberries, as I started myself. These voices are not heard.
…For Norwegians, a Pole is a poorly paid worker who does not make demands, most likely speaks bad Norwegian and drinks a lot, or maybe he is a criminal at all.
…One Polish woman living in Norway wrote that she hears jokes about Poles being stupid at least once a week, some joke "how many Poles does it take to screw in a light bulb"...
In Norway they say "Polish working hours", when you work much more than Norwegians, they also talk about "Polish jobs", i.e. painting, cleaning, construction work.
…When you look at the list of bad words that Norwegian youth use in high schools, "Pole" ranks high, it is often used the same way as, unfortunately, "Roman" is used in Poland. Among this list, at the very top is a whore and gay, and below that is "Black", "Jew", "Pole", "Pakkis", meaning someone of Pakistani descent.
…In Norway I often don't feel seen as a human being, I am "only a Pole".
…I tried to forget about neighbors who asked me to take my Polish name off the mailbox because property prices in the area would go down. This is pure racism.
…The interviews conducted by the researchers show that if you are Polish, you are suitable for physical work, but you are no longer suitable for a hotel reception.
"Poles do not know how to smile or think, because they are horses. They work 14 hours a day and do not have to think," says one of the Norwegian employers about Poles.
…We bought a flat from a lady who turned out to be Polish. She was ashamed to speak Polish, she changed her name to make it more European, she changed her surname, she hid her origin. I tried to convince her: "After all, we can talk in Polish." She looked at me like an alien. She made me understand that it was a shame to speak Polish and switched fluently to Norwegian.
After many years abroad, I forgot for a moment that it was a shame to be Polish in Norway.
… It turns out that in Denmark he met the same aversion to Poles and Polish names in public places, especially where real estate could lose value, "because a Pole lives there".
Thank you to Jerzy for sending this in.
This photo is circulating on social media with the caption "If Poland v Mexico were broadcast via Netflix."
I asked a Facebook friend to explain the meme and Ian Barrs provided the following explanation, "It's a joking reference to the clichéd cinematic depictions of both places in modern TV and cinema. Specifically, the fact that anything set in Mexico will have a yellow filter applied to look permanently sunny, hot and dusty, whereas (as everyone knows) the entirety of Eastern Europe is permanently grey and all color tones are washed out and muted."
Friday, November 18, 2022
Thursday, November 17, 2022
Taboo Thoughts from Poland
As I settled into my LOT airlines seat, waiting for the plane to take off to Warsaw, I realized that I was feeling cozy. All my life I've been really self-conscious about how pale I am. Pale skin is thin skin and thin skin provides no camouflage. Every scar and eye bag, every wrinkle and knotted vein, is neon. "Black don't crack," black women boast. The darker the skin, the thicker. Thick skin wrinkles less and hides imperfections. Pale people like me look older than a comparable darker skinned person.
Sunday, November 13, 2022
He then emphasized how artificial his apology was. "That, Kanye," he said, "is how you buy yourself some time."
Why is it a crazy thing to say out loud? Because, as Chappelle made clear, Jews hold power and punish those who speak frankly. In short, Chappelle's monologue was an anti-Semitic hate screed.
Thursday, November 3, 2022
Monday, October 31, 2022
I recently watched the trailer for the 2022 Netflix production All Quiet on the Western Front. The trailer is only two and a half minutes long. After I watched it, I felt like I needed counseling. It is a devastating glimpse of war.
The full movie is even more devastating, as reviews report. I have not seen the film.
After I watched the trailer, I realized a few things:
1.) I'd never see this movie. I know that war is a bad thing and I have watched enough ultra violent, realistic war movies. I won't know more or feel more after seeing this movie. I'm glad if the movie works for others. I'd be thrilled if the film inspired humans to stop all wars. That won't happen, though.
2.) The movie looked quite good. High quality production values and acting.
3.) This movie tells part of the back story that engendered Nazism. After watching this movie, people may say, "Well, I can see how, after this, Germans fell under the spell of Nazism." The movie would make Germans and Germany more understandable.
Understanding Nazism is difficult. How could people like us commit such mind-boggling atrocities?
Nazism didn't spring up over night from Hitler's brain. It has roots. See here.
World War I is one of the factors that paved the historical road for Hitler. For one thing, after that devastating and apparently pointless war, nations were not eager to fight again, handing Hitler a free pass for too many years.
But the massive casualties in what has been called history's first mechanized war, Germany's defeat, the "stab in the back" conspiracy theory, and the Versailles Treaty all contributed to Nazism's rise.
Saying that WW I paved the road for Nazism is *not* any justification of Nazism. Nothing justifies Nazism. It is, though, a way to understand, and to see Germans, even Nazis, as human beings.
We need similar media clarifying Poland's back story. We need this media as a way of addressing the Bieganski, Brute Polak stereotype.
The Bieganski stereotype insists that Poles are essential anti-Semites, that is always and everywhere anti-Semitic, because of their nature. People point to various factors in Polish society as proof of this.
They may mention the interwar numerous clausus in universities. That quota system is meant to prove the essential anti-Semitic nature of Poles.
What is not mentioned is that around 80% of Poles were poor and earned their living through labor, mainly agricultural, and that in some regions of eastern Poland, illiteracy was widespread.
In contrast, Joseph Adler reports, "Jews who formed ten percent of the population constituted thirty percent of the country's university students, forty-nine percent of all lawyers, forty-six percent of the physicians, as well as fifty-nine percent of the nation's population engaged in commerce, and twenty-one percent in industry."
This back story does not make the quota system right or wrong, but without this back story the quota system can be falsely represented as nothing but an expression of anti-Semitism.
Clearly, given the accounts of Endeks beating Jews on campuses, many supporters of the quota system were indeed violent, thuggish, anti-Semites. But the back story, the disproportionate representation of Polish Catholics on campuses and in white collar professions, helps the student of history better to understand social tension in interwar Poland.
My suspicion, that this film will help viewers to understand the road that Germany traveled that made Nazism possible, is reflected in published commentary on the film.
"But Berger's version reaches a new level of poignancy and even urgency given the tenor of the times.It does so first by focusing on the way in which young German boys were turned into cannon fodder by adults spouting nationalist dogma, and secondly by spotlighting how Germany’s capitulation at the end of World War I – and the sense of shame in defeat stoked by politicians – gave rise years later to Nazism and ultimately World War II. In that, says Berger, is a lesson for us all in 2022."
Financial Times reports
"A modern eye brings more advantages besides. Like Paul, unwitting of the ceasefire ahead, a director working in 1930 could not have known the bleak killing joke the end of the decade would bring. Now Berger spotlights disgust among German high command not at the war but at the coming armistice — already tagged as the “stab in the back” that would help deliver Germany to Nazism. The film is haunted by the ghosts of the future. Could its outrage be any more relevant than now?"
In short, one message viewers are taking from All Quiet on the Western Front is that Germans are human beings like you and me, and only under exceptional historical circumstances would humans like you or me commit atrocities.
The video, below, is a commentary on the film. It includes spoilers and clips. Warning: not for those who do not wish to be exposed to disturbing, war-related material.
See the trailer of the Netflix All Quiet on the Western Front
Friday, October 28, 2022
In the Eyes of God, All Lives Matter
I want you to think about a massacre. Look, I know I'm asking a lot. For normal people, it's not fun to think about massacres. It's not fun to contemplate what the victims endured. It's not fun to look at our fellow humans and think, "How would my friend, my neighbor, my spouse, behave in such a hellscape? As the victim? As the perpetrator? As the bystander?" It's not fun to think those thoughts while looking in the mirror.
It's not fun to compare the social, political, and military features that engender massacres, and then to look at one's own society. We post-World-War-II Americans are some of the luckiest people on earth. Other than in localized and temporary terror attacks like 9-11, we have not known war on our soil. That could change. Our society, too, has its fault lines. If social norms decayed just a bit more, if divide-and-conquer invaders trespass on our soil, how long before massacres follow? And which group, racial, ethnic, religious, economic, would do the killing, and which group would be killed? Would anyone record the carnage? Would anyone care?
No, it's not fun to think these things.
But, listen. I just want you to give this massacre ten or fifteen minutes of thought. Why? I'm not sure why I want this so much. It's a visceral reaction. When I read about this massacre, one of the most intense reactions I have is, "Who cares about these victims? Who says their names? Who cries for them? Who prays for them? Where is their monument? Where is their justice? When will the perpetrators, and their ideology, be named, blamed, and shamed? When will anyone learn the horrible lessons this massacre teaches, in boldface type ten feet high?"
I know my reaction is irrational. Nothing we do can "fix" this horror. Nothing we do can resurrect and redeem the dead. Nothing can ever erase the agony they and their loved ones endured. And yet I want this. I want you, the person reading this, to think about these victims, perhaps to shed a tear for them, to read at least one name, to feel anger at their killers, and to look at the world anew. To say, yes, the earth is covered with wounds, history is complicated, and tribal moralities exacerbate problems rather than offer any solution, and the only solution is a universalist morality that insists, against all the pressure not to say this, that all lives matter.
The massacre I want you to think about is little-known and understudied. You may never have heard of it. The upper estimate of the number of victims is 100,000. There are graphic images of massacre victims and even film footage of loved ones sobbing over the disinterred remains of their beloved. All this documentation is easily found in an internet search.
In spite of the high numbers and graphic documentation, the Wikipedia page for this massacre is a mere seven pages. In contrast, the Wikipedia page for the 1940 Katyn massacre of 22,000 Polish officers by Soviets is thirty-two pages. The Wikipedia page for the death of George Floyd is forty-one pages. A six-year-old YouTube video in which a serious scholar discusses his unique work on this massacre has fewer than six hundred views. His book has exactly one review on Amazon. Big-name historians who have published best-selling books about events surrounding this massacre in space and time have spared it few to no words.
There are concrete reasons why you may not have heard of this massacre. One is that it was part of a larger cataclysm. Of course, that's not the entire answer. The Katyn Massacre, the Rape of Nanking, the Bataan Death March, were all part of World War II, and they are all better known. There are other reasons, and those other reasons are discussed, below.
Thursday, October 27, 2022
Kanye West and Bieganski, the Brute Polak
Kanye West is an American rap celebrity. He was married to Kim Kardashian. He is known for making outlandish public statements. After Hurricane Katrina, during a live, televised Red Cross fundraising event, he blurted out that "George Bush doesn't care about black people"
When Taylor Swift, a white woman, was on stage accepting a VMA award in 2009, West jumped onstage and shouted that Beyonce, a black woman, should have won.
Kanye West's ex-wife and the mother of his four kids, Kim Kardashian, divorced him, and then she began dating mystery-celebrity Pete Davidson. Davidson is a mystery-celebrity because he is ugly, and he has no talent nor charisma. It's a mystery why he is famous. Kanye West made a video that appeared to show him kidnapping, decapitating, burying, and threatening Davidson. This violent, threatening video is still on YouTube, which has banned and shadow-banned forthright discussions of jihad and gender apartheid.
And that's all I know about Kanye West.
Until recent days, when Kanye West began making outlandish, overt, anti-Semitic statements.
It must immediately be said that West was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
It must also immediately be said that one can be mentally ill and also be a dirtbag who has earned himself a good ass-kicking, literal or metaphorical.
Kanye West is spreading hate. His statements can be found all over the web; no need to repeat them here. This behavior is disgusting. I'm glad numerous economic powerhouses have cut highly lucrative deals with West.
Here's what's unfortunate. Too many of those criticizing West for his dissemination of hatred are criticizing him for wearing a t-shirt that read, "White lives matter."
Not for the anti-Semitic filth he's been spouting. For his stating the simple truth that white lives matter.
Yes, white lives matter. Yes, as West insists, abortion ends a human life.
Someone can be mentally ill, and an anti-Semite, and still occasionally say true things. That our current Woke Overlords label "White lives matter" hate speech is soul chilling. Clearly, white lives do not matter to our Woke Overlords.
There's another aspect to West's anti-Semitic outbursts that is germane to the Bieganski, Brute Polak stereotype. I can't think of a single Polish-identified American celebrity, so let's invent one. If a Polish-American superstar of West's wattage said many of the same things Kanye is saying, that imaginary Polish-American superstar's outburst would *immediately* be related to the Polish-American's identity.
African American celebrity Kanye West says hateful things about Jews because he is mentally ill and paranoia is one symptom of bipolar disorder. So far, so good.
A posited Polish-American celebrity would be diagnosed as having said hateful things because of his Polish identity.
Kanye West is black, and black identity is protected in America, and I haven't yet found an article relating West's anti-Semitism to a significant amount of anti-Semitism among African Americans.
If you find such an article, please alert me.
In the case of a Polish-American celebrity saying anti-Semitic things, this is what would happen. Alan Dershowitz, the ADL, Jan Grabowski, Jan Tomasz Gross, and others would be all over the media bemoaning the "fact" that Poles "suckle anti-Semitism with the mother's milk," as Israelis like PM Yitzhak Shamir, Acting Foreign Minister Israel Katz, and Haaretz journalist Israel Harel have repeatedly said, in exactly those disgusting, misogynist, and racist words.
The Polish-American celebrity's comments would never be understood as manifestations of mental illness. They would be attributed to an ineradicable Polish essence, a biological, spiritual, and cultural essence that Jews must always hate. And if you don't believe me, read Yitzhak Shamir's, Israel Katz's, Israel Harel's comments.
Of course not all African Americans are anti-Semites, but ADL surveys report the following: "Anti‐Semitic views among the African American population have remained steady, but are consistently higher than the general population."
"There is a strong correlation between higher education levels and the rejection of anti-Semitic stereotypes among members of all races, but Black Americans of all educational levels are significantly more likely to be anti-Semitic than whites with the same educational level.. In the 1998 survey, Blacks (34%) were nearly four times as likely as whites (9%) to have answers that identified them as belonging in the most anti-Semitic category (those agreeing with at least 6 out of 11 statements that were potentially or clearly antisemitic)." From Wikipedia.
Further, there are notable anti-Semitic celebrities among African Americans, including Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, and Amiri Baraka.
Finally, there is a blatant and deadly anti-Semitic conspiracy theory among African Americans, that is, that blacks are the true main characters of the Bible, and Jews are "usurpers" who have taken black people's place. This conspiracy theory was behind a deadly terrorist attack on a Jewish grocery store in Jersey City in 2019. Wikipedia insists on labeling this terrorist attack a "shooting."
After the Jersey City terrorist attack, Jersey City school board member, Joan Terrell Paige attacked Jews verbally online.
Kanye West subscribes to this deadly conspiracy theory. He claims that blacks are the "real" Jews.
I have yet to come across a media account of West's anti-Semitism that relates it to the larger problem of black anti-Semitism. Again, if West were a Polish-American, that celebrity's anti-Semitism would immediately be related to a corrupt Polish essence, biological and cultural.
In contrast to how a Polish celebrity would be treated, see Isaac Herzog, Israel's president, as he is interviewed by Wolf Blitzer. "Anti-Semitism is a problem all over the world," they both agree. As are all racism, xenophobia, intolerance, etc. they add. That would be not be said in the case of the Polish celebrity. Hate would not be characterized as a universal problem. It would be a Polish problem. That interview is here.