Sunday, June 19, 2022

A Jewish Joke Shared by the Australian Jewish Association on Facebook

 The joke, below, appeared on the Australian Jewish Association Facebook page. The joke supports the main ideas of my book Bieganski The Brute Polak Stereotype

In that book I argue that Poles and all other Christian and peasant-descent Eastern Europeans are stereotyped as large, strong, stupid, violent, and hateful, and Jews are stereotyped as smart, less physical, crafty, and money-oriented. 

Not only do others stereotype Poles and Jews this way. Poles and Jews stereotype themselves this way. 

The difference is that when stereotyping one's own group, one places a positive, as opposed to a negative, spin on the stereotype qualities. 

Poles may stereotype themselves as earthy, strong, reliable, and straightforward -- good qualities. Jews may stereotype themselves as being intelligent in a way that serves a good end rather than a negative one (world domination, in the most extreme stereotypes.) 

In the joke below, Jews stereotype themselves as clever, crafty, tricky, insincere, and money-oriented. Also, of course, as oppressed, and as oppressed by persons less intelligent than themselves, whom they can trick. But all these qualities serve a very good final result. 


  1. Timothy Snyder believes that Poland invented colonialism. His recent speach caused otrage. But Snyder published this thesis in April. He criticized also Jews involved in the system.

    1. What?!?! All I can find to say is AND we shot Bambi's mother.

  2. Cambridge anti-history of Poland "there is no such thing as one Polish culture" - is there one US or British culture?

    1. Relevant to this blog topic - there is not one Australian Jewish or Jewish-Australian culture!

      [Arnold Zable, for instance, writes about Yiddish theatre, which he encountered as a boy].

      The moment we talk about monoculturalism is the moment we tend to dehumanise.

      Anti-history is a specific genre and it has specific intentions. It often destabilises [and can contribute to History Wars and Culture Wars].

      I noticed this book was specifically about Polish theatre.

      So glad this came up, Jerzy, because Dr Moody mentioned a play called RED VELVET on her blog, which had a Bengali-English woman from Birmingham University go through Polish theatre of the mid-19th century in a distancing way.

      The three writers/editors are trying to problematise this concept in the implied reader's mind.

      Especially when it comes to touchstones like the Renaissance; the Baroque and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth [they remind us that Poles were only 15 percent of this Commonwealth at its peak].

      And, oh, yes, the macaronic tongues!

      National movements of Belarus; Ukraine; Lithuania.

      Community; education and erudition were three resources which contributed to these nationalisms.

      I have been reading some Milosz again - he is represented in an anthology by Paul Kelly - LOVE AS STRONG AS DEATH.

      Hasidism is dealt with in one paragraph.

      Then Dorota writes about HAMLET STUDY.

      The play which is explored in RED VELVET is OTHELLO and Dr Moody mentions KING LEAR.

      [the issue is very relevant to SAVE SEND DELETE and Stephen's story which is told there].

      Dorota reminds us that theatre is a cultural MEDIUM especially in view of the 1950s and 1960s [and 1968].

      For example: Genet and THE BLACKS. [Even my schoolgirl Polish knows that would be CZARNY po polsku].

      Adelaide Dupont

      [and all this is only one chapter - the introductory chapter].

    2. Dear Adelaide,
      I do not know how it is ouside Poland, but the majority of theaters in Poland show anti-culture. So unfortunately any history of theater in Poland becomes history of degradation, financed by us, the taxpayers, many of us conservative religious elderly people, who never visit such theaters. The paragraph about the Jews describes isolated Jews. But many Jews participated as middlemen in the serf system. The worst pogroms were committed by cossacs.The story about Polish colonization is absurd, based on historical ignorance. Ruthenian nobles joined Poland because they did not like Lithuania. They Polonized during ages. See Robert Frost. More and more. The text describes steretypes Polish liberals, not professional historiography.

    3. Jerzy,

      I am not a fan of historical ignorance, having worked to fight it so hard in myself.

      [and I would make myself find out about large European countries and their colonising ways since the early 2000s].

      So the Polish liberals in the Cambridge reference book about Polish theatre are stereotyping and thus fall short of the standard of professional historiography which we would seek to understand and to honour.

      I am going to see a play in the next week or so.

      You could possibly say that much Polish theatre is indeed sclerotic and its history becomes that way too.

      The other extreme is that it becomes too captured by liberal or radical interests which are not in touch with the larger society and would indeed be against the interests of that society.

      [Yes - I know - the false law of the middle!]

      The Cossacks and their pogroms - I could comment on that but not without having read a whole lot of the sort of books Peczki puts on the Jews and Poles website.

      [I did read a fictional book about the Crimean War and Englishmen who came to fight it].

      Robert Frost? Was he a Ruthenian? or his family were?

      I do know something about Frost's poetry.

      Just a minute! I found another Frost. He was born in 1958 and he works in the Department of Slavonic and East European Studies in London. And he studied at Jagiellonian.

      So the book I would read is the one about the Polish-Russian Commonwealth from 1994.

      And for that matter the Oxford one from ten years later [which brings us into 2004].

      The ages we are talking about are 1558-1721 and 1655-1660.

      And then in 2015 there is a MAKING OF THE POLISH-LITHUANIAN UNION. [that has only a first volume].

      [and I will remember that Kings College London and University College London - are not the same place! but the same university].

      Part 2 seems to be going okay - there was a Leverhulme Fellowship involved [2016-19].

      And lots of prizes in the past 2 years from Poland and from Lithuania to Robert I. Frost.

      Between that post [4 July 2022] and this I also discovered a History of Poland podcast about several of the Wladyslaws and Kazimierz Wielki.

      Thank you for that bread crumpet, Jerzy.

      Adelaide Dupont

  3. JP about Jan Karski. Nice but Karski visited a small Izbica camp. He has never been to Belzec. A tweet says "the Polish death camp of Belzec".

  4. One of the comments "Looks like Poles didn't need much prompting."

  5. "76 years ago #OTD in 1946, a Polish mob of soldiers, police officers, and civilians in Kielce, Poland murdered 42 Jews who had just survived the Holocaust." Stephen Uzzel writes about the Holocaust, but he does not know post-war Poland. The alleged 'police officers' were illiterate workers and peasants who joined Milicja Obywatelska (Communist police). Many members of the MO were criminals. 6 000 Polish police officers died in Soviet Union. Those who were drafted to Blue Police were persecuted after the war and were replaced by the 'working class' ignorants. Kielce, Poland. Which Poland? The government of Poland was in London. Soviet Union controlled Poland directly (Soviet Army, NKVD) or indirectly (Polish Communists, some of them Soviet citizens, like general Swierczewski). On May the 3rd, 1946 patriotic Poles manifested in many cities, they were beaten, arrested. On July the 4th, 1946 a mob occupied center of a city during several hours and the Communist anti-Semitic head of the region allowed this, noone was beaten. Soviet Army and NKVD also did not protest. The vicitms were zionists, who wanted to emigrate. No Jewish Communist was attacked by the mob.

  6. This 2019 article has been quoted recently.
    The Brigade had to run away from Poland and the only way was to declare military cooperation with the Germans. The Soviet 'liberators' murdered Polish underground soldiers. The article is selective, does not mention that the Brigade liberated Jewish women from a German camp. The Soviet state collaborated 1939-1941.

  7. Is St. John Chrysostom responsible for the Holocaust? English Wikipedia quotes radical opinons of Wiliam I. Brustein and Steven T. Katz. Katz is Jewish and believes in an integral Christian anti-Judaism. But European Christianity is radically divided into three parts. Both World Wars in Europe were wars between Christians. I am afraid that some Jewish writers repeat anti-Christian steretypes and some Christain ones repeat anti-Jewish steretypes. The Wikipedia quotes Gil Student's opinion, that many attacks on the Talmud are merely recycling discredited material that originated in the 13th-century disputations. Are anti-Christian attacks any better?


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.
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