Monday, March 6, 2023

Disraeli Hall by Polonian Author Sue Knight: Check it out!


Do you care about Polish issues? Then put your money where your mouth is. Support Polish authors. Right now, go buy Sue Knight's book on Amazon and then post a review. 

Sue Knight, author and Polonian activist, to whom Polonia owes a great deal, contributes this description of her book:


Disraeli Hall is a thriller, inspired by the two houses of my childhood, and by the people who inhabited them.


Disraeli Hall does contain some Polish characters along with one Jewish one, Benjamin Disraeli, who was said to be Queen Victoria's favourite Prime Minister. I believe he was a bit of a charmer with us ladies. Although Disraeli himself never appears, as this is not a historical novel, the fictional visit he once paid to the Hall resonates through the book.


The book, according to reviewers, is a real page turner. It is both frightening and funny.


Here is a review from my Amazon page:


Unlike some authors I won't name, Sue Knight doesn't write the same story twice. Her new novel doesn't resemble the delightful, dream-like but unsettling Waiting for Gordo or her beautifully constructed Till they Dropped. Once again there are dream-like sequences and there are pleasing, sometimes bewildering, intricacies of plot structure, but this is quite a different book from its predecessors. It combines elements of Gothic romance, murder mystery, and angry regret at the progressive destruction of traditional life and communities by the inexorable march of money-fuelled modernisation.


Disraeli Hall – a fictitious building, needless to say - was so named because the great Conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli once spent a night there and a dramatic event occurred. We're never told what that dramatic event was, but we're half-encouraged to speculate about it. It isn't material to the story, but the fact that Disraeli once stayed in the building is something the money men can exploit.


The first chapter tells us that all is not well with Disraeli Hall; its ancient roots and its future possibilities are being subverted and undermined. Then we're given the background to the subversion and undermining as experienced by the protagonist-narrator, Sarah Dexter. Sarah had married Leo Cavalier, owner of Disraeli Hall, after a whirlwind romance. She'd sold her flat in London in order to invest in her new home in the North of England. (As an inhabitant of the Peak District I could relate to her descriptions!)


In her imagination, Sarah made a tongue-in-cheek comparison between her situation and that of the unnamed heroine of du Maurier's Rebecca: Leo had been married previously, his wife had died in an accident, and a sinister housekeeper, Ava Maggs, appears early in the story. During the course of the novel, Ava proves to be no less pernicious than Mrs Danvers. However, stark differences between Disraeli Hall and Manderley are apparent almost from the outset. Manderley was warm, physically comfortable and well maintained. Disraeli Hall was cold, uncomfortable in every sense and falling into decay. Sarah has plans for renovation and restoration, but they are thwarted as she makes more and more unsettling discoveries about her marriage and about her new residence.


Her only real comfort is Anya, daughter of Leo's first wife, with whom Sarah quickly establishes a bond. Sarah is pregnant and hopes she'll shortly give Anya a half-brother and Leo the heir he wants. But things don't work out as she hopes and intends. A tragedy occurs and Sarah's life steadily unravels as Disraeli Hall and its surroundings, and the village that once served it, are transmuted into an upmarket hotel with spacious grounds, and a housing estate.


As the novel nears its end, Sarah's life approaches rock bottom. Her fortunes do seem to take a turn for the better in the closing pages, but the reader is left with an overall feeling of sorrow and loss. Nevertheless the story is gripping and endlessly thought-provoking as twist follows twist. Sue Knight has created a vivid setting and vivid characters, which make this melancholy and sometimes anger-inducing tale memorable.


I am so glad that the reviewer found the book gripping - as that is exactly what I was aiming for.


I am finding it hard to know what more to say, beyond what I guess all writers say. Please, please read the book, and review it. And if you like it, please read the other two and review them as well!


I hope I have one more book in me - a book of short stories - one of which also references Benjamin Disraeli and some of the characters from Disraeli Hall. I am in discussions with my publisher now.


How to finish? Maybe just to say this. My epigraph for Disraeli Hall is Proverbs 15:17:


"Better is a dish of vegetables where there is love than a fattened bull where there is hatred."


Those words are as true now as when their writer, King Solomon, was inspired by our Creator to record them. Whether I have done those words justice in my book is something I have to leave to my readers to decide.

Friday, February 24, 2023

You People a New Netflix Rom-Com: Is It As Anti-Semitic As They Say?


You People a New Netflix Rom-Com
Is It As Anti-Semitic As They Say?


Netflix advertises its 2023 release You People as a romantic comedy. The film depicts a romance between a Jewish man and a black woman. It has been accused of anti-Semitism. By one measure – the number of times You People disseminates disparaging images of, or dialogue about Jews – You People is more anti-Semitic than the 1935 Nazi propaganda film, Triumph of the Will. And Triumph of the Will is of unquestionably superior aesthetic quality. You People's star, co-screenwriter, and co-producer Jonah Hill, born Jonah Hill Feldstein, identifies as Jewish. He is even a bar mitzvah. And he made a worse, and more anti-Semitic movie than Triumph of the Will.

Friday, February 17, 2023

Prophet 2022 : A New Film Depicts One Man Standing Against Soviet Communism

 Prophet 2022
A New Film Depicts One Man Standing Against Soviet Communism

Now here's an opening scene you will not see any time soon in a mainstream American film. First, darkness and silence. Next, the creak of a rusted metal door crashing open. A sliver of dirty light sighs across a filthy floor. Amidst what might be stains of blood, urine or feces on this concrete floor is the emaciated body of a naked man. His flesh, the floor, the light, all are sepia-toned, as if in a time-yellowed painting by an old master. This is not a crucifixion portrait; the man is horizontal on the bare floor, not vertical on a cross, but clearly, he is being martyred. The man's head rises from his arm, which he had been using as a pillow. He gasps for air. He blinks. He has been in darkness so long that light, a gift of which he has apparently been deprived for a long time, is more than he can take. He shields his eyes. He looks down.


Two thugs drag the naked form down a dark hall. In the distance, there are muffled screams. The naked man's flaccid form is handcuffed to a wooden slab. A bucket of cold water splashes over him. Another man, this one faux jolly and wearing an ostentatious coat with wide, shearling lapels, greets his victim. The smiling interrogator in the pimp coat asks for information. The handcuffed man says nothing. The interrogator tells the two thugs, "Manicure." A thug turns to a table well-stocked with tools. A door closes. Wrenching screams.


The man receiving the "manicure" is Antoni Baraniak (portrayed here by actor Artur Krajewski.) Baraniak was a Polish, Catholic bishop. His torturers were communists.

Friday, February 10, 2023

The Escape Artist. The Unforgettable, Cinematic Life of Rudolf Vrba


The Escape Artist
The Unforgettable, Cinematic Life of Rudolf Vrba


The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World by Jonathan Freedland was published by Harper in 2022. It is 376 pages and it includes twelve pages of black-and-white photographs and maps, as well as an index, end notes, and a bibliography.


In The Escape Artist, Jonathan Freedland, a British journalist, tells the story of Rudolf Vrba (1924-2006), who, the book claims, was "the first Jew ever known to break out of Auschwitz and make his way to freedom – one of only four who pulled off that near-impossible feat."


The Escape Artist is one of the very best books I've ever read on any topic, and I recommend it without reservation to any reader with a high school or above reading level. The subject matter is, of course, important, but in lesser hands Vrba's tale would be an overwhelmingly agonizing read. Freedland's masterful skill performs the minor miracle of crafting a graphic record of the Holocaust that is also a page-turner. Freedland pulls no punches. He informs the reader of the exact nature of the hell the Nazis operated. But Freedland moves quickly, and brings the reader with him on a breathtaking ride. In any case, only a portion of the book takes place in Auschwitz. The rest records Vrba's childhood, his heroic efforts to alert the world to the Nazi genocide of Jews, and his final days in Canada and the United States.

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Poland As a Pigsty

 Anna D. submitted this comment and I hope it gets more attention than it might in the comment section. 

I live in Poland and for a long time I have noticed a trend in some circles to portray Poles, the whole nation, the whole society, as anti-Semitic, xenophobic, primitive and disgusting.

I always ask myself then who are the people who spare no effort to constantly discredit and depreciate Polish society as a whole. What group do these people belong to, in their own opinion? What are their motivations? What do they want to achieve?

The search for truth cannot be based on hatred, because hatred blinds. I ask if these people are looking for the truth. Because I rather have the impression that they take a club and hit with all their might to break all values. And present Polish society as mindless, primitive and aggressive - almost animals.

For example, I recently read a review about the 2021 film "The Wedding" by Wojciech Smarzowski.

Quote from a review on

" Poland A.D. 2021 is therefore reviewed in Poland A.D. 1941 and - unfortunately - still has the same face. The changes are only cosmetic: the place of the Jews was taken by other "others": Ukrainians and Vietnamese, and the Germans stab the Polish ego not with a bayonet, but with capital.

No need to beat around the bush: Poland in Smarzowski's lens is a pigsty full of xenophobia, philandering, drunkenness and brawling. The bride's father, of course, manages the butcher shop, and the director repeats Art Spiegelman's metaphor from "Maus", showing the Pole as a piglet. Partly as a victim in the slaughterhouse of history, and partly as a pig that does dirty things to others. Once a hero who hides Jews in a barn, once a torturer who burns them in a barn.”

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Germans Good Poles Bad The Forward features Bieganski

Laura E. Adkins from her website
Czeslawa Kwoka, 14-year-old Polish Catholic murdered in Auschwitz. 

The Forward, "one of the most influential American Jewish publications," advances the bigoted, divisive, and history-distorting Bieganski, Brute Polak stereotype in a January 31, 2023 article by Forward opinion editor Laura E. Adkins. The article is entitled "Poland and Germany Have Long Taken Opposing Approaches to Holocaust Remembrance. Touring Them with Doug Emhoff, the Difference Was Stark."
Doug Emhoff is the husband of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.


Adkins' article could have simply been titled, "Germans Good; Polaks Bad."


Adkins' biography identifies her as "an award-winning writer, editor, and speaker based in New York. She is the Opinion Editor of the Forward."

Monday, January 30, 2023

The Holocaust: An Unfinished History by Dan Stone. Book Review from the Daily Mail


New book: The Holocaust: An Unfinished History by Dan Stone. Alleges that *all* of Europe, more or less, produced active participants in the Holocaust. From Sweden to North Africa, from France to Ukraine, local leaders contributed to the Holocaust. No country comes across well, including previously celebrated countries like Holland and Bulgaria.

Read the review here. Thank you to Jerzy for sending this in. 

Man Tosses Molotov Cocktail at New Jersey Synagogue


Friday, January 27, 2023

Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27

 Czeslawa Kwoka. Died in Auschwitz when she was 14. 

Katarzyna Kwoka. She was Czeslawa's mother and she also died in Auschwitz 

Czeslawa and Katarzyna were both Polish Catholics. 

January 27 is Holocaust Remembrance Day, on the anniversary of the Red Army marching on Auschwitz. 

We can do two things at once. We can acknowledge the horror of what the Nazis planned and did to Jews. 

We can also acknowledge what the Nazis planned and did to Poland and to Catholic Poles. 

Here's an unedited transcript from an interview I did with a university student. 

"I get this feeling that Polish people don't really have a full respect for Jewish people and that there is an anti-Semitism still lingering and the main thing that makes me think that is an article I read in the Washington Post a month or two ago and what happened was that some warehouse that was very near Auschwitz was recently turned into a discotheque."

Me: "I know this will sound like a ridiculous question, but can you tell me what Auschwitz was?"

My goal: to discover if informant knew that Poles had been interned in Auschwitz.

"Auschwitz had been a concentration camp that a great number of Jewish people were brought to by train. A lot of Jews worked there and died of starvation.  And I wanna say that, uh, zyklon b, the chemical that was thrown into the so called shower stalls was instituted there."

Me: "Do you know about the history of non-Jews at Auschwitz?"  

"No, I don't any specific history of non-Jews in Auschwitz. "

Thursday, January 26, 2023

YIVO's Burgeoning Bieganski Industry


Elzbieta Janicka, identified by YIVO as an "historian of literature, cultural anthropologist, visual artist. M.A. at the Université Paris VII Denis Diderot; Ph.D. at Warsaw University" appears to be making a tidy living by disseminating the Bieganski, Brute Polak stereotype at YIVO.

A previous post mentions a course she is teaching at YIVO. That course is described in ugly, bigoted, inflammatory language. 

Jerzy sent in info about another Janicka course. This course description asserts that "antisemitism remains a community building force and one of the most powerful political tools behind the collapse of liberal democratic institutions."

I copied the above sentence from the YIVO website. I left out one CYA weasel word and I did not use ellipsis. I did that because I have contempt for YIVO and Janicka's hate-mongering project, and because I have no patience with her attempt at using weasel words to CYA. In any case, the word I left out is "non-negligible." It's such a stupid attempt at CYA. Janicka, I have never heard of you before, and I don't know you from Adam, but in using CYA weasel words, you have no intellectual class. Assert something or don't assert it. That's what real scholarship does. 

I don't live in Poland and I am in no position to assess the truth value of Janicka's assertion. I asked some folks who live in Poland for their assessment. 

One said, "I am a left-wing, liberal Pole who despises the current Polish government. Even from my point of view, what Ms Janicka says here is utter falsehood. These are obviously incorrect statements and I do not believe you could cite any factual support for them. If she is teaching about Poland based on that, she is either defrauding the students and her employer by knowingly providing them with incorrect information, or she has no idea about Poland and is grossly incompetent."

Another said, "I am a conservative leaning Pole who does not hate the current government and I agree with [the above quoted liberal Pole] 100%. I despise how Ms. Janicka is spewing hatred between Jewish people and Poles. This is evil."

Another said, that Janicka is a "charismatic figure among radical, left wing intellectuals who's personal mission is critique of Polish culture and society as 'catholic,' 'bigoted,' 'traditionally antisemitic,' 'nationalistic' etc. Unfortunately Janicka very skillfully translates her own obsessions and prejudices into fashionable humanistic discourses. It has nothing to do however with reality and basic scientific decency. It is a tragic case which illustrates a general problem of contemporary degeneration of academic standards."

Visit the YIVO site for Janicka's course here

If you'd like to contact YIVO leadership about their anti-Polish classes, contact information is here

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Dutch World War II Controversy: How to Tell the Story of Nazi Occupation in Holland


The Bieganski Brute Polak stereotype depends for its power on an insistence that Poles are unique, more or less freaks, not normal. 

In fact, Poles are human beings like other human beings. 

Most aspects of Poland's coming to terms with WW II, that purveyors of the Bieganski, Brute Polak stereotype insist are unique to Poland, have played out in other countries, to a greater or lesser extent. 

A Dutch museum has a new exhibit that depicts Dutch heroes and also Dutch Nazis. This depiction has raised hackles in the Netherlands. 

As reported in the New York Times

In recent weeks, though, the museum has unveiled a new display designed to be more inclusive and to illustrate the nuance and complexity of history.

The exhibit portrays the lives of victims and perpetrators, bystanders and resisters, “and everything in between,” said Liesbeth van der Horst, the museum’s director, in an interview. “We wanted to tell the story of all the Dutch people.”

So in addition to describing the life of Janny Brilleslijper, a Jewish woman who refused the Nazi command to register her “race,” the displays also focus attention on Gerard Mooyman, a Dutch teenager “so impressed” by German military propaganda that he signed up to serve with its army at the front. They are two of roughly 100 new, short vignettes at the museum, including one that focuses on Wim Henneicke, who led a “Jew hunting” brigade of citizens who were paid for each person they delivered to the Nazis...



Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Bieganski at YIVO the Institute for Jewish Research

 YIVO is running a course teaching students how to hate Polaks. It appears that the teacher is herself Polish. 

Let's rewrite YIVO's course announcement and see how it plays.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski Book Review "Love and Social Justice"


Love and Social Justice: Reflections on Society

Writings from a Heroic Anti-Communist


Marxist-influenced ideas affect American lives, often under the banner of "Woke." Some Americans who do not enjoy Facebook and Twitter censoring their speech and schoolboards indoctrinating their children have turned for inspiration to heroes of the anti-communist resistance from the former Soviet Empire. "What would Solzhenitsyn do?" they ask, or, "What would Vaclav Havel and the members of Charter 77 do?" In 2020, Rod Dreher published Live Not By Lies, arguing that contemporary American "Christian dissidents" could and should learn from past Eastern European dissidents.


It was with that approach in mind that I began to read Love and Social Justice: Reflections on Society, a collection of short essays by Blessed Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski. It was translated by Filip Mazurczak and published by Arouca Press in 2021. It is 554 pages long.


It's difficult to communicate to Americans the overwhelming stature of Stefan Wyszynski. Some background will help. What would come to be called the Polish-Lithuanian

Monday, January 16, 2023

The Institute of National Remembrance Exhibition on German Business Beneficiaries of Nazism

 Poland's Institute of National Remembrance opened an open-air exhibition addressing German businesses who benefitted economically from Nazism. You can read more here Thanks to Jerzy for sending this in. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

A Snotty Article from Poland Mocking Polish Americans


A Polish website has published a snotty article mocking Polish-Americans. The author is Marta Nowak. The article is stupid and unkind. 

Nowak operates from her conviction that she is "authentic" and Polish-Americans are "inauthentic." 

Nowak is upset that Polish-Americans don't speak Polish language well. She is upset that Polish-Americans cling to Polish food as comfort food and as an identifier. 

She is upset that Polish-Americans dance polka. She does not want them to dance polka. 

Marta Nowak, here's a news flash for you. Polish-Americans are not inauthentic versions of people born in Poland. There were *not* born in Poland. They are authentic versions of Polish-Americans. 

More: we really don't need any more ridicule. 

And here's another fact for you. Yes, I make mistakes in Polish language. Guess what? Every one of my Polish language teachers were Poles born in Poland. And most of them -- with one exception -- were the absolute worst teachers I've ever had in my life, in any subject. 

I used to teach English language overseas and in the US. There are good ways to teach a language. 

Poles, at least in my experience, are not aware of *any* real language teaching methods. 

You can read Nowak's misguided contempt here.

"I could tell a lot, for example, about the Gusen death camp where my grandfather died..." Note from a reader


Olga Boznanska 

A reader sent in the note, below, which I reproduce without editorial comment. I thank the reader. The original Polish is on top; the Google translate English is below that.


Dzień dobry i wszystkiego dobrego w nowym roku!


Wybacz mi, że piszę po polsku, ale jest to mój język ojczysty i jest mi najłatwiej wyrazić moje myśli i uczucia po polsku.


Chciałabym Ci bardzo podziękować za to, że zajęłaś się tematem stereotypu Polaka. Zrobiłaś to już wiele lat temu, ale ta wiadomość dotarła do mnie dopiero kilka tygodni temu. Kilkakrotnie wysłuchałam na YouTube filmików o konferencji w Łodzi w 2022 roku. Wtedy miałam ochotę krzyknąć: Yes! Yes! Eureka!


To wszystko, co mówiłaś, to były rzeczy, które ja od wielu lat intuicyjnie czułam, miałam wiele osobistych doświadczeń związanych ze stereotypizacją Polaków i z niechęcią do Polaków ze strony Niemców, Żydów i Amerykanów, ale nie potrafiłam połączyć moich doświadczeń w całość (mieszkałam w Niemczech przez wiele lat, a także trochę podróżowałam po Stanach Zjednoczonych).  A Ty to zrobiłaś, i to już dawno, a ja o tym nie wiedziałam! Oczywiście, od razu kupiłam Twoją książkę o Biegańskim, która w Polsce jest teraz dostępna tylko jako ebook, i zaczęłam czytać. Zaczęłam też czytać Twój blog o Biegańskim i komentować niektóre posty jako AnnaD.


Muszę powiedzieć, że jestem przerażona! Nie wiedziałam, że jest aż tak źle! Że Polacy są aż tak źle postrzegani, że wręcz jest prowadzona taka „polityka”, aby pogłębiać i rozdmuchiwać obraz Polaka, który jest prymitywny i głupi, nie ma kultury, jest antysemitą i najbardziej pragnie mordować Żydów. W przeciwieństwie do eleganckiego, kulturalnego, czystego i inteligentnego Niemca – nazisty, który kocha Beethovena i czyta niemieckich filozofów. Niemcy są bardzo skuteczni w tej „polityce pamięci”, a jej efektem jest coraz częstsze powtarzanie sformułowania „polskie obozy zagłady” albo „polskie obozy śmierci”.


Mogłabym wiele opowiedzieć np. o obozie śmierci Gusen, w którym zginął mój dziadek, o obozie, który został stworzony w Austrii specjalnie dla Polaków, był to podobóz (po niemiecku „Nebenlager”) niemieckiego nazistowskiego obozu Mauthausen. Obóz Gusen powstał na początku 1940 roku, jak już mówiłam – dla Polaków, którzy mieli zostać „zlikwidowani” w ramach „Intelligenzaktion Polen”, akcji zaplanowanej na kwiecień 1940 roku (w późniejszym czasie były w tym obozie też inne nacje, jak np. Włosi i sowieccy żołnierze). Polskich tak zwanych „bandytów”, czyli między innymi polskich patriotów, kierowano najpierw na 6 tygodni do niemieckiego obozu koncentracyjnego w Dachau, a potem do obozu śmierci w Gusen, który był przez więźniów nazywany „przedsionkiem piekła”. Nie będę opisywać teraz szczegółów, powiem krótko: Do tego obozu trafił mój dziadek, ponieważ był polskim patriotą, i został tam zamordowany we wrześniu 1941 roku.


Mogłabym także też wiele opowiedzieć o tym, jak Niemcy zaraz od początku wojny w 1939 roku mordowali pacjentów szpitali psychiatrycznych. Wtedy też została w brutalny sposób zamordowana siostra mojej mamy, która miała wtedy 10 lat. Do mordowania pacjentów z tego szpitala (w miejscowości Owińska koło Poznania) Niemcy użyli wtedy po raz pierwszy – jako eksperyment – prymitywnych komór gazowych oraz samochodów z gazem trującym do zabijania. Komory gazowe jako środek uśmiercania ludzi zostały potem „udoskonalone” przez Niemców i stosowane w obozach koncentracyjnych do mordowania między innymi Żydów. Ale najpierw mordowano w ten sposób Polaków.


Mam też wiele do powiedzenia na temat traumy transgeneracyjnej, ponieważ moje dzieciństwo upłynęło pod opieką dwóch całkowicie straumatyzowanych kobiet – mojej mamy i mojej babci…


Kiedy wiele lat temu opowiedziałam o tym, to znaczy o moim dziadku i mojej cioci,  Żydówce z Izraela (która na wstępie rozmowy oświadczyła, że nie lubi wszystkich Polaków), ona powiedziała tylko: „I don’t believe you”.


Danusha, Danusiu, bardzo Ci dziękuję za wszystko, co robisz dla Polaków. Jestem Ci za to niezmiernie wdzięczna. Gdybyś chciała ode mnie więcej informacji o tym, co się u nas w Polsce dzieje, to służę pomocą. Chociaż zapewne znasz dużo ludzi w Polsce i masz informacje „z pierwszej ręki”. Z pewnością nadal będę śledzić Twój blog.


Przesyłam serdeczne pozdrowienia


Anna Drętkiewicz


Hello and a Happy New Year!


I would like to thank you very much for addressing the subject of the Polish stereotype. You did this many years ago, but this message didn't reach me until a few weeks ago. I listened to YouTube videos about the conference in Łódź [The conference was actually in Warsaw] in 2022 several times. Then I wanted to exclaim: Yes! Yes! eureka!


All that you said were things that I had intuitively felt for many years, I had many personal experiences related to the stereotyping of Poles and the dislike of Poles by Germans, Jews and Americans, but I could not combine my experiences into a whole (I lived in Germany for 15 years, and also traveled a bit around the United States). And you did it, a long time ago, and I didn't know it! Of course, I immediately bought your book about Bieganski, which is now only available as an e-book in Poland, and started reading. I also started reading your blog about Bieganski and commenting on some posts as AnnaD.


I must say I'm terrified! I didn't know it was that bad! I didn't know that Poles are perceived so badly that such a "policy" is even conducted to deepen and inflate the image of a Pole who is primitive and stupid, has no culture, is an anti-Semite and most wants to murder Jews. In contrast to the elegant, cultured, pure and intelligent German - a Nazi who loves Beethoven and reads German philosophers. The Germans are very effective in this "policy of remembrance", and its effect is the frequent repetition of the phrase "Polish extermination camps" or "Polish death camps".


I could tell a lot, for example, about the Gusen death camp where my grandfather died, which was created in Austria especially for Poles, it was a sub-camp ("Nebenlager" in German) of the German Nazi Mauthausen camp. The Gusen camp was established at the beginning of 1940, as I have already said - for Poles who were to be "liquidated" as part of the "Intelligenzaktion Polen", planned for April 1940 (later there were also other nations in this camp, such as Italians and Soviet soldiers). Polish so-called "bandits", i.e. Polish patriots, were first sent to the German concentration camp in Dachau for 6 weeks, and then to the death camp in Gusen, which was called by the prisoners "the vestibule of hell". I will not describe the details, I will say briefly: My grandfather was sent to this camp because he was a Polish patriot, and he was murdered there in September 1941.


I could also tell a lot about how the Germans murdered patients of psychiatric hospitals in Poland right from the beginning of the war in 1939. It was also then that my mother's sister, who was 10 years old at the time, was brutally murdered. To murder patients from this hospital (in the town of Owińska near Poznań), the Germans used for the first time - as an experiment - primitive gas chambers and cars with poison gas for killing. Gas chambers as a means of killing people were later "improved" by the Germans and used in concentration camps to murder, among others, Jews. But first Poles were murdered in this way.


I also have a lot to say about transgenerational trauma, because my childhood was spent in the care of two completely traumatized women - my mother and my grandmother ...


When many years ago I told about it, that is, about my grandfather and my aunt, a Jewish woman from Israel (who at the beginning of the conversation stated that she did not like all Poles), she only said: "I don't believe you."


Danusha, Danusia, thank you very much for everything you do for Poles and for Poland. I am extremely grateful to you for that. If you would like more information from me about what is happening in Poland, I am here to help. Although you probably know a lot of people in Poland and you have first-hand information.


I will certainly continue to follow your blog.


About language skills: I speak and write fluent in German and of course in Polish, but I have a bit of a problem with writing in English. But I'm doing my best.


I send you my best regards


Anna Drętkiewicz

Bieganski Is Everywhere, Including a Bio of American Author Shirley Jackson


Sue Knight writes in to remind us of how pervasive the Brute Polak stereotype is.
Sue was reading Private Demons, a biography of American author Shirley Jackson. The author is Judy Oppenheimer.


Sue came across this passage: "Joanne was aware of disappointing Shirley on another level as well ... she was the Polack on this beautiful family tree."


Sue ponders, "Joanne, the eldest daughter, was quoted as saying this. Whether she was quoted correctly I do not know, obviously. But both author and publisher included it. To me it is a carefully added drop of poison. [Polish] people are marked as 'unter' - in a book that has nothing whatsoever to do with Poles, Polonians, or Poland."


Wikipedia includes the following passage about Jackson's marriage "According to Jackson's biographers, her marriage was plagued by Hyman's infidelities, notably with his students, and she reluctantly agreed to his proposition of maintaining an open relationship. Hyman also controlled their finances (meting out portions of her earnings to her as he saw fit), despite the fact that after the success of "The Lottery" and later work she earned far more than he did."


On the Wikipedia page for Shirley Jackson's husband, and Joanne's father, Stanley Edgar Hyman, we learn "Hyman was born in Brooklyn, the son of Moe Hyman, and raised Orthodox Jewish."


It's possible that Joanne decided that being a "Polack" is a shameful, ugly, negative thing from her father, and that he learned the stereotype from his father, but this is mere speculation on my part.