Rabbi Shlomo Litvin spreads hate. He should stop. Because he is a rabbi, his hate mongering disgraces not only he himself, but also the name of God.
Rabbi Shlomo Litvin is "The Bluegrass Rabbi." He lives in Kentucky, the bluegrass state. He serves on the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights. That group's webpage says that Rabbi Shlomo Litvin "is an emissary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson … Rabbi Litvin together with his wife Shoshi serves as Director of Chabad of the Bluegrass … They also run Chabad's Jewish Student Center at the University of Kentucky … Rabbi Litvin also serves as a Chaplain for the Kentucky General Assembly and volunteers as a religious guide for inmates and hospital patients."
Rabbi Shlomo Litvin is an influential man. One fears that he uses his influence to spread hate. How?
On March 24, 1944, Polish Catholic peasants Jozef and Wiktoria Ulma were martyred by Nazis for helping Jews. The Nazis murdered their six children as well. Wiktoria was nine months pregnant and, according to a witness, her baby partially emerged during the executions. Her baby was the seventh Ulma child murdered that day.
The Ulmas were devout Catholics. In the family Bible, the parable of the Good Samaritan was marked in red. That story no doubt inspired the Ulmas in their help towards Jews, though they knew the price they would pay if discovered.
Good people commemorate the Ulmas on March 24, the day they and their Jewish charges were murdered by Nazis.
Rabbi Shlomo Litvin spat on this commemoration.
Rabbi Litvin blamed the Holocaust on Poles and Poland. See screencaps of his tweets, below.
A few facts.
The Holocaust was a project of Nazi Germany. Nazism was a unique ideology. It was not Polish. It was not Christian.
Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany and the USSR in September, 1939.
Soviets immediately began torturing, murdering and deporting Poles. This was genocide. The Polish presence was erased from the area claimed by the USSR.
Ukrainians also committed a genocide against Poles.
Nazis, from the west, also had genocidal plans for Poland. Einsatzgruppen committed massacres of Poles. Auschwitz was created to suppress Poles.
It is true that many Poles, under the horrors of the most extreme occupation in Europe, unleashed their worst impulses and betrayed Jews. They did so, often, out of greed for Nazi rewards, or in order to steal Jewish people's possessions. Litvin insists that the number of Poles who did this is in the millions. I do not know of anyone who supports this claim. I am open to being educated on this matter.
It is also true that Jews required many Poles to survive. Memoirs of those who did survive often mention numerous people, known and unknown, who recognized the Jew in hiding, and could have betrayed that person, but who remained silent, or who helped that person.
The largest number of "Righteous Gentiles" recognized by Yad Vashem is the 7,177 Poles. This number is not a complete count. Many Poles, along with their families, were murdered for helping Jews. Many never sought recognition. Many Poles offered help too transitory, minor, or anonymous to be recorded.
That Poland produced the largest number of rescuers is remarkable because Poles were themselves slated for extinction by Nazism's Generalplan Ost.
Poles were bombed, deported, starved, tortured, rounded up, shot randomly, enslaved. Polish Catholic priests were especially targeted; almost twenty percent were killed. Many were sent to Dachau.
It is also remarkable that so many Poles were rescuers because in Poland entire families were killed for any aid to Jews whatsoever, including just offering a Jew a drink of water.
Not only Poles revealed their worst side during the horrific occupations of the USSR and Nazi Germany. Jews also sometimes betrayed Poles to Soviets, or even to Nazis.
Rabbi Shlomo Litvin insists that Poles have never acknowledged or atoned for the crimes of their fellow Poles who betrayed Jews. This is simply false. Poles have long been addressing these crimes.
During the war, the Home Army carried out death sentences against "szmalcowniks," or Poles who betrayed Jews and their rescuers. After the war, Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, a co-founder of Zegota, the only government supported organization in occupied Europe that existed solely to aid Jews, protested against anti-Semitism in Poland. He was joined by other Poles. He was arrested by the communists for his human rights activity. Scholar Jan Blonski sparked much discussion in 1987 with an essay about the Holocaust in Poland. Scholar Alina Cala has addressed Polish guilt. Many more names could be mentioned here.
Yes, Poles acknowledge the crimes committed by Poles.
Yes, Poles deeply regret the crimes committed by Poles.
Yes, Poles and Poland have done much to address anti-Semitism in Poland.
Everything I've said here has been said before. No doubt Rabbi Shlomo Litvin knows all these facts.
And yet he chooses to spread hatred against Poles.
I want to mention Rabbi Laurie Skopitz, my good friend, who supported me in my scholarship and writing for the many years we had together before he passed away. I want also to mention Rabbi Michael Herzbrun, a friend and supporter, who contributed to my scholarship.
May Rabbi Shlomo Litvin someday understand what those two men understood.
|The Ulma Family|
|I think the rabbi needs a bit more awareness of others. |
He looks like he's dropping cigar ashes on the baby.