Holocaust Survivors and Remembrance Project: "Forget You Not"™
preserving the past to protect the future ...
Steve Paulsson

Searches as form of harassment for Polish Jews
Polish Jews being searched as a form of harassment.
No particular threat, just a friendly search according to Dr. Paulsson's "research" and view posted below.
Photo Credit: <vilnaghetto.com/gallery/album11/Pol_Jews>

SS Humiliation of a Jew in Poland
SS Humiliation of a Jew in Poland well before the ghettoization.
Threat? What threat? Please see Dr. Paulsson's "research" and analysis below.
Photo Credit: KLUVIK ARCHIVES, <vilnaghetto.com/gallery/album11/sw_2_28_06_025>

Jews fleeing Poland
Polish Jews fleeing Poland for no apparent reason and without a "concrete threat"
according to Dr. Paulsson's "research" and view posted below.
Photo Credit: <vilnaghetto.com/gallery/album11/Polish_Holocaust_Fleeing_Jews>

Gone now are those little towns where the shoemaker was a poet,
The watchmaker a philosopher, the barber a troubadour.

Gone now are those little towns where the wind
joined Biblical songs with Polish tunes and Slavic rue
Where old Jews in orchards in the shade of cherry trees
Lamented for the holy walls of Jerusalem.

Gone now are those little towns, though the poetic mists,
The moons, winds, ponds, and stars above them
Have recorded in the blood of centuries above the tragic tales,

The histories of the two saddest nations on earth.

Polish Jewish poet Antoni Sonimsk

Fear not your enemies, for they can only kill you.
Fear not your friends, for they can only betray you.
Fear only the indifferent, who permit the killers and betrayers
to walk safely on the earth.

Yiddish poet and Polish Holocaust survivor Edward Yashinsky

.Editor's Note: In Dr. Paulsson's additional commentary posted in full below, he notes that when he stated that

"the Jews of Poland where under no particular threat prior to their ghettoization," he "of course ment that their lives were not yet threatened."

Why that "of course" is anyone's guess as no person in his/her normal state of mind can reach such inference.
The threat against Polish Jews prior to to their ghettoization was most visible indeed through many forms of manifestation that ultimately --during the Holocaust years-- culminated with their lives. The massive grief and sufferings of the Jewish Polish population prior to to their ghettoization is beyond dispute through the existing massive body of prima facie evidence.
.Dr. Paulsson's new commentary represents, in the view of this editor, an academic exercise into the abyss employing bizarre and incoherent reasoning. He notes for example that

"many Jews felt threatened ...but there was as yet no concrete threat that the Poles could be expected to respond to."

.That type of argument and double talk that there was a treat but not a "concrete threat" [sic!] --which is the premise upon which his entire argument is build-up-- is completely nonsensical particularly when he notes subsequently that in fact some 300,000 Jews saw an imminent threat to their livelihood as they fled Poland. That kind of wish-wash talk and academic garbage need not be left unexposed and be allowed to pass unchallenged.


The Killing After the Killing
After the Holocaust ended in 1945, Poland's surviving Jews still faced hatred from their fellow citizens.
Poles may not have been worse than the Nazis, but for sure they were not too far behind.

Steve PaulssonSteve Paulsson
Hate Campaign

Additional Commentary in Refuting
the Editor's "Hate Poles" Campaign

Dr. Steve Paulsson
Gunnar Steve Paulsson, Ph.D.
Dated: May 11, 2008

Steve Paulsson

A Supplemental Response from
The Marginal Role of Poles In Abetting the Nazi Perpetrators


The Editor of this website appears to belong to the "I hate Poles" brigade (having been involved in Polish-Jewish dialogue for 20 years, I have heard many people say that quite explicitly. Other statements of the same sort are "The Poles were worse than the Germans" and "The camps were built in Poland because Hitler could count on the Poles to cooperate".)

In general, the Jewish street, lacking historical knowledge, has a grossly exaggerated impression of the degree to which Poles collaborated with the Nazis and the role they played in the Holocaust. The usual argument is "97% of the Jews died in Poland, more than in any other country. Antisemitism was rampant in Poland. The connection is obvious."

The facts are true, but the connection is not, as my book [Secret City: The Hidden Jews of Warsaw, 1940-1945; Yale University Press (2003)] shows.

There is not a single historian who has studied Poland during the Holocaust professionally who would make such statements. Deborah Lipstadt, for one, has a blog in which she tries to combat these misconceptions and stereotypes. The late Lucy Dawidowicz also worked into her book, The War on the Jews, an explicit refutation of the "camps were in Poland" argument. Many others have tried, but the myth persists. Hence Polonsky's comment on the gulf between the professionals and the amateurs.

Like Lipstadt, I believe that professional historians have a social responsibility to debunk myths and correct misimpressions, and that is why I have engaged in dialogue with you. However, at the end of the dialogue comes your attempt to publish an off-the-cuff response of mine as if it were a scholarly article, prefaced by the gratuitous editorial comment:

"Dr. Paulsson thesis and premise that "the Jews of Poland where under no particular threat prior to their ghettoization" is preposterous beyond words reaching perhaps the level of the Absurd."

By the way, by "no particular threat" I mean of course that their lives were not yet threatened. [Why "of course"?] Many Jews felt threatened, and 300,000 of them fled to the East (for which they neither needed any help from the Poles, nor asked for it). But there was as yet no concrete threat that the Poles could be expected to respond to. Also, Jews and Poles had lived apart for 800 years by mutual consent, and each had their own self-help organizations.

Let me now dissect the headline of your posting:

"It is preposterous beyond words to think, even for a second, that this infinitesimal percentage of the Righteous Christian Poles can ever wash out the monstrous deeds of the overwhelming great majority of Poles that at best remained indifferent and at worst committed atrocities beyond any human dimension."

Killing of Jews by civilians in Kovno

Murdering of Jews in Kovno by Lithuanian nationalists under the eyes of the SS in June 1941. When the SS mobile killing units reached Kovno in the first few days of the war against the Soviet Union, they persuaded the anti-communist partisan leader Klimatis to turn his forces against the Jews, to demonstrate that "the liberated population had resorted to the most severe measures against the ... Jewish enemy."

SS Photo - <friends-partners.org/partners/beyond-the-pale/eng_captions/55-1.html>

"Monstrous deeds of the overwhelming great majority of Poles". Hm. I would tag perhaps 20,000 Poles with "monstrous deeds", or around 0.1% of the population.

The "infinitesimal percentage" of the Righteous in Poland currently stands at over 6,000, and I estimate on the basis of evidence from all over Europe, as well as my own work with memoirs by Polish Jews, that the number of "Righteous" currently recognized represents about 2% of those who deserve the honour. (I published an article on this in the Journal of Holocaust Education some years ago, when I estimated the proportion at 1%, but the number has grown since then). For example, as I think I've mentioned, there are all of 22 "Righteous" Danes, and fewer than 50 from Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, where the entire population of 5,000 was involved in helping Jews. There are only 200 from the Nieuwlande area in the Netherlands, where an entire group of villages co-operated in rescuing Jews. Of the cases in my files on Warsaw that seem to deserve the honour, only 10% appear on the list kindly provided to me by Yad Vashem, and that means 10% of the cases that are already documented in archives and memoirs. Since only 3% of Warsaw survivors documented their experiences, the number of undocumented cases must be much larger.

If we go at it by estimating how many Jews were in hiding and how many Poles it took to hide one Jew, we arrive at a number in the range of 200,00-300,000, which would mean that the 6,000 represent roughly 2-3% of the total, consistent with the percentages I have given. Since there are now 22,000-odd officially recognized "Righteous" in all, that would suggest that over a million Europeans risked their lives to rescue Jews, which agrees with the estimate given many years ago by Pear and Sam Oliner in their book "The Altruistic Personality". There are so many things you don't know.

The first time I ran into the "infinitesimal percentage" argument, the number of Polish "Righteous" was under 1,000, and people thought that was all there were.

Conclusion: the "infinitesimal percentage" of Righteous Poles is about 10-15 times as large as the number of perpetrators.

Now how do you get from 0.1% to "the overwhelming great majority"? By conflating "indifference", which is unfortunately a universal human characteristic (elsewhere on your site, you state that the European population in general was indifferent), with the very small number of people who actually committed atrocities. You thereby creating the impression that pretty much the majority of Poles were monsters.

As I point out in my book [ibidem], if that were anywhere close to being true, it would have been impossible for anyone to survive in hiding.

So this is tabloid journalism --going after sensationalism rather than accuracy.

I notice in your entire section on Poland *** that you start off with Polish antisemitism, go on to Jedwabne, Radzilow and Kielce, and only two- thirds of the way through do you get around to the Nazis. Apparently Jedwabne was an "atrocity beyond any human dimension", but Auschwitz was a summer camp.

Thou Shall Not Kill

*** Editor's Note --
We have a number of sections on Poland as follows:
Sect. I, in Sect. IV-1, in Sect IV-2, in Sect. VI, and in The Nazi Holocaust in Poland and its Remembrance.
See also,
Polish Church Apology Over The Holocaust.

Pope John Paul II



Steve Paulsson
Special Selected Links:

Poland, One Year After the Holocaust Ended, Being Involved
In the Worst Peacetime Pogrom in 20th-century Europe

Burial of Jews in Kielce, Poland

Jews being buried in Kielce, Poland, in 1946 --one year after the Nazi Holocaust ended, as a result of the Kielce massacre committed by ordinary Polish citizens against their own neighbouring Jews that were able to survive the Holocaust.
To squash these revelations, the 2008 Public Prosecutor of Krakow, Poland announced that it will prosecute anyone under a 2006 law prohibiting anyone from asserting that "the Polish nation" was involved in crimes or atrocities committed by Nazis or communists.
Yes, facing the truth is not easy for a nation where the Anti-semitism appeared to be part of its fabric. The Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz once said that Poland's Communist rulers fulfilled the dream of Polish nationalists by creating an ethnically pure state. That was in the end Hitler's ultimate dream --that of creating an ethnically "pure" Europe.

From: Poland to Prosecute Historian?

Poland by Michlic
and the book review
The Power of Hate
by Dr. Laurence Weinbaum

One survivor cited by Michlic noted:
"For years the Poles have been dreaming of getting rid of the Jews and now at last Hitler does it for them....
At bottom they are delighted, however horrified by the inhuman cruelty. The Krauts devouring the Kikes: what could be sweeter?"

From Krakow Church of Poland:
"The Kikes Will Not Continue to Spit on Us."
February 2008

Irena Sendler, Polish Holocaust Hero, Dies at 98
Steve Paulsson
Back To
The Marginal Role of Poles In Abetting the Nazi Perpetrators

Steve Paulsson