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H o l o c a u s t   S u r v i v o r s  and  e m e m b r a n c e   N e t w o r k

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Editorial Remarks on Poland
prompted by an Article from The Los Angeles Times

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A LA Times article that received additional attention from the Polish-American community
of Los Angeles and beyond ...

RE: In Hungary, a Belated Holocaust Memorial

A new commemorative museum in Budapest is part of the country's attempt to confront its role in the wartime mass killing of Jews.

By Sonya Yee, LA Times Staff Writer, April 27, 2004

Hungary's Holocaust Memorial

A woman views a wall at the Holocaust Memorial Center in Budapest that is inscribed with the names of 60,000 of Hungary's approximately 600,000 victims of the Holocaust. (Reuters) 

In the above referenced LA Times article that describes the opening of Hungary's National Holocaust Memorial, this paragraph is to be found describing the new museum:

”Another hall houses the center's inaugural exhibition, 'Auschwitz Album,' which features photographs of a transport of Hungarian Jews taken to Poland's Auschwitz concentration camp in May 1944. The pictures, found by an Auschwitz survivor after liberation, document the arrival in the morning and the wait outside the gas chambers later that day." [Underline supplied.]

which received some added attention from the Polish-American community at large as seen below.

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Source: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-holocaust27apr27,1,5194950.story?coll=la-home-world   .

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Editorial Remarks
[May 27, 2004]


Pope John II

Poland's Past During the Holocaust VS.
Poland's Present Remembrance of its Wartime Victims

.Under the umbrella of "educating" our readers and in the name of "accuracy," on May 21 and 22, 2004, we received emails respectively from Maureen Morris and Edmund Lewandowski (both from California, USA) who took exception to the wording in which Auschwitz was associated to Poland as in "Poland's Auschwitz" of the referenced hereinabove LA Times article. Notwithstanding that the Auschwitz notorious camp has been located in Poland, the respective readers suggested that a clarification needed to be made for our readers that at the time of existence of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Poland (as most Europe) was under the Nazi occupation.

Although we were not the authors of that article nor have any association with The Los Angeles Times, we have no problem with that clarification herein as it is well known that in 1939 Hitler conquered Poland. Clearly, a better wording in the above referenced paragraph of the LA Times article referring to Poland's Auschwitz would have been:

Another hall houses the center's inaugural exhibition, "Auschwitz Album," which features photographs of a May 1944 transport of Hungarian Jews taken to the Nazi's infamous concentration camp of Oswiecim (Auschwitz) in the German occupied Poland.

Mr. Lewandowski noted in his purported concern that "Polish people are very sensitive to the fact that more and more publications are avoiding the word 'Germany'. Often you see Nazi and the only country mentioned is Poland. This builds wrong perception." And Ms. Morris has asked us "to apologize to Poles and Polish-Americans" so as to "educate" our readers [sic!]. ***

Poland's The truth is that in terms of its bestiality, hatred and willing persecution against Jews, Poland was very close to the Nazi's regime and, the association of Poland with the direct and willful participation in the Nazi's Holocaust is beyond dispute. If one needs a reminder, take a look at the massacres from Jedwabne or Radzilow or Kielce as posted in our Sect. IV and expanded herein:

Radzilow monument

Monument where Jews from Radzilow were burned by Polish neighbors on July 7, 1941 does not say a word about the persons responsible or the date of the crime. (Photo: Rafal Guz)

or, see this revelation coming from Poland:

The most important discovery made during our work was that the Jedwabne massacre was not an isolated incident but part of a wider phenomenon in those territories.

Kryzystof Persak, private Polish broadcaster (TVN24,).


or, these entries from BBC, The Washingron Post,  and The Economist, respectively:

At least 30 organised massacres of Jews in Poland during World War II were carried out by local people rather than occupying German Nazis, a new report has revealed

Poland's suffering under the Nazi occupation is also undeniable and it is extensively documented with prima facie evidence as posted in our Sect. I. Also, as noted right from the outset in the Introduction from our homepage, three (3) million non-Jewish Poles were killed during the Holocaust period because they were considered to be subversive or dangerous to the Nazi Regime. And here, we may want to add Hans Frank (Governor-General of non-annexed occupied Poland) that was tried and convicted on Crimes Against Humanity in the trial of the major War Criminals at Nuremberg. (To see this new addition, please click in here.)

"In Berlin we were told:
why are you making all this trouble?
We don't want them either...
liquidate them yourselves!"
and
"That we sentence 1.2 million Jews to die of hunger
should be noted only marginally. "
Source: Diary of Hans Frank, Governor-general of Poland,
speaking of Berlin's policy on Polish Jews,
as quoted in Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression,
Vol. II, p. 634; and Vol. IV, p. 900.

Also undeniable, and part of the truth, is that a few thousands of Christian Poles risked their own lives to help their neighboring Jews and may their blessed memory stay forever in the conscience of humanity. Israel's Yad Vashem, The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, has recognized some 5800 such Christian Poles and, in our Sect. II, we have posted these entries:

"Of all the occupied countries, the percentage of Jews saved in Poland was the smallest, since the predominant attitude was hostile, while rescue was an exception to the rule." [Isaiah Trunk]

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.

As important as our attention is to the past, let us not neglect the present nor the future. And in this regard, with astonishment, we note that to this very day there is no National Holocaust Memorial in Poland commemorating under one single "roof" the 3 million Catholic Poles and the 3 million Jews that perished during the Holocaust period --and this respectfully speaks volumes about the collective character of that nation. Poland, that proud country with an extraordinarily rich history, apparently does not have yet the "stomach" to place Catholics and Jews together into one single memorial. (See, if you will, our Memorial Drive towards that endeavor.) How a country can show so little respect and regard for its own 6 million civilian citizens that perished during the Holocaust era is something beyond all human comprehension.

"We can't tell two stories, the history of Poland and the history of the Jews,
because simply they exist together and they must be told together..."
Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka
Let Hungary, through the opening of its long overdue National Holocaust Memorial, be a splendid example for Poland to follow.

Respectfully submitted,

K. K. Brattman
Managing Editor

Addendum: A succinct presentation of the complex Polish-Jewish relationship during the Holocaust era can be found in this "Encyclopedia" presentation entitled "Polish-Jewish Relations." Also, see this entry: Conditions for Polish Jews During WWII.

***PS-1. Subsequently, we received an apology from Ms. Morris which we believe to have been made in earnest. And with respect to the core issue presented herein, Ms. Morris noted:

"'Why Poland does not have a National Holocaust Memorial for its 6 million citizens' is a question that I, as an American, cannot speak to. "

And from Mr. Lewandowski, we have received a surprising endorsement: "I visited your pages and I am impressed. Very accurate, detailed information." Stressing with this endorsement, Mr. Lewandowski noted that "regardless of anything else," he gives credit "to those who deserve it and where is due." Continuing with his accolades, in another email received, Mr. Lewandowski noted:

"Your web site has so much information regarded by Poles to be objective, for which you deserve great applause. The main is including Polish non Jewish victims as part of the Holocaust."

PS-2. On May 26, 2004, Mr. Lewandowski (that is the author of <PoloniaSF.org> website), made us aware of the May 14, 2004 protest open-letter of the Honorable Krystyna Tokarska-Biernacik, General Consul of Poland in Los Angeles, California, USA, with respect to the "Poland's Auschwitz" wording of the above referenced LA Times article.To see that letter (with the LA Times response), please click in here.

PS-3. Finally, from a Polish-American reader, we have been alerted that Mr. Lewandowski has initiated in the SFPolskis Yahoo members group a thread entitled "Poland -- a willing participant in the Nazi's persecution of Jews" and informed us of a message posted therein by a non-Jewish Polish-American respondent that stated:

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THIS it is not about building another memorial, but rather about honoring all citizens regardless what faith they are. We all used to distinguish all the World War II victims between us and them, forgetting that all these folks lived in Poland for decades, centuries. They paid taxes, they had the right to vote, they were even being elected, they contributed to our social life, some fought for our country. The only part that we remember is their faith, or not even that since majority of them was not even practicing Judaism.

So, tell me now, why we DO NOT pay a tribute to all our citizens regardless their religion?

This Editor could not have said it any better!

It is utterly absurd that we have to differentiate between the Jewish and non-Jewish Polish victims of the Holocaust era when they all were killed in the same manner and all were first and foremost Polish citizens.

Thank you for your attention to this extremely complex and sensitive matter but not before noting this beautiful and moving email received on May 27, 2004 from Anita Bandrowski:


I apologize for my fellow countrymen (for some reason the women don't seem to get too worked up about these issues).

I am a polish-american and I do not feel that Poles have done enough to commemorate the tragedy that happened in their country to their own people.

I wish this was not the case, but I also wish that all the people involved in that terrible conflict on all sides could somehow find it in themselves to heal and focus on building a brighter future that does not allow for this type of thing to ever happen again.

peace through action

anita.

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 S p e c i a l   L i n k s : 

Father Maximilian Kolbe
--the Polish Priest from Auschwitz
   a journey to sainthood and eternity...
canonized as Martyr by Pope John Paul II in 1981

"Our Jewish neighbors were murdered in a bestial way"
Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka
August 30, 2004

Belzec Holocaust Memorial Opens in Poland
   an important step in the process of Polish-Jewish reconciliation...
Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski (June 2004)

.Of Blessed Memory ...
Poles that made a difference
Remembrance of Poles Who Gave Their Lives to Save Jews

Jan Karski [Jan Kozielewski] (1914-2000)
--a young Roman Catholic Pole that tried to stop the Holocaust ...

"I also wish to declare that although the Polish Government has contributed to a large extent towards influencing world opinion, it has done nothing commensurate with the scale of the drama now taking place in Poland. Out of some 3,500,000 Polish Jews and 700,000 Jews deported to Poland from other countries, only 300,000 remained alive in April 1943, according to information from the leader of the underground Bund organization transmitted to us by the Government's Delegates. And the extermination continues without pause.

"I cannot remain silent. I cannot go on living when the remnants of the Jewish people in Poland of whom I am a representative are being eliminated. My comrades in the Warsaw ghetto died with arms in hand in their last heroic stand. It was not my destiny to perish as they did and with them. But I belong to them and to their mass graves.

"By my death I want to express my strongest protest against the passivity with which the world looks on and permits the extermination of the Jewish people. I know how little human life means in our times but since I could do nothing when alive, perhaps by my death I can help destroy the indifference of those who could save, perhaps at the last moment, those Polish Jews who are still alive.

London, May 1943


and
  From a Canadian, Polish-born, self-proclaimed "Dr." of some sort

Open Letter to Mr. Brattman
"Polish mothers should spell your name to their children,
to imprint in them a fear of a Zionist monster."

Dr. Piotr Bein, self-proclaimed specialist in de-bunking propaganda

Editor's Bite:

  

The Poles may not have been worse than the Nazis, but for sure they were not far behind ...

  

Please see the references below:

The Killing After the Killing

After the Holocaust ended in 1945, Poland's surviving Jews still faced hatred from their fellow citizens.

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Poland, One Year After Auschwitz, Being Involved In the Worst Peacetime Pogrom of the 20th-century Europe

Funeral procession at Kielce
Burial of Jews in Kielce, Poland
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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 and return back to their homes.

<mut-gegen-rechte-gewalt.de/eng/news/poland/>

From The New York Times:


From Washington Post:

Remarks by Elie Wiesel

Kielce burial
.Mourners at the burial of victims of the Kielce pogrom, Poland, July 1946.
That pogrom in Kielce was one of the factors that led to a mass westward migration of hundreds of thousands of Jews who had survived the Holocaust. Known as the Brihah, this movement brought Jews from Poland and other countries of eastern Europe to displaced persons camps located in the western zones of occupied Germany and Austria, and in Italy. A fear of violent pogroms was one motivation that led the vast majority of Jews to seek to leave postwar Europe.
(USHMM, <ushmm.org/wlc/article.php?lang=en&ModuleId=10005366>)

May God Forgive Poland's Monstrous Anti-Semitic Deeds, or Nobody Will.

Fear by Jan Gross

Poland Debates its post-Holocaust History and anti-Semitism
Poland debate on History

and from The Sarmatian Review
On the Extermination of Jews in Poland
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