Sunday, July 02, 2006

FEAR - Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz...


...is the latest work by Jan Gross, the historian/sociologist who scandalized Poland five years ago with his book about the Jedwabne massacre.

Well, it looks like he will ruffle a few feathers again with his new book about the Kielce pogrom of 1946.

I haven’t read FEAR yet so I can’t review it.

But here it’s reviewed by Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel for the Washington Post.

Basically, the now almost conventional view here of the Kielce pogrom was that this was a ‘provocation’ by communist secret services, etc. Much of the violence, goes this view, was done by the communist authorities themselves.

What I gather Jan Gross is saying is that the political situation in Poland made ordinary Poles believe that Jews sided with the communists – many communists were Jews, in fact.

So when a kid (Henryk) claimed that he had been abducted by Jews (he hadn’t – he had just gone to see his friends for a few days!) he was readily believed.

And that’s when the ordinary Poles went into a frenzy of killing, which ended with scores of Jews dead.

What was left of the Jewish population after the war thinned out still further, leaving only a few thousand left (and most of those left in 1968).

What is for sure is that Jan Gross (one of those who left in 1968) will again become a bit of a hate figure here for dragging up an uncomfortable past once more.

On a similar theme please see the last three comments - started by 'yulia' at the end of the post here.

More?
Elie Wiesel Accuses Poland - commentary by Adam Michnik, gazeta.pl
Excerpt: From "Fear" - Washington Post
Remembering Kielce, Jerusalem Post, July 2
Poland marks 60th anniversary of Kielce pogrom against Jews, European Jewish Press, July 3
Poland Prepares to Mark Pogrom Anniversary, Los Angeles Times, July 3

60 comments:

Yulia Shymenko said...

Beatroot!

Where is my posting about Poles of Jewish origin in the communist goverment between 1945 - 1980?? It's not there! Have you deleted it?

Judith Szott said...

Beatroot, you don't read "Gazeta Wyborcza"? Please take a look at Adam Michnik's (Pole of Jewish descent) response to Elie Wiesel's ranting. It tells you how much credibility Wiesel really has. Gross is only interested in making a profit for himself at the expense of degrading Poland and Polish Catholics. His works are a complete fraud, and have been proven wrong on numerous occasions. Until today, nobody really knows who actually "forced" the "few" inhabitants of Jedwabne to murder several hundred Jews. Now ask yourself, how many Catholics did Poland's communist government of Berman and Minc murder after the war?

One recent quote from Michnik:

"A couple of weeks ago rabbi Michael Schudrich was assaulted by a hooligan on a Warsaw street. This was probably not the only case in the world of a hooligan assault on a rabbi.

Poland, however, is likely the only country where on the next day the president ostentatiously invited the rabbi to meet him and in front of the cameras expressed his solidarity with the victim of the assault.

Anyone who writes about anti-Semitism in Poland and ignores those facts, falsifies - even if unintentionally - the truth about Poland."

That last comment refers to both Gross and Wiesel.

beatroot said...

Yulia: of course I didn't delete it! Why would I do that? Don't get paranoid...When I put the last post on it dropped into the archives.

I have redirected readers at the end of this post to it...I want people to see that.

beatroot said...

Judith – I find it amazing – a amazing! – that you are criticizing a book YOU HAVEN’T EVEN READ! That really is a very, very ignorant thing to do, now isn’t it?

I said in the post that I cannot review the book because I hadn’t read it. Maybe you should do the same before you start saying “His works are a complete fraud, and have been proven wrong on numerous occasions.”

All I did was refer you to the most significant review of the book so far by its most significant reviewer.

I make no judgments in the post as to the strength of Gross’s arguments because, again, I have, like you, not read it.

But that doesn’t stop you from spouting off what is basically a prejudice.

Michnik, a man I have lots of respect for (and someone with the intellectual honesty to not judge books before he has read them), has his opinions. The survivors of Auschwitz have others.

Judity Szott said...

Beatroot, "Fear" isn't the only book by Gross. I was referring to his "Neighbor's" as a complete fraud. He also has several others prior to that one. I haven't read "Fear" at all. Wiesel obviously has, and reviewed it in a biased, revisionist way. Michnik sensed this immediately, by his commentary on Poles and history. Have you even read "Neighbors"? I have. Gross has smeared his reputation with that first fictional work, and is attempting to give his career a second chance. Don't assume anything if you aren't sure. It's not a professional habit.

sonia said...

Beatroot,

There are a few thing that you wrote, that while technically true, could use a bit of context:

the political situation in Poland made ordinary Poles believe that Jews sided with the communists – many communists were Jews, in fact

The true is the Jews during WWII supported Stalin because they didn't have any choice (the only other alternative was Hitler!), but the simple truth (rarely said!) was that Stalin was almost as anti-semitic as Hitler. In fact, there are many indications that Stalin was preparing a second Holocaust of all Jews living in Communist countries and that only his death prevented that from happening.

The reality of post-war Poland was this: the Communism was implemented by playing anti-semitic Poles against anti-Polish Jews, convincing both to collaborate... or else. As result, the Communist party of Poland was half anti-semitic and half Jewish (later, in the 1960's, the anti-semites expelled the Jews from the party).

It was the Romans who invented the term 'divide e impera'. Stalin perfected it. Kiele massacre, whether spontaneous or not (it doesn't really matter) was part of that game. It's not important whether the Communist actually planned it (as most Poles would like to believe in order to feel less guilty). Quite likely, it was sponteneous. But the Communists took full advantage of it - convincing Polish Jews they they were the only force capable to protect them from anti-semites (in exchange for collaboration). To their credit, most Polish Jews prefered to run away to Israel rather than to accept such a 'protection'... And once in Israel, they quickly convinced other Jews to ditch the Communists and finds other, more reliable protectors - the Americans...

If they had sticked with the Communists, Israel would certainly have been a pile of ruins right now...

sonia said...

And as for the Jedwabne Massacre (the subject of Gross's previous book, 'Neighbors')...

Doesn't the following pair of facts strike you as strange: there were no massacres of Jews by Poles (not a single one!) in September 1939 when Germany invaded and occupied the western half of Poland. By contrast, there were hundereds of such massacres in the summer of 1941 as Germans invaded and occupied eastern Poland (as well as Lithuania and the rest of Eastern Europe) - Jedwabne is only the best known of such massacres, there were many others, everywhere...

However, it would be a mistake to think of those massacres as retaliations for Jewish collaboation with the Communists. Anti-semites collaborated as well, at least as much, and often more. Those massacres would probably occur even if the Germans didn't invade (although the anarchy of wartime situation definitely made them easier) - they were inevitable side-effect of Communist manipulation, meant to provoke open hostilities and insure that ordinary people would turn towards Communists for help - that's how that murderous system was implemented.

Yulia Shymenko said...

Sonia,

You have an obsession to assign the character of 'anti-semitic' to the Poles, however, you fail to mention the 'anti-Catholic" Jews. Were the Jewish Communists angels without sins, perfect individuals? Absolutely not. You don't believe that they disliked Polish Catholics perhaps more than the vice versa? You really do discriminate with a one-sided view.

you said:

"As result, the Communist party of Poland was half anti-semitic and half Jewish".

No, it's not that simple. The various factions vying for power within the Polish government after the war is much more complex than the simple portrait you paint. Poles of Jewish origin carried out Stalin's orders with pride. They for the most part greeted the Russians when they invaded Eastern Poland during WWII, and gave them their full support during the Russian occupation after it. Don't try to revise, generalize, or minimize history to simplistic assumptions. It's distorting history. It's very convenient for you to say the 'anti-semitic' Poles forced out the "Jews' in 1968. Based on the history of your postings, this is the view you avidly embrace. In fact, you previously related anti-semitism with Poland in many of your posts. It's a typical 'intimidation' rebuttal when you have nothing factual to back up your claims. Accusing an individual that either challenges, disagrees, or proves that Jews somehow were faulty in something they've done of anti-semitism is a convenient method of intimidation.

Was Jakub Berman's execution of several thousand Polish Catholics and deportations and torture of over 500,000 Catholics not anti-Catholicism? Please read th IPN's report from November, 2005.

For someone to be a Christian, and patriotic, doesn't mean they are anti-Jewish. Those are two separate items. However, individuals such as yourself enjoy over abusing the term 'anti-semitism'. The truth is, Poles were fed up with the anti-Catholic Jewish minority telling them (the majority) what to do. It was a power struggle in 1968, with Moscow adding their full support in expelling the Jewish communists to justify their causes.

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
beatroot said...

Judith: I have read 'Neighbors' and the most compelling parts are the eye witness accounts. Quite convincing. I have also seen a film about Jedwabne and again eye witness accounts and documentation are convincing.

I am also aware of the debate that followed.

I also saw the official state ceremony granted to the many victims of the massacre (would you like to have been locked in a barn with hundreds of others and burned to death?). The Polish state has come to terms with its part of those events.

Sonia: Lots of interesting things in what you said.

But in context or not, many Jews were communists.

Many Jews saw communism as the only defense against the Nazis - and I understand why they thought that at the time - none of the social democratic or christian democratic parties were offering any alternatives).

Many Jews were connected with modernism. The left was part of modernism (in those days, not now!).

The reasons for that are fascinating and complicated. The role of Jews in every single area of thinking, arts, politics, culture in the first half of this century in Europe is connected with al this.

The Nazis and the holocaust brutally ended that.

And I think that was a tragedy for Europe and a tragedy for Poland.

beatroot said...

Yulia said: They [Jews] for the most part greeted the Russians when they invaded Eastern Poland during WWII, and gave them their full support during the Russian occupation after it.

And that is crucial. Jews did expect Soviets to protect them from what had gone before - the Nazis.

That's quite a rational thing to expect when you look at Nazi ideology - some weird, racist hell, and communist ideology, which talked of class differences not racial ones.

If I was a Jew in those circumstances I know which one I would choose!

In the end, of course, they got hatred from left, right and the generally pig ignorant.

Ideology seemed blind when it came to useing Jews as scapegoats.

sonia said...

Yulia,

I think you misunderstood my point.

You have an obsession to assign the character of 'anti-semitic' to the Poles, however, you fail to mention the 'anti-Catholic" Jews

Not true. I wrote 'the Communism was implemented by playing anti-semitic Poles against anti-Polish Jews'...

For someone to be a Christian, and patriotic, doesn't mean they are anti-Jewish

That's an incredibly naive statement, and on so many levels....

Imagine for instance that we are not talking about Poles and Jews, but about, say, Tutsis and Hutus. Of course, to be a patriotic Hutu doesn't mean to be anti-Tutsi. But how would you react if a patriotic Hutu simultaneously claimed that Tutsi are exterminating Hutus (by writing about 'Tutsi's execution of several thousand Hutus and deportations and torture of over 500,000 Hutus'), but then vehemently denying that ANY Hutus has ever been anti-Tutsi !!!

It would make no sense, Yulia! If the Tutsi really committed all those crimes, the Hutus would inevitably hate them!

Zaratustra said...

I see you removed my comment about your 'journalism'. Very convenient.

There is a problem with you self-proclaiming yourself as a journalist - it is untrue and misleading. Let me explain why:

Let us take tha above post, part of a series of posts on 'Polish Antisemitism'. 'Polish Antisemitsm' for any object journalist is not a worthile pursuit as it frames the topic such that only selected facts are covered and only simplistic one-way thinking withing a rigid structure possible.

A worthwhile topic would be one on Polish-Jewish relations, but that would require a different fact selection, and some critical thinking.

Let me illustrate it with an analogy. Imagine a blog on English Soccer Team written by someone who does not like Beckham, and thinks that he is the reason England loses. The blog is called 'On England Soccer Team always losing'. The Author choses to cover only these games that England indeed loses, ignoring these that England wins as marginal. This is because the perspective of the revisiting his 'thinking' makes the Author very anxious - by filtering the facts the world continous to remain unshaken. by the little victories, but reconfirmed by the big losses that are covered extensively. Soon, the Author even develops a cheerleading group of equally narrow-view Sonias. Obviously such blog has little to do with journalism.

Your series on 'anti-semitism', 'homofobia', 'fascism' are just like that.

Example: anti-semitism. You cover extensively the attack on Rabi Shudrich or the new Gross' book but you fail to cover facts that do not match your convictions: to stay in context, the effort that led Shudrich's attacker quick apprehention does not get a mention; away from the context, as far as Polish-Jewish relations, the Jewish Festival in Krakow is a must-mention. But these do not fit the anti-semitism framework.

This blog is a rant, but not journalism. Ranting is fine, but do not mislead the poor souls that read it that it is anything more.

You may remove the comment, but that would be continueing the denial. Luckily for you, England lost to Portugal, so no need to critically look at yourself.

beatroot said...

To be honest I only read your first sentence:

I see you removed my comment about your 'journalism'. Very convenient.

..and then stopped.

What are you talking about? I have not deleted any comment. I do not even know what comment you are talking about.

"Very convenient". Very paranoid!!!

Maybe you cannot find the post that you commented on? If so then go to something called 'archive'...you will find it then. That's how blogs work.

And if you want to debate something then try and stick to the point...

Getting personal is the last refuge of a defeated argument.

Zaratustra said...

What are you talking about? I have not deleted any comment. I do not even know what comment you are talking about

Haha ... you can hide ... but look above:

"
Comment Deleted
This post has been removed by the author.

11:58 PM
"


Man, I am not getting personal. I am not talking about you. I am talking about what emerges to be your 'journalistic method' applied to this blog that is based on convenient fact selection to match your understanding of reality and avoid even noticing facts that could undemine it.

There is a difference between debating your 'method' and you.

Re-read the post and this time try to understand it.

beatroot said...

Look, can you read?

Comment Deleted
This post has been removed by the author.


Do you notice the word 'author' in that sentence? That means, if you are finding this hard to keep up, that the comment was deleted by the person who wrote it.

That is what 'author' means. If I had deleted it then it would read:

'This comment has been deleted by the administration'.

If that was your comment then it appears that you were the one who deleted it.

Got that? Yawn....

sonia said...

Zaratustra,

the Author even develops a cheerleading group of equally narrow-view Sonias

I resent that... Beatroot and me disagree on almost everything...

As for you rant about selective-thinking, it's completely true, but it applies more to you than to Beatroot.

Let me illustrate it with an analogy. Imagine a blog on Polish-Jewish relations written by someone whose obsession in life is trying to prove that all Poles love Jews. The blog is called 'The Great Unrequited Love Affair - Poles Loving Jews and Jews Rejecting This Love'.

That's more or less your perspective on the matter...

But please consider the following:

1.Every nation on Earth hates somebody. Armenians hate Turks, Turks hate Greeks and Armenians, Tutsis hate Hutus, Israelis hate Palestinians and vice versa, etc. etc. Do you honestly believe that only Poles don't hate anybody ?

2.Why is it automatically anti-Polish to write about Polish anti-semitism ?

3.Why do you automatically assume that everybody writing about conflicts between Poles and Jews will automatically denounce the Poles ? This is a uniquely Polish form of paranoia (totally ridiculous in today's context) - I bet if an Iranian president come to Poland and asked you about Polish anti-semitism, you would angrily deny it and claimed that all Poles love Jews. Imagine his disappointment !

beatroot said...

the Author even develops a cheerleading group of equally narrow-view Sonia

I am outraged by that as well. Me and Sonia did agree about something, recently, but we both must have been having an off day.

Redwine said...

"'Polish Antisemitsm' for any object journalist is not a worthile pursuit as it frames the topic such that only selected facts are covered and only simplistic one-way thinking withing a rigid structure possible." - Zaratustra, are you talking about journalism here?
Or when one is talking about anti-Semitism for example, we do cover selected facts, don't we?

Your argument is excellent: "the Jewish Festival in Krakow is a must-mention. But these do not fit the anti-semitism framework. " - no, festivals don't. Typical narrow minded and very nationalist remark. The purity and innocence of a whole nation, I love that, and when one wants to write about Kielce, festivals are must mentions. That would be journalism, at it's best. Next time don't forget to write "holohoax" instead.

Yulia Shymenko said...

Sonia, the problem is that Beatroot rants about the same topic over and over. His initial presentation of every subject relating to Poles and Jews on this blog are one-sided, only examining situations were it seems Poles are the evil perpetrators, and Jews are the innocent victims. How come, I never saw Beatroot present cases where the Polish Catholics were the victims of Jews? There were many such occurrences. These events are never dicussed in the world media because anyone willing to bring them up are accused of anti-semitism, the famous intimidating term meant to silence anyone who dares to speak of those so called taboo topics. Is he afraid to tackle this controversial subject? Could it be he may offend some of his co-workers or friends like Marek Edelman, and then he'll be considered an anti-semite and could lose his job for it. Touchy, isn't it? You see, it's politically acceptable to constantly accuse Poles of anti-semitism, and not Jews of anti-Catholicism.

There is nothing wrong with bringing up the some of the issues of any anti-Jewish feeling amongst Poles, however, it is not done in a well balanced manner. So, Beatroot, why is it you never made one posting on the subject of Poles being persecuted by Jews? Jakub Berman's murder of thousands of Catholic Poles (prior to Kielce) heavily outweigh that of the so called Kielce pogram where only 39 Polish-Jews died. What about the 'thousands' of Polish Catholics who died under the Jewish dominated State Security Office? Or perhaps you can explore the "Ukrainian Holocaust of 1932-33" where infamous NKVD leader Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich was involved in starving and murdering anywhere from 5 to 8 million UKrainians. What about the Katyn Massacre where it has been proven that many Jewish communists took part in? Or the murder of over 300 Polish Catholics by a Jewish partisan group in the village of Koniuchy in early 1944? And another similar killing in the village of Naliboki of Polish Catholic by Jewish partisans in May 1943? Am I now going to be called an anti-semite for even noting these unfortunate incidents

Beatroot has numerous chances to post topics like these, but he doesn't want to because he may lose some of his friends, or even risk jeopardizing his career. Anti-Catholicism by Jews should be given the same treatment as anti-semitism by Poles.

Zaratustra said...

Haha ... sorry Beatroot ranting-man but I dont have means to delete any comments, no matter how hard I try. But maybe I did it somehow magically - it changes nothing about your blog.

Sonia: you somewhat miss the point. Let me explain it:

Let me illustrate it with an analogy. Imagine a blog on Polish-Jewish relations written by someone whose obsession in life is trying to prove that all Poles love Jews. The blog is called 'The Great Unrequited Love Affair - Poles Loving Jews and Jews Rejecting This Love'.

You are spot on: a blog title 'The Great Unrequited Love Affair - Poles Loving Jews and Jews Rejecting This Love' would immediately suggest a rant and lack of objectivity. More so, the Kielce Pogrom info would never make it there and the author would cover just the - otherwise wonderful but obviously not 100% representative - Jewish Festival in Krakow. It would be the opposite of Beatroot's rant, but still a plain non-objective rant, just like your own blog. Not journalism.

This blog however, claims to be authored by a 'journalist and social scientist' and creates a false impression of objectivity and lack of agenda.

The conclusion is: this blog is by no means an example of an attempt to achieve anything close objective and is to no extend anything that remotely resembles 'social sciences' or 'journalism'. What gives it away are not just the opinions but the selection of topics, ,the filtering of facts, and the framing of discussion threads that would be unacceptable in anything outside of blog-sphere. And that's probably why author blogs instead of writing for New York Times.

beatroot said...

Yulia: every subject relating to Poles and Jews on this blog are one-sided, only examining situations were it seems Poles are the evil perpetrators.

I do wish people would read posts before they start making nonsensical remarks about them.

Go back and READ the above post again. I wrote the post because of the 60th anniversary of Kielce and of Gross’s new book.

Where am I making one sided comments about Kielce? I have not made a judgment about his book because I have not read it. I have not made a judgment about the ‘conventional provocation’ thesis about what happened in Kielce because I simply do not know enough to make such a judgment (how I wish many others would be so reticent).

Just because I bring a subject up (and I am sorry, I will be bringing up newsworthy subjects that you will certainly not be liking in the future but are welcome to comment on) does not mean I am taking sides.

On the Kielce matter I am neutral….

But at least Yulia does try to back up some of her arguments with a few facts and stuff (although very selectivly at times). As for Zaratustra...Oh dear oh dear oh dear. It's almost sad...

Zaratustra said...

. As for Zaratustra...Oh dear oh dear oh dear. It's almost sad...

Haha .. finally some ad-persona from Beatroot. What I say seemingly created some uncomfortable thought. But a thought! This on its own is newsworthy.

No - you are wrong:

Just because I bring a subject up (and I am sorry, I will be bringing up newsworthy subjects that you will certainly not be liking in the future but are welcome to comment on) does not mean I am taking sides

Once is an accident. Twice is noteworthy. More is a pattern.

The subjects you bring and the facts you make up ("Poland one of the most gay hating nations per US department of state" is a classic) reflect slant and lack of neutrality.

I dont expect you to comprehend that though. You'd be doing something more than blogging.

Zaratustra said...

Redwine: you get some reasonable intuitions but you are wrong after all.

Your argument is excellent: "the Jewish Festival in Krakow is a must-mention. But these do not fit the anti-semitism framework. " - no, festivals don't. Typical narrow minded and very nationalist remark. The purity and innocence of a whole nation, I love that, and when one wants to write about Kielce, festivals are must mentions. That would be journalism, at it's best. Next time don't forget to write "holohoax" instead.

You got quite carried away with 'Holohoax' and you put other words in my mouth (purity of the nation)

You are rightly allergic to both lies (Holohoax) and wrong opinions (purity of ... ). This is not what my point meant.

My point is about completeness of picture in something that aspires to be serious.

Your phrasing ('purity of ...') and choice of ideas however suggest a black-white thinking. You are likely more intelligent than that and capable of seeing shades of gray. If so, this blog is not the place to see any 'grayness' and if you want to learn about Poland, you do need to offset it with something real to read, Economist, etc, you name it.

sonia said...

Yulia,

What about the Katyn Massacre where it has been proven that many Jewish communists took part in?

A very wrong example. In fact Polish Jews were disproportionately numerous among VICTIMS at Katyn (read any book about Katyn, especially Jozef Mackiewicz's one on this subject). And the order to carry out the Katryn Massacre were given by the Soviet Politburo, almost Jewish-free by that time...

infamous NKVD leader Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich

Kaganovitch wasn't a leader of NKVD. On the other hand, Feliks Dzierzynski, the founder of Cheka, was a Polish Catholic...

Jakub Berman's murder of thousands of Catholic Poles

Very convenient. I am afraid, however, than Berman's Polish Catholic boss Bierut bears a far greater responsability for those murders...

That was the essence of Communism - Communists using Jews to kill Catholics and Catholics to kill Jews... In the Soviet Union, they were using Armenians to kill Azerbaijanis and the Azerbaijanis to kill Armenians... Pity you cannot see through such manipulations...

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Yulia Shymenko said...

Beatroot wrote:

Just because I bring a subject up (and I am sorry, I will be bringing up newsworthy subjects that you will certainly not be liking in the future but are welcome to comment on) does not mean I am taking sides.

By "bringing up a subject" that only only focuses on alleged misdeeds by Poles again their Jewish brothers is one sided Beatroot. It isn't being done in a balanced manner and does reveal immense bias on your part.

Again, answer this question: Why don't you ever 'bring up' events or issues of Poles perscuted by Jewish Communists?

The topics you 'bring up' aren't necessarily 'to' my liking or 'not to' my liking. Issues, unpleasant for Catholics or not, must be honestly faced and questioned. It's the frequency and singular fashion in which you 'present your subject. If you presented subjects of a fair distribution and frequency about Polish Catholics suffering from Jewish communist persecution, then I would say it's balanced. So, an issue I do have with your subject matter is it only focuses on Polish behavior or events against Jews.

I realize you haven't drawn concrete conclusions as to, for example, whether the Kielce conflict was either staged by Communists to taint Poland, or whether it was really invoked by inhuman peasants with knive, sticks, and pitchforks.

Speaking of selective reporting, it is you Beatroot that provide one sided references. There are many objective sources which present opposing views on the Kielce conflict and Jedwabne that you haven't provided to the public via links.

beatroot said...

May I remind you that this is a BLOG it is not part of the mainstream media. If you want objective reporting journalism then there are many news outlets to get it from.

This - like most - is a 'comment' blog. It is closer to the op-ed pages in the newspaper than the news section.

It's a blogger making comments. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. It is not meant to be objective journalism!

Now...

Yulia: Again, answer this question: Why don't you ever 'bring up' events or issues of Poles perscuted by Jewish Communists?

If the question was ‘Why don't you ever 'bring up' events or issues of Poles persecuted by Communists?’ that would be a reasonable question and there are several posts on this blog about Solidarnosc and the general debilitating effect communism had on Poland.

Unfortunately the question was about ‘Jeiwsh Communists’ – thus equating ‘Communist’ and ‘Jewish’. If that conflation was intentional then it is easy (and sadly familiar) to see where you are coming politically.

If it was unintentional then I can only ask you: do you want me to comment only on persecutions by Jewish Communists and not Polish ones?

Personally I don’t see the difference. So far as I know, Polish communists persecuted Poles and Jews. Jewish communists persecuted Poles and Jews. Communists persecuted communists.

But I am not aware of a non-communist Jew who persecuted a Polish communist. And if there have been Polish pogroms as disgusting as Kielce then I would be very interested to know about it.

Yulia Shymenko said...

Yulia: "Again, answer this question: Why don't you ever 'bring up' events or issues of Poles perscuted by Jewish Communists? "

Beatroot:
"If the question was ‘Why don't you ever 'bring up' events or issues of Poles persecuted by Communists?’ that would be a reasonable question and there are several posts on this blog about Solidarnosc and the general debilitating effect communism had on Poland. Unfortunately the question was about ‘Jeiwsh Communists’ – thus equating ‘Communist’ and ‘Jewish’. If that conflation was intentional then it is easy (and sadly familiar) to see where you are coming politically. If it was unintentional then I can only ask you: do you want me to comment only on persecutions by Jewish Communists and not Polish ones?

I will be more precise with my inquiry, for using the term 'Jewish Communists' is similar to saying 'Polish death camps' and isn’t accurate enough. So, here goes: Why don't you ever 'bring up' events or issues of Poles of Catholic origin being persecuted by communists of Jewish origin? My original question wasn't meant to suggest that 'all Jews were communists, or that all communists were Jews'. My original question wasn't clear enough, so don't conclude it was intentional. I believe I do make myself quite clear. There were Catholic communists as well, but their percentage was much lower in proportion to their representation country wide. However, a disproportionately large percentage of communists in Poland (and Russia, Hungary, Romania, Czech) were of Jewish origin. You saw the IPN's findings in a previous post, and the figures were quite shocking.

Beatroot, haven't you read my previous post? I mentioned that many of your readers would certainly like to see a 'balanced' presentation of: Jews being persectued by Catholics , and Catholics being persecuted by Jews, in Poland or Central/Eastern Europe. I never stated otherwise and my question is clear. If it isn't let me know.

So, are you going to 'balance' your postings in a fair manner, or you will continue to present selective cases, showing only Polish Catholics suppressing their Jewish brethren? What are you afraid of?

Beatroot: "May I remind you that this is a BLOG it is not part of the mainstream media. If you want objective reporting journalism then there are many news outlets to get it from."

I am aware of this, thank you. However, the fact that you work for mainstream media adds more importance to your commentary. Those who work in media should really adhere to objective and balanced reporting, inside and outside the job, because if you show impartiality on a blog, this will reflect on your employer as well. So, are you telling us that your blog isn't objective?

My response to Sonia is forthcoming.

Yulia Shymenko said...

beatroot: "But I am not aware of a non-communist Jew who persecuted a Polish communist. And if there have been Polish pogroms as disgusting as Kielce then I would be very interested to know about it."

Beatroot, a "Polish Communist"? And now, touche:

Your comment clearly states ‘Polish Communists’ – thus equating ‘Communist’ and ‘Polish’. If that conflation was intentional then it is easy (and sadly familiar) to see where you are coming politically. Sound familiar? Those are your words, now correcting a similar mistake you have now made by using that term. It would be proper to state 'communists of Polish Catholic or Polish origin',and not "Polish communists. You see beatroot, everyone isn't alway as precise as one should be.

Again, learn 'all' the facts about Kielce, and don't just based your view on the Jan Gross version. There is ample proof of the Kielce conflict being a communist provoked event with orders from Russia. Would you like source references on this material, showing a different view? Or would you just rather stick to what Gross says? Koniuchy is where 300 Polish Catholics were murdered by Jewish partisans. Much worse than Kielce.

beatroot said...

I am aware of this, thank you. However, the fact that you work for mainstream media adds more importance to your commentary.

No, it really isn't. I refer you to a new post I put about this subject.

using the term 'Jewish Communists' is similar to saying 'Polish death camps'

I agree with that, totally. The NYT has a lot to answer for there.

But I do not think that most foreigners have the idea that Poles actually set up Auschwitz! But the correction to the name is correct and long overdue.

readers would certainly like to see a 'balanced' presentation of: Jews being persectued by Catholics

Yulia, I would - if there was an oppotunity, say some anniversary, news thing - but I am simply ignorant of an event where Polish Jews directly targeted Catholics just because they were catholics...

But by the way, I think the way you debate is interesting and informative (sometimes).

judith szott said...

beatroot says:

But I do not think that most foreigners have the idea that Poles actually set up Auschwitz!

Your statement is simply false, and revisionist Beatroot. I'm suprised to see you make such a statement. This is your opinion, and certainly not a fact. It belongs in a 'new' topic category of debate in the near future on your blog, and not in this thread. First, lets expend our fact finding and knowledge base on the current ongoing debate.

Beatroot, I dare you to write a letter with the above quoted statement either to the editor of the Washington Post, New York Times, or even to the Warsaw Voice. You will become instantly famous world wide, just like DAVID IRVING, the far-right British historian. Brendan B. shouldn't have a problem having such a letter or article letter published.

beatroot said...

Yulia: there is no conflation in anyone's minds between 'Polish'and 'Communist'...nnobody thinks that. And it is dishonest of you to pretend it is.

beatroot said...

Judith: I am sorry but I have almost never read somthing so ridiculous...

I am affraid that you will have to show me some evidence of the world thinking that Poles set up, organized and managed Auscwitz.

and the ramblings after that comment are very silly.

Judith Szott said...

beatroot, please read your comment again:

"But I do not think that most foreigners have the idea that Poles actually set up Auschwitz!"

Are you aware how that statement can be translated? It sounded like you meant "most foreigners think Poles set up Auschwitz".

If you meant otherwise (Poles didn't build the camps), then I'm sorry I interpreted it the way I did. You could have worded it a little better. Now that I reread it, the sentence can actually be translated in two ways. Seriously, ask someone about it.

Maciej Zabrowski said...

Dear Beatroot,

You mentioned "there is no conflation in anyone's minds between 'Polish'and 'Communist'...nnobody thinks that. And it is dishonest of you to pretend it is."

When I worked and lived in the UK 10 years ago, lots of my British friends referred to me as 'the commie Polak'. Many Westerners are misinformed and really don't know that the anti-commmunist movement in Poland was stronger than anywhere else. The sterotype 'Polish Communist', and more, "Jewish Communist" really does exist.

Maciej

beatroot said...

Welcome Maciej.

First of all I apologise for my countrymen.

And I am suprised. First of all, the expression 'Polak' is an American one and something I had not really been aware of until I came to Poland. I am from London, so you would think I would hear about that kind of thing if ot was used widely.

When we had a Polish gardener at the college I worked at we called him 'Pete the Pole'. (he is quite well known in Warsaw).

But Brits calling someone 'commie' does not mean they thought you were a communist, Maciej... :-))

Poles in the UK are thought of as romantic fighters for freedom, good pilots, Lech Walesa and JP II.

That's all they know.

Zaratustra said...

It's a blogger making comments. That's it. Nothing more, nothing less. It is not meant to be objective journalism!

I am glad that we've established that although it has taken you a very long time. That does explain a lot.

On Polish-Jewish relations:

-- The first thing to do is to realize that Polish-Jewish relations are very different from such in any other country.

Unlike in most countries where Jews were elusive beings in low percents of the population, in Poland Jews were a real minority in the order of 10-20% (in some cities like Bialystok over 50%) if not more. The neurotic western-european practice of antisemitism where the Jew is either the blood-sucking banker or a krypto-Jewish politician does not apply here. Polish-Jewish relations are relations between majority and minority and the tensions were real majority-minority tensions and not perplexing phobias as elsewhere where there were just few Jews.

The majority-minority tensions are reality of any multi-national country like pre-WWII Poland was. But the nature of such tensions is different from conspiracy theories of Jews running the world (or whatever they are) that fuel anti-semitism elsewhere. An average Pole actually had a Jewish neigbour, and not just read about one in the 'Protocol of Elders of Syon' or whatever that nonense is called.

Hence, the attempt to understand what is / was going on in Poland through the prism of anti-semitism elsewhere is unlikely to yield any meaninful result. And like I said before, following on with your thread on 'Polish Anti Semitism' is going to produce thinking-free copy-paste from your favourite journals and websites.

(btw. sometime you may wanna ask yourself, how come there were so many Jews in Poland? probably because they liked to be prosecuted)

-- The second thing: the picture in media is one-sided

Kielce Pogrom is not a novelty. Its been written about, talked about, re-written about, etc etc. Yet it emerges as a discovery of novelty, no doubt to the joy of the author's banking account. Well, we all heard about it. Now - I challenge the readers of this blog to name ONE village that Germans burned for hiding Jews.

I live in the US. If I base my perception of what happen in WWII based on populare literature / TV, a quite skewed image emerges to the point that establishing a view that Poles commited Holocaust with a little help of Germans (the 'Polish Concentration Camps') sounds sensible.

This is not surprising because of blog like yours and mainstream media:

* Who in the world knows of that Poland lost 6 million citizens, half of them Jews, but as many non-Jews? No one ... just the Jews dies.

* Who knows that Poland was the only country were helping Jews was punishable by death to you and your family and in so many cases entire vilage? Helping is Poland was not what it was in say Holland

* There is a wonderful 'Shindler's List' with the great example of a righteous Germans. In fact there were many more Poles of that type. Where is an average westerner to learn from about Zegota or people like Irena Sendlerowa

* There are thousands of Poles who died saving Jews: an interesting and unique website to memorialize them here ... ask an average american Jew, he would not know that anyone else than Shindler existed. Yet those are the Poles that have the largest number righteous in Yad Vashem, but no one heard of any.

* and so on and so on ...

Why is that? Good question ... a bandwagon effect that you'll read about below definitely contributes.

-- Do not get confused. This is not to paint a lilly-white picture of Poland. This is about the painting a fair picture.

The point is NOT TO CONVINCE anyone of this forum of anything about Polish-Jewish relations. The point is that if you want to develop a fair opinion, and live outside of Poland or Israel, you need your own due-diligence. If you rely on Beatroot and the likes, you'll be fed with popular plateau micro-wave reheated opinions void of critical thought and effort to broaden fact base.

P.S.

Beatroot: your news in this post is about a news. Positive feedback / media on media. Your thinking in line with what everyone thinks. No challenge, no independence. This is what creates bandwagon effects.

The question: why be like everyone else, if you want to be a journalist? Dig deeper instead of copy paste - maybe you'll learn something. Otherwise, you just one of the people on bandwagon.

sonia said...

Beatroot,

You've definitely touched a nerve. This is a touchy subject in Poland. It always goes like this: a non-Pole (often non-Jewish) says something about anti-semitism and Poland. In response, Poles vehemently deny anti-semitism and come up with long lists of Poles performing good deeds towards Jews, and equally long lists of Poland being smeared in the West.

It's a strange reaction. Imagine saying something about anti-semitism in, say, Palestine (or any other Muslim country). The reaction would be very different. Nobody would be producing long lists of Arabs performing good deeds towards Jews. On the contrary, they would be proud of fighting against Jews, not of helping them.

This is really strange. Many Jews see Poles as enemies. They are open and honest about it. But I never met a Pole openly saying that s/he hated Jews. Never. Not once. (And I know many Poles, I lived there and my mother is Polish).

The only explanation I can see is this: Poles have this strange (and totally false) impression that all non-Poles love Jews. Therefore, to make a good impression on foreigners (another very strange obsession of Poles - they go nuts if foreigners refuse to admire them), they automatically deny any anti-semitism (as if anti-semitism was somewhere between pedophilia and necrophilia, instead of the most common phobia in the universe, shared by 80% of humanity). I have travelled everywhere in the world. The only countries where anti-semitism is rare is America and Australia. Elsewhere - Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa - i.e. 80% of the world's population - anti-semitism is rampant. And it's equally pervasive on the left and on the right. And it's always connected to anti-Americanism.

But only in Poland people get paranoid when you accuse them of anti-semitism. Only in Poland, instead of saying, 'of course I am, look what they are doing to Palestinians', they lash out at you and accuse you of smearing Poland.

Maciej Zabrowski said...

Dear Beatroot,

You said: "And I am suprised. First of all, the expression 'Polak' is an American one and something I had not really been aware of until I came to Poland. I am from London, so you would think I would hear about that kind of thing if ot was used widely."

I know what I heard when I was in the UK Beatroot. My friends, although jokingly, said that to me. We worked in a pub together with one American guy actually.

Keep in mind, it was famous English poet and dramatist, William Shakespeare (1564-1616), in "Hamlet" that mentioned "...the sledded Polacks on the ice..." (1.1.66), a light historical reference to the Norwegian, Danish, and Polish wars.

Yes, it is mostly an American term but sometimes heard in other countries as well.

Maciej

beatroot said...

Zaratustra
I am glad that we've established that although it has taken you a very long time. That does explain a lot.

It explains nothing except to your fertile imagination. I have been the same thing about blogging since last December (I think it was) when a similar debate came up about ‘citizen journalism’. And I wasn’t the one to bring the topic up again…it was you.

It also took sometime because first we had to get out of the way your paranoid ramblings about ‘deleting comments’. Why o why would I delete a comment by you?

The neurotic western-european practice of antisemitism where the Jew is either the blood-sucking banker or a krypto-Jewish politician does not apply here.

That’s just complete rubbish. Read your Dmowski (I am sure you have some!)…listen to the garbage on Radio Maryja….

You are right about Jewish-Polish relations being unique. Poland used to have the most tolerant attitude in Europe towards Jews (three hundred, two hundred years ago) that’s why so many came here. But that all changed by the 1930s.

But you are also right to point to the many Poles who helped Jews in WW II and something I have seen on the walls of the Yad Vashem museum in Israel.

Sonia: you are right about this being a ‘touchy subject’ here…...all the more reason to touch it. And I have heard some pretty weird things about Jews since I have been here.

Maciej – good quote from Shakespeare! But like I say, I am surprised. Stereotypes about Poles are few and far between in the UK as we have had a different experience of immigration from Poland than the US has. Poles first came to Poland as WW II flying ace heroes.

But I repeat …the posts I have put up about this subject have been neutral. It seems that just bringing up this subject makes me a Poloniaphobe…...illogical but so be it.

And I will still be bringing up this subject again in the future.

Yulia Shymenko said...

Yulia: What about the Katyn Massacre where it has been proven that many Jewish communists took part in?

Sonia: A very wrong example. In fact Polish Jews were disproportionately numerous among VICTIMS at Katyn (read any book about Katyn, especially Jozef Mackiewicz's one on this subject). And the order to carry out the Katryn Massacre were given by the Soviet Politburo, almost Jewish-free by that time...

Let’s first mention the facts and statistics more accurately about Katyn. In the period from April 3 to May 19, 1940 Some 22 thousand Poles (21,857 of which 700-900 Jews) were killed on the orders pursuant to a memorandum on NKVD letterhead to Joseph Stalin from Lavrenty Beria, the members of the Soviet Politburo — Stalin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Lazar Kaganovich, Mikhail Kalinin, Kliment Voroshilov, Anastas Mikoyan and Beria — signed an order to execute Polish intellectuals, nationalists, counter-revolutionaries. Percentage wise, 95.87% of the victims were Catholics and 4.12% were Jews (using the highest estimate). If you perform a similar analysis on how many Jews versus Catholics perished at the German Death Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau of which there were approximately 1,500,000 (highest range) victims murdered, about 1,365,000 Jews were murdered or about 91%, 110,000 Catholic Poles or about 7%, and the rest were others including Gypsies and Russian prisoners of war.

Sonia, looking at this comparison, you say that Jewish victims at Katyn represented a "disproportionate" figure. How is that? It must be noted that Russian Orthodox Christians and Jews are among those names which issued the killing order. At Auschwitz, Catholic Poles never were active guards nor killers there. That's a difference. Let's examine the backgrounds of the above mentioned on the NKVD letterhead: Stalin (Christian, but wife was), Beria, (mother was half Jewish), Molotov (Christian, wife was Jewish - Polina Zhemchuzina, chief of Food and Fish industry), Kaganovich (Jewish, one of the most powerful servants of Stalin, he was Stalins brother-in-law as well), Kalinin (Jewish, Bolshevik), Voroshilov (Christian, Jewish wife), Mikoyan (Christian, Jewish wife).

I usually provide my sources (often with links), whereas, you don't Sonia. Please read this book review by R. J. Stove in the American Conservatives of Stalin’s Last Crime: The Plot Against the Jewish Doctors 1948-1953". Here is an important quote:

"...not least because many leading Bolsheviks were Jews, and even those who were Gentiles (Sergei Kirov, V.M. Molotov, and Kliment Voroshilov, to name three of the most renowned) had Jewish wives. We find him, in his dictatorship’s early years, making anti-Semitic behavior punishable by imprisonment or death and deeming such behavior “the most dangerous vestige of cannibalism.” (Not for him, by this stage, Khrushchev’s folksy candor in complaining to Poland’s Communist leadership, “You have already too many Abramoviches.”) The Order of Lenin’s 1939 recipients included a batch of writers in Yiddish; Trotsky himself stopped short of bemoaning any anti-Jewish malice on Stalin’s part; as late as 1948, Jews accounted for 40 out of 190 Stalin-Prize recipients.

Yulia: "infamous NKVD leader Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich"

Sonia: "Kaganovitch wasn't a leader of NKVD. On the other hand, Feliks Dzierzynski, the founder of Cheka, was a Polish Catholic...

Correct Sonia, Kaganovitch wasn't a leader of the NKVD, my error, but he was one of the most treachourous Bolsheviks around and was instrumental in the Katyn affair and in the Ukrainian genocide, also known as the "Ironman" and Stalins right-hand man. Yes, Dzierzynski was a Pole and Catholic (his wife Jewish) and founder of the Cheka, however he died in 1926 (while Poland was independent) and was not involved in any way with the Katyn affair.

Yulia: "Jakub Berman's murder of thousands of Catholic Poles

Sonia: "Very convenient. I am afraid, however, than Berman's Polish Catholic boss Bierut bears a far greater responsability for those murders...

Until today, It is debatable whether Bierut was indeed Catholic as you say, or Jewish, or half and half. One source in a library provided his name as Boleslaw Bierut Rotenschwanz. So, I cannot comment on his background, however, a large percentage of those under Bierut were of Jewish origin.

Sonia: "That was the essence of Communism - Communists using Jews to kill Catholics and Catholics to kill Jews... In the Soviet Union, they were using Armenians to kill Azerbaijanis and the Azerbaijanis to kill Armenians... Pity you cannot see through such manipulations..."

Of course I do, and that is why a such a reference must be applied to conflicts such as Kielce, Koniuchy, and Jedwabne.

Remember, Polish Catholics do acknowledge their very small role played in the murdering of Jews (Kwasniewski, Glemp, Walesa, and countless others have apologized). Many Poles excecuted Communists of Jewish origin only because they were communists, and not always because of their Jewish origin. Communists of Jewish origin excuted Polish Catholics, as many times proven. When is the Jewish community going to apologize to Polish Catholics for such crimes? Poles have apologized too many times and it is well documented.

Yulia Shymenko said...

Beatroot: "But I repeat …the posts I have put up about this subject have been neutral. It seems that just bringing up this subject makes me a Poloniaphobe…...illogical but so be it."

Silly comment to say 'illogical'. If you truly wish to be fair, then bring up equal instances of Catholic Poles' crimes against Jews, and vice versa. Fair is fair, but of course, this is your blog.

And I will still be bringing up this subject again in the future.

Please do. What is this supposed to be, a threat? Hilarious beatroot. Again, there is nothing wrong with you exploring events which were either actual, or alleged. Again, just try to 'bring up' on an equal basis, something you refuse to do. Spare us that you are "...simply ignorant of an event where Polish Jews directly targeted Catholics just because they were catholics...". There are too many such crimes which you are afraid to admit. Instead, you only quote MSM headlines such as Kielce, Jedwabne, etc.

beatroot said...

Yulia - when you have time, can you email me at

thebeatroot@gmail.com

I have a little idea that you might be interested in...

Yulia Shymenko said...

Beatroot: "I have a little idea that you might be interested in..."

Is this a pretext for a 'date'? Oh my, I must go to the hairdresser!

beatroot said...

No date! Just an idea!!!

:-)))

ignacy said...

All "sides" in this argument make interesting and valid points and some vitriolic and dubious ones as well. The point I would like to make is that I don't think Beatroot has ever claimed that his blogs are comprehensive journalism. Sure, he has a point of view and it is biased even as he proclaims himself to be "neutral". Then again, the same is true of mainline journalism. And the commentaries here as well.

sonia said...

Yulia,

You fail to see the forest (anti-semitism) because of the trees (Jews). Communism was the most anti-semitic system in the world after Nazism. The difference was that while the Nazis insisted on being racially pure, the Communists didn't mind fucking Jewish girls and even marrying them.

The fact that most Communists had Jewish wives didn't prevent them from being anti-semitic. The most obvious example would be Gomulka, the Polish leader during the 1968 anti-semitic witchhunts, who had a Jewish wife too. She certainly didn't prevent thousands of her own being fired and expelled from the country. Kaganovitch might have been Jewish, but he didn't prevent the signing of the Hitler-Stalin pact in 1939 that directly led to the extermination of 6 millions of his own people.

Communists, Yulia, are Communists and Communists only (I know, my parents were Communists). If they are Jewish Communists, they hate Jewish religion the most and other religions slightly less. If they are Catholic Communists, they hate the Catholic religion the most and other religions slightly less.

Communism never served Catholics or Jews or even Communists themselves. It doesn't serve anyone. It's like a black hole, swallowing everything - religious identity, ethnic identity, even ideological identity - and spitting out bloodthirsty monsters devoid of faith or humanity.

In the early days of the Bolshevik revolution, a very large percentage of Communists were Jewish. To advance their careers, many non-Jewish Communists married Jewish girls to get ahead (both ways). Then, in the 1930's, they exterminated their fathers-in-law (Zinovievs and others). Some of their wives were sent to the gulags (like Molotov's Jewish wife, for example). By the late 1940's, having a Jewish wife became a political liability. By the time of the Slansky trial in Czechoslovakia and the Jewish doctor's plot in the Soviet Union, being Jewish behind the Iron Curtain became almost as dangerous as under the Nazis. But instead of Auschwitz, there was Siberia (Stalin, always a joker, even named a large swath of the taiga forest 'Jewish Autonomous Region of Birobidzhan')....

ignacy said...

adam michnik wrote:


The influential US daily Washington Post published on Sunday a review, by Nobel prize winner and Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel, of a new book by Jan Gross, the author of Neighbors. The subject of the book, titled Fear, is the persecution of Jews in post-war Poland in the years 1945-1946.


In the review, Elie Wiesel recalls his own experience from 10 years ago. His speech during the event commemorating the 50th anniversary of the pogrom in Kielce sparked - he writes - attacks across the wide range of the Polish press and those attacks were 'in fact anti-Semitic.'

Contrary to what Wiesel writes, his 1996 speech - chiefly the fragment referring to the dispute over the presence of Catholic crosses at the former Birkenau camp - was criticized by many people far removed from anti-Semitism, such as by father Józef Tischner on the pages of the Gazeta Wyborcza.

Moreover, Wiesel's review conveys the image of a country unable to confront the plague of anti-Semitism.

Several years ago, following the publication of Gross's book Neighbors about the destruction of a Jewish community in Jedwabne, Poland became the stage of a broad debate that was ignored by neither the Polish president nor the primate of the country's Catholic Church.

There is probably no other country in East Central Europe that would be accounting for the dark chapters of its own history with such seriousness and honesty.

That debate was as important as the publication of Gross's book.

A couple of weeks ago rabbi Michael Schudrich was assaulted by a hooligan on a Warsaw street. This was probably not the only case in the world of a hooligan assault on a rabbi.

Poland, however, is likely the only country where on the next day the president ostentatiously invited the rabbi to meet him and in front of the cameras expressed his solidarity with the victim of the assault.

Anyone who writes about anti-Semitism in Poland and ignores those facts, falsifies - even if unintentionally - the truth about Poland.



Gazeta Wyborcza, June 27, 2006

ignacy said...

For those who are interested, obsessed or whatever in this subject, there are quite a few cogent commentaries to the review article by Elie Wiesel in the Washington Post:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/comments/display?contentID=AR2006062201093

beatroot said...

Ignacy: good stuff...

...but you said Poland, however, is likely the only country where on the next day the president ostentatiously invited the rabbi to meet him and in front of the cameras expressed his solidarity with the victim of the assault.

Didn't Michnik, or maybe it was Schundrich himself, say those same words?

The meeting was one thing - I am not sure the only place in the world is right, but the signals governments send out are quite another.

Schundrich himself said in his statement that part of the government - LPR - are anti-Semites. I think his words were "a predictable silence from known anti-Semites, LPR"

The Chief Rabbi thinks that part of the POlish coalition government is hostile to him and people like him.

Concerned?

ignacy said...

Those were Michnik's words that I posted verbatim, attributing the source, figuring a lot of folks never followed up on Judith Szott's post which hyperlinked his article.

Yes, I am concerned, upset even, by the current Polish government, more than a few Polish political parties, Radio Maryja, racist and anti-Jewish soccer hooligans, and folks who deny or go out of their way to downplay Polish anti-semitism, especially those who start pointing their fingers at Jewish communists (who were Jewish by birth only -- citing those who married Jewish women would be laughable if it weren't taken so seriously by those dredging up such details). I'm also upset that quite a few people in the US think that most Poles were willing and eager partners to the Nazis in the Holocaust. I'm also concerned and upset about Nazi groups in the US and the US government's lack of action vis-a-vis the Jews prior to WWII and callousness even during the war. And I'm also befuddled and bothered by articles, blogs, and other media that paint a rather one-sided picture of Poland (even when it's offset by readers' comments). On this, Michnik's comments were right on the mark. Rather amazing, too, there were less than a half-dozen email responses to Elie Wiesel's review of _Fear_ in the Washington Post, much less than the several dozen readers' commentaries here on the Beatroot. BTW, the Washington Post notes online that folks are blogging about the issue on Beatroot (again, far more so than on the online edition of the Washington Post). Sad? Somehow, I think that Alfonso Soriano getting traded would evoke more of a rise from Post readers. Finally, I'm not upset that I'm rambling coz this is a blog. And I'm glad, Beatroot, that you're raising these issues even though I wish you were a bit more even-handed. I do appreciate your blog -- and think when you put it all together, readers' comments and all, it offers a more comprehensive picture of what's going on in Poland than that offered in the pages of the NY Times, the Washington Post, and any American paper I ever look at. So there!

ignacy said...

British Anti-Semitism
Rabbi Attacked in Manchester.
Blair Ignores Incident.

Read all about it:

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/s/122/122425_rabbi_attacked_by_racist_thugs.html

beatroot said...

Ignacy, if you want me to say that there is a growing problem in the UK I would sadly agree. The reason for that is actually multiculturalism. It's fine to have diversity but you also have to have common values. The Brits ain't got them any anymore.

As to the former comment:

Yeah, it’s OK to ramble…on blogs...but I like that kind of ramble anyway.

About being ‘more balanced’. It’s true there isn’t enough balance. I did start out as balanced and it went OK…...but who wants to be like the op-ed in the Washington Post or something? It’s a blog. There must be more to do with it than that?

And when the lines of argument got clearer, it got more people wanting to debate it. And that’s the point of blogs. To get people talking about politics again.

And like you say, the comments often give you an idea of what some Poles think about such provocative posts.

As far as Gross's book is concerned I have no opinion...because I have not read it!!!

Why is everyone calling me baissss???

You see, you try and be balanced and look what happenes?

……………..I’ve just photocopied your comment and now it’s in a little frame on the mantelpiece.

ignacy said...

What's happened, I think is a good thing, even if only one or two folks are open enuff to changing their way of looking at things so there's less hatred and antagonism instead of more.

Finally, rather than anything I've written being placed in a frame on your mantelpiece, I'd be happier if you put up Michnik's quote, especially the concluding sentence):

"There is probably no other country in East Central Europe that would be accounting for the dark chapters of its own history with such seriousness and honesty.

That debate was as important as the publication of Gross's book.

A couple of weeks ago rabbi Michael Schudrich was assaulted by a hooligan on a Warsaw street. This was probably not the only case in the world of a hooligan assault on a rabbi.

Poland, however, is likely the only country where on the next day the president ostentatiously invited the rabbi to meet him and in front of the cameras expressed his solidarity with the victim of the assault.

Anyone who writes about anti-Semitism in Poland and ignores those facts, falsifies - even if unintentionally - the truth about Poland.

Judith Szott said...

Sonia, very nice post and much so true, with the partial exception of one comment.

Yous said, "Communism was the most anti-semitic system in the world after Nazism."

I still am a firm believer that nothing will ever surpass Nazism in anti-semitic policy. Communism was more of a double-edged sword for the Jews of East/Central Europe. It often embraced them, they often embraced Communism...it sometimes gave them freedom, and they sometimes used Communism as a conduit to persecute and limit the freedom of their fellow Jews and Christians.

Yulia Shymenko said...

Hi Beatroot, sorry I didn't reply earlier, I had guests. What does your proposition relate to? I'm curious.

beatroot said...

This blog..that's all. No hairdressers...

Anonymous said...

All you have to do is look at who wrote it and that'll be enough to know not to read it.

I wonder how Jan Gross really lives with himself. It's obivious that he has some axe to grind with Poland. He's had egg on his face when everyone found out that German's killed Jews in the barn. But he states that the Poles did so. What research did he do? First off, he never went to the city, he never dug through archives to research this event. His theory is based on a communist Jew who was never there to see the killings happen in the first place. What kind of research is this?

Racism and prejudice is a two way street as well. For him to call all of Poland anti-jew is racist on his part. It's unforunate that people will read one or two books and believe everything inside it. No wonder he has great success in the U.S..

During WW2, only in Poland was it a death penalty to hide jewish in your house from the Nazi's. About 100,000 Poles died because they hid them from safety, yet Gross has the nerve to say that Poland is anti-semitic? He's got some nerve.

Anonymous said...

Just so you all understand the acual history: The Germans invaded Poland from the West, the Soviets from the East. They divided Poland in two. On the Soviet side, no one was choosing between Stalin and Hitler, anyone who conspired with the Communists did so to advantage themselves, not because they had to choose the lesser of two evils. Like the majority of people stuck on the Soviet side before the Germans advanced East chose to do, the people who cinspired could have chosen not to do so like the majority of individuals in Poland. When the Germans drove the Soviets out of Eastern Poland, both the Poles and Germans sought retribution against Soviet conspirators. Anyone who says that individuals conspired with the Soviets because they had no choice, because otherwise they would go to the camps is apologizing for those actions.