Blaming Holocaust on Polish wrong, irresponsible
January 9, 2009
I do not really know how to express how appalled I was to read the article "Middle East crisis reflects unworkable political solution" with its sickening claim about alleged Polish responsibility for the Holocaust.
I challenge you name a single historian who would support the idiotic claim that ethnic Poles killed more Jews than Germans. This is almost certainly based on the largely correct claims that in a few incidents, such as Jedwabne, ethnic Poles did murder Polish Jews rather than the Germans. Still, these incidents amount to a few thousand at most being murdered by the Poles. This can't be compared even to the tens of thousands killed by the Lithuanians, Rumanians and Ukrainians and it certainly can't be compared to the millions killed by the Germans.
The statement that Poland orchestrated the Holocaust is beyond belief. It was the Germans who planned and carried out the Holocaust.
The World Jewish Congress has stated that "Poland should not be blamed for the Holocaust; to blame here are the Nazis and their allies."
David Peleg, The Ambassador of Israel to Warsaw, Poland, further echoed these words when he said:
We, being Jews and Israelis, with reject resolutely terminology such as 'Polish concentration camps.' These prejudicial and erroneous phrases represent primarily testimony about ignorance and lack of understanding of fundamental historical truth. Every thinking man knows that it was the Nazis who selected Poland as the central site for dreadful genocide of extermination of European Jews. On the Polish soil, the Germans built terrifying camps where they systematically murdered 4.5 million Jews (including 3 million Polish Jews) and other nationalities including thousands of Poles."
Are you aware that Poland was the only occupied country in Europe to have an organization, Zegota, to help the Jews?
Are you aware that a specially trained volunteer force of Christians entered the Warsaw Ghetto to fight alongside the Jews? Are you aware that on three occasions Polish Christians attacked the Germans in an attempt to break out the Jews during the Warsaw Ghetto rising?
Are you aware that Poland was the only country where the Germans found it necessary to issue the automatic death penalty for simply giving a Jew a glass of water? Are you aware not only was the person helping the Jew murdered but their families as well? Are you aware that failure to inform on a neighbor hiding Jews was punished by deportation to a concentration camp?
Are you aware Poland has more righteous (i.e. those who aided Jews during the Holocaust) than any other country? Are you aware that whole villages, e.g. Markowa, sometimes worked together to save Jews? Are you aware that Irena Sendler was up for a Nobel Peace Prize for what she did?
Are you aware Poland was only one of three occupied countries not to have a collaborated government? Are you aware that Poland, unlike most other countries, did not have a volunteer SS division?
Are you aware that Poland tried to publicize the deaths of Jews but the Western Allies (i.e., U.S. and U.K.) suppressed it? Are you aware that even the American Jewish Congress did not believe the Polish government about the Germans mass-murdering Jews? Are you aware Poland printed booklets and made radio broadcasts themselves trying to raise public awareness?
Are you aware Poland wanted to bomb the death camps but the Western Allies vetoed the idea? Are you aware Poland wanted to bomb the railway lines to the camps but the Western Allies vetoed the idea? Are you aware Poland suggested bombing German cities in reprisal? Are you aware that Poland suggested warning the Germans they would face war crime trials at the end of the war to hopefully deter the Germans (again vetoed by the U.S. and U.K.)?
I am not claiming there was no anti-Semitism in Poland, but Poland was not responsible for the Holocaust.
Please buy the brilliant DVD by the late Jagna Wright called "The Other Truth." As the Independent, a major U.K. newspaper, said about it, "the conventional view of Poland as a nation of anti-Semites is definitively challenged." If only you were aware of the truth.
Please delete this dire article immediately and apologize for the hurt done to a wronged nation. The Polish embassy, Polish organizations in the U.S. and members of the Polonia beyond the U.S. are being informed of this libelous claim.