Friday, 18 November 2016

The Zookeeper's Wife



 
The real-life story of one working wife and mother who became a hero to hundreds during World War II. In 1939 Poland, Antonina Żabińska [...] and her husband, Dr. Jan Żabiński [...] , have the Warsaw Zoo flourishing under his stewardship and her care. When their country is invaded by the Nazis, Jan and Antonina are stunned – and forced to report to the Reich’s newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck [...]. To fight back on their own terms, Antonina and Jan covertly begin working with the Resistance – and put into action plans to save lives out of what has become the Warsaw Ghetto, with Antonina putting herself and even her children at great risk.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Righteous Among the Nations meet in Warsaw


A meeting of over 70 Polish 'Righteous Among the Nations' has been held at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Polin, in Warsaw, on the 30th anniversary of the Polish Society of the Righteous Among the Nations. This was the first such gathering ever organised (Polskie Radio Righteous Among the Nations meet in Warsaw 16.10.2016). 
Polish citizens who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust took part in a ceremony held on Sunday. “Each month, sometimes even each week, one of us passes away. We will soon be gone,” said Józef Walaszczy, Deputy President of the Polish Society of the Righteous Among the Nations. Jan Kasprzyk, Head of the Office for Veterans and Victims of Oppression, noted that Poland was the only country in occupied Europe where offering any kind of help to a person of Jewish faith or origin was immediately punished by death. "Despite that there were those who were ready to sacrifice their life so that their compatriot, fellow citizen and human being could survive," Kasprzyk said. "And it was Poland’s Underground State that operated a council of aid to Jews ‘Żegota’,” he added.
The Righteous Among the Nations medal has been awarded since 1963 by the Institute of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. To date, 6,643 Poles have received the medals. They constitute the largest national group honoured in this way by the Yad Vashem Instiute. In total the Righteous Among the Nations medal has been awarded to 26,119 people so far. Yet still many Jews in Israel, the USA and elsewhere prefer to downplay this aspect of Polish-Jewish relations in their one-sided attempt to blacken the reputation of the Poles to create cardboad cutout 'enemies' for their un-nuanced twisted caricatures of recent history being taught to the younger generation by hate-mongering 'educators' of the calibre of Rabbi Friedman.



Thursday, 8 September 2016

"Dangerous" to Hold Bigots Accountable for their words?


Daniella Peled explains "Why Poland’s 'Death Camp' Law Is So Dangerous" (sic) Haaretz Sep 08, 2016
The urge to control public debate and legislate one exclusive national historical narrative - as in Poland, Turkey and Russia - signals a fragile democracy and sense of self.
Methinks the author really has not the foggiest idea what the law is about. But if it makes ranters lijke the Rabbi Friedman who was the original subject of this blog accountable for spreading their bile, and arrant provocative lies, then I am all for it. What people like him are attempting can in no way be called "public debate". It is hate-speech.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Yad Vashem: 'New Polish Bill Is Very Close to Holocaust Denial


Yad Vashem Officials Slam Polish Government: 'New Bill Is Very Close to Holocaust Denial' Haaretz Aug 24, 2016
Israeli research institute says effort to forbid claims that Poles collaborated during Holocaust ‘makes Poland part of the anti-liberal movement picking up speed worldwide.’ 
So Yad Vashem joins the rabid ranting Rabbis. The bill to which it refers is about the phrase "Polish Death Camps". It seems the scholars of this "research institute" need reminding that not only Jews died in the death camps the Nazis built in Poland. Perhaps Yad Vashem want to rename them "Jewish death camps"?
 

Friday, 17 June 2016

False Premises: "Freedom of..." precisely what in America?


In America the sort of hate-mongering represented by Rabbi Friedman and his Rambam boys is considered acceptable ( Justin Worland, 'Westboro Baptist Church Plans to Protest Funerals for Orlando Shooting Victims' Time June 17, 2016).
The notorious Westboro Baptist Church said it will protest the funerals of victims of the shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that left 49 victims dead. The anti-gay church—known for protesting the funerals of U.S. service members and notable gay people—said in a statement posted on its website that “God sent the shooter.” Orlando Police confirmed on Twitter that the department had received a letter from the church saying they planned to come. Despite universal condemnation across the political spectrum, local authorities have little recourse to stop the church’s protests. The Supreme Court upheld the group’s right to free speech in public places in 2011.

The Supreme court then needs to get itself a proper definition of the difference between freedom to express an opinion, and deliberately and obtrusively intruding on the freedom of others with inflamatory hate speech. In reality a "church" which calls its website "Godhatesfags.com" is obviously a gathering of the same kind of disturbed homophobes as the disturbed individual that "expressed" his opinion by shooting up a nightclub in Orlando. I hope on the bus down to Orlando the "Church" considers the Prayer of St Francis "Lord, make me the Instrument of Thy peace". Of course "peace" is not what these jackasses want any more than Rabbi Friedman really wanted any kind of dialogue with anyone about his false claims.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Goska's book in Polish


I received today my copy of the Polish translation of Goska's book "Biegański, stereotyp Polaka bydlaka w stosunkach polsko - żydowskich i amerykańskiej kulturze popularnej".

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Friedman's Press Release


Here is the press release announcing the organization of the School's protest in New York. Poland is compared to North Korea:
PRESS RELEASE: Rally on Holocaust Memorial Day, Thursday, May 5th @ 1:00PM
Rally Against Polish Government to Protest Attempt to Deny Polish
War Crimes During the Holocaust
Approximately 200 students including children and grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors will be holding a rally on Holocaust Remembrance Day to protest attempts by the Polish government to rewrite history and deny the significant role that Polish citizens had in perpetrating the Holocaust.
Dr. Jan Tomasz Gross, a world-renowned historian and former professor of history at Princeton University, authored an earth shattering book, Neighbors, where he highlights the significant contribution of ordinary Polish citizens to the destruction of European Jewry. He writes in graphic detail how, in the Polish town of Jedwabne, Polish peasants, rounded up their neighbors, 1300 Jewish residents, and forced them into a wooden barn, locked the door and set the barn ablaze. This heartless and brutal crime was one of the first documented historical accounts of Polish anti-Semitism in World War II. Dr. Gross’ book was a National Book Award Finalist.
The Polish government has long maintained that this event was an isolated incident.
Recently, Dr. Gross mentioned in a recent interview that in his opinion, “Poles killed more Jews than Germans.” Responding to this statement, the Polish government reacted in an uproar. Charges were filed against Dr. Gross for “insulting the state” and a movement to strip him of his “Order of Merit Award” has been advanced. He also has been threatened with prison time for these “crimes.” The investigation is currently ongoing.
According to rally organizer, Rabbi Zev Friedman, “I’ve heard many survivors speak of the glee that their Polish neighbors had when Jews were being mercilessly persecuted. It was reported that eyewitnesses in the Warsaw ghetto saw Poles watching approvingly or even helping out, acting as spotters as German soldiers shot Jews. Today’s rally calls on the Polish government not just to drop charges and exonerate Dr. Gross but to admit their history and take full responsibility for what its citizens did to their own neighbors during the Holocaust. The attempts of the government of Poland, which holds itself out to be a democracy, to stifle the free speech and historical documentation of an internationally acclaimed professor of history, smacks of charges one would expect to hear emanating from North Korea and other totalitarian regimes.”
Place: Polish Consulate to the United Nations: 233 Madison Ave, New York, NY, 10017
Time: Thursday, May 5, at 1:00pm
Contact: Rabbi Zev Friedman, Dean of Rambam Mesivta High School [...]
Poland has the right to have a say in the writing of the history of Poland, surely. The history of the Second World War is self-evidently not just the history of the Jews which is what the Ranting Rabbi wanted to make it here.

Which Poles were IN the Warsaw Ghetto when it was being cleared? There was a wall around it to keep the Jews in and the Poles out. References please Rabbi. If there were Poles collaborating with Nazi occupiers, would it be an exception among the occupied countries of Europe? There were no collaborators in France, Denmark, the Channel Islands? Yes there were, of course, wherever somebody sees social advantage in changing sides, there will be those who do. In France the repression of the Jews under German occupation also involved French citizens, whether "gleeful" or not we cannot say. I assume that on Holocaust Remembrance Day 2017, the ranting Rabbi will take his pliable tagalong students to the French Embassy.

We are told the kids that will be involved are "children and grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors". He does not say if they are the descendants of Polish, French or Hungarian Jews, but there were survivors from Poland too. The number of surviving Jews who have memories of Poland is a witness to the size of the Jewish community concentrated in precisely that country - which may be seen as testimony to many decades and centuries of relatively peaceful co-existence. Rabbi Friedman goes beyond all ethical bounds as an educator, expounding in his teaching his vision of hatred in opposition to a more balanced approach.

No "charges" have been pressed against Jan Gross, so there is nothing to "drop". His historical conclusions continue to be a matter of discussion of both scholars and society in Poland and beyond, but Rabbi Friedman wishes himself to shout down views which differ from his own and the Jewish community he aims to represent. It is not clear how the "Polish government" is |stifling" either the free speech of a writer working in the USA, still less how they are "stifling" his |"historical documentation". Any historical documents concerning the Holocaust which Jan Gross may have in his private possession need to be deposited in public archives where they can be used by other scholars too.

Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' seeing surge of popularity in Europe


Rick Noak, 'Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' seeing surge of popularity in Europe', The Washington Post June 12, 2016
Few would have imagined that Adolf Hitler’s autobiography “Mein Kampf” would again become a bestseller in the 21st century. But that’s exactly what happened earlier this year with the expiration of a German state copyright that had been used to prohibit reprinting of the book. [...] “Mein Kampf” has been available in German bookstores since January – but only in an annotated version that is supposed to point out inconsistencies and lies in Hitler’s arguments. There are more than 3,000 additional comments in that version. According to German law, publishing the book without annotations would be considered seditious. But that is what right-wing publishing company Schelm is now planning to do. Prosecutors are investigating the plans and could file charges even before the book gets published. [...] If published, the unannotated book would primarily have to be sold online, as most German bookstore chains would likely refuse to put it on their shelves. The majority of German bookstores had ordered only a handful of copies of the annotated version in January, despite massive interest among readers, which later made it a bestseller within weeks.
Here's an article (in Polish) about the January edition . There has recently been criticism of an Italian newspaper which has distributed copies of the book
The Italian newspaper Il Giornale distributed copies of the book to readers of its Saturday edition – a decision that drew heavy criticism from Jewish groups in the country.[...] But the center-right daily, which is owned by the family of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, says its version of the text was annotated by an Italian historian and was distributed with the goal of preventing the mistakes of the past from being repeated. [...] Alessandro Sallusti, the paper’s director, in an editorial said [...] “Because with certain winds that blow here and there in Europe and in the Middle East it is necessary to understand what shapes the evil can take – in order not to repeat a fatal mistake,” Sallusti wrote, referring to Hitler’s rise to power.
I wonder how many of the critics have actually read the book. Actually going through it with a commentary would indeed reveal the true nature and worth of the "ideas" it represents. More of a mystery is why contemporary readers did not see through it straight away. On the one hand, I think the book needs to be read, people need to think about it, giving it the status of forbidden literature simply increases the power it may exercise over feeble minds. On the other hand, there is the issue that not everybody who gets a copy would read it with the same critical eye. These people for example:

Werset
One wonders how literate and critically-thinking any of them actually are. But then is that sufficient reason to postulate a paternalistic state which would keep the book from the public domain? In fact, you can download copies as an ebook from the Internet, get secondhand copies of bootleg editions in markets.

There was no Polish edition of the book before 1939. Similarly there were no publications during the period of the People's Republic and the book was forbidden and withdrawn from libraries. After 1989 there were in fact just four editions in Polish. The total number of copies of the Polish versions is not known, but probably is less than ten thousand for all of the editions together:
  • SCRIPTA MANENT publisher, Krosno 1992, ISBN 83-900029-0-6 – translated from the german.
  • Werset publisher, Kraków 1992, ISBN 83-900029-0-6 – translation from the English translation (!) with stylistic corrections, for example unnecessary repetition is cut.
    XXL 2005
  • XXL Publisher – "Wydawnictwo Książki Niezwykłej”, 2005, ISBN 83-921822-0-0.
  • A fourth publisher UZVARA in Daugavapils (Latvia) published a translation in Polish. This appeared in at least two different formats (covers and endpages) looking very much like they were intended to mimic the original 1940s edition.
In 2005 the publisher XXL was taken to court by Bavaria for the breach of their copyright over the text of Mein Kampf. They demanded the book be withdrawn from sale. The case dragged on for a few years, and in 2009 the publisher received a three months suspended sentence and a fine of 10000 zloties and the whole remaining stock of the edition was destroyed.

There is not currently an edition of the Polish translation of this book in print.




Saturday, 11 June 2016

Poland's Forgotten Past as Haven for Jews

Friday, 10 June 2016

The Brute Polak Stereotype in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture


Amazon
The book by Dr Danusha V. Goska  [William Paterson U., Wayne, New Jersey], 'Bieganski: The Brute Polak Stereotype in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture' (Academic Studies Press, July 1, 2010) is of relevance to what Rabbi Friedman and a lot of other US Jews are saying. I do not suppose the ranting Rabbi will have read it or any other academic Press book on Poland. The Author has a blog: "Bieganski the Blog" which contains a lot of interesting and related material. I do not expect the Ranting Rabbi's tagalong students have been there either. I've not yet read the book (got it ordered), but here are some reviews:
"Bieganski is a truly important book because it challenges and demolishes the widely held belief that Poles are nothing more than ignorant and brutish anti-Semites who played a central role in causing the Holocaust. Goska does a first-rate job of describing how Jews and Poles really interacted with each other over their rich history together. Let's hope that this book is widely read and helps change the conventional wisdom about Polish-Jewish relations." (John J. Mearsheimer, R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago)

"Danusha Goska's daring and far-reaching study examines the sources and prevalence of stereotyped images of Poles as brutal, subhuman creatures. Drawing on her extensive research in history, popular culture, and folklore, and also on interviews of Poles and Jews in America today, interviews of both stereotypers and victims of stereotyping, she teaches us all something profound about how the image of the Polak originated and why it continues to flourish." (John Guzlowski, author of The Third Winter of War: Buchenwald and Lightening and Ashes)

"'Bieganski' is the name of an anti-Semitic Polish character in William Styron's 1979 novel Sophie's Choice. Goska [...]  confronts the stereotypes conveyed in Polak jokes and conflations of them with other East European Christians, e.g., in the 2006 film Borat.* Based on interviews with American Jews on storytelling support of the Biegenski trope; analyses of portrayals of Poles and Jews in American media; prewar and post-Holocaust Jewish thought and literature; the middleman minority theory; and parallels between stigmatized minorities, she examines how Poles and Jews have historically defined themselves as opposites. The author, a Polish Catholic, acknowledges the support of many Jews in addressing this discomforting theme." (Annotation ©2010 Book News Inc. Portland, OR)

"Goska shows that negative Polish stereotypes, unlike negative stereotypes of other national, racial, and ethnic groups, continue to be acceptable…Goska does an admirable job showing negative Polish stereotypes...Other writers must force open widely the door Goska has opened." (Daniel T. Weaver, Upstream Two: A Mohawk Valley Journal)

“Goska makes an important effort to demolish the ‘dumb Polack’ stereotype and the view that Poles are brutish, ignorant, and anti-Semitic by analyzing the image’s origins in Europe and its adoption and perpetuation in US culture. . . . Recommended.” (R. K. Byczkiewicz, Central Connecticut State University CHOICE (February 2011))

The book has been published this year in Polish "Biegański: Stereotyp Polaka bydlaka w stosunkach polsko-żydowskich i amerykańskiej kulturze popularnej" (Danusha V. Goska, publisher Wysoki Zamek, 2016).
Książek, artykułów czy opracowań dotyczących polskiego antysemityzmu publikuje się w Stanach mnóstwo. Antypolonizm, na którym skupia się Goska, to temat, o którym mówi się rzadko albo wcale. [...] Skłonność amerykańskich elit intelektualnych do postrzegania Polaków z perspektywy polish jokes i ich stereotypizacji z wyeksponowaniem antysemityzmu jest przedmiotem szerokiej analizy przeprowadzonej przez autorkę Biegańskiego. To szokująca lektura, która może zmienić nasze myślenie o amerykańskim śnie.
* the comedy figure Borat of course is supposedly from Kazakhstan, which is a little east of "Eastern Europe".

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Europe’s largest convention on Jewish heritage opens in Warsaw


International conference on Jewish heritage opens in Warsaw 08.06.2016 12:41
Artists, educators, museum curators and exhibitors are gathering at Warsaw’s Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews on Wednesday for a three-day conference dedicated to Jewish cultural heritage. The event is to provide a platform for exchanging experience, inspiration and practices, says conference coordinator Małgorzata Owczarska. “The goal of the conference is to gauge the progress of work on Jewish cultural heritage, to assess what role it plays in modern-day Europe and determine how we envision the future for projects of this kind in the coming years,” Owczarska said. Billed as Europe’s largest convention of experts specialising in the field, the conference will be attended by prominent academics such as Diana Pinto, from the London-based Institute of Jewish Policy Research, and Michael Peter Edson, from the UN Live Museum for Humanity. On Friday, institutions will have the opportunity to present their projects and ideas for promoting Jewish heritage at an event accompanying the conference. The so-called Project Park, located outside the museum, will host a series of film screenings, workshops and interactive installations. The event is open to the public. For more information on the conference, entitled Jewish Cultural Heritage. Projects, Methods, Inspirations, go to the museum’s website.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Legal Measures Sought to Fight Ignorant "Polish Death Camp" Snipes


 
 The ranting Rabbi and his tagalong flock might do well to be careful what they say in future: International law firm to help against "Polish concentration camps" PAP 6th June 2016
The Dentons international law firm will help Poland in its battle against the use of the phrases "Polish concentration camps" and "Polish death camps" by international media. A letter of intent in the matter was signed by Polish Culture Minister Piotr Glinski and Dentons chief Elliott Portnoy in Warsaw on Monday. Commenting the move, Glinski reminded that Dentos was the world's biggest law firm, and stressed that it offered to aid Poland in the matter free of charge. Glinski said Poland had undertaken various measures against the use of the phrase "Polish concentration camps", but admitted that support from Dentons may prove "very useful in fighting this shameful practice". In this context he reminded that World War Two death camps in Poland were set up and run by the Germans and stressed that Poland will not agree to suggestions of its co-responsibility for Nazi Germany's wartime crimes. "We are stating this clearly: we will not allow Poland's good name to be trodden upon, and for us to be attributed with (...) co-responsibility for the genocide that was caused by (...) the German state. Those were Nazi-German death camps", Glinski stressed. He added that Poland had undertaken various measures in the matter but admitted that help from Dentons could prove "useful". "We in Poland are trying to combat this lie in various ways (...). But of course legal aid from an office with over 100 branches worldwide (...) will be very useful in fighting this shameful practice", the minister said, adding that Dentons will now "strive together with us to protect Poland's good name". Glinski also informed that the law firm promised to compile a report on the use of the questioned phrases.
It will be interesting to see what in fact Denton can do if, for example, a journalist in Kazakhstan uses the phrase. Of course they can send a sternly worded cease and desist letter and threaten legal action is no retraction is published, but actually putting that threat into action might be a chastening experience. Who, precisely, is slandered by the phrase? The accused entity is the authority ruling Poland in 1942 (or would that be 1939?) to 1945 (or since some camps were used later to inter other prisoners, would that too be extended later?). In what way is the present Polish government a side in the conflict around what the Polish authorities did or did not do in that period? Under which national or international legislation will such legal judgement be sought?

In any case, such a case would have to first prove intentionality. If one says African shipwrecks, it is clear that we are talking about wrecks of ships now in or near African territorial waters, not that all ships under the water were African in origin, some are Dutch, some English, some are Byzantine....

The banner
Back home there has just been a ruling which puts this attempt into some perspective. During a Legue match with Piast Gliwice fans of the Warsaw football club Legia hung a banner on the stadion: threatening the Committee for the Defence of Democracy, the Nowoczesna political party, the staff of the liberal newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, liberal journalists Tomasz Lis, Monika Olejnik and "other whores"  ("KOD, Nowoczesna, GW, Lis, Olejnik - inne ladacznice, dla was nie będzie gwizdów, będą szubienice!") for you the gallows are waiting! Some of the people thus threatened referred the matter to the Polish state Prosecutor who ruled that no crime had been committed as this was just "polemics" (see here in Gazeta Wyborcza).

It seems to me that with the sharp rise in recent months of hate speech and intolerance of other groups coming primarily from the right wing (often supported by members of the Polish Church), Polish Culture Minister Piotr Glinski would do far better to spend more time on the culture of Poles in today's Poland rather than what far-off journalists write about events in the 1940s.


Sunday, 5 June 2016

'Rescuing Warsaw's overgrown Jewish graves


The position of the Okopowa cemetery in 1945 (black outline)
just outside the Ghetto flattened by the Nazi occupier,
 superimposed on the modern city (Google earth)
Alex Duval Smith, 'Rescuing Warsaw's overgrown Jewish graves' BBC News, 5th June 2016
Nature has taken over some of Poland's Jewish cemeteries. But a group of volunteers is trying to ensure those buried in them aren't forgotten. Alicja Mroczkowska, one of the organisers, hands out gardening gloves. We've a choice of rakes and shears for implements. Alicja says the less energetic ones among us can do the railings. She decants black rustproof paint into small pots. Our little band of a dozen volunteers heads off into Warsaw's main Jewish cemetery, past the statue of Janusz Korczak - the orphanage director who died at Treblinka after he refused to be parted from the children in his care. Okopowa Cemetery lies behind a high red-brick wall, right in the centre of the Polish capital.  But it is a million miles in space and time from the city's slick glass towers and ticking pedestrian crossings. Birds dart between tall acacias and maple trees. Nature has got the upper hand on once-imposing 19th Century sepulchres. In some places, sandstone headstones look like they're drowning in waves of pale green creepers. Time, here, is measured by the speed at which ivy grows. The cemetery is vast. So far, enough of it has been cleared for 82,000 names to be entered into a database. But up to 200,000 bodies may have been buried here in the past couple of centuries.
The Jewish community is struggling to maintain such sites in good order, and many out-of-use cemeteries are derelict which is why in some cases their Polish neighbours help in their upkeep.
There are 1,400 Jewish burial places in Poland. Under restitution laws, these are gradually being returned to the Jewish community. But according to the country's Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich, there are only 40,000 Jews living in Poland today. There is no money to maintain the graveyards. Hence our little army of plucky volunteers with packed lunches, a wheelie bin and a wheelbarrow.
Why are they doing this? Volunteer Karol Sawicki cleared the section around six strangers' graves
I ask him if he's Jewish. ''I have no idea,'' he says. "I have my suspicions, like thousands of Poles. My granddad was an orphan. He had three birth certificates with three dates from different villages in Ukraine.'' Karol is a manager for a children's retail clothing chain. I ask if he takes part in the cemetery clean-ups because of a faint Jewish voice inside himself? ''Maybe. Probably,'' he says. These are matters that, until recently, were not easily discussed in Poland. The post-war Communist years didn't mark an end to anti-Semitism. The present nationalist government applies so-called "memory politics".  It's a policy that frames Poland's history around two things - the heroism of Catholics who saved Jews and the wartime deaths of three million non-Jewish Poles. Such a weighty agenda does not leave space for some of the by-products of genocide - collaboration, greed, betrayal - and that which Karol calls ''the kinds of things that go on in all families'' [...] Karol would like to see the state of Israel contribute to the survival of Okopowa. ''We can only do so much. Even a ruin needs maintaining. But Israel won't help. Israel wants people to go and live there. It considers Poland to be a closed book - history, finished,'' he says.
"The volunteers at central Warsaw's Jewish cemetery are fighting a losing battle against the creeping of time and of ivy. But Karol and Monika aren't discouraged. It's their history, too. Image caption Student Krystyna Botkina was relieved to find some graves commemorating long life In just a few hours, Karol has cleared a section of six graves. He's meticulously raked the ground around them. For a short while, until the weeds grow back, the sun can brighten the blackened concrete tombs of six strangers who died in the ghetto".

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Ragrod Teen Arrested for Vandalising Jewish Heritage Monument


It seems Gideon Taylor need not have feared Polish inaction in the case of the Rajgród incident:
'Teen arrested for allegedly smashing Holocaust memorial in Poland' JTA May 31, 2016
'Rajgród: Znieważenie i zdewastowanie pomnika żydowskiego. 16-latek zatrzymany' www.wspolczesna.pl 31 May 2016 
A teenager in Poland was arrested for allegedly smashing a Holocaust monument and scrawling anti-Semitic slogans and a neo-Nazi symbol on it. The 16-year-old had escaped from a state juvenile care center, the PAP news agency reported Tuesday, quoting a police spokeswoman. The teenager did not say why he smashed the Star of David on the monument in Rajgrod, in northeast Poland, the spokeswoman said. Police said the boy last week spray-painted offensive slogans and Odin’s cross, a neo-Nazi and white supremacist symbol, on the monument. The slogans were “Send you the gas” and “F— the whores,” according to police.
And the Polish news:
Dewastatorem żydowskiego pomnika pamięci w Rajgrodzie okazał się 16-latek. Zniszczył i pomalował monument czerwoną farbą, pisząc niecenzuralne, obraźliwe słowa. "Je... was k...! Won do gazu!" - takie słowa napisał 16-latek na pomniku poświęconemu rajgrodzkim Żydom, którzy zginęli w Treblince. Do zdarzenia doszło w minionym tygodniu w Rajgrodzie. W minioną niedzielę policjanci grajewskiej komendy Policji ustalili sprawcę znieważenia pomnika upamiętniającego dawny cmentarz żydowski w Rajgrodzie. Praca śledczych doprowadziła do ujawnienia sprawcy tego chuligańskiego wybryku. Okazał się nim 16–letni mieszkaniec gminy Rajgród. Materiały w tej sprawie już trafiły do sądu rodzinnego i nieletnich, który teraz zdecyduje o dalszym losie młodego człowieka. Do zdewastowania pomnika doszło w nocy, z 26 na 27 maja. Wówczas patrol policji zauważył, że monument został pomalowany czerwoną farbą oraz zostały na nim naniesione sprayem obraźliwe hasła oraz krzyż celtycki.
Now, what about the Italian incident?

Monday, 30 May 2016

Rajgród Monument Vandalised


'Holocaust Monuments Vandalized in Poland and Italy' JTA May 30, 2016
Newly-erected Holocaust monuments in Poland and Italy were vandalized by individuals who wrote on them far-right and far-left slogans, respectively. The Polish monument, which was unveiled in 2014 in the country’s northeast, was hit for the second time in a little over a year by unidentified culprits who broke off part of its surface and spray-painted expletives and a neo-Nazi symbol on what remained. [...] the monument’s stone tablet, which resembles a headstone, was shattered where it used to feature a Star of David etching according to Radio Bialystok, which reported that the attack occurred in recent days in Raigrod and was discovered Friday. The assailants spray painted in red offensive slogans and Odin’s Cross – a White supremacist version of the Celtic Cross, which consists of a square cross interlocking with or surrounded by a circle. The monument was erected in September 2014 in Raigrod, 130 miles northeast of Warsaw, and vandalized for the first time approximately half a year later. “The vandalization of this monument twice in 13 months is doubly painful,” said Gideon Taylor, chair of operations of The World Jewish Restitution Organization. Beyond the damage caused by the act itself, the destruction was an attack on the memory of the genocide, he wrote in a statement Monday. “The authorities must step forward and take serious measures to find the perpetrators and to protect this and other such monuments,” he added. 

Some 750 Jews lived in Raigrod before the Holocaust, constituting a third of the town’s population.
Read more: http://www.haaretz.com/jewish/news/1.722305 [This article also contains a very clear 'Poles-caused the Holocaust' approach which needs to be corrected by looking at the testimonies of the Polish witnesses which do not tally with the version presented by the Jewish newspaper].

I am sure that everyone agrees that Poland of course, a sovereign state, has the right to commemorate the history of its territory in any way it chooses, and to punish those that damage elements of that commemoration as they see fit. I do not think it is the position of outside bodies, however 'entitled' they may feel to dictate to them what they do. Mr Taylor oversteps the mark here.



Friday, 27 May 2016

Friedman's Protest Attacks Poland

Jan Cieckowski.blogspot.com 



OSTATNIO PRZED KONSULATEM GENERALNYM RP W NOWYM JORKU RABIN ZEV MEIR FRIEDMAN ZORGANIZOWAŁ MANIFESTACJĘ. RAZEM ZE SWOIMI UCZNIAMI OSKARŻAŁ POLAKÓW O WSPÓŁUDZIAŁ W HOLOKAUŚCIE. Jako pierwsza sprawa opisała Anna Marciniak z Nowego Dziennika Polish Daily News.
6 maja 2016 r., rektor Rambam Mesivta High School, rabin Zev Meir Friedman, razem ze swoimi uczniami, zorganizował manifestację. Protestowano przeciwko fałszowaniu przez Polskę historii Holokaustu, szczególnie unikano kwestii odpowiedzialności Polaków za Holokaust. Podczas zgromadzenia mogliśmy usłyszeć takie oto zdania rabina Friedmana : Jesteście odpowiedzialni za Holokaust, bo pozwoliliście, by na terenie waszego kraju powstało najwięcej obozów śmierci (…) Izraelscy politycy mówią, że antysemityzm wysysacie z mlekiem matki. 

Oczywiście, aby nie być gołosłownym, żydowski duchowny raczył poinformować skąd czerpie wiedzę na ten temat, w szczególności jeśli chodzi o zbrodnie w Jedwabnem: O tym pisze Gross, a polski rząd zamiast stwierdzić, że może historyk ma racje i zastanowić się nad tym, głosuje czy nie wsadzić go na trzy lata do więzienia. My nie damy się uciszyć. Będziemy pamiętać o zbrodni jaką nam wyrządziliście.

Biorący udział w manifestacji uczniowie mieli ze sobą transparenty z takimi hasłami jak: „3 miliony Żydów zostało zamordowanych w Polsce” oraz „Jedwabne – nigdy nie zapomnimy”. Co prawda kiedy polscy dziennikarze pytali się o takie postacie jak Jan Karski, Witold Pilecki, rodzina Ulmów, Irena Sendlerowa to mogli się przekonać jak wygląda wiedza uczniów żydowskiej jesziwy na temat II wojny światowej. Najlepsze było stwierdzenie, że IIWŚ zaczęła się w 1941 r. i trwała tylko dwa lata.

Kiedy tak trwało to odpytywanie z podstawowych faktów, rabin Friedman był w swoim żywiole. Krzyczał do mikrofonu: każdy Żyd, który przeżył Holokaust w Polsce, łącznie z jego rodzicami, mówi, iż to właśnie w waszym kraju panowała największa nienawiść do narodu żydowskiego - która podobno ma trwać do dzisiaj.  Inny przykład:
Należy zadać sobie pytanie dlaczego Niemcy wybrali Polskę, by budować tu polskie obozy zagłady? To tak jakbyśmy się zastanawiali dlaczego w Kansas produkuje się pszenicę? Bo są na to warunki. W Polsce było przyzwolenie na masową zagładę Żydów. Jak pisze Jan Gross w swojej książce – Polacy wymordowali więcej Żydów niż Niemców. Historyk za to może trafić na trzy lata do więzienia, ale my nie damy zamknąć sobie ust. Polacy! Wasz kraj spłynął krwią.
Rabin Friedman ponadto twierdził, że nie jest prawdą że tylko w Polsce karano śmiercią za pomoc Żydom. Z kolei instytut Yad Vashem miał odznaczyć tylko 1600 sprawiedliwych narodowości polskiej, Kiedy zwrócono mu uwagę, że tak naprawdę chodzi o 6000 odznaczonych Polaków, odpowiedział: może i tak, ale Polaków, którzy zabili Żydów jest na pewno więcej, niż liczba polskich Sprawiedliwych wśród Narodów Świata.[1]

 CO Z TEGO WYNIKA? ZAKŁADAM, ŻE CZYTELNICY TEGO TEKSTU są inteligentnymi ludźmi i na tyle mają pojęcie o relacjach polsko-żydowskich podczas II wojny światowej, że nie muszę analizować "mądrości" rabina Friedmana opartych na kolejnych "mądrościach" Jana Tomasza Grossa, aby ukazać nie tylko idiotyczność takich twierdzeń, ale to jak bardzo są one dla Narodu Polskiego krzywdzące. Osobiście nie mam nic przeciwko poruszania tematu szmalcowników, a także negatywnych postaw Polaków wobec Żydów pod okupacją niemiecką. Jednak trzeba to robić w sposób profesjonalny i naukowy, a nie na użytek kształtowania w Polakach fałszywego toksycznego poczucia wstydu za własną historię oraz jako swego rodzaju przygotowanie do realizacji roszczeń pieniężnych różnego rodzaju organizacji żydowskich. Kwestia "żydowskich międzynarodowych hien cmentarnych" jest tematem na osobny artykuł.

To zgromadzenie nie było duże. Około 150 osób. Głównie młodzieży uczącej się w szkole żydowskiej, gdzie rabin Friedman jest rektorem. Jednak nie można mówić, że nic się nie stało i nie powinno być żadnej reakcji ze strony polskiej opinii publicznej. Jednak Polacy w pierwszej kolejności powinni być na ten temat poinformowani. Niestety, w programach informacyjnych mediów głównego nurtu, próżno szukać czegokolwiek na ten temat. Przypuszczam, że gdyby Polacy zrobili coś podobnego przed Konsulatem Generalnym Izraela, oskarżając Żydów o współudział w globalnych zbrodniach komunizmu w XX wieku, czy chociażby za instalowanie w Polsce systemu komunistycznego (nota bene 30% wyższych oficerów Ministerstwa Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego było pochodzenia żydowskiego), albo za to jak żydowskie czerwone milicje na Kresach Wschodnich współdziałały z sowieckim NKWD w represjonowaniu polskiej ludności, to mielibyśmy temat przewodni na minimum dwa tygodnie we wszystkich znaczących polskich (moim zdaniem raczej polskojęzycznych) mediach. Przypuszczam, że oficjalne władze Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej na dywaniku by się tłumaczyły w ambasadzie Izraela. Najważniejsze to jednak nie generalizować.
The author considers how  the teaching of Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman and Rambam Mesivta High School measures up to Europeamn standards:
Nie wszyscy rabini mają takie poglądy jak Zev Meir Friedman. Jednak warto się przyjrzeć jak wygląda, system kształcenia w żydowskich jesziwach, zwłaszcza w Rambam Mesivta High School. Z jakich środków dydaktycznych się tam korzysta. Jeżeli tylko i wyłącznie z książek Jana Tomasza Grossa, to jak będzie wyglądać taka osoba wykształcona tylko na Grossie? Jakie będzie miała do Polski nastawienie? I to nie dotyczy tylko i wyłącznie żydowskich szkół w USA, ale we wszystkich krajach świata, a przede wszystkim w Izraelu. Warto zwrócić uwagę jak wygląda globalna cyrkulacja książek profesora socjologii. Gdzie są one czytane, w jakich bibliotekach się znajdują etc. Czy jestem zwolennikiem cenzury? Nie absolutnie. Uważam, jednak, że tam gdzie jest jedna książka Grossa, warto zadbać o to, aby były z 3-4 pozycje autorstwa prof. Marka Jana Chodakiewicza, lub Leszka Żebrowskiego, lub prof. Jerzego Roberta Nowaka. W ten sposób niech czytelnicy mają pole do samodzielnego wyrobienia sobie zdania. Inteligentni ludzie odkryją bez trudu, gdzie mają do czynienia z szalbierstwem. Nasz wesoły Rabin Friedman, podał, niestety dla niektórych, źródło skąd czerpie swoją mądrość o relacjach polsko-żydowskich. Otóż jest to radosna twórczość socjologa Jana Tomasza Grossa. [...] 
The author recalls the issues involved with the rescue of Jews in the specific situation of Occupied Poland:

Co do relacji Polsko-Żydowskich, to myślę, że najlepiej będzie zacytwoać Icka Cukiermana „Antka”, który jako żołnierz Żydowskiej Organizacji Bojowej walczył w Powstaniu w Getcie Warszawskim. 
Ten, kto szerzy nienawiść do Polaków popełnia grzech! Musimy postępować wprost przeciwnie. W kontekście antysemityzmu i ogólnej apatii ci ludzie są wspaniali. Czyhało na nich wielkie niebezpieczeństwo za pomaganie nam. Było to śmiertelne niebezpieczeństwo nie tylko dla nich, ale czasami nawet dla całego podwórka, przy którym mieszkali… Powtarzam to dzisiaj: aby spowodować śmierć setki Żydów, wystarczył jeden polski donosiciel. Aby ocalić jednego Żyda, czasami trzeba było pomocy dziesięciu uczciwych Polaków, pomocy całej polskiej rodziny, nawet jeśli robiono to dla pieniędzy. Niektórzy udostępnili swoje mieszkania, inni fałszowali dowody osobiste. Musimy doceniać nawet pasywną pomoc, np. piekarza, który nie doniósł. Przecież dla polskiej rodziny składającej się z czterech osób było problemem, gdy musiała zacząć kupować podwójne porcje kajzerek czy mięsa. A jakim kłopotem było udawać się daleko od miejsca zamieszkania, aby zaopatrywać ukrywającą się u nich rodzinę [żydowską]… I stwierdzam, że nie ma znaczenia, czy wzięli za to pieniądze. Życie nie było łatwe także dla Polaków. Nie było łatwe utrzymać się. Żyły sobie wdowy i byli urzędnicy, którzy zarabiali parę dodatkowych złotych, pomagając [Żydom]. I byli sobie rozmaitego rodzaju ludzie, którzy pomagali. [2]


[1] A, Arciszewska, Polacy jesteście odpowiedzialni za Holokaust, „Nowy Dziennik. Polish Daily News”, Zob. http://www.dziennik.com/wiadomosci/artykul/polacy-jestescie-odpowiedzialni-za-holokaust
[2]M. J. Chodakiewicz, W. J. Muszyński (red) Złote serca czy złote żniwa? The Facto, Warszawa 2011, s. 7. 

Tuesday, 17 May 2016