Once again I post the best article I have ever read on these subjects here, The Disabling Mode: Poles in Jewish Discourse. This was written in 1999, andMessage 1 of 56 , Jan 31, 2012View SourceOnce again I post the best article I have ever read on these subjects here, "The Disabling Mode: Poles in Jewish Discourse." This was written in 1999, and nothing has changed. In fact the successful Jewish branding of Poland as the world's anti-semites has gotten much worse and is grossly unfair, among other horrific things. Of course, this is a total fallacy for, throughout history, every single country contained anti-Semites, and to this day, every country still does.Here is another pertinent article on the same subject, this one from 1998:Eve JankowiczUSA-----
The existence of openly hostile neighbours, primarily but not exclusively Germany and Russia, exacerabated this volatile and unsettled cultural brew. Finally Stalin then Hitler came to power; both actively undermined Polish citizenship and unity with propaganda through agents inside Poland, fermenting anti-semitism and communist or nationalist agitation which was spreading and become much more open throughout Europe and the USA (did you know that Jews were subject to quotas in USA medical schools in the 1930s, and many came to Glasgow University as a result?). Ponder this mix. It is hard to believe so much volatility was endured by one country over such a short period of time. If you can understand - even if you do not agree with - racism in America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand - then try to imagine controlling it in a situation of Poland 1918-39. Add to that the reality that there was no race or gender or sexuality legisaltion anywhere in the world, and that most people were still limitied educaitonally to very narrow world-views fostered by religions which at that time had undergone no pressure to accept the validity or co-existence of other faiths, and you can see how Poland especially was in a truly difficult cultural positon via-a-vis minorities especially Jews. I think it is remarkable and sign of Polish decency how comparably little active anti-semitism was tolerated except sadly in the last few years of the Second Republic, when from around 1936-39 shameful anti-semitic legislation and actions were undertaken.
7. At the start of WW2 Jews in the east were probably glad the Soviets rather than Hitler had invaded because from their perspective if Stalin hadn't invaded, Hitler would have taken all of Poland, and we all know the results for the Jewish people of what Hitler did. If I was Jewish I'd have been celebrating too. I'd have taken the chance on communism over Nazism without a blink. Wouldn't you? But this is not the whole picture of course. Most Jews didn't celebrate. Most Jews were patriotically Polish, even when they hated the government's late anti-semitism. They had a proportionate number in the army; they served bravely and in large numbers in the resistance; and they died fighting for Poland as well as in ghettoes, concentration camps and gas chambers. Some collaborated; so did some Poles - we don't know the numbers and anecdotal evidence is unreliable for a host of reasons.
8. Wars are always distasters. WW2 in Poland was one of the worst in human history (but not even the worst in the 20th century. We tend to focus only on our own historical woes, but it is estinated that one in three people in East Timor were killed in the 1970s; almost a million were slaughtered in weeks in Rwanda in the 1990s; and a genocidal war continues in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where one in five have been thought to be slaughtered. So let's not get into the false perspective of it is only Poles who have seen such horrors.) When your family members have been killed, when starvation is rife, when random murder is an everyday occurance normality is difficult to maintain. People everywhere are near breaking point. So horros were inflicted by individuals and groups on individuals and groups. Minorities are more likely to be on the receiving end, regardless of historic racism or tensions. So Poles killed Jews, Jews killed Poles too, Ukrainians killed both, and both killed Ukrainians. And so it was. Such terrible actions are absolutely predictable consequences of war.
In summary then I'd suggest we put aside conspiracy theories of Jewish domination, recognise that it wasn't "Jewishness" that led to some Jews being leading figures in communism, but social and historical matters, and that no race or religious group were consciously the leaders of the tragic and terrible experiment of communism, an experiment remember that flowed from the idealistic desire to end mass wretchedness of millions of people... a problem we have yet to find a solution to.
Sorry this has been so long. I hope it will be received in the objective and constructive approach with which I have sought to write it.
Your detailed information is new to me, Mark. Thanks very much. So much to learn, so little time... A double-check so that I don t assume something justMessage 56 of 56 , Feb 6, 2012View SourceYour detailed information is new to me, Mark. Thanks very much. So much to learn, so little time...
A double-check so that I don't assume something just because it seems obvious. You say,33,192 : Recruited from D-Day to end 194415,439 : 1st Jan. 1944 to End April 1945My assumption is a typo, and that the second line was meant to read "1st Jan. 1945".
I had no inkling the numbers of recruits from the German forces were so high. There is occasional brief mention of such recruitment in histories I have read to date, but it appears the information suppression efforts you describe were overall very successful to this day.
This is also very helpful: "Although some non-German army Polish troops may have harboured secret resentments, there is no evidence to say that this was either open or widespread. It was generally understood that conscription to the German army was unavoidable."On reflection, I wonder if this ready acceptance might be partly explained by more than a century of partition and subjugation recently ended. Many Polish soldiers would have examples in their own family (perhaps even their own fathers) who wore uniforms of the foreign occupiers. For example, my grandfathers were both in the military during the First World War before Poland regained independence - one fighting for the Austrians who ruled his home territory and the other for the Russians who ruled his area.Still, I would be grateful for any personal or family lore on the topic of rank-and-file attitudes towards "new" comrades who crossed over from the enemy ranks.
Many thanks for your contributions, Mark.
John HaluchaSault Ste Marie, Canada