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Poland orchestrated the Holocaust

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  • Jan Niechwiadowicz
    And, as horrible as the German official program of rounding up Jewish people was, some historians estimate that the majority of Jews killed during those years
    Message 1 of 4 , Jan 7, 2009
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      "And, as horrible as the German official program of rounding up Jewish people was, some historians estimate that the majority of Jews killed during those years died in Poland at the hands of their Christian neighbors and countrymen. "

      "Germany and Poland orchestrated the Holocaust but the land taken to create a Jewish homeland was taken from Palestine."

      http://www.news-leader.com/article/20090107/OPINIONS05/901070398

       

      I was a very young child when the 6 Day War broke out in the Middle East in 1967 but I can still remember overhearing my mother discussing the war with the man who carried our groceries to the car. He said, "I guess they've been fighting over there for thousands of years and I guess they always will." My mother, with her four children in tow, quickly agreed and we drove off without any need of further commentary.

      Ironically, however, my mother had been a congressional secretary during WWII and in the years when the modern nation of Israel was created. She had two basic sources of information about the Middle East, her childhood Sunday school classes and what she had overheard when she worked in Washington, D.C. The Jews were fighting their neighbors in the Old Testament and their neighbors were attacking Israel in 1967 and she was satisfied that this is how it had been in every generation between Isaiah and Golda Meir.

      But that isn't the way it was. The Jewish state had ceased to exist in 70 A.D. and though the rise of Islam and the two centuries of Crusades certainly saw a myriad of bloody conflicts in Palestine, it wasn't a battle between Jews and neighboring states. The setup for the present-day war between Israel and Hamas forces in the Gaza Strip came at the end of WWII when the victors were becoming aware of just how horrible the Holocaust had really been.

      During the war the United States had turned back boatloads of Jewish refugees seeking asylum from the Nazi program of ethnic cleansing. And, as horrible as the German official program of rounding up Jewish people was, some historians estimate that the majority of Jews killed during those years died in Poland at the hands of their Christian neighbors and countrymen. The Allies fought against Germany and Japan but western Europe and the United States were not free of anti-Semitism, actually, the degree to which other nations sympathized with the Nazi disdain for Jews is a tragic reality which few are willing even to mention in these decades since the end of the war.

      The majority of Europe had turned on the Jews. The majority of Americans were, at best, indifferent towards their plight. But when the war was over it was clear that there was no going back to the pre-war days of Christians and Jews living side by side, especially not in Germany or Poland. And yet, the weight of the guilt for the Holocaust lay at the feet of Europe but the proposed solution was to create a Jewish homeland in a place where they had not lived in large numbers for nearly 2,000 years. Germany and Poland orchestrated the Holocaust but the land taken to create a Jewish homeland was taken from Palestine.

      Christians found it thrilling to think of recreating Israel in its original location. And, indeed, after the 6 Days War, tourism in Israel became their major industry, offering Christians a "walk where Jesus walked" experience which not many of us are able to resist. I can say that I am among those pilgrims to Jerusalem who immediately fell in love with the city and its surroundings on my first visit there in 1981.

      One evening, when I was walking alone through the old city, I unknowingly wandered into the Arab quarter just as the sun was setting. I stumbled upon a little shop selling WWII memorabilia, more precisely, Nazi memorabilia. How could such a shop exist in Israel? The heated conversation which followed might have been the end of my education about Middle East politics had a group of Israeli soldiers not come along and rescued me.

      Some Christians still quote the covenant between God and Abraham reported in the book of Genesis as the absolute authority for the land grab which displaced Palestinians to create the state of Israel. Muslims quote the Quran to support their unwavering belief that once any land is under Muslim rule it must remain under Muslim rule forever. When I first visited the Middle East, 30 years after the creation of Israel, Palestinians were still mad about the theft of their land by the United States and Great Britain to create Israel. Now, 60 years later, they are still unwilling to accept that the forcible taking of their land to heal a great European sin is acceptable. Which leaves the United States in the terribly awkward position of continuing to support Israel's disproportionate and lethal military response to the Hamas-led attacks on Israel this past week.

      I love Israel and yet I accept that taking Palestinian land to resolve the Jewish homeland issue at the end of WWII was a bad idea... romantic, sure, religiously nostalgic, you betya, but politically unworkable. And yet, here we are, irrevocably stuck with an ally we cannot abandon because their precarious situation is largely our fault but an ally we can hardly defend either for their actions nor for their location.

      The solution to this crisis is nowhere on the horizon. At least we can take a foreign policy lesson from this situation which demonstrates how a war isn't over when it is over. Sixty years after the creation of Israel it is no more secure than it was a half a century ago and there is little reason to believe that it will be much different a century from now. So, invading foreign nations, changing their governments and moving their boundaries in order to create stable states at the end of the barrel of a gun may not be a good policy for us to pursue in the future.

      Dr. Roger Ray (RevDrRay@...) is a local pastor contributing his personal opinion, not that of his church. "From the Left" appears every Wednesday. Coming Tuesday: "From the Right."

       

    • Jan Niechwiadowicz
      Dear All, I have already contacted the Polish embassy and the Polish American Congress via e-mail I have started to raise the alert on other internet groups.
      Message 2 of 4 , Jan 7, 2009
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        Dear All,

        I have already contacted the Polish embassy and the Polish American
        Congress via e-mail I have started to raise the alert on other
        internet groups.

        Below is my draft e-mail to the organisation. I want to get it in
        quickly hence if anyone has any comments then a speedy reply to this
        posting would be appreciated.

        Regards

        Jan Niechwiadowicz, Cardiff

        Dear Sir,

        I can 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 Polish responsible for the Holocaust.

        I challenge you name a single historian that would support the idiotic
        claim that ethnic Poles kill more Jews than Germans. This is almost
        certainly based on the largely correct claim 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 thousands at most.
        This compares well to the tens of thousands kill by the Lithuanians,
        Rumanians and Ukrainians and can in no way compared to the millions
        killed by the Germans.

        The statement orchestrated the Holocaust is beyond belief. It was the
        Germans who planned and carried out the Holocaust.

        The World Jewish Congress have 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 echo
        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 for 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 Poland was the only occupied Europe to have
        organization, Zegota, to help the Jews?

        Are you aware that a special trained volunteer force of Christians
        entered the Warsaw Ghetto to fight along the Jews? Are you aware that
        on three occasions Polish Christian 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 dead plenty 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 neighbour 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 work together to save Jews? Are you
        aware that Irena Sendler was up for a Nobel peace pride for what she did?

        Are you aware Poland was only one three occupied countries not to have
        a collaborated government? Are you aware 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. US and UK) suppressed it? Are you aware that
        even the American Jewish congress did not believe the Polish
        Government about the German 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 (i.e. UK and US) vetoed the idea? Are you aware Poland wanted
        to bomb the railway lines to the camps but the western allies (i.e. UK
        and US) vetoed the idea? Are you aware Poland suggested bombing German
        cities in reprisal? Are you aware Poland suggested executing German
        POW in reprisal? Are you ware 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 US and UK)?

        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 UK 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 apology for the hurt
        done to a wronged nation. The Polish embassy, Polish organisations in
        the US and members of the Polonia beyond the US are being informed of
        this slanderous claims.

        Regards

        Jan Niechwiadowicz, Trustee Support Poland Limited and Moderator of
        the Polish Media Issues Group
      • Carol Dove
        Jan,   Fantastic letter, I wouldn t change a thing.   Carol ... From: Jan Niechwiadowicz Subject: [Poland-speaks-out] Re:
        Message 3 of 4 , Jan 7, 2009
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          Jan,
           
          Fantastic letter, I wouldn't change a thing.
           
          Carol

          --- On Wed, 1/7/09, Jan Niechwiadowicz <jan_niechwiadowicz@...> wrote:
          From: Jan Niechwiadowicz <jan_niechwiadowicz@...>
          Subject: [Poland-speaks-out] Re: Poland orchestrated the Holocaust
          To: Poland-speaks-out@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Wednesday, January 7, 2009, 7:21 AM

          Dear All,

          I have already contacted the Polish embassy and the Polish American
          Congress via e-mail I have started to raise the alert on other
          internet groups.

          Below is my draft e-mail to the organisation. I want to get it in
          quickly hence if anyone has any comments then a speedy reply to this
          posting would be appreciated.

          Regards

          Jan Niechwiadowicz, Cardiff

          Dear Sir,

          I can 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 Polish responsible for the Holocaust.

          I challenge you name a single historian that would support the idiotic
          claim that ethnic Poles kill more Jews than Germans. This is almost
          certainly based on the largely correct claim 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 thousands at most.
          This compares well to the tens of thousands kill by the Lithuanians,
          Rumanians and Ukrainians and can in no way compared to the millions
          killed by the Germans.

          The statement orchestrated the Holocaust is beyond belief. It was the
          Germans who planned and carried out the Holocaust.

          The World Jewish Congress have 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 echo
          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 for 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 Poland was the only occupied Europe to have
          organization, Zegota, to help the Jews?

          Are you aware that a special trained volunteer force of Christians
          entered the Warsaw Ghetto to fight along the Jews? Are you aware that
          on three occasions Polish Christian 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 dead plenty 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 neighbour 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 work together to save Jews? Are you
          aware that Irena Sendler was up for a Nobel peace pride for what she did?

          Are you aware Poland was only one three occupied countries not to have
          a collaborated government? Are you aware 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. US and UK) suppressed it? Are you aware that
          even the American Jewish congress did not believe the Polish
          Government about the German 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 (i.e. UK and US) vetoed the idea? Are you aware Poland wanted
          to bomb the railway lines to the camps but the western allies (i.e. UK
          and US) vetoed the idea? Are you aware Poland suggested bombing German
          cities in reprisal? Are you aware Poland suggested executing German
          POW in reprisal? Are you ware 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 US and UK)?

          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 UK 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 apology for the hurt
          done to a wronged nation. The Polish embassy, Polish organisations in
          the US and members of the Polonia beyond the US are being informed of
          this slanderous claims.

          Regards

          Jan Niechwiadowicz, Trustee Support Poland Limited and Moderator of
          the Polish Media Issues Group


        • Jan Niechwiadowicz
          Dear All, My reply has been printed in the voice of the day section under the tilte Blaming Holocaust on Polish wrong, irresponsible Regards Jan
          Message 4 of 4 , Jan 9, 2009
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            Dear All,

            My reply has been printed in the "voice of the day" section under
            the tilte "Blaming Holocaust on Polish wrong, irresponsible"

            Regards

            Jan Niechwiadowicz, Cardiff

            "http://www.news-leader.com/article/20090109/OPINIONS02/901090302"

            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.

            Jan Niechwiadowicz is a trustee of Support Poland Limited and
            moderator of the Polish Media Issues Group.
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