Friday, February 23, 2018

Heaping Scorn on Those that Deserve it!

The entrance to Auschwitz in Poland (The Guardian)
There was certainly no love lost for the Polish people by Nazi Germany. The prejudice was there. I recall a line from the epic 70s miniseries ‘Holocaust’. It was made after Germany successfully invaded Poland by Eric Dorf - a Nazi officer (portrayed by Michael Moriarty). In response to a question about using Poles (instead of Jews who were to be exterminated) for slave labor to do their bidding he said something to the effect of ‘Don’t worry.’ ‘Poles have strong backs and weak minds’.

That is an obviously biased and even racist statement. Which of course is not a surprise coming from a soldier from the most racist nation ever to exist on the face of the earth.

I am not in the habit of quoting racist statements from even a fictionalized Nazi character. But I could not help thinking of that line (at least the ‘weak minds’ part of it) after the Polish response to criticism of its new law. Which bans any reference to ‘Polish Death Camps’. A law that if violated is punishable by up to 3 years jail time. 

I understand of course why they passed this law. What kind of country wants to be associated with death camps responsible for mass murdering millions of people? Especially since it really was Nazi Germany that built and operated those camps. The Poles say it is unjust to call them Polish Death Camps. But as I said in an earlier piece on this subject, they may be technically right about who actually built and operated those camps. But their attempt at saying they were blameless because of their own their victimization by Nazi Germany - is not going to get any traction here.

Although it needs to be acknowledged that there were many righteous gentiles among the Poles that risked their own lives to save Jews (probably more that we know) - the massive antisemitism Jews experienced in that country prior to and after the Holocaust is well established.  There is hardly any Polish Jew that survived the Holocaust who wouldn’t tell you of their personal experiences regarding that. Even those that were saved by the righteous gentiles of that country.

Auschwitz-Birkenau, Belżec, Chełmno, Gross-Rosen, Majdanek, Sobibór, Stutthof, and Treblinka were all located on Polish soil. Chicago Jewish News publisher, Joe Aaron is not someone I usually agree with. But in this case he is 100% right. He noted - there was a reason the Germans chose Poland for so many of their Concentration and Death Camps.  

Germans were well aware of the hatred most Poles had (and still have) for the Jewish people. Demonstrated time and again in one pogrom after another. Both  before and after the Holocaust. It wasn’t just pogroms that demonstrated how little they cared about what happened to their fellow Jewish citizens. After the Holocaust many Jewish survivors tried to reclaim their homes. That was met by fierce resistance by Poles that had occupied  those homes.  

Germans knew they had willing accomplices in the Polish people.  There were plenty of Poles that were happy to aid their captors in any way they could to round up Jews and send them to their eventual deaths.  Or to watch them mass murdered on the spot and fall into mass graves. This has all been documented. 

Father Patrick Desbois is a Catholic Priest (someone I would easily call a Tzadik of the nations of the world) who has made it his life’s mission to locate and document those hidden grave-sites. And expose those people still alive that must have witnessed what happened but denied everything. When those graves were  discovered they were then forced to face their past and tell the truth about what they saw or did during the war. What Father Desbois found was that many of the locals used to make a party out of watching Nazis mass murder Jews!

And yet, the Polish government expects the world to buy that they were all helpless victims with no responsibility at all for what happened to the Jewish people. Talk about denial! 

As if to underscore the fact that not being antisemitic is just a pretense, prominent Polish commentators defended this new law to those who objected to it by issuing statements worthy of any ‘respectable’ Neo-Nazi anywhere in the world! Talk about weak minds!

It wasn’t just Polish commentators that had these disgusting reactions. Polish government officials have the gall to say that these death camps should be called Jewish Death Camps! - blaming the Jewish people for their own misfortune!  They point to the Nazi appointed Jewish police (also known as Kapos). Who were forced to turn in fellow Jews to their Nazi captors on pain of instant death if they failed to do so. A death that would not have prevented the next Kapo from doing it... or a Nazi soldier if necessary.

I am not here to excuse or condemn those Kapos. But they were victims too. Some of them even sacrificed their own lives in situations like that. Point is that by contrast many Poles happily aided their captors in their goal of Jewish Genocide.

Nothing has changed in Poland. Jews are still hated. And their denial of that is so absurd that it makes one wonder if Poles are really as stupid as all those Polish jokes about them indicate.

Poles may not be stupid. But – with the exception of many fine Polish gentiles that abhor Poland’s denials;  recognize the truth about their country’s past (and present for that matter); and truly regret Poland’s antisemitism and its role in the Holocaust  - they are an evil people that would feel very comfortable at a Neo-Nazi rally.

(It is also no coincidence that the most antisemitic National Security Adviser America has ever had was Zbigniew Brzezinski - a Polish immigrant. Antisemitism was his heritage. It was in his blood!)

Poland unequivocally deserves the scorn of the world. And I for one am happy to give it to them!