Friday, March 17, 2017
New book on killing of Jews in Poland exposes raw nerve
I generally get on well with Poles, but in my experience, Poles to this day have a bug in their brain about Jews
A prominent Polish historian presented evidence Wednesday about Polish villagers’ widespread killing of Jews fleeing Nazis during World War II, touching a raw nerve in a country still grappling with its role during the Holocaust.
The research is likely to irk the nationalist Polish government, which has taken aim at those seeking to undermine its official stance that Poles were only heroes in the war, not collaborators who committed heinous crimes.
In launching the English-language version of her 2011 book, “Such a Beautiful Sunny Day,” Barbara Engelking details dozens of cases of everyday Poles raping Jewish women and bludgeoning Jews to death with axes, shovels and rocks. The book, which came out in Polish under the previous government, takes its title from the last words of a Jew pleading with peasants to spare his life before he was beaten and shot to death. It offers a searing indictment of Polish complicity that will now reach a far wider audience.
“The responsibility for the extermination of Jews in Europe is borne by Nazi Germany,” she writes. “Polish peasants were volunteers in the sphere of murdering Jews.”
For decades, Polish society avoided discussing such killings or denied that Polish anti-Semitism motivated them, blaming all atrocities on the Germans. A turning point was the publication of a book, “Neighbors,” in 2000 by Polish-American sociologist Jan Tomasz Gross, which explored the murder of Jedwabne’s Jews by their Polish neighbors and resulted in widespread soul-searching and official state apologies.
But since the conservative and nationalistic Law and Justice party consolidated power in 2015, it has sought to stamp out discussion and research on the topic. It has demonized Gross and investigated him on whether he had slandered the country by asserting that Poles killed more Jews than Germans during the war - a crime punishable by up to three years in prison.
Despite the current climate, Engelking said she had no fear of recriminations and proudly took on the government’s historical revisionism.
“People think I should be afraid, but I am not. I have a sense now of inner freedom and they cannot harm me in any way,” she said during a break at a symposium recognizing the launch of her book at Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial. “Let them try ... you cannot obey this idea because this is really not true. I am obliged to tell the truth, that is all.”
Engelking, the founder and director of the Polish Center of Holocaust Research in Warsaw, said her decade-long research relied on diaries, documents and court files that gave voice not only to survivors but also victims. The government has long pointed to Poland having the largest number of citizens honored by Yad Vashem for saving Jews as evidence of their heroism. Engelking, however, said there were far less who aided Jews than those who betrayed them and that climate made the actions of the few all the more noble.
“There was severe punishment from Germans for helping Jews. They (the saviors) acted not only against German law, but against their neighbors, against the atmosphere, against the common sense of anti-Semitism,” she said.
Mateusz Szpytma, a historian with Poland’s state-run National Remembrance Institute, said he found the book to be written in a “prosecutor’s style” and often relied on a single source.
“The attention is almost solely focused on negative events that took place but were not the only ones,” he said. “Almost every element that is unfavorable to Poles is taken as true. Positive things are pushed to the margin.”
The noted Israeli Holocaust historian Yehuda Bauer said the significance of Engelking’s findings was the enormity of the cruelty toward Jews that she details. “It is something that we assumed but she proves,” he said.
He said there were parallels to the way Jews were treated by the local population in other European countries like Lithuania, Bulgaria and Greece. But the sheer scope of the genocide in Poland -- half of the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust were Polish -- made Engelking’s findings most pertinent.
Havi Dreifuss, a Tel Aviv University scholar and director of Yad Vashem’s center for research on the Holocaust in Poland, said Engelking’s research has shed new light on the last phase of the Holocaust, after Jews were packed into ghettos and sent to extermination camps, and how even those who had managed to survive that still faced the wrath of their compatriots.
She said estimates range between 160,000-250,000 Jews who escaped and sought help from fellow Poles. She said only about 10-20 percent of those survived, with the rest rejected, informed upon or killed by the rural Poles themselves.
“This research reveals not only the Jewish immense efforts to escape, as well as the Jewish despair and helplessness. It also exposes the terrible reality in which those Jews found themselves: a reality where very few acts of kindness were lost among the countless acts of cruelty, abuse and meanness,” she said.
Poles have been raised on wartime stories of Polish suffering and heroism and many react viscerally when confronted with the growing body of scholarship about Polish involvement in the killing of Jews.
A recent poll showed an overwhelming majority of Poles believe their ancestors helped save Jews and rarely turned them over.
Engelking said that was unlikely to change as long as this “propaganda” continued and the “truth about our behavior during the war” was not allowed to be shared widely in schools and with the public.
“I hope that after this counter revolution that we are experiencing now, next time we will have another counter revolution,” she said.
Why Report From Yemen When There Is Bacon In Jerusalem?
Here’s the reason why you don’t see much news about Yemen and the disaster unfolding there under a proxy war fought between Saudi Arabia and Iran:
Civilian deaths in Yemen Jan to July 2015: UN report
I wrote a long time ago about the disastrously high civilian death rate in Yemen. That gets nothing like the breathless coverage which Israel’s unbelievably careful airstrikes in Gaza get. I also wrote about the tragedy of ending a millennium of Jewish life in Yemen, with Jews finally driven out by Muslims fighting each other.
When so many journalists are hanging around Israel, enjoying the safety, security, fine restaurants and other amenities, you have to look at all the places where they don’t go. These journalists love the easy life here: pre-written, pre-researched “stories” are handed to them in the form of “research papers” by far left NGOs with strong anti-Israel agendas. That’s not happening in Yemen. Kudos to Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times for actually trying and reporting why he can’t go to Yemen.
A major part of the complaint against Lethal Journalism in Israel is undue and overblown attention on Israel. It’s worth remembering this from Matti Friedman’s earth shattering revelations from inside AP in Israel (Aug 2014):
Staffing is the best measure of the importance of a story to a particular news organization. When I was a correspondent at the AP, the agency had more than 40 staffers covering Israel and the Palestinian territories. That was significantly more news staff than the AP had in China, Russia, or India, or in all of the 50 countries of sub-Saharan Africa combined. It was higher than the total number of news-gathering employees in all the countries where the uprisings of the “Arab Spring” eventually erupted.
This vast oversupply of journalists is met with a corresponding plague of left wing, well financed NGOs and Palestinian “spokesmen” feeding them easy press release stories with little extra leg work involved.
The numbers have changed but the relative staffing levels haven’t. Obviously it’s damned dangerous to be a journalist in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and all the other Islamic states currently going through murderous turmoil. So stay in Jerusalem, the American Colony hotel has a non-kosher breakfast including bacon!
Ever since Trump’s infamous “last night in Sweden” line, my social media timeline has been filed with reports of every single shooting, stabbing, rape and bombing which occurs in the tiny nation of Sweden (population around 10m). The point being not that these events should or shouldn’t be international news, up to now they most certainly haven’t been. It is largely alternative media sources that are now reporting this, the established media tried hard not to cover the steadily deteriorating public safety situation in Sweden for years. Highlighting it would expose their failure to inform their audience. For years Sweden has demonized Israel with exactly this kind of undue focus on negative stories. It’s fun watching them freak out when applied to them.
It is not necessary for the established media to lie about something for them to create a completely #FakeNews impression. They only need to be highly selective on what they do report. If you report every act of unkindness perpetrated by an Israeli and every act of kindness by an Arab while ignoring so many terrorist attacks, your audience will reach a guided conclusion. If you ignore civilian deaths in Yemen and report only on civilian deaths when Israel defends herself, of course Israel will be demonized and Saudi Arabia and Iran will receive little attention.
That is the essence of lethal journalism.
REAL RACISM: BlackLivesMatter Leader Calls for Genocide of White People…
Yusra Khogali, a Canadian Black Lives Matter leader, is a real piece of work. And by that I mean she’s a racist stinkpot with the IQ of a two-by-four. We’ve written about Khogali at least once before. You may have spotted her in the news a while back, when she tweeted out a ‘prayer to Allah,’ asking him to keep her from killing white people. #LittleMuslimThings
Well, Yusra just made the news again. This time for calling white people subhuman and talking about wiping them out. No joke…
A Black Lives Matter leader has come under fire after arguing on social media that white people are “sub-human” and suffer from “recessive genetic defects,” and musing about how the race could be wiped out.
“Whiteness is not humxness, in fact, white skin is sub-humxn,” she wrote. “All phenotypes exist within the black family and white ppl are a genetic defect of blackness.”
“Melanin enables black skin to capture light and hold it in its memory mode which reveals that blackness converts light into knowledge. Melanin directly communicates with cosmic energy,” she added.
The Black Lives Matter leader then wondered how the white race could be wiped out. According to her, “Black ppl simply through their dominant genes can literally wipe out the white race if we had the power to.”
Imagine if a non-BlackLivesMatter-SJW said something like this? The whole of American conservatism would be held responsible. Actually, you don’t have to imagine, because it’s already happened (see UN Demands America Pay Black People. For… Slavery?! and College Football Star Says He Raped Woman As Payback for ‘400 Years of Slavery…’).
Conservatives, or anyone the left disagrees with, are still being lambasted for the racism of strangers who lived 100 years ago. To whom we have zero connection. But this? Perfectly permissible.
When it comes to the rampant racism from activist groups like BLM, we haven’t heard so much as a croak from the left. Who claims to care about all things to do with racial injustice. In fact, if pressed with these quotes, the left would likely say Yusra Khogali is a “bad apple” at most… Which is an understatement. She’s more like a hemlock-laced apple with a razor blade hidden inside. A savage snack.
But the point here? This she-beast’s statements aren’t an isolated incident (read Black Lives Matter Activist Wants To ‘Kill The White House.’ Yes, Really…). Her comments are vile and gross, yes. But surprising? Not so much.
Black Lives Matter has proven time and time again they share Khogali’s views on whites. Which is that they’re inferior and deserving of all the punishments and stuff – sometimes even including torture and death. But remember, it’s Trump and his supporters who are super duper racist.
Fighting fake racism with actual racism? Doesn’t do much in the way of convincing people of one’s cause. Oops.
In case you were wondering why people resent #BlackLivesMatter (see Petition to Classify BlackLivesMatter as a Terrorist Group Garners 130k Signatures…), this is it.
Oh yeah, they’re also lying liars
Obese female Canadian Leftist politician calls those who disagree with Leftist ideas “sewer rats”
Leftist arrogance again
According to Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman, farmers, ranchers, concerned parents, small business people, oil and gas workers and every other normal person who does not support NDP ideas, are rats.
But not just rats, the worst kind of rats, the kind that live in the sewers and filth.
Imagine hating the people of Alberta that much.
Watch my video to see Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman calling Albertans “sewer rats”.
I’ll even show you the first time the NDP tried this line. NDP have used this socialist Dr. Seuss routine at least once before and the media ignored it.
The list of insults the NDP hurl at Albertans is getting longer everyday: fear mongers, bigots, xenophobes, embarrassing cousins, anger machine, tin foil hatters, sexist, racists, chicken littles and now sewer rats.
None of these statements were misspeaks. Each one is rehearsed, calculated and planned.
These insults are exactly what the NDP think of Albertans. When they call us names, it might be the only time they're being honest with us.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.