Poland’s Perpetual Pogroms - The Jewish Voice
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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Poland’s Perpetual Pogroms

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In this post-Holocaust era, the Polish government is denying any complicity with the German Nazi war machine. Rather, it claims to have accepted European Jewry throughout history and sustained equal oppression by the Nazi invaders. But such denial can be a deadly form of deception.

Jan Gross’s book, Neighbors, The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland, describes the atrocities performed by about half the Catholic men against the defenseless Jewish townspeople, who then enclosed them in a barn and set it afire. Sixty years later, on July 10, 2001, a monument was erected at the site of the carnage and President Aleksander Kwasniewski issued an apology, “For this crime, we should beg the souls of the dead and their families for forgiveness. This is why today, as a citizen and as president of the Republic of Poland, I apologize.” Alas, the monument blames neither the Nazis nor the Poles.

Jewish immigration into Poland began with their expulsion from Spain and through the Crusades, as evidenced through archaeological coins of the 10th and 11th centuries brought by Jewish merchants who found refuge. Jews were welcomed to restore and replace Poland’s serious losses from the Mongol Invasion of 1241, and to increase the townships’ commercial growth. During times of harmony, the Jews contributed to the country’s economic growth through trade, crafts, and agriculture. They were used by Polish nobility to colonize new territories and partner in business enterprises. They participated in all levels of social and political life, created entire villages, and furthered the trade of Polish wheat, textiles and distillations for those of wine, cloth, dyes and luxury goods. Their culture, their Yiddish language, many newspapers, literature and theater flourished, although their survival was often secured by the increased government taxes (sometimes as high as 70%).

And there were years when Christians accused Jews of unfair competition, blamed them for the Black Death and cannibalism (blood libel), and went on rampages to slaughter and expel the Jews. The most infamous, in 1648, was the year-long massacre of as many as 200,000 Jews by the Ukrainian Bogdan Chmielnicki who led the Tatar Khan, local peasants, and Russian Orthodox Cossacks – a union of peasants, derelict soldiers, fugitive slaves and convicts known for superb horsemanship and their use of the lance, saber and whip. The event, known as the first pogrom, was commemorated by Chmielnicki’s majestic statue in Sophia Square, Kiev.

The year 1648 marked the year-long massacre of as many as 200,000 Jews by the Ukrainian Bogdan Chmielnicki who led the Tatar Khan, local peasants, and Russian Orthodox Cossacks – a union of peasants, derelict soldiers, fugitive slaves and convicts known for superb horsemanship and their use of the lance, saber and whip. The event, known as the first pogrom, was commemorated by Chmielnicki’s majestic statue in Sophia Square, Kiev.

When Poland was divided in the 1700s, most of her million Jews fell under Russian rule and forced into the Pale of Settlement, where they were double taxed and forbidden to travel or trade outside the area. Poland’s regained independent sovereignty in 1918 brought new pogroms, with natives falsely accusing Jews of associating with Trotsky and the Bolshevik revolution. And, despite the seminal Treaty of Versailles that brought WW I to an end, Jewish rights were scorned and Polish Jews prevented from entering civil service and many industries. In the 1930s, Jews were seen as potentially disloyal and obstacles to modernization,

triggering increasing religious and ethnic hatred, street violence and pogroms.

With the invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, the German military murdered 10,000 Jews, bombed 50,000 Jewish-owned factories and stores in more than 120 Jewish communities and destroyed several hundred synagogues. Severe restrictions were imposed on the Polish Jews, and hundreds of Poles and Jews were arrested and murdered. Of the 3.3 million Jews who had prospered between the wars, in the press, law and medicine, two million came under Nazi rule, and the balance under Soviet occupation. Jews were removed to ghettos or concentration camps or liquidated to make “lebensraum” (living space) for Germans. With Germany’s manpower so thinly spread in military conquest across Europe and Africa, native Polish corroboration was recruited to accomplish the capture and slaughter of millions – eighty-five percent of Polish Jewry. It is thoroughly documented that there were trackers of Jews and that Poles massacred or renounced their Jewish neighbors to the Nazis.

Case in point: After two years under Russian control, the small Polish town of Jedwabne, with about 1,600 Catholics and 1,600 Jews, was captured by the Nazis on June 22, 1941. One of the first questions asked by the Poles of their new rulers was permission to kill the Jews. Jan Gross’s book, Neighbors, The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland, describes the atrocities performed by about half the Catholic men against the defenseless Jewish townspeople, who then enclosed them in a barn and set it afire. Sixty years later, on July 10, 2001, a monument was erected at the site of the carnage and President Aleksander Kwasniewski issued an apology, “For this crime, we should beg the souls of the dead and their families for forgiveness. This is why today, as a citizen and as president of the Republic of Poland, I apologize.” Alas, the monument blames neither the Nazis nor the Poles.

Warsaw Ghetto Poland (pic 1942)–Jewish men with their arms above their heads as a German soldier stands guard over them

Jewish Holocaust survivors who returned to their hometowns, homes and businesses, were either chased away by the new squatters or shot, in a revived wave of anti-Semitism that occurred after the last Nazi had been expelled. In June 2006, a memorial was unveiled to honor the more than 40 Holocaust survivors who, in 1946, returned to Kielce, Poland to reclaim their property and were butchered by Polish soldiers, police officers and civilians.

By 1948, only 100,000 Jews remained in Poland, their culture in ruins. The last Jewish exodus was 1968-72, prompted by an anti-Jewish campaign when at least 13,000 emigrated, following forms of harassment or job loss. Today, 10,000 Jews remain in Poland, down from 3.2 million before the Holocaust. A 2013 survey showed that 90 percent of Poles have never met a Jew but have anti-Semitic attitudes, including the conspiracy that Jews control international banking and the media. The study also found an eight percent increase in the more traditional forms of anti-Semitism, including deicide and the blood libel.

In spite of the incontrovertible witness of history, on February 6, 2018, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda enacted a law that criminalizes any speech that suggests Polish complicity in the heinous crimes against Jews during the Holocaust and the reference to concentration camps as Polish death camps, carrying a heavy financial penalty and/or up to three years’ imprisonment. If speech is curtailed and criminalized, so should Poland’s rising intolerance and anti-Semitic hatred be similarly restricted and banned.

Their revisionism knows no bounds. During March 2018, Kornel Morawiecki, former senator and father of Poland’s prime minister, blamed Jews for moving to ghettos to live apart from “those nasty Poles,” and for their own complicity in the Nazi-led genocide against the Jews! And, while visiting the Israeli Holocaust exhibit in Yad Vashem, Israel, Jan Dziedziczak, deputy director of Poland’s Foreign Ministry, read an inscription that Germans, along with the “Polish police,” guarded the entrance to the Lodz Ghetto, in what was the German-occupied zone of Poland, and demanded its removal.

Poland has taken another step toward ridding the land of its Jewish citizens – a possible precursor to another pogrom. The ruling party has sponsored a new bill that, if passed, will criminalize the practice of kosher slaughter, fundamental to Judaism, and proposing a penalty of up to four years imprisonment, with its uninformed canard that the slaughter is inhumane and causes suffering.

On February 6, 2018, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda enacted a law that criminalizes any speech that suggests Polish complicity in the heinous crimes against Jews during the Holocaust and the reference to concentration camps as Polish death camps, carrying a heavy financial penalty and/or up to three years’ imprisonment.

However, the plain facts are that Jewish laws that govern the humane treatment of animals derive from the Bible and are painstakingly strict. For instance, a working animal must be fed before its owner, must not be muzzled or prevented from eating grain while working in the field, must be allowed rest on the Sabbath, and animals of unequal strength are not to be yoked together, and so on.

The method of slaughter (shechitah) is equally fastidious. The slaughter must take place away from all other animals out of consideration for their feelings. A sharp knife, free of any imperfection and capable of cutting a human hair, is used and checked after every single slaughter, and tests have proven that the alternative of pre-stunning frequently causes the animal to suffer for minutes before the actual slaughter. Kosher certification insists upon the highest standards, from the shochet (slaughterer) and his instruments, to the environment provided for the animals. To deny shechitah to the Jews is to limit their religious freedoms, with others to follow, and to claim the reason is humane treatment is fallacious hypocrisy.

No stranger to the many forms of fascism, including monarchs, Nazism, and Communism, The Republic of Poland is currently seeing yet another “reconstruction of the state” by a party that is pushing through controversial laws that would break their Constitution and allow the government to dismiss many of the Supreme Court judges, inviting EU sanctions. If democracy unravels, Poland could lose its EU voting rights and, as may be evidenced by the usual “canaries in the coalmine,” the Jews would be heedless not to consider fleeing once again – once and for all.

Acknowledgment: Poland Virtual Jewish History Tour: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/poland-virtual-jewish-history-tour

By: Tabitha Korol

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25 COMMENTS

  1. The picture you are using is from Belsen camp burning by the Allies. On the mast – British flag. Ridiculous mistake.

    • So has Belsen been moved to Poland, in the Revised Version of WW2?! It always used to be in Germany didn’t it? But I know Poland has been moved to the Axis side, in the current version of the war, even though the Polish army fought on the Allied Side.

      So now I am wondering if Germany is still in the Axis – or is it going to be moved to the Allied Side?

      And it makes me wonder how much we can safely believe of anything we are told in this Orwellian world we find ourselves living in.

      However, on the doubleplusgood side, it makes me ever more grateful for the rock of truth which is the Inspired Scriptures – both Hebrew and Christian Greek. They do not change with every political current, but are a rock of truth in a spinning world. And they promise us a rescue.

      How much we, the damaged children of disobedient Adam, need it. What a mess we are in.

  2. Tabitha Korol, you are a very mentally disturbed person. Your own venom poisoned your mind. I can recommend a very good Palestinian psychiatrist, he can cure you.

  3. Why do you ramble on out of hate and hypocrisy? No one forces you to even step foot in Poland or live there. You can always live on the occupied land of Israel where Palestinian civilians are killed each week by Jews. Poland is not the first or last EU country to ban ritual slaughter.. Denmark did the same a few days ago. Iceland banned ritual slaughter last month along with genital mutilation.

  4. What a concoction of misinformation, falsehoods and outright lies. Where to begin? At the beginning, the fire is at Belsen where British forces burned the huts to stop typhus. The hate-Poland community keeps circling back to this fraud with monotonous regularity. The cossacks were, of course, Ukrainian, and murdered Poles as enthusiastically as Jews. Interestingly, they were not cavalry but infantry, the horses came later. The Pale, a Russian not a Polish idea, but even so it was more of an inconvenience than an oppression. It was, after all, the size of France. Russia too the pogroms, including the so-called Kielce event which featured Russians from top to bottom. And at last, for those maintain illusions about “humane” kosher slaughter, see the Postville, Iowa films. Chock full of rabbis and scenes to make the devil cringe.

  5. Here is an interesting paragraph from this story.
    “In spite of the incontrovertible witness of history, on February 6, 2018, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda enacted a law that criminalizes any speech that suggests Polish complicity in the heinous crimes against Jews during the Holocaust and the reference to concentration camps as Polish death camps, carrying a heavy financial penalty and/or up to three years’ imprisonment. If speech is curtailed and criminalized, so should Poland’s rising intolerance and anti-Semitic hatred be similarly restricted and banned.”

    First of all, as the Polish government has said a MILLION TIMES already to you Jews…but you Jew REFUSE to listen…this new Polish law does NOT criminalize any speech that suggests Polish complicity in heinous Nazi collaboration crimes against Jews…because the Polish government has ACKNOWLEDGED a MILLION TIMES that there were INDIVIDUAL Poles who collaborated with the Nazi Germans against Jews. So STOP LYING about this Polish law. Having said that, according to the Israeli War Crimes Council….LESS THAN 0.1% of Poles collaborated with the Nazi Germans…but you DO NOT want to mention that because you want to DEGRADE and DEMONIZE MOST if not ALL Polish people!!

    The new Polish law only criminalizes people who say the Polish STATE/Government collaborated with Nazi Germany. Poland has this right since its true, the Polish STATE/Government never collaborated with Nazi Germany. The Polish STATE was destroyed in 6 weeks by the invading Nazi Germans and their ally the invading Soviet Union. And the residue of the Polish STATE in Britain tried to warn the world about the Nazi German persecution of Jews and Poles….but NOBODY listened to them.

    And you seem to have misgivings that the Polish law criminalizes reference to Nazi German death camps as “Polish death camps”. Yes you don’t like that because it makes it harder for your fellow Jews in the fake mass media to KEEP LYING about Nazi German death camps being “Polish death camps”. Well that’s too bad. I support Poland in fighting this BIG LIE of “Polish death camps”.

    And why are you Jews so against Poland having its own Holocaust Law??? Jews have instituted harsh criminal laws through out Europe where IF you even say that there were less than “6 million Jews” that died in WW2….you will go to prison for years. Many people have already gone to prison in Germany for their THOUGHT CRIME that they THOUGHT less than 6 million Jews died in WW2.
    Currently, a Canadian old lady Monika Schaeffer is being criminally prosecuted for her THOUGHT CRIME that she thinks “6 million Jews died in WW2” is an exaggeration and many Jewish groups like the Simon Wiesenthal Center and World Jewish Congress are CELEBRATING her prosecution/persecution!! This is appalling and makes Jews look like hypocrites when they condemn Poland for it’s Holocaust Law. Poland basically passed this law to fight the hysterical Jewish Anti-Polish media hate propaganda like….. German death camps are “Polish death camps”, etc. I say good for Poland!!

    As for this sentence in this story “If speech is curtailed and criminalized, so should Poland’s rising intolerance and anti-Semitic hatred be similarly restricted and banned.”

    Here’s a concept, IF Jews in the mass media did not KEEP attacking and attacking and attacking Polish people with hateful BIG LIES like “Polish death camps”…..MAYBE Poles wouldn’t REACT with “anti-semitic hatred”???

    And when is media Jewish anti-Polish hate propaganda going to ever be curtailed or banned?

    • Joe, to answer your last question: not until Jewish demand for reparations (for property despoiled by Germans and Soviets) is “satisfied,” to paraphrase Israel Singer, former president of WJC who threatened to “humiliate Poland on the international forum.”

  6. “A 2013 survey showed that 90 percent of Poles have never met a Jew but have anti-Semitic attitudes.” The opposite applies, but anti-Polonism among Jews is far worse than any anti-Semitism I have witnessed among Poles. Surely, the incessant anti-Polish drumbeat does not foster amity toward Jews.

  7. Poles and Poland have never denied the fact of collaboration by individuals who tormented Jews and the Poles protecting them. These lowlife criminals were subject to execution by the Polish underground army. In stark contrast, there has been no discussion about institutionalized collaboration of Jews in the annihilation of their own people: Judenrat, Jewish ghetto police, kapos, Zagiew, Group 13, ghetto kings such a Chaim Rumkowski.

    Hannah Arendt wrote: “For the Jews, the role that Jewish leaders played in the annihilation of their own nation is undoubtedly the darkest chapter of all this grim history.” And in the words of Emmanuel Ringelblum: “The cruelty of the Jewish police was very often bigger than that of Germans, Ukrainians or Latvians. Every Jewish man, every woman and every child can cite thousands of facts of the inhuman cruelty and rage of the Jewish police […]”

    Jedwabne is one of the bludgeons commonly used to beat up on Poland, but who has heard of Osmiany (now in Belarus), where Jewish ghetto police assisted Lithuanians in executing over 400 Jews?

    Tabitha Korol should be careful about casting stones.

  8. Can you please also add about one milion Poles, who under threat of death penalty were helping Jews during WW2?
    Thanks
    Regards
    Robert

  9. First of all any animal rights activist would have a hard time with Halal slaughter. Even though you explain it here, I think no one in the animal rights movement would think it was humane. In the mind of a non Jewish its not about Jewish custom it’s about humane treatment of animals. Not everything people disagree with about the Jewish faith is because they hate Jewish people. It’s very shocking to see halal being done to an animal and how they run around in a frantic terrified daze afterwards before they die. This is done over and over again with each animal. So if Jewish people force others to accept this as something standard in their faith I think people will naturally as human beings show signs of horror if they love animals. This perhaps is where a rift develops naturally between Jews and non Jews and seen as antisemitic. Also the information put out by Jan Gross in his book neighbors is not definitive in the least. It is accusatory and inflammatory information that has been refuted by others. There are eye witness accounts that reveal there were Nazi soldiers present with guns with the townspeople goading them on and promoting this. Also the number of people is very misleading and closer to a number of three hundred far lower than the number sited here. There are other eye witnesses and reports but Jan Gross who is not a historian himself appears to upstage everyone and Jewish sites take his work at face value without any investigation or fair evaluation from others in higher echelons of historical research. Why? Is it because only Jewish sources are to be trusted? Is only one side allowed to present this history? And why is this? It was also known at the time of Jedwabne that those who supported Lenin in the NKVD which was made up of forty percent Jewish officers executed 22,000 elite Polish soldiers in an extremely brutal betrayal at Katyn after telling the Poles they would help them against the Nazis. I believe it is a no brainier to believe people would find out about this betrayal and would be extremely angry if not enraged having the belief whether true or untrue that (Bolshevik) Jews were responsible for communism and the takeover of Russia also the death of the Czar and millions of others, including Christians and Jews themselves besides killing their soldiers. Also unfortunately when you are in a war situation where there are executions and both sides Nazi and Communists are playing against each other and coercing and threatening it gets pretty nasty and horrible for everyone as you can see. However when you have one side that truly perpetrated this catastrophe known as the Holocaust and inducted people into its ranks by coercion, executions bribes and threats, then you have the people they held hostage to their armies taunted and blamed for actions done in chaotic and life threatening situations you will find anger and frustration that may appear to be antisemitism to those having a fine tuned eye for it. This deep frustration fueled by not being heard by the Jewish community becomes more and more rooted in their own community when the extreme trials they and their families were also put under are not validated. This case of Jewish brow beating of Poles in every article I have read in opposition to the Holocaust law reminds me of a sign I read in a nautical gift store. It read, “The beatings will commence if the moral doesn’t improve.” Articles such as these that show no sign of respecting the trials of the Poles or validating and constantly brow beating them do nothing to help antisemitism. They only help entrench frustration and cause further division.

  10. “Their revisionism knows no bounds. (…) Jan Dziedziczak, deputy director of Poland’s Foreign Ministry, read an inscription that Germans, along with the “Polish police,” guarded the entrance to the Lodz Ghetto, in what was the German-occupied zone of Poland, and demanded its removal.” – Dziedziczak is right, Lodz (renamed to Litzmannstadt) was annected to Germany, so no “Polish police” existed there. Yes, our revisionism knows no bounds, we demand the truth.

  11. Citation: “Jan Dziedziczak, deputy director of Poland’s Foreign Ministry, read an inscription that Germans, along with the “Polish police,” guarded the entrance to the Lodz Ghetto, in what was the German-occupied zone of Poland, and demanded its removal.”

    The inscription is wrong because Łódz was incarnated into III Reich by the Nazi and there was by definition no “Polish police” in III Reich. There were only German and Jewish police.

  12. This article is a crop of lies. Even a photo – presents the British smokers barracks of the German camp Bergen-Belsen.

  13. Horrible and unbelievable lies and manipulation. Why international society let The Jewish Voice and some uneducated Jewish groups produce such a fakes?!?!?!?!! 40.000 Jewish served in German NAZI. Did they had no influence on holocaust – also of holocaust of 6 million Poles??

  14. Auschwitz was created at first as an important tool of terror against Polish leadership, intellectuals and resistance. From March 1942 it became one of the centers of mass extermination of European Jews. It was also a place of murder of European Roma. http://lekcja.auschwitz.org/en_1/ 4/9

  15. What a stupidity

    First – take some rest and learn abouth WWII history.
    Second – take another rest to understand what that new law is about to be. It’s not about Jedwabne, nor 1968. It’s mainly beacause israelian teenagers visiting Auschiwtiz have no clue about what actually happend there, and who is for it resposnible. They accuse polish goverment, calling it nazi, while actually it did not existed at the time, beacuse Poland was invaded. The law is to limit the making of false statements (resulting from ignorance) in which the responsibility for the holocaust is attributed to the Polish state. Nobody, however, questions the responsibility of individual citizens for participating in such slaughterhouses as the one in Jedwabne

    This statement is false: “Poland’s President Andrzej Duda enacted a law that criminalizes any speech that suggests Polish complicity in the heinous crimes against Jews during the Holocaust”. You are misunderstanding it as you do misunderstood the polish history.

  16. The most illuminating thing about this article is the comments from apples desperate to deny history or just repeating the same old antisemitic canards trying to claim the Jews did it to themselves. Poland’s Jewish community- the few that remain, need to get out before there is yet another Pogrom and 10000 more dead Jews!

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