Andrzej Duda, Poland’s President, is an anti-Semite and he does not even recognize his evil trait. Poland’s Law is ridiculous because history cannot be erased completely.
The essence of the new Polish law is, that Poland will punish anyone who uses the term ‘Polish death camps,’ referring to the many Nazi concentration camps. The Nazis who occupied Poland forced the country to host the camps during the years of the atrocities against European Jews, that is the Holocaust. The Poles ‘are blasphemed’ by this phrase that suggests the country was responsible for Nazi atrocities on its soil.
Yes, the Nazis built concentration camps all over Poland but the Polish people have much to do with them.
Sadly, though Poland was not the architect of the Holocaust, it was an active participant and a collaborator with the Nazis.
What Poland’s new law is doing is rewriting its part in World War II history. The law’s purpose is to mislead the public, mainly Polish future generations, about Poland having any involvement in creating concentration camps in their country. It is a lie.
Three million Polish Jews died in these bloody camps, and the Poles were deeply involved in helping the Nazi-German occupying force to build them and pack them up, mainly with Jews.
The Polish People’s Collaboration Guilt
The Polish people were deeply Anti-Semitic. How do I know? My father told me. To make the job of the Nazis easier and more ‘effective,’ many of the Polish people pointed out Jewish homes, which the Germans ransacked and took whatever they wanted; Polish people helped with building and then running the concentration camps, which they want to wash their hands of now.
After the war, when some 200 Jewish Holocaust survivors returned to their hometown Kielce to claim their homes and businesses, the locals killed up to 42 of them, well documented in the film “Bogdan’s Journey: Healing, Forgiveness and a Learning Curve.”
But Kielce was not alone. The same ‘welcome’ to the surviving Jews who dared to return to their homes after they were liberated went on in other Polish cities.
Fake Adoption of Courageous Jews
In his speech, in which he honored the 75th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Mr. Duda espoused “fake history,” claiming that Jewish fighters in the ghetto had died “for Poland.” No, Mr. Duda, these brave men did not die for your country, they fought and died for their lives, imprisoned in the Ghetto as well as for all the Jewish people who were being slaughtered for being Jews. They fought for their personal freedom.
In Poland, Jews were singled out as Jews, they were segregated as Jews, they were persecuted as Jews and in the Warsaw uprising, they fought and died as Jews, not as Poles, and no amount of distortion will change that.
While in his address Mr. Duda commended the Jewish resistance that demonstrated that Jews are not easily trampled upon and/or defeated, as well as pointed at Jewish bravery, his claim that the ghetto Jewish fighters had “died fighting for Poland, because they were Polish citizens” was a farce.
On the night of April 19, 1943, hundreds of Jewish fighters – an estimated 750 Jewish fighters, a combined effort of two poorly-armed resistance groups, the Left-wing Jewish Fighting Organization (ZOB) and the pro-revisionist Jewish Military Union, while the Polish underground could have done more to aid the ghetto’s Jews – took up arms against Nazi-German troops who were given the order to raze Warsaw ghetto and deport all of its remaining Jewish inhabitants to the Nazi death camps. After the Nazis sustained more than 300 dead and wounded as a result of the fierce resistance fights, waged by the brave Jewish fighters for nearly a month, on May 16, 1943, the Nazi-Germans achieved the liquidation of the Warsaw Ghetto.
We have to question Mr. Duda’s claim that the Warsaw ghetto fighters had “died for Poland.” That is because most of the people who led the uprising belonged to Zionist youth organizations, to which my late mother belonged. Their fight’s goal was to get out of Poland, one way or another, and get to Eretz Yisrael-British Mandate Palestine of that time, and one has the right to think that they did not see themselves as dying for Poland, a land that disrespected them being Jewish.
President Duda frequently appeared to be a rather decent democratic leader but his role in the whitewashing of history by the new law is a major setback for post communist-Poland’s true face.
Poles Were Victims – Also Victimizers
The thinking behind the recently-passed amendment to the IPN Act – Poland’s law that governs the commemoration of World War II – that criminalizes public discussion of Polish collusion with the Nazi authorities, with up to three years imprisonment, is that there were Poles who helped Jews, treating them like brothers, like fellow citizens. And that is why Mr. Duda is rather sure that whenever anyone talks about the responsibility or co-responsibility of the Polish state for the Holocaust, that person hurts the feelings of those helping Poles and also the feelings of the Polish Jews they helped.
This attempt to make moral equivalency is one other aspect that distorts the horrific story of the Shoah – the Holocaust.
Indeed, some 7,000 Poles were recognized by Israel as ‘righteous among nations’ because they saved or helped to save Jews, but others – the majority – were apathetic and/or killed or sold out Jews to the Nazis.
For that reason, no legislation will wipe out facts and no fake history speech will change the truth.
The Concentration Camps ‘Enterprise’ in Poland
In the two decades of independence prior to the German invasion in 1939, native Polish Antisemitic propaganda and violence against the country’s 3 million Jews were the popular daily diet and the established facts of life in Poland.
Yes, the Nazi-German authorities were responsible for building and operating the concentration camps, with or without crematoria, as well as slave labor factories at Auschwitz, Treblinka and other locations in Poland. But we must not move our focus from the fact that though there was no political collaboration between the Poles and the Germans, because all that Nazi-Germany wanted was to incorporate Poland as a German province, when it came to harming and killing Jews, the story was completely different. They were many similarities.
The Yellow Daffodil Tradition
The yellow daffodil is a symbol of the Warsaw Ghetto, Poland uprising.
Marek Edelman was a Polish-Jewish political and social activist and a cardiologist. Edelman was the last surviving leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising that began on April 19, 1943. Every year on April 19, an anonymous person, whom Adelman believed was a woman, sent him a bundle of yellow flowers and he always received them, no matter where he was at the time, then proceeded to place it at the ghetto fighters’ monument.
A few years before Marek Edelman passed away, the special yellow flowers delivery stopped coming, probably because the sender passed away. Since then, on April 19th of each year, many Warsaw residents have been wearing a yellow daffodil pinned to their clothes, a tradition the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews started five years ago.
The Nation of Israel’s Answer to Poland’s Folly
The Jewish nation and the state of Israel went from the carnage of the Holocaust to a monumental revival. Each year Israel holds in Auschwitz the March of the Living, the humble emotional antidote to the Death Marches the Nazis put the Jews through when they realized their brief bloodstained ‘glory’ was about to end.
The March of the Living is an annual educational program, which brings students from around the world to Poland, where they explore the remnants of the Holocaust. On Holocaust Memorial Day, January 27, thousands of participants – Jews and non-Jews – march silently from Auschwitz to Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp complex built during World War II.
Sh’ma Yisrael – Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One, is the nation of Israel’s cry. The very same Sh’ma Yisrael – Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One, Jews yelled out, before they were murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators.
I visited Poland, I walked the land of Auschwitz and Majdanek, and I could hear the last heartbeat of the dead who suffered unfathomably. I could hear the Nazi guards shouting at the Jews, schnell, schnell, quickly, quickly; to where? To DIE! The Nazis created a system to murder the Jews FAST, quickly. A Jew was taken off the train in the morning and in the evening his or her body was cremated and his or her clothes were packaged up, ready to be sent to Nazi-Germany. With Germanic efficiency exploited to the fullest, the process of exterminating of Jews evolved and became ever shorter, from one whole day to only four hours. It took four hours for the life of a Jew to go up in smoke. Everything in a life of a Jew was wiped out, love, fear, belief, hopes, pain, memory.
The nation of Israel cannot hope for justice. Losing one of three Jews living in the world in those days cannot be judged and a verdict cannot be given. It is a dark stain for humanity to bear forever. The nation of Israel does not expect justice in Europe that sadly seeks – way too quickly – to forget, to eradicate the memory, to deny, to destroy the evidence of what, in so many ways, it perpetrated.
However, the Nation of Israel’s memory and the miracle of the third Jewish commonwealth, Israel, is the antithesis of the Nazis’ haste. The Nation of Israel remembers and its memory is patient; it remembers all that needs to be remembered, the memory of Amalek – Amalekites came to represent the archetypal enemy of the Jews – and the memory are those who helped Amalek.
Engraved in the Jewish Nation’s memory are those who, after World War Two ended, thought that Jewish blood is cheap, is forsaken, so they slaughtered those Jews who returned to the only place they knew to be their homes.
In spite of and despite those who want to deny it, there was the Holocaust.
The people of Poland produced thousands of Righteous among the Nations, men and women who put their own lives and the lives of their dear ones at risk for the sake of others, mainly Jews. And the Nation of Israel will remember them forever.
However, one simply cannot deny the truth that the efficient Nazi death machine would not have been able to achieve its terrible goal, if it had not received help; if it had not found a fertile ground of hatred for Jews, in which to take root; that was Poland.
It was Nazi-Germany that established the Death Camps, but Jews were not murdered only in the Nazi camps. Many Jews were betrayed by the people amongst whom they lived in somewhat calm coexistence, whether in France, in Holland, Belgium and Poland. Ukrainians, Lithuanians and yes – also Poles murdered Jews; countless citizens, in Eastern Europe and in Western Europe, stole Jewish property, moved in and took control of Jewish homes, handed over to the Nazis their Jewish neighbors, murdered them, and turned their backs on those who, just a moment before, had been a part of them. And after liberation when the survivors of the Holocaust tried returning to their homes, often they were met with hostility, violence, pogroms and murder.
While Polish people were killed and murdered in the cruel WWII, Jews were slaughtered in the Holocaust that included not only concentration camp deaths, but also killing pits, ghettoes, forced labor, and pogroms.
History Must Not Be Rewritten Into a Lie
It is the right of every nation to document and write its history. Alongside, it is the right of every nation that suffered ruination to rebuild itself from its ruins. No Jew is to interfere in Polish history, no Pole is to interfere in Jewish history. We all hope that Poland knows how to do its own soul searching.
Therefore, if the Polish People feel that their image has been tarnished by the events of the Holocaust, cooperation between the two nations is required. Investment in education, in research institutes to become available all work together on commemoration and remembrance and teach and give opportunity to study what happened, to make sure that it will never happen again. But not a denial!
A thousand years may pass, stills Germany’s guilt in perpetrating WWII and the Holocaust will not be erased. Germany cannot purchase the Jewish Nation’s forgiveness, just as no nation can legislate their deliberate failing to recall what happened. No legislation can cover the Jewish blood which I felt streaming when I walked on the paved streets of Warsaw. No member of the European Union and beyond, where the Nazi troops established presence, can adopt self-interest to cover over anti-Semitism, racism and hatred of the other, above all, not Germany.
The Nation of Israel will, from generation to generation, always remember the amazing goodness of the thousands of men and women who risked their own lives to save its members. The nation of Israel will forever remember the Nazis’ horrific subhuman evil and their collaborators from other nations. As for those who are willing to look straight into their past, who are willing to bravely deal with anti-Semitism and racism that continue to raise their ugly heads, still today, they will find the Nation of Israel an ally, a determined true partner to pave the way that leads from remembrance to a purely humane future.
Six million Jews were slaughtered in the Holocaust; they took away with them much of the future of the world in science, medicine, art, philosophy and leadership and thus set the enlightened world back many generations. These Jews were a number to the Nazis; but each number had a name and that name will never be forgotten.
Since it was established in 1988, more than a quarter of a million young Jews and non-Jews have participated in the March of the Living. It is not a march from Auschwitz 1 to Auschwitz 2, it is a march from death to miraculous life, a march from the Holocaust to a monumental revival. It is a march that makes a profound statements along the route that connects Auschwitz to the state of Israel capital, Jerusalem. Each footstep made in this march is a step in the history of the Jewish People. An ancient nation that survived against all odds; a nation that has been blessed with enormous powers of creativity, with spiritual and practical strengths. A nation that returned to its original homeland of 4,000 years, after two thousand years of exile, and is rebuilding there a Jewish national home, as a free people among the family of nations.
The Jewish nation was born through God’s command to Abraham to “Go forth,” and continues to go forth to affirm God’s words, “Here I am.” I am alive, Am Yisrael Chai, the People of Israel live!
The Holocaust Past and Future
Holocaust means the mass murder of millions of Jews.
The dead included my grandparents, my uncles and my cousins, and countless others, shot, starved, gassed, beaten to death, burned and buried in mass graves.
Yet, the lessons of the Holocaust and its annual commemorations hardly have anything to do with Jewish lives.
Billions of dollars have been spent to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust, in museums, memorials sites, monuments, while Iran is spending its billions on building nuclear technology to cause another Holocaust.
The United States’ Obama administration helped ‘sell’ the Iranian ‘Big Lie’ that assisted this demented regime build nuclear Jew murdering devices. The Washington D.C. Museum of Holocaust ignores the ongoing murder of Jews in Israel, but is very worked up over the deaths of Muslims in Myanmar, in Egypt, in Israel and other places around the world.
Many more millions are spent, by some of the same groups that claim to have interest in Holocaust education, on bringing Jew hating Muslim migrants to America and Europe who are determined to carry out the promise of an Islamic apocalypse, as their Islamic Hadith states, “The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.”
Another Holocaust Brewing?
There is an Islamic Holocaust vision; anyone who refuses to believe what is slowly getting underway, then visit Paris, London or Jerusalem.
But we must understand that the murder of Jews, in Israel or Europe, has much to do with the Holocaust.
Virtually every major Jewish organization, even the Orthodox Union (OU), was pressured into signing on to obscenely shameful statements equating Muslim migrants to Holocaust victims. That is weakness of virtue and insanity at its best.
It appears that the Holocaust subject is not just an uncomfortable subject for Germans, Russians or Poles, it is an uncomfortable subject for Jews, especially American Jews. The very same liberal Jewish organizations that took a vocal part in America’s civil rights movement remained ghastly silent about the murder of six million Jews.
One may ask, why the silence? For the same reason they didn’t protest loud enough to the signing on the Iran Deal madness.
The Obama of the Holocaust period was named FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt). Both administrations were equally anti-Semitic. FDR chose to ignore the mass murder of Jews until the Zionist activists’ protests became too loud to ignore. Saving six million Jews was not a feel-good liberal cause, but the civil rights movement was.
Sadly, it is never about doing the right thing. Rather, it is about what looks good, what is popular.
The very same organizations that stayed silent during the Holocaust do not teach the lesson of the Holocaust of, “Don’t allow Jews to be killed.” They try fight for every Leftist cause on the planet, EXCEPT the passé “not killing Jews” cause.
The very same Jewish organizations that wouldn’t dream of missing one Holocaust commemoration, broadcast, almost as loudly as to the Holocaust, their commitment to the “Two State Solution” a guarantee to destroy the state of Israel. It appears that the only lesson these bodies learned is that another Holocaust needs better marketing and slogans.
The Final Solution, with its fast extermination of the Jews, is now being replaced by the Two State Solution, an intermediate process in which the already small land on which Jews can live is further partitioned into smaller and smaller pieces, until there is no more.
Islamic Lebensraum demands ever more breathing room for itself and the smallest breathing room for Jews. Israel is already hardly defensible and Jews in Judea and Samaria are living outside the ghetto, Israel. According to the Two State [dis]Solution, these “settlers” Jews will be forcefully evicted for the sake of the kind of peace that Islam always brings of much pathetic life, blood and loss of life.
The Real Lesson of the Holocaust
The real lesson of the Holocaust is that if we do not destroy Israel, if we do not bring the migrant synagogue bombers and senior citizen murderers of tomorrow to Europe, we are no better than the Nazis.
It is not very complicated to understand the Holocaust because murder isn’t very complicated to understand. The easy lesson of a murder is, do not let or allow it to happen again.
It is so much easier to build one other Holocaust memorial than to look into your heart and ask why it is that two generations later, the majority of the American Jewish community is still too spineless to stand up to a liberal icon in the White House, when the lives of millions of Jews are on the line. In the seventy year gap, during FDR’s days and the Obama era, American Jewish leaders were given the opportunity to stand up to a liberal icon and save Jewish lives. However, no amount of memorials, monuments and ceremonies can camouflage the fact that they learned absolutely nothing.
Best Memorial to the Dead
The best memorial to the dead is to stop aiding their murderers.
Every Jewish organization that bowed to FDR and Obama has Jewish blood on their hands and every Jewish organization that trumpets the Two State Solution has, already and potentially spilled Jewish blood on its hands. Every Jewish organization that allows BDS mainstream activists, that criticize Israel and America for fighting terrorism, that imports Muslim migrants while demanding the expulsion of Jewish “settlers” from Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem has Jewish blood on its hands.
I don’t remember the Holocaust because of a visit to a museum. I remember the Holocaust because I lived with the void of having no grandparents in my life, because of the tears my Holocaust-surviving parents shed. I remember the Holocaust because my Jewishness and protecting my tribe doesn’t come from a memorial; it is embedded in me and has always been a part of me.
The Holocaust represents harsh truth about the world and human nature. As the years pass, commemorations of the Holocaust appear to soften their edges. But we cannot let the harsh truths to remain behind the comfortable velvet curtain.
Murder is the harshest truth. Next to the harshest truth stands betrayal. Throughout history, Jews were betrayed and the most ghastly betrayal was by Jews escaping their Jewishness. JINOS (Jews In Name Only), the likes of George Soros, did it in the most literal way possible while others did it by kvelling – feel happy and proud – to FDR speeches, while ignoring the smoke from the crematoria and the ash from burning Jewish bodies drifting over Europe. Today, these JINOs’ affirm the Two State Solution, ignore the all-around danger of the Iran nuclear program and they click on Obama, Cory Booker or their next in-line political culture hero’s speeches they found to be so inspirational.
To top it all, these JINOs ignore Jews being murdered in Israel or in Paris because dead Jews have nothing to do with their Holocaust narrative. Their refusal to listen and understand is how it all began. The Jews of Poland refused to pay attention to what was going on in Germany since 1933. The Jews of Hungary refused to pay attention to what was going on in Poland and now American Jewish organizations all too often ignore all of the former.
Commemorating the Holocaust
The Holocaust doesn’t need hundreds of millions of dollars spent on museums and monuments. To commemorate the Holocaust, the Jewish Nation must pay attention and never let the propaganda of the murderers blind her to their crimes.
Nowadays it is easy to look back at the obsolescent Nazis; it is much more difficult when it comes to tell it as it is about the PLO, Hamas, Iran and even Turkey.
There’s no act of courage to feel good about disavowing a discredited and fallen ideology. Disavowing the Two State Solution and the Iran Deal folly is genuine commemoration.
Jerusalem, Peace, Torah, Toda
The Jewish Nation’s dictum is, Jerusalem, peace, Torah – the scriptures and toda – thank you. (The words of Miriam Peretz, the 2018 Israel Prize winner)