Polish right-wingers sue Argentinian paper about Holocaust

This video says about itself:

29 January 2008

On 10 July, 1941, over a thousand Jews were massacred in Jedwabne, Poland. They were herded into a barn which was doused with petrol and set on fire. Music was played to drown out their screams. The perpetators? Not [German] Nazis, but Poles.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Monday, March 5, 2018

Polish right-wing group sues Argentinian paper under new Holocaust law

A POLISH group close to the country’s right-wing government has brought the first court case under the country’s divisive new Holocaust law, suing the Argentinian paper Página/12.

Página/12 published a response to the lawsuit yesterday, which the Polish League Against Defamation (PLAD) filed in Warsaw on Friday, saying that it had become “the first global target of an organisation that collaborates with the Polish government in its objective of censoring those who publish information about the Holocaust.”

PLAD filed its case just a day after the new law took effect. Poland’s government had faced criticism about the law, with some saying that it would stifle research and discussion about the Holocaust, particularly about collaboration with occupying nazi German forces.

Poland’s government insists it is just trying to stop smears against the country, particularly the inaccurate phrase “Polish death camps” to refer to nazi facilities.

Página/12’s article, published in December and reprinted in yesterday’s edition, was about a 1941 pogrom by Poles in the town of Jedwabne, where about 340 Polish Jews were killed by their neighbours.

PLAD focused particularly on Página/12’s use of a photograph of anti-communist fighters from the 1950s, saying that it showed “great historical ignorance.”

Página/12, which found out about the lawsuit through the press, said that, while the choice of picture “may have been an error, it seems absurd to use the photo as a supposed demonstration of the intention to ‘harm the Polish nation and the image of the Polish soldiers’.”

The newspaper compared the Polish law to one in Turkey that bans mention of the Armenian genocide, saying that it was now “a crime to write that there was Polish complicity in the Holocaust.”

Worldwide solidarity with Página/12: here.

This 21 February 2018 video by Israeli daily Haaretz is called Dear Poland: Your Holocaust law fools no one. No one forgets.

Also from The Morning Star:

Monday, March 5, 2018

Reality of anti-semitism in Poland cannot be scrubbed from history by political edict

TURKISH legislation banning mention of the Ottoman empire 1915-17 Armenian genocide has not weakened the historical evidence that such an atrocity took place.

The current Polish government’s replication of Ankara’s insistence on historical censorship is another self-serving attempt to whitewash past generations of crimes that certainly took place.

Those who refer to anti-semitic crimes by some Poles against their Jewish fellow citizens during the nazi occupation don’t accuse all Poles of collaboration with the German occupiers in the Holocaust.

But the enthusiastic involvement of large numbers of Polish anti-semites in the industrialised extermination of Jews cannot be scrubbed from history by political edict.

In the specific instance of the 1941 pogrom in the town of Jedwabne, in which about 340 Polish Jews were slaughtered by their neighbours, the pro-Warsaw government body Polish League Against Defamation (PLAD) makes much of an image used by Argentinian paper Página/12.

PLAD may be justified in saying that using a photograph of 1950s anti-communist guerilla forces in Poland to illustrate its piece shows “great historical ignorance,” but it does not follow that this was motivated by malice towards Poles or their soldiers.

Página’s error could have arisen because events it was covering took place 77 years ago, which makes the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s publication of a 1946 US State Department report all the more relevant.

The report found “evidence that Poles persecuted the Jews as vigorously as did the Germans” during the nazi occupation of Poland.

It looked at manifestations of anti-semitism, after nazi Germany’s defeat, when, for example, dozens of Jews liberated from concentration camps were murdered by local residents when they returned to the village of Kielce.

The 1946 document, which was declassified in August 1983, probed pre-war Polish government policies, “current anti-semitic manifestations and the possibilities for Jewish survival in Poland” in the immediate aftermath of the Holocaust, finding that “native Poles” had abetted German activities during the war.

The State Department noted that “continuance of the conflict between the government and the opposition in Poland is conducive to a resurgence of anti-semitism, which is easily employed as a weapon in this conflict.”

It recognised that “the government has made anti-semitism a crime”, but “the outrages continue, although on a somewhat reduced scale.”

For reference, the government referred to is the post-war administration installed after Poland’s liberation from nazi occupation by the Soviet Union’s Red Army. Anti-semitism was deployed by the opposition because Jews were seen as government backers.

The US document made clear that, even before Germany occupied Poland, anti-semitism “was one of the distinguishing factors of the country’s political, social and economic life.”

According to the State Department, “Polish anti-semitism was preached by political parties and church heads and practised by officials high and low”, recognising that the post World War I independent Polish government limited Jewish university student numbers and introduced discriminatory taxation.

Most Jews in Poland in 1939 lived as “second-class citizens” despite having token representation in parliament.

Anti-semitism did not, however, begin with Polish independence in 1918. It was longstanding state doctrine throughout the Russian empire, of which Poland was part, wielded by the tsarist autocracy along with Orthodox and Catholic churches.

Laws have been passed to outlaw this scourge, but it has still not been extirpated.

Honest and open examination of what took place, when and why is a necessary part of the process of rooting it out totally and this will not be assisted by legal censorship of historical examination.

Polish MPs back U-turn on scandalous Holocaust law: here.

A new study, titled “Quantifying the Holocaust: Hyperintense kill rates during the Nazi genocide,” by the mathematical biologist Lewi Stone, has established that up to 15,000 Jews were killed on a daily basis between August and November 1942, a kill rate higher than in any other recorded genocide of the 20th century. At least 1.47 million Jews, more than a quarter of all victims of the Nazi genocide of European Jewry, were murdered within these three months: here.

9 thoughts on “Polish right-wingers sue Argentinian paper about Holocaust

  1. POLAND: Protesters joined a number of demonstrations in Warsaw and other cities against racism and anti-semitism at the weekend.

    Pounding drums, around 1,000 people walked through central Warsaw chanting: “Freedom, equality, tolerance!” and carrying banners demanding an end to the war in Syria.

    Racism and anti-semitism have been rising since Poland’s right-wing government refused to accept Muslim refugees under an EU allocation scheme.



  2. 75 years ago: British and US governments reject assistance for Jewish refugees

    Jewish civilians surrounded by Nazi troops in the last stages of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising

    This week in April 1943, delegations representing the British and US governments met in Hamilton, Bermuda, to discuss the unprecedented refugee crisis stemming from the Nazi war of extermination against the European Jewish population.

    The gathering, held from April 19 to 30, underscored the contempt of the Allied powers, who claimed to be waging a war for democracy against the fascist powers, for the plight of millions of European Jews who were being dispatched by the Third Reich to concentration camps.

    Over the months preceding the conference, hundreds of thousands of Jews had been sent to their deaths across Europe, after the German government’s January 1942 Wannsee Conference approved the so-called “final solution.” The US and British delegates gathered in Bermuda as Polish Jews who had carried out a heroic uprising against the genocide were being butchered amid the defeat of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.

    The Bermuda conference had been called to assuage intense anger among British and American workers over the plight of European Jews. Widespread demands had been raised in both countries for mass migration intakes and military measures to halt the genocidal campaign of the Nazis.

    Both governments, however, signaled their indifference to the plight of European refugees by sending junior delegations. The US was represented by Harold Dodds, the president of Princeton University, while the British contingent was led by Richard Law, a junior minister in the foreign office.

    During the conference, representatives of the two nations discussed widespread calls that they approach the German government through an intermediary to offer to settle large numbers of Jewish refugees.

    The spokesmen for the Roosevelt administration in the US and the British government of Winston Churchill in Britain made clear that they rejected such a course of action. Law said: “If Hitler accepted a proposal to release perhaps millions of unwanted persons, we might find ourselves in a very difficult position … he might say ‘all right, take a million or two million’. Then because of the shipping problem, we should be made to look exceedingly foolish.” In other words, the British government was fearful that the mass intake of refugees would divert its navy from the task of securing the interests of its ruling elite.

    In response to the conference, and the crushing of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, Szmul Zygielbojm, a member of the Polish government in exile, committed suicide. A note he left stated that it was not only the Nazis who were responsible for the Holocaust, but that indirect responsibility also fell on “on the peoples of the Allied nations and on their governments, who up to this day have not taken any real steps to halt this crime.”



  3. Pingback: Polish Jewish socialist Szmul Zygielbojm’s suicide in 1943 | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Wednesday, June 6, 2018

    New Polish laws ‘open the doors to Holocaust denial’

    POLAND’S new anti-defamation laws have “opened the door” to normalising Holocaust denial, Labour’s Alex Sobel told MPs yesterday.

    The Leeds North West MP led a debate drawing attention to the hard-right Warsaw government’s outlawing of references to Polish complicity in nazi crimes.

    Mr Sobel said the “nationalist” laws “posed a threat” to proper historical understanding of the Holocaust. Poland’s government denies such claims.

    However, Mr Sobel told the Star that the laws risk allowing anti-semites to “think that their abuse is acceptable.”

    “I have personally received such abuse and I think the debate aired those issues here.

    “The Polish anti-defamation laws have given licence to a widespread range of activity around the Holocaust — from a tirade of abuse against the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum to a lawsuit against an Argentinian newspaper.

    “I hope the government takes up my concerns with their Polish counterparts at every opportunity.”



  5. Pingback: Claude Lanzmann, Shoah filmmaker, RIP | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  8. Pingback: German president in Poland silent on Holocaust | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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