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.

Florida, USA school shooting survivor speaks

This video says about itself:

Florida’s Mass Shooting: A Reflection For A Change

24 February 2018

Survivor of Stoneman Douglas Highschool writes a letter of her experience inside a mass shooting.

United States National Rifle Association anti-Semitism: here.

United States religious anti-Jewish racism

This video from the USA says about itself:

22 February 2018

Lawsuit: College refused to hire coach with ‘Jewish blood’

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A federal lawsuit claims the president of a private Baptist college in Louisiana refused to approve a football coach’s hiring because of what he called the applicant’s “Jewish blood.” Joshua Bonadona sued Louisiana College and its president, Rick Brewer, on Wednesday.

Read more here.

From the Forward in the USA:

Baptist College Refused To Hire Football Coach With ‘Jewish Blood’: Lawsuit

February 22, 2018

By Aiden Pink

The president of a private Baptist college in Louisiana

The Southern Baptist Convention was founded as a separate church because of racism; they did not like northern Baptists’ criticisms of slavery.

refused to hire an alumnus applying to be a football coach because of what he called the applicant’s “Jewish blood” a new lawsuit claims.

While the blood of Jews is red, like all other humans’.

Joshua Bonadona, who was raised Jewish but converted to Christianity while a student at Louisiana College, filed suit on Wednesday against the school and its president, Rick Brewer, for violating his civil rights.

Bonadona had an interview to be a defensive backs coach with Brewer and head coach Justin Charles. He claims that during the interview, Brewer asked him about his and his parents’ religious affiliations. Bonadona says he responded by admitting his mother was Jewish but that he was a Christian.

Bonandona resigned his coaching job in Missouri after being assured by Charles that the new position was his, but quickly found out that his hiring had been denied because of his “Jewish descent”.

“Mr. Bonadona asked Justin Charles what that meant, and Justin Charles stated that Dr. Brewer refused to approve Mr. Bonadona’s hiring because of what Dr. Brewer called Mr. Bonadona’s ‘Jewish blood’”. the suit says.

Bonadona subsequently took a new job at a school in Arkansas for less money than he would have received at Louisiana College. His attorney, Bonadona’s attorney, James Bullman, told the Associated Press that while the private Baptist university had a right to take religion into account when hiring, Jews are considered a distinct race under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, thus making Bonadona’s non-hiring an illegal racist employment practice.

“This case has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with Josh’s Jewish heritage and racial background”, Bullman said.

Brewer, an ordained Baptist minister, did not responded to requests for comment from the AP.

Destroy Holocaust monuments, German AfD neonazi says

Stolperstein monuments in Berlin, AFP photo

This photo shows Stolperstein Holocaust monuments in Berlin, Germany. The one at the right commemorates Jewish woman Ruth Hirsch, who used to live there. She was born in 1919. From 1940-1943, she was a forced labourer at Siemens and IG Farben corporations. In 1943, she was deported to Auschwitz concentration camp; where she was murdered.

Björn Hocke, a prominent politician of the German extreme right AfD party, has spoken out against Holocaust monuments and commemorations.

Translated from the German Tagesschau TV show today:

Outraged, the International Auschwitz Committee reacted to the demand of an AfD politician to end the stumbling block [Stolperstein] campaign in memory of Nazi victims. This was an attack on the basic democratic consensus.

Since 1992, stumbling blocks have been put as a reminder of those persecuted by the Nazi regime. More than 60,000 of the gold plaques are now present in more than 20 European countries.

Attack on democratic basic consensus

After the AfD politician Wolfgang Gedeon had demanded the abolition of this “forced culture of remembrance”, the International Auschwitz Committee reacted outragedly: “The AfD fights ever more brutally and unscrupulously what the survivors of Auschwitz as contemporary witnesses have reached in German society”, said the vice-chairman of the committee, Christoph Heubner. The statement is an attempt to push the survivors and their memories out of society.

The criticism by the International Auschwitz Committee explicitly does not only refer to Gedeon: rather, the AfD “consciously destroys the fundamental democratic consensus that is repeatedly invoked in German society after dealing with the murderous Nazi system as the common property of the Republic.” Heubner warned the society to “this time stop [anti-Semitism] at the beginning”.

Gedeon is an AfD member of the state parliament in Baden-Württemberg. He already had a reputation as an anti-Semite before this scandal.

German anti-AfD sticker

AfD getting closer to NPD open neonazis: here.

German parliament follows in the tracks of the far-right Alternative for Germany: here.

Germany, from Auschwitz to today

This 2012 video is called Jewish Survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch Testimony.

By Johannes Stern in Germany:

Nothing learned from Auschwitz

6 February 2018

On the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the German parliament (Bundestag) held a special sitting to commemorate the victims of Nazism. Many people around the world mark this day. The name of the concentration camp, which was liberated by the Soviet Red Army on 27 January 1945, is a synonym for the greatest crimes in human history and the barbarity of capitalism in its most extreme form.

The commemorative meeting was dominated by a massive contradiction. The main speaker this year was the German-British cellist and Holocaust survivor Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, who spoke with penetrating words recalling the horrific regime that drove her, her older sister Renate and millions of Jews and other persecuted people into the Nazi extermination camps. At the same time, she made a connection between that period and today’s “world full of refugees”, calling for more humane treatment of immigrants fleeing repression and poverty.

While some in the audience sitting on the sidelines were visibly moved, the applause Lasker-Wallfisch garnered from the assembled politicians of all parties could only be described as dishonest and cynical. Just a cursory glance at the Bundestag makes clear that the same ruling class that made Hitler chancellor 85 years ago is returning to its infamous traditions.

Participating in the commemorative meeting were some 90 deputies from the Alternative for Germany (AfD), an openly right-wing extremist party that embodies all of the filth that led to the mass murder of European Jewry: racism, nationalism and extreme militarism.

The president of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble, who has been at the forefront of the austerity diktats of Brussels and Berlin, which have plunged millions into poverty in Greece and other countries, did not utter a single word about the AfD in his speech. Instead, he indulged in platitudes, such as, “It must disquiet us when, every day, people are attacked only because they appear different”, and “witch hunts and violence should have no place in our society.”

The hollowness of these phrases is shown by the failure of the establishment parties to in any way distance themselves from the AfD on this memorial day. Instead, they have integrated this far-right, racist party more deeply into the structures of government.

Peter Boehringer, Sebastian Münzenmaier and Stephan Brandner, three representatives of the AfD’s extreme right, were given the chairmanship of important parliamentary committees. Boehringer, who will now head the budget committee, is a neo-liberal racist; Münzenmeier is a convicted hooligan; and Brandner a confidante of the neo-Nazi Björn Höcke, who describes the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin as a “Monument of Shame.”

It is no accident that the German ruling class, in attempting to install a right-wing government behind the backs of the people, is directly resting on the AfD. In recent days, it has become ever clearer that the next grand coalition between the Social Democrats (SPD) and Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) will seek to implement the programme of the extreme right. Already in the paper produced during the initial coalition talks, the SPD and CDU/CSU adopted the demand for an upper limit on the number of refugees. Last Tuesday, they agreed to abolish the right of family reunion for refugees.

The central task of the next government will be to revive German militarism and drive forward the great power politics that twice lead to the catastrophe of world war in the 20th century. The aggressive comments of military brass and influential media outlets leave no doubt of this.

At the start of the week, the former inspector general of the Bundeswehr (armed forces), Germany’s most senior military officer, Klaus Naumann, wrote a guest column for the Süddeutsche Zeitung in which he made clear what he expects from the next grand coalition. “In the coming years, at least one of the three Army divisions must become combat ready, helicopters must be able to fly again and U-boats sail”, wrote Naumann. At the same time, “the motto ‘train as you fight’, the principle of realistic training and exercising, must once again become part of the everyday experience of the Bundeswehr”, he added.

Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Naumann, the author of the 1992 Defence Guidelines, called for Germany to use military means to pursue its economic and political interests. Today, he dreams of imperialist campaigns of conquest, including in the Artic. With a potent army, he writes, Europe could “begin to extend the protection of its sea lanes in the Arctic Ocean, as well as along the new maritime silk road in the Indian Ocean.” These are “matters of survival for an EU dependent on foreign trade, which lacks any Asia strategy”, he continues.

Naumann is not alone in behaving as if the crimes of German imperialism in two world wars had never happened.

In the current edition of the newsweekly Der Spiegel, under the headline “Unwilling World Power”, a certain Ullrich Fichtner complains that Germany, “70 years after the war, and soon 30 years after the fall of the [Berlin] Wall”, has “still not learned to define its interests on the basis of its values and actively pursue them.” Instead, “a majority of the citizens [live] in the belief that foreign policy can be avoided somehow, and hardly anybody convincingly opposes such nonsense.”

The author—perhaps he should be greeted with “Heil Fichtner”—finds himself overwhelmed by old Nazi fantasies. “Every child should know that a colossus like Germany has no choice as to whether or not to exercise power”, he thunders at his readers. Germany, after all, is “an 800-pound gorilla, and when this boy moves, the windowpanes in Manchester and Rome, in Warsaw and Lyon, shake.”

In 2014, after Humboldt University Professor Jörg Baberowski was quoted in Der Spiegel saying Hitler was “not vicious,” the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party) analysed his statements and warned of the objective driving forces of a return of German militarism: “The propaganda of the post-war era—that Germany had learned from the terrible crimes of the Nazis, had “arrived at the West”, had embraced a peaceful foreign policy, and had developed into a stable democracy—is exposed as lies. German imperialism is once again showing its real colours as it emerged historically, with all of its aggressiveness at home and abroad.”

As in the first half of the 20th century, the working class confronts the alternative of socialism or barbarism.

To prevent the ruling class imposing its programme of social counterrevolution, war and dictatorship, the working class must seize the initiative and unite internationally to overthrow capitalism. The current strikes in Germany’s engineering, automotive and electrical industries are of great significance in this regard. They must be expanded and made the launching pad for a broad political mobilisation for new elections. It is only in this way that the ruling class can be prevented from bringing to power a government that stands in the traditions of German imperialism’s criminal past.

‘Polish governmental inaction against neonazis’

This video says about itself:

22 January 2018

A television report shot with a hidden camera showing members of a Polish far-right group celebrating Adolf Hitler’s birthday sparked uproar on Monday, in a country still grappling with the memory of Nazi occupation.

The alarming footage, filmed in southwestern Poland and aired on news channel TVN24, shows a group of men wearing Nazi-inspired uniforms and performing Nazi salutes.

Among those caught on camera was a man identified as Mateusz S., the leader of neo-Nazi group Pride and Modernity (DN).
He appears to have been speaking at an event marking 128 years since the birth of Nazi dictator Adolf Hilter, held on a hill near the southwestern Polish village of Wodzislaw on an undisclosed date.

Undercover journalists also filmed large red flags with Nazi swastikas hanging on the trees and an altar with a portrait of Hitler.

Participants in the event set fire to a large wooden swastika soaked in flammable liquid that was fixed to a tree as they played a soundtrack of Nazi military marches.

The footage was broadcast on TVN24’s “Superwizjer” current affairs programme which also included clips from an ultranationalist rock festival in March 2017 involving both Poles and Germans, with swastikas or the initials SS tattooed on their bodies.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Polish Jewish leader denounces government’s inaction against neonazis

THE leader of Poland’s federation of Jewish communities has denounced the government for allowing the growth of the country’s neonazi movement.

Union of Jewish Communities in Poland president Leslaw Piszewski spoke out following a shocking documentary broadcast on Polish TV that showed fascists celebrating Hitler’s birthday in a forest.

The fascists, some wearing SS uniforms, raised a toast to Hitler, whose portrait hung from a tree, ate a swastika-iced cake and sieg-heiled a large wooden swastika as it burned.

“What else has to happen for us to look, to open our eyes, for the authorities to say that fascism and nazism are not tolerated in Poland?” stormed Mr Piszewski.

Attorney General Zbigniew Ziobro vowed to act against the fascists, but still drew a distinction in his statement between Jewish and non-Jewish Poles murdered by nazi Germany’s forces.

The nazi ceremony took place just 30 miles from the Auschwitz death camp, where tomorrow there will be an event to mark the 73rd anniversary of its liberation by the Soviet army.

Israel criticises Poland over proposed Holocaust law: here.

The lower house of the Polish Parliament (Sejm) approved a bill January 26 which provides for severe penalties for both Polish and foreign citizens who use the term “Polish concentration camps” and who refer to the participation of Poles in the crimes of the Holocaust. The bill still needs to be approved by the Senate and the president, but is expected to pass these hurdles: here.

World War II-Era Envelopes Suggest Polish Knowledge of Holocaust. By Aviya Kushner, February 1, 2018.

Israel minister says Poland cancelled his visit amid Holocaust law dispute. Education minister Naftali Bennett says ‘I am honored’. Bill would outlaw blaming Poles for historical crimes against Jews: here.

Polish President Andrzej Duda signed into law Tuesday a bill censoring free speech about the Holocaust, after it has been passed by the lower and upper houses of the Polish parliament: here.