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Letters on Polish Affairs (Classic Reprint) byCharles Sarolea;An Eye-Opening Non-Polish Perspective on Polish-Jewish Relations, Roman Dmowski, the Silesia-Plebiscite Farce, etc

jan peczkis|Thursday, November 16, 2017

Charles Sarolea (1870-1953) was Professor at the University of Edinburgh, and the Belgian Consul in Edinburgh. This 1922 work is head and shoulders above the customary Anglo-American schlock about Poland written today. Because the information in this book is now almost a century old, I trace the continuity of its contents with modern events.



THE ROOTS OF POLONOPHOBIA, THEN AND NOW

In the Introduction, G. K. Chesterton wrote these pithy words, “I judged the Poles by their enemies. And I found it was an almost unfailing truth that their enemies were the enemies of magnanimity and manhood. If a man loved slavery, if he loved usury, if he loved terrorism and all the trampled mire of materialistic politics, I have always found that he added to these affections the passion for a hatred of Poland.” (p. 8).

As it was a century ago, these Pole-haters include the Judeocentrists and the political leftists (including the LEWACTWO). To which we can now add the newfangled slanderers of Poland--the cultural Marxists, globalists, and the libertines and hedonists.

JEWS FREELY CRITICIZE OTHERS, BUT EXEMPT THEMSELVES FROM CRITICISM

Based partly on his personal experience, which he describes, Sarolea comments, “Jewish writers have never hesitated to make ample use of their own highly-developed critical faculties in order to expose the weakness and shortcomings of every community and of every class in the Gentile world. They ought to allow the same liberty to others. They ought to allow Gentile writers to apply their much less developed critical faculties to the scientific investigation of the Jewish problem.” (p. 91).

Thus, a century ago, everything negative in Jewish-Polish relations was automatically all blamed on the Poles. Now, a century later, it is exactly the same. As an example of a century-old meme, Sarolea quips, “Again and again during the last few years the Jewish Press have been systematically accusing the Polish people of intolerance. It does not seem to occur to them that the very presence of Jews in Poland in such overwhelming numbers is a refutation of that accusation.” (p. 92). Ah, that same old buzzword about tolerance.

JEWISH ECONOMIC DOMINANCE LONG PREVENTED A POLISH MIDDLE CLASS, LEADING TO POLAND'S DOWNFALL

Sarolea pulls no punches as he writes, “The abnormal proportion of Jews in the Polish towns has had one disastrous social effect amongst many others. It has prevented the emergence of a Polish middle class…To that cause more than to any other can be traced the downfall of the Polish Republic. And the absence of a Polish middle class in the past has been largely due to the presence and pressure of an abnormal number of Jews. There is a vicious circle in the economic life of Poland. On the one hand a Polish middle class cannot rise as long as the present concentration of the Jewish population persists. On the other hand, if a Polish middle class did become both conscious as a class and sufficient unto itself, the Jewish population in the cities could no more make a livelihood”. (pp. 97-98). (The latter eventually happened, leading to crushing poverty among many Polish Jews between WWI and WWII.)

FINALLY, AN ELEMENT OF JUSTICE FOR ROMAN DMOWSKI: THE 1912 DUMA ELECTIONS

Nowadays, academic books invariably demonize Roman Dmowski, especially those written by Jews and by LEWAKS. In fact, Dmowski has become enlisted as a demon-symbol of everything that was and is supposed to be so terrible about Poland.

Consider the National Democrats (Endeks) and their call to boycott the Jews. Sarolea thoughtfully and evenhandedly assesses this event, "One remarkable incident which happened immediately before the war [WWI] illustrates the economic antagonism between the Jewish population and the rising Polish middle class. About 1910 the national party declared an economic boycott against the Jews. It was an inopportune and a dangerous move, as Mr. Dmowski found out to his cost. But the Christians were able to urge that they were only applying to the Jews those very economic methods which the Jews were applying to the Poles. The Jews maintained the strictest economic solidarity and clannishness amongst themselves. The Christians were merely retaliating." (p. 98).

ROMAN DMOWSKI AT VERSAILLES: WHY POLAND'S JEWS WOULDN’T/COULDN’T ASSIMILATE

Charles Sarolea, who knew Roman Dmowski, sets the record straight. He writes, “In Poland the Jews refuse to be absorbed…Yet the Polish Jew is the most bigoted, the most fanatic of nationalists. He continues to live in the Middle Ages, he feeds on the Talmud and the Zohar. He retains his long gabardines and his corkscrew curls. He continues to dispute whether an egg which is laid on the Sabbath may be eaten and whether that Sabbatical egg is not an unclean egg.” (pp. 93-94).

In addition, the author ponders the fact that, “…95 percent of the five million of Polish Jews speak a German dialect [Yiddish].” (p. 99).

Sarolea then displays a sense of humor as he describes his interaction with Roman Dmowski: "But even if the Jews did desire to be assimilated, the fact is that they cannot be assimilated. There are too many of them. During the war [WWI] I had the honor to act as Chairman in a debate between a Jewish gentleman and Mr. Roman Dmowski, the Polish Plenipotentiary at Versailles; as the controversy was getting somewhat too animated, I intervened for a moment in the discussion in order to relieve the tension of the atmosphere. I am sure, I submitted, that Mr. Roman Dmowski is prepared to admit that the Jews are the 'salt of the Earth.' On the other hand I felt sure that Sir Leo Levison would also be prepared to admit that there may be too much salt in the Polish dish. I believe that those words did sum up the gist of the problem." (p. 95).

MENDACIOUS ACCUSATIONS OF MASSIVE POLISH POGROMS—JUST LIKE TODAY

Around 1918, newspapers had lurid fake news about as many as 30,000 Jews murdered by Poles. Henry Morgenthau visited Poland, at the behest of President Wilson. Let Sarolea tell what happened, “Mr. Morgenthau, in his inquiry, proved beyond the possibility of contestation the baseless nature of the accusation. He further gave the Polish Jews the wholesome advice to try to be loyal citizens to the New State, warning them at the same time of the incalculable damage which was done not only to the New State, but to the Jewish cause, by the irresponsible charges hurled by the Jewish papers against the Polish Government and the Polish people.” (p. 88).

Have the Jews heeded Morgenthau’s advice? Are you kidding! Here we are a century later, and we see, once again, massive-pogrom calumnies against Poland, this time by the likes of neo-Stalinist authors such as Jan T. Gross, Jan Grabowski, and Barbara Engelking. They have been supported by various Jewish organizations, Holocaust operatives, and the press, as they go around repeating sensational voodoo numbers of 200,000 fugitive Jews killed by Poles during the German-made Holocaust.

Ah, some things never change.

EVEN AFTER POLAND REGAINED INDEPENDENCE (1918), JEWS REMAINED ALOOF FROM POLAND

To begin with, Poles and Jews may as well be living on different planets. Sarolea quips, “Between the Pole and the Jew there are a hundred differences: differences of language, of religion, of race and of manners, of economic interests and of political sympathies.” (p. 103). Yet ironic to all this, we have authors today (e. g, Joanna Beata Michlic) whining that Poles saw Jews as the Other!

To the passive Jewish separatism must be added the active Jewish separatism, “And now, when in the fullness of time that State has been restored, they [Poles] discover with dismay that the Jews, on whose support they had a right to rely, are the secret or overt enemies of the State. They discover that the Polish Jew is primarily a Jew, that he is secondarily a German, but that in the majority of cases he refuses to be a Pole pure and simple.” (p. 99).

He adds that, “The Jews seem to think that their future is bound up with Russia and Germany.” (p. 101).

THE SO-CALLED MINORITIES TREATY: UNPRECEDENTED AND EXPANSIVE SPECIAL RIGHTS FOR JEWS

Sarolea is merciless as he cuts to the quick, “If the Polish government refuse to allow the use of the Yiddish dialect in public schools, and if they insist that Polish be the national language of the Polish State, that wicked Government is accused of violating the sacred rights of minorities, although no Jew in Whitechapel or in the Bowery would dare to demand that the English language should be abolished in the schools of London or New York.” (pp. 34-25). Furthermore, “Such a claim is intolerable, and would not be admitted by any Government.” (p. 100).

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THE FARCICAL 1921 PLEBISCITE IN SILESIA

Author Sarolea calls the Germans on this one. He writes, “If the Poles had been consulted in the matter, they could no more have accepted it than the French would have accepted a plebiscite in Alsace-Lorraine. A plebiscite and a referendum may be fair methods of finding out public opinion, BUT ONLY UNDER NORMAL CONDITIONS AND IN A FREE COUNTRY. But Silesia is not a free country. She had been living under the Prussian heel. The Government had been accustomed for generations to import electors and to manipulate elections.” (p. 54: Emphasis is Sarolea’s).

The plebiscite was a foregone conclusion, and it is not difficult to understand the reason. Sarolea quips, “For fifty years Germany had carried on a policy of compulsory colonization and expropriation. Hundreds of thousands of immigrants, civil servants, and German colonists, have been allowed to swell the German numbers and to load the dice in the electoral game…First, brutal conquest, then systematic Germanization and then nationalization of industries; last, as an inevitable result, a plebiscite favorable to the conqueror.” (p. 55).

Not surprisingly, the Germans were able to manipulate and intimidate many Poles into voting against Polish interests. Sarolea concludes that, “At least one-third of the Polish-speaking population submitted to German pressure, and was terrorized by the obsession of Bolshevism and bankruptcy.” (p. 56).

German arrogance knew no bounds. The author realizes that, “It is not the Poles but the Germans who refused to abide by the results of the referendum…It is the provocative attitude of the Germans which was the immediate cause of the Silesian insurrection.” (p. 57).SOME LITTLE-KNOWN FACTS ON POLISH-JEWISH RELATIONS

Did Jewish financial actions generate short-term profits and long-term antagonisms?
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(I). The Jewish Economic Hegemony Over Poland Led to the Exploitation of Poles, and Definitely Prevented Poles From Improving Their Lot:
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The Nation in the Village: The Genesis of Peasant National Identity in Austrian Poland, 1848-1914

Ludwik Hirszfeld: The Story of One Life (Rochester Studies in Medical History)

The Polish Jew, his social and economic value

Przez druty, kraty i kajdany: Wspomnienia partyzanta NSZ (Polish Edition)

From Serfdom to Self-Government: Memoirs of a Polish Village Mayor, 1842-1927

A World Problem, Jews, Poland, Humanity: A Psychological And Historical Study, Part 1 (1920)
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(II). The “Unbeatability” Of Jewish Economic Privilege--From a Jewish Viewpoint:
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Polin, Volume Seventeen - The Shtetl: Myth and Reality (Studies in Polish Jewry)
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(III). No Inevitable Polish “Intolerance” of Minority Groups. The Armenians Were Unswervingly Loyal to Poland, and Thereby Enjoyed Centuries of True Equality With Poles. They Were Allowed to Own Land and Hold Political Office:
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Thoughts of a Polish Jew: To Kasieńka from Grandpa (Jews of Poland)
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(IV). The Blood-Libel In Reverse: Jews Taught That Gypsies Steal Jewish Children:
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Bialystok to Birkenau

Life is With People : The Culture of the Shtetl

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________________POLISH ANTI-SEMITISM: THE UNTOLD STORY_____________


Was there a black-and-white history of the Polish villain and the Jewish victim? Hardly. As a start, click on the links below and read my detailed reviews.

I. Not long after the Partitions of Poland, which erased Poland off Europe's map (1795-1918), most local Jews sided with Poland's foreign rulers, notably during Polish battles for independence:

History of the Jews in Russia and Poland: From the Earliest Times Until the Present Day

II. Jews generally were hostile to the prospect of the resurrection of the Polish state--out of an arguably-narrow self-interest. A newly-reconstructed Polish nation-state would disrupt the geographical continuity of the Jewish "nation-within-nation" in tsarist Russia, and would hinder the movements of Jewish commerce:

The Tragedy of a Generation: The Rise and Fall of Jewish Nationalism in Eastern Europe

III. Many "anti-Semitic" themes (e. g, the Jew as the perpetual “Other”), for which Poles nowadays are selectively blamed, were also widely held by respectable Jews:

Jewish People, Yiddish Nation: Noah Prylucki and the Folkists in Poland

IV. Centuries of economic privileges had essentially made Jews an economic overclass over Poles. Both the nobility and peasantry had been made dependent upon Jews. In time, all this led to Polish efforts to "take Poland back" from the Jews. Even then, the AVERAGE Jew remained better off than the average Pole:

From Serfdom to Self-Government: Memoirs of a Polish Village Mayor, 1842-1927

Social and Political History of the Jews in Poland 1919-1939 (New Babylon: Studies in the Social Sciences)

V. As Polish independence was finally becoming reality (1918), local Jews generally sided with Germany over the contested territories of western Poland:

The White Eagle of Poland

On the Eve: The Jews of Europe Before the Second World War

VI. As Poland was being resurrected, the local Jews, with the undisguised support of international Jewry, attempted to detach the eastern city of Bialystok from Poland, and make it part of Lithuania or Russia, or even a mini Jewish state:

Jewish Bialystok and Its Diaspora (The Modern Jewish Experience)

VII. The so-called Minorities Treaty, being forced on the new Polish state by international Jewish pressure, was not about the Jewish rights of a religious and cultural minority--something that Poland's Jews already freely had. It was all about creating expansive separate-nation rights of Jews on Polish soil:

The Jews and minority rights (1898-1919) (Studies in history, economics, and public law, no. 384)

VIII. Finally, the old religious-based antagonisms did not come only from Poland's Catholicism (e. g, deicide). The unmistakable racism that is part of the Jewish religion was also a cause:

Jewish Identity in Early Rabbinic Writings (Arbeiten Zur Geschichte Des Antiken Judentums Und Des Urchristentums, Vol 23)
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