"It's difficult to admit the obvious"
political world

ESSAYS ON POLISH-JEWISH RELATIONS,

jan peczkis|Wednesday, May 6, 2015


Author Jozef Orlicki covers a broad sweep of Jewish history in Poland. His work was published while Poland was still under Communism, and it reflects this fact in the “class struggle” terminology it sometimes uses.



SOME INTERESTING FACTS

A significant number of Polish Jews were ennobled, and given the armorial. Orlicki (p. 10) estimates that hundreds of Polish Jews were ennobled during the First Republic.

Some Jews supported Poland in her January 1863 Insurrection. Most did not. (pp. 21-23).

Zionism and Folkism (Bundism) were forms of 19th- and 20th-century Jewish nationalism. Both were hostile to Polish national aspirations. (e. g, p. 26, 80). In fact, a number of quoted articles in the Litvak (Litwak)/Yiddishist newspapers expressed undisguised enmity towards the prospect of a resurrected Polish state. ((pp. 36-37).

In the years leading up to Poland's regaining her independence (1918), Jews constituted 3-4% of the soldiers in Pilsudski's legions. (p. 35). However, they were under-represented in comparison with Jewish levels in Poland's general population (10-15%), and this contrasts with the Jews' over-representation in anti-Polish movements such as Communism.

THE MINORITIES TREATY

The so-called Minorities Treaty of circa 1918 would have granted Jews special rights, and effectively made Jews a separate, parallel nation (a Judeopolonia) on Polish soil. In 1919, Wojciech Korfanty asked if the Polish minority in Germany (such as that in Westphalia) could even imagine such special rights and nation-within-nation privileges. (pp. 40-41). Muttermilch, an educated and assimilated Polish Jew, pointed out that the Minorities treaty had nothing to do with the rights of Jews as a religious and cultural minority--rights that Poland's Jews already freely had. It was about Jews having the special, separatist rights of their own political parties, their own government-funded schools, their own government-funded court system, and even their own parliament. (p. 45). [If that is not nation-within-nation privilege, then what is?]

THE 1918-ERA POGROMS

During the Lwow (Lviv) pogrom of 1918, the Austrian newspaper, DER ABEND, gave a fantastic Jewish death toll of 3,000, even though the actual Jewish death toll, from all war-related causes, was 68. (p. 42). Bernard Hausner, a member of the Polish parliament and also member of the religious-Zionist Mizrachi political party, took his fellow Zionists to task for inflaming the situation by (using modern parlance) rushing to judgment on the pogroms, by greatly exaggerating the Jewish death toll, and by otherwise acting disloyally to Poland. (pp. 42-43).

In fact, much of the worldwide Jewish press greatly exaggerated the pogroms, and awfulized the situation of Jews in Poland. {Sound familiar?] Orlicki [Orlitsky] provides several examples of this. (pp. 44-45). Muttermilch, an educated and assimilated Polish Jew, condemned the egregious pogrom hype in the Jewish press, and exposed this as part of a politicized agenda of furthering Jewish separatism and special-national rights for the Jews in Poland. (p. 45).

THE 1937 SCHECHITA LAW

In Poland, nearly 100% of animals were slaughtered in accordance with the dictates of Jewish ritual slaughter. In other European countries, it was 2-4%. (p. 54). The use of schechita in Poland greatly raised the price of veal—by an annual rate of 18 million zlotys. (p. 54).

The schechita law of 1937 did NOT, as often mischaracterized, in any way abolish schechita itself. It only restricted ritual slaughter to those towns where the Jewish population was over 3%, and restricted Jewish butchers to selling ritually-slaughtered meat in selected stores. (p. 54). Clearly, the claim that the schechita law was an anti-Semitic affront to the Jewish religion, though often presented as such, was manifestly false. It had a sound economic basis, as elaborated below.

The schechita law of 1937 eliminated the jobs of an alleged 100,000 workers. These included schechita butchers, transport personnel, salesmen, etc. (p. 54). Obviously, these occupations had largely been of an economically-superfluous, make-work nature.

From all the above descriptions, a number of conclusions are in order. It is evident that ritual slaughter, in Poland, had been very much out of step with the modern animal-slaughtering procedures of other European nations. In addition, it had been a hidden tax that had supported the Jewish religion. Finally, it had supported a chain of unproductive, arguably-parasitic middlemen, and had thus burdened all Poles with unnecessarily high prices for meat.

THE SHOAH SUPPRESSED?

Author Orlicki has a detailed description of the Nazi German-made Holocaust. He is unambiguous about the fact that Jews were targeted by the Germans, and that they had been targeted because they were Jews. Many modern Holocaust materials would have us believe that the Holocaust had been deliberately forgotten in the first few decades of post-WWII Poland, and that Jewish deaths were merely subsumed under such narratives as "Polish citizens" and "victims of fascism". Orlicki's work is yet another refutation of that ridiculous canard. Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No See the customer review Write a customer review   Ad feedback   Search Customer Reviews
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