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JEDWABNE : Response to the Cardinal Glemp statement

Marian Baginski|Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I read this expose in Polish and I was uphold, totally unpleasantly surprised and couldn'T understand so outrageously unprecedented statements made by Cardinal. Conclusions not only outside the truth and the facts, but innuendos, suspicions, assertions so outrageous, that it's almost impossible to imagine that they came out of the lips and were written by The Head of Catholic Church in Poland.

I have multiple reasons to respond. First of all I was born near Jedwabne. My home village was 9 km distance from Jedwabne, 8 km distance From Radzilow, 17 km from Wizna, about 20 km from Wasosz.

Some of my relatives lived near of these little towns, and they knew directly what happed during the July 1941 in these places mentioned before. Incidentally my mother feed many Jews or partisans during the German occupation nights and sometimes bagged the nightly visitors not to stay in our home during the day.  If Germens found a Jew or partisan in the home, the punishment was: the death of the house’s inhabitants.

Secondly I went to the grammar school with the Jewish girl born and saved during the Nazi occupation. In late 1947 and after, I met the Jews traveling from village to village and doing some commerce. Additionally, as a small boy I heard from my father accounts about killing spree and tragedies taken place in Radzilow, or Jedwabne...

As an adult, I was participant of the scientific trip to Israel, founded and paid by its government. I don’t mention other scientific endeavors on the subject of the said Jewish tragedy, or my scientific background.

After my university, and other studies, I heard from direct witnesses about the tragedy in Jedwabne. To name a few, I want to mention distant cousin from Wizna.

Her name is Mrs. Domurat; she is now about 77 years old. On July 10 1941 she was about 10 years old and she was present in Jedwabne on that memorial day. She rode on the horse wagon from Wizna with her parents on that date. They came to the Jewish family to take away some finished garments and other tailors work. The Jewish woman was a tailor. She gave the all ready made garments to Mrs. Domurat’s parents, but they were afraid to move back immediately to Wizna due to the fear and panic in the town of Jedwabne. On that day she heard that the Jews were ensemble on the main square and forced to demolish Lenin’s monument and had to live their houses… The Jewish seamstress knew what is going too happened.   In plain view of her neighbors and Mrs. Domurat, her parents, she took her two little daughters and drowned in the little pond despite bagging of the people around. On the end she took her own life. The little pound is still there.

Later she heard her parents talking that the Volksdeutches, some Germans and a few inhabitants of Jedwabne were forced to watch the Jews gathered on the square, but when the group of Jews was forcibly walked and pushed to the barn, some of the Jews fled in to high crop around the path and apparently watching Jedwabiniens were looking in other direction.

Incidentally there were one, or two German families in Jedwabne, but they did not cooperate with the occupiers in any way, or shape, despite urgent talks from Nazi Germens.

My father told me ,  when he  was driving horse wagon  about  two weeks  after  burning of the Jews   near  Radzilow , the smell from it was unbearable.

Augustyna Zaborowska, she was about 13 years old as of 1941, and lived with her parents in Karwowo, 1 km distance from Radzilow. She remembers very well the date July   7 in 1941. And she told me that on that date of July 7 Th, Germens forced some Poles to help them, as they pretended to gather the Jews for cleaning the main square in little town of RAdzilow. The Germans had the lists with Jewish Addresses (incidentally according to the publications and research given to The Germans by…a Jew) and ask Poles to gather the Jews, but some Polish People refused. One farmer was killed on the spot; an other was beaten by Germans and suffered broken bones. Unfortunately some scared and afraid inhabitants under the German pressure watched the Jews and asked them to live their houses, but none of them survived up to the end of World War II.

Unfortunately the Jews knew what will happen, due to the fact that Germans killed many Jews in Wasaosz on July 5 1941.

Zaborowska remembers vividly one fact concerning the burning a live of Jewish population in Radzilow. It was given this account by the direct watcher of the killing spree tragedy by the barn near Radzilow.

When the Jews were inside the barn and barn was put on fire. Desperate Jews broke the gates and try to flee, but were sprayed by bullets from Germans automatic weapons, and many were killed and brought back to the barn, or the ditch dogged to put the corps and they were covered with dirt.

When the covering was almost done the dirt was start moving and a Jewish boy appeared from the dirt.  The Germans did not kill the boy, but this boy was taken by Mr. Ustinowicz and lived with his big family for about six months. Later the Germans came and took this Jewish boy away and he perished without a trace according to Augustyna. An other reason would be that I know a little the mentality and costumes of the people around these little towns, and I heard from my relatives about the behavior of the Jews, when Russians came and reoccupied neighboring counties on the beginning of 1941.

Many families from Jedwabne and neighboring villages were taken to Siberia, and especially families of the resistance movement to the Germans or Russians occupation. The whole family off my older friend was taken… They come back in 1947 without their father and some children… Unfortunately many local Jews were instrumental in it. They took the police jobs, received the arms from Russians and took almost whole administration in their hands, when the Germans moved out from Jedwabne area on the end of 1939.

Its worth to mention that in Jedwabne in the main square was Pilsudski’s monument present before the beginning of the World War II.  Unfortunately, a new Russian administration mostly in Jewish hands demolished (1939 or 1940) it.  Instead they installed Lenin’s statue.

Incidentally, my extremely critical remarks about Cardinal’s expose are not personal in any way, or shape. I’m not anteing Jewish, or I don’t have a shred of animosity towards anybody, at all.

Only I want to underline the material facts and try to show gross negligence, untruth, and unfounded innuendos about the mentioned expose and   expressed views by Church’s Hierarch.

Unfortunately Cardinal Glemp didn’t make any effort what’s so ever to inform himself about Jedwabne and his opinion contained in the expose is totally off mark under any circumstances.

Let’s start from the title : Jedwabne- wina uznana sprawiedliwie. Is this guilt acknowledged justifiably? Are you, Cardinal, the judge and prosecutor and apparently unwilling tool of propaganda in one person by declaring the verdict and passed criminal judgment?

As you know, the communist polish court struggled with the judgment and final was not as harsh as yours.  I don’t want to mention that communist courts in political matters were so bias but in this case did not put people in jail and struggled with passing the verdict...

Dear Cardinal, You had one year to inform yourself about Jedwabne and you failed miserably (this is your own words: “a year ago I was informed by a serious Jew” that the Jedwabne killing will be let know to the world).

If you thought a little, you would know about propaganda machine used for financial and political gains. And you did completely nothing, but stated...Jedwabne”gdzie mord na Zydach zostal dokonany przez Polakow”.Are you read anything about it, are you 100%sure about this presumption, are you not ashamed of this statement. “Killing of Jews was done by Poles”. Did you read any publications except” Neighbors” of F. Gross? Unfortunately I must say that in your judgmental style you went further with your innuendos   than F. Gross., talking for example about the thoughtful research needed about the Inhabitants of Jedwabne only.

If you read some Prof. Strzembosz publications, some even German or Jewish publications, or contacted Father Ed. Orlowski, or Bishop Stefanek. , to name a few sources. Do you put equation between Volksdeuche and the Pole?  Disgruntled criminal brought outside form other part of the Poland or Germany is Jedwabienien?? Did you ever heard about Einsatzgruppen, or Huaptsturmfuhrer Herman Schaper?

Cardinal, Your next statement”Szczegolnie mord dokonany przez spalenie zywcem ludnsci zydowskiej, spedzonej sila przez Polakow do stodoly, jest niezaprzeczalny”.  Why is so” ex cathedra” assertion without any shred of doubt.  The recent publications, eyewitnesses’ accounts partial forensic evidence at the scene of the crime indicate   the only unquestionable is that the massacre by burning a live of Jewish population (about 160 – to 200) in the barn is truth. You suggest that the only Polish people rushed the Jews with force to the barn. According to the direct  eye witnesses , according partial investigation of   the bullets found  on the crime scene there were other people too (Do You know why the Investigation of the crime scene  was stopped in Jedwabne?), not only disgruntled polish people were present there.

A little bit further you stated “people knew the truth about the massacre” in Jedwabne (–mine addendum). Did all the people know whole truth, nothing but the truth? Yes, the locals they knew, but not all the world population. Propaganda feed some partial facts, unsubstantiated claims, most innuendos, presumptions, or first impressions.  Are you familiar Cardinal that near by Jedwabne, the whole village, its people all buildings and inventory was burned to the ground. Only one person at the time of this tragedy enfolding was saved her self. This fact is almost totally forgotten by the media.

Unfortunately nobody else but certain people with defined goals   tried to form an informed opinion about this massacre in order to attain their own political or economical goals.

Your awkward comparison of the Katyn massacre of 25 -32 thousands of Polish Officers ,Generals and other inteligencia  to Jedwabne burning a live and killing of about 160 Jews   is totally inappropriate, at list. Not to mention different set of circumstances, different goals of Katyn perpetrators.

In the history of different wars you can’t find similar massacre to Katyn. These officers were killed in the back of their heads with cold blood by NKWD bullets.

Even Nazis did not kill by bullets in the back of the head at once such big number of militaries and inteligentia, or the Jews for that matter. They invented gas chambers and grueling labor practices.

Cardinal... your next statement that “zabojca zespolowy jest znany” (that communitarian murderer is known) is so troubling...  Who knows who the direct murderer in massacre of Jedwabne is? Tell me. The Germans? The Poles? Volskdeuches? Tugs brought from outside? All of them, or one of them, or few from mentioned groups?

Next, Dear Cardinal, as spiritual leader( Did you reed sermon of bishop Stefanek to that effect?), you are talking about moral aspect of the tragedy in Jedwabne, and you are trying to connect to some obscure generational responsibility consisting of apologizing for the sins of the ancestors. (“…Z uznaniem odpowiedzialnosci pokoleniowej, ktora polega na przepraszaniu Boga za grzech przodkow I przeproszeniu potomkow pokrzywdzonych”)… Unfortunately despite my knowledge of the Moral Theology I couldn’t find this type of strange concept. Are you talking about biblical morality?

Cardinal , your next statement is totally outrageous and so incompetent that we have to investigate some of your other  abilities ,when you express your self in the fallowing words:”Przyczyny uksztaltowania sie tak zdziczalych I nienawistnych postaw Polakow wobec Zydow, niespotykanych w innych czesciach Polski, trzeba zbadac.” I don’t mind that your polish is not the best in that expression. In English I would translate as :“ We have to encourage the research  of the wild and hateful attitudes of Polish People from ( Jedwabne- mine addendum) unknown in other regions of Poland”. Are you acting as a jerk?  To single out a few thousand of hard working people and make them full of hatred and so dangerous and   being in need of special research is so outrageous, that I don’t have any words to express it. Did you know that in Trzcianne, an other place of killing German spree was even worse than in Jedwabne?

In your spiritual leadership, as a motto you took “Justice in Love”. In your said expose show me some traces of loving person with just approach to the tragedy. Sorry I can’t see any.

 Dear Cardinal your statement about the need and desire of” the thoughtful research” nie lekcewaszmy rzetelnych badan) is so incomprehensible in the context of your divagations, that I want to answer by the proverb “medice cura te ipsum”.

A little bit further you try to mitigate your tone of reasoning and you invoque some murders in Rwanda... Balkans, or neighbors in Palestine (miedzy sasiadami w Palestynie). Who’s the neighbor there to whom?

On the end of your expose you gave us an  advice,: “ we have to look on us with justifiable  look  intrinsically  on ourselves in truth and humility “(sprawiedliwe spojrzenie na siebie w pokorze i w prawdzie )”. Is this advice directed only to us not to you Cardinal? In An other apparently mitigating statement, Dear Cardinal you are talking about “provoked enblindness (zaslepienie) of the people from Jedwabne and not to stretch this type of attitude to the whole Polish Nation. Is this not too little to late?

To be franc with you Dear Cardinal, people from Jedwabne were not so much enblinded and provoked. According to my humble opinion : it was a combination of some type of revenge for deaths of  many    partisans their catholic  pastor, inteligencia denunciated to the Russians , and their killings done  by some  Jews on Poles  , some polish  tugs wanted take revenge on Jewish people stayed in Jedwabne   , some of the apparently most guilty ones   evacuated in hurry  with  fleeing  Russians (later enlisted to the Russian Army) and Russians themselves.

In addition at that time, anger was common between Polish Population for imposing Jewish rule after Russians occupied Jedwabne and neighboring counties in late 1939 and 1940 to June 1941.

If we add armed Jews who terrorized inhabitants of Jedwabne, as punishment forced expatriation of partisans and intelligence, or farmer   families to Siberia, destructed Pilsudski’s monument and inherent hate of communist regime in the area we can have a fuller picture.

In view of that it can be understood, that about 1950, in Jedwabne the youth’s independence movement was initiated against communists by Klemens Gorski and others in the High School. When it was discovered, the brutal security establishment crushed it, and the socialist regime deprived the participants the right to study. Its worth to note that even in 1954, the left over from resistance movement showed the uneven fight with brought by military force regime, in particular in Przytuly, near Jedwabne.

In respect to the tragic Jedwanbe’s murder, this is not to say that this type of behavior should take place and be vented by helping Germans to burn alive and to kill innocent or, even with some guilt their Jewish neighbors.

One participant, even under the fear for his life is too many, but the ideal or heroes are not always there.

P.S. The Author of this writing can be contacted at email bensonwolf55@gmail.com. The view presented is based on extended reading of different publications, direct many witnesses accounts, knowledge of the Jedwabne itself. He was there thousands of times, as well his social and scientific background, special interest in the insurgency movement at that critical time, as well as ways and means of propaganda tools against some independent nations. He welcomes any other view, or additional facts, or healthy discussion about the mentioned subject.

There is his hope that Cardinal Glemp would fine the ways and means to correct and admit mistakes he made in his expose, better late that never.
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