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Poles, Jews coming to the terms with history (Wash. Times resp. 09.07.2009)

Marian Baginski Ph.D. Former research Associate in France and Poland|Saturday, September 12, 2009

The article published in Washington Times on Sep. 7 2009 was  just another voice in the thousands  repeating some myths and plain lies about polish past history. At this moment, when we celebrate the tragic events of 70-th anniversary of the beginning of War World II, it’ double shameful to repeat these lies about Jedwabne, or Kielce. The only books, N. Feduschak is referring are:  “Fear Anti-Semitism in Poland after Auschwitz” and “Neighbors” written by Jan T.Gross.

Since 2001, when J.T. Gross published this book about Jedwabne, thousands of different  publications ,serious research , and articles were published about this subject, and it was established without any shred of doubt, that:

  1.  The only physical evidence of a crime obtained by the partial exhumation, are: 1) a foundation of a barn, 20x60 feet (approx.)
  2.  The shallow grave inside the barn, measuring 18x 3 feet.

  3.  The grave or a ditch outside the barn 24x6 feet. The first grave contained bodies of 22 men all of whom were shot in the head execution style. This exhumation was done only partially due to the outcry of Jewish groups fearing that the whole truth will be known to the public. The second grave may or may not have contained bodies or skeletons of victims. Based on this evidence, the only conclusion that can be reached is that the German soldiers killed 22 Jewish men.  From other sources and witness accounts the total number of killed and burn at Jedwabne on July 10.1941 could be about 150 to 240 victims. There were two ethnic Poles perished at this same date at this same incident.

  4.  The similar accident was carried on July 7-th 1941 in Radzilow 11 miles from Jedwabne. In Radzilow, there were more victims and the incidents of burning were more bloody and cruel, that in Jedwabne.

  5.  In Radzilwow, as well in Jedwabne, there were 5-7 vans of Einzatz groupen –Special Forces of Germans  ( probably under commend of Mr. Schafer- the German Nazi) to carry the task of killing and burning Jews in the area (Wizna, Stawiski, Wasosz, and Trzcianne).

I am not sure of what Natalia Feduschak knows abut it, but it is obvious that she doesn’t have any significant knowledge of WWII and Poland’s fate, or what happened in Jedwabne, or in the other hamlets in the neighborhoods.

When Natalia writes about “complicity”: what does she mean by “Polish complicity during the Holocaust.....”? Does Natalia understand the word “complicity” which implies prior knowledge and planning? Polish complicity was none, no prior knowledge about what is going to be done to Jews   by Poles, or lack of any planning of the events taken place in Jedwabne, or in other places for that matter. Nazi Germany had the plans to deal with the Jewish final solution. They have the means to do it and plan what to do. You can find all of this in the archives, scientific literature and German Archives.

  6.   Fortunately, Poles since the beginning of War were cognascent what was happening to the Jews. They Informed the West and USA by Mr. Karski and others. Source of information about “Ignorance “of Poles in reference to the Jewish sufferings is only in Natalia’s head. This same with her interlocutor Mrs. Grabolewska. What does her primary source of misinformation, Mrs. Grabolowska, mean when she states that “Poles remained largely ignorant of their past during the communist era” and who are the Poles she is talking about? She might be talking about her own ignorance.  Mrs. Grabolowska did know that Polish population was keenly aware about Jewish suffering, since 1940. Jews were polish neighbors taken from the community allover Poland. Jews suffered as well as Poles did from this same German Nazis.

   7.  After 1945, when Poland fell in to soviet Occupation, there were many legal proceedings for war crimes and as well as crimes committed during the war. These legal proceedings were conducted in Lomza, Bialystok, Elk cities not far from Jedwabne. These crimes were subject to these proceedings (I don’t want to go into details and entrapments of it). There were archives established records (kept) of Underground forces against soviet occupations.

  8.  After 1989 and before (Blonski), there were many articles written about Jewish sufferings.

Mrs. Chrabolowska and her sponsor Natalia A. Feduschak are in fact kicking the door already widely open. Almost all the early works on the Jewish Holocaust were written in the Polish language. Natalia uses Jan Gross’s books, “Neighbors” and “Fear”, as evidence of Polish “complicity”, for which they are supposed to atone. Both are hate mongering books, meant to elicit hatred and contempt towards Poles and Poland. These books are just as hateful and truthful as the original Soviet anti-Polish post-war propaganda which Gross dutifully parrots. Both books are totally discredited as totally insignificant by researchers in this matter, as well as reasonable people.

9.   It’s simple as that,

The Poles did not burn their Jewish neighbors in Jedwabne.

10. On other contentious subject is so called “pogrom” in Kielce 4 of July 1946, mentioned in the “Fear”. According to the serious research, archives, direct witnesses contemporary accounts, The Kielce pogrom was carried out by the NKVD and its clone the UB (Urzad Bezpieczenstwa - Security Apparatus). They choose Kielce as a punishment for AK (Home Army) action when for short period of time the whole city was under partisans’ control, and they liberated about 700 partisans’ prisoners and other unlawfully detained by communist regime mainly maintained by Poles of Jewish origin, or Jews brought from Soviet Union. 

I can add, that, during the Soviet reign of terror in which over 100,000 people were murdered and around 150,000 deported. This pogrom in Kielce was probably the most successful staged pogrom for Soviet propaganda purposes, tainting Poles with rabid anti-Semitism. It’s very instructing to know the reaction and description of USA Ambassador at the time in Poland.

The pogrom was treated as a security operation, meaning that it was strictly under control of NKVD. There was no “Polish Mob” that killed 40 (the exact number is still a mystery 38 probably of different origin)) Jews, but a special internal 40 men security unit akin to the Special Forces of the NKVD. The building where Jews (who were armed) resided was ringed first be militia later by 200 soldiers commanded by 26 Soviet officers.   The so called “workers” were in facts prisoners, and so called polish militia at the beginning of events batched almost the event, by killing Jews, who in fact killed first two militia men.

Poles and Jews can agree on common history if it based on truth. Judging from this article the truth is not on the horizon as yet.

Marian Baginski

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