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Expert Analyses Poland's History WWII


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Dr. Ewa Kurek

ewa kurek jaslo

In reality, to this day we do not know what happened in Jedwabne in July 1941. In contrast, sixty years later, Jedwabne is certainly related to the biggest lie in Polish history, media and government. In Western civilization since at least Roman times there is the generally accepted principle that in the case of crime, the courts and historians obtain first the evidence in the form of the body or bodies of murdered victims, and then, based on specific procedures and applicable laws, the courts impose a guilty sentence and the historians describe the past, to which both the media and the authorities can refer later. In the case of Jedwabne, there was a shameful reversal of the order of things.

First, Agnieszka Arnold made a documentary film “Where’s my older brother Cain.” In 2000 the subject was undertaken, and epitomized in the book advertised throughout Poland under the title of “Neighbors”, by Jan T. Gross. Both the movie and the book were more of a historical fantasy genre about what could have happened in Jedwabne in 1941, rather than actual findings, supported by hard evidence established by historical research or prosecutorial investigation. According to both publications, in 1941 the residents of Jedwabne murdered, by burning in a barn, about 1,600 local Jews.

Agnieszka Arnold is solely a filmmaker, and her movie does not have any factual value. Jan T. Gross, author of “Neighbors” and “Fear,” is not a historian1, and has no idea about the methods of historical research. His knowledge of Jedwabne was based, among others, on the stories of Shmuel Wasersztejn, a Jew whose credibility was undermined by IPN investigation, and Marcel Reich-Ranicki, also a Jew, who in 1939-1942, as an employee of the Warsaw Judenrat, collaborated with the Germans in the murder of his Jewish brethren, and who after 1945 worked for UB [the Communist secret police], and was commonly known for telling egregious nonsense about the times of war.2 A number of other sources, on which Jan T. Gross based his revelations, also raise concerns. One of them is a report of emissary “Celt,” which according to information contained in a footnote, turns out to be Jan T. Gross. In this way, born in 1947, Jan T. Gross was supposed to be, in 1944, the government emissary nicknamed “Celt,” who published his report in Krakow in 1998, all of which comes out as cosmic nonsense. Jan T. Gross must therefore decide: either to reveal to the world that he has supernatural abilities that allowed him before his own birth to play a certain role in the world of living people, or to admit that his works are confabulation.3 In general, Jan T. Gross has mighty trouble with historical sources. A demonstration that he has no idea about methodology in the historical scientific workshop is contained also in excerpts from the book where Gross supports a thesis, promoted by himself, by citing the authority of Hannah Arendt.4 Hannah Arendt passed away in 1975. She was a Jew, a great philosopher, the first woman professor at Columbia University in New York. One of her most important works is titled: “Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil.” I know her works quite well, and with full responsibility I can say that Jan T. Gross in his publications distorts the thought of the great Jewish philosopher to suit his thesis. For example, Jan T. Gross writes about the situation of Jews in Austria as follows: “Even in the first installment of the conquest of Europe, which was the Anschluss, the Viennese Jews, the mainstay of German culture, were herded to the humiliating activities by Nazi noncoms. Of course, it was only ‘innocent sins.’ But at the same time the state machine started in full swing the “Aryanization,” or looting of Jewish property. It was in Austria that Adolf Eichmann refined his technique of recording and dispatching of Jews in long distance travel. So this was the innocent look of the beginnings of what within the next few years led to the ‘final solution’ of the Jewish question in Europe.”5

Jan T. Gross calls the disgraceful behaviors of the Austrians against the Jews “innocent sins.” Meanwhile, Hannah Arendt was specific in depicting the banality of evil. In the case of Viennese Jews she primarily pointed out that in the shameful work of the “Final Solution” in Austria, i.e., the murder of Austrian Jews, the German banal evil epitomized by Eichmann, was supported by the equally banal Jewish evil personified by Viennese Jews of whom she wrote: “In Vienna, there were certain Jews that [Eichmann] remembered perfectly. Joseph Löwenherz transformed the entire Jewish community into an institution in the service of the [German] Nazi authorities. He was also one of the very few activists of this kind, who for their services received an award from the Nazis: he was allowed to stay in Vienna until the end of the war, when he emigrated to England and thence to the United States. He died in 1960”.6

Page after page, one can analyze errors, deficiencies, absurdities and falsifications contained in Jan T. Gross’s books.7  One thing is certain. Before the author announced to the world that the Poles in Jedwabne murdered 1,600 Jews and other revelations, he was required to carry out appropriate historical research and support his thesis with the results of such studies. Because the books “Neighbors” and “Fear,” devoted to Polish-Jewish relations during the Second World War, were not based on accurate historical research, and they do not recite a reliable historical knowledge about Poland and Jedwabne, they are rather a collection of misrepresentations, fabrications and distortions that foster an image of Polish anti-Semitism.

Arnold’s and Gross’s revelations inspired an investigation in Poland by IPN that undermined both the credibility of the testimony of the main witness of the film and the book about Jedwabne, and the estimate by Gross as 1500-1600 for the number of victims. To answer the question of how many Jewish remains there are in the ruins of the barn in Jedwabne, and whether any remains actually are there, the exhumation was necessary. In accordance with applicable Polish laws and established methods of historical research, on May 30th, 2001, Prof. Andrzej Kola of IPN started the exhumation. Then, an American rabbi in Poland who serves as the rabbi of Warsaw and Lodz, Michael Schudrich, supported by the leftist Polish media from “Gazeta Wyborcza” circles, announced that according to Jewish religious law, only a limited exhumation can be performed in Jedwabne, i.e., one in which bones could not be lifted. An atmosphere of global media hype followed and under such pressure the representative of the highest authorities in Poland, in the person of the Minister of Justice, recognized the request of Rabbi Michael Schudrich as binding, and ordered suspension of the exhumation. On June 4th, 2001, Prof. Andrzej Kola discontinued all exhumation activities in the Jedwabne barn.

Despite the opposition of Polish historians, who were not allowed to carry out thorough investigation, for several years a festival of accusations took place against the Poles, and especially Jedwabne inhabitants, for alleged war crimes committed against the Jews. It is pathetic that the highest Polish authorities got pulled into this sham case at least two times by not fulfilling their obligation to act in accordance with Polish law. Firstly, within the borders of the Republic, only Polish law is in effect, and according to it the exhumation in Jedwabne had to be carried out. Secondly, if the Polish authorities wanted to be polite and respect Jewish law, they should have obtained information about it exclusively from religious Jews, known and recognized specialists in Jewish law and Jewish tradition, and not rely on the words of one American rabbi, and be influenced by the Polish-American extreme leftists.

The position of religious Jews on exhumation in Jedwabne, and other locations around the world, was expressed by the Jewish Community of Warsaw in the following words:

The Jewish Historical Institute (JHI) in Warsaw is in possession of dossiers on exhumations carried out in many places. […] The problem arose back in 2001, when the foreign rabbis stopped the exhumation process associated with the investigation conducted by the Institute of National Remembrance in Jedwabne. […] The decision to stop the exhumation of mass graves was disapproved by the Orthodox Rabbi Joseph A. Polak, a former prisoner of Westerbork and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps, and chairman of the Boston halachic rabbinical court: “The Jedwabne victims should be exhumed and buried again, whether in the nearby Jewish cemetery, or in the State of Israel. This is not only a halachic option but a fundamental obligation, as evident from many sources. […] Rabbi Karo talks about this in his commentary on the ‘Arbaa Turim’ and repeats in the ‘Shulchan Aruch’ the discussion on Met Mitzvah. […] Chacham Zvi states it clearly, allowing the transfer of corpses and reburial. […] Likewise does Chatam Sofer when discussing the exhumation of Viennese victims of the cholera epidemic.”

Let’s recall that according to Halacha: 1) A dead Jew can be exhumed in order to conduct the re-burial in the Land of Israel; 2) The deceased Jew can be moved to another grave when the first grave was assumed to be temporary; 3) A dead Jew can be transferred from an existing grave, if it is in a place without protection and there is a danger that it will be looted, or where there is risk from flooding; 4) if the grave is in an unusual place [outside the cemetery], a dead Jew can be moved and re-buried in the Jewish cemetery [Arbaa Turim, Jore Dea, page 363, beginning; The Jerusalem Talmud, Moed Katan, end of the 2nd chapter].

A similar problem was encountered by Rabbi Walter Homolka, rector of the Abraham Geiger College, a professor of Jewish law at the University of Potsdam. In 2005, during the construction of an airport in Echterdingen, a mass grave of prisoners from the nearby [WWII German] labor camp was discovered. When asked by the German authorities about the possibility of an exhumation to identify the victims and the perpetrators of the murder, he made the following comment: “When a mass grave of Jewish prisoners is found it raises the question of whether we can even speak of grave in the true sense of the word. Jewish Talmud describes the tomb as a place where a Jew is buried according to the rites: lying on his back in a horizontal position, with the proper distance from other graves. A thorough analysis of the Mishnah [an authoritative collection of exegetical material embodying the oral tradition of Jewish law and forming the first part of the Talmud] shows that in a case when the remains as a result of criminal activity are simply buried in the ground, it also does not constitute the traditional tomb. Likewise, when in a single grave more than three bodies are buried. This means that a traditional Jewish burial was not performed. Therefore, an exhumation and transfer of corpses to the cemetery are permitted.”

In the framework of cooperation between the German and Israeli police the decision was taken at the time to collect the DNA samples from the remains of the victims and from probable relatives in Israel.8

In light of the interpretation of the Jewish law and religion presented above, the Polish State – if it wants to return to obeying Polish and Jewish law – should immediately cancel decisions taken several years ago, and in cooperation with the community of religious Jews order the immediate carrying out of the Jedwabne barn exhumation, which will form the basis to explain what really happened in 1941 in Jedwabne. The exhumation will also allow respect to be paid to any Jewish remains by conducting their burial in compliance with Jewish law and religion. Until the exhumation is completed, discussion about Jedwabne lacks any sense.

Throughout all the years that have passed since the unlawful suspension of the exhumation in the barn at Jedwabne, this small Polish town, instead of being the subject of historical research, became a bargaining chip in the German-Jewish political games. Ending the exhumation in 2001 gave credence to Tomasz Gross’ lies on Jedwabne, and thus gave to some Jewish and Germans groups weapons to fight the Poles and Poland. Jedwabne was and still is a great tool for Jewish communities unsympathetic to Poland to present to the world Poland as a country of the world’s biggest anti-Semites; for the Germans it was and is a tool to show Poles as partners in shared responsibility for the genocide of the Jews conducted by the Germans in Poland. Exhumation of the remains of Jews murdered in Jedwabne, and detailed study of historical events of July 1941, will remove from Germans and Jews once and for all the unfair weapons to fight Poland and Poles.

Because the answer to the question of what actually happened in Jedwabne in 1941 can only be given by reliable historical research, based on carrying out the exhumation, on June 30th 2016 I began, in cooperation with the mayor of Jedwabne, Mr. Michael Chajewski, the action of collecting signatures for a petition calling for the Polish government to resume the exhumation. I must admit that when I started collecting signatures for this petition demanding that the Polish authorities agree to perform the exhumation in Jedwabne, which will start accurate historical research on what happened in 1941 in this town, I did not think that the interest in this action would exceed the Polish borders so quickly and become a global issue. The first to react was Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, who demanded nothing less than an apology from the Mayor of Jedwabne because he gave the permission to collect signatures to enact a law ordering the exhumation of the victims.9

Dear Mr. Chairman Ronald S. Lauder, first, I want to ask you not to overestimate your abilities. Both the Mayor of Jedwabne and I, the initiator of this project [on the exhumation in Jedwabne], are citizens of the Republic of Poland; we do have full civil rights, and even the Polish government – without prejudice to our constitutional rights – cannot forbid us from collecting signatures for a petition, one that we believe is important, including the exhumation in Jedwabne. Secondly, please also consider that even if the power of the World Jewish Congress extends over Jews living in different parts of the world, it does not extend across the entire world. I do not know in terms of other countries, but it certainly does not reach the Polish territory. Poles will therefore be not apologetic to you for what they do in their own sovereign country. Needless to say, in view of the above, the request of Mr. President Lauder defies all rules of coexistence among peoples. The last, however, and most important, is what you as a President of the World Jewry should know, that your request repudiates Jewish law and commandments of the Jewish religion. The exhumation of your progenitor remains, murdered in 1941 in Jedwabne, will make possible that after nearly eighty years the remains of murdered Jews will finally rest where according to the Jewish law and religion they should have been long at rest: in the nearby Jewish cemetery or in a cemetery in Israel. The selection of a resting place for the remains of murdered Jews in Jedwabne is the only subject in which, according to the Polish and Jewish laws, the voice of the President of the World Jewish Congress ought to be respected.

The case of exhumation in Jedwabne also attracted the attention of Masons of the Jewish Association B’nai B’rith Polin, who spoke with outrage about my advice addressed to American Rabbi Schudrich, that in connection with the exhumation in Jedwabne he pray to God to “forgive him lies, which he endorses, or ignorance.”10 The Jewish Masons in Poland showed gross misconceptions about their capabilities and demanded that Polish television, TVP Info, take a stand on my statements about Rabbi Schudrich and Jews, which they considered offensive, in order to punish in some way both me and the journalist conducting the interview.11 The B’nai B’rith association, not unlike the World Jewish Congress, forgets that the inalienable right of every Polish citizen is the right to freedom of speech, and that Polish Television does not cave in, not only to the demands of the frustrated Jewish Masons, but also to all other pressure groups. In addition, a member of the Masonic B’nai B’rith, Jan Wolański, presented with illogical arrogance instead of tangible arguments, his connotations of Jedwabne to the year 1968.12 The Jewish Masons of B’nai B’rith declared also that the American Rabbi Michael Schudrich has the right to his own interpretation of Jewish religious and legal principles.13 This way the relativism of atheist and leftist Jewish Masonic circles in Poland reached the height of absurdity. If anyone can interpret Jewish law as she or he pleases, then the Jewish Masons probably may also explain to the religious Jews that pork cutlet should be taken with milk? The fantasy of B’nai B’rith Masons in Poland knows no bounds.

Meanwhile, Rabbi Michael Schudrich does not participate in discussions. On the issue of Jedwabne he is hanging tough and declared that: “The Minister of Justice, the late President Lech Kaczynski, after hearing us, the Jews, decided not to carry out the exhumation. Why? Because Jews believe that the peace of the dead should not be violated. For us this is very important, it is our law and religious tradition. The exhumation has nothing more to explain. […] Speaking that it is not clear who killed the Jews in Jedwabne is for us as painful as for the Poles questioning the Katyn massacre.14 This statement is the best evidence that Rabbi Michael Schudrich still lives in a make-believe world of Jewish rights invented by him for the purpose of Jedwabne. If he cares about the peace of the dead Jews, as he did not allow the exhumation in Jedwabne, how does he explain the fact that apart from Jedwabne, he, as a Polish Rabbi, allows violating the peace of other deceased Jews on Polish territory? For example, in autumn of 2015 in Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski, the Polish company, Labrys, owned by Ursula Jedynak, conducted the exhumation of the remains of the tzaddik Yehuda Lejba Halstuk, because the tzadik’s grandson, living in London, decided to bury in Israel the remains of his grandfather, deceased in 1928.15 The pinnacle of meaninglessness is, however, comparing Jedwabne to the Katyn exhumation. Poland’s Rabbi Michael Schudrich should know the basic facts about Polish history, such that in Katyn the exhumations were carried out, and to this day they are the most important evidence of Soviet crimes against Poles.

The reasons behind beginning the project aimed to carry out the exhumation in Jedwabne, and the goals we hope to achieve, are extremely prosaic. I am a historian. For over 30 years I have been investigating Polish-Jewish relations. Until now I never researched Jedwabne. I always cooperated with Jewish historians (including deceased now Prof. Lucjan Dobroszycki, Prof. Chone Szmeruk, and Prof. James Goldberg). Currently I am working with journalists and historians associated with the Jewish community in Warsaw. Precisely from these young Polish Jews, I received a year ago “Kolbojnik” (community bulletin) dated winter 2014, which presented an interpretation of Jewish law and religion in relation to the exhumation. I realized then that Rabbi Michel Schudrich either lies, or he is not familiar with Jewish law and religion, when he says that the exhumation in Jedwabne is incompatible with Jewish law and religion. I believe that regarding this we should trust more the experts on Jewish law, the above-mentioned Rabbi Joseph Pollak, president of the Halachic Council of the Boston rabbinical court, or Rabbi Walter Homolka, the lecturer in Jewish law at the University of Potsdam, according to whom the bodies of the Jews murdered in Jedwabne should be properly exhumed and buried in the nearby cemetery in Jedwabne or transported to a cemetery in Israel.

Therefore, the exhumation of victims of Jedwabne is a requirement of the Jewish law and religion. The exhumation of victims of Jedwabne will also be the basis of conducting reliable historical research. And finally the exhumation of the victim bodies is a required procedure according to the Polish law based on ancient Roman law. Both under Polish law, and in accordance with the method of historical research, a crime investigation is required to find the bodies of murdered people, examine them, and then draw conclusions based on established facts, and only then judgments are made. The exhumation in Jedwabne is also consistent with the Polish and Jewish legal tradition. In the fourteenth century, King Casimir the Great issued in 1334 and 1364 two legal privileges for the Jewish population settling in Poland. It was proclaimed in them, that the Jews living in Poland were subject to rabbinical courts in civil matters, but in criminal matters (e.g. robbery or murder) they were subject to the Polish courts. These legal rules, established by King Casimir the Great, were in force in Poland until the partitions, that is, the end of the eighteenth century. They were restored in reborn Poland from 1918, and remained in force until the outbreak of the Second World War. The possible murder in Jedwabne is a criminal case, and in accordance with the age-old Polish-Jewish legal tradition, subject to the Polish courts. Since it pertains to armed robbery and murder, it must be subject to full prosecutorial investigation, and historical research. The prosecutors’ and historians’ proceedings must in this case start from the base, which is the exhumation.

Among the questions I receive relating to the exhumation project in the Jedwabne barn, many people ask what I believe about the events of 1941. My answer is always that I believe only in God. As for the history, I believe in nothing. The knowledge of the past must not be an object of belief or disbelief for historians; instead it must be based on solid research. I am an historian. A historian determines by all available methods the bygone reality, and announces the results of his or her research. No one has ever conducted a reliable historical research in Jedwabne, and yet tons of nonsense in Poland, in Israel and around the world has been written about Jedwabne. Finally, we must stop this kabuki dance and perform accurate historical research. As I already mentioned, the history is not an object of faith, but of the science that studies the past. At present the knowledge of historians is limited to the fact that in September 1939 the Polish state ceased to exist; that until June 1941 Jedwabne was under Soviet occupation; and in June 1941 it was under occupation, or in other words under authority, of the Third Reich; that Jedwabne was inhabited by Poles and Jews, who in a number hitherto unknown were murdered in July 1941. These are the only determined facts as of today. The rest must be investigated and then all of us, Poles and Jews, will get an answer to the question of who is responsible for the presumed murder.

My inspiration to start collecting signatures under the request to carry out the exhumation in Jedwabne was for me a cry for the right to free and fair historical research in Poland. I do not know today what questions will be answered by exhumation. Certainly the number, sex and age of the victims will be determined. Probably it will also determine the type of their death. The earth always hides many secrets. Perhaps more questions will be answered, but at this moment the course is difficult to determine. The historian never knows what secrets will be revealed by examination of an historical source.

Jedwabne, instead of becoming the subject of historical research, has become some sort of political bargaining chip since 2001. However, the truth is that politicians in Poland, as also politicians around the world and in Israel, do not generally have a clue about history. They treat the history instrumentally and use it to achieve short-term political goals. That is exactly how for years they treated the small town of Jedwabne. In Poland, politicians are afraid to talk about the exhumation in Jedwabne, because the decision to abort it in 2001 – at the request of the aforementioned American Rabbi Michael Schudrich – was made by late President Lech Kaczynski. I spoke with many Polish politicians, but they do not understand. I of course talked about the exhumation with representatives of the Jewish community in Warsaw. The religious Polish Jews share the position of Rabbis Pollak and Homolka, and believe that exhumation in Jedwabne will follow Jewish law and religion, and cleanse the atmosphere of lies, misunderstandings and nonsense prevailing around Jedwabne.

The Polish politicians and journalists bring up warnings that the exhumation of the Jedwabne barn will set the Polish state into an open conflict with the Jewish community. They do not, however, specify whom they mean by the Jewish community. Whose attack do they fear, when religious Jews from the Jewish Religious Community in Warsaw and rabbis from Gdansk, Boston and Potsdam, experts in Jewish law and religion, claim that the exhumation in Jedwabne is necessary? A Jewish atheist of the Jewish Masonic Association B’nai B’rith in Poland, Jan Woleński, also has no intention to oppose. He is indeed not enthusiastic about the idea, but finally declared: “I have nothing against the exhumation, if the skeptics absolutely need it for a full explanation of the events in Jedwabne and in nearby towns.”16

The only groups supposedly “Jewish” which certainly will come into conflict with the Polish state in the event the decision on exhumation in Jedwabne is made, are the leftist groups centered around Jerzy Urban, “Gazeta Wyborcza,” Tomasz Gross, TV station TVN, and possibly Museum of Polish Jews. Only they are not Jews! Perhaps the ancestors of some of these people were Jewish, but a hundred years ago they were excommunicated by their Jewish families for Communism and at the moment they are no longer Jews, but Bolsheviks of our native Polish breeding. Years ago these groups were perfectly assessed by a deceased Polish Jew, worthy and wise, Judith Kestenberg. She came from a Jewish family from Stanisławów, and later became a professor at the University of New York, and on Urban and his so to speak Polish Jews she said: “This Urban, however, is foolish. But at the same time this Urban of yours is wise. Since he publishes a newspaper for Poles, since Poles read it, it means that he makes considerable money on Poles. Anyway, wise or stupid, you Poles take this Urban for yourself. Since you schooled him this way, you read his newspaper, take him for yourselves. First, we, the Jews, already have enough of wisdom and stupidity in our nation, and secondly, what does this Urban have in common with us, the Jews? He is not Jewish; we do not read his newspapers!”17 It should also be noted that the aforementioned supposedly Jewish leftist groups in Poland have already reached the peak of absurdity a long time ago, because they call “anti-Semites” Polish Jews who speak and write the truth about Polish-Jewish relations. So, when a decision on exhumation in Jedwabne is made, the Polish state will not enter into open conflict with the Jews, but with our native Polish leftists for whom the Jedwabne lies are an important element used for education of the “Polish shame”. And the Polish state will not start a conflict with these leftist groups, whose roots lie deeply in the times of Communist enslavement of Poland. This conflict already has existed for decades.

Some Polish journalists threaten the Poles and spread before them a terrible vision of the consequences of starting the exhumation in Jedwabne, saying that when the exhumation begins dozens of rabbis and journalists from around the world including some from The New York Times will gorge on the small town. First, for over a thousand of years of its existence, the Polish town of Jedwabne came out unscathed from much larger and more dangerous invasions than the possible invasion of leftist rabbis and journalists. Secondly, most likely there will not be any raids on Jedwabne in the case of exhumation. The Polish leftists lead by Adam Michnik and Tomasz Gross, and some Jewish journalists, including those from The New York Times, promoting lies around the world about Jedwabne, are not stupid. They follow with fear our discussion today and the process of collecting signatures for requesting the exhumation, because they know best that the Jedwabne pyramid built on lies is falling apart, and the success of the exhumation project means a great global embarrassment for them. They will do everything they can so that the results of the exhumation in Jedwabne, and the historic truth revealed through it, do not extend beyond the Polish borders. We will have to spread the results of the exhumation around the world alone, and we ourselves will have to ensure that Tomasz Gross meets the same fate as many years ago was met by the liar Benjamin Wilkomirski, whose confabulation of Jewish experiences during the war in Poland was exposed by a young Swiss historian.

Israeli journalists meanwhile ask me today whether I’m not afraid that the results of the exhumation in Jedwabne will impact Poland’s reputation in the world and damage Polish-Israeli-Jewish relations. I answer all of these questions that I am not afraid of Poland’s reputation. Whatever is found in Jedwabne, it will be the TRUTH, and even the worst truth will not change the fact, that for a thousand years Poland was the only safe home for Jews in Europe. I believe the Jewish historian, murdered by Germans, Majer Balaban , in assessing this common Polish-Jewish millennium, rather than in Polish, Jewish and Israeli hacks, who for at least 100 years have made a living by writing nonsense about Poles and Jews.18

As I already mentioned, the politicians around the world usually do not know history and make superfluous comments about history. Recently a lot of buzz was done by a Polish minister, who instead of referring a journalist to historians, revealed to the world her own “historic truth” about Jedwabne. And because the journalists generally also have no idea about history, from each of these statements usually come gibberish and affairs blown out of proportion. But politicians around the world need something to talk about, and the journalists must write some stories, so at this moment the subject de jour in Poland and in Israel is a Polish minister and Jedwabne. We do not need to attach much importance to this, because Israeli politicians also sometimes talk nonsense. Had the world believed a Knesset deputy, the late Rabbi Joseph Owaldi, who a few years ago in the same Israeli Knesset announced that for Jews the value of a goy is equal to that of a donkey, and goys are born only to serve Jews, the reputation of Israel would have been destroyed, and relations between Israel and goyish Poland would cease to exist. But they do exist and flourish; therefore there is no need to dwell over the Polish minister or Israeli parliamentarian words. It is sad that for 15 years ignorant politicians and ignorant journalists, influenced by ignorant sociologist Tomasz Gross, have insisted on speaking about Jedwabne. It is time to let the historians do their job. Then, after they are done, we can talk about what really happened in June of 1941 in Jedwabne.


1. J. T. Gross studied physics at the Warsaw University. In 1975 earned a PhD. in sociology from Yale University.

2. E. Szczepańska-Lange,The Saturdays Mornings in Femina„Gazeta Wyborcza” , September 7, 2002.

3. J. T. Gross,Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland after Auschwitz: An Essay in Historical Interpretation, Kraków 2008, footnote 4. Note: American edition differs widely from Polish edition.

4. ibidem [same as above], p. 84.

5. ibidem, p. 20.

6. H. Arendt, Eichmann w Jerozolimie – rzecz o banalności zła, Kraków 1987, p. 81; [„Eichmann In Jerusalem: A Report on the banality of Evil”, New York 1963].

7. E. Kurek, Strach Sąsiadów – Janowi T. Grossowi do sztambucha [For Jan T. Gross to his album] in: „Poza granicą solidarności – stosunki polsko-żydowskie 1939-1945” [Beyond the Limits of Solidarity – Polish-Jewish Relations 1939-1945”], Lublin 2008, s. 271-288.

8. Piotr Kadlcik,O ekshumacji [„About exhumation”], in: „Kolbojnik – Biuletyn Gminy Wyznaniowej Żydowskiej w Warszawie” [„Kolbojnik – The Bulletin of Jewish Community in Warsaw]”, Nr 4/2014.

9. https://www.wprost.pl/swiat/10015968/Swiatowy-Kongres-Zydow-domaga-sie-od-rzadu-reakcji-na-slowa-Zalewskiej-i-burmistrza-Jedwabnego.html (WJC demands the Polish government comments on words of Min. Zalewska and Jedwabne mayor)

10. http://www.tvp.info/25997017/21072016-1910

11. http://wyborcza.pl/1,95891,20452141,oswiadczenie-zydowskiego-stowarzyszenia-b-nai-b-rith-polin.htm (Statement by Jewish Masonic Association B’nai B’rith Polin)

12. http://kulturaliberalna.pl/2016/08/03/jedwabne-gursztyn-wolenski-polemika/ (debate on Jedwabne between Gursztyn and Wolenski)

13. http://www.tvp.info/25997017/21072016-1910; http://www.pch24.pl/polska-historyk-narazila-sie-bnai-brith–slowa-o-ekshumacji-w-jedwabnem-nie-do-zniesienia-dla-zydowskiej-lozy,44896,i.html  (Polish historian under attack from B’nai B’rith, talking about exhumation in Jedwabne not tolerated by the Jewish Masonic Association)

14. http://dzieje.pl/aktualnosci/michael-schudrich-negowanie-jedwabnego-jest-dla-nas-jak-negowanie-katynia-dla-was (Michael Schudrich: Jedwabne denial for us like Katyn denial for you)

15. http://www.ostrowiecka.pl/publicystyka/reportae/7497-2015-09-08-20-32-03

16. http://kulturaliberalna.pl/2016/08/03/jedwabne-gursztyn-wolenski-polemika/  (debate on Jedwabne between Gursztyn and Wolenski)

17. E. Kurek, Żydzi, Polacy, czy po prostu ludzie… – 18 lat później [Jews, Poles, or simply people…], Lublin 2010, s. 203.

18. M. Bałaban, Dzieje Żydów w Galicji i w Rzeczypospolitej Krakowskiej 1772-186 8 [A History of Jews of Galicia and the Republic of Cracow 1772-1868], Warszawa 1912; M. Balaban, Dzieje Zydow w Krakowie i na Kazimierzu 1304-1868 [A History of Jews In Cracow and In Kazimierz District 1304-1868], Cracow 1912.

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