The Reproaching Hero
“..game which I was now playing in Auschwitz was dangerous. This sentence does not really convey ..reality ..in fact ..I had gone far beyond what people in ..real world would consider dangerous.” Witold Pilecki.
Let us suppose that if 1% of non-Jewish Poles sought to save the lives of 1% of Poles of their fellow Nationals who were Jews, that would mean that just 1 non-Jewish Pole only needed to act to save 1 Polish Jew from extermination. If we bear that in mind, and as we observe from the depths of the devastation that is The Holocaust for the Jews, we have a position which reflects badly upon a Polish national consensus. If we then reflect back to when 3,000,000 Polish Jews were still alive and who would, could and should have been saved, we have a disinterred moral efficacy within Poland that both looked the other way en masse or colluded in a specific way.
“..It is more complicated than just blaming ..Poles for betraying their Jewish neighbors. On ..one hand there were extraordinarily brave Poles who risked their lives to save Jews ..and on ..other hand there was no great love between Poles and Jews before World War II.” Jan Grabowski.
In this assertion we recognize the truth which Elie Wiesel has delivered for all of us and that while not all victims were Jews, All Jews Were Victims. That said, and while it must be added to for us to appreciate the fuller terms of the Slaughter, and we have then considered all that the Polish Jewish Survivor assesses, we converge on an appreciation that while not all non-Jewish Poles were guilty, we know all too well that not all non-Jewish poles were innocent. Of course, a part of that process of identification, which for some in Poland and other Country’s is a direction that seeks to lead us away from what many knew was wrong.
“..of ..1,300,000 deported to ..Camp ..they were from amongst 20 nationalities ..and these nations gave up their Jews also. Of that total ..some 400,000 were registered and kept as Slave Labour and 900,000 were immediately Gassed. While Jews constituted 85% of all those deported here ..they represented more than 90% of all those who were murdered. ..400,000 Slave Labourers were gradually degraded till they could persist no longer and added finally to ..total number of those Jews and others Gassed or otherwise Murdered. That stated ..we assess that of ..1,100,000 who were Murdered from all 1,300,000 deported to ..Camp ..some 900,000 Jews were Gassed immediately or otherwise murdered in ..camp. Of ..400,000 of those registered for Slave Labour ..200,000 died or were otherwise Murdered. These included some 100,000 Jews ..64,000 Poles ..21,000 Gypsies ..14,000 Russian POW’s and a further 10,000 other nationals.” Auschwitz State Museum.
What remains immoral, and against all that a supposed religious conviction the non-Jewish Pole espoused, is seen here as an abandonment of any moral code. Of course, never has the lack of any Hitlerite diplomacy convinced the World that the Jewish People were in direct line of sight for an abuse beyond what has ever been witnessed in all of History. This was practicably confirmed here on February 3rd. 1933 when Hitler’s plan of expansion, his Lebensraum was revealed. Then on February 12th. 1933, and with the Berlin riots, this ‘Bloody Sunday’ would lead to attacks and even deaths, and from amongst the 100’s attacked, Jews are systematically targeted.
“..a Pole could somehow help himself ..but ..Jew was in a more horrible situation and could in no way help himself.” Dr. Adam Estowski.
Here too, we must recognize from what History will see, and when even the Auschwitz State Museum differentiates between who are to be identified as Poles, Polish Jews are segregated out. However, for 3,650,000 Poles, those Jewish Nationals who are to be separated out from national identification, from a national belonging and then from life itself, it is because they are Jews of Poland. In that racist nationalism we must also recognize that this non-Jewish Polish outlook, which forms one of antipathy, apathy, intolerance and indifference toward 3,650,000 of Polish Jewry, was already been compounded by atrocity, even prior to Hitler’s intervention in 1939.
“..Polish Police ..has played a most lamentable role in ..Extermination of ..Jews of Poland. ..uniformed police has been an enthusiastic executor of all ..German directives regarding ..Jews.“ Emanuel Ringelblum.
When Emanuel Ringelblum will eventually become confronted with the burgeoning atrocity that is to be presented to the Jewish People, he will find the administrative arms of the Polish state complicit. On March 21st. 1933, as Special Courts are designated to deal with Hitler’s political enemies and then to become the established law, a threat is issued. It is not in the least ambiguous in that any assassination attempt upon Hitler will result in all the Jews of Germany being put up against the wall and then shot.
Saturday April 1st. 1933 “..concerned with questions about Catholic schools ..organizations and sterilization which are more important for ..Church in Germany than ..Jews ..Jews can help themselves ..why should ..Jews expect help from ..Church.” Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber.
Here too, and it is important to maintain that I would never denigrate the usage of the term hero, for obvious reasons, nor at those whose nation calls them a hero, but in terms of what is emerging as a Final Solution, the threat to all Jews must be confronted by those who see its real threat. So on April 1st. 1933 there is a one Day Boycott of all Jewish shops and businesses in Germany ordered by Hitler as he also acts with more foolish abandon. The Jewish Lawyers, Doctor’s and Pharmacists are restricted within their practices, ‘Berufbeschrankung’, foolishly boycotted.
“..To contribute to an effective awareness of ..destructive forces of racism on nations ..it is necessary to combat bigotry ..prejudice ..intolerance ..its basic ingredients.” Maja Abramowitch.
Even Jewish merchants too are boycotted and as World opinion is incensed, and the German public shows little desire to accommodate him, Hitler orders the boycott be restricted to this one day. But, and as if this was not enough for the errant fool, Hitler forbade Jewish students to attend their classes in Schools, Colleges and University’s. Typical slogans appear which are aimed at causing ever more distress to an already abused Jewish Community, Don’t Buy from Jews and The Jews Are Our Misfortune ring out from with German City’s, Town’s and Villages.
Wednesday April 26th. 1933 “..Berlin’s nationalist student body will begin making ceremonial holocausts of such literary works as do not measure up to their ideals of the German spirit.” New York Times.
On May 10th. 1933 10’s of 1,000’s of Books are burned on the Unter den Linden, Berlin with more than 20,000 Books being burned opposite the University of Berlin. Books written by Jews, Books written by political dissidents, and Books written by so many others not approved by the state are Burned. The Holocaust term has now entered into the vernacular of Nazi aims to destroy a People, a Jewish People root and branch. The book burning was clearly aimed against mainly Jewish Writers amongst many, and we are now made mindful of what Heinrich Heine had already stated
“..Those who begin by burning Books end by burning People.” Heinrich Heine.
On July 31st. 1933, approximately 30,000 Jews, opponents of Hitler and many other people are by now interned in Nazi concentration camps and on August 25th. 1933 Hitler has now sought a wider emigration policy for the Jews of Germany. The Ha’avara Agreement, a Transfer of Jews from Germany to Palestine would be formally agreed between the German Ministry of Economy, and the Zionist Federation of Germany (die Zionistische Vereinigung fuer Deutschland). On April 14th. 1934 a strong anti-Semitic group is formed in Poland called The Radical Nationalist Organization, the ‘Oboze Narodovo Radzykalny,’ or ONR.
“..Bundists did not wait for ..Messiah ..nor did they plan to leave for Palestine. They believed that Poland was their country and they fought for a just ..socialist Poland ..in which each nationality would have its own cultural autonomy ..and in which minorities’ rights would be guaranteed.” Marek Edelman.
On May 12th. 1935 many anti-Jewish measures now escalate within Poland as the government and most Polish political parties will call for discrimination, economic boycott, expulsion, and physical violence against Jews. Also, the Polish Catholic Church, most priests, the Catholic press, and schools will sanction discrimination and or violence against the Jews and on June 9th. 1935 these anti-Jewish riots occur in Grodno, Poland.
Friday August 16th. 1935 “..solution of ..Jewish question ..is ..business of ..Fuhrer ..not ..individuals.” Heinrich Himmler.
On September 15th. 1935 with the Racist Nuremberg Laws passed, the Jews are defined biologically by ‘race’ with this being affirmed by their Grandparents religious persuasion. As the National Citizens Law strips away Citizenship from its Jews, the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honor seeks to ensure that marriage and extra Marital relations between Jews and ‘aryans’ is to be forbidden. For those in History who will seek to deny the Jewish People, all 6,000,000 of them their presence within The Holocaust term, as an exclusive position, consider what was always promulgated and effected against the Jews in The Final Solution.
“..if we must have preferences ..I prefer Arabs to Jews.” Anthony Eden.
There was a prevailing anti-Jewish bias in Europe and the Jewish Question was Hitler’s final resolve for all Jews he could get his hands upon and they would be expunged without concern or consideration. On November 15th. 1935 with the German Churches eagerly supplying the Nazi’s with Baptismal details, this is nothing other than the Church’s collaborative effort to further identify the Jewish Community. On July 2nd. 1938 there are 40,000 Austrian Jews who are taken into ‘protective custody’ and the time to act in their interests is now. With the proposed Evian Conference, merely 4 days away, and the fate of European Jewry in the balance, it is no longer simply those Jews under direct and immediate threat who will be abandoned.
Thursday July 14th.1938 “..Jews for Sale at a Bargain price. Who Wants Them? No One!” German Newspaper Reichswart.
On July 6th. 1938 as anti-Jewish limitations on their economic life is being promulgated, a Refugee Conference is called for by President Roosevelt and is convened at Evian-les-Bains, France. Only 29 of the 33 Nations who are invited turn up to meet and discuss the growing crisis for refugee Jews under Hitler’s yoke! As if the Jews don’t feel isolated enough, or abandoned completely, Hitler has captured the mood of the World to their predicament and this is reflected in a News Paper article the day before the Evian Conference ends. On July 14th. 1938 Pope Pius XI is ‘politically’ displeased and shares a hope that Mussolini would not be inadvertently influenced by Hitler.
“..if there is a totalitarian regime ..in fact and by right ..it is ..regime of ..church ..because man belongs totally to ..church.” Pope Pius XI.
However, as an Italian Manifesto of the Racial Scientists is issued, barely 5 months after Mussolini declared he did not envisage a Jewish Problem, it would appear the grasp of man’s essential need to grow is being fought over by both state and church. On July 15th. the Evian Conference ends with none of those present able to resolve the major issue, how to admit large numbers of Jewish refugees who are facing an increasing weight of abuse, isolation and abandonment. After 10 days of World deliberation, the Jews under constant and direct threat from Hitler must now feel totally abandoned, mere pawns in a political gamble that does not consider them.
“..delegates take ..floor to say ..We feel sorry for ..refugees and potential refugees but.” The Washington Post
On October 27th. 1938 there was a Polenaktion, an action against Polish Jews in Germany and Austria in which 17,000 Polish Jews were rounded up, arrested and detained. They were then marched to the Polish border, or for some of the Jewish People, they were loaded onto trains to be expelled the other side of the German Polish Border at Zbaszyn. On November 9th. Ernst vom Rath dies from the wounds inflicted upon him by the outraged Herschel Grynszpan, a Son whose family has just been deported to Zbaszyn amongst. Hitler now authorizes Goering to deal with all Jewish political issues.
“..After Kristallnacht not only hell breaks loose in Germany ..but ..panic among Jewish citizens in surrounding countries.” Erica van Beek.
The Night of Broken Glass, ‘Kristallnacht’, now ensues, it is an orchestrated rage and plunder of Jews and their property’s throughout Germany, Austria and the Sudetenland. Some 267 synagogues are ransacked and destroyed and some 7,500 Jewish Shops are looted, while some 50,000 Jewish Men in Germany were deported to a number of Concentration Camps, Buchenwald, Dachau, Flossenburg and Sachsenhausen amongst them. In parallel to this many more of these Jews were further deported back to their Country of origin, Poland especially.
“..I was living in Hamburg at ..time. ..a student at an advanced preparatory school next to our synagogue. I remember we could look out ..windows of ..school and see ..synagogue. ..morning after Kristallnacht ..we could see just strands of glass where ..windows of ..synagogue had been destroyed. ..entire inside of ..synagogue had been burnt out. Our teacher got there in ..morning and then let us out early due to what had happened.” Hugo Eichelberg.
Heydrich here now provides Goering with the list of those interred under a protective custody order and of the many 1,000’s of German, Austrian and even Sudeten Synagogues, more than 1,400 of these were defiled, desecrated or otherwise damaged. A conservative estimate suggests that some 267 of these Synagogues were totally gutted, burned out and totally destroyed. Significantly, with over 240 Jews who are killed, we see an escalation in anti-Jewish treatment from hateful words to murderous deeds. Hitler now endorses Madagascar Plan.
November 10th. 1938. “..we know what happened yesterday. We do not know what tomorrow holds. However ..we have experienced what happened today. Outside ..synagogue burns. That is also a house of God.” Father Bernhard Lichtenberg.
The Murders Escalate.
As Hitler approached the abyss of his intention, the Destruction of World Jewry was forefront in his Weltanschauung and the World will simply look on, albeit with incredulity. In the meantime, on September 1st. 1939 the direct threat to the 3,650,000 of Polish Jewry is imminent as Hitler’s hordes surge across the Polish border. All over Europe too, Jews are looking for refuge and with over 9,000 Jews having already fled to Poland, they moved themselves directly into the fury of Hitler’s hatred. With over 2,000 of these Jews reaching Palestine, safety was an escape route barely enough for those who could raise the money to pay the nazi extortion.
“..Auschwitz ..world’s largest cemetery ..without a single grave. I held tight to 3 dreams. ..first living through ..nightmare ..surviving ..camp. ..second was to tell ..even though it ..cannot be explained. There was no reason whatsoever for what was done. ..I knew I had to tell ..to as many people as possible. ..third was that ..if I managed to accomplish ..first two ..I would do anything and everything to bring about ..establishment of State of Israel. ..I realized all three dreams.” Noah Klieger.
While some 400,000 Jews had left Poland in their droves for Israel, we are still assessing that 3,250,000 Polish Jews are in harms way, and not just these of whom were still recorded as Polish Citizenry. As the escalation toward The Holocaust increases it is essential to recognize, as Jews in Poland were being Slaughtered, they too were engaged and wed into continuing their persistence in their own homeland. In the forthcoming 68 months, the rate of Jewish Population growth, even in the teeth of the most monstrous outrage to confront all of humanity, would grow out of a love and affection untouched by the surrounding devastating and sheer hatred.
“..A dictator put an end to my freedom ..injected hate ..fear by his terrible tactics ..into ..majority of ..population and I became an outcast.” Halina Lustig.
Of the 11,293,300 Jews still to be recognized for the Slaughter at The Wannsee Conference in 1942, we must assess that some 300,000 Jewish Babies are born in each of years between 1939 and 1944. This would raise such consensus by a further 1,800,000 additional Jewish lives, and if not quite brought to the Slaughter, they would be sought out for it. In the meantime, no Jew in 1939 was prepared for what any Jew would face in the years 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944 and on into War’s end in 1945. However, on the same level of awareness as those Jews who are being awakened, already born into the crucible of horror, and from all of European Jewry, all Jews would now face final extinction.
“..attitude of ..non–Jewish population ..almost all Poles ..was hateful. They rejoiced at our misfortune ..enriched themselves with Jewish property.” Betzalel Papial.
The entire apparatus of this intended annihilation process, established by Hitler within Poland purposefully and in places of such infamy we know their like in names such as Auschwitz and Birkenau, Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor and Treblinka, not one single Jew was meant to Survive. When, on September 2nd. 1939, and with some 30 Jews of Piotrkow taken from their homes and clearly Murdered on demand, a program of Jewish destruction emerges which is unprecedented. Prior to what many would seek to establish as the jump off point for The Holocaust, Poland in 1939 cannot be abrogated from its sought after position with regards to its Jews.
“..German people could have tried to save those people ..but maybe they were afraid for themselves. I feel afraid when I hear people say The Holocaust never happened. I feel nothing but pity for ..ignorance of such people ..shame on them ..they should know better. ..1,500,000 ..Jewish Children were murdered by ..Nazis 1,000’s of other innocent Children perished because they were considered not worthy of a life. Why would I hate these people. That would make me ..same as them and I will never be that.” Tomi Reichental.
Clearly the correlation is clear, the rhetoric giving way to the outpourings of a savage and brutal atrocity against the Jews, must be seen that without Hitler the security for the Jews of Europe would have been more settled and secure. When on September 3rd. 1939 180 Czestochowa Jews are murdered and 17 of Wieruszow’s Jews, along with 4 of Lelow’s Jews and 3 Jews of Zdunska-Wola, it is obviously clear that the Jews in Poland are to be murdered, wherever they are found. On September 4th. 1939 90 of Zarki’s Jews are murdered as are 80 of Zloczew’s Jews, over 20 Jews murdered in Kruszyna and in Konskie, 20 Jews are murdered and in Sosnowiec, 13 local Jews are ordered to dig their own graves and are Murdered into them.
“..Leni Riefenstahl has ..right idea ..she scours ..villages in search of ..peasant types she requires.” Adolf Hitler.
On September 5th. 1939 24 Jews of Ozorkow are murdered and as the German Wehrmacht enters Pietrkow-Trybunalski and immediately sets about Murdering more than 40 of its Jews. On September 6th. 1939 there are an estimated 150 Czestochowa Jews murdered and on September 7th. 1939 60 of Aleksandrow’s Jews are murdered as are 7 Zgierz Jews. On September 8th. 1939 37 of Trzebinia’s Jews are murdered as are 30 of Ostrow’s Jews. On September 9th. 1939, and again with the arrival of the Wehrmacht in Sanok Jews are Murdered and 3 Synagogues are Burned down. Also, the Jews of Bydgoszcz are accosted, abused and Murdered.
“..Leni Riefenstahl ..rushed into ..office of Major General Langhauser ..chief intelligence officer. She had seen 22 Jews shot and could not continue work.” Gerald Reitlinger.
On September 10th. 1939, and with the massacre of 23 Rawa-Mazowiecka Jews, we have yet to reach the rubicon of destruction but with a massacre that was witnessed by Leni Riefenstahl, and who fainted at such a scene. Here though, and we have to assume from this that Hitler was fully aware of an atrocity being confirmed by a Major General of intelligence services and that Leni Riefenstahl was engaged in filming all details of an invasion, occupation and destructive nazi force. Can it be that she was a witness to the
Rawa-Mazowiecka murders and this foremost, World renowned film maker did not Film what she must have reported to Hitler.
“..if they are not recorded in history ..events of ..past vanish into memorylessness ..irretrievably lost to ..present and ..future.” Lucy S. Dawidowicz.
It is the duty of us all to record and leave an imprint of what we know and here, what cannot be denied Riefenstahl’s access to her Fuhrer, a man totally engaged in every detail of what he had now set in motion. Also, can a General of intelligence be so remiss as to fail in the very detail of what Hitler had charged him with, gaining in a search for Lebensraum, War and a world dominion that was to prove catastrophic for the Jews of all Europe. On September 11th. 1939 560 more Ostrow Jews are murdered as are 65 of Wyzkow’s Jews and
12 Jews of Karwodrza.
“..I shall never forget this scene. ..this was no march to ..carriages ..but rather a mute protest ..against this murderous regime. ..a procession ..no human eye has ever witnessed. ..They were going to their death with eyes full of contempt for ..murderers. Seeing Korczak. ..Germans asked ..who is this man. ..I could no longer contain myself. I tried to hide ..stream of tears running from my eyes.” Nachum Remba.
On September 12th. 1939 3 of Czermno’s Jews are murdered as Hitler is aboard his Command Train near Ilnau, marshalling his forces for whatever presents itself. On September 13th. 1939 53 Warsaw Jews are murdered as are 35 of Mielec’s Jews and on September 14th. 1939 there are 14 Pultusk Jews murdered and 7 Jews of Nowe-Miasto are also murdered. On September 15th. 1939 14 Mielec Jews are murdered as are 4 of Strzyzow’s Jews and yet again on September 16th. 1939 16 of Aleksandrow’s Jews are accosted, brutalized and then murdered.
“..Apart from ..gassings in Auschwitz and ..Polish Death Camps ..more than 1,000,000 Jews must have died by ..firing squads or during round ups in ..ghettoes. Auschwitz ..in spite of its immense symbolic significance ..probably contributed less that 1/5th. of ..victims.” Gerald Reitlinger.
On September 17th. 1939 20 of Laskarzew’s Jews are murdered and the list of atrocities goes on and on until we reach a zenith of killing frenzy at BabiYar near Kiev, September 29th. 1941 till September 30th. 1941 with 33,771 Jews Slaughtered in just 2 days. Of course, the industrialized process of Murdered was scaled up in December 1941 at Chelmno and the spread of mechanized Slaughter of 6,000,000 Jews across the entire of The Holocaust was extended to all 5 other Death Camps in Poland. Not content with the Slaughter on such a massive scale, Hitler laid tribute to the Murder’s of Jews at many other killing sites, Ghetto, Camps of every other description and wherever a Jews was confronted by an inhuman hatred.
“..end ..November 1940 ..8,000 ..were at ..Oswiecim camps. ..political prisoners ..criminals ..Jews. This last group ..persecuted most of all. Scarcely any of them came out alive. ..death notices. ..received. ..December 20,260 ..were sent. ..200 bodies ..being burned in ..crematorium each week.” Polish Fortnightly Review.
So what now does the World need to know of the direct threat, assault and mass Murder of Polish Jews that anyone can bring to the World of that knowledge which is clearly understood. It is hard to imagine that even in 1940 that the World was not fully aware of every conceivable crime derived of and for and in relation to the mistreatment of the Jews by Hitler and those who acquiesced to these Crimes Against Humanity. As such then, and it is the case that the rewriting of History, and not just from within Poland has been given over to the name of Witold Pilecki in the depths of The Holocaust.
“..There were many Women and Children in ..vans. Sometimes ..Children in cradles. Here all of them were to end their lives collectively. They were carried like a herd of animals to be slaughtered.” Witold Pilecki.
Clearly, and it was accepted that Pilecki, whose mission within Auschwitz is to gather information so as to garner a more collective confronting with German occupation, is now appraised with an exaggerated role in regards to the destruction, even of Polish Jews. For that matter, any other Jew arriving in Poland, and while this does not deal directly with the fundamental issue of the Slaughter of more than 3,000,000 Polish Jews, it confronts Poland, Europe and the rest of the World with what emerges within Poland as some 4,500,000 Jews are Slaughtered there.
“..Polish Jews ..were done away mainly in Treblinka and Majdanek. Here ..to Oswiecim ..Jews were collected from nearly ..whole Europe.” Witold Pilecki.
Some, with a vested interest in now distorting further The Holocaust truth, have heightened the presence of Pilecki’s position to obscure the clear lack of Polish concerns for its own Jews. This position is relevant as we survey the landscape of Poland’s presence within The Holocaust, let alone its position for any Jew arriving from all over Europe and destined for complete obliteration on an already blood soaked Polish soil. Here though these who seek to are manipulating a variance of the truth, centering instead upon the machinations of a resistance not considerate of Polish Jewry at all.
“..a trick for ..rest of Jews in ..World. ..some ..Jews were placed for a short time for work ..they wrote letters and sent them to families ..that they were doing well in ..camp.” Witold Pilecki.
Even at the industrialized machine that was Auschwitz and soon to become Birkenau we can no longer use the ruse that nothing could be known of all that was evident from amongst the local population, Western intelligence agency’s and eventually, all of Jewry itself. For the Jews, under constant threat, how could they know the end of civilization approached them as they are so literally led astray by letter’s, subterfuge and disinformation. So what is the factual integrity of the truth that we aim to document and for its part, where that very History cannot be allowed to be altered by preference.
“..When our Jews in ..camp had well fulfilled ..task of writing reassuring letters to Jews in various countries ..and thus they became an unnecessary burden to ..camp ..then they were done away as quickly as possible ..by sending them to some hard labor in Brezinka ..or often directly to. ..as everywhere ..people were done away.” Witold Pilecki.
We, the historian, and the presenter of words, must uphold rigidly the science that is applied to what such a strict discipline demands of it. Distortion will only feed back toward a twisted truth that cannot ever hold on to the integrity we seek but will always withhold the very truth of its bearer. For its part Yad Vashem has recognized many in the World as Righteous in their conduct toward the Jews of Europe, a position which placed them under duress and directly threatened them of all existence particularly within Poland. But, and with regard to The Holocaust and its place within Poland, we need to temper the fuller meaning of Righteousness to which we employ its very deliberate usage.
“..I bade farewell to everything I had hitherto known on this earth and entered something seemingly no longer of it.” Witold Pilecki.
With regard to the dismissal of Polish Jewry from a non-Jewish Polish narrative, it is essential to draw a line of comparison between overall heroism and its constituent part. What Pilecki proposes here in 1942 was an operation which extended from Chelmno through to Belzec, Majdanek, Sobibor and Treblinka, even prior to the installation of Birkenau as the quintessential Factory of Death for the Jews of Europe. But we see nothing which relates the Jewish experience as distinctly different from all others who entered into the realm of these industrial facility’s of mass murder.
“..they have started clearing ..traces ..and wherever there were a lot of ashes ..they have ordered them to be ground fine ..taken to ..Vistula ..released with ..current. We have dug up a lot of graves ..but there are still two open graves on ..grounds of 2nd. 3rd. Crematoria. Several graves are still full of ash. ..A vast amount of ash from 100’s of 1,000’s of Jews ..Russians ..Poles ..scattered ..plowed into ..grounds of ..crematoria…” Zalman Gradowski.
For me, and there is a critical point at which referral of the term hero must only be made when we are discussing a relevant term such as The Holocaust.
“..flames could be seen from 15 or 20 kilometers ..people knew ..human beings were being burned there.” Adolf Bartelmes.
and that is within the context of what was happening, where it was happening and to whom it was happening to. The counter actions which were directed toward and against the Jews varied in intensity but were always deliberately aimed at exhuming them from all existence. As far as present day instruction goes into the searching to learn, there is this massive concern for History, particularly for The Holocaust in that History, that will not be written in Poland. In place of acknowledging that there was shown an utter contempt for all that transpired to take away 3,000,000 Polish Jews, we have a comparison made which does not qualify the certain of Hitler for the Jewish People.
“..There is a difference between ..German orchestrated systems of terror against ..Poles and ..Jews. ..Germans want to ruin ..Polish state as a state. ..with regard to ..Jews ..they want to devastate ..biological substance of ..Jewish Nation. If ..Germans do not change their method of dealing with ..Jewish population ..if there is no effort at Allied intervention ..whether through reprisals or other action ..barring some unforeseen circumstance ..within 18 months of ..time I left ..Homeland ..Jewish People of Poland will cease to exist.” Jan Karski.
For 6,000,000 Jewish People, Citizens of all Country’s within Europe, who were indeed plundered from all existence, Poland today seeks to distort that truth. Even when people like Jan Karski acknowledges the great disparity of treatment for Polish Jews and Polish non-Jews, great effort is made to ensure the Polish Jewish losses are somehow subordinate to other Polish losses. History clearly recognizes and identifies with the very tenets of what Hitler finally conceived of for the Jews and this would be The Final Solution of the Jewish Question.
“..most important mitzvah ..or commandment ..of ..post ..Holocaust era should be ‘hakarat hatov’ ..recognition of goodness.” Rabbi Harold Schulweis.
In that assessment, and while it is true that we cannot assess the germ of that very idea of Hitler’s was to concentrate the very enactment of the gravest atrocity ever conceived of, and it was to be written in the blood of perhaps some 4,5000,000 Jews and within Poland, we are aware that is the position we have arrived at. Also, and what we do know is that the greatest reservoir of Polish Jewish persistence in all of Europe was firmly concentrated within Poland. The step from conception of an idea to the performance of the most horrific atrocity ever perpetrated against Humanity, is merely a staging process.
“..It is ..duty of righteous men to make war on all undeserved privilege ..but one must not forget that this is a war without end.” Primo Levi.
It was a foregone conclusion that Poland would ideally fit Hitler’s remit for the presence of the Death Camps on Polish soil and from there the complicity of many of the Jews former neighbors and acquaintances within Poland is assured. However, and from amongst this premise, there are some 6,992 Righteous from the Polish Nation who stood tallest and are indeed considered Righteous. Of course, and unless I choose to Forget how many Polish People assisted me in getting to all of the Death Camps, Belzec especially and Sobibor in particular, then I will fail to convince many that while there is badness in every society, there is immense good in the so much of Polish Society.
“..Jews ..from Bohemia ..France ..Netherlands ..other countries of Europe. ..went alone ..unescorted ..about 10 to 20 kilometers from Oswiecim ..vans were guarded ..and ..they were delivered to a side track ..to Brzezinka.” Witold Pilecki.
It must be clearly stated, and while I was at the mercy of an ignorance of the Polish language, Polish people came to my rescue so that I could fulfill a pledge I had already made. If I ever doubt my own experience as to why I am more aware of Community’s such as Wlodawa, Tomaszow-Lubelski or Tomaszow-Mazowiecki, then it must be stated that the strongly held views of those Jewish Generations who Survived those who perished are powerful guides to what we need to know. As these Jewish Survivors are the very People who know the Truth of their own Jewish heritage, and its literal waste in the Death Camps, Ghetto and other places where they face extinction.
“..In Majdanek and everywhere in Poland. They gave what is ..best in humanity. I have it all ..in my soul ..letters written to me by many. Everything is possible ..in spite of other manifestations. I ..myself have never experienced any animosity toward me and what I represent. There is always ..goodwill and hope.” Halina Birenbaum.
Also, and I am constantly aware too that these Extermination Centers were wholly established by Hitler in the German Occupied parts of Poland, but this does not alter the geographical significance given over to Hitler’s identifying with Poland as the resource for such a despicable horror to be inflicted upon Polish Jewry and European Jewry as a whole. In acknowledging all these basic truths, all those who wish to engage in The Holocaust, they must accept they cannot blame ALL Poles for what some Polish people did in assisting Hitler’s efforts.
“..All of Poland was rife with anti-Semitism.” Rubin Offenbach.
That said, I am still looking for what is essentially a Polish take on what is crucially Polish collusion with Hitler’s aims toward Polish Jewry. It is imperative in truth that the Polish non-Jewish People in particular see that any Polish collaboration during The Holocaust period is an accusation against those who colluded and not those who resisted the temptation to act against conscience and against their Jewish Citizenry. As the World recognizes that while not all victims were Jews, can we be so resistant to the fact that not all non-Jewish Poles were innocent in their treatment of the Polish Jews.
“..I had an opportunity to talk to Jews of France several times and one time with a transport from Poland ..rare to be met here. It was a transport of Jews from Bialystok and Grodno. ..they were arriving due to official announcements ..only those Jews would live on ..who would ..work in ..Third Reich.” Witold Pilecki.
01) True! Witold Pilecki was captured in Warsaw, Poland on September 19th. 1940, and arrived at the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, Oswiecim, Poland amongst a contingent of 1,705 SD prisoners on September 22nd. 1940. He arrived here though as prisoner Tomasz Serafinski, Prisoner Number 4859, given a pseudonym designed to protect his very identity. At this time Witold Pilecki was the Chief of Staff of the Secret Polish Army, the Tajna Armia Polska or TAP.
02) True! Witold Pilecki remained within Auschwitz till his escape in the early morning of April 27th. 1943, along with his confederates Edward Ciesielski and Jan Redzej.
03) True! Witold Pilecki was well placed in Auschwitz to organize a resistance movement but his lowly rank brought him into contention with more high ranking officers of the Polish korps.
04) True! And also to be clear, Witold Pilecki sought to establish a movement which informed on the internal structure of Polish forces in in the Camp so that Poland was availed of what was happening inside and immediately outside their own confinement through locally established liaisons.
05) True! When charged with obtaining food and clothing for those immediately within his sphere of concern, Witold Pilecki was the logistics officer responsible and did his job.
06) True! Witold Pilecki set about forming a resistance movement within the Camp that would openly liaise with resistance groups outside the camp.
07) True! Witold Pilecki’s duties ensured he had the maneuverability necessary so as to manage and deliver information to the outside World. This too assisted in keeping the Polish Government in exile, and the local Polish resistance informed of what was deemed necessary to inform.
08) True! Gypsies were indeed sterilized in experiments in Auschwitz.
So! How do we break down the necessary qualification of information that would prove appropriately relevant to what Auschwitz commenced, and as to what Birkenau became established for. As I have imparted all the way through the narrative effort of this passage into the past, the World was acquainted with what was happening to the Jews within Poland. Outside the very gates on each of the 6 Death Camps there, local knowledge would have provided a grapevine of knowledge that would extend across the entire Country, across border’s and on into the wider World, both religious and political.
“..encouraged by letters written by Jews from Oswiecim and perhaps from other camps ..that they worked in good conditions and did well. ..had ..right to take a hand luggage ..what they were able to carry by themselves. ..some ..took 2 suitcases ..all their property ..having sold their immovables and movables and ..purchased ..valuable things ..gold ..dollars.” Witold Pilecki.
01a) So let us examine what was going on in the realm of abuse toward so many, especially the Jews of Poland, Europe and all watched over by and at Hitler’s behest.
Under the Law for the Prevention of Genetically Defective Progeny, July 14th. 1933, which legalized the involuntary sterilization of persons with diseases claimed to be hereditary, weak-mindedness, schizophrenia, alcohol abuse, insanity, blindness, deafness, and physical deformities. By 1938 300,000 People had been sterilized. On July 25th 1939 and with Gerhard Kretschmar, who is killed by lethal injection, he was a mere 5 months old, the genesis of the T4 operation is borne.
Sunday July 30th. 1939 “..No doubt Jews are not ..lovable people ..do not care about them myself. ..not sufficient to explain ..pogrom.” Neville Chamberlain.
On August 18th. 1939 the Reich Interior Ministry circulates its ‘Euthanasia’ paper and on January 25th. 1940, and though in its containment operation since 1939, Oswiecim, Auschwitz, is chosen as site of new Concentration Camp.
“..Thursday March 28th. 1940 ..Polish youth ..armed with clubs ..sticks ..make pogroms against ..Jews. ..Jews ..beaten and wounded. ..Jewish quarter ..abandoned to toughs and killers.” Chaim Aron Kaplan.
On April 27th. 1940 the Himmler directive which establishes Auschwitz Concentration Camp and then on May 20th. 1940 Auschwitz is now functioning with the arrival of Prisoners previously held in Sachsenhausen. Then on June 14th. 1940 the first transports arrive at Auschwitz from Tarnow. We know too that from about March 1941 to about January 1945 the sterilization experiments continued and the hippocratic oath was laid to waste by many medics who served Hitler’s demands. It strikes me so often that while there are still many who wonder why a former catholic has chosen to write on an ostensibly Jewish Catastrophe, the mistake is in assuming other than a Human concern for a Human Catastrophe.
“..Everyone knows ..what happened in Warsaw ..Slonim ..it is already time to count ..cities where ..catastrophies did not occur. ..understand ..better to be sent to Wolkowsk than ..Treblinka.” Ephraim Barash.
For me, how can it be that human concern must remain exclusively within focused groups, either religious or based on other definitions of ethnicity or political persuasion. With compassion somehow left outside our human endeavor, we cannot be the advocates of concern we are imbued with. Just as Christianity is to be acknowledged as the catalyst to all that antisemitism is, Hitler’s lessons from it has ensured he fully becomes the supreme arbiter of all that is The Holocaust. Of course, the history of the Jews written in contemporary christian terms, and when the Jews remained committed to their faith, it was here that the bias and even envy was blended into the most radical form of antisemitism, nazism.
“..as a human being ..a Christian ..a priest ..a German ..demand of you ..Chief Physician of ..Reich ..that you answer for ..crimes that have been perpetrated at your bidding ..and with your consent ..and which will call forth ..vengeance of ..Lord on ..heads of ..German people.” Bishop Bernhard Lichtenberg.
This should have been a church’s response a universal declaration of what compassion must mean, but with a series of repulsive atrocity’s, that catapulted christianity away from any moral foundation, assaults upon Jewish existence exasperates us to this day. For any compassionate understanding, no religious fervor was undertaken on behalf of the Jews of Europe being transported toward a not already confirmed extinction. Then, with the position altered to exclude the Jewish Community from close proximity to an unchristian grounding, the Diaspora of 2,000 years of Jewish wandering that had come into being was ending.
“..Several years later it is already difficult for us to understand how ..German beast was able to deliver 1,000’s and 1,000’s of people to their deaths several times a day ..with human settlements nearby.” Rudolf Reder.
Since Biblical Egypt, the detention of the Jewish People signifies a disturbing affront to what is human understanding both morally and ethically. Of course, there are many theories as to when Jews, or even the Faith of Judaism belongs in the history of us all, but it is appropriate to acknowledge that theirs is a religious foundation we heavily stole from. This is of course superfluous to the very tenets of belief and indeed, what belief is when, as is witnessed outside the gates of Belzec, 884,700 Jews were Slaughtered in sight of all of those that wished to see, hear, smell and know.
“..That there has been and is being considered in Hitler’s headquarters a plan to exterminate all Jews from Germany and German controlled areas in Europe after they have been concentrated in ..East. ..numbers involved is said to be between 3,500,000 and 4,000,000 and ..object to permanently settle ..Jewish Question in Europe.” Dr. Gerhart Riegner.
Faith is simply that and it cannot be enforced and must not be impeded by those who see some form of hierarchy over others that simply does not exist. This is what the wrongful enforcement in conversion has sought and for the Jewish People they were not threatened by other belief systems enough to stray from their core belief. In all of history for those whose belief differs, whether conversion to and from christianity or Islam, Faith is not corruptible by force. This then is where Hitler emerges onto a World stage to add a final excess in the treatment of the Jewish People for being Jews, their elimination.
“..only by fear ..torture ..starvation ..death ..Nazi’s eliminated at home ..opponents of ..regime ..and it was in this way that ..organisations of oppression gained ..experience ..training ..later put into practice abroad with such thoroughness and brutality ..that made them nightmare ..scourge of Occupied Europe.” Lord Russell of Liverpool.
As I see things, and I know all too well so many are in total disagreement with this point of view, The Holocaust uniquely belongs to the memory of an extinguished 6,000,000 Jews pushed too far toward oblivion. For that very reason, all they have is the memory we keep for them and The Holocaust term that has been their abiding space ever since it recognised this fact. We began immediately to add weight to what we recognised all that we indeed knew was happening to these Jews of Europe. What is also true is that none of this knowledge was anything to do with Witold Pilecki or the prevention of the forthcoming Slaughter of Polish and European Jewry in Birkenau.
“..A Polish Woman knows that she may die here ..but also that she may escape death. ..Jewish Women ..on ..other hand ..know that they must die.” Seweryna Szmaglewska.
No one doubts that the interests of the full cadre of Polish officers held in Auschwitz was maintained and this should not be allowed to conflate any contention which exists with the necessity of saving any of the 1,100,000 Jews Slaughtered here. That many were indeed Polish Jewry taken from within their own homeland so soak further their State with even more Jewish Blood is recognised. So the interests of saving the coming untold 1,000,000’s of Polish and other European Jews, and those set to approach all 6 Death Camps in Poland, and particularly here on the ramparts at Birkenau, are not in the least served.
“..I know. ..never in ..history of mankind ..never anywhere in ..realm of human relations did anything occur to compare with what was inflicted on ..Jewish population of Poland.” Jan Karski.
All this withstanding, when none of the distraction or distortion is allowed, we become focused upon the heroism of a man who acted bravely. But we must not allow this fact to detract from the truth when in the furtherance of those needs of his fellow officers Polish and European Jewry was not a consideration. It is maintained that from March 1941 Witold’s reports made their way to London and were forming a knowledge that was well documented within allied intelligence circles already. Not even the fuller escalation of der Einsaztgruppe aktionen was limited to the desks of those who Murdered Jews in the field nor to the desks of Hitler’s offices.
” ..How is one to explain ..Hitler nor Himmler was ever excommunicated. ..Pius XII never thought ..to condemn Auschwitz ..Treblinka. ..among the SS a large portion ..remained faithful to their Christian ties. ..killers who went to confession.” Elie Wiesel.
On March 1st. 1941 when Himmler visits Auschwitz and plans the expansion of the Auschwitz sub-Camps, the construction of Birkenau, Auschwitz II. Thus begins what the World will come to recognize as Hitler’s intention is toward the mechanized Destruction of The Jewish People, and others, on a enormously industrialized scale. Rudolf Hoess as kommandant is immediately notified of Hitler’s plans to annihilate the entire Jewish Population of Europe. Then on May 9th. 1941 total control of Auschwitz is handed over by the Wehrmacht to Himmler and his SS legion and on September 3rd. 1941 when Zyklon ‘B’ was first used in Auschwitz against 250 Jewish Infirm and 600 Russian POW’s, Hitler had crossed a rubicon of his sought after plan for the Jewish People.
“..During ..tenure of office of defendant Wilhelm Frick as Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia ..from August ..1943 ..until ..liberation of Czechoslovakia in 1945 ..many thousands of Czechoslovak Jews were transported from ..Terezin Ghetto ..Czechoslovakia to ..Camp at Oswiecziem ..Auschwitz ..in Poland and were there killed in ..gas chambers.” Dr. Robert Max Wasilii Kempner.
On September 23rd. 1941 more gassing tests continue at Auschwitz as Rudolf Hoess, the Auschwitz Kommandant, found the use of Zyklon ‘B’, a Hydrocyanic Gas, formerly used as a pesticide, to be even more effective in the destruction of the Jewish People. The ratio of 8-10 grams per Cubic Metre would result in total asphyxiation within a 15 minute period. Zyklon ‘B’ was easy to pack, easy to transport and no problem to store in their sealed cans and the kill rate was everything that Hitler could have demanded. After Witold’s escape from Auschwitz April 27th. 1943, any report to be made would have been subsequent to all that was already known of all 6 Death Camps, including Auschwitz and Birkenau.
August 13th. 1943 “..In view of the tragic existence of the Jews, where the life of the individual depends on chance, and the life of the community as a whole has long been on the brink of cessation, one must, more than ever, see the situation comprehensively. An individual point of view – everyone will surely understand that now – is of no significance today. As individuals, we are all lost. The likelihood of staying alive is minute. Broken and alone there is not much we can expect of life. Dying together with Polish Jewry we must clearly visualize for ourselves the historic character of this time and tell ourselves with courage that our death does not spell the end of the world. The record of humanity and of the Jewish people will continue at its own speed in the future, even after we are safely under the ground. The numerical balance-sheet of the Jews will be sad when peace finally comes to the world after the historical blood-bath. This is indeed not the first defeat of a defenseless people scattered over the face of the earth. Slaughter, murders, confiscation of property, and the burning alive of people all these have been known to us for generations as the essential elements of our martyrology. But there has never been such wholesale extermination. Never did a situation develop like this, where there is no way out. Never before did great numbers of people armed with the most modern technology move against the Jews. Of 16 million Jews in the world, we shall scarcely reach 9 million after the war. And, most important of all, the Jews of Europe will no longer be there, those who up to now made up the healthiest part of the nation. Nobody held out a helping hand to the Jews who were being destroyed, nobody made any effort to help them to the extent that they could escape from the danger of extermination. They looked on our destruction as on the death of maggots, and not as the loss of a nation with high cultural values. When the question of the Jews came up even the hatred towards the Germans lessened. There was a solidarity with the enemy in the joy over the fall of the Jews. Only a few retained any degree of humanity, and even they did not dare to give this public expression. The truth of aloneness was again confirmed. We shall carry the heavy burden of this isolation until the end of our days, and it points to the fact that the only proper approach is that of self-liberation: We have nobody on whom to depend except ourselves. All other political concepts will lead us astray. We have paid the highest possible price because we were lulled asleep by the prosperity of Europe, or guided by false hopes of rescue that would come from outside. We lost our sense of reality and instead of planning our independence we scattered invaluable forces in alien fields. Who knows what would have been the future of the Jewish people if there were no Yishuv (Community) of half a million in Palestine, that built its foundations before the war broke out and which has now reached a million souls? Only this nucleus of a Jewish State now offers assurance for the survival of the people. It makes us believe that an independent Jewish nation will rise again, a wellspring of profound spiritual values, as always. It is easier to die, therefore, in the knowledge that a genuine Jewish life still throbs there, that in that one small corner of the wide world we were not undesirables, lonely victims. There would be no sense in our death but for the feeling that, after we have gone, they will be the only ones who will think about us with genuine emotion. Therefore, despite certain death, we join them in their struggle for the future. Every one of our deeds paved the way for freedom, and furthers the building of an independent homeland. Our revolt is a protest against the evil that is engulfing the world. To counter the terror that has crushed our people, we shall stand prepared for the struggle for justice and freedom that should light up the life of humanity as a whole. We are willing to die in order that the shame of death in slavery shall not burden the future of the Jews, and that these Jews shall not have to recall the Jews of Europe with shame because they allowed themselves to be led unresisting to slaughter, and they had not the spirit and courage to defend themselves against destruction. As we had not been allowed to make our contribution to the creative work of building, we shall at least fulfill our historic duty here: it is we who must raise up the name of the lost people, to wipe away the mark of shame of slavery, and to place it among the ranks of people free in spirit.” Cracow Fighting Pioneer Underground Newspaper.
“..I didn’t want to go back to Poland. Poles were killing a lot of Jews who returned to claim property ..homes ..other possessions. My Parents were dead. There was nothing to go back to.” Bianca Lerner.