“..To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is ..worth of human life ..unless it is woven into ..life of our ancestors by ..records of history.” Cicero.
Dear Anna Sochanska, as Polish Ambassador to Ireland, would you consider answering me this question? Why is it you insist Polish Jews, 3,000,000 of whom were Slaughtered in The Holocaust are distinct from Poles?? I have visited Poland on so many occasions, searching for some form of understanding of the awful detail of The Holocaust, placing myself in the missing steps of over 4,500,000 Jews, all Murdered there. I have met some of the finest People, of Polish descent who you are depriving them of their History, by a disengenuous lack of the whole truth.
“..Poland promotes a mythic and heroic narrative where Poles risked their lives to protect their Jewish neighbours against Nazi persecution.” Anna Sochanska. (Polish Ambassador to Ireland)
Let us accept that one of the formative writer’s on The Holocaust, himself a Holocaust Jewish Survivor, Elie Wiesel puts it most succinctly. When we admit that not all victims were Jews we know that All Jews Were Victims and this can be suggesting of the fact that not all non-Jewish Poles are guilty. It is very important, that in The Holocaust itself we acknowledge this but also assess that not all non-Jewish Poles are innocent in the wake of what happened in Poland, what they knew as it emerged in Poland and what non-Jewish Poles allowed and even perpetrated aginst Polish Jewry.
“..Poles constitute ..largest national group within ..Righteous Among ..Nations recognised by Yad Vashem. Considering ..harsh punishment that threatened rescuers ..this is a most impressive number.” Anna Sochanska. (Polish Ambassador to Ireland)
How can you even mention impressive when Poland allowed 3,000,000 Polish Jews to be annihilated in Gas Chambers purposely built in Poland for that reason. It is very true that there are 7,112 Polish Righteous who stood head and shoulders above 36 million other Poles who did what to save another Polish Jew. If we are to equate this to say the 5,851 Righteous Dutch, we must also recognise this is out of a population of some 8,700,000, so it is hardly credible of those extremely Worthy Righteous of Poland giving a number without extracting the context of an entire nations paltry effort.
“..Polish government in exile ..and ..Polish resistance ..were ..first to alert ..allies about ..extermination of Jews.” Anna Sochanska. (Polish Ambassador to Ireland)
From 1939 while Poles had been killing Polish Jews since forever, the scale of atrocity in line with what Hitler’s Einsatzgruppe were doing in Poland escalated. From 1941, when the Final Solution of The Jewish Question was being properly prepared, Jews were being killed at random in Poland, and not always by Hitler’s forces. Even while allied intelligence was well aware of der Einsatzgruppe operations after June 22nd. 1941, the Slaughter of more than 1,000,000 Jews was before May 1942 when the Jewish Bund entreated the exiled Polish government to act. Poland, Europe nor Polish resistance did anything to prevent this.
“..heroic is well in place to describe people who risked their own lives and ..lives of their families to save Jews from ..Holocaust.” Anna Sochanska. (Polish Ambassador to Ireland)
Absolutely no one suggests, those Poles who risked everything in saving their Jewish Community are not heroes, moral, gallant and the best of humanity. This is not true of those non-Jewish Poles who sought to collude with Hitler’s fuller resolve for all 3,650,000 of Polish Jewry. It is without doubt that more Poles acted witgh moral efficacy toward their Jewish Neighbours, though fear prevented them from admitting to what they sought to do or achieved in saving Jews from their own families, friends or non-Jewish neighbours.
“..At liberation ..around 50,000 Jewish survivors were on Polish soil. It is estimated that about 30,000 to 35,000 Jews ..around one percent of all of Polish Jewry ..were saved with ..help of Poles.” Anna Sochanska. (Polish Ambassador to Ireland)
Please, for the sake of both truth and its clarity, acknowledge what it appears this Polish government is at length in attempting to distance it self from. The factual truth and its veracity in History demands nothing less than the fullest detailed truth. By the Summer of 1946, there were more than 200,000 Polish Jews, living in and returned to their former domicile, which was their Country of Poland. However, by the first quarter of 1947, this number had severely shrunk to about 90,000 Polish Jews fearful while still managing to live in Poland.
Even when there were Pogroms raged against them they were home. We know of Kielce, does this Polish government admit to Sokoly? Remember too the efforts Poland decreed to ensure Jewish Restitution claims for Property, Homes and Possessions were to be made by end of 1947. Such a devious policy, all enabling the larceny of what has been taken from Polish Jews is presently detained by non-Jewish Poles, is a theft. Polish Jewish Survivor’s have been forced into the most ludicrous defence of their ownership of all that has been taken from them.
August 1943 “..return of ..Jews to their jobs and workshops is ..out of ..question ..even if ..number of Jews is greatly reduced. ..non-Jewish population has filled their places in ..towns ..cities ..in much of Poland this is a fundamental change ..final in character. ..return of masses of Jews would be perceived not as an act of restitution ..but as an invasion against which they would have to defend themselves ..even by physical means.” Roman Knoll. Polish Foreign Affairs Office.
It is so odious, in the very highest omission of morality, a major defect in human ethics, all in the face of the gravest Slaughter of 6,000,000 Jews of Europe. Poland chooses now to barely recognise that 3,000,000 of the Slaughtered are Polish Jews, insisting in a racist tone that is a characteristic of antisemitism, divesting Polish Jewry of their Polish nationality. I am so tired of this attempt to distory if not fully deny this aspect of The Holocaust, which took place upon Polish soil and to Polish Jews in the main part and European Jewry transported there too.
“..new bill will be a project that meets ..expectations of many Poles ..routinely blasphemed in ..world ..Europe ..even ..Germany ..saying that they are ..perpetrators of The Holocaust and that in Poland were Polish concentration camps ..Polish gas chambers. Enough with this lie ..there must be accountability.” Zbigniew Ziobro. (Polish government minister February 13th. 2016.)
For context to why I am writing this, I add the full letter of this correspondence.
Sir, – A letter by Oliver Sears (Letters, June 30th) includes particular statements mocking the Polish. He claims Poland “(…) promotes a mythic and heroic narrative where Poles risked their lives to protect their Jewish neighbours against Nazi persecution”. There is nothing mythical about Poles saving Jews from the Holocaust. Statements from Yad Vashem, The World Holocaust Remembrance Center, prove that Poles saving Jews are not a myth: “Poles constitute the largest national group within the Righteous Among the Nations recognised by Yad Vashem. Considering the harsh punishment that threatened rescuers, this is a most impressive number.”
Poland, as the first victim of the Nazi Germany, stood firm against denial and minimisation of the crimes of the Holocaust. Moreover, during the second World War Polish government-in-exile (first in Paris then London) and the Polish resistance operating in German-occupied territories were the first to alert the Western allies about the extermination of Jews by Nazi Germany. I strongly believe the word heroic is well in place to describe people who risked their own lives and the lives of their families to save Jews from the Holocaust. Poles kept on fighting in the face of unimaginable horror. A Pole caught hiding Jews was punished not only by losing their own life, but their entire family’s lives as well.
As per Yad Vashem: “At liberation, around 50,000 Jewish survivors were on Polish soil. It is estimated that about 30,000 to 35,000 Jews, around one percent of all of Polish Jewry, were saved with the help of Poles.” – Yours, etc,
Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Ireland