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July 21, 2016 12:30 pm

Jewish Leader Slams Polish Officials for Casting Doubt on Polish, Nazi Murder of Jews in WWII

avatar by Lea Speyer

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WJC President Ronald S. Lauder. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

WJC President Ronald S. Lauder. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The head of a major international Jewish organization condemned officials in Poland Wednesday for questioning Polish and Nazi involvement in the murder of Jews during the Second World War.

World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder said in a statement that recent comments to this effect by Polish Education Minister Anna Zalewska and Jedwabne Mayor Michael Chajewski are a “slap in the face” to Holocaust victims.

Last week, Zalewska cast doubt on the involvement of Poles in two pogroms in the 1940s — the 1941 Jedwabne massacre, in which Poles burned alive more than 300 Jews in a barn, and the 1946 Kielce massacre, in which 42 people died. The anniversaries of both pogroms were commemorated earlier this month.

During an interview with public broadcaster TVN, when asked whether the massacres should be taught in schools, Zalewska answered, “Jedwabne is a historical fact that has led to many misunderstandings and very biased opinions,” adding that the perpetrators of the Kielce massacre were antisemites, “but not quite Polish.”

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Chajewski, for his part, voiced approval for the exhumation of hundreds of Jewish bodies from a local mass grave to examine whether Nazi soldiers were indeed the murderers. “You need to determine how many people were killed and by whom to finally dispel doubt,” he told a Polish newspaper last week.

According to Lauder, the comments by the minister and mayor undermine the efforts of Polish scholars, “who have spent more than 25 years unearthing evidence of horrifying acts of violence against Jews committed by Poles.”

“Minister Zalewska and Mayor Chajewski would do well to heed the words of President Andrzej Duda who said earlier this month at the 70th anniversary of the Kielce pogrom that, ‘In a free, sovereign and independent Poland there is no room for any form of prejudice. There is no room for racism, for xenophobia, for antisemitism,’” he said.

Lauder called it “disturbing” that senior Polish officials, who are part of a country that has made tremendous advancements in Holocaust education and scholarship, are “lurching backward to the days of obfuscation and misinformation.”

“Ever since the collapse of Communism, elements of Polish society have expressed tremendous courage and dignity in confronting terrible blots on Polish history,” he said. “In so doing, they have earned our admiration and set a valuable example to be emulated by neighboring countries that have failed to come to grips with their own history.”

Lauder called on Zalewska and Chajewski to issue immediate apologies and retract their remarks.

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  • Isahiah62

    “….antisemites, “but not quite Polish.”

    sounds quite similar to Muslim apologists and other lying jewhaters

    who say: but those terrorists are not the TRUE muslims

  • Butch

    Raus.

  • nat cheiman

    Eastern Europe to a large extent supported Hitler

  • Mike

    Poland is not for Jews, never was. It’s funny reading these btthrt Jews running their mouths about Poles when the Poles were the only people who ever helped you to survive by risking their own family’s lives. Thank God that there are no more Jews in modern day Poland, what a blessing. No one has to listen to whining, annoying, constantly searching for pity parasites who were never Poles but people who were granted permission to stay on Polish soil by Polish nobles. You overstayed your welcome by a few centuries and paid the price.

    • How many Poles did it take to ensure the Survival of the 3,000,000 POLISH Jews who were Murdered on Polish Streets, in Polish Cities and in x6 perfectly formed Death Camps Hitler established on Polish soil. Bigot!

      • Martin

        About 2,800,000 Poles who were murdered on polish streets, in polish cities and in death camps by same people who murdered their jewish brethen.

  • andreivincenzo

    It’s amazing to me that Minister Anna Zalewska and Mayor Michael Chajewski are attempting revisionist history writing. The Polish people were complicit in their helping the Nazis in the pogroms of eastern Europe. Zalewska and Chajewski can never change or rationalize Polish participation in the darkest times of recorded history of Poland. I believe most Poles accept the role of participant as President Andrzej Duda has acknowledge. I would like to see these two, Zalewska and Chajewski challenged and reprimanded for espousing their views. Such opinions and revisionist of such thinking does not belong in the Polish government. The facts and documentation of participation speak for themselves. Own up to it.

    • Unfortunately! There were anti-Semites throughout Europe. Perhaps Denmark could prove a bench mark in humanities resort to concern and compassion.

  • David Wolf

    In the documentary Shoah, when the “engineers” transporting the Jews to their deaths were asked if they had any remorse, they used the age old canard of Jews being ‘Christ killers”.
    We can thank the church for this….

    • The Church has come a long way since then, thankfully. It has not managed to eradicate anti-Semitic intolerances yet, but Education will serve Tolerance far better than illiteracy and hatred!

  • Myron Slater

    It’s a fact of my life, that my ancestors came from Poland, I am sure that my ancestors were wiped out by their fellow Poles, helping the Nazi. I will always blame them for their actions!

    • Mike

      Poland is not for Jews, never was. It’s funny reading these whining Jews running their mouths about Poles when the Poles were the only people who ever helped you to survive by risking their own family’s lives. Thank God that there are no more Jews in modern day Poland, what a blessing. No one has to listen to whining, annoying, constantly searching for pity parasites who were never Poles but people who were granted permission to stay on Polish soil by Polish nobles. You overstayed your welcome by a few centuries and paid the price.

    • MikeBolo

      Poland is not for Jews, never was. It’s funny reading these btthrt Jews running their mouths about Poles when the Poles were the only people who ever helped you to survive by risking their own family’s lives. Thank God that there are no more Jews in modern day Poland, what a blessing. No one has to listen to whining, annoying, constantly searching for pity parasites who were never Poles but people who were granted permission to stay on Polish soil by Polish nobles. You overstayed your welcome by a few centuries and paid the price……

    • Blame Hitler and his Nazi’s first and foremost. The anti-Semitism in Europe would not have surfaced so vehemently and destructively?

  • sheldon p hersh

    There truly is nothing new under the sun. Poland along with many others throughout Eastern Europe offered a helping hand to German occupiers when it came to identifying and rounding up their Jewish neighbors. Some even participated in the murder of European Jewry. At war’s end, all claimed victim hood and denied their involvement. What else is new?

    • Very seldom will the culprit own up to their misdeed. With the level of accusation 6,000,000 strong, there is a paucity of honest testimony from the many who participated and ever perpetuated The Holocaust!

    • Martin

      Poland was the only nazi occupied country that never created their own SS troopers. Poland was also the only nazi occupied country that organized resistance branch commited sorely to saving Jews. It was called Żegota.
      Please educate yourself and stop spreading lies.

  • Linda

    president Eisenhower was so wise having photojournalists makes pictures of what they saw in the concentration camps, because he said in twenty years no one would remember this atrocity. The Israelis say Never Forget, apparently some Poles are saying Never Admit.

    • MikeBolo

      YAWN.

    • They do not realise that in Faith their add more to their Sin by denying their wrong doing!

  • Judith S Tellerman

    In the Pogrom of Przytyk, Poland, in 1936 my Paternal Grandfather, Mendel Tellerman, and my Father, Morris Tellerman, 17 years old, fought back the Poles at the bridge leading into the town. The police stood by and did nothing until the Poles fled and they arrested and imprisoned the 2 Jewish boys who had guns. Afterwards the Poles destroyed the Jewish town. My family lost their business, their home and their community; and they moved to Lodz.
    In 1920 a Polish officer pierced through the lung of my Maternal Grandfather, David Welczer, with his sword, killing him, because he was easily recognizable as a Chassid with his beard and religious attire. My Grandmother was widowed while she was pregnant with my Mother.
    Yes, Mr. Lauder, you have every right to be outraged at the lies.

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