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Polish Anti-semitism - origins?


Maluch 30 | 95  
18 Jan 2009 /  #1
Have been reading an interesting book "The politics of retribution in europe" about collaborations / resistance during WWII. One of the chapters posits that while poles commonly broke various rules imposed by the germans (underground, black market economy), they rarely broke the rule of harbouring or helping the jews. As well, turning in jews was very common, and lets not forget more violent actions including the pogroms. The pervading idea being that their inherent anti-semitism made them more willing "collaborators" in some aspects of the Nazi occupation - i.e. the holocaust

All this to say .. what Were the origins of anti-semitism in Poland in the 19th century, and running up to WWII?

and following WWII, when anti-semitism was still very common, has it died down much since then? What are current attitudes? I have certainly seen a lot of nazi hate grafiti in towns throughout Poland..

Discuss
HatefulBunch397 - | 658  
18 Jan 2009 /  #2
they rarely broke the rule of harbouring or helping the jews.

Completely false. Poles did help their neighbors many times. You sound like you want to stir trouble with your false claims. The punishment for helping jews in Poland was death, which goes to show you Poles were helping jews a lot, despite what the Nazis wanted, otherwise the penalty wouldn't have been so harsh.
OP Maluch 30 | 95  
18 Jan 2009 /  #3
Not trying to stir trouble, just debate.. Perhaps I should have worded it better: The book argues that comparitive to other death-punishable crimes like working in black market etc.., harbouring jews was not as common. They ascertain this to the prevailing anti-semitism at the time.
eric_the_nave - | 30  
19 Jan 2009 /  #4
The book argues that comparitive to other death-punishable crimes like working in black market etc.., harbouring jews was not as common

Poles needed to work in the black market else they would starve. Aso many Germans were able to make money through the black market as well so were more likely to turn a blind eye to it. Furthermore harbourng a Jew meant that you could be caught at any time, not just when performing an illegal transaction.

And I would not go suggesting that not many harboured Jews. The best estimates for Warsaw come in at 70 to 90 thousand Poles in that city alone.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
19 Jan 2009 /  #5
Oh, there is still anti-Semitism here but it not a prominent issue today. It has been toned down substantially.

Good to see Hateful Bunch being her usual emotive and non-rational self.

She isn't even Polish and I don't know if she even lives here. Not a reliable source unless she is a historian.
Sokrates 8 | 3,346  
19 Jan 2009 /  #6
Maluch anti-semitism naturally exists in Poland but its within the general international norm, the book you quote i'd regard as simply biased against Poland and thus forwarding false claims.

There was a massive effort to save Jews in Poland, of course relative to the amount of Jews killed it was not enough but given the conditions of the occupied country we did everything thats in our power and much much more.
sjam 2 | 541  
19 Jan 2009 /  #7
effort to save Jews in Poland, of course relative to the amount of Jews killed it was not enough but given the conditions of the occupied country we did everything thats in our power

Well said....especially as no other German occupied country had the death penalty for aiding Jews.

Why is everyone focused on what Poles did or did not do? Why not what Hungarians did or the Dutch, the French or Latvians or......? Just because the death camps were mainly built in German occupied Poland doesn't make Poland culpable for the entire Holocaust alongside the Germans.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
19 Jan 2009 /  #8
I don't think the issue is Polish culpability here. To suggest so would be pretty defensive. Ligota was an important body for the Jews. Read The Pianist to see that the Poles were not anti-Semitic but just petrified and cooperative (because they had to be).

This is Polish forums after all but, if you want to mention the hand of other countries, you are more than welcome to do so. It just might deflect from the thread.
Harry  
19 Jan 2009 /  #9
Read The Pianist to see that the Poles were not anti-Semitic but just petrified and cooperative

Alternatively read about the escape from Sobibor and learn that not only were nearly as many escapees killed by Polish civilians as by Germans and that one of the two leaders of the escape was murdered by anti-semitic Poles in 1945.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
19 Jan 2009 /  #10
Hmm...never come across that, Harry. I know about the Kielce Pogrom of 1946 and other isolated incidents. I think those Poles were furious at what they saw as the Jews bringing the Nazis to Poland.
Sokrates 8 | 3,346  
19 Jan 2009 /  #11
Regarding the "Pianist" Szpilman himself admitted that parts of it were an "artistic interpretation" and given that Szpilman in reality survived only because of a polish family that hosted him ( which he did not mention in his memoirs but did admit in repeatedly both before cameras and in the press most notably NY Times ) his book is not a good account since its rather biased.

Mark you Szpilman was not anti-polish he simply went overboard with the jewish victimization and made everything and everyone else black which given the history of polish support is ungrateful and ungracefull from someone who was saved by Poles himself.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
19 Jan 2009 /  #12
I thought Szpilman's account was fairly balanced. He didn't have axes to grind from what I could tell.
Sokrates 8 | 3,346  
19 Jan 2009 /  #13
Escape from Sobibor by Rashke is a starkly anti-polish and slanderous book, some of the people he intervied were active communists who escaped from Poland while being pursued for crimes against humanity while others were proven to be the authors own invention, the book also contains severe inconsistencies as to how the camp operated or even about the daily schedule so its fairly clear he has taken some "liberties" with the book.

The thing amounts to a largely anti-polish pamphlet rather than a serious account, i would recommend "Under the whip of Swastika" written by a Rabbi survivor, you'll find both saviors and scum described there but ultimately its accurate rather than shit paper you forwarded.
sjam 2 | 541  
19 Jan 2009 /  #14
Read The Pianist to see that the Poles were not anti-Semitic

I have read the English language edition but not the original Polish edition (which I think was published in Poland 1946). I think it unlikely that any book that might portray the Poles as anti-Semitic would be published in Poland (at that time) so would be interested to know if there is actually any substantive differences between the original text and the later English language editions re this point. I might add that I don't believe that Poles are any more anti-semtic than any other nation that has had a Jewish population but many people do.
Sokrates 8 | 3,346  
19 Jan 2009 /  #15
I thought Szpilman's account was fairly balanced. He didn't have axes to grind from what I could tell.

The point of it is that he felt so deeply victimized he following his claims "blotted out" various details, in fact i believe him completely, Szpilman wanted to show the evil that was done so much that he completely forgot the good, the fact that he was saved by Poles among it.

I have no beef with the fellow he dealt with the thing as he could, we got kicked in the nuts for that but turd happens.
HatefulBunch397 - | 658  
19 Jan 2009 /  #16
She isn't even Polish

I thought you lived in Scotland or someplace. I am half Polish. My dad's family are from Poland which makes me more Polish than Seanus :)
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 11,331  
19 Jan 2009 /  #17
My dad's family are from Poland which makes me more Polish than Seanus :)

What??? Hatie is a true stinking European??? uh oh...:(
So your anti-european rants were more like self criticism, yes?
HatefulBunch397 - | 658  
19 Jan 2009 /  #18
What??? Hatie is a true stinking European??? uhoh...:(

Nope, but my Grandfather was. So were the Great Grandparents. I have family in the US, Poland and Australia.
eric_the_nave - | 30  
19 Jan 2009 /  #19
Spilzman wrote his memoirs merely as a dry account to record what happened
to him rather than to express gratitude for those who saved his life (he
mentions them but there is no schmaltzy "without this man I would not be
here today" type stuff). He wrote his book in 1946 (or 1945?) and has no
agenda. As a result there are good Poles, bad Poles, good Jews, bad Jews
and at the end a decent German.

When it was made into a movie this fact clearly annoyed this guy

polish-jewish-heritage.org/Eng/luty_films_show_skewed.htm
Harry  
19 Jan 2009 /  #20
Escape from Sobibor by Rashke is a starkly anti-polish and slanderous book, some of the people he intervied were active communists who escaped from Poland while being pursued for crimes against humanity while others were proven to be the authors own invention.

A masterly summation but one which is ever so slightly let down by one point: I didn't say "Read Escape from Sobibor", I said "Read about the escape from Sobibor".

Personally I'd go for 'Sobibor - The Forgotten Revolt' by Thomas Toivi Blatt as being the best source of info about Sobibor.

I note that you have nothing to say about the facts I posted: i.e. that nearly as many escapees killed by Polish civilians as by Germans and that Leon Feldhendler, one of the two leaders of the escape, was murdered by anti-semitic Poles in 1945.

I might add that I don't believe that Poles are any more anti-semtic than any other nation that has had a Jewish population but many people do.

You might be right, but I can't think of any other European nation which had post-war pogroms....
Sokrates 8 | 3,346  
19 Jan 2009 /  #21
I note that you have nothing to say about the facts I posted: i.e. that nearly as many escapees killed by Polish civilians as by Germans and that Leon Feldhendler, one of the two leaders of the escape, was murdered by anti-semitic Poles in 1945.

I'm sorry i assumed this was an opinion based on Rashke rather than an actual thesis so no not nearly as many escapees were killed by Poles, in fact the accounts of even turning in the escaped Jews are extremely rare.

Most escaped Jews escaped with the help of polish organized and led escape nets and most Jews who escaped on their own were captured within half an hour to 24 hours so they didnt even make it to open areas.

The direct answer is, most Jews escaped due to polish aid and support, while on the whole there have been cases of Jews turned in or murdered they were extremely rare when compared to thousands saved.

It is estimated that one milion Poles took direct or indirect part in support and sheltering of the Jews, compare that with the few hundred accounts of anti-semitic crimes and you have your answer.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
19 Jan 2009 /  #22
Great points, eric_the_nave. His intention wasn't to gloss up his rescuing by a Polish family. He expressed his gratitude to the many Poles who were hospitable and loyal. Read the chapter 'SzaƂas's betrayal'. However, there was inherent mistrust which, then, was largely a class issue. Szpilman remarked that an on-the-run couple entailed some risk but that it was safer than being with semi-educated Poles who would sell out the Jews to their masters. Fear throws up such reactions, rational or otherwise, but every one of us here would do ourselves a favour and remember that we didn't live in those times. Those guys did and we can forgive them for what might appear as hyperbole.

HB, how's your Polish? Yes, you are more Polish than I am.
joepilsudski 26 | 1,389  
19 Jan 2009 /  #23
From Jewish Historian Bernard Lazare

In reality, the Jew lived under the rule of a lord, Yahweh, who could neither be conquered, nor even assailed, and he knew but one thing, the law, i.e., the collection of rules and decrees which it had once pleased Yahweh to give to Mosesa law divine and excellent, made to lead its followers to eternal bliss; a perfect law which the Jewish people alone had received.

With such an idea of his Torah, the Jew could not accept the laws of strange nations; nor could he think of submitting to them; he could not abandon the divine laws, eternal, good and just, to follow human laws, necessarily imperfect and subject to decay. Thus, wherever colonies were founded by the Jews, to whatever land they were deported, they insisted, not only upon permission to follow their religion, but also upon exemption from the customs of the people amidst whom they were to live, and the privileges to govern themselves by their own laws.

One explanation...

LAZARE

Note that Christians are taught, both by Jesus Christ, and in the letters of the Apostle Paul to recognize the authority of governments, and respect customs of people, as these are means given to nations by God to organize society in a rational manner...Qustion unjust authority?...Yes...But not seek to insult it and go into constant conflict with it....In Polans, as in many other European nations, the Jews isolated themselves from the common folk, and only sought alliances with the wealthy ruling class, who used them as instruments to oppress the common folk, in the form of tax collectors, landlords, etc...The Jews served this same function for the Moors in Spain, and when the Moors were ejected by the Christians, the Jews, who were hated by common Spaniards because of their service to the ruling Muslims, were expelled...Now, this being said, many Jews were not involved in this activity, but were tarred by the brush weilded by their own 'leaders' and rabbis.
sjam 2 | 541  
20 Jan 2009 /  #24
You might be right, but I can't think of any other European nation which had post-war pogroms....

I agree re Jews specifically but I would equate the mentality behind these racist pogroms with racist attacks that have happened in pretty much every western country since the war...... even in recent years such as in Germany re immigrant workers "........... in September 1992, there were 536 reported arson attacks against refugee hostels or foreigners' private homes". Source:Shifting Memories: The Nazi Past in the New Germany. By Klaus Neumann
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161  
20 Jan 2009 /  #25
One of the chapters posits that while poles commonly broke various rules imposed by the germans.

Nonsense. In most of Europe collaboration governments were helping Gerries to fuck up Jews in organized way, so anybody, who is pointing out Polish antisemitism/Polish collaboration etc. (except specialistic publications devoted to that subject alone) is either a fucking moron or a Polonophobe or both.
sjam 2 | 541  
20 Jan 2009 /  #26
Nonsense. In most of Europe collaboration governments were helping Gerries to fuck up Jews in organized way

No one can disagree.
Strange how the world still chooses to ignore this fact and focuses almost entirely on Poland only! The west European collaborationist governments were actively sending Jews to Poland and Poland is blamed for not helping these victims as well.
yehudi 1 | 433  
20 Jan 2009 /  #27
I agree. The Latvians, Lithuanians, Ukrainian and Rumanians were much worse than the Poles. The Dutch weren't as good as most people think either. And my great uncles were arrested by French police in Paris (not germans) and sent to Auschwitz.
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 11,331  
20 Jan 2009 /  #28
Why do you think the world is focusing on Poles....
Sokrates 8 | 3,346  
20 Jan 2009 /  #29
The universe revolves around Poland you know.

Actually i find Jews were much worse than anyone of the people you mentioned, some of the worst NKVD and post war KGB were Jews, hell you harbor them in Israel to this day claiming what they did were not crimes against humanity ( goys are not human ?).

This discussion should be concerned more with jewish-communist crimes than alleged crimes towards Jews by people who went out of their way to save them only to be bathed in shit afterwards.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,161  
20 Jan 2009 /  #30
some of the worst NKVD and post war KGB were Jews

But this is a thread about Polish Anti-semitism...

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