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Polish Anti-semitism - origins?


polam 5 | 11  
26 Jan 2009 /  #91
It strikes me that almost all of the posts concern 20th century Polish-Jewish relations. I guess that makes some sense, given the extraordinary events of the Second World War. But we should be thinking about the centuries of relatively peaceful co-existence between Poles and Jews. Doesn't anybody ever wonder why so many Jews lived in Poland or the lands of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth? The answer, of course, is that they were invited to live there. When every Western European country was expelling Jews, Poland was welcoming them with open arms. Jews and Jewish culture thrived in Poland for centuries.
SeanBM 35 | 5,808  
26 Jan 2009 /  #92
they were invited to live there.

And prospered for 400 years.

Very good points polam.
Matyjasz 2 | 1,544  
26 Jan 2009 /  #93
And prospered for 400 years.

Actually it was a lot longer than that. I used the number 400 as a comparison to 4 years the Poles have spent in the UK up until now. A significant Jewish community was in Poland at least since the 14th century, if not longer.
celinski 31 | 1,258  
26 Jan 2009 /  #94
Shall we change the topic to Jewish Anti-Polishism- origins? People are people and do not always get along. If we look hard enough we can find "Anti" in any race, sex or religion.
DtLebowski 1 | 26  
26 Jan 2009 /  #95
BB: Germans did plenty of that kind of jobs - to large number of people - during their occupation of Poland. This one, not done by the Germans. What about this I did not say clear enough? If you read any pre-1989 official Polish history on the issue - there it is done by "the Hitler's soldiers" - the Germans.

Also, you are right, there have been pogroms - od czasu do czasu - during the long history before WW II, without anything to do with Germany. But with these cases that took place in Nazi occupied Poland you have to put them into this context (and to compare with similar events that took place under similar circumstances in Baltic countries, for instance), otherwise you will fall in the foxholes of anachronism.

But, to try to put end for this, I fully agree with Prince on the material that he has collected, and that I'm familiar with. And also with the comments by polam i Matyjasz; rather than focusing to the conflict there is also this rich past of Polska i Litwa, and the Jewish heritage is one part of it's memory. The problem is that the conflict always draws so much of the attention that sometimes our view of history is just conflict following another. We choose what is more important.
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 11,694  
26 Jan 2009 /  #96
BB: Germans did plenty of that kind of jobs

Yeah...that's why Poles and Russians thought why not put another one to them, be it Katyn or Jedwabne, who cares after all..
jwojcie 2 | 763  
27 Jan 2009 /  #97
Some good stuff here, let me throw few more general reasons (and some of this was working not only in Poland but in all Europe):

- traditional jews couldn't mix with not jews, so they never trully integrated with the rest of the population,
- they kept their own language, moreover most of them came to Poland trough Germany so they also used much of German words
- Jews were mostly merchants and craftsmen, they mostly lived in the towns, Poles mostly were farmers. So when industralization took place, Jews were better positioned and richer,

- Poland was for a long time occupied (mainly XIX), because Jews weren't integrated they didn't care much about it. So simple "who is not with us is against us" was working in Polish minds,

- and for most centuries important "christianity versus older brothers in faith" but not only in a way you think of. In "Pillars of Earth" by Ken Follet, which of course is not historic but fabular book, there is nonetheless interesting passage: <Some knight wanted money, what did he do? He borrow it from some Jews>, because Jews were for long time important part of banking system. If some bishop needed money he borrow it too. From time to time, when they had to pay off debt, they just unleashed propaganda in churches about this "diabolic jews" in consequence there were riots, many Jews were killed, and few of the dead ones accidentally was bankers. For nobility problem was solved, but hatred stayed. (If I remeber properly one of true reasons of drive out Jews from Spain in XIV century was debts and fight for reign.)

In begining of XX century Jews in Poland actually started to trully integrate. More and more of them started to be just a citizen with different religion. Many of the greatest Polish artists and scientist were Jews in that time. And that was the case in all Europe. THE SAD thing is that WWII happend and destroyed that.

PS. Bratwurst Boy: "Why do you think the world is focusing on Poles..."
Simply because you tricky Germans choose Poland as a main place for concentration camps... So many not very good educated foreigners tends to write about "Polish concentration camps". Very clever indeed, that and this funny idea that WWII and all this attrocities was commited by nazist not Germans... There is actually a lot of Germans that trully belive in that crap :-)
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
27 Jan 2009 /  #98
That was despicable, whoever labelled them as Polish. They were concentration camps in Poland, quite a difference.

Jwojcie, I'd probably change belive (sic) above to believed.
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 11,694  
27 Jan 2009 /  #99
PS. Bratwurst Boy: "Why do you think the world is focusing on Poles..."

That was rather meant sarcastically...mind you...my english sucks!

Simply because you tricky Germans choose Poland as a main place for concentration camps

Yes...the Nazis surely planned to lose the war and the camps becoming focus of international interest...tricky guys!
jwojcie 2 | 763  
27 Jan 2009 /  #100
Thanks Seanus, my English is what it is... Sometimes I just have to make comment and hope not to make to many errors :-) But if you have in mind that part about "Germans beliefs" then unfortunately present time is necessary. (unless you have in mind some gramatic rule regarding past tense). Not so long ago (few years?) in Germany there was quite a discovery. They found out that Wermacht actually did similar stuff that SS. Better late than never...

PS. about this "Polish camps", it happens all the time. Now, when it happens, proper Polish embassy makes protest, usually journalist appologize, but not always. Recently even name for camp in Unesco was changed, from

"Concentration Camp Auschwitz" for "German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp".
We will see if that helps.
DtLebowski 1 | 26  
27 Jan 2009 /  #101
Very good analysis in a larger scale.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
27 Jan 2009 /  #102
I don't know the current tide of German thought on this matter but I don't think they'd be as naive as to think that those camps were Polish.

If they do, they are easily brainwashed.
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 11,694  
27 Jan 2009 /  #103
If they do, they are easily brainwashed.

Brainwashed by whom?
jwojcie 2 | 763  
27 Jan 2009 /  #104
If that was rather meant sarcastically then sorry Bratwurst Boy, my english sucks too... :-)
Mine "tricky Germans" was too rather meant sarcastically... But not in the whole. Planned or not, it is what it is. Typical foreign tourist in Poland is like this:

1. Krakow
2. Wieliczka
3. Auschwitz-Birkenau

And then he/she return home and make blog about trip and write:
"uhhh, I was in Polish concentration camp, very tough experience. How could they do things like that..."

PS. Thanks DtLebowski
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 11,694  
27 Jan 2009 /  #105
I know what you mean and I feel sorry for it but I can't change it....
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
27 Jan 2009 /  #106
By those giving them the info funnily enough ;)
yehudi 1 | 433  
27 Jan 2009 /  #107
As a Jew who has been exposed to every kind of story, book, movie, TV show, conversation and first hand accounts about the holocaust since I was a child, I can tell you that I never heard any Jew use the phrase "Polish concentration camp". Everyone knows it was the germans who built the camps in Poland. That issue is a waste of words. There's plenty for Jews and Poles to argue about, but not that.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
27 Jan 2009 /  #108
I agree, I had never seen that prior to seeing it on here. It was allegedly written by a Jewish historian but I don't buy it.

It should be self explanatory that it was the Nazis who perpetrated the whole thing.
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 11,694  
27 Jan 2009 /  #109
By those giving them the info funnily enough ;)

And who should that be?
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
27 Jan 2009 /  #110
The ones who are misguiding and spreading lies. However, it's based on the assumption that such people exist and are doing so.

I'm with Yehudi on this one, I haven't seen accounts of labelling the camps as Polish ones. Maybe they exist but I haven't read about them.

Most Germans know the truth about the Nazis I believe.
Bratwurst Boy 12 | 11,694  
27 Jan 2009 /  #111
WHO should that be Seanus? You spoke about brainwashed Germans....that implies continous misinformation starting in the school and reinforced daily through all media! Who do you have in mind concerning Germany? For the rest you could start here:
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
27 Jan 2009 /  #112
I must go, BB. I'll be back in 90 mins or so. Look at post 98, I don't believe Germans believe that crap. Some may have believed it but a long time ago.

I'm just saying that, hypothetically, were any Germans to seriously believe accounts, from any source, that they were Polish in nature and not just based in Poland, that they'd be sorely mistaken.

I'm not attacking Germany at all here. TBC
jwojcie 2 | 763  
27 Jan 2009 /  #113
yehudi, I didn't say Jews are saying that. The last accident I can remeber was some Canadian journalist. It isn't of course main problem, that is why originally I post it in PS. section.

Seanus about this brainwashing. I didn't want to imply that Germans believe in "Polish concentration camps". I've wrote:
"Very clever indeed, that and this funny idea that WWII and all this attrocities was commited by nazist not Germans... There is actually a lot of Germans that trully belive in that crap :-)"

What I mean is that in Germany you can still encounter people strongly beliving that there was honourable Wehrmacht and diabolic SS. Germans vs Nazi contradiction.

Which is false. I'm aware that Germans after war went trully through some kind of purgatory and I respect that. But this soldiers, fathers, brothers and uncles from army went back home. And from things I've read they were like "we don't talk about it, we were simple soldiers". It is understandable, everybody has to live with oneself. But because of that, again what I've read, some kind of false dichotomy was born. Only recently, probably beacause all this old men are simply dying, this dichotomy is falling down. So if we can use term brainwashing, then it would be brainwashing on the family level, kind of big family secret.

PS. And again it was only in PS section, I didn't intend to make from it big issue on that thread
Puzzler 9 | 1,089  
27 Jan 2009 /  #114
What are the origins of the Jewish hate of the Poles?
Piorun - | 658  
27 Jan 2009 /  #115
As a Jew who has been exposed to every kind of story, book, movie, TV show, conversation and first hand accounts about the holocaust since I was a child, I can tell you that I never heard any Jew use the phrase "Polish concentration camp". Everyone knows it was the germans who built the camps in Poland. That issue is a waste of words. There's plenty for Jews and Poles to argue about, but not that.

There are plenty of examples of Jewish journalists making this statement; you just refuse to see it. By the way this is not about what one has said or not but the attitude behind such a statement and what is perceived as the truth. You yourself might hold this opinion but I’ll bet you are of older generation; the younger one has a totally different opinion than you, reflected by their action when they come and visit such places on a school field trip.

What was that, which Tamir have said to Kaczynski on his visit to Isreal? Tamir said that

“The Education Ministry makes a conscious effort to paint a balanced picture and refrain from portraying the Polish as the cause of the Holocaust. On the other hand, we cannot sidestep the fact that many of the camps were in Poland, and that a significant percentage of the Jewish people was massacred there."

Another word You are guilty by association, they died there therefore you are partially to blame.

It’s precisely those people who make this kind of statements in their journalistic careers, and it all stems from the attitude adapted by the Education Ministry. It’s not that they have thought them that directly but they have never corrected their misperception. When you look up the author of such article you will find him/her to be born around or after 1970.

Why do you think the Polish government made the request to change the name in writing to UNESCO? Because of uneducated hateful Jewish journalists. Why do you think that no self respecting journalists would dare to call the “Guantanamo” a “Cuban camp” could it be that because it could be perceived as guilty by association? Not to mention false!
jwojcie 2 | 763  
27 Jan 2009 /  #116
"Puzzler: What are the origins of the Jewish hate of the Poles?"
Well... that is harsh question... First and simple there was (still is) some anti-semitism in Poland. It is working in both directions like third Newton rule. But this is simplification.

What move me the most in this regard was some documentary about couple of old Jews on the trip in Poland. The question was: "What do you fell in Poland, what do you think about Poland?". The answer was in short:

1. for them Poland is one big cementery, and in some way we are walking on theirs ancestors graves
2. they bear a grudge against Poles, I understood because Poles didn't protect them (in general, Jews)
After such tragedy emotions are stronger than rationality, they knew about it, but they couldn't change what they have felt. I think that this feeling is transfering on younger generation. But younger generation has no connection with Poland, and not every young Jew has enough of will to learn that:

ad.1 Poland is even bigger cementary for Poles, but we will still live here exactly because of that
ad.2 6000 from 22000 trees in Yad Vashem are trees for Poles.
During the German occupation in Poland if somebody was hiding Jews, punishment for that was death. Unfortunatelly in real live number of heroes is limited.
Puzzler 9 | 1,089  
27 Jan 2009 /  #117
Far more pertinent question is: what are the origins of the Jewish lunatic hate of the Poles? A recent example of this hate comes from Britain, from The Times, where a hack by the name of 'Coren' called Poles working in Britain names such as 'Polacks,' and told them to get out of Britain. Yes, this was published in The Times, which is considered a decent paper, not taking part in the Polonophobic hate-propaganda of the Daily Mail kind. Coren suggested the Poles, allegedly, mistreated his Jewish kinsmen in pre-WWII Poland by making fun of them and interrupting their prayers by pelting stones at Jewish temples (correct me if I'm not repeating it right, but my stomach turns at the very thought I should go through this hateful rant again to get all the exact details). That's why, according to Coren, Poles working today in UK should get out of there. Well, doesn't Coren's hateful rant corroborate the assertion that pathological irrational vindictiveness and hatred underlie Jewish behaviour? As far as I know, coren got away with his hate propaganda with total impunity.
Seanus 15 | 19,706  
27 Jan 2009 /  #118
He even found his way into The Economist as I was trawling their archives. He is just another pathetic specimen under British media. Moyles and Ross are 2 more such prats.

The point is, he is provoking racial hatred which he is not paid to do. Instilling nonsense in people.
Puzzler 9 | 1,089  
27 Jan 2009 /  #119
First and simple there was (still is) some anti-semitism in Poland.

- And what do you specifically mean in the above statement, what facts? Give them.

1. for them Poland is one big cementery, and in some way we are walking on theirs ancestors graves

- And what do you specifically mean by that? IS Poland in reality such a cemetery, or ISN'T? In what way are you and others (you refer to you all as 'we') walking 'on theirs ancestors graves' [sic]? Give facts.

2. they bear a grudge against Poles, I understood because Poles didn't protect them (in general, Jews)

- Is the 'grudge' justified by facts, or not?

He even found his way into The Economist as I was trawling their archives. He is just another pathetic specimen under British media. Moyles and Ross are 2 more such prats.

- A country where spreading hate propaganda against the Poles isn't punishable by law. Why stay in such a country? Where are 'human rights' organizations taking action against the hate-spreading psychopaths or coren's ilk?
Harry  
27 Jan 2009 /  #120
And what do you specifically mean in the above statement, what facts? Give them.

Surely not even you would be so moronic as to claim that there is no anti-semitism in Poland!

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