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Anita J. Prazmowska's "The Polish Century"


MareGaea 29 | 2,752
10 May 2010 #1
Anita J. Prazmowska is a Professor in International History at the London School of Economics. Her main fields of research interests lie in the Cold War, communism, contemporary history, Eastern Europe, fascism and Poland. She has published several books, and journals.

I just read her "The Polish Century - War, Communism and Anti Semitism"- course in three parts. You can find it here:

fathom.com/course/72809602/session1.html

It's in four sessions. The first session is an overview of PL during WW2, the second session about anti semitism in PL during the interbellum and after WW2 and the third part contains a case study about the Kielce Pogrom and the fourth session is about Auschwitz and its place in Poland/Polish society.

I was impressed by her honesty. She deals honestly with all of the facets of PL during the area before and after the war. I think this part is pretty strong:

The sense of grievance and frustration has only too easily created a mood of intolerance towards the sufferings of others. Poles, who ended in exile, retreated into closed communities formed around places of settlement in Scotland, the Midlands and in London. Reflection upon the prewar government's role in weakening Poland's military and political situation prior to the war had never formed part of the communities' lore. Instead, the search for those responsible for Poland's tragedy shifts variously from Churchill to Stalin and to Roosevelt.

So, what do you think? Is she any good?

>^..^<

M-G (expects Sokidonkey and Jola to call her a liar or sth, but that wouldn't do honor - she is fair and views both sides, imo)
z_darius 14 | 3,968
10 May 2010 #2
So, what do you think? Is she any good?

She's full of shhit, but smart enouhg to make a buck or two, even if she contradicts herself.

First she writes a book on the betrayal of Poland (Britain and Poland 1939-1943: The Betrayed Ally), and then she bullshhits about the search for those responsible for Poland's tragedy shifts variously from Churchill to Stalin and to Roosevelt.

People will do a lot, and say nearly anything to make a dollar.
Stu 12 | 522
10 May 2010 #3
First she writes a book on the betrayal of Poland (Britain and Poland 1939-1943: The Betrayed Ally), and then she bullshhits about the search for those responsible for Poland's tragedy shifts variously from Churchill to Stalin and to Roosevelt.

And how, if I might ask, are these contradictions? I am just asking ... .
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752
10 May 2010 #4
Britain and Poland 1939-1943: The Betrayed Ally

Well, she does say that Britain betrayed Poland in the discourse I linked to. In fact she mentions it a few times during the first session.

>^..^<

M-G (tiens)
vetala - | 382
10 May 2010 #5
I don't like historians who write about a country they have personal links to. It's impossible to be 100% objective, the bias, no matter how small, is always there and even if there isn't any then there will always be people who will believe that there is a bias and demand proof from another source for every argument used in a discussion.
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752
10 May 2010 #6
You have a point there, but the problem is in that case that you can basically rule out about 75 per cent of all the historians and the ones who write about other countries with which they don't have any link to, get disregarded as well as they "don't know what it's like". Seen it happen many times. Notorious example would be Simon Schama, I've mentioned him before. He wrote a heavy book on the Dutch Golden Age in the 1600's. However, most of the book is based upon (American) assumptions about NL and sometimes on straightout myths. It's been a while ago since I read it, but I seem to remember that he actually found "proof" that Hansje Brinkers (you know, the kid who supposedly put his finger in a hole in a dyke and doing so saved NL from flooding) actually happened. And that story is nothing but a myth.

You cannot rule out those historians that write about their country's history as you would limit the historical debate to just a small group and even though they may be biased (although a good historian would never be!), all of the historians have valid points, no matter if they write about their own country or some other country.

What attracted me in Prazmaoska's dissertation is that she mentions all sides and imo rather neutral by pointing out on one hand the victimisation of Poles and the way they have been treated and on the other hand the obvious anti semitism which is/was present in Poland. And deals with the Kielce Pogrom as a political incident for the biggest part. She doesn't point only in one direction, but shows both sides of the medal.

>^..^<

M-G (tiens)
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
10 May 2010 #7
Reflection upon the prewar government's role in weakening Poland's military and political situation prior to the war had never formed part of the communities' lore. Instead, the search for those responsible for Poland's tragedy shifts variously from Churchill to Stalin and to Roosevelt.

Rubbish.

M-G (expects Sokidonkey and Jola to call her a liar or sth, but that wouldn't do honor - she is fair and views both sides, imo)

Still a biased uneducated cretin arent you? She's just a part of the old polish dispute of Piłsudski vs Endecja.

Its true that pre-war goverment didnt purchase everything it could to bolster the military but that was because it was also pumping into economy so no she's not lying but she is dishonest.

She's ignoring the fact that the pre-war polish govt was unable to raise the military spending much higher since Poland had no industry and building it was imperative to long term prosperity of all national branches including military.

Lying? No but she's manipulating the facts to reach a completely false conclusion so she's completely dishonest as far as her evaluation of pre-war policies.

I was impressed by her honesty

I was not since she's simply not honest, especially where she manufactures some completely made up claims in regards to non-existent polish anti-semitism and ignores the crimes of Jews on Poles that triggered polish retaliation.

Then again she's a direct descendant of a family of jewish communists who murdered Poles, i'm suprised her articles had so few lies as it is i expected a bile bomb of anti-Polish propaganda like Gross' books.
Stu 12 | 522
10 May 2010 #8
I was not since she's simply not honest, especially where she manufactures some completely made up claims in regards to non-existent polish anti-semitism and ignores the crimes of Jews on Poles that triggered polish retaliation.

On what do you base that claim?

Then again she's a direct descendant of a family of jewish communists who murdered Poles

And this one?
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
10 May 2010 #9
On what do you base that claim?

On "Poland the betrayed ally." where she slips a few events that supposedly happened in Suwalszczyzna except there's no record of them.

And this one?

On some of her family bolting from Poland in the 60s along with other jewish communists when Poles booted the Jews serving communism in an "anti-semitic" uprising against jewish opression?
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752
10 May 2010 #10
Still a biased uneducated cretin arent you?

Not as deeply sunk as you though. Did you read the dissertation?

I was not since she's simply not honest, especially where she manufactures some completely made up claims in regards to non-existent polish anti-semitism and ignores the crimes of Jews on Poles that triggered polish retaliation.

See, this is exactly the answer that I expected from you. All historians manipulate the facts, leave stuff deliberately out of it or straightout lie. She treats the Kielce Pogrom mainly as a political matter and evaluates from all sides. The Kielce Pogrom was NOT triggered by Jewish crimes. And you know that very well. Instead you decide to cling on to that popular myth that miss Prazmowska also points out: the ever present victimisation. Of course it were the others that started it and of course the poor Poles did nothing but retaliate. Tell me, what was so horrible that this handful of Jews could've done to trigger the murder of 43 of them in July 1946? WHAT besides the rumour that they lived in better conditions than the Poles? A rumour that has never been confirmed with facts. And then I'm not even talking about that depraved story about the Jews ritually killing christian children.

Then again she's a direct descendant of a family of jewish communists who murdered Poles, i'm suprised her articles had so few lies as it is i expected a bile bomb of anti-Polish propaganda like Gross' books.

And what makes you think that those historians who state the opposite of miss Prazmowska are NOT liars? Not bearers of the popular Polish thought? Is the entire world a liar because they try to bring some nuance to the black and white debate? By dismissing every dissenting sound, you're limiting the historical debate. She makes a good point when she says that on one hand the Poles complain that nobody understands their situation while on the other hand they cannot empathize on the impact certain of their acts have on the outside world.

>^..^<

M-G (tiens)
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
10 May 2010 #11
And what makes you think that those historians who state the opposite of miss Prazmowska are NOT liars? Not bearers of the popular Polish thought?

Told you she's not a liar she's dishonest, plenty of historians manipulate facts to suit their personal views, Prażmowska is no different.

A historian who presents the full case is worth a lot, Prażmowska knowingly abandons crucial details to suit her own views that makes her lecture a completely worthless pamphlet in my book.
AdamKadmon 2 | 508
10 May 2010 #12
A historian who presents the full case

Besides you, who else presents the full case?
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752
10 May 2010 #13
A historian who presents the full case is worth a lot,

This would actually be the first time that I agree with you.

>^..^<

M-G (tiens)
vetala - | 382
10 May 2010 #14
non-existent polish anti-semitism and ignores the crimes of Jews on Poles that triggered polish retaliation

...I remember the time when you still made sense. I could expect that statement from joepilsudski but it's really disappointing to see it coming from someone who still manages to sound sane from time to time.

Antisemitism of the Poles is often exaggerated but to say it was nonexistent one has to be channelling some fantastic alternate reality.
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
10 May 2010 #15
...I remember the time when you still made sense

I should rephrase, anti-semitism as painted by israeli Jews or people like Prażmowska never existed, Poland was never anti-semitic as a country and became largely hostile towards Jews only after said Jews started murdering Poles under the soviet banner.

Antisemitism of the Poles is often exaggerated

First of all there's nosuch thing as "antisemitism of the Poles" some Poles were anti-semitic but Poland was THE most hospitable place a Jew could find up to WW2, after WW2 the jewish survivors had to suffer for the treason so many of their fellow Jews commited upon Poland when Russia attacked.

Besides you, who else presents the full case?

Not Prażmowska and the biggest beef is not the Jews but stating polish goverment weakened the army which is just preposterous.

Poland could have a stronger army at the expense of industry but then there would be no industry to support said stronger army so the government chose to develop heavy industry first and the army second, war was coming but no one including Poles knew it'd be 39 and not say 41 or 42.
Rogalski 5 | 94
10 May 2010 #16
On some of her family bolting from Poland in the 60s along with other jewish communists when Poles booted the Jews serving communism in an "anti-semitic" uprising against jewish opression?

You make it sound as if it wasn't the Polish Communist Party who expelled Polish citizens from the Socialist Republic. And if the expelled members who happened to be of Jewish origin were 'serving communism', who were the other CP members serving, if the not the Party, by performing such expulsions? Oh yes, of course, they were serving themselves ...
Sokrates 8 | 3,346
10 May 2010 #17
You make it sound as if it wasn't the Polish Communist Party who expelled Polish citizens from the Socialist Republic.

I'm saying communist Jews got carried away and it backfired on them.

And if the expelled members who happened to be of Jewish origin were 'serving communism', who were the other CP members serving, if the not the Party, by performing such expulsions? Oh yes, of course, they were serving themselves ...

The crushing majority of expelees were Jews, there was no anti-semitism in it and virtually all claims that lay at the base of the explusions were true.

Thats the last i write about Jews in this topic, i wont let you people hijack this into another "Jews" thread.
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752
10 May 2010 #18
i wont let you people hijack this into another "Jews" thread

Actually, it was you who brought in the Jews. But that as a side remark. I started this thread as a discussion on the perspectives of a Polish historian.

all claims

What claims? Within the CP or outside of it? If it was within the CP, wasn't it simply due to a struggle for power and might there have been some anti semitic traces in there that led to the Jews being expelled?

>^..^<

M-G (tiens)
Rogalski 5 | 94
11 May 2010 #19
i wont let you people

And we won't let 'you people' get away with intellectual dishonesty either :-)
1jola 14 | 1,879
12 May 2010 #20
M-G (expects Sokidonkey and Jola to call her a liar or sth, but that wouldn't do honor - she is fair and views both sides, imo)

From your link in the OP she writes from London:

Truthfully speaking, for a Jew it would be unwise to publicly display any symbols or signs of Jewish faith outside of Warsaw because people would simply react to it and make life very difficult.

From Warsaw, Jola writes:

I like sailing. Every summer, six of us rent a 8 meter sailboat and sail around Mazury. The amount of drunken sailors from all over the country you meet up with every year is staggering. I would say that you meet a good crosssection of our population. A few years ago, at the Paris Air Show, I got a white hat which I now wear sailing. Not once has anyone commented on the menorah on it, the writing elevating any doubt - The Israeli Export & International Cooperation Institute. Not once.

She is not worth reading, M-G. She is in the lucrative Holocaust/Anti-Semitism business, but she might be good reading on your level.
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752
12 May 2010 #21
but she might be good reading on your level

Hi, my name is 1Jola and I think that everybody who disagrees with me is below me or lying. Some ppl who disagree with you do have educations, you know.

If she is in some lucrative business (as you seem to think that everyone is who states a different opinion than you do), how do you explain the section in which she describes the reasons for the Poles to be the way they are? If it was all meant to put the Poles down, she wouldn't even have bothered to touch that subject now, wouldn't it? It would be much easier for her to confirm the prejudices or to simply leave them out of the dissertation. I know it's hard to realise, but every country, every ppl have their dark sides, yes, that includes Poland and the Polish too.

Well then, show me a historian who is in your opinion completely unbiased and tells the whole truth. Sth tells me I can predict what the person will have to say concerning the subject.

>^..^<

M-G (has been right so far with his predictions of those two's reactions)
1jola 14 | 1,879
12 May 2010 #22
Now you can have a snowcone.

Well then, show me a historian who is in your opinion completely unbiased and tells the whole truth.

I don't read Holocaust writers, and she hasn't reached the status to be even acknowledged. I have made recommendations to you of reading on this period of time, but I see you're back to Holocaust pûrn.
OP MareGaea 29 | 2,752
12 May 2010 #23
I will have that snowcone when I will put you on your leash to take you on your afternoon walk. You still have lived up to my prediction.

Recommendations in Polish. Yeah. German, English, French or Dutch, pls.

>^..^<

M-G (tiens)
1jola 14 | 1,879
14 May 2010 #24
So, what do you think? Is she any good?

Does she have merit? On the surface, she is only climbing on the Holocaust circuit and she is only ridding on the coattails of "Polish antisemitism hunters."

She has published widely on Polish foreign policy during the interwar and the wartime period and is presently working on a book about the establishment of Communism in Poland.

I don't know where she has published widely, but certainly she is not known in Poland.

Since you have brought her up, let's see what she writes.


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