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Why is it ok to represent Polish history of WWII inaccurately in the film "Our Fathers, Our Mothers"?


mehow
22 Feb 2015 #1
why its ok to represent the polish resistance movement in the movie "our fathers, our mothers" as anti-semitic and participants of the holocaust?
Harry
22 Feb 2015 #2
Because it's historically accurate to portray some of the Polish resistance as being anti-Semitic murderers (just as it is accurate to portray some of them as people who weren't racist and risked their lives to help Jews, and others who, somewhat confusingly, had been anti-Semitic before the war and were also after the war but during the war risked their help Jews).
Vox - | 175
22 Feb 2015 #3
Just as well it is factually accurate to describe somebody spreading lies about alleged anti-Semitic acts on any part of the Polish resistance as a pretentious and ignorant old goat.
OP mehow
22 Feb 2015 #4
Harry, you are 100% correct, but if someone who knows nothing of WWII history watched this film then she/he would assume that all Polish resistance was actually anti-semitic.
Cracovians
22 Feb 2015 #5
History is written today... There is a lot of films which describe Poles as traitors (Enigma - if I remember well) or anti Semitic murderers (Polish film Pokłosie- don't watch if you haven't already).
OP mehow
22 Feb 2015 #6
This is an example which I wanted to add with my statement.

It is like making movie about invasion of France, and showing only the French soldiers fighting bravely against the germane.

The movie is also accurate because it portrays the "some" of French soldiers

Because there were some French soldiers who actually fought Germans, there were some who were ready to fight the Germans, but had no possibility because other soldiers surrendered and there were some French soldiers who just surrender right away.

However, someone who has no knowledge about WWII, he would just assume that the French won against the Germans during the invasion of France
Harry
22 Feb 2015 #7
So, Vox, you wish to claim that you know better about what members of the AK did during the war than the Union of Soldiers of the Home Army do, do you? They are very clear that some members of the Polish resistance brought shame on the organisation as a whole, but you know better. How very interesting. Perhaps you could give us your explanation for the massacre at Prosta 4? Probably not, so you'll just post more insults instead.
interesting
22 Feb 2015 #8
Wikipedia page - I copy/pasted only a little

"Reception in Poland
The Polish ambassador in Austria, Jerzy Marganski, and the Polish embassy in Germany sent a letter of complaint to the German broadcaster ZDF pointing out that the Armia Krajowa had Jewish members, and that Poles constituted one-quarter of the Righteous Among the Nations honored at Yad Vashem

The broadcaster issued a statement that it was regrettable that the role of Polish characters had been interpreted as unfair and hurtful: "The deeds and responsibility of the Germans should in no way be relativized."

Only 100 words can be copy/pasted from the internet.
Łado
23 Feb 2015 #9
Dear mehow,

The question you posted is more complex than most people think. The problem is a multi-layered one, as many different sides are taking part in that process. Some people might say that the answer to that question is borderline conspiracy theory, but please bear with me as I try to explain.

Firstly, Germany is actively doing it's best to dilute its responsibility for whatever Germans were doing during the war. Getting rid of the holocaust stigma would improve their diplomatic standpoint. Should Germany declare any territorial or economical claim, the world's public opinion would go into uproar over "German nazi-imperialism being on the rise". It is especially important when it comes to Pomorze(Pomerania) and Śląsk(Silesia). The Polish-German peace treaty after the war states that "no side is allowed to change the shape of eachother's territorial borders with military force". There is, however, nothing being said about non-military means. Note that there are organizations such as the Movement of Silesian Autonomy, which promotes silesian separatism and is forwarding clearly anti-polish, pro-german postulates. Also there is the Union of Exiles, which is doing its best to try to enforce restitution of german possessions in Pomerania. Should Europe and Poland itself get convinced that Poles are "zoological anti-semites", "secondary nazis" and so on, there would be little public protest. Notice a very interesting fact. In most of "knowledge sources", such us the media, museums and contemporary historians, it is said that it was the Nazis that committed war crimes, that hitlerist soldiers occupied Europe, and that Germany is the first victim of nazism. It all sounds as if some ancient, dormant tribes of nazis and hitlerists took over Germany in 1930s. People do tend to forget that the NSDAP was elected democratically by Germans, and that Germans were the ones joining Wehrmacht. Claims that there was a german anti-nazi resistance, a million strong civilian and military organization, are based on radio broadcast of Gustav Siegfried Eins - a radio station that turned out to be a british intelligence cell dealing with disinformation and black propaganda. You can read more about that in a book "Wojna Informacyjna" by dr Rafał Brzeski, or listen to some of his lectures on youtube.

Secondly, there is the case of war reparations. Germany paid billions of deutsche marks to Israel as penance for their war crimes. That, however, stopped in the 90s when chancellor Schroeder proclaimed that Germany has paid Israel all that it owed. This dried up one money source for Israel and Israelites. Due to it's geographical location, Israel, surrounded by hostile muslim states, needs money for abroad to defend its existence. It is receiving an annual financial aid from USA, but that is not enough. Note that lately polish parliament proclaimed that we, the Poles, whose parents and grandparents were suffering under german occupation, are supposed to pay war rents to biological successors of Jews that died in Poland during the war. The size of such rent is estimated at 5 million Euros per month. That amount will only grow due to jewish logic of war losses. Former israeli ambassador in Poland said the "of course many millions of Jews died, but just think about how many were not born in the new generation, because they died in the war". With this logic the number of "potentially born, but lost" Jews will be increasing geometrically every few years, and so will the quota of war rents.

Thirdly, the case of jewish war crimes. Jews were actively collaborating with Soviets, forming armed groups that were dealing with robbery and murder of Polish civilians, mostly farmers. Before you accuse me of anti-semitism, what I just wrote is not something I imagined. There are many historical proofs in form of documents supporting this thesis. Here is a link to a short lecture by historian Leszek Żebrowski, who is specializing in the matters of AK, NSZ and Polish resistance: youtube.com/watch?v=u35odXNQgbQ . For our dear guests that don't speak polish, a short summary: Abraham Zelnikof, member of the "Lithuanian Brigade", a group of jewish partisans, armed and guided by Soviets, wrote in his diary about the groups entrance to the village of Koniuchy:

"When I reached my unit to relay new orders I saw a terrifying picture. On a small clearing in the forest, in a half-circle shape, lied bodies of six women and two men of different ages. The bodies were naked, and laying on their backs. One after another, the partisans were shooting the bodies between their legs. When bullets were reaching nerve bundles, the bodies were reacting as if they were alive. They spasmed and wiggled for several seconds. Female bodies were reacting more violently than males. All partisans from that unit were taking part in this cruel game, laughing in wild madness. First I got scared by this show, but later it began to interest me in a sick way. They were not in a hurry, and only when bodies stopped reacting to bullets, they moved to a new group of corpses."

Should such historical data be publically available, Jews would lose their victim status, which they are utilizing as much as possible.

To summarize: both Israel and Germany have their own goals that are achievable only through convincing the world that we, Poles, were as bad as Germans, or perhaps even worse. Because of that, inaccurate portayal of Poles during WWII will continue, and will become even more aggressive. There are many more aspects that I could write about, but I think that it would be better if you listened to specialists. For political aspects, please refer to most of lectures given by Stanisław Michalkiewicz, for historical ones, look for Leszek Żebrowski, dr Rafał Brzeski, doc. Józef Kossecki. All of their lectures are freely available on youtube.
jon357 63 | 14,255
23 Feb 2015 #10
You're overegging the issue. The behaviour of this group or that group does not change the deeds of any other group. There's a dangerous tendency within PL to think that criticism of one group or organisation within Poland is a criticism of all. This is simply hysteria.

Yes, there were atrocities committed by some Polish groups during the war; no, this was not typical behaviour by the majority.
Łado
23 Feb 2015 #11
That is not what I'm discussing. It's true, there were polish criminals, that started armed bands and were robbing and pillaging civilians - Poles and Jews alike. OP, however, asked about the reason for inaccurate representation of history, and I explained those reasons. Nothing more, nothing less.
jon357 63 | 14,255
23 Feb 2015 #12
Indeed there were, however the representation of history in the film is not a political matter by any special interest group, it is simply cinema. Perhaps you prefer that only films showing one point of view about PL are released.

I notice you refer to "Jews and Poles", rather than to Jewish Poles and Non-Jewish Poles.
Harry
23 Feb 2015 #13
I was wondering when Koniuchy would come up again. But I continue to wonder why Polonia has such a hard time remembering the basic details when it comes to the events at Koniuchy, why they insist on claiming the attackers were all Jews, why they keep on claiming it was the work of the Bielski brothers, why they don't want to talk about Nazi collaboration and certain villagers, etc, etc.
Cracovians
23 Feb 2015 #14
Note that lately polish parliament proclaimed that we, the Poles, whose parents and grandparents were suffering under german occupation, are supposed to pay war rents to biological successors of Jews that died in Poland during the war.

Our PM wanted to privatize National Forests so as to pay that bill (!). Fortunately it didn' happen.

Jews were actively collaborating with Soviets, forming armed groups that were dealing with robbery and murder of Polish civilians, mostly farmers.

Not only during the WW2 and not mostly farmers - I mean Security Office till 1968 - and e.g. murder of Witold Pilecki and many others.

£ado, I would add Tadeusz Płużański to you list.
Vox - | 175
23 Feb 2015 #15
Indeed there were, however the representation of history in the film is not a political matter by any special interest group, it is simply cinema.

That's not true and you know it.

But I continue to wonder

And wonder you will, lost in the woods in Great Birnam Wood to be exact.
jon357 63 | 14,255
23 Feb 2015 #16
Now that just comes across as paranoia and conspiracy theory.
Vox - | 175
23 Feb 2015 #17
There is no paranoia if they are really out to get you.
jon357 63 | 14,255
23 Feb 2015 #18
Nobody is "out to get" Poland.
Vox - | 175
23 Feb 2015 #19
If you say so ....
jon357 63 | 14,255
23 Feb 2015 #20
No if about it sweetie and no evidence to the contrary.

You do have quite a distinctive writing style, I must say. Somewhat familiar...
gumishu 11 | 5,017
24 Feb 2015 #21
Nobody is "out to get" Poland

nobody is out to get Poland except the Jews and Germans :) - sure not all Jews and Germans just the elites
jon357 63 | 14,255
25 Feb 2015 #22
Nope. Elites are too busy being elites. Nobody is "out to get" Poland. In fact most of the world never give the place a thought.
Dzidzilejla
25 Feb 2015 #23
You are making the mistake of believing that "cinema is cinema, history is history". Cinema and history were both tools of politics ever since their creation. Three examples:

1. During the reign of Otto von Bismarck German historians published hundreds of books, brochures and what-not, that showed Slavs as primitives deserving only to be enslaved by the "enlightened Europeans". Their main theory was that Slavs were descendants of mud-eaters from the swamps of Ukraine! Such scientific theories were used as justification for expanding German power. Even today some German journalists writing for history-oriented periodics are claiming "Slav-inferiority" books from the XIXth century as their knowledge sources.

2. I'm sure you are familiar with the "Poles charged tanks with swords" stereotype. The reason why it is so prevalent today is because during the war, and few years after it, nearly every single German movie was depicting exactly this falsified image of Polish military. Should you visit 9gag today, search for posts about Poland and WWII, you would still find comments claiming that Ułani were charging Pz.Kpfw. with lances and swords! And most of those comments come from Americans! It's not because Americans are inherently stupid, but because german propaganda is still alive, thanks to certain publications.

3. Lately another piece of German propaganda from the war began surfacing. Official German justification for invading Poland in 1939 was that Poland performed the act of aggression, entering the Reich and taking over Gleiwitzsender (Radiostacja Gliwicka). The incident at Gleiwitzsender was a provocation staged by the Germans, and it was a well know fact... for some time. But lately a British politician, Nigel Farage, said more or less that he doesn't want more Poles in UK because they started WWII by storming Gleiwitzsender!

History and historical facts have always been tools for politicians to (selectively) use. Nobody is denying that there is no "perfect nation" without flaws. The problem, however, is that lately there were suspiciously many film and book publications focusing solely on the plight of Jews and Poles oppressing them. There are rotten apples everywhere, but focusing only on them is, by an average viewer, understood as a presentation of the entirety of said nation.

What is especially annoying, is the double standard. It is all nice and good when we show Poles being the oppressors, even though Poland lost relatively more population during the war than any other country. But God forbid saying anything wrong about the Jews! Doesn't matter that they were slaughtering Polish civilians in Koniuchy, Naliboki, Ryki, Świńska Wola etc. and that they formed a majority of Security Service after the war.

In fact most of the world never give the place a thought.

That is entirely untrue. Due to Poland's geographical location, it is the axis of almost all European East-West power plays.
Ziemowit 12 | 3,614
25 Feb 2015 #24
But lately a British politician, Nigel Farage, said more or less that he doesn't want more Poles in UK because they started WWII by storming Gleiwitzsender!

If that is true, it is absolutely disgusting! But I really don't think it is true, so could you please a link showing that he did say so.

I didn't watch this film, but I read somewhere in the Polish press that the the title of it should really be "Our Mothers, Your Holocaust".
Roger5 1 | 1,458
25 Feb 2015 #25
Nigel Farage, said more or less that he doesn't want more Poles in UK because they started WWII by storming Gleiwitzsender!

Please quote your source for this. As much as I can't stand Farage, it just doesn't sound like the kind of thing he'd say.
Harry
25 Feb 2015 #26
It is all nice and good when we show Poles being the oppressors, even though Poland lost relatively more population during the war than any other country. But God forbid saying anything wrong about the Jews! Doesn't matter that they were slaughtering Polish civilians in Koniuchy, Naliboki, Ryki, Świńska Wola etc. and that they formed a majority of Security Service after the war.

I do love the way that so often it is the same people who object to historically accurate portrayals of Catholic Poles (which is what we find in the film "Our Fathers, Our Mothers") who see nothing wrong with both putting forward the same exact portrayal of Jewish Poles and sprinkling into that portrayal flat-out falsehoods.
Ozi Dan 26 | 569
26 Feb 2015 #27
During the reign of Otto von Bismarck German historians published hundreds of books, brochures and what-not, that showed Slavs as primitives deserving only to be enslaved by the "enlightened Europeans".

This concept too was used by the Imperial powers in the Pacific to justify their Imperialism over the indigenous populations in the C19.

I'm sure you are familiar with the "Poles charged tanks with swords" stereotype.

I had a History text book in High School here in Australia in the 1990's. In the section on WW2, there was a picture of Polish Cavalry on manoeuvres. The caption however was to the effect of "Polish Cavalry prepare to charge German tanks" - when I pointed out that this was incorrect, I was ignored.

I didn't watch this film, but I read somewhere in the Polish press that the the title of it should really be "Our Mothers, Your Holocaust".

I haven't seen the show either, but given the endorsement by the usual suspects as to the accuracy of its portrayal, I strongly suspect it's a prime piece of cinematic dissimulation.
TheOther 5 | 3,880
26 Feb 2015 #28
During the reign of Otto von Bismarck German historians published hundreds of books, brochures and what-not, that showed Slavs as primitives deserving only to be enslaved by the "enlightened Europeans".

Got some links for that claim?

In the meantime I'd suggest you check the Polish state archives online for scientific literature from that time frame. It might surprise you that most German historians and scientists were actually quite neutral (and oftentimes even positive) when it came to Polish history.
Ozi Dan 26 | 569
26 Feb 2015 #29
What did they have to say about the Prussian Homage? No need for links, just your précis of the good bits.
TheOther 5 | 3,880
26 Feb 2015 #30
Dan, do me a favor and check the POLISH state archives. It's all out there for everyone to read.

Sorry, but claims like this one ...

Their main theory was that Slavs were descendants of mud-eaters from the swamps of Ukraine!

... are just plain nonsense


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