21 thoughts on “Yad Vashem Denounces Israeli-Polish Accord on Holocuast as “Blatantly Erroneous” – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. Orban’s visit to Yad Vashem should be viewed in the context of a learning experience.
    That’s a good thing.

    1. @ Peg: Oh yeah sure, Israelis are going to learn a lot. How to harrass, smear and torment fellow Jews for the sake of political gain. How to bully immigrants and turn your state into a police state. Oh, but Israelis already know how to do that. So where’s the learning? And if you think Orban is going to “learn” anything on this trip, you’re out of your mind. This is a grand victory lap for Bibi and Orban. They are proto fascist birds of a feather.

  2. “That’s how an unholy alliance developed between Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party and Israeli prime minister Bibi Netanyahu. They both needed each other to advance their own separate, but parallel political agendas”

    Well. Israeli Minister of Education, MK Bennett, didn’t get the memo. He is making Poland’s role in the Holocaust, mandatory study for Israeli students.

    1. @ Peg: That’s after Bennett erases homosexuality and Palestinians from the textbooks; and forbidden novels from the curriculum. No thank you. If you want to lionize anyone it will have to be someone else.

  3. excellent article and don’t forget the attempt to blame the Mufti for the Holocaust and the attempt by Netanyahu to exonerate Hitler of this matter. Hitler was apparently bullied by said Mufti

  4. excellent article don’t forget that according to Netanyahu’s speech to the 2016 WZO Congress it was the Mufti who was responsible for the holocaust when he bullied Hitler into carrying it out

  5. I’ll be tactless enough to note that Jews themselves led the way here with Holocaust Denial laws and such.

    The general principle seems to be that free speech is totally last season.

      1. People advocate all kinds of things I think are utter nonsense — that includes, you will be reassured to hear, denying that the Holocaust occurred.

        However, free speech is meaningless if we restrict it to only utterances we agree with and find congenial. If France et al can outlaw Holocaust Denial, how can we seriously object to Poland outlawing whatever they find upsetting?

        Worse, of course, Poland isn’t actually advocating Holocaust denial — far from it. They just wish to deny any complicity in the Holocaust — when the truth is decidedly more complex and not very flattering to the Poles.

        1. @ Colin WRight: I’ve argued before here that Poland’s fascist government’s attitudes toward the Holocaust are a form of Holocaust denial. You can call it denial-lite or whatever you wish. But it IS a form of denial.

          So no, I see no need to facilitate this garbage. Democracy is not evergreen. It cannot withstand every outrage perpetrated against it. I’m sorry, but after what Putin & Trump together have done to this country, political speech needs to be regulated. At the very least, such speech must be completely transparent including who is speaking and who is paying for the speech. And of course private social media companies are entitled to regulate speech on their networks as they see fit.

          1. ‘…I’m sorry, but after what Putin & Trump together have done to this country, political speech needs to be regulated…’

            Comment is superfluous.

          2. @ Colin Wright: You conveniently omitted everything else I wrote in that post in order to create a straw-man.

            In hindsight, I’d change what I wrote to requiring that political speech be regulated during elections. I don’t think political speech outside of elections needs much regulation.

            And as for regulation of political speech, we do it all the time. That’s why there’s an FEC. Not that the commission has any teeth thanks to Congressional, Supreme Court, and GOP emasculation. But it exists and at one time did take serious action to ensure elections were fought fairly.

  6. A Polish colleague of mine told me that a German soldier came to the door of her Jewish grandmother, telling her: “Madam, you have to go into hiding, because you are being betrayed by your own family”. Her husband’s brother had reported her as being Jewish! She got away in time. I asked if they had cut ties with the family after the war. Apparently not. It is all so hard to imagine…

  7. Just a note to point out:

    If 380 000 Jews remained in Poland after the war, this means that 380 000 Jews found shelter and support between Poles ( these were Jews who were NOT found by Germans, and many more were, which means that the true number of Jews who found shelter, assistance and support amongst Poles was much higher) , and if 200 000 were killed directly and indirectly by Poles, then this statement does not reflect realiy:

    “Poles’ assistance to Jews during the Holocaust was relatively rare, and attacks against and even the murder of Jews were widespread phenomena”.

    My “back of the envelope” calculations indicate that one non-Jewish family in 35 gave (successfully) shelter to Jews. Not a lot? Maybe not. But it means that there was no street, no village and no townhouse that did not have Jews being sheltered over the period of 5 years.

    Also, bear in mind, that supporting and sheltering Jews was punishable with instant death sentence for whole Polish, as well as Jewish family – extreme measure against such help which was applied by Germans to Poles only, and not to any other occupied country)

    1. @ Eva Smagacz: Not quite. It means that 380,000 Polish Jews survived the Holocaust. It is by no means certain that any of them received any help from Polish non-Jews. Tens of thousands of Jews were partisans who defended themselves. Tens of thousands more survived the camps and returned to Poland. No Pole helped any of them.

      My “back of the envelope” calculations indicate…

      I don’t trust back of the envelope calculations on matters as serious as how many Poles helped Jews. That isn’t a serious calculation and you know it.

      Of course some Poles did help. There were Righteous Gentiles among the Poles. But for every one of these there were probably five or ten who would just as soon betray a Jew for gain as save one.

      extreme measure against such help which was applied by Germans to Poles only, and not to any other occupied country

      That’s not true. Germans punished villages in other countries which harbored Jews. This happened, for instance, in France. But it may not have been an overall policy in these other countries to murder those who tried to save Jews as it was in Poland.

      1. Richard, I understand your point about back of the envelope. But in terms of survival of 380 000 Jews the points you make about partisans and survivors of camps, support my point about help from Poles completely.

        Take partisans:
        All food produced by polish farmers was controlled and Germans confiscated majority of it for its war effort. Illegal handling/commerce in food was punishable by death or labour camp. (my family in Warsaw survived partly because the former lady’s maid of my grandmother smuggled the food from her village to them). How do you think partisans survived 3 continental winters in Polish forests when temperature would drop to -30 degrees Centigrade without support of Polish villages? Also, I am genuinely curious of the data or sources you have on Jewish partisans in Poland. I never heard of tens of thousands Jews being partisans in Poland (excluding Ghetto Uprising, but fighters there were in hundreds not thousands)

        Take survivals of camps:
        I agree that there were easily tens of thousands Jewish people who survived camps, but they were rarely there for duration of the war. Labour camps were better for survival than concentration/extermination camps, but Jews were rarely sent there. Jews sent to camps, those who survived, usually arrived very late in the war. And those in ghettoes were getting food from Gentile side, officially, in the deliveries sanctioned by Germans and unofficially, by smuggling food and medicines in. My grandparents were, in a small way, part of such resistance in Warsaw. My grandmother smuggled information and medicine to and from Jewish work groups in German controlled factory in Warsaw. Her mother in law was killed by gestapo in Pawiak for her part in resistance movement.

        1. @ Eva Smagacz: I think the reality was different than you describe. Here is the Holocaust Museum description of the life of a partisan and how s/he survived:

          Life as a partisan in the forest was difficult. People had to move from place to place to avoid discovery, raid farmers’ food supplies to eat, and try to survive the winter in flimsy shelters built from logs and branches. In some places, partisans received assistance from local villagers, but more often they could not count on help, partly because of widespread antisemitism, partly because of people’s fears of being severely punished for helping. The partisans lived in constant danger of local informers revealing their whereabouts to the Germans.

          As for the number of partisans, here is another source:

          There were approximately 30,000 Jews actively involved in partisan resistance groups in ten countries throughout Europe.

          Given that Poland had by far the largest Jewish population in Europe it stands to reason that while there were thousands of Jewish partisans in other countries, the majority would have been in Poland. My claim of “tens of thousands” may have been a bit broad. But I’d guess there would have been at least 20,000 Polish Jewish partisans.

          I certainly honor the courage and sacrifice of all non-Jews who helped Jews survive. It was a brave act of humanity in the face of evil. But I think we also have to look at conditions as they were, rather than as we wish they were.

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