: A World Problem, Jews, Poland, Humanity: A Psychological And Historical Study, Part 1;A Politically-Incorrect WWI-Era Classic on Poland's Jewsjan peczkis|Tuesday, November 22, 2016
My review is based on the English-language, two-volumes-in-one 1917-1920 edition.
Nowadays, books on Polish-Jewish relations adhere to the Manichean view of the Jewish victim and the intolerant Pole. [This has been a trope in Jewish writing for at least a century, as is obvious from p. 67]. The present book perhaps goes too far in the opposite direction. If so, the student of Polish-Jewish relations can use this book to counterbalance the other, modern extreme, and come up with a middle, Judeorealistic view of Jewish-Polish relations.
The author’s portrayal of Jews is generally uncharitable. However, it is certainly not more so than the volumes of unflattering comments that Jews have written about Poles.
However, author Stephanie Laudyn was well aware, and appreciative of, the pro-Polish Jews (p. 89, 110-111, 215, 263, 350). Even so, she reckoned these Polonophile Jews a decided minority. (p. 263).
The following are direct quotes [except for explanatory comments in brackets]:
WHY JEWS WERE EXPELLED FROM MANY NATIONS
They looked to their profit only. The noblemen shed their blood on the battlefields, the peasant sprinkled the soil with his sweat—but the Jew reaped the harvest, making himself ever more indispensable, alike to the peasant, as to the nobleman. The West took notice of it, and as a result, there were frequent outbursts of hatred against the Jews, till the disturbances came to the knowledge of rulers, who at once united in clearing their lands. (p. 35).
WHY JEWISH OCCUPATIONS WERE SEEN AS UNPRODUCTIVE AND PARASITIC IN NATURE
[The following describes the impact of the arrival of the Jews in Poland centuries ago.]
The Polish peasants were uneducated and overworked on the farms, while the noblemen spent one half their life defending the country, the other half deliberating in the Diets, and the middle class was ill-organized. Such state of affairs placed exceptional possibilities in the hands of those who neither sowed nor fought battles, neither worked hard nor shed their blood—but who carried off large profits in business. (p. 34).
He (the Jew) took the ready goods and traded them with good profit while business, free from toil and catastrophes, drove a rain of gold into their deep pockets. (p. 37).
WHY JEWS WERE SEEN AS AN INIMICAL INFLUENCE
Every disreputable procedure, such as usury, smuggling and sordid mediation found in them ready and cunning adepts… (p. 36).
…in every Polish town and village, such as: the liquor business [PROPINACJA], trade in stolen goods, stealing horses, profiteering, engaging in every manner of unclean practices, swindling. (p. 165).
From the towns, the Jews slowly wended their way into the villages, where they monopolized the business of innkeepers [PROPINACJA]. With the sale of intoxicants in their hands, and other little practices of doubtful character, the crimes of larceny, receiving of stolen goods, usury, commercialized vice began to make their appearance among village people. (p. 256).
JEWISH ECONOMICS CONTRIBUTES TO POLAND’S PARTITION-ERA DEMISE
…towards the end of the eighteenth century there were one million Jews to 500,000 Polish burghers. (p. 36).
The formation of the third or middle class was fairly paralyzed by the sudden influx of Jews and the way they exploited the best and most lucrative fields of enterprise…Thus the wealth of the foreign element kept on growing until they shoved many a true Pole and citizen out of business. This naturally brought fatal consequences in the face of an absence of well-organized native middle class...the lack of which, according to the opinion of many historians, became one of the main causes of Poland’s downfall. (p. 37).
[Fast forward to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Partitioned Poland was under the rule of Prussia, Russia, and Austria]:
ENDEK BOYCOTT REASON I: ONGOING AND EXPANSIVE USURIOUS ACQUISITION OF LANDED ESTATES
[In Austrian-occupied Galicia] They [Jews] gained possession of immense tracts of land, mainly by way of insolvency. (p. 58). [This amounted to 30%-40% of Polish landed estates (p. 52, 320). As of 1892, 43,000 small Polish farms had passed into Jewish hands. (p. 321)]. [Jewish usurers would get Polish landowners indebted to them. Whenever the landowners could not pay, the usurers took advantage of them by acquiring their land in satisfaction of the debt. Then the usurers turned around, and used this wealth to buy even more Polish land. For a Jewish perspective on this, please click on, and read my review of DZIALOSZYCE Memorial Book - an English translation of Sefer Yizkor shel kehilat Dzialoshitz ve-ha-seviva].
ENDEK BOYCOTT REASON II: EMANCIPATION OF POLAND FROM JEWISH ECONOMIC HEGEMONY
[In Galicia] They [Jews] were quick to monopolize the business and trade in cities and villages, and to exploit, in union with the Germans, forests, petroleum, coal, etc. (p. 52).
In the [Russian-ruled] Kingdom of Poland the Jews were forbidden by the Russia state laws to acquire land, but they constitute 93.5% of merchants in grain and cattle, while forest business is fairly in their hands. 82% of the dry goods business is also in Jewish hands, while in the hide business 90.5% are Jews. These figures show how far the Jews have encroached upon Polish life and to what extent they have opposed any movement among the Poles, which was likely to interfere with the business they had so easily developed by reason of united capital, united influence and because of the difficulties Russia placed in the ways of Poles. (p. 58).
We have shown the frightful ravages upon the organism of the nation perpetrated by the greedy and selfish foreign element, which has sapped our vitals for long centuries. (p. 59).
[Regarding the early industrialization of foreign-ruled Poland, notably in Lodz, Warsaw, Zgierz, Zyrardow, Pabjanice, Sosnowiec, Zdunska Wola, etc.] …the capital controlling the entire industrial machinery was Judaico [Judeo]-German and that the German language and the jargon [Yiddish] predominated. (p. 65).
The Jews, in addition to the fact that they had the advantage of centuries-old experience, finance, craft, and iron solidarity—were allied with the German element, which had ever been inimical to Poles and also had the protection of the Russian government. (p. 66).
…trade and real estate in village and town (where three-fourths of real estate and business was in Jewish hands)… (p. 67).
ENDEK BOYCOTT REASON III: JEWS EFFECTIVELY BOYCOTTED POLES FIRST
It would be too much to enumerate to what lengths the Jews had gone in fighting the Poles, who were practically defenseless and unskilled in united defensive action. The Poles could obtain no capital; the banks refused them credit; they could get no customers to buy their goods as three-fourths of the business was in Jewish hands…The seemingly liberal Russian press supported the Jews…with their [Poles’] attention completely riveted upon defending their fundamental rights of existence, the Poles had hardly time to adequately refute falsehoods and ward off attacks. (pp. 70-71). [Like today!]
ENDEK BOYCOTT REASON IV: JEWISH IMPACT ON POLISH CULTURE
It was only shortly before the insurrection of 1863 that the educated Jews started to follow such pursuits as medicine, law, literature, and principally journalism. Thus, the Jews took a new step, not so much with a view to getting hold of lucrative enterprises, as to gaining control over the thought of the nation. (p. 55).
[In Austrian-occupied Galicia] In the larger cities where they [Jews] enjoy equal rights, they hold high offices and very influential positions. (unquote). (p. 52).
[In Russian-occupied Congress Poland]: Besides, they [Poles] saw the influential jargon [Yiddish] press, openly inimical to Polish interests. They also saw the numerously attended jargon theaters, and the Jewish sectarian schools, where the Polish was no longer allowed. Meanwhile, Russian and German schools flourished under the protection of the government. The Polish communities were everywhere repressed by the joint Jewish-German forces. (p. 65).
They [Jews] also had at their command the press in every part of the world, and we shall see just what use they made of this powerful factor in turning it into a weapon against the Poles. (p. 66). [As today!]
The pride and ingrained haughtiness of such open enemies of the Poles, as Jews and Germans, grew every day. (p. 68).
[Finally, the heinous practice of white slavery was primarily, though not exclusively, in the hands of the Jews: pp. 58-59 and pp.164-165].
ENDEK BOYCOTT REASON V: ELEMENTARY SELF-DEFENSE
In view of this domination of the whole of Polish economic life, is it not a national duty for all true citizens of Poland in self-defense to arise, and if necessary, boycott Jewish activities? The Polish National Democratic party and its leader--Roman Dmowski--were the first to awaken to the danger menacing the country, and to arouse public attention...Poland must oppose the parasitic aggressiveness of the Jewish element and cut asunder these economic shackles riveted by the Jews in the time of Russian, Prussian, and Austrian yoke. (p. 321).
ENDEK BOYCOTT REASON VI: THE 1912 DUMA ELECTIONS
The great commercial city, Lodz—enmeshed in a net of German-Jewish capital which directed its influence towards opposing the Poles—elected a Jew as a representative to the Duma. Warsaw, the capital of Poland, and the heart of the nation, stood helpless against the elective superiority of the Jews, who carried through their candidate. He was not a Jew, in fact, they feared the scandal, but still he [Yagiello] was of their own choosing—a radical socialist, a man who enjoyed no confidence even in his own party. Such a victory had the Jews gained in Warsaw where they constitute 37% of the population, and possessed the bulk of the real estate, as well as large capital and great influence…The Poles could hardly realize that the representative of Warsaw to the Russian Duma should be a Jewish protégé, as this was an insult to the Polish nation, but it resulted in a general awakening [of Poles]. (pp. 64-65).
ENDEK BOYCOTT REASON VII: JEWS OPPOSE POLAND’S VERY RIGHT TO EXIST
Jewish arrogance, which dares to question before the forum of the world the right to independence of a nation whose history and civilization remained unsullied for a thousand years, is beyond all comprehension. (p. 263).
----------------------------------------------End of direct quotes---------------------------------------------------------
WWI JEWISH PROFITEERING
Author Stephanie Laudyn provides numerous examples, with specifics, about Jewish merchants who hoarded feedstuffs to drive up prices, and engaged in other practices that maximized their profits at the expense of the local near-starving population. (pp. 143-146, 262).
THE POGROM PROPAGANDA SMEAR CAMPAIGN AGAINST POLAND
The author elaborates on the rather hysterical campaign, worldwide, which tried to discredit the new Polish state with fantastic calumnies of massive Polish pogroms. However, some local Jewish newspapers came to Poland’s defense (p. 264), and the Morgenthau investigation refuted almost all of these pogroms.
During this time, in one sector of Poland, 262 Jewish stores had been ransacked. But so had nearly 1,800 that had belonged to non-Jews. (p. 264).
THE SO-CALLED MINORITIES TREATY: EXPANSIVE NATIONAL RIGHTS FOR JEWS
In the very first Diet after Poland’s Independence (1918), both the Jewish members, Prilucki and Gruenbaum, demanded special rights for Jews. These included mandatory Yiddish in courts, offices, and schools. To this was added the demand for special voting districts, a special tax system, separate courts, etc.—essentially “a State within a State”. (p. 272).
Other Jews strongly disagreed. Jewish spokesman Dr. H. Nussbaum rejected the notion that Yiddish is a Jewish national tongue. He saw it as a corruption of the German language, and pointed out that the establishment of Yiddish schools would be the creation of German centers in the heart of Poland. (p. 274).
Polish Jew Segal pointedly asked why it is that Poland’s Jews think that they are entitled to an official language (Yiddish), national autonomy, etc., while the Jews of Berlin, London, New York, etc., feel no such entitlement. (p. 215).
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