Polish Complicity in the Holocaust Remains Unsubstantiated. WCALE NIE POTWIERDZA ZNACZNEJ POLSKIEJ ROLI W HOLOCAUSCIEjan peczkis|Sunday, January 24, 2016
IT IS SUCH A BEAUTIFUL, SUNNY DAY, is the title of this Polish language book. It comes across as yet another anti-Polish hit piece related to the Shoah.
The book, at first, seems outwardly objective. Unlike most other Jewish authors, Engelking realizes the Polish suffering under the Germans. However, she seldom internalizes the implications of the situation facing Poles, and how it sometimes drove them to denounce or kill Jews. Poles are always guilty no matter what!
Wiekszosc tej ksiazki powtarze nie-potwierdzonych Zydowskich zarzutow prszeciw Polakow. O wiele lepsza ksiazka, na temat Polakow i Zydow pod Niemiecka okupacja, jest Krwawe Upiory (Polish Edition) [Prosze uderzyc linka, i prszyczytac moja recenzje.]
Cyfry ktore Engelking porusza (zobacz ponizej, po Angielsku), na podstawie tysiece zrodel--Zydowskich opisow oraz procesow pod Komunizmen zaraz po wojnie--o rzekomych Polskich wydaniach i mordow Zydow-uciekierinow, z trudnoscial nie siegaja nawet 5,000 Zydowskich ofiar. Ta 5,000 figura, jesli sama nie prszesadza, jest grubo, grubo mniej nisz wyolbrzymione 200,000, wyssana z palca prszez neo-Stalinistow jak Jan T. Gross i Jan Grabowski, i nawet grubo mniej nisz "kilkadziesiat tysiece" w "korygowanych" wypowiedzach Grossa i Grabowskiego.
A tu jest moja Angielskojezyczna recenzja:
Engelking cites the research of Kazimierz Przybysz, whose 1983 work showed that the Germans had conducted 765 large-scale terror acts against Polish villages, causing the destruction of 675,000 farmsteads, and costing the lives of 19,792 Polish peasants. This was in addition to the draconian materials requisitions, and the net loss of 2 million villagers. (p. 11).
The author shows some appreciation of the fact that Polish villagers who were paid were not greedy. Someone had to pay for the upkeep of the fugitive Jews, and Poles aiding Jews daily risked their lives. (pp. 98-101).
Barbara Engelking-Boni sometimes understands the fact that the German terror was a major motivator in Poles denouncing or killing fugitive Jews. This especially happened when some Jews and their Polish benefactors were found and murdered by the Germans. (pp. 103-105). Sometimes, Polish benefactors killed their Jews out of fear of being found out and killed themselves. (p. 207).
SOME FACTS AND FIGURES
The following information is taken from pp. 15-16 and especially pp. 258-259:
Engelking claims to have examined 300 court cases, from much of the General Government [Warsaw area, Kielce area (including Radom and Czestochowa), and a few from Bialystok and Lublin areas]. From these 300 court cases, there was talk of 281 incidents of Polish denunciations of fugitive Jews, accounting for 701 Jews killed. She also claims 139 incidents of Polish murders of fugitive Jews, accounting for 473 Jewish deaths.
In addition, Barbara Engelking consulted some 500 Jewish accounts, of which 174 mention the foregoing acts. These comprise 230 incidents of denunciation, costing 858 Jewish lives, and 142 incidents of murder, costing another 542 Jewish lives. These add up to 511 incidents of denunciation, costing 1,559 Jewish lives, and an additional 281 murderous incidents that cost the lives of 1,015 Jews. This comes out to a grand total of 2,574 Jews denounced or killed by Poles.
Based on additional information, based on 505 documents and court cases from several other regions of Poland (Suwalki, Gizyck, Olsztyn, Elk, Lomza, Warsaw, Krakow, Bialystok, Kielce, and Czestochowa) there were at least an additional 1,154 denounced and 495 killed Jews. (p. 259).
There is no way of knowing how many of the allegations of denunciations and killings are based on facts, and how many on hearsay and exaggeration. In addition, there is no way of knowing what role the duress of Communist-era trials had on the court cases.
The near-5,000 figure, if credible, tells us nothing about which denunciations and killings of Jews were justified by the circumstances. In addition, Engelking provides no perspective for her figure. How many Poles were denounced or killed, by other Poles, during this same time, under the privations and brutalities of the Nazi German occupation?
IMPLICATIONS OF ENGELKING’S FACTS AND FIGURES
Engelking follows her fellow neo-Stalinists, Jan T. Gross and Jan Grabowski, in conjecturing that 250,000 Jews fled the ghettos, and only 30,000—60,000 survived because of Polish help, which could mean on the order of 200,000 Jews denounced and killed by Poles. (p. 143). However, she admits that there is no way of knowing the actual number of fugitive and denounced Jews, much less the number of fugitive Jews who died from non-Polish causes, such as being found directly by the Germans. (p. 143).
Not surprisingly, Engelking stresses the fact that the 5,000 denunciations/killings that she has uncovered are only a fraction of those that occurred. But what fraction? In any case, the facts are clear. Barbara Engelking has, based on the rather laborious examination of a few thousand sources, with difficulty arrived at not even 5,000 Jews denounced or killed by Poles. This is a LONG, LONG way from 200,000, or even the “few tens of thousands” subsequently “corrected” by Jan T. Gross and Jan Grabowski.
Is this Polish complicity in the Holocaust? Hardly--unless, of course, one is willing to crucify the Poles under any pretext, and/or to use the concept of "complicity" in the most trivial sense. [If a Pole killed even ONE Jew during the German occupation, would that be enough to make Poles complicit in the Holocaust?]
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