Culture  Film&TV
Film on massacre of Jews opens in Poland
Published: 12.11.12, 16:18
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1. Land of contradictions?
Joseph ,   London UK   (11.13.12)
According to Sir Martin Gilbert's The Righteous: Unsung Heroes of the Holocaust, Poland probably had the largest number of Righteous Gentiles who rescued Jews during the Holocaust. On the other side the Poles were also amazingly anti-Jewish and often seemed to be 'natural' Nazis. When leading Rabbis met the Cardinal Archbishop of warsaw to ask for him to condemn anti-Semitism, he apparently told them this was their fate for rejecting Jesus. On the other side a woman famed for her pre-war book saying Poland would be a better place without Jews, later joined an uderground group to rescue Jews, saying she was an anti-Semite, but no murderer!
2. to 1
Wojtek ,   London   (11.13.12)
I am a Pole. My country was occupied by the Germans and there was no official collaboration with Germany, which is more than can be said for Britain. The British authorities of the channel Islands that were occupied by Germany eagerly collaborated with the Nazis and shipped the Jews off to their deaths. 6 million Poles were murdered by the Nazis 3 million of them were Jewish and 3 million were not. 20% of my country's population was killed by the Germans and their collaborators like the Ukrainians. Yet there are more righteous amongst the nations of Poles than any other people and any Pole who helped his Jewish neighbours was executed on sight with his family which was not so for Germans, Dutch and others. Would any Englishman help his Jewish neighbour knowing he risks his life and the life of all his family? I think not! Yes there were anti-semitic incidents and a very small minority of Poles were anti-semites and I am ashamed of these episodes. My grandfather is from Lvov. when the Germans entered Lvov they killed with the Ukrainians the Jews and Poles they actually didn't really differentiate between either. Jews and Poles have a long history together. We are bound together by our past. Please do not be influenced by anti-Polonism that is around.
3. Joseph,
Walt K ,   Sherbrooke, Canada   (11.13.12)
I would like to know if that woman had many bad experiences with individual jews or if she was drown in the middle of an antisemitic people and finally realized it. Anyway, lot of Jews and catholics knew the same fate into the death camps.
4. continuation number 2
Wojtek ,   London   (11.13.12)
My English was not clear I meant the Germans with their Ukrainian allies helping them murdered the Jews and Poles of Lvov and did not differentiate between Polish Jew or Christian. Lvov was a Polish city with 200,000 Jewish inhabitants. It was ethnically cleansed of Jews and Poles.
5. #2 Wojtek, An excellent comment, very true.
Michael ,   California, USA   (11.14.12)
The history of Jews in Poland covers over one thousand years. My family derives from there and I've been going to Poland often all my life. In a critical period, Polish kings gave Europe's Jews shelter when they were purged from western Europe in large numbers. Despite what happened under the Nazi occupation, both people have very many things in common, share tradition and culture as well as history. The religious differences are no longer an obstacle as both people are secular to a large degree. Pope John Paul II was a hero to both people in recent times. And finally, since nobody really knows "who is a Jew," this can be so defined today that likely half of the Polish population could be counted as Jewish and vice versa. The two people are really one and the tragedy of Jedwabne, or Kielce, or the legacies of Gomolka and Jaruzelski will not spoil it.
6. Poland
Benny ,   Miami   (11.14.12)
I think that the tragic state of Polish/ Jewish relations is largely a function of the ultimately tragic fate of Polish Jewry. Virtually the entire community was murdered. While anti-Semitism existed in significant ways in pre-war Poland, it also did in places such as Holland, France, and even the US. Remember, Poland had a constitution that protected religious liberty and Jews were openly able to practice their faith, found a multitude of communal organizations, and serve with distinction in the Sejm. The numerus clausus at Polish universities was indeed discriminatory. However, don't forget that most US universities also "capped" the number of Jews during this time. We must reach out to Poland and Poles. There is a great deal of shared history between our peoples.
7. Reply to number 2
Joseph ,   London UK   (11.14.12)
Many thanks indeed for your valuable insight. I've had many dealings with Polish people here in London and I've never sensed any ill will. Hearing where they come from can be poignant as the places resonate with deep Jewish history and mysticism -- including Lublin and Lvov. We have an annual concert here in Hampstead to raise money for the small Jewish community in Lvov. The reason so many Polish Jews spoke a German dialect or Judischer Deutsch [also called Yiddish] was because they came to Poland from Germany during the many periods of mediaeval persecution. There were good times as well as bad.
8. Wojtek,
Walt K ,   Sherbrooke, Canada   (11.15.12)
You are right. Also, many jews hate the catholic Church, but there are lot of polish priests who died into the death camps. I remember the story of Maximilian Kolbe who was starved to death. He took the jewish man's place.
9. Film based on Jan T Gross' lies
Stan ,   Huddersfield, Englan   (12.07.12)
This film does nothing to promote the truth. It has long been proved that what Jan T Gross wrote in Neighbours was wildly inaccurate.
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