Thursday, April 10, 2008

Profesor Wolniewicz + Profesor Nowak The Price of Poland's Heroism

Profesor Wolniewicz + Profesor Nowak The Price of Poland's Heroism

A real hero - Witold Pilecki - A Volunteer for Auschwitz

Pilecki i Anders

Compensation for Damages Suffered Under Nazi and Soviet Occupations

Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski
Comments on Jan Tomasz Gross's
Ghastly Decade 1939-1948

Copyright @ 1998 by Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski
All rights reserved.

The matters related to compensation for Poles and Jews for damages suffered under Nazi and Soviet occupation.

Reuters Agency reported from Buenos Aires, Argentina on Fri, 19 Apr 1996 (14:50:17 PDT) on The World Jewish Congress.

Israel Singer, General Secretary of the World Jewish Congress stated that "More than three million Jews died in Poland and the Polish people are not going to be the heirs of the Polish Jews. We are never going to allow this. (...) They're gonna hear from us until Poland freezes over again. If Poland does not satisfy Jewish claims it will be "publicly attacked and humiliated" in the international forum.

Today some Jews are estimating the value of Jewish assets lost in Poland and vicinity in the billions of dollars. Descendants of the Holocaust victims obviously could not hope to extract billions of dollars from descendants of the Polish gentile victims of war. Aware of these difficulties, some Jews have promoted a myth about Polish complicity in the Holocaust. Obviously it would be easier to extract money from descendants of the guilty rather than descendants of innocent co-victims whose property was also destroyed or eventually, in many cases, taken from them by the Soviet puppet government.

Jan Tomasz Gross wrote three essays in the spirit of this kind of myth. They were published in Krakw in 1998 by Universitas under the title of "Upiorna Dekada, 1939-1948. (Ghastly Decade 1939-1948)." On 118 small-size pages the author accuses the Polish nation of complicity in the Holocaust and in eviction of the Jews. This propaganda effort is surprising, coming from a writer of serious works.

A symbolic buzzard eating dead flesh is shown on the cover the Ghastly Decade 1939-1948. It resembles communist propaganda posters, especially the famous "spit-soiled dwarf of reaction of 1945." The decade "1939-1948" does not represent any distinct period in Polish history. It does, however, include the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany and the exodus of Jews from Eastern and Central Europe. It was forced by pogroms staged by the Soviets in all satellite states. The exodus was made possible by opening the Iron Curtain for hundreds of thousands of Jews. The notion that these people were not fit to live under communism is patently wrong. Millions of those "unfit to live under communism" perished in the "Gulag Archipelago." Only Jews had the privilege to emigrate en masse from the Soviet Bloc because Stalin had other plans for them. The Polish nation had no complicity in these events.

Stalin exploited the Zionist movement in order to abolish the British Mandate in Palestine. In the process he created a window of opportunity, to use the words of Paul Johnson, for establishing the State of Israel. Stalin's purpose was to embitter the conflict between Arabs and Jews and to blockade the supplies of Arab oil to the West. He also helped to inflame the hatred of the Muslim world against the United States. Stalin's strategy worked and deadly terrorism of Islamic fundamentalists is growing long after the Soviet dictator is gone.

Gross falsifies quotations in order to make his points. On page 56 he changes the meaning of a quote in the diary of dr. Zygmunt Klukowski (Dziennik z lat okupacji Zamojszczyzny - A diary of the years of occupation of Zamojszczyzna). Gross insinuates that in October 1942 Poles murdered some 2300 Jews while the Germans deported for execution 934 other victims. The deception is achieved by omission of quotation marks ("nasi"); this changed the meaning of a crucial statement of the original diary, in which reference was made to locally stationed German gendarmes.

Self defense and national identity under the occupation.
The ethnic Poles considered German and Soviet invaders as equally dangerous whereas many Jews were trying to find security on the Soviet side. The ethnic Poles were naturally preoccupied with saving their nation, which was exposed to massive executions starting two years before the Holocaust. From the beginning of the war, the Germans were committing mass murders on the Polish civilian population, especially throughout western Poland, newly annexed by Germany. They brought with them lists of victims prepared long before the invasion of Poland. The Soviet NKVD prepared a list of 21,857 people of the Polish leadership community all of whom were executed during the Spring of 1940. Mass execution of the Jews in German gas chambers began two years later.

The Polish resistance movement was the largest in occupied Europe. In order to break the Polish resistance Nazi-German terror apparatus (1939-1945) and the communist security forces (1939-1956) tortured more gentile Poles than any other European ethnic group.

Gross does not recognize the fact that helping Jews was a part of the resistance against the Nazis. Illogically he cites the fact that more Poles were engaged in the armed resistance than in saving of the Jews as a proof of Polish anti-Semitism.

In order the understand the desperate struggle of the Poles in the face of the greatest catastrophe in the Polish history and the general disinterest of the Polish Jews in the fate of the Polish state one can quote statements by the Nobel Prize laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991) in New York's Forverts of Sept. 17, 1944. Writing under the pen-name Iccok Warszawski under the title "Jews and Poles Lived Together For 800 Years But Were Not Integrated" he stated:

"Rarely did a Jew think it necessary to learn Polish, rarely was a Jew interested in Polish history or politics. (...) Even in the last few years it was still a rare occurrence that a Jew would speak Polish well. Out of three million Jews living in Poland, two and half million were not able to write a simple letter in Polish and they spoke [Polish] very poorly. There were hundreds of thousands of Jews in Poland to whom Polish was as unfamiliar as Turkish." In the same paper he wrote on March 20. 1964: "My mouth could not get accustomed to the soft consonants of [Polish] language. My forefathers have lived for centuries in Poland but in reality I was a foreigner, with separate language, ideas and religion. I sensed the oddness of this situation and often considered moving to Palestine." (The above quotations are from Chone Shmeruk's Isaac Bashevis Singer and Bruno Schultz published in the Polish Review Vol. XXXVI, 1991, pp.: 161-167.) Bashevis Singer suggests that Jews in Poland were a self-segregated ethnic or national group which could not pass as ethnic Poles.

Death penalty for helping Jews was unique to Poland.
The essence of the policies of the Nazi government at all times was the implementation of the doctrine of the Lebensraum, or German "living space." The aim of the Berlin government was to seize Slavic lands and replace the Slavic population with what they considered "racial Germans." Thus, Poland was to be colonized by Germans and the Polish nation eradicated. For this reason the Nazi-Germans used every opportunity to kill Poles. One of the examples of this policy was the death penalty and immediate execution of entire Polish families and neighborhoods for helping Jews. At the same time, for example, in Denmark, which the Germans did not intend to colonize, no one was executed for helping any of the few Jews who lived there.

Gross disregards these facts and on the page 41 he gives the following illogical title to a chapter:

On the fact that the prevailing Polish anti-Semitism also was the reason why the Poles who helped Jews were brutally and totally murdered by the Germans.

Then on page 60 Gross writes "how was it that the people who sheltered Jews during the war, did not like to admit it after the war. (...) It was believed that anyone helping Jews got rich" and therefore could be robbed or repressed for "breaking the local code of behavior." Gross does not mention the fact that it often was difficult to admit to one's neighbor that by sheltering a Jew one was risking one's neighbor's life without his knowledge - it was easier not to tell one's neighbor about the "time bomb" next door and therefore not to celebrate the fact that it did not explode.

One could consider how much more Polish gentiles could have done to avert the tragic fate of the Jews in a situation where Polish gentiles could not prevent the killing of millions of Polish Christians and when the Polish Nation itself faced genocide. It is difficult to find a Polish gentile family which did not experience the loss of close relatives under the German and Soviet occupations. In central Poland, which the Germans turned into killing fields called by them a General Protectorate, there were eleven million Polish gentiles and two million Polish Jews. They were separated by the cultural barrier described by Bashevis Singer. Thus, for each Polish family there was one Jew that desperately needed help. The presence of the prewar German minority and of "racial Germans," recruited locally by the Nazis, further complicated the struggle for survival of both Polish gentiles and Jews.

Also important was the Soviet policy to nominate Jews to very visible posts in the Communist terror apparatus in order to shift the blame to the Jews for Soviet crimes. This perfidious Soviet policy did not facilitate a postwar admission that one risked one's and others' lives while sheltering the very people who later became Soviet executioners in Poland. Widespread Jewish complicity in the Soviet terror apparatus installed in Poland speaks volumes about their lack of concern for the existence of a sovereign Polish nation.

Arab oil versus the pogrom in Kielce.
Stalin signed in Yalta a pledge to hold free elections in Poland. The Soviets broke this pledge and used various propaganda means to draw the Allies' attention away from this fact. They exploited the horrible Jewish tragedy, about which the world was beginning to learn the gruesome details. The Soviets used the accusation of Polish anti-Semitism to justify their protracted occupation of Poland, while at the same time the NKVD staged pogroms in all satellite states, in particular in Poland.

19th century ritual murder accusations of the Black Hundred and the Tsarist Okhrana were recycled by the Soviets. Of the many pogroms in 1945 and 1946 only the Kielce pogrom of July 4, 1945 was exploited worldwide by the Soviet propaganda. The pogroms in Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Czechia, and eastern Galicia as well as the Kielce pogrom was conducted under close control of the NKVD in order to generate an exodus of Jews who otherwise would not emigrate.

The American Ambassador to Poland was convinced the date of the 4th of July was chosen for an efficient dissemination of news among the American Jewry on the anniversary of the American Independence, a day free of work (Arthus Bliss-Lane, I Saw Poland Betrayed, New York, 1948). A month later a bloody pogrom was staged in Bratislava, Slovakia, where participants of a veterans' convention were ordered to march to Jewish quarters where they committed crimes similar to those in Kielce. Needless to say, Gross treats the Kielce events as a genuine proof of Polish anti-Semitism.

On the fiftieth anniversary of the Kielce pogrom, the post-communists exerted much effort trying to whitewash the NKVD and UB which engineered and controlled the pogrom, while blaming it on Polish mob. It bears repeating, however, that innocent people were tortured and executed within a week after the pogrom, after a show trial which lasted a few days. The strength of the post-communist grip on Poland makes the correction of these mendacities difficult.

I have personally discussed the Kielce events with Israeli Judge Mrs. Sara Dotan. She was assigned to supervise in 1996 in Tel-Aviv the deposition of Israeli survivors of Kielce pogrom for a report prepared by post-communist investigators Zbigniew Mielecki and others. Judge Dotan stated that she was severely shocked to learn from the witnesses that the Kielce murders were committed by soldiers and Catholic priests.

I have tried to explain to her that apparently the witnesses mistook the military shirts equipped with white neck bands for the Roman collars (which were not worn by Polish priests in 1946). Apparently some of the uniformed men from the Soviet terror apparatus in Poland (such as soldiers from the Blocking Companies of the Second Infantry Division stationed in Kielce, soldiers from the Internal Corps as well as the uniformed riot police) were assigned to stage the pogrom. Apparently, they were given civilian coats and pants to feign a role of a Polish mob. By wearing the regular military shirts they appeared to the Israeli witnesses as having had the Roman collars now popular among the clergy visiting the Holy Land.

The tragic events known as the Pogrom of Kielce of 1946 were demonstrably a part of Soviet postwar global strategy. The Soviets ruthlessly exploited Jews for Soviet political purposes.

In New York on July 7, 1946 the Society For The Promotion Of Poland's Independence issued a Declaration On the Kielce Crime. The declaration was signed by prominent historians Henryk Askenazy, Oskar Halecki and others. It stated:

(...)The Warsaw regime receiving its orders from Moscow and acting strictly in obedience to them has (...) [pursued] policies planned methodically and aimed at compelling the Jews to leave Poland and to embarrass the British Government in matters pertaining to the Palestine problem, and, furthermore, to aggravate the political crisis in the Near East, to envenom Judeo-Arab antagonisms. It is indeed for that purpose that the Warsaw regime endeavors to squeeze in the remnants of Poland's Jewish population which has succeeded in escaping Hitler's massacre, into American and British zones of occupation of Germany."

Soviet attempts to destabilize the oil-rich Near East also included the opening of the Iron Curtain to allow hundreds of thousands of Jews, many of whom went to Palestine, to join the struggle for the independence of Israel. The emigrating Jews were armed with Czech weapons given to them by the Soviets. Bernard Lewis (Semites and Anti-Semites. New York: W.W. Norton 1986) states that the Soviet Bloc was the only source of weapons used by the Jews during the decisive struggles in Palestine. In the Spring of 1947 Andrei Gromyko was the first to propose in the UN the establishing of the State of Israel. Decisive moves by the USSR in the UN on the recognition of the State of Israel were a part of the strategy to make Islamic owners of the Near East oil fields dependent on Soviet weapons and political support. Soviet aim was to blockade the supply of Arab oil to the United States and its allies as well as to generate fanatical hatred of the Muslim world against the West.

Crime during catastrophic events
One can endlessly cite criminal acts and moral failures inside Ghetto walls and outside of them. The courts of the Polish Home Army (AK) associated with the Polish Government-in-Exile in London condemned to death and executed traitors and criminals. All over the world cataclysms offer an opportunity for people to act on their worst instincts.

In the United States it is a standard procedure to call on the national guard to protect the population against widespread looting and crime during catastrophic events. No one in America considers such crimes to be a national disgrace. Anti-Polish propaganda practiced by Gross and others like him demands that the Polish Nation accept the behavior of individual criminals to be sins of all Poles.

The Holocaust Museums
Gross quotes Jzef Lipi ski, the famous professor of economics, who wrote Two homelands ("Dwie Ojczyzny") "anti-Polonism is as bad as anti-Semitism or as anti-Ukrainism," and then goes on to criticize Poland for not copying American museums of the Holocaust. These museums practice anti-Polonism and spread the myth about Polish complicity in the Holocaust. Large exhibits of the 1946 Pogrom of Kielce are shown as the Polish phase of the genocide of the Jews.

There is nothing in the Holocaust Museums on the German megalomaniac interpretation of the theory of evolution which says that life is a mortal struggle for the survival of the fittest. The Germanic race was supposed to be the fittest, as opposed to Semitic and Slavic races. Marx strengthened the confusion when he came up with his theory of history according to which the law of the jungle was justified in the political struggle between nations or social classes.

The Holocaust Museums do not show how Marx and Darwin provided fertile ground for the development of anti-Semitism which percolated in German society throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, as German racism and the ideals of German superiority gained ground. At the same time Wagner's operas were strengthening German megalomania, Nietzsche's dream of supermanhood pleased the Germans. While Bismarck's regime toned down anti-Semitism, it directed its hatred towards Polish Catholics. Bismarck marked the Poles for destruction in order to assure Germany's rule over Prussian territory (Werner Richter, Bismarck, New York: Putnam Press, 1964. p. 101). While Bismarck's anti-Catholic campaign was being conducted in parts of Poland occupied by Germany, mixed Christian-Jewish marriages were occurring quite often among the Germans. The children of those marriages were thaught to say that they were totally and unconditionally German. But anti-Semitism kept growing, sustained among other reasons by a resentful realization that Jews played a prominent role in German society.

Forcing of Jews to be executioners both in ghettos and death camps.
The Holocaust Museums should show how the racist sentiments were at the root of the opinion that German defeat in 1918 was due to Jews and how anti-Semitism became the rallying force for politicians and demagogues in the Weimar Republic. In this atmosphere, the descendants of mixed Jewish-German marriages leaned over backward to prove that their loyalties lay with Germany rather than with Jewry. Therefore when Hitler came to power, many members of such families volunteered for the job of solving the Jewish question. Among such people were von Heydrich, Globocnik, Eichman, Knochenn, Dannecker and many others. These people represented a "pathological Jewish self-hatred," to use the words of a Jewish historian Gerald Reitlinger (SS-Alibi of a Nation 1922-1945, Engelwood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1951 & 1981). In particular, Reitlinger points out that when SS General Reinhard von Heydrich became responsible for the program of extermination of the Jews, he arranged it so that the Jews themselves were forced to be executioners of Jews both in ghettos and death camps.

As a result an average Jewish policeman in the Warsaw Ghetto dispatched over 2,200 persons to the gas chambers of Treblinka. At the Umschlagplatz in Warsaw, where Jews were loaded into trains going to Treblinka, Jewish policemen offered food in the railway carriages to entice hungry inhabitants of the ghetto to enter. The most horrible dimension of the Jewish tragedy in World War II was that German planners made the Jews themselves execute the Jewish genocide. The abominable activities of the extortionists (szmalcowniki), or gentiles who collaborated with the Nazis as "racial Germans" (the volksdeutsche) or other collaborators, were of marginal importance in the genocide of Polish Jews. The real destruction was done with active participation of Jewish Councils and Jewish Police. This aspect of the Jewish tragedy has been carefully hidden in the US Holocaust Museum, which instead prominently features such "Polish" elements as the Kielce pogrom.

Reconciliation versus tradition
Traditional Jewish animosity toward the Poles developed during the partitions of Poland. It was much more common than Jewish hatred of the Germans. This was mentioned by Polish Catholic writer Zofia Kossak-Szczucka during the Holocaust when she was appealing for sacrifices of Polish gentiles for the cause of saving Jews within the egota program financed by Polish Government-in-Exile in London.

Today the Jewish attitude toward Poles manifests itself in the use of generalizations when dealing with accusations. Jewish students are often thaught that the Holocaust would not have taken place if the Poles did not want it. To teach about the Holocaust an animal farm rendition of the genocide of the Jews is used showing Jews as mice, Germans as cats, and Poles as swine (Maus by Art Spiegelman). Some of the colleges in America include this new version of the animal farm as an obligatory reading. If ever this cartoon rendition of the Holocaust is translated into Polish and published in Poland it will offend many who remember how the Nazis referred to the Poles as swine.

In the conclusion of his Ghastly Decade Gross equates Polish anti-Semitism with Hitlerism in Germany, Stalinism in Russia, and legally- sanctioned slavery and racism in the United States. These comparisons are highly unfair. Anti-Semitism never was legally sanctioned in free Poland. When Poland was a Soviet satellite the Warsaw regime carried out Moscow's orders whether in Kielce, or in 1968, or at any other time during the entire history of Peoples' Poland.

Gross writes: The Poles - because of the Holocaust - must study the history of the persecution of the Jews in Poland. Otherwise they will not be able to live in harmony with their own identity. The insinuation included in this statement is in contrast with what Simon Wiesenthal wrote in Krystyna, a Tragedy of Polish Resistance: "In the Polish history, the relations between Poles and Jews never were simple." On his eightieth birthday Wiesenthal said: I know what kind of role Jewish communists played in Poland after the war. And just as I, as a Jew, do not want to shoulder responsibility for the Jewish communists, I cannot blame 36 million Poles for those thousands of [wartime] extortionists (szmalcownicy) [common criminals].

The separatist Polish Jews described by Bashevis Singer are no more. Today Jews in Poland are a part of the Polish Nation and they should follow the conciliatory advice of Simon Wiesenthal

During the Second World War Poland was devastated and plundered by the Germans and the Soviets. Jewish possessions in Warsaw were devastated, together with the possessions of all inhabitants of the Polish capital. After the war the capital was rebuilt from ruins with great effort and sacrifice of the Polish people. So it was in other Polish towns. The Polish population was systematically robbed by the Germans and the Soviets. Essentially by the end of 1948 there was hardly a person in Poland, Jew or Gentile, whose property was not destroyed or taken over either by the Nazis or the Communists. All claims for restitution for damages incurred in the years 1939-1989 should be settled without regard of creed or ethnic origin.

Unfortunately, Gross, despite his scientific credentials, is practicing propaganda in the spirit of the statements made by the Secretary General of the Jewish World Congress quoted at the beginning of this text. Gross's propaganda helps those who make demands for ransom to be paid by the Polish Government to compensate for crimes perpetrated in Poland by the Nazis, the Soviets, and by common criminals.

Jedwabne: The Politics of Apology and Contrition, Defamation. The Price of Poland's Heroism

Jedwabne: The Politics of Apology and Contrition, Defamation: The Price of Poland's Heroism
Presented at the Panel “Jedwabne – A Scientific Analysis”
Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America, Inc.
Annual Meeting, June 8, 2002

Georgetown University, Washington DC

A Historic Narrative

Today, as we are contemplating the tragedy of Jedwabne of sixty years ago, it is a bitter irony to see what has been called the "politics of apology and contrition" being used by post-communist leaders in an attempt to re-write the historical record. This irony is particularly cruel to my generation of Polish survivors of Nazi and Soviet terror.

It is entirely fitting and proper that Mr. Miller, the Prime Minister of Poland, remember with reverence the sufferings of Jewish people in Poland and elsewhere. It is not appropriate, however, to falsely implicate innocent nation for the crime of Jedwabne, and to exonerate German perpetrators, by convenient selective memory of the historical facts, and in process to obscure the crimes of the communist party.

The great heroic deeds of Poland of the 20th century benefited the entire world. Such was the derailing of Lenin's world revolution based on the Moscow- Berlin axis in 1920 as well as derailing of Hitler's strategy for domination of the entire world in 1939. Poland's heroism lived on in the wartime combat of Polish soldiers, airmen, and seamen, as well as Europe's largest resistance movement and the very existence of the Polish underground state under enemy occupation. Polish armed resistance continued during the postwar years of pacification by the Soviet terror apparatus.

After World War I the Poles declared their independence on Nov. 11, 1918. To keep their independence, the Poles had to win borderland wars. By far the most important was the Polish victory, led by Marshal Józef Pilsudski, over Lenin's Red Army in 1920. Lenin had attempted to overrun Poland and form a Moscow-Berlin alliance in order to stage a worldwide communist revolution. Germans resented their defeat in World War I; at the time millions of Germans were ready to accept a communist government in return for the re-annexation of western and northern Poland, once those lands would be occupied by the Soviets. The Polish victory deprived Lenin of a chance for a worldwide revolution. The Soviets then retaliated with terror and eventually murdered more Polish nationals than did the Germans, during the World War II, in 1939-1941. In the Spring of 1940 alone the NKVD executed 21,857 members of Polish leadership community. About four-fifths of all victims were betrayed to the NKVD by local leftists mostly of Jewish background.

In 1939 Poland again decisively shaped world's history, as Germany and Japan had signed the Anti-Comintern Pact in 1936 and Japan attacked the USSR in 1938. Hitler, in an advanced stage of Parkinson's disease, was in a hurry to start an anti-Soviet crusade to build his "1,000 year Reich" from Riga to the Black Sea and control world's main oil resources for his "war of the engines." Poland, a physical barrier between Germany and the USSR, was to become an impediment on Hitler's road to the domination of the world.

Hitler, warned by his generals that Germany had insufficient military manpower for his grandiose schemes, strived in 1935-1939 to have on his side Poland's potential 3,500,000 soldiers. The Berlin government felt that combining German and Polish forces in Europe with Japanese forces in Asia would bring a decisive victory over the USSR German control over the world's main oil fields was essential to secure Hitler world domination.

The Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Józef Beck, while following the strategic advice of the late Marshal Pilsudski, held both the Germans and the Soviets at bay as long as it was possible. The Polish refusal in January 1939 to join the Anti-Comintern Pact derailed Hitler's plans and caused him to lose his chance to join Japan in the attack on the USSR. Poland, Great Britain, and France exchanged common defense guarantees on March 31, 1939. Hitler signed Fall Weiss plan on April 11 and ordered the attack on Poland on September 1, 1939.

On July 25, 1939, Poland gave Great Britain and France each a copy of a linguistic deciphering electro-mechanical device for the German secret military code system Enigma, complete with specifications, perforated cards, and updating procedures. Thanks to the Polish solution for breaking the Enigma, the British project Ultra was able to interpret German secret messages during the entire war of 1939-1945. The invasion of Normandy would not have been possible without it. In 1999, the American code expert David A. Hatch of the Center of Cryptic History, NSA, Fort George G. Meade, Maryland wrote that "the breaking of the Enigma by Poland was one of the cornerstones of Allied victory over Germany."

As we all know, despite the crucial Polish contributions and sacrifices for the Allies' victory, Poland was betrayed by Roosevelt and Churchill first at Teheran and then at Yalta; it was handed over to become a Soviet satellite state, after a ruthless pacification by the communist terror apparatus which followed German mass executions.

The Tragedy of Jedwabne Explained by the Evidence of Two Graves and German Archives

Thus, on July 10, 1941 German executioners collected Jews of Jedwabne in the town square and drove them by physical violence to the site of their murder. First they shot some 50 Jews and then burned alive 250 others (not 1600 or 1800 as inaccurately reported in the American press on the basis of false information published by J. T. Gross who ignored Soviet and other sources as well as German archives in his book Neighbors).

The executioners of the Einsatztrupen enlisted help of several ethnic Germans (the "Volksdeutche" known as traitors and spies), and a group of primitive and illiterate criminals, both local and from out of town, as well as possibly a few "avengers." The latter must have believed that they and their relatives had suffered murderous persecution by Soviet security officers and deportation to the Gulag because of the betrayal by some of the Jews living in Jedwabne. German executioners forced an additional number of Poles, at gunpoint, with blows of rifle butts, and with threats, to help bring Jewish victims to the town square (the marketplace) ostensibly to clean the pavement.

According to eyewitnesses still living today, uniformed Germans committed this wartime atrocity. They forced some 300 Jews to march in a mock-funeral procession while carrying a concrete head of Lenin that had been removed from a monument.

The Germans of the Einsatzgrupen divided the marchers into two groups. The first group consisted of some 50 Jews, men strong enough to put up a fight. The second group was formed from the approximately 250 remaining Jews, mostly old people, women, and children.

While the second group was held back, the first group was directed into a 62.4 by 23 feet wooden barn. The keys to the barn were confiscated a day earlier by uniformed Germans, who removed agricultural machinery from it and prepared it for the execution of the Jews next day. (The daughter of the owner of the barn repeatedly testified about this facts, most recently on the CBS "60 minutes" on March 24, 2002.)

The 50 Jewish men were ordered to dig a large grave inside the barn, ostensibly for burying Lenin's concrete head. (J. T. Gross wants his readers to believe that the head of Lenin was buried in the Jewish cemetery.) As the diggers stood near the grave, the Germans shot them and then ordered several Poles to drag into the shallow grave the bodies of the Jews, some slain and some wounded but possibly still alive. Lenin's concrete head was placed on top of the victims in the grave #1. The German executioners then ordered the second, more defenseless, group into the barn, which moments later would be turned into a gigantic funeral pyre.

Stefan Boczkowski, Roman Chojnowski and five other eyewitnesses reported seeing the following: A small German military truck loaded with soldiers and gasoline canisters quickly pulled up to the barn crowded with Jews. Some of the soldiers jumped down from the truck, and those soldiers staying in the truck handed them the canisters, whose contents they poured on all outer walls of the barn. The flames engulfed the barn at once. Pyrotechnic analysis indicates that the Germans used approximately 100 gallons (over 400 liters) of gasoline to soak some 1000 square ft. of walls of the barn in order to engulf all of it with fire, burn it and in process suffocate the victims (by inhalation of the hot smoke). Later (reportedly the next day) the Germans ordered Poles at gunpoint to bury the partly burned bodies emanating a horrible odor. Remains of about 250 victims were buried in the grave #2 located along the barn (the high content of water in human bodies requires temperature of some 800 degrees Centigrade for more than thirty minutes in order to obtain a complete cremation).

At that time there was no gasoline available to the local population of Jedwabne (only a small amount of hydrocarbons in form of kerosene for lamps was available to the rural population). Such small amounts of kerosene (as mentioned by J. T. Gross) with its flashpoint of about 50 degrees Centigrade could not produce a sudden fire to engulf the entire barn at once.

In the 2001 investigation by the Polish government bodies of the victims of the July 10, 1941 massacre were found buried in the graves #1 and #2. Thorough search and drilling some 170 test cores in the vicinity found no other graves of the 1941 massacre of the Jews in Jedwabne; however, at the request of an Orthodox Rabbi who objected, rigorous forensic studies and full exhumation of all victims and the determination by autopsy of causes of death of every one of them was prematurely terminated. Thus, only an approximate number of victims could be estimated by the size of the two graves. Unfortunately these unanswered questions inevitably discredit the veracity of the final report of the official investigation by the Polish government's agency, the Institute of National Memory (IPN).

The veracity of Grosses book and the film Neighbors is further compromised by a baseless, non-corroborated claim that a cut off head of a Jewish female was kicked around in Jedwabne. Jerzy Robert Nowak, the author of the book 100 Lies By Gross (published in Poland) claims that after its publication he determined additional factual errors in Neighbors.

"The book of Prof. Gross can not be considered as a serious scholarly work: it is rather a tendentious propagandistic pamphlet. He jumps to farfetched conclusions before examining the existing evidence." wrote to the New York Times M. K. Dziewanowski, Professor of History, author of: History of Soviet Russia, 5th edition, Prentice Hall, 1996.

As Alexander B. Rossino, historian at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. writes in an article to be printed in Polin, Volume 16, 2003:

"The evidence collected by the West Germans, including the positive identification of [Hauptsturmfuehrer Herman] Schaper by witnesses from Lomza, Tykocin, and Radzilów, suggested that it was indeed Schaper's men who carried out the killings in those locations. Investigators also suspected, based on the similarity of the methods used to destroy the Jewish communities of Radzilów, Tykocin, Rutki, Zambrów, Jedwabne, Piatnica, and Wizna between July and September 1941 that Schaper's men were the perpetrators... The method used to kill the Jews of Jedwabne was exactly the same that had been employed by the Gestapo [Einsatsgrupen] to kill the Jews of Radzilow only three days earlier."

During the initial investigation of 1964, German investigator Opitz in Ludwigsburg, Germany, concluded that Hauptsturmfuerer Hermann Schaper's Einsatskommando conducted the mass execution of Jews in Jedwabne. Nonetheless, Schaper gave conflicting answers to his interrogators. First, he lied that in 1941 he had been a truck driver and he used false names. Later he claimed to have been an administrative officer, and another time a hunter of double agents, when the Gestapo was busy finding and killing communist commissars and Jews.

Court documents at Ludwigsburg archives show that the chief of the German civilian administration in the Nazi occupied Lomza district, Count van der Groeben testified that Schaper conducted mass executions of Jews in his district, which included the town of Jedwabne. That notwithstanding, legal proceedings against Schaper were terminated Sept. 2, 1965 despite positive identification of the defendant by Jewish survivors of the execution in Radzilow and Tykocin.

In 1974 Schaper's case was reopened and in 1976 a German court in Giesen, Hessen, pronounced the then 68 year old Schaper guilty, together with four other members of the kommando SS Zichenau-Schroettersburg, of executions of Poles and Jews. Schaper was sentenced to a six-year prison, but was soon released for medical reasons. (The facts of Schaper's dossier are quoted from article by Thomas Urban, reporter of the Suddeutsche Zeitung; Polish text in Rzeczpospolita, Sept 1-2, 2001.)

To make any legal sense now in 2002 the Polish Government should have demanded either the extradition or deposition under oath of Schaper by a German court and not an interview which has no legal meaning and can not give legally binding information. However, the Polish government's agency IPN gave the press a report that "Hauptsturmfuehrer Hermann Schaper confirmed known facts."

An Evil Empire and the "Politics of Apology and Contrition"

President Reagan was right: Soviet Union was "an evil empire," with its communist party that ruled, among other places in the Soviet sphere of influence, Poland with an iron fist for half a century. Now, with a shiny new name of "the Leftist Democratic Union (SLD)," new apologists for the old communist past are starting to act like new emperors, blaming the nation for the crimes of their communist predecessors of the former evil empire. Let me proclaim: these new emperors have no clothes!

You see, Mr. Miller, like the current president of Poland, Mr. Kwasniewski, has an ax to grind. They are both former high officials of the communist party. Yes, this was the party of the same communists whose NKVD security forces, the mainstay of the Soviet terror apparatus, staged the Kielce pogrom in 1946.

At that time Ostap Dluski, the head of the department of foreign affairs of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (PPR), wrote on September 25, 1946 a personal letter to Stanislaw Skrzeszewski, the Polish communist ambassador in Paris, ordering him to carefully plan, organize, and finance with state funds a defamation campaign for the purpose of generating in France a wide- spread condemnation of the "Polish perpetrators" of the Kielce pogrom.

On one hand the NKVD was staging pogroms in all satellite states in order to drive out of East-Central some 700,000 Jews. Those that would arrive to Palestine were to abolish the British mandate there and to foment Jewish-Arab wars in order to interfere with the flow of oil to the west. On the other hand the communist propaganda used the accusation of Polish anti-Semitism to "justify" the need for a protracted stay of the Red Army in Poland long after the war was over. Similarly, the present Polish president and the prime minister distribute internationally the propaganda of the responsibility of the Polish nation for the crime of Jedwabne to obscure communist crimes in Poland.

Mr. Miller and Mr. Kwasniewski are apologists for, the same communists who persecuted Jews in Poland in 1968 under the orders of Jiri Andropov then the head of the Soviet terror apparatus. They are the same communists who oppressed the Polish people for half a century. And they managed to extend their dominance even today.

So what is an ambitious post-communist to do about such an evil and embarrassing past? Why not blame these crimes not on the communist leaders who carried them out, but on the people subjugated by those leaders. That appears to be the strategy embodied by the "politics of apology and contrition," as practiced in Poland today. One of the latest manifestations of this was on January 10, 2002, when Mr. Miller spoke to the conference of presidents of major Jewish organizations in New York. He betrayed the Polish citizens whom he is supposed to represent by apologizing on the international scene in the name of the Polish nation for crimes committed by the communists and the Nazis.

Mr. Miller and Mr. Kwasniewski are trying to establish that the Polish people were the exterminators of Jews in Poland, while first the Nazis and then the Soviet-installed communist leadership stood around as innocent and helpless bystanders. It is a bizarre behavior for a president and a prime minister of Poland to insist and broadcast to the world that the Polish nation, when under the brutal subjugation of the Nazis, is responsible for the killing of a community of Jews in Jedwabne.

Mr. Kwasniewski, as the current president of Poland, issued his apology during the inquiry into the crime of Jedwabne by an agency of the Polish department of justice thereby violating the independence of the judiciary. For domestic consumption he worded his apology as his personal and in the name of those who want to apologize. However, people throughout the world understood that the president of Poland accepted the full responsibility of the Polish nation for the crime in Jedwabne with all the consequences of the international law.

In order to strengthen the international propaganda effect of the presidential apology the followers of the post-communist leadership now make public acts of contrition and confess publicly to their personal feeling of guilt and remorse and say that they feel permanently tainted by the allegedly Polish crime of Jedwabne, in spite of the fact that because of their age they could not have had any experience of the terror in wartime Poland. These acts of fake contrition contribute to disorientation in America, where people often believe that Poland fought on the side of Hitler; especially, after they participated in the obligatory Holocaust Studies, in which the role of the Jewish Ghetto Police and Administration serving Gestapo is omitted.

The Nazis, according J. T. Gross, unsuccessfully tried to save some of the Jewish victims in Jedwabne, but he insists, that the locals would not let them. Blaming the Polish people for both Nazi-and Soviet-era atrocities against Jews attempts to complete the picture of a hopelessly evil Polish populace - picture that is a familiar sight on American television and in the movies, in which Poles and Poland have had the worst image of all central European nationalities. This also is a picture that is grotesque in its wickedness, transparent in its self-serving post-communist motive, and it is a falsehood in contradiction to the facts that cannot stand against the historical test of time.

Unfortunately the dominant liberal and post-communist press in Poland frequently falsely reported and distorted many known facts. This widespread phenomenon resulted in an addition to the Polish vocabulary of a new word "przeklamanie" meaning "media lies."

In Jedwabne the local reaction to the current investigation of the crime is full of distrust. It is said that when the investigators dug up the first three skulls, they found in each of them a bullet hole. Apparently about at that point the investigators stopped the exhumation under the pretext that two Rabbis objected to further disturbance of the remains. Now it appears to many people in Jedwabne that bullet holes in these skulls were not what investigators were looking for. The decision to stop the exhumation and forensic studies disqualifies the entire investigation of this horrible crime. "The truth is, to be sure, sometimes hard to grasp, but it is never so illusive as when it is not wanted" (as remarked by Herman H. Dinsmore, All the News That Fits, Arlington House, 1969).

At the present time practically all the forensic evidence remains buried. Under these circumstances the only remedy is to complete the forensic exhumation of the two graves and the surrounding area in order to properly document the murders of Jedwabne as Dr. Moor-Jankowski explained in the preceding presentation.

The Pogrom of Kielce

On 4th of July of 2006 the catholic people of Kielce in central Poland were again intimidated by the alliance of Jews, liberals and postcommunist. They were humiliated because of the unvailling of a monument which falsely accused their ancestors of having acted as an “infuriated mob” and commited hideous crimes on the same day sixty years on some 40 Jewish victims. Ten years ago on the same day on the 50th anniversary of the “pogrom of Kielce,” the town had to listen in presence of a postcommunistr prime minister Cimoszewicz, to verbal abuse by Elie Wisely, the resident clown of the Holocaust Industry, as Norman Finkelstein appropriately nicknamed him.

Now another supporter of the Holocaust Industry, named Jan Tomasz Gross , published a book “Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz” (Random House), which is a part of the offensive by the Jewish World Congress to make Poland pay 65 billion dollars in damages to the Jews through JWC. The tactics of JWC were stated by Izrael Singer in Buenos Aires in Argentina on April 19, 1996 according to Reuter (14.50.17 PDT). Thus according to a false mitolgy the Poles are accused of being partners of German Nazis in the killing of Jews.

Gross, the Polish-born American academic who’s books were never reviewed by the scientific community became successful when he joined the Hocaust Industry and made the Jedwabne massacre a notoriety in Poland and abroad with his book earlier book “Neighbors.” He then recycled a Nazi propaganda scheme and now he recycled a Soviet scheme designed to justify Soviet postwar pacification of Poland in the book “Fear.”
In both his books, Gross, more a sociologist than historian, attributes guilt for the crime not only to the perpetrators, but the Polish nation generally. Gross falsely claims that "it was widespread collusion in the Nazi-driven plunder, spoliation, and eventual murder of the Jews that generated Polish anti-Semitism after the war."

Gross claims that Poles feared the return of Jews from Nazi camps, hiding or exile, and wanted to eliminate them because they had witnessed “Polish betrayal of Jews” and could expose the "pure, unregenerate evil" that according to Gross separates the Poloes from civilization. The Jewis reviewers then exhort Poland to face up to its history and come to terms with its past and pay $65 billion damages to Jews. Gross offers little historical data to support his theory on the source of postwar anti-Semitism in Poland. Gross ignores a recent scholarly work on the same subject, “After the Holocaust: Polish-Jewish Conflict in the Wake of World War II,” by Marek Jan Chodakiewicz (East European Monographs, 2003). Gross neglected to mention Poland's dire state in 1946. The brutal Soviet pacification of Poland at a cost of 25,000 to 50,000 lives and deportation in excess of 100,000, while at thet time the Jewish losses are estimated at 800 to 1500, some victims of common criminals and some killed as Soviet collaborators.

Some Jewish reviewers of “Fear” assert that simply observing the genocide of the Jews made one guilty of "passive complicity." Wartime destruction of the Polish nation is not mentioned by Gross.

In Reality “Pogrom of Kielce” of 4th of July, 1946 was one of some 16 pogroms staged by the NKVD in the satellite states in 1945-47 as a result of Stalin’s decision do use Zionists in establishing the state of Israel after the Second World War, which would serve as a “bone of contention in the oil rich Middle East. Thanks to the Soviet support for the Zionists 711,000 Jews crossed the Iron Courting, in 1945-1947 supposedly in order to emigrate to Palestine. Given a chance ,vast majority of Jews preferred to go to the United States or stay in France, and only 232,000 Jewish refugees actually arrived to Palestine to be armed by the Soviets with Czech weapons for the conquest of Arab land. Zionists alone organized pogroms in the Arab states and caused exit of 547,000 Jews from Bagdad, Damscus, etc. in 1950-1951. In sum some 1,250,000 Jews were brutally chased from coutries of their residence in Soviet satellite states and from Arab countries. Some 779,000 Jews actually arrived in Palestine.
In actual well-documented fact, Polish gentiles helped Jewish people in Poland extensively during World War II. This assistance included the hiding of tens of thousands of Jewish people in the homes of Polish gentiles, which put the gentiles' entire families at risk of death. Several thousand Polish Christians, including men, women, and children, were burned alive or otherwise summarily executed for the crime of hiding or assisting Jews. In no other country during the war were people subjected to death in this way for providing assistance to Jewish people. Three million Polish Christian deaths during the occupation constitute a part of the Polish aspect of the Holocaust.
An exhibit in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., falsely presents events that occurred in Kielce, Poland, in 1946 as part of the Holocaust. It refers to the clearly Soviet-staged violence in Kielce as a "Polish pogrom." To many visitors of the Holocaust Museum, the exhibit by its very inclusion seems to suggest that after the end of World War II, a liberated Polish populace chose to continue Hitler’s work of exterminating Jewish people. The suggestions of a Polish-led extension of the Holocaust are patently false. The Kielce Pogrom had nothing to do with the Nazi German-engineered Holocaust. It had everything to do with the Soviet-engineered strangulation of the Polish nation.
Like all effective myths, those related to World War II have some elements of truth underlying them. In conjunction with the construction of these myths, though, actual facts and events have been distorted or misrepresented, and certainly the contexts within which they occurred have been falsely stated. Sadly, the distortions, misrepresentations and falsehoods are sometimes purposely and systematically advanced by those who feel a need to humiliate the Polish nation and members of the Polish ethnic group from around the world. On the flip side of the coin bearing the image of anti-Semitism is the image of anti-Polonism. The coin of anti-Semitism cannot be melted down and destroyed without also melting down and destroying anti-Polonism.
I will state up front that I have a vested interest in the truth about World War II and its aftermath being clearly illuminated. I am a veteran of 64 months of imprisonment in Gestapo prisons, concentration camps, and death marches. My own ordeal, and the suffering and death of many of my Polish and Jewish friends and prison-mates, not to mention the sacrifices made by the young men who fought and died as soldiers, will have been rendered meaningless if the hatred of Jewish people by the Nazi leadership is simply replaced by hatred of Polish people by Jewish people, or vice versa. Those who even today perpetuate myths and misconceptions about animosities associated with World War II and its aftermath are not merely bearing false witness—they are willing accomplices to the spirit of hatred of World War II.
I have seen, first hand, the disgusting, murderous results of ethnic hatred. I have devoted the latter part of my life to writing about the long-term coexistence of Polish Jews and gentiles within Poland, and am committed to trying to help diffuse animosities stemming from World War II. In this spirit of friendship and respect, I wrote and had published earlier this decade a documentary history entitled Jews in Poland: The Rise of Jews as a Nation From Congressus Judaicus in Poland to the Knesset in Israel. If World War II presented any lessons to the people of the world, it showed what can eventually happen if ethnic animosities are allowed to fester and grow.
I will take the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Kielce Pogrom to discuss this event in detail and use it as a basis for discussion of the larger geopolitical situation. This study deals primarily with the results of Soviet-institutionalized hatred and the Soviet crime of provoking situations purposely designed to sour Polish-Jewish relations and was used make Poland a Soviet satellite state.
For this study, the book Poland: Communism, Nationalism, Anti-Semitism by Michael Checinski (New York: Karz-Cohl Publishing, 1982) is an important source of information for the Cold War period. I will use Checinski's book as a resource to help illuminate the events and situations in the aftermath of World War II that relate to Polish-Jewish relations. Checinski's book details the relations between Poles and Jews in the postwar "People's" Republic of Poland and the damage done to these relations under the conditions created by the Soviets. Checinski was an insider of the Soviet-controlled terror apparatus. As a Jew who survived the Łódź Ghetto, Checinski (Chciński) was naturally very sensitive to Soviet policies which fomented and used anti-Semitic excesses in the satellite empire to serve Soviet purposes of the time. Checinski's book shows Soviet methods used to bring the destruction of law and morality to Poland and other satellite states. I also draw heavily on material from a book by Krystyna Kersten, Polacy Żydzi-komunizm: anatomia półprawd 1939–68 [Poles, Jews, Communism: The Anatomy of Half-Truths 1939–68] (Warszawa: Niezależna Oficyna Wydawnicza, 1992) and also from Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach 4 lipca 1946 [Pogrom of Jews in Kielce, July 4, 1946] by Bożena Szaynok, (Warszawa: Bellona, 1992). Along the way, I will include some necessary background information relating to World War II.
The Kielce Pogrom in a Nutshell
A "pogrom", a Russian word that translates to "devastation," is defined as "an organized massacre, especially of Jews in Russia, such as 1881, 1903, and 1905." (The New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language, 1989.) Anti-Jewish violence in Russia was usually started with a false accusation that a ritual murder had been perpetrated on Christian children by local Jews. Violence directed against the Jews that occurred on July 4, 1946, in the town of Kielce, referred to as the Kielce Pogrom, is aptly named for several reasons. For one, it was indeed organized. And as it will be explained in detail, it was organized by the Soviet-controlled terror apparatus in Poland, a captured country which was under Soviet occupation at the time. This pogrom, although not on Russian soil, was arranged by a totalitarian leadership centered in Russia and it was started with the same technique of planting a false accusation that a ritual murder had been perpetrated on Christian children. And as even the common dictionary definition shows, this is not the first time Russians have instigated this type of activity.
In the Kielce Pogrom, an uprising occurred over the span of eight hours that resulted first in the death of 41 Polish citizens: 39 Jews, and two gentiles and then I ashow trial and execution of nine Poles, who were not present at the site of the pobrom. It was a horrible crime, and regrettably, there was some complicity among a very small number of gentile Poles in this inexcusable violence. Some of these Polish criminals, as will be pointed out, were tried and convicted for their crimes. The reports, however, of the involvement of a mob of 15,000 cheering Polish citizens are completely untrue. Also, the idea that the uprising was of a spontaneous nature is also untrue. As it will be shown in this study, this event was carefully provoked and staged by the Soviet occupiers at that time. This event was staged to achieve specific political purposes dictated by Moscow's global strategy including Europe and the Middle East.
The Soviet-Nazi Partnership
Why would Soviets want to stage an uprising that would embarrass Poland? After all, didn't both Poland and the Soviets fight alongside of Britain and the other allies in World War II? Didn't Hitler's German army invade both Poland and the Soviet Union, and isn't "the enemy of my enemy my friend?"
There is general public awareness that the United States and the Soviet Union were World War II partners in the Allied fight against Nazi Germany. Many fewer, however, are aware of the nearly two-year Nazi-Soviet partnership embodied in the German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty, which was signed on September 28, 1939. It divided all of Poland between Germany and the Soviet Union and contained secret provisions for the mutual extermination of potential Polish opponents of both Germany and the USSR. Both Germany and the USSR agreed to control their respective parts of Poland. This meant taking all necessary measures to contain and prevent the emergence of any potential Polish actions toward either Germany or the USSR, and then communicating with each other on the progress made toward the goals of the treaty. The treaty lasted until Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. Soviet hostility toward Poland and the desire of the USSR to control as much Polish territory as it could continued beyond the German invasion of Poland.
The Soviets implemented their part of the German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty by executing 21,857 members of the Polish leadership community including a number of Jewish people. Katyn contained the graves of 4,443 such men and became a symbol of the mass execution of members of the upper echelon of Polish society in the Spring of 1940. At the same time Nazi Germany ran a parallel operation with the code name Aktion AB (Außerordentliche Befriedungsaktion, which translates to “extraordinary pacification”), culminating in the execution of about 20,000 Polish professionals.
Because of the German-Soviet Treaty to divide Poland among themselves, the Eastern half of Poland was under Soviet, not German, rule from September, 1939 to mid-1941. During that time, there were many Jewish people who collaborated with the Soviet terror apparatus against the conquered Polish state. Among the many eyewitnesses to those events is the famed Polish courier Jan Karski, who was made an honorary citizen of Israel for his efforts to warn an unresponsive West about the fate of Poland and Polish Jewry. In February 1940, Karski reported: "Jews are denouncing Poles to the secret police and are directing the work of the communist militia from behind the scenes... Unfortunately, one must say that these incidents are very frequent." (Report to the Polish Government-in-Exile in London.)
Hundreds of published accounts, including Jewish ones, confirm that Jews were involved in the roundups of Polish soldiers and officials (e.g., at Rożyszcze, Kowel, and Brześć), the jailing and executions of Poles (e.g., at Lwów, Tarnopol and Czortków), and in policing the deportation of Poles, by cattle car, to the Gulag (e.g., from Gwoździec and Jedwabne). By the time the Germans attacked their erstwhile Soviet ally in mid-1941, over one million Poles had been deported to distant and probable death from towns like Brańsk. All of this occurred before the Jewish Holocaust got underway. Naturally, these events had a significant impact on Polish attitudes, though that was not the only factor influencing them. Conditions in Brańsk under Soviet occupation were detailed in a recent study by Zbigniew Romaniuk, titled "21 miesięy władzy sowieckiej w Brańsku", in Ziemia Brańka, volume 6 (1995)—it does not make pleasant reading.
German Occupation of Poland and Control of Jews

By mid-1941, Nazi Germany gained control of all of Poland and the Nazis continued the establishment of Jewish ghettos that they had started in 1939. German Nazis formed the Jewish ghettos by evicting hundreds of thousands of gentiles from their homes and then crowding many more Jewish families there than the space could reasonably accommodate. There were no Jewish ghettos in Poland before Germany started creating them in 1939. It is ironic that some people not well acquainted with the history of the ghettos have mistakenly thought that the ghettos were formed by a bigoted Polish population who spitefully wanted to segregate the Jewish population to selected areas. Instead, the real truth is that Polish people were unwillingly removed from their homes by the German Nazis to form the ghettos, and then the Polish people illegally aided the Jews by bringing them substantial amounts of food and other supplies.
The Polish Armed Resistance reported that 500,000 Jews were crowded into the Warsaw Ghetto: 600 people per acre. Hunger, and unspeakably poor hygienic and sanitary conditions resulted in the spreading of tuberculosis and other contagious diseases. The Polish Underground reported: "The isolated ghetto is restricted to internal trade, consisting of people's private property, clothing, and household goods which are sold at low prices for extremely expensive food.... There is no heating fuel in the ghetto.... The health and sanitary conditions are beyond description—there is a monstrous hunger and poverty.... Overcrowded streets are full of aimless, pale, and starving people.... People die in the streets.... An orphanage is being overcrowded with daily arrivals of newborn babies.... The plunder of once-affluent Jews well as the treatment of Jews in an exceptionally brutal manner..."
Each ghetto had its own Jewish Council (Judenrat) which oversaw day-to-day affairs and a Jewish police force which carried out German-Nazi orders to supply laborers and, as pointed out by Jewish historians such as Isaiah Trunk and Hannah Arendt, to round up Jews for deportation to death camps. Thus, relatively few German soldiers were needed for such "Aktions," or official actions by the German government against the Jewish people. Nor did their success involve any type of cooperation from Polish gentiles. Because the system set up by the German Nazis did not rely on Polish police, even the opportunity for the Polish police to aid the roundup of the Jews was marginal or non-existent, as pointed out by Raul Hilberg, the foremost Holocaust historian, in his important work, Perpetrators, Victims, Bystanders: The Jewish Catastrophe 1933-1945 (New York: Aaron Asher/Harper Collins, 1992). Conditions in the Brańsk ghetto have been described in Isaiah Trunk's Judenrat: The Jewish Councils in Eastern Europe Under Nazi Occupation (New York: Macmillan, 1972), pp. 380, 502; in Brainsk: Book of Memories (New York: Shoulson Press, 1948); and in a recent study by Zbigniew Romaniuk, titled "Brask i okolice w latach 1939–1953: reminiscencje zdarzń", in Ziemia Brańka, volume 6 (1995), pp. 3-32. Brańsk also had its corrupt Judenrat and ghetto police, and the liquidation of the ghetto was carried out by German SS divisions and non-Polish auxiliaries (Ukrainians and Lithuanians). A death penalty was imposed on any Pole who dared to assist a Jew (though many did in fact do so notwithstanding.)
Polish gentiles certainly were not the masterminds who formed the ghettos nor collaborators with the Germans in the brutal treatment of the Jews. To the contrary, Polish gentiles sabotaged German plans for the starvation of ghetto inmates. The Polish gentiles made illegal deliveries of food to the ghettos— including about 25 tons of flour per day in Warsaw alone. Many Poles were shot by the German soldiers for making such deliveries. When the daily food ration in Warsaw fell to 184 calories for a Jew, 669 for a Polish gentile, and 2,613 for a German, 80 percent of the food consumed in the ghetto was smuggled in by Polish gentiles. The supply of raw materials into the ghetto was forty times greater than that officially permitted, according to the records of the Jewish Council of the Warsaw Ghetto. (Pogonowski, Jews in Poland, pp. 106–107.)
After Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union and especially after the defeat at Moscow, Hitler verbally ordered the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question," namely the extermination of eleven million European Jews. To work out and communicate the details of implementing the "Final Solution," the Wannsee Conference was held in Berlin on January 20, 1942. At the conference the Polish leadership community was replaced by Jews as the main target of the Nazi extermination. Then, the leaders of the German civil service established the specific means by which the genocide was to be conducted. As a direct result of the conference, the Nazi government announced an invitation for bids from German industry to purchase equipment for an industrial process to exterminate eleven million European Jews. According to plans developed at the conference, terrorized Jewish personnel were to be used in the extermination process. Also, the plans further directed that the extermination camps were to be isolated from the Polish population for maximum secrecy. For this reason, the camp guards were recruited from Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine. Despite German terror and German attempts to keep Poles in the dark about the Germans' actions, radio broadcasts made by the Polish resistance regularly informed the West of German atrocities in Poland. (Pogonowski, Jews in Poland, pp. 110, 119, 120, 121, 124, 125).
Massive deportations from the Warsaw ghetto in the Summer of 1942 (to the Treblinka death camp) were not carried out with the assistance of any Polish agency. Indeed, in German-occupied Poland, there was not even a vestige of a Polish government at that time. Instead, the deportations were organized by the Jewish police in coordination with the Judenrat and the occupying German forces. Horrifying descriptions of this Aktion are found in the diaries of Emanuel Ringelblum, the chronicler of the Warsaw ghetto, and elsewhere. These sad events are only a part, but a significant part, of the eventual roundup and execution by the Germans of a large proportion of Poland's Jews in what later came to be referred to as the Holocaust.
On April 19, 1943, a Jewish uprising began in the Warsaw Ghetto as Germans started the final liquidation of the Jews there. The massacre ended on May 8, 1943. Professor Marian Fuks later wrote: "It is absolutely certain fact that without help and even active participation of the Polish resistance movement it would have not been possible at all to bring about the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto." (Biuletyn Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego w Polsce/Bulletin of the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland, January-March 1989, p. 44.) Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the revolt, shares this view: "We didn't get adequate help from the Poles, but without their help we couldn't have started the uprising.... You have to remember that the Poles themselves were short of arms. The guilty party is Nazism, fascism—not the Poles." (The Canadian Jewish News, November 9, 1989.)
It should go without saying that the German-Nazi occupation and brutal control of Poland was not welcomed by the Polish people. Unfortunately, neither could the Polish people find solace in the eventual Soviet re-entry into Poland and their consequent program of brutal control. Upon Soviet re-entry into Poland in 1944, the Soviet terror apparatus was systematically liquidating the remnants of the Polish Home Army and any perceived Polish opponents of a Soviet takeover and control of Poland. It is an undeniable fact that many Jews, usually communist functionaries, were collaborating with the Soviets in denouncing, jailing, and executing Poles. (See for example, Wanda Lisowska's 1946 account on conditions in Ejszyszki, another town in Eastern Poland featured in Shtetl, found in Zeszyty Historyczne, no. 36 (1976), and reproduced at page 29 of this book.)1 Poles suspected of having either collaborated with the Germans or of being anti-Semitic could be, and were, executed with impunity. For example, in Drohiczyn, not far from Brańsk, nine Polish gentiles were murdered by local Jews because they were falsely suspected of killing a Jew, a crime in fact perpetrated by the Soviets [Archiwum Polski Podziemnej: Dokumenty i materiay, 1939–1956 (Warszawa, April 1994), volume 2, p. 80.]
Tens of thousands of Polish gentiles were executed in repressions that affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent Polish gentiles. The foregoing are not invented facts: both Simon Wiesenthal (see below) and Stanisław Krajewski, vice-chairperson of the Polish Council of Christians and Jews, among others, have publicly admitted their shame on this account. Under these types of wartime circumstances, where Jews were successfully encouraged to betray Polish gentiles to the Soviet authorities, animosities toward Jews in the general population were not a matter of anti-Semitism, but simply a matter of survival. Active Jewish collaboration and popular support for Soviet forces invading Poland occurred from the beginning of the War. In the book Poles, Jews, Socialists: The Failure of an Ideal, edited by Antony Polonsky et al. (London: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1996)—Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, volume 9, Dov Levin writes: "The Red Army entered Vilna [Wilno, Poland] early on the morning of Tuesday, 19 September 1939, to an enthusiastic welcome by Vilna's Jewish residents, in sharp contrast to the Polish population's reserve and even hostility. Particular ardor was displayed by leftist groups and their youthful members, who converged on the Red Army tank columns bearing sincere greetings and flowers."
Despite these enormous obstacles, and the fact that Polish gentiles also were undergoing their own Holocaust which consumed several million victims, hundreds of thousands of Polish Christians risked their lives to help Jews. In Warsaw alone, before the uprising of 1944 which resulted in its total destruction, some 15,000 Jews were being sheltered. Emanuel Ringelblum estimated that as many as 60,000 out of the city's 900,000 Christian residents were involved in the rescue efforts. Assistance has been documented at more than 600 Catholic churches, monasteries, convents, and church-run orphanages throughout Poland. Poles form the largest group recognized by Yad Vashem as "Righteous Gentiles," as many as 40 percent of all those recognized. Yad Vashem is an official Israeli institution devoted to honoring those who saved Jews from the Holocaust.
Just as there were some Jewish collaborators during World War II, small numbers of Polish gentiles also collaborated with the Germans. There is no justification or excuse for their actions, and neither was this conduct condoned or tolerated. With the active support of Polish public opinion, the Polish Underground passed and carried out many death sentences against anyone found collaborating with the Nazis. It is regrettably true that collaborators, whether with the Nazis or the Soviets, whether Polish Christians or Jews, were an effective force to contend with. But at the same time, they were tiny, marginal and unrepresentative groups in their respective communities.
Simon Wiesenthal has advocated the following wise and balanced assessment of that tragic period which consumed millions of Jewish and Polish lives: "Then the war came. It is at times like these that the lower elements in society surface—the blackmailers who would betray Jews... On the other hand, the 30,000 or 40,000 Jews who survived, survived thanks to the help of the Poles. This I know." During the five years of German occupation many of the efforts to shelter Jews ended tragically for the Jewish victims and their Christian friends. Most instances of sporadic assistance are seldom remembered and taken into account.
What do the leading Holocaust historians have to say about alleged Polish complicity in the Holocaust? Yisrael Gutman, director of research at the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem and editor in chief of The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (1990), has stated authoritatively: "All accusations against the Poles that they were responsible for the 'Final Solution' are not even worth mentioning. Secondly, there is no validity at all in the contention that Polish attitudes were the reason for the siting of the death camps in Poland." And again: "I want to be unequivocal about this. When it is said that Poles supposedly took part in the extermination of the Jews on the side of the Germans, that is not true. It has no foundation in fact. There was no such thing as Poles taking part in the extermination of the Jewish population." Professor Gutman stated that the percentage of Poles who collaborated with the Germans was "infinitesimally small." Richard Pipes, of Harvard University, wrote in the introduction to Pogonowski's book, Jews in Poland, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: "It must never be mistakenly believed that the Holocaust was perpetrated by the Poles. Nor must it be ignored that three million Poles perished at German hands." Szymon Datner, longtime director of Warsaw's Jewish Historical Institute, has been equally blunt: "Poles are not responsible for the crimes of the Holocaust."
Events Following World War II
Only Soviet-trained intelligence agents were trusted by the Soviet government among Polish prewar Communists. Among those "the Jews...were...considered less susceptible to the lures of Polish nationalism, to which even impeccable Polish communists were not thought immune." (Checinski, op. cit., p. 71.) During 1945, the Soviets recruited to the Office of State Security a very large number of Jews. Mostly Jews, including Holocaust survivors, were assigned to carry out the Soviet policy of de-Nazification in the former German territories which Poland was to annex on the basis of the Potsdam Agreement in compensation for her Eastern Provinces lost to the Soviet Union in 1939.
After the War, over 1,200 former Nazi camps were used to hold German nationals, 99 percent of whom were noncombatants. Under the guise of de-Nazification, members of the pro-Western Polish resistance and their families were processed together with the Germans. In a brief period of time between 60,000 and 80,000 people died in the de-Nazification camps. Starvation diets, typhoid fever, and mistreatment caused the high death rate. Torture was commonplace. Jewish officers of the UB (Urzad Bezpieczeństwa—Office of State Security), including those who themselves survived unimaginable suffering at German hands, were now used by the Soviets to inflict the same on others. Again, to quote Simon Wiesenthal, "I always say that I know what kind of role Jewish communists played in Poland after the war. And just as I, as a Jew, do not want to shoulder responsibility for the Jewish communists, I cannot blame 36 million Poles for those thousands of blackmailers."
Polish gentiles bore the brunt of the killing force unleashed by the Soviets while they established their totalitarian hold on Poland and the Polish people. Checinski cites a study based on party and security archives that estimates 80,000 to 200,000 Polish gentiles were killed by the Soviets during their takeover, while approximately 1,600 Jews were killed at the same time. (Checinski, op. cit., p. 64.)
John Sack, a former CBS News bureau chief in Spain and a journalist for 48 years, spent seven years doing research and conducting interviews in Poland, Germany, Israel, and the United States to document the story of Jewish actions taken directly after the end of World War II in response to the wartime atrocities. On November 21, 1993, the CBS program 60 Minutes presented an interview with Mr. Sack and footage of interviews with the survivors who testified to torture and killings in those camps. A Polish woman, Dr. Dorota Boreczek, former inmate of the Świętochowice camp, testified that she was arrested (at age 14) and tortured together with her mother. Her father, a member of the Polish Home Army, was executed. [See John Sack, An Eye For An Eye (New York: Basic Books/Harper Collins, 1993), pp. 163–165.]
The Sovietization of Poland

It is important to remember that the end of World War II did not mean the liberation of the Polish people or of Poland, in any sense of the word. After World War II, Poland did not have self-determination. Its government, police, and military were under the complete and absolute control of the Soviet Union. Poland was forcibly made to be a communist state that was not formally a part of the Soviet Union, but a "satellite state" that was tightly ruled as part of the Soviet empire. Several months before the July 1946 events took place in Kielce, Winston Churchill eloquently articulated the realities for the Soviet Union's satellite states. On March 5, 1946, Churchill made his famous "Sinews of Peace" speech in which he popularized the term "Iron Curtain" originally coined by a Yugoslav writer:
"From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in...the Soviet sphere.... I do not believe that...Russia desires war [but] the fruits of war and the indefinite expansion of their power and their doctrines.... There is nothing they admire so much as strength and there is nothing for which they have less respect than weakness, especially military weakness."
The Soviet strategists who were in control of Poland saw significant advantage in fostering an animosity between Jewish and gentile Poles. This animosity was used as a tool to aid in the subjugation of Poland early in its capture into the Soviet empire in 1944. After World War II, Soviet machinations in this regard succeeded in converting the image of Jewish victims of German-Nazi genocide into the image of Jewish oppressors. (Kersten, op. cit., p. 130.) This was purposely done to put the Polish gentile population between "a rock and a hard place." Polish gentiles were left with two options: either don't respond to the Soviet oppression, or respond to the Soviet oppression and thus appear to be anti-Semitic.
Although the image of Jews as oppressors was spread beyond Poland, this phenomenon was very noticeable in Poland, where there was a steady flow of news and often well-substantiated (if sometimes exaggerated) rumors of executions of anti-communist Poles by Jewish executioners serving in the Soviet-controlled terror apparatus. Kersten describes this unfortunate development when Soviet policies created the conditions that Jews played the main role in the subjugation of Poland and other satellite countries to the communist system. At the same time, the communist propaganda machine equated opposition to the "socialist" regimes with anti-Semitism. So, if a Polish person opposed the socialist Sovietization of Poland, that person was branded as an anti-Semite. This smoke screen was used successfully to obscure the reality of the Soviet subjugation of Poland by the Soviet Union.
The Soviet terror apparatus in Poland included the so-called Polish military counterintelligence. It was initially integrated with the Soviet Smersh (Death to Spies) organization directed against German spying and subversion. However, when the front crossed the prewar Polish territory, Smersh was used increasingly against the significant Polish resistance to Soviet domination. In November 1944, the Polish section of Smersh became renamed Informacja, in which many Jews like Col. Chęciński served for 10 years. Informacja remained under the close supervision of Smersh and was at first headed by Soviet Maj. Pyotr Kozhushko. Soviet officers assigned to the Polish army were considered vulnerable to Polish influence and were under close surveillance by a special Informacja department. Informacja was clearly a Soviet-led force, with Jewish officers disloyal to Poland.
At the time of the most intensive terror, between 1944 and 1955, Smersh used its Informacja branch to have agents pose as members of the military prosecutor's office. They used this apparatus to conduct political trials in military courts in Poland. Tortured witnesses were "prepared" for these trials and later were secretly executed "to remove any trace of the provocation." (Checinski, op. cit., p. 57.) In that period, of the 120 officers serving in Informacja, only about 18 were Polish-born. Most of these 18 were Polish Jews and the rest were Soviet citizens, many of them Jews.
The Soviets were creative in inventing their own opportunities to manufacture conflict between Polish Jews and gentiles. For example, it was Soviet policy in Poland to change Yiddish names of Jews into Slavic-Polish names. This practice was resented by both Jewish and gentile Poles. An American journalist, Samuel Loeb Shneiderman, who visited Warsaw in 1946, wrote in his book Between Fear and Hope (New York: Arco, 1947) that under the cover of Polish names Jews were continuing their ethnic identity and must have felt like their ancestors forced into conversion to Christianity during their persecution in Spain. (Kersten, op. cit., pp. 77, 108.) The name-changing became widespread. It served to deprive the Jews of their cultural heritage in order to form a "progressive Jewish nation," to use Stalin's expression.
Checinski describes how Stalin ordered the NKVD to prepare a civilian network of police terror and repression, called the UB, to work in parallel with the Informacja in Poland. The "Polish intelligentsia boycotted the security service, which was treated with universal contempt as an instrument of foreign domination." (Checinski, op. cit., p. 61.) Thus, the NKVD, despite its deep-rooted anti-Semitism, "could not do without Jews. Jewish officials were often placed in the most conspicuous posts; hence they could easily be blamed for all of the regime's crimes." (Checinski, op. cit., p. 62.) The Soviet strategy of using people with striking Semitic features as the most visible executioners of Soviet policy in Poland was also aimed at presenting understandable anti-communist feelings within Poland as anti-Semitism. In 1945, the upper echelons of the terror apparatus were staffed with Jews. Many Jews in Poland were members of the Soviet-controlled terror apparatus. A public proclamation, made at a convention of Jewish members of the ruling communist party (Polska Partia Robotnicza—PPR) on October 7–9, 1945, stated that in postwar Poland, conditions were created for the Jews to find an outlet for their political, social, and national ambitions. Needless to say, neither Poles nor Jews trusted this official statement. The Zionists openly advocated a massive emigration to Palestine (Kersten, op. cit., p. 80), which for the purpose of creating conflict in the Middle East was also desired by the Soviet leadership.

Soviet Aims in the Middle East
In Soviet Cold War policy, the Middle East was very important because of its vital oil reserves. It is well known that after World War II the Soviets systematically used to their advantage the desire of Jews to fight for the establishment of the state of Israel. Bernard Lewis of Columbia University (Semites and Anti-Semites, New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1986) as well as other Jewish historians state that, until the creation of the State of Israel, the only source of weapons for the Jews fighting for their independence was the Soviet Union and its Czechoslovak satellite. Early in 1996, Ezer Weizman, the President of Israel, officially thanked Prague for these weapons, while on a state visit to the Czech Republic. In 1946, the United States government was in possession of "a number of official and semi-official indications provided by the [Soviet-controlled] Warsaw government that it is encouraging the migration of [a major] part of its Jewish population." [George Lenczowski, The Middle East in World Affairs, Second Edition (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1956), p. 330.]
The Soviet postwar aim was to get rid of the British mandate in Palestine and play a more active role in the strategically vital Middle East while consolidating their grip on the newly acquired satellite empire. Toward this end the Soviets committed numerous acts of terror to pressure Jews to emigrate out of the satellite states to be able to join the struggle for Israel. However, once they were out of Soviet control, only about one third of Jewish emigrants were willing to go to Palestine. About two thirds preferred to remain in the West and go to the United States, France, or other Western countries. This high attrition rate from what the Soviets hoped would be a large Jewish exodus to the Middle East resulted in Soviet efforts to intensify Jewish emigration. They did it by staging pogroms in all of the satellite states in order to deliver the largest possible number of able-bodied men, many of them trained soldiers, to the Palestinian battlefield where the Jews were short of manpower.
The year 1946 was one of intensification of Soviet-sponsored anti-Jewish violence throughout the region. The Soviets staged several anti-Jewish riots in Poland, including the one in Kielce. In nearby Czechoslovakia, a two-day anti-Jewish riot was staged in Bratislava and simultaneously in Żilina. The Soviet-provoked riots at these localities occurred on August 2 and 3, 1946, during a convention of the Slovak association of former guerrillas controlled by the Soviets. Scores of Jews were injured and Jewish apartments were ransacked. In Żilina alone 15 Jews were severely wounded. So the occurrence of Soviet-provoked anti-Jewish riots was not unique to Poland. What was unique to Poland was the additional necessity felt by the Soviets to severely embarrass Poland, primarily because of the significant Polish resistance the Soviets encountered during and after the War. The Bratislava riot served its purpose to frighten the Czechoslovak Jews so that they would depart. Since Czechoslovakia was permeated with communist influences predating World War II, there was no significant Czech resistance to the communist takeover by the Soviets like there had been in Poland. Soviet news releases of the pogroms in Hungary followed a policy similar to that used in Czechoslovakia. There were four pogroms were staged in Budapest but they received relatively low or non-existent amounts of promotion in the Western press.
Actually the 1946 wave of anti-Jewish riots under Soviet occupation was preceded with an earlier similar wave in 1945 in all areas that the Soviets had occupied and converted into their satellite empire. The earliest was on May 2, 1945 in Košice, Czechoslovakia, which was followed on September 24, 1945 in Velké Topolany in eastern Czechoslovakia, where a riot was perpetrated by uniformed police and military under the Soviet control. It lasted 6 hours and wounded 49 Jews. The riot engulfed neighboring villages. Anti-Jewish riots followed in the Czechoslovakian towns of Chynorany, Krásno on the Nitra River, Nedanovce, etc. [Kersten, op. cit., pp. 134–135; see also Martin Gilbert, Atlas of the Holocaust (London: Michael Joseph, 1982), p. 241.] No show trials were staged after all the pogroms in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Ukraine. An exception was made of the riot of the July 4, 1946 in Kielce which was advertised as much as possible in the media because the Soviets wanted to accomplish more in Poland than simply to press Jews to emigrate. The Soviets wanted to present Polish people to the world as anti-Semites in order to strengthen the Soviet totalitarian hold on Poland without arousing pro-Polish sympathies in the West.
The Eruption of Violence in Kielce
The Kielce Pogrom was an event provoked by the Soviets in conjunction with their attempt to Sovietize Poland that started in 1944. They were successful, but not flawless, in making it look as if there was just a random uprising of Polish gentiles against Jewish citizens. Although the Soviets took pains to destroy much specific evidence relating to this event, they made a number of mistakes that clearly reveal that this was a staged event, one that could only be provoked and carried out by the Soviet authorities in charge. To this day, the Soviet Union (and now Russian) authorities have refused to release their official files containing information relating to these events, files that would corroborate other indications that this was a Soviet-provoked event.
Some of the Soviet mistakes in staging the Kielce Pogrom will be discussed. In particular: (1) Twelve of the victims were found to be killed by gunshot wounds, though the general Polish citizenry alleged to have randomly conducted the violence did not have guns, as was admitted in the show trial which followed. (2) Soviet authorities had firm control of the populace; there was no right of free assembly, including the formation of crowds in the streets, in Soviet-occupied Poland. (3) Soviet security leaders thwarted efforts by the local district attorney, who wanted to take actions to stop the violence and officers of Informacja stage managed the pogrom. (4) After the initial violence by soldiers of the “blocking company” was ended, it was re-ignited by secret police agents who apparently attempted to pose as steel mill workers. (5) Normally stern and brutal security police turned temporarily friendly as they spread false rumors of ritual killing of Christian children by Jews. (6) A selected group of people were permitted to cross a perimeter of sentries that surrounded riot area in Kielce; Catholic priests attempting to break up the violence were not allowed to pass. (7) A clumsy Soviet-style show trial was hastily held five days after the event that purported to show the complicity of the general Polish population in this event; the inconsistencies in the conduct of the trial itself provided ample evidence of the Soviet plot to institute the violence in Kielce.
The focal point of the Kielce Pogrom was a residential compound at 7 Planty Street. Most of the occupants were Jewish, and many were members of the communist party. Among the residents were members of an armed "kibbutz" composed mainly of people who had recently arrived from the Soviet Union. Some were former German prisoners, and others had escaped captivity by hiding in forests or in homes of Polish Christians. The kibbutz members were undergoing military training and thus had permission from the Soviet-led authorities to own and use firearms. This fact was well-known in Kielce, because the kibbutz members would occasionally parade through town with their firearms. The only other Jedwish residents who had permission to be armed worked for the Soviet terror apparatus in Kielce. Ordinary residents of Poland, people who did not work for the Soviet terror apparatus, were not allowed to be armed. There was a death penalty for the illegal possession of firearms.
On July 3, 1946, a cobbler and secret police informer, Walenty Błaszczyk, whose UB code name was "Przelot," reported to the local police that his eight-year-old son Henryk was missing. The boy had been given a ride out of town on July 1, 1946, and upon his return was abducted by Antoni Pasowski, a Jewish agent of the Office of State Security, the UB. Henryk was taught by Pasowski to say falsely that he was kidnapped and held at 7 Planty Street. Further, he was coached to say that he saw dead bodies of recently missing children at that location. (Kersten, op. cit., p. 129.) On the day of the 4th of July, the boy was released by Pasowski and returned home. He went with his father to the police station to cancel the missing child report and to tell the false story of his abduction, the story that was edited by Pasowski.
Next, the boy was manipulated by Pasowski to falsely identify a passing Jew as his abductor who, the boy was made to say, held him in the basement of the compound at 7 Planty Street. There was one critical problem with this completely false accusation: 7 Planty Street in actuality did not have a basement! Meanwhile, a crowd was permitted to gather and a rumor was planted about the attempt of "another" ritual murder of a Christian child in addition to the supposed murders of previously missing children. A small crowd was allowed to form in the streets. Later communist propaganda expanded the number to 15,000 people. A few people in the crowd were allowed to move toward the compound at 7 Planty Street. The staged riot in downtown Kielce was under tight control at all times by the Soviet-led police force.
At 10 a.m. on July 4, before the crowd members reached Planty Street, 15 to 20 police officers, including five or six officers of the Informacja arrived at the compound. The officers of the Informacja were men unknown in Kielce. Once there, they were in control of who could and could not approach, enter, or leave the compound in which Henryk Baszczyk claimed to have been imprisoned. The uniformed police were ordered to enter the building but were met with automatic gunfire from the Jewish occupants. One officer and one patrolman were killed, and several uniformed men were wounded. After the gunfire from the compound, the security officers and policemen attacked and began shooting the trapped Jews and expelling them out of windows into the street. In Soviet-controlled Poland, of course, the uniformed military, the secret police, and the local police officers were Soviet-controlled forces, not independent Polish forces.
An interesting thing happened at about 11 a.m., one hour after the start of the riot. The local district attorney, Jan Wrzeszcz made a plea to those in charge of the security forces to allow Wrzeszcz to work with the local police force to put an immediate end to the violence. (Szaynok, op. cit., p. 37.) Those in charge of the security forces rejected his plea. The plea was made to NKVD supervisor Col. Nathan Shpilevoi a Jew and to Maj. Sobczyński-Spychaj, head of the local security forces. Shortly after the plea was received, telephone calls were made to key security leaders in Warsaw. The office log of Sobczyński-Spychaj contains notes of his telephone conversations with Stanisław Radkiewicz, who was the Minister of Public Security, and with Jakub Berman, a Jew who was at the time the main Soviet agent in the ruling Polish Politburo in charge of all security matters. Clearly, the Soviet agents wanted the provocation to continue, and wanted to thwart all efforts to stop the violence.
Despite the best efforts of the Soviet agents to keep the riot going, the violence stopped on its own before noon. The riot was restarted at noon when a hit squad of secret police agents disguised as workers arrived from a local steel mill. Many of them were hired shortly before the pogrom and of course, since they were not real steel mill workers, did not report to work after the 4th of July pogrom. They came to the site of the violence armed with pieces of scrap steel, which they were ordered to leave at the murder site as tangible evidence that steel workers were involved in the violence. Before departing the hit squad was addressed by Antoni Błaszczyk, an older brother of Henryk (who was used to provoke the riot). The departure of the storming party from work was organized by the personnel manager in the steel mill who at the same time served as the district head of the voluntary riot police, the "ORMO" and was an agent of the UB. [Krzysztof Kewski, Umarly cmentarz: Wstęp do studiów nad wyjasnieniem przyczyn i przebiegu morderstwa na Żyydach w Kielcach dnia 4 lipca 1946 roku (Warszawa: von borowiecky, 1996), pp. 96, 142–143.] The riot was allowed to spread in the form of sporadic killings and robberies. Shortly after 2 p.m. a train was attacked at a station, Piekarzowa, near Kielce. Several Jewish passengers were killed by secret police agents provocateurs who controlled the railroad personnel during the attack.
In the meantime, a crowd of onlookers was allowed to gather in the streets. The security men were repeatedly spreading a rumor that a "Jewish ritual murder of another Christian child" might be in progress. Police and military men spoke to the crowd in an unusually friendly fashion and abandoned their usual stern and authoritarian demeanor. (Szaynok, op. cit., p. 62.) The rumor that the Jews were murdering Polish Christian children was connected with earlier reports about missing children who were allegedly kidnapped to be used for blood transfusions and then murdered. These rumors were spread by agents provocateurs, who thus kept attracting people to the scene of the riot. After 6 p.m., the pogrom came to an end as security forces arrested 62 rioters. In all, throughout the city of Kielce and its outskirts, thirty-nine Jews and two gentiles were killed. Other deaths followed among the wounded.
Some of those wounded but not killed by the security officers were killed by the mob of the bogus steel workers. The question is, who was permitted to cross the perimeter of sentries around downtown Kielce at that time? Krzysztof Kąkolewski, an investigative reporter and writer, determined that it was a hit squad of secret police agents in civilian clothes. These people pretended to be a mob while in reality they were agents acting under strict orders. The few bystanders who joined the fake mob of disguised secret police agents were marked with chalk on their backs by two secret policewomen. Those marked bystanders were later put on trial along with others including uniformed men who were not a part of the UB operation. Secret police agents disguised as civilians were exempt from any charges in exchange for strict secrecy about their mission and were permitted to keep the items stolen from Jewish victims. Obviously, if they broke their silence, they would incriminate themselves in the murders and robberies of Jewish victims. (Kąkolewski, op. cit., pp. 92–94, 143–144, 149–150, 159.)
Some of the murders in the Kielce violence were committed by common criminals who robbed and murdered their victims as the riot was permitted to spread. However, many of the murders could only have been committed by members of the security forces. In particular, bullet wounds were discovered in twelve of the murdered Jewish victims. Bullets could originate only from the uniformed police, soldiers, and functionaries of the security forces as the mob members did not have any guns (as was admitted in the show trial).
Dr. Seweryn Kahane, the head of the local Jewish association, the "kibbutz," was murdered by an Informacja officer who shot him in the back of the skull. He was executed because he became an inconvenient witness to the provocation. A few days later, another inconvenient witness died under unexplained circumstances after he testified about the violence staged in Kielce. He was Albert Grynbaum, a Jewish officer in charge of a county office of the UB, who helped to organize the defense of the kibbutz and testified about the provocation.
Early in his book, Checinski identifies a highly-ranked Soviet intelligence agent, Mikhail Aleksandrovich Dyomin or Demin (Checinski, op. cit., pp. 25–26), who was assigned in 1946 to Kielce, a relatively unimportant town in central Poland. This apparently inconsequential location was hardly consistent with his rank and qualifications. From all indications, Dyomin's assignment was to bolster the Soviet pressure on the Jews to emigrate and at the same time to create a dramatic diversion to draw attention from the Soviet falsification of a crucial Polish election referendum, which was to "legitimize" the communist government in Poland.
Why was it necessary for the Soviets to draw attention away from the election? The Soviets considered the conquest and control of Poland to be one of the most important Soviet gains of World War II. The Yalta Accord made by the Allies was a cornerstone of the post-war Soviet empire, an accord that the Soviets liked very much because it gave them the biggest empire in Russian history. However, the Soviets were concerned that the United States could back out of the agreement at any time, since the Yalta Accord's status in the United States was only as an executive agreement and not as a Congressionally-ratified treaty. The Yalta Accord gave the Soviets a number of rights, including the right to control Poland and other so-called "satellite states" in the form of a Soviet "zone of influence" that was accepted and recognized by the Western Allies. The same Yalta Accord demanded that the Soviets guarantee free elections in Poland. The Soviets desired to illegally control the elections in Poland, confirm a previously-installed Soviet-controlled communist puppet regime, and thus solidify their political strangulation of Poland, while simultaneously not provoking the sympathy of the American public. The Dyomin assignment was therefore crucial: to engineer a series of situations in which the Poles could appear to be persecuting Jews, Nazi-style, so that a fed-up American public would welcome or ignore Soviet attempts to clamp down on Poland and stop the apparent persecution of Jews by the Polish gentile population. The Soviets realized they had an enormous amount to gain by prominently portraying Polish people as anti-Semitic to the American and West European public.
It is speculated by many, including American Ambassador to Poland at that time, Authur Bliss Lane, that the Soviets purposely chose the exact date of the United States Independence Day holiday to stage the provocation. This choice would serve to maximize press exposure and associated public attention on what otherwise would be a slow news day. Also, it was a day when people did not go to work and could react fully to the dramatic news of the bloody riot. Bliss Lane was among those aware that the 4th of July pogrom was staged to overshadow the Soviet election-tampering in Poland and to serve Soviet schemes in the Middle East. The American Ambassador also noted that its purpose was to discredit Polish opposition to Sovietization "especially among Jewish circles in the United States." Both communist and non-communist sources, in Ambassador Lane's words "admitted that it was not spontaneous, but a carefully organized plot." [Arthur Bliss Lane, I Saw Poland Betrayed (Indianapolis: Bobbs Merrill, 1948), p. 249.] In spite of U.S. Embassy reports that were cognizant of the realities of the situation, the Soviet aims were achieved because American public opinion was swayed against the Polish people, which was the aim of the Soviets.
The Kielce riot was not the first time that the method of provocation used in Kielce was employed by the Soviets. A year earlier, in June 1945, Sobczyński-Spychaj was in charge of the UB in Rzeszów where the Soviets attempted to provoke violence by alleging that a ritual murder had been committed by the Jews. A police patrol falsely reported an arrest of a rabbi wearing a bloody apron and standing next to what was alleged to be the body of a girl hanging on a butcher's hook. The false story maintained that behind the rabbi, on the floor, were the dead bodies of 16 children. The provocation did not work because the few Jews in town were forewarned and left Rzeszów. Since the provocation didn't work and those who had bungled the scheme were potentially embarrassing witnesses, the members of the police patrol who reported the allegation against the rabbi were arrested and never seen again. (Kersten, op. cit., p. 110.) A year later, the same man in charge of the security force that attempted to provoke an incident in Rzeszów, SobczynskiSpychaj, was in the identical position of being in charge of the security office in Kielce in time for the occurrence of the Kielce riots. Sobczynski-Spychaj reported to the Soviet authority Dyomin during the time of the Kielce riots.
In Kielce, the agents who staged the violence on July 4 were paid to do so. According to the deposition of the widow of Col. Wiktor Kuznicki chief police,Kielce a man fitting the description of Dyomin delivered to Kuznicki's apartment the money (in foreign currency) for paying off the agents provocateurs needed for the eruption of violence in Kielce. Kuznicki died on December 26, 1946 under unexplained circumstances. He was most likely killed on NKVD orders as he became inconvenient because he knew too much about the Soviet provocation in Kielce. This style of eliminating inconvenient people was a familiar pattern in the Soviet terror apparatus. To make sure that the traces of Soviet provocation were eliminated the files of the Informacja attached to the 2nd Infantry Division in Kielce were recently destroyed by fire in November 1989 (it was near the end of communist rule in Poland.) (Szaynok, op. cit., p. 93.)
Some of the specifics of Dyomin's intelligence career are well-documented. Dyomin was the key Soviet agent in the 1946 Kielce provocation, and stayed in Kielce only long enough to accomplish his assigned task. He arrived three months before the outbreak of the riot. He stayed through the riot, interrogated witnesses of the riot, and then two weeks later he left Kielce. Later in his career, Dyomin was stationed in the Soviet Embassy in Tel Aviv in 1964–67 as a specialist in Jewish matters and in 1969 was assigned to the Soviet Embassy in West Germany. In the American literature he was described as a high-ranking officer of Soviet military intelligence, the G.R.U. [John Barron, KGB: The Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents (New York: Macmillan, 1974), p. 385.]
Military Trials Following the Pogrom
The murders and other crimes committed by the non-Soviet participants during the pogrom were within the jurisdiction of the local civilian court. Instead, the Supreme Military Court, closely supervised by the Soviet Smersh, was selected to try civilians designated as perpetrators of the pogrom. The show trial was preceded by Soviet-style investigations, during which tortures were often used to extract confessions. The role of uniformed men and armed security agents who inflicted bullet wounds in Jewish victims was excluded from the investigations and the show trial of the rioters.
The show trial was conducted from July 9 to July 11, 1946. Though they acknowledged that an organized provocation had occurred (Checinski, op. cit., p. 23), the military court did not reveal who was responsible. Of the mob, 12 men were tried of which nine were sentenced to death. These included seven were described as onlookers who joined in the murders conducted by agents of the terror apparatus, and two as uniformed men who were not a part of the UB operation. Those who did most of the killing were never tried. The prosecutor, Kazimierz Golczewski, a Polish Jew known as an old NKVD hand, consistently violated all normal legal procedures during the trial. He did this with full approval of the three military judges, namely, Marian Barton, Stanisław Baraniak, and Antoni Łukasik. [Antoni Czubiński, Dzieje najnowsze Polski: Polska Ludowa (1944–1989) (Poznań: Wielkopolska Agencja Wydawnicza, 1992), p. 113.] At one point during the trial, Golczewski went as far as to threaten a defendant with additional bodily harm when the man was complaining about tortures inflicted upon him during the interrogation.
The entire show trial was a mockery of the law. It was a Soviet-style show trial conducted in Poland to fulfill political and propaganda purposes. The very conduct of the show trial was proof of the complete Soviet domination of life in Poland. It was absolutely impossible for anyone other than the Soviets to provoke and stage a pogrom in which security forces either directly participated in the riot or stood by and let the pogrom go on under their noses for eight hours. The sentries who were posted around the riot area did prevent Catholic priests Roman Zelek and Jan Danilewicz from reaching the places of the violence, because it was their intention to try to pacify the mob. [Kersten, op. cit., p. 128; also Stanislaw Meducki and Zenon Wrona, eds., Antyzydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie 4 lipca 1946 roku: Dokumenty i materialy (Kielce: Urzad Miasta Kielce and Kieleckie Towarzystwo Naukowe, 1992), volume 1, p. 94.] Because of Moscow's control over the Polish communist government, the global Soviet policies determined the events in Poland. This explains why a high-ranking intelligence officer like Dyomin, who was also a Jewish specialist, was sent to Kielce and stayed there only long enough to supervise the staging of the riots, then to interrogate witnesses, and then departed immediately as soon as his short assignment was completed.
The weaknesses of the show trial created a need to announce the arrest of the officers who "did not show enough resolve during the riot." Military and police officers associated with the pogrom were arrested and were given very light sentences by the Military Regional Court in Warsaw on December 16, 1946. (Kersten, op. cit., p. 128.) The most immediate instigator of the Kielce violence, Antoni Pasowski, a Jewish member of the Public Security Agency, was never tried. Henryk Blaszczyk was not asked to testify. Other less-advertised trials were held in Kielce on September 24, October 10, December 3, 1946 and March 1947. (Szaynok, op. cit., pp. 74–93.)
Maj. Sobczynski-Spychaj, the head of the Kielce State Security Forces, was promoted to head the regional Informacja soon after the Kielce event. This promotion was typical, for he was in the middle of a long career of being used by the Soviets to betray Poland. According to testimony of Józef Swiatlo (former NKVD and UB agent who defected to the West), Sobczynski-Spychaj was the Soviet agent who was parachuted to Poland during the war and brought with him instructions for the communist underground to collaborate with the Gestapo in betraying to the Germans the organization of the Polish Home Army controlled by the Polish Government-in-Exile in London. While in Poland, Sobczyński-Spychaj worked as radio-code operator for communication with Smersh under the command of Gen. Ivan Serov. Sobczyński-Spychaj was flown to the USSR in 1944 by a special NKVD plane. (Kersten, op. cit., pp. 96, 129.) Later in his career, in the Summer of 1950, he was appointed to head the passport office in Warsaw. As the head of the passport office Sobczyński-Spychaj persecuted Jewish applicants for passports. He was reported to have used foul language and threw a number of persons down the stairs. At the request of the Soviets, Sobczynski-Spychaj was promoted to the rank of colonel and was elevated to the head of personnel office of the Ministry of Defense. He was kept in sensitive posts as a useful agent of the NKVD. In June 1958 he earned his high school diploma. He died in 1988 in Warsaw. (Szaynok, op. cit., p. 92.)
Widespread awareness of the Soviet provocation of the riot caused protests against the death sentences. Demands were made for a full investigation into the affair. Catholic clergy, including then absent Bishop Kaczmarek of Kielce, the opposition parties as well as General Wladyslaw Anders and other leaders of Polish political emigration were named during the show trial as anti-communist conspirators behind the Kielce violence. The show trial could not substantiate any of these charges.
The hurriedly-organized show trial did not give any chance for the defense lawyers to prepare themselves. There was, however, plenty of effort made to bring a large crowd of Polish and foreign news correspondents. The communists counted on the ignorance of foreign reporters of Soviet show-trial techniques and they assumed that Polish newsmen would be too intimidated to report on the abuse of the law. It was clear that for the Soviets, anti-Semitism was a convenient political and propaganda tool used to disrupt Polish society. It also served to identify anyone smeared with anti-Semitism as a "fascist" guilty of collaboration with the Nazis during the war.
Disbelief, Pain, Shame
In Poland, the news of the details of murders in Kielce caused first disbelief, then pain and shame that a Polish mob could be capable of such horrible atrocities and brutal killing frenzy no matter whether the crimes were provoked by the Soviets or not. Throughout Poland meetings were held condemning the pogrom of Kielce as a horrible atrocity. Stanisław Mikołajczyk, the leader of the opposition Polish Peasants' Party, immediately condemned the pogrom. However, reports of his condemnation in the media were censored. The demand for a parliamentary investigation of the pogrom was rejected by the communist government. The Soviet-led government promised the formation of an investigative commission composed of all political parties. It never materialized.
Since one of the aims of the Soviets was to cause an exodus of Jews from Poland, the Soviet authorities took actions to make the exit from Poland as easy as possible. A few days after the funeral of the victims of violence staged by the Soviets in Kielce, Soviet General Gvidon Chervinsky, the chief of border guards, called his Jewish assistant, Michal Rudawski, and ordered him to establish two more "illegal" crossing points for Jews on the Czechoslovakian border. (Kakolewski, op. cit., p. 191.) These crossing points were supposedly illegal, but in reality they were purposely established by the Soviets and allowed free egress for Jews but not for anyone else. The new crossings were added to those existing already in Szczecin (Jewish code name Khyzar, or bristle in Hebrew, because Szczecin in Polish means bristle market) and in Kłodzko (Jewish code name Dorom). The southern crossings were to serve Jewish emigrants going through Austria to Palestine and the northern crossing at Szczecin served those Jews who travelled to West German displaced persons' camps and from there south through Austria or Italy to Palestine. As stated before, about two-thirds of the Jewish emigrants preferred to go to the United States, France, or other western country. As a result of Jewish emigration, by the end of 1946, there were 100,000 Jews left in Poland of the quarter of a million that were there at the beginning of the year. At the same time, over 200,000 Polish Jews were in West Germany and Austria waiting for further migration. The Anglo-American Commission promised admission of 100,000 Jews to Palestine. In the West German D.P. camps, Jewish socialists advocated returning to Poland while Zionists insisted on immigration to Palestine. (Pogonowski, Jews in Poland, p. 349.)
A Polish documentary, The Witnesses [swiadkowie], illustrates the feelings of pain and shame inflicted on the Polish society by the Kielce Pogrom. Many realized that the Soviet provocation succeeded in damaging the good name of the Polish people by cynically staging the vicious pogrom and playing up the card of anti-Semitism. The Soviet occupation and policies conditioned a limited number of people in Kielce to respond to the provocation. Also, no one familiar with the Kielce Pogrom claimed that it was a spontaneous violence. (Kersten, op. cit., pp. 96, 130.) The Catholic Church clearly stated that the provocateurs and perpetrators of the murder in Kielce must be absolutely and without any reservations condemned in the light of God's and human laws and that all rumors about Jewish ritual murders are lies. (July 7, 1946, Bishop Teodor Kubina). Cardinal Hlond, the Catholic Primate of Poland, stated on July 11, 1946: "The Catholic Church always and everywhere condemns all murders. It also condemns those that take place in Poland regardless of who commits them and regardless of whether they are committed against Poles or Jews, whether in Kielce or elsewhere in the country. The way the unfortunate and deplorable events unfolded in Kielce demonstrates that they were not spurred by racism. Their basis was entirely different, and both painful and tragic. These events are a hideous calamity which fill me with sadness and sorrow." Czeslaw Milosz, Nobel Prize laureate for Polish literature, called these tactics "socialist terrorism." Among victims of the Soviet or socialist terrorism were many Polish democratic leaders who were neither anti-Semitic nor reactionary.
Unfortunately, the Moscow files on the Kielce violence have never been opened. These perhaps contain the reports of NKVD/KGB Col. Nathan Shpilevoi and G.R.U. high ranking officer Mikhail Dyomin, who apparently was in charge of choosing the site and staging the provocation in Kielce. Thus, in the absence of direct evidence from Moscow, the Soviet provocation remains the most likely hypothesis, one that is corroborated by all of the available evidence. Clearly, the presence and activities of these two Soviet officers preclude any possibility that the violence in Kielce erupted spontaneously, and exactly on the 4th of July, American Independence Day, when many people have a day off and can pay more attention to the news than during work days, as was stated by the American Ambassador to Poland Bliss Lane.
Conclusion, the 4th of July “Pogrom of Kielce”
The tragic events known as the Pogrom of Kielce of 1946 are demonstrably a part of Soviet postwar global strategy. The Soviets ruthlessly exploited Jews for Soviet political purposes. The pogroms staged behind the lines of the Red Army were provoked or condoned in order to generate an exodus of Jews who otherwise would not emigrate. The migration of Jews to Palestine was needed by the Soviets to abolish the British mandate there and profit from Arab-Israeli conflict in order to interfere with oil supplies to the West. Meanwhile, a minority of the Jewish population was used by the Soviets to establish communist regimes in the satellite states, while some sixteen pogroms in satellite states resulted in exit of 711,000 Jews of whom 230,000 went to Palestine and fought there with weapons provided by the Soviets through Czechoslovakia. Struggle between Jews and Arabs for the possession of land was exploited by the Soviets against the USA in the strategic oil rich Middle East. In March 1947 Andrei Gromyko of Soviet Union moved in the United Nations to recognize Jewish state in a part of Palestine. In 1950-51 Zionist pogroms and provocations in Arab countries brought additional 550,000 Jewish refugees to Israel (see: Naeim Giladi, “Ben-Gurion’s Scandals: How The Haganah and the Mossad Eliminated Iews” Dandelion Books Publiction, ,2003)
The Pogrom of Kielce was ignited by the Soviet introduction of an organized provocation based on planting false reports of ritual murders, a method of provoking violence originally started by the czarist governments. As was detailed, a very similar provocation was staged a year earlier in Rzeszów by the same NKVD agents. The Pogrom of Kielce was timed for anti-Polish propaganda purposes to persuade the Western powers that Poland should remain a colony of the Soviets, rather than being allowed to return to freedom as did other Allied nations. For that reason it was singled out for extensive news coverage which was to convince Western politicians that "Polish anti-Semitism" could only be tamed by the Soviets and that allowing Poland to become free would cause another wave of anti-Semitism and murders of Jews.
The Kielce Pogrom, perhaps more than any other historical occurrence, has been used to falsely show evidence of Polish actions to exterminate Jews. This view, clearly put forward by a 1940's Soviet establishment keen to subjugate Poland, has been allowed to become the commonly accepted "conventional wisdom." In this case, the conventional wisdom is wrong: it does not square with the historical facts. Those who can examine the historical record but then choose to ignore it and purposely libel an entire nation and ethnic group are on the wrong side of history: they are using the methods of Hitler and Stalin.
It is sometimes said that throughout history people and their nations are inclined to gear up to fight the last war. So it may be with attempts at ethnic destruction. In the Information Age, new Holocausts may be possible not so much by gas chambers, the technology of genocide for World War II, but by printing presses and their modern-day electronic equivalents. Is hatred for a person simply because of his ethnicity more acceptable today, as long as the object of the hatred is a Pole rather than a Jew? And once it is decided that it is important to instill hatred against members of a given ethnic group, can there be any limit to the perpetration of lies, myths, and mischaracterizations to drive the hatred home? And once ethnic hatred is started and nurtured in a people, where will it end? The Holocaust itself unfortunately provides one answer, one such ending point.
Clear and reprehensible evidence of anti-Polonism can be seen by inclusion of the events at Kielce, horrible though they were, as a Polish continuation of Hitler's evil work of the Holocaust. This defamation of Polish people can be seen in downtown Washington, D.C., at the Holocaust Museum. This type of anti-Polonism can be read in occasional press accounts that slur the Polish people and sometimes can even be heard in informal discussions. Despite these open sores, it is not too far-fetched, I think, to imagine that Jews and Poles, two peoples who survived a twin Holocaust perpetrated by the same country, could develop a new relationship based on friendship and goodwill. It may well be time, fifty years after this tragic event took place, to put the Kielce Pogrom in its proper perspective as an event unconnected with the Holocaust and an event not conducted by a free and willing Polish population, a population that in actual fact abhorred this violence. The Soviet design to falsely discredit the Polish people through this staged event has amazingly outlived even the Soviet Union itself. The spirit of hatred of World War II and the associated Holocaust, and the habit of hate against Poles promoted by the former "evil empire" of the Soviet Union will still exist among the Holocaust profiteers of the Holocaust Industry.

Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski

Born Sept. 3, 1921
Lwów, Poland

in Dec 1939 left Warsaw. Dec 30, 1939 arrested by Ukrainians serving the Gestapo in Dukla, then transferred to Barwinek, Krosno, Jaslo, Tarnów, Oswiecim, arrived in Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen on Aug. 10, 1940.

April 19, 1945 started on the Death March of Brandenburg from Sachsenhausen; escaped gunfire of SS-guards and arrived to Schwerin and freedom on May 2, 1945.

September 1945 arrived in Brussels, Belgium; obtained admission as a regular student at the Catholic University: Institute Superieur de Commerce, St. Ignace in Antwerp.

in 1954 graduated in Civil Engineering at the top of his class. Was invited to join honorary societies: Tau Beta Pi (general engineering honorary society), Phi Kappa Phi (academic honorary society equivalent to Phi Beta Kappa), Pi Mu (mechanical engineering honorary society), and Chi Epsilon (civil engineering honorary society). Taught descriptive geometry at the University of Tennessee;

in 1955 graduated with M.S. degree in Industrial Engineering.

in 1955 started working for Shell Oil Company in New Orleans. After one year of managerial training was assigned to design of marine structures for drilling and production of petroleum.

in 1960 started working for Texaco Research and Development in Houston, Texas as a Project Engineer. Authored total of 50 American and foreign patents on marine structures for the petroleum industry;
wrote an article: The Rise and Fall of the Polish Commonwealth - A Quest for a Representative Government in Central and Eastern Europe in the 14th to 18th Centuries. Started to work on a Tabular History of Poland.

in 1972 moved to Blacksburg, Virginia. During the following years worked as Consulting Engineer for Texaco, also taught in Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University as Adjunct Professor in the College of Civil Engineering teaching courses on marine structures of the petroleum industry. Designed and supervised the construction of a hill top home for his family, also bought 500 acre ranch (near Thomas Jefferson National Forest) where he restored 200 years old mill house on a mountain stream.

in 1978 prepared Polish-English, English-Polish Dictionary with complete phonetics, published by Hippocrene Books Inc. The dictionary included a Tabular History of Poland, Polish Language, People, and Culture as well as Pogonowski's phonetic symbols for phonetic transcriptions in English and Polish at each dictionary entry; the phonetic explanations were illustrated with cross-sections of speech (organs used to pronounce the sounds unfamiliar to the users). It was the first dictionary with phonetic transcription at each Polish entry for use by English speakers

in 1981 prepared Practical Polish-English Dictionary with complete phonetics, published by Hippocrene Books Inc.

in 1983 prepared Concise Polish-English Dictionary with complete phonetics, published by Hippocrene Books Inc. Wrote an analysis of Michael Ch ci ski's Poland, Communism, Nationalism, Anti-Semitism. Also selected crucial quotations from Norman Davies' God's Playground - A History of Poland on the subject of the Polish indigenous democratic process.

in 1985 prepared Polish-English Standard Dictionary with complete phonetics, published by Hippocrene Books Inc. Also prepared a revised and expanded edition of the Concise Polish-English Dictionary with complete phonetics, also published by Hippocrene Books Inc.

in 1987 prepared Poland: A Historical Atlas on Polish History and Prehistory including 200 maps and graphs as well as Chronology of Poland's Constitutional and Political Development, and the Evolution of Polish Identity - The Milestones. An introductory chapter was entitled Poland the Middle Ground. Aloysius A. Mazewski President of Polish-American Congress wrote an introduction. The Atlas was published by Hippocrene Books Inc. and later by Dorset Press of the Barnes and Noble Co. Inc. which sends some 30 million catalogues to American homes including color reproduction of book covers. Thus, many Americans were exposed to the cover of Pogonowski's Atlas showing the range of borders of Poland during the history - many found out for the firsttime that Poland was an important power in the past. Total of about 30,000 atlases were printed so far.

In 1988 the publication of Poland: A Historical Atlas resulted in a number of invitations extended by several Polonian organizations to Iwo Pogonowski to present Television Programs on Polish History. Pogonowski responded and produced over two year period 220 half-hour video programs in his studio at home (and at his own expense.) These programs formed a serial entitled: Poland, A History of One Thousand Years. Total of over 1000 broadcasts of these programs were transmitted by cable television in Chicago, Detroit-Hamtramck, Cleveland, and Blacksburg.

in 1990-1991 translated from the Russian the Catechism of a Revolutionary of 1869 in which crime has been treated as a normal part of the revolutionary program. Started preparation of the Killing the Best and the Brightest: A Chronology of the USSR-German Attempt to Behead the Polish Nation showing how the USSR became a prototype of modern totalitarian state, how this prototype was adapted in Germany by the Nazis.

in 1991 prepared Polish Phrasebook, Polish Conversations for Americans including picture code for gender and familiarity, published by Hippocrene Books Inc.

in 1991 prepared English Conversations for Poles with Concise Dictionary published by Hippocrene Books Inc. By then a total of over 100,000 Polish-English, English-Polish Dictionaries written by Pogonowski were sold in the United States and abroad.

in 1992 prepared a Dictionary of Polish, Latin, Hebrew, and Yiddish Terms used in Contacts between Poles and Jews. It was prepared for the history of Jews in Poland as well as 115 maps and graphs and 172 illustrations, paintings, drawings, and documents, etc. of Jewish life in Poland. This material was accompanied by proper annotations.

in 1993 prepared Jews in Poland, Rise of the Jews as a Nation from Congressus Judaicus in Poland to the Knesset in Israel, published by Hippocrene Books Inc. in 3000 copies. Foreword was written by Richard Pipes, professor of history at Harvard University, and Pogonowski's school mate in the Keczmar school in Warsaw. Part I included: a Synopsis of 1000 Year History of Jews in Poland; the 1264 Statute of Jewish Liberties in Poland in Latin and English translation; Jewish Autonomy in Poland 1264-1795; German Annihilation of the Jews. In appendixes are documents and illustrations. An Atlas is in the Part III. It is divided as follows: Early Jewish Settlements 966-1264; The Crucial 500 Years, 1264-1795; Competition (between Poles and Jews) Under Foreign Rule, 1795-1918; The Last Blossoming of Jewish Culture in Poland, 1918-1939; German Genocide of the Jews, 1940-1944; Jewish Escape from Europe 1945-1947 - The End of European (Polish) Phase of Jewish History (when most of world's Jewry lived in Europe). Pogonowski began to write a new book starting with the Chronology of the Martyrdom of Polish Intelligentsia during World War II and the Stalinist Terror; the book in preparation was entitled Killing the Best and the Brightest.

in 1995 prepared Dictionary of Polish Business, Legal and Associated Terms for use with the new edition of the Practical Polish-English, English-Polish Dictionary and later to be published as a separate book.

in 1996 Pogonowski's Poland: A Historical Atlas; was translated into Polish; some 130 of the original 200 maps printed in color; the Chronology of Poland was also translated into Polish. The Atlas was published by Wydawnictwo Suszczy ski I Baran in Kraków in 3000 copies; additional publications are expected. Prepared Polish-English, Eglish-Polish Compact Dictionary with complete phonetics, published by Hippocrene Books Inc.

in 1997 finished preparation of the Unabridged Polish-English Dictionary with complete phonetics including over 200,000 entries, in three volumes on total of 4000 pages; it is published by Hippocrene Books Inc; the Polish title is: Uniwesalny S ownik Polsko-Angielski. Besides years of work Pogonowski spent over $50,000 on computers, computer services, typing, and proof reading in order to make the 4000 page dictionary camera ready; assisted in the preparation of second edition of Jews in Poland, Rise of the Jews from Congressus Judaicus in Poland to the Knesset in Israel published in fall of 1997. Prepared computer programs for English-Polish Dictionary to serve as a companion to the Unabridged Polish-English Dictionary printed by the end of May 1997.

in 1998 Pogonowski organized preparation of CD ROM for the Unabridged Polish-English Dictionary, Practical English-Polish Dictionary, Polish Phrasebook for Tourists and Travelers to Poland, all published earlier by Iwo C. Pogonowski. The Phrasebook includes 280 minutes of bilingual audio read by actors. Started preparation for a new edition of Poland: A Historical Atlas. New Appendices are being prepared on such subjects as: Polish contribution to Allied's wartime intelligence: the breaking of the Enigma Codes, Pune Munde rocket production; Poland's contribution to the international law since 1415; Poland's early development of rocket technology such as Polish Rocketry Handbook published in 1650 in which Poles introduced for the first time into the world's literature concepts of multiple warheads, multistage rockets, new controls in rocket flight, etc. Poland's Chronology is being enlarged to reflect the mechanisms of subjugation of Polish people by the Soviet terror apparatus. Continued preparation of the Killing the Best and the Brightest: A Chronology of the USSR-German Attempt to Behead the Polish Nation, including the 1992 revelations from Soviet archives as well as the current research in Poland. Continued preparation of two-volume English Polish Dictionary, a companion to the Unabridged Polish-English Dictionary published in 1997. Reviewed Upiorna Dekada by J. T. Gross.

in 1999 Pogonowski continued writing Poland - An Illustrated History and preparing for it 21 maps and diagrams and 89 illustrations.

in 2000 Pogonowski prepared, in a camera ready form, Poland - An Illustrated History; it was published by Hippocrene Books Inc. NY 2000 and recommended by Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor under President Carter, as "An important contribution to the better understanding of Polish history, which demonstrates in a vivid fashion the historical vicissitudes of that major European nation."