A Brilliant Scholarly Expose, Using Archival Information, of the Distortions and Fake News of the Media-Promoted Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking


Review of Miedzy Nauka a Mystifikacje (edited by Jerzy Muszynski). 2019. Glaukopis Nr 36.

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A Brilliant Scholarly Expose, Using Archival Information, of the Distortions and Fake News of the Media-Promoted Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking

My review is limited to the aptly-named BETWEEN SCHOLARSHIP AND MYSTICISM section of this 36th issue of the historical monograph GLAUKOPIS. A series of scholars examine the claims of the media-touted DALEJ JEST NOC (THE NIGHT CONTINUES) and the allegations of Poles killing fugitive Jews under the German occupation in World War II.

TRANSFORMING ORDINARY WARTIME POLISH BANDITS INTO POLISH HITLER-LOVING JEW-KILLERS

Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking have painted Stanislaw Lopinski and Dioniz Ladosz as freely-acting German-serving Polish killers of Jews, especially of the Jewish escapees from nearby Treblinka death camp. (p. 314). Historian Piotr Gontarczyk shows this to be yet another rather creative Polonophobic tall tale.

There are, in the archives, numerous conflicting accounts of the exploits of Lopinski and Ladosz. One of the archival accounts, about one or both alleged miscreants, describes the acquisition of German weaponry for defense against escaped Soviet POWs, and not for “hunting and killing Jews.” (p. 315). The postwar trial in Communist-ruled Poland, for one or both men, was for robbing a Polish estate that the Germans had earlier torched in reprisal for the hiding of escaped Soviet POWs. (p. 320). [So, even if Lopinski and/or Ladosz actually committed crimes against Jews, they were equal-opportunity criminals that also had committed crimes against Poles. Of course, this does not matter in Holocaust literature: The only thing that matters is that Poles get blamed for this, that, or whatnot, to Jews.]

Finally, Grabowski engages in the confabulation of stories and facts. Historian Piotr Gontarczyk points out that no court determination ever found Lopinski or Ladosz denouncing or killing any fugitive Jews! Furthermore, the alleged killings of Jews rest upon hearsay, not eyewitness testimonies. (p. 319). In conclusion, there is no credible archival information that Lopinski or Ladosz were involved in the hunting or killing of fugitive Jews, voluntarily or otherwise. (p. 320).

THE CAPTURE AND TURNING OVER OF 9 FUGITIVE JEWS TO THE GERMANS—ALL IN A CONTEXTUAL VACUUM

This concerns the postwar trial of soltys (village mayor) Hipolit Matusik of the village of Miedzyles. He was accused of turning over 9 fugitive Jews to the Nazi German occupation authorities.

Consider the context of the events. The village was regularly raided by Polish bandits that took goods and lifestock. (p. 321). The incident involving the 9 turned-over Jews began with yet another robbery—that of the Bartnik homestead. (p. 321). There are various conflicting accounts of precisely what happened, but it is clear that (at least) two of the Jews were involved in the robbery. (p. 322). There is no credible archival evidence that the 9 captured Jews were ever connected with any kind of imagined Polish Jew hunt, or, for that matter, that the Jews were even escapees from Treblinka. (p. 323). Evidently, these exist only in Grabowski’s Polonophobic imagination.

The tales of Grabowski grow taller and taller. There is the one about a full-fledged posse of Miedzyles Poles lying in wait for fugitive Jews that had escaped from Treblinka. (p. 323). What next, a long-unknown virtual Polish twin of Hitler, hiding out in the village, and setting a trap for fugitive Jews?

In conclusion, Piotr Gontarczyk states that Jan Grabowski is not engaged in scholarship. He is engaged in the mystification of the Holocaust. (p. 323). (And even that, in my opinion, is excessively charitable.)

JAN GRABOWSKI—ONCE AGAIN—MAKES UP VOODOO NUMBERS

In his JUDENJAGD, Grabowski completely mischaracterized Szymon Datner, and made up the sensational media-quoted figure of 200,000 total fugitive Jews killed by Poles. But no matter: If it makes for a better Jewish-victimization, anti-Polish story, why not?

That was then and this is now. Grabowski is at it again. He has now conjured up some new fantastic numbers, and these are examined by historian Tomasz Roguski. (pp. 335-356). Jan Grabowski is now alleging that there were 11,000 fugitive Jews in Wegrow County, and, of these, only 195 survived the war. The reader is invited to imagine that those big, bad Catholic Poles denounced or killed all the rest.

What are the facts? To begin with, the 11,000 figure is bogus. Archival sources include a 1940 census in which 10, 725 Jews are listed, and that after the population transfers. (p. 338). So, unless virtually all the Jews later fled the German-made ghettos and flooded the Polish countryside, Grabowski’s 11,000 figure must be much, much greater than the actual number of fugitive Jews. Furthermore, as another document shows, the 11,000 figure includes 6,000-9,000 Poles. (p. 338).  

The 195 figure is no more credible. It is the number of Jews that were members of the Wegrow Jewish Committee after WWII. (p. 338). It is NOT an exhaustive number of the Jews that had survived the German occupation in Wegrow County!

UNDEMONIZING THE POLICJA GRANATOWA (POLISH BLUE POLICE)

Grabowski portrays the POLICJA GRANATOWA as some kind of eager Jew-killers and (what else?) anti-Semitic, greedy acquisitionists of post-Jewish property. The facts are otherwise. Historian Roguski reminds us that the POLICJA GRANATOWA was under tight German control. (p. 342). In addition, the POLICJA GRANATOWA was very poorly paid by the Germans (p. 346), so it is hardly remarkable that they sometimes took unsavory measures to alleviate their condition, such as making use of the post-Jewish property of German-murdered Jews (p. 346), not to mention taking bribes from Poles.

GRABOWSKI DOGMATICALLY RELIES ON A MEMOIR–WRITTEN ONLY 46 YEARS AFTER WWII

Shraga Fievel Bielawski, in 1991, wrote THE LAST JEW OF WEGROW. Jan Grabowski is exorcized by the fact that Wegrow historians have so much as questioned the factuality of Bielawski. As Tomasz Roguski reminds us (p. 348), and evidently needs to remind Grabowski, no source of information is privileged or otherwise exempt from critical analysis by historians!

Historian Roguski could have made the case much stronger. Historians have long rejected the automatic acceptance of Holocaust survivor testimony, especially that written so long after the war. It is known that survivors are prone to “graft”, into their own memories, things that they had been told by others but had not experienced themselves. In addition, they tend to “remember” things as they wish them to have taken place rather than how they actually took place. Finally, Bielawski, contains vicious Polonophobia.  This does not suggest that Shraga Fievel Bielawski was exactly detached and objective on what he wrote as pertains to Poles!

Finally, and not mentioned by Roguski, the frequent untruthfulness of Holocaust survivors must not be overlooked. Think of Jerzy Kosinski vel Lewinkopf and his highly-acclaimed and luridly anti-Polish, but demonstrably-fraudulent, PAINTED BIRD. All this must be put in the still-broader context of the chronic Jewish mendacity about Jewish events in Poland. For example, think of the fantastic newspaper stories of 30,000 Jews killed by Poles in massive pogroms around 1918, which turned out to be 99% unfounded.

Jan Peczkis

Published with the author’s permission.

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  • Title image: TREBLINKA STAMP „Generalgouvernement / SS-Sonderkommando Treblinka / Der SS – und Polizeiführer im Distrikt Lublin”. Source: deathcamps.org / selected by wg.pco

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, 2019.06.04.