Some (Not All) Jewish Communists Lost Their Privileges to Ethnic Polish Communists. A Double Standard of Concern?
- Forced Out: The Fate of Polish Jewry in Communist Poland by Arthur J. Wolak – Published May 31st 2004 by Fenestra Books. Edition Language English.
Author Arthur J. Wolak realizes that, in the “purge” of 1968, not all Jews were removed from positions of authority (p. 114), and that not all those removed were Jews. (4). He also points out that the USSR was behind this event. (p. 90).
However, without presenting any but anecdotal evidence to support his position, Wolak tries to connect the “events of 1968” with what he sees as the long-term anti-Semitism of Polish nationalists, the Catholic Church, and the peasantry. He repeats the Jews-are-scapegoats meme (pp. 67-on, 82, 89, 94, etc., etc.). In doing so, the author himself is in danger of engaging in scapegoating—of the Poles.
Based on the concluding remarks in this book, Wolak appears to be a LEWAK (leftist). He promotes so-called multiculturalism as a “solution” for what he supposes to be the Polish ills exemplified by the “events of 1968”. (pp. 154-on). [This theme has also recently (March 2018) been revived and trumpeted by the likes of neo-Stalinist Jan T. Gross, along with the media, to try to shame Poland into accepting multitudes of Third World immigrants, even though Poland has freely accepted a million Ukrainian immigrants.]
SHORTCOMINGS OF THIS BOOK
What of the premise that there were “too many Jews” in leadership positions of Soviet-bloc Communism? Some leading Jewish Communists felt exactly the same way! See my review of „Them”: Stalin’s Polish Puppets.
Wolak narrowly focuses on the Gomulka/Moczar factionalism, but does not appear to entertain other considerations. He realizes that Stalin favored Jewish Communists, for the Communization of Eastern Europe, because Jews were guaranteed to be immunized from regional nationalism. (p. 94, 96). But why cannot Poles, forced to live as it is under Communism, prefer ethnic Polish Communist rulers, with their potential “regional nationalism”, over Jewish Communist rulers and their guaranteed disregard of “regional nationalism”? There seems to be a Judeocentric double standard in force.
The author’s treatment of Israel’s spectacular victory, in the June 1967 War (a “pretext”, p. 5), does not begin to do justice to the significance of the event. Joshua Muravchik [MAKING DAVID INTO GOLIATH] does, as he comments, “But the crushing defeat Israel had inflicted on a pair of Soviet clients armed with Soviet weapons was a huge blow to Soviet prestige. In the Cold War contest for the allegiance of third world countries, the USSR had overnight suffered a steep slide in its appeal. And, to boot, the Soviet state no longer appeared all-powerful to its own downtrodden subjects, above all its Jews.” (p. 17).
JEWISH COMMUNISTS LEAVE POLAND IN ORDER TO EVADE JUSTICE FOR THEIR CRIMES, AND THEN CLEVERLY BLAME (WHAT ELSE?) POLISH ANTISEMITISM FOR „HAVING” TO LEAVE POLAND
One factor not mentioned by the author is the fact that many of the Jewish Communists who left Poland in 1968 had blood on their hands, and they feared eventually getting punished for their crimes. See BESTIE, by Pluzanski. By leaving Poland, these Jews could safely avoid prosecution, and, once safely in the West, start whining about how Polish anti-Semitism had forced them to leave Poland. Not bad.
IS COMMUNISM OK AS LONG AS JEWS BENEFIT FROM IT?
The reader may be tempted, as I was, to conclude that author Wolak is drifting into selective indignation about Jews and Communism. This consideration has already been noted by both non-Jewish and Jewish writers. Thus:
Alexander Solzhenitsyn [in his censored classic, 200 YEARS TOGETHER] points out the irony that, in the West, there was little effective concern about the Eastern European victims of Communism until it turned on the Jews. He quips, “15 million peasants were destroyed in the ‘dekulakisation’, 6 million peasants were starved to death in 1932, not even to mention the mass executions and millions who died in the camps, and at the same time it was fine to politely sign agreements with Soviet leaders, to lend them money, to shake their ‘honest hands’, to seek their support, and to boast of all this in front of your parliaments. But once it was specifically JEWS that became the target, then a spark of sympathy ran through the West and it became clear what sort of regime this was.” (p. 346; Emphasis is Solzhenitsyn’s).
Jewish author Yuri Slezkine [in his JEWISH CENTURY] wrote of a Jewish woman, whose husband had been arrested, being thus reminded by her maid, “You are crying now, but you did not mind when my father was being dekulakized, martyred for no reason at all, and my whole family thrown out in the street” (p. 311).
I wrote the above review, without consulting any other published reviews of FORCED OUT, in order to form my own opinion of Wolak. I now summarize the review of historian Marek Jan Chodakiewicz (“Marcowy kryzys” NAJNOWSZY CZAS! 26 March—2 April 2005):
1. Stalin indeed used Jewish Communists, but Jewish Communists were not Stalin’s pawns. In fact, nobody forced Jewish Communists to take part in the subjugation of Poland. Jewish Communists could have refused to serve Stalin, and could instead have emigrated, alongside the majority of Poland’s Holocaust-surviving Jews, in 1944-1948.
2. Communism is Revolution, and the Revolution devours her own children. Such is the very nature of Revolution. Surely Jews choosing to be involved in Communism were well aware of that.
3. Jews who fell victim to the events of 1968 became hurt by the very system that they had helped create twenty years earlier.
4. The attempt to portray the March Crisis an anti-Jewish event is off the mark. Among those persecuted “students and prominent intellectuals”, Christians outnumbered Jews by 10:1.
5. Wolak has an interesting way of using the term “terror”. That is, Jews facing propaganda, losing their jobs, and being persuaded to emigrate, is, to him, “terror”. Meanwhile, Wolak is strangely silent about the REAL terror: During the Communization process, death sentences were imposed upon 8,000 Poles, some 50,000 Poles overall lost their lives in combat, and hundreds of thousands of Poles were arrested and sent to the gulags.
6. Wolak appears to try to make Jozef Parnas out to be a martyr. Wolak fails to mention the fact that Parnas served in Soviet partisan units, and that Parnas had been untruthful to the Polish Government in Exile (London Poles) by claiming to have served in the A. K. (ARMIA KRAJOWA).
7. Wolak’s equation of the Endeks and Boleslaw Piasecki’s PAX is a rather transparent demonization game by liberals.
- Source: GoodReads.com , July 20, 2018
Published with the author’s permission.
Title image: Farewell to Jerzy Naftalin, May 19, 1969, railway station Dworzec Gdański in Warsaw. Photo E. Turlejska Source: poznan.wyborcza.pl , March 6, 2018. / selected by wg.pco