Are Polish Bystanders “Complicit in the Holocaust”? If So, Then Jewish Bystanders are Also Complicit in the Crimes of the Zydokomuna

The Holocaust in Eastern Europe: At the Epicenter of the Final Solution by Waitman Wade Beorn – Published February 8th 2018 by Continnuum-3PL.


Are Polish Bystanders “Complicit in the Holocaust”? If So, Then Jewish Bystanders are Also Complicit in the Crimes of the Zydokomuna

Author Waitman Wade Beorn is a historian with the University of Virginia. He is also a consultant with the USHMM (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). (Outside back cover). This book is a curious mixture of factuality and mediocrity. I elaborate on the latter at the end of my review. 


Strong points of Beorn’s work include: Repudiation of the hoary tale of Polish cavalry charging German tanks in the 1939 War (p. 97); good information about the unfolding Polokaust (including GENERALPLAN OST, in which millions of Slavs were to die, and not merely be resettled: pp. 63-on; see especially p. 67); recognition that the number of Polish deportees into the interior of the USSR (1939-1941) could be (at least) 980,000 (pp. 85-86), and not the fraction of this total admitted by Russians today; awareness of the fact that Germans tried to stage local pogroms, in 1941, and blame it on the locals (p. 133-on) [with unmentioned relevance for the Jedwabne Pole-accusation]. 


The author features the Jewish-monopoly definition of the term Holocaust—that of, for example, the USHMM and Yad Vashem. (p. 4). He then reminds us of President Jimmy Carter’s definition of Holocaust—6 million Jews and 5 million “others”. (p. 4).

Waitman Wade Beorn then contradicts himself as he tries to come down on both sides of this issue, as he comments, “I will, however, avoid such a narrow use of this term. Not only is it historically imprecise, but it also implies a sense of ‘competitive suffering’ that is simply unhelpful. I WILL use the term ‘Holocaust’ to mainly to the Nazi attempt to murder the Jews of Europe; however, I will also use the more inclusive term ‘Nazi genocidal project’ to capture the larger murderous vision of which the Jews were such a large part. This includes Sinti/Roma (gypsies), the handicapped, political ‘enemies’, Soviet prisoners of war, and—particularly in the East—entire ethnic groups such as the Slavs.” (p. 4). 

However, later in the book (p. 279), Waitman Wade Beorn shows his true Holocaust-supremacist colors. He repeats the canned Judeocentric complaint that postwar Eastern European counties had refused to divide the dead by differentiating Jewish and non-Jewish victims of the Third Reich. 


With reference to the standard narrative on the Holocaust, Beorn writes, “I argue that there is no such thing as a bystander and will abandon the ‘perpetrators, victims, bystanders’ paradigm followed by many prominent historians. ‘Bystander’ implies a neutral observer not taking part yet everyone exposed to the Holocaust took part in some way, albeit on a broad spectrum from rescue to murder. Put another way, a man in a crowd watching the Lietukis garage massacre in Kaunas IS participating as an onlooker. He gives approval as a spectator by not leaving. If we view acts of genocide as communal behavior, this approval is an important factor. Our observer’s actions certainly do not equal a killer’s, but they move him to the perpetrator side. Conversely, if the same observer threw up his hands in disgust and walked away, we would not consider him a rescuer or resister, but his actions move him toward that side. Neither action killed or saved a victim, but they are not neutral. One cannot, simply put, ever be completely neutral.” (pp. 247-248; Emphasis added).

Very good: Let us turn this Holocaustspeak around. One common Zydokomuna exculpation is the one that “few Jews” were active Communist killers. But they got that way as a result of the tacit “bystander” approval of the vast majority of the Jewish community! And countless mainstream influential Jews had been enablers of the crimes of the Zydokomuna by never speaking out against it. So, following Beorn’s reasoning, the entire Jewish community assumes some responsibility, if not guilt, for the crimes of the Zydokomuna. No double standards: One standard must judge all peoples!


Beorn would have his readers believe that, “Finally, as of the printing of this book, Poland has passed a law making it illegal to refer to the death camps in Poland as ‘Polish’ or to claim that Poles collaborated with the Nazis in exterminating Jews.” (p. 279). 

The first part of Beorn’s statement is absolutely true; the second half is a flat lie. Fact is, the Polish law only criminalizes the attribution to the entire Polish NATION the collaboration with the Nazis. It does not, and never has, criminalized the attribution to certain Polish INDIVIDUALS the collaboration with the Nazis. 

Faced with this fact, we see a moving of the goalposts: We usually hear another lie to cover up the first one: The equally-baseless assertion that the Polish law chills academic inquiry into the Holocaust in Poland. There is not a shred of evidence that it does: It is pure propaganda, just as is the first lie. 

Will I ever live to see the day when academia and media get it right? Or are their falsehoods about the Polish law intentional?


The whoppers include: Repetition of the Nazi German propaganda of Poles killing thousands of unarmed German civilians in Bydgoszcz (Bromberg) in the 1939 War (p. 97); the claimed absence of a Polish Quisling because the Nazi German authorities never wanted one (p. 258)[they did, but failed]; German guilt diffusion by partly blaming Christian anti-Judaism for the centuries-later German-made Holocaust (pp. 18-on); the portrayal of Communism as some kind of Catholic-uncongenial bad cold (p. 74); the uncritical repetition of the shoddy and propagandistic JUDENJAGD of Jan Grabowski vel Abrahamer (p. 260); Zydokomuna negationism in repeating the canned silly exculpations that Jewish Communists were not really Jews [So what were they? Martians?] and that most Jews were not Communists (p. 91). [Do we say that the Japanese did not bomb Pearl Harbor (December 7, 1941) because, after all, we did not see all 100 million Japanese boarding planes and attacking the USA?] 

Jan Peczkis

Published with the author’s permission.

– More reviews by Jan Peczkis on PCO  ….. .

  • Title image: „The Holocaust in Eastern Europe: At the Epicenter of the Final Solution” by Waitman Wade Beorn, part of the cover / selected by wg.pco

, 2019.02.28. / up. 2020.02.07.