Overrated Book. Much Extraneous Material Consists of the Canned Anti-Polish Talking Points

Highly-Touted Book Smuggles-In Many Pilecki-Irrelevant Statements: Canned Attacks on Poles and Poland. Reviewer: Jan Peczkis.

There are many better books about Witold Pilecki. For instance, there is BEYOND BRAVERY by Pilecki himself.

The present book is all about author Jack Fairweather including things that have nothing to do with Pilecki or his mission, and repeating the standard Pole-blaming memes, such as:

  • Poland’s presumed bad treatment of her PreWWII minorities (pp. 8-9). [“Bad”–compared with what?].
  • Boycotts of Jews (p. 9) [All context-free].
  • Prewar Polish violence against Jews (p. 9). [No scale or perspective: Mountains out of molehills].
  • Polish anti-Semitism (p. 22) [What else?].
  • Physical Polish attacks on Jews during the German Occupation (pp. 40-41) [No scale or perspective: Mountains out of molehills.]
  • Polish doctors, at Auschwitz, treating Jewish patients „quickly” (p. 136) [Who is holding the stopwatch?].
  • Nazis did not do systematic murder on Poles, only on Jews (p. 177) [Absolutely false].
  • Polish killings of Jews in the east, and Poles suppressing facts about it (p. 184) [How so?].
  • Gratuitous remarks about „Poland’s prewar inequality” (p. 227) [Compared with what?].
  • Insinuation that „Polish nationalists” wanted to keep Auschwitz as a symbol of Polish suffering (p. 289) [How about universalism?].
  • Wholesale Nazi German extermination of Poles „ruled out” (p. 293) [Absolutely false].
  • Polish staff at Auschwitz giving verbal jabs, and kicks, to the Jews to show them they are the ones on the bottom of the Nazi German hierarchy (p. 327) [Amazing assertions].
  • AK Commander Bor Komorowski „generally avoided confronting the anti-Semitic elements of the resistance” (p. 357) [Manipulative. And who was Bor: A thought policeman?].
  • Poles killing Jews during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising (p. 384, 498-499) [Long Debunked].
  • Polish Underground not investigating such alleged killing of Jews (p. 384) [For what purpose?].
  • Postwar Auschwitz treated by Poles „on Christian terms” (p. 400) [Actually, universal terms].
  • Postwar Polish looters at Jewish murder sites (p. 401) [A triviality. Happened everywhere—and not only to Jews].
  • Poles blame Jews for Communism (p. 402). [For good reason.].
  • Witold Pilecki never saw the suffering of Jews as a symbol of humanity (p. 413). [Who says that he was supposed to?].
  • Complaints about Jews being an „unwanted element” among Poles (p. 443) [No context].
  • Witold Pilecki’s semi-derogatory characterizations of Jews (p. 469) [Really?].
  • Polish Underground not mentioning the Jewishness of the Sonderkommando and their revolt (p. 483) [Horror of horrors.]
  • Polish anti-Semitism yet again (p. 496) [What else?].

Unfortunately, Fairweather lacks discernment. In the Bibliography, there are anti-Polish „authorities” such as Anna Bikont (p. 507), Michal Cichy (p. 508), David Engel (p. 510), Barbara Engelking (p. 510), Jan T. Gross (p. 512), and Communist Shmuel Krakowski (p. 513).


Jan Peczkis

Published with the author’s permission.

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, 2019.07.11.