Not Just Another Holocaust Book by Eli Gat. 2006.
Reviewer: Mr. Jan Peczkis / My rating: 4 of 5 stars.
Suppressed Holocaust Survivor Book Shows the Insignificance of the Jews’ Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Poles Betrayed Fugitive Jews in Ignorance
The only United States library that owns this book, according to WorldCat, is the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Library in Washington. D. C. (USHMM), and they refuse to lend it to other libraries (I tried). Only 3 libraries, listed in WorldCat, are identified as having this book. To put this in perspective, Jan T. Gross’ Polonophobic screed, NEIGHBORS, is listed as owned by no less than 1,385 libraries in the world (as of October 2019).
WHY THE CENSORSHIP?
Much of this book is unremarkable. It also contains the standard Polonophobic Holocaust lore that is typical of books of this type. However, the reader soon learns why this book is not widely available. The author challenges the Zionist narrative of the heroic actions of Jews resisting the Nazis.
WARSAW GHETTO UPRISING IS MUCH OVERHYPED
Contrary to misrepresentations, Eli Gat does not deny the fact of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (1943). However, he warns against its exaggeration. [We have even heard the silly argument that the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising resisted the Germans longer than did the entire Polish Army in 1939. The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, compared with Poland’s 1939 resistance, was a tempest in a teapot.]
Author Eli Gat notes that the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising consisted of only 230-350 fighters out of the remaining ghetto population of 40,000-50,000 (p. 199), and suggests that it took the lives of only 15 Germans. (p. 200). Worse yet, the Uprising has been heavily politicized by Zionist left-wing parties, who have assumed control of the narrative. (pp. 200-202). The deeds of Marek Edelman of the Bund, and Simcha Rotem from the Akiva movement, have been largely ignored, and the role of the Revisionist fighters even more so. (p. 200).
Eli Gat accuses Yad Vashem of bias. For example, it didn’t publish Marek Edelman’s THE GHETTO FIGHTS for 56 years (p. 202). Similar delays existed in Yad Vashem’s treatment of the works of scholars such as Gerard Reitlinger, Raul Hilberg, and (surprise) Hannah Arendt. (pp. 203-204).
Many Israeli-Zionist publications portray the SONDERKOMMANDO revolt at Auschwitz as an act of Jewish pride and defiance. Eli Gat considers these “pathetic and ridiculous statements” (p. 144), and considers the SONDERKOMMANDO revolt as nothing more than an act of self-preservation.
1939 GERMAN-POLISH WAR: SOME JEWS ACTUALLY SUPPORTED THE GERMANS
Based on his personal experience, author Eli Gat relates how his mother aided the 1939 German invaders and conquerors of Poland. He describes how his mother had threatened to report looting Germans to their commander, and how the commander promised that such looting would not happen again. He adds that, “My mother was not content with this promise; she approached the German administration and offered them a place to live in our apartment. After a short while, two German official of the civil administration arrived.” (p. 61).
LIKE POLES, LIKE JEWS: A LOCAL ADMINISTRATION FORCED TO SERVE THE GERMANS
Neo-Stalinist authors, notably Jan T. Gross and Jan Grabowski, had made much of the fact that part of the lower-level administration, and the Blue Police (POLICJA GRANATOWA), consisted of Poles, and fallaciously claimed that this implied their willing participation in German crimes. Author Eli Gat, despite the frequent anti-Polish tone of his writing, nevertheless knows better. He realizes the comparable unenviable no-win situation facing both the Jewish Councils [JUDENRAT] and the German-appointed Polish lower-level administration and police. He writes, “The connection between the Council and the Nazi superior officer could not be severed as was also the case with all the other local non-Jewish administrations that became a part of the German regime in occupied Europe. For example, the Polish city councils as well as the Polish civil administration, including the Polish police force, were all subordinate to the Nazi occupiers. Regrettably, the role played by the Jews themselves at every stage of the destruction was most significant.” (p. 96).
THE GERMAN-MADE HOLOCAUST IN GERMAN-OCCUPIED POLAND CAME AND WENT BEFORE THE JEWS (OR POLES) COULD REACT
In Radom, Eli Gat’s native city, a centuries-old Jewish community of 25,000 Jews was wiped out in just 10 days by the Nazi Germans. It took only two transports to Treblinka to do so. (p. 106).
The Germans needed only the latter half of 1942 to exterminate almost all Poland’s Jews. Eli Gat fingers the implications of this speedy genocidal action, “In the shortest possible time, about six months, the Germans succeeded in murdering most of the ghetto Jews. The destruction was executed so rapidly that the possibility of response of any kind was practically nonexistent. It took some time for the Jews to digest the rumors about the destruction and to begin to believe that it was really happening.” (p. 146). In common with many other Jewish eyewitnesses, Gat testifies to the widespread and deeply-entrenched Jewish disbelief that the Germans could engage in systematic murder—especially in the 20th century. (e. g, pp. 105-106).
The author’s analysis of Nazi German genocidal crimes is not solely Judeocentric. Consider the Polokaust. Eli Gat calls attention to the fact that the Germans murdered 3 million Poles. (p. 229). He also cognizant of the fact that, had Nazi Germany won the war, the Slavs would also be exterminated. (p. 177).
POLISH DENOUNCERS DID NOT USUALLY KNOWINGLY SEND JEWS TO THEIR DEATHS
Eli Gat comments, “We the Jews, bitterly condemn the Polish people for their behavior during the war, mainly during the time of the mass annihilation of the Jews. However, we have to remember that the Poles, too, were as unaware of the genocidal plans of the Nazis as the Jews. The general belief amongst the Poles was that the Jews were being sent to labor camps in the east…” (p. 78). So a Pole who betrayed a Jew likely thought that he was merely returning a Jew to the ghetto, and did not comprehend the fact that it would cost the Jew his life.
Despite repeating the usual complaints about Polish denouncers of fugitive Jews, Gat nevertheless realizes their greatly-exaggerated impact. He quips, “In reality, only one collaborator in an apartment building or a village was sufficient to endanger an entire community of Jews.” (p. 79).
ALMOST-INSUPERABLE CHALLENGES FACING JEWS WHO CONTEMPLATED FLEEING THE GHETTOS
Instead of solely blaming the Poles for not creating a hospitable environment which would encourage more Jews to go into hiding, Eli Gat alludes to the baleful consequences of the self-imposed apartheid that Jews had practiced for centuries. For instance, he writes, “There were very few Jews who spoke accurate and fluent Polish despite the fact that they were born there and their families had lived there for generations.” (p. 205). Author Gat, based on his personal experience being hidden by Poles noted that, in spite of his Aryan appearance and impeccable Polish language skills, he was warned by his rescuers not to engage in subtle giveaways of the fact that he is Jewish. The rescuers said, “Do not sing (meaning: do not draw your words out) and do not make hand gestures when you speak.” (pp. 205-206).
BEFORE WWII: CONSEQUENCES OF JEWISH ECONOMIC DOMINANCE
Author Eli Gat is candid about the fact that many Jews became wealthy, and that they played a major role in the Polish economy. (p. 49, 57). Not surprisingly, this had negative impact on Polish-Jewish relations, as he relates, “The Poles felt that they were not masters in their own land. They felt that the Jews had taken control of the country, and the Polish people, most of whom were peasants, had the feeling that they were the ‘cutters of wood and drawers of water’ in their own land. As the street sweepers were Poles, an expression was coined: ‘The streets are ours—but the houses belong to the Jews.’” (p. 49). [This is an inverse of what the Jews said: WASZE ULICE, NASZE KAMIENICE.]
Published with the author’s permission.
The title image: „The Warsaw Ghetto boy” – SS-Rottenführer Josef Blösche points a submachine gun in his direction. German troops forced women and children out of a bunker during the liquidation of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Source: en.wikipedia.org, Public Domain / selected by wg.pco