Martyrs of Charity by Waclaw Zajaczkowski. 1988
Reviewer: Mr. Jan Peczkis / My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Why Jews Were Betrayed. Why Property Disputes. Kielce Pogrom Subterfuge at the USHMM
This book is now over 30 years old. The informed reader may be struck at how the same Pole-attacking arguments are used, over and over again, by Jewish Polonophobes.
In this painstakingly-detailed work, Zajaczkowski catalogues over 700 locations (listed alphabetically) where Germans murdered Poles for aiding Jews (pp. 119-291). In most of them, there were at least several Polish victims (often tens or hundreds, as in “pacified” villages), so the total known Polish death toll is at least in the thousands.
The massive Polish sacrifices refute the odious anti-Polish comments of the likes of Menachem Begin (p. 73), etc., who accused Poles of doing virtually nothing to save Jews. It also upends the absurd implied equation of the possibilities enjoyed by Danes and Poles.
FUGITIVE JEWS WERE COMMONLY BETRAYED UNDER TORTURE, NOT VOLUNTARILY
Jews and Poles falling into German hands were frequently tortured to force them to identify other Polish benefactors and/or hidden Jews (e. g., p. 159). For this reason, the low overall survivorship of fugitive Jews should not be taken as evidence of Poles willingly betraying fugitive Jews.
POLES HONORED BY YAD VASHEM ARE THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG
As for the numerous but very limited number of deserving Poles honored at Yad Vashem,
Zajaczkowski comments: „There are tens of thousands of similar cases in which Jews saved by the sacrifices of their Christian brothers in Poland, respond with contempt and denigration.” (p. 272).
Significant detail is presented about Polish aid to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (pp. 242-250)–almost never shown in Holocaust films! The AK’s aid to Jews (e. g., p. 148, 182, 198, 223, 236, 245, 246,
252-254, 272) is also recounted. Did you know that a Polish pilot flew some Jewish parachutists into Hungary in a futile attempt to start an uprising among Hungarian Jews? (p. 287).
POSTWAR HOUSING SHORTAGE: THE REAL REASON THAT POLES WERE NOT THRILLED WHEN HOLOCAUST-SURVIVING JEWS RETURNED TO RECLAIM THEIR PROPERTY
The postwar Jewish property issue, polemicized by Jan T. Gross in his FEAR, was debunked by Zajaczkowski decades ago: „In overcrowded Polish cities where one single room had to accommodate two or three families after the war, a reluctance to vacate the premises when they were claimed by the returning Jews was by Jewish historians branded as ‘antisemitism’…” (pp. 59-60).
“AUSCHWITZ IS NOT A PLACE FOR PRAYER”. SAYS WHO?
In his preface, J. B. Sheerin discusses the Auschwitz Carmelite Convent controversy (pp. 28-30). No one is forced to pray at Auschwitz. It is obvious that advocates of the „empty sky” over Auschwitz are attempting to impose their God-rejecting beliefs on those who believe differently!
GERMAN GUILT DIFFUSION REPUDIATED: NO VALID DUALISM BETWEEN GERMANS AND NAZIS
Dyed-in-the-wool Nazism was in no sense atypical amongst the German population. Thus, for example, every third German family had at least one member in the SS or Gestapo (p. 83).
DO NOT BLAME CHRISTIANITY FOR THE HOLOCAUST
Against the portrayal of medieval Christianity as a prelude to the Holocaust, Zajaczkowski presents evidence (pp. 89-90) that, for much of this time, Jews enjoyed greater privileges than 95% of the Christian population. Also, in prewar Poland, Jewry had enjoyed an unprecedented political and cultural renaissance. (pp. 38-39).
SO-DESIGNATED POLISH ANTI-SEMITES (AS ENDEKS) REJECTED EVEN MILD NAZI ANTI-JEWISH POLICIES
Members of the Polish Bar Association, who before the war had resented the disproportionate number of Jews among them, later refused a German order to disbar its Jewish members. For this act of defiance, they paid with one-way trips to Pawiak and Auschwitz. (p. 240).
THE KIELCE POGROM AT THE USHMM: IMPLICITLY CONNECTING POLISH CONDUCT WITH NAZI GERMAN CONDUCT
Author Zajaczkowski includes a photo of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s exhibit of the Kielce Pogrom (p. 106), although this wasn’t even part of the Holocaust. This is usually rationalized as a teaching of what happened to the Jews after the Shoah. Using the same logic, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM) should include the Jewish mass murder of Arab civilians at Deir Yassin. The Jewish victim had quickly become a Jewish victimizer.
The false and arbitrary connection of the comparatively-trivial Kielce Pogrom (1946), to the German-made Shoah of 6 million Jews (1941-1945) that had ended over a year earlier, is a rather transparent German guilt-dilution tactic. It is one that transfers part of the “bad smell” of Nazi German crimes onto Poles, and relativizes German crimes.
Published with the author’s permission.
The title image: Martyrs of Charity by Waclaw Zajaczkowski. 1988 – part of the cover / selected by wg.pco