Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"Polish Death Camps"

Yesterday, President Obama grievously offended our Polish allies by calling the Nazi death camps in occupied Poland… “Polish death camps.”

While some Poles did collaborate, the record of Polish resistance to the Nazis, coupled with Polish efforts to help its Jewish population was far, far better than that of one of our other allies.

Matthew Kaminski explains why the Poles are so offended by Obama’s gaffe. In the process he offers a comparison between Poland and France during Nazi occupation.

In his words:

Poles are, to say the least, prickly on this score. When their nation was stuck behind the Iron Curtain for four decades, they were in no position to defend themselves against charges of complicity in the mass murder of Jews. Yet unlike Vichy France, the Poles didn't collaborate with the Nazis in running the country, much less in the Holocaust. The Polish underground was the only organized group that tried to help Jews during the war, smuggling arms into the Warsaw Ghetto during the 1943 uprising. Christian Poles sheltered thousands of Jewish children and faced certain death if found by the Nazis.


The Ghost said...

did the guards speak Austrian in the "Polish Death Camps" ?

JP said...

The only thing I've ever read about Poles and the holocaust is what was in Maus.

From Wikipedia:

"While the Poles have often been demonized for a perceived widespread antisemitism and complicity with the Nazis, Spiegelman shows numerous instances of Poles who risked themselves to aid the Jews. However, antisemitism is depicted as being rife. The Kapos who run the camps are Poles, Anja and Vladek are tricked by Polish smugglers into being captured by the Nazis. Even in post-war Poland Anja and Vladek hear that Poles continue to drive off and even kill returning Jews."

Malcolm said...

Interesting read

Poles Were Complicit in Holocaust: Outrage Over Obama “Gaffe” is Fraudulent, Ignorant

Anonymous said...

What everybody should know.
Answer to Debbie Schlussel

“The Polish people were classified by the Nazis according to their racial characteristics. The ones who appeared Aryan were deported to Lodz for further racial examination. Most of the others were sent to the Reich to work in slave labor camps. The rest were sent to Auschwitz to die. Polish Christians and Catholics were actually the first victims of the notorious German death camp. For the first 21 months after it began in 1940, Auschwitz was inhabited almost exclusively by Polish non-Jews. The first ethnic Pole died in June 1940 and the first Jew died in October 1942.

Three million were Polish Christians and Catholics. It would be very sad to forget even one precious life extinguished so ruthlessly. It would be a tragedy to forget five million.”


“In November 1938, many Jews within Germany decided that it was time to leave. Though many German Jews had emigrated in the preceding years, the Jews who remained had a more difficult time leaving the country because emigration policies had been toughened. By 1939, not only were visas needed to be able to enter another country but money was also needed to leave Germany. Since many countries, especially the United States, had immigration quotas, visas were near impossible to acquire within the short time spans in which they were needed. For many, the visas were acquired after it was too late.”


When they reached Havana on May 30, however, the Cuban government refused to recognize their entrance visas. None of the passengers were allowed to disembark. Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Panama were approached in vain, by various Jewish organizations. Within two days all the countries of Latin America had rejected entreaties to allow these Jews to land, and on June 2 the St. Louis was forced to leave Havana harbour. The last hope was Canada or the United States, and the latter, not bothering to reply to an appeal, sent a gunboat to shadow the ship as it made its way north.

In Canada, Prime Minister Mackenzie King felt, that this was not a "Canadian problem," ignoring the pleas of many influential Canadians. Frederick Charles Blair, director of the Immigration Branch of the Department of Mines and Resources said, "No country, could open its doors wide enough to take in the hundreds of thousands Jewish peolpe who want to leave Europe: the line must be drawn somewhere.


Talking about visas in this particular period? Those people tried escape holocaust! Did the Jews, from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee help them? There was no dead risk to save the Jews, as in Poland. Do you know how many Poles died, because of hidden Jews? Tried do something? You should read more about Jewish history! You should be ashamed!!!

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thank you for the clarifications. Much appreciated.