+++ M.P.O. V.I. (GUA) Poland’s nationalists are burying their antisemitic past – this is dangerous

Major Personal Opinion
V.I.

Poland has a particular responsibility to the Jewish People.

And a responsibility that cannot be forgotten.

6 millions Polish citizens died in WWII, out of them 3 million were Jews.

Roughly 90 percent of Poland’s prewar Jewish community.

Even if the Nazis commited the crimes, they had many Polish accomplices…

For the younger ones, source Wikipedia:

«Auschwitz concentration camp
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auschwitz_concentration_camp

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“Auschwitz”, “Auschwitz-Birkenau”, and “Birkenau” redirect here. For the town, see Oświęcim. For other uses, see Auschwitz (disambiguation) and Birkenau (disambiguation).

Auschwitz

Nazi concentration and extermination camp (1940–1945)
Auschwitz I – Birkenau, Oświęcim, Polonia – panoramio (20).jpg
Main entrance to Auschwitz II (Birkenau)

Auschwitz is located in Poland

Auschwitz

Location in Poland

Coordinates
50°02′09″N 19°10′42″ECoordinates: 50°02′09″N 19°10′42″E

German name
Konzentrationslager Auschwitz (pronounced [kɔntsɛntʁaˈtsi̯oːnsˌlaːɡɐ ˈʔaʊʃvɪts] (About this sound listen)); also KZ Auschwitz or KL Auschwitz

Other names
Birkenau

Known for
The Holocaust

Location
Auschwitz, German-occupied Poland

Operated by
Nazi Germany and the Schutzstaffel

Commandant

Rudolf Höß
(4 May 1940 – Nov 1943
8 May 1944 – Jan 1945)
Arthur Liebehenschel
(Dec 1943 – 8 May 1944)

Original use
Army barracks

Operational
May 1940 – January 1945

Inmates
Mainly Jews, Poles, Romani, Soviet prisoners of war

Killed
1.1 million (estimated)

Liberated by
Soviet Union, 27 January 1945

Notable inmates
Adolf Burger, Anne Frank, Otto Frank, Viktor Frankl, Imre Kertész, Maximilian Kolbe, Primo Levi, Irène Némirovsky, Witold Pilecki, Edith Stein, Simone Veil, Rudolf Vrba, Elie Wiesel, Fritz Löhner-Beda, Else Ury

Notable books

If This Is a Man (1947) ·
 Night (1956) ·
 Man’s Search for Meaning (1946)

Website
www.auschwitz.org

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Official name
Auschwitz Birkenau, German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940–1945)

The Auschwitz concentration camp was a network of concentration and extermination camps built and operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II. It consisted of Auschwitz I (the original concentration camp), Auschwitz II–Birkenau (a combination concentration/extermination camp), Auschwitz III–Monowitz (a labor camp to staff an IG Farben factory), and 45 satellite camps.

Auschwitz I was first constructed to hold Polish political prisoners, who began to arrive in May 1940. The first extermination of prisoners took place in September 1941. Auschwitz II–Birkenau went on to become a major site of the Nazis’ Final Solution to the Jewish Question during the Holocaust. From early 1942 until late 1944, transport trains delivered Jews to the camp’s gas chambers from all over German-occupied Europe, where they were killed en masse with the pesticide Zyklon B. An estimated 1.3 million people were sent to the camp, of whom at least 1.1 million died. Around 90 percent of those were Jews; approximately one in six Jews killed in the Holocaust died at the camp.[1][2] Others deported to Auschwitz included 150,000 Poles, 23,000 Romani and Sinti, 15,000 Soviet prisoners of war, 400 Jehovah’s Witnesses, and tens of thousands of others of diverse nationalities, including an unknown number of homosexuals.[3] Many of those not killed in the gas chambers died of starvation, forced labor, infectious diseases, individual executions, and medical experiments.

In the course of the war, the camp was staffed by 7,000 members of the German Schutzstaffel (SS), approximately 12 percent of whom were later convicted of war crimes. Some, including camp commandant Rudolf Höss, were executed. The Allied Powers did not act on early reports of atrocities at the camp, and their failure to bomb the camp or its railways remains controversial. At least 802 prisoners attempted to escape from Auschwitz, 144 successfully, and on 7 October 1944 two Sonderkommando units—prisoners assigned to staff the gas chambers—launched a brief, unsuccessful uprising.

As Soviet troops approached Auschwitz in January 1945, most of its population was sent west on a death march. The prisoners remaining at the camp were liberated on 27 January 1945, a day now commemorated as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. In the following decades, survivors such as Primo Levi, Viktor Frankl, and Elie Wiesel wrote memoirs of their experiences in Auschwitz, and the camp became a dominant symbol of the Holocaust. In 1947 Poland founded the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum on the site of Auschwitz I and II, and in 1979 it was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.»

The first Jewish merchants arrived in Poland in the 10th century AD.

They made what is Poland today.

The persons that are pushing for these laws in Poland should be ashamed of themselves.

They are actually trying to erase the past.

The Nazi past.

And what a shame it is.

Pro Nazi political parties are forbidden in most European Countries.

And they should continue so.

One wonders if the current generation has read any history books…

Francisco (Abouaf) de Curiel Marques Pereira

(GUA) What is at stake in the row over links to the Holocaust is not Poland’s reputation, but Polish nationalist rightwing tradition.

Barbed wire Auschwitz
 Barbed wire at the former concentration camp of Auschwitz. ‘The bill opens the way to criminalising anyone who seeks to reveal dark chapters of Polish history.’ Photograph: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Awar is being fought over collective memory in Poland. In the absence of a convincing vision of the future, the ability to control definitions of the past has become one of the most important sources of legitimacy in Polish politics. But if the historicisation of policy is a game played by all sides, the conservative, nationalist right is the most consistent and effective player. Its strategy is well illustrated by the current conflict over the act that enshrines the legal status of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN).

The government presented the bill as a way to eliminate a discourse about “Polish death camps” during the Holocaust. The government says this discussion falsely accuses Poles of complicity in the murder of 3 million Polish Jews under Nazi occupation and is spreading throughout the world. The majority of the opposition either abstained or supported the government, with the main objection coming from liberal media where the law was criticised for provisions that introduced historical censorship.

Under the guise of defending the good name of “The Polish Nation” the bill opens the way to criminalising anyone who seeks to reveal dark chapters of Polish history, such as antisemitic pogroms before, during and after the war. But this is a veneer. What is truly at stake is not Poland’s reputation, but Polish nationalist rightwing tradition. The ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) makes no secret of the fact that it is part of this tradition. The language and ideas of PiS leaders, as well as their policies towards refugees, minorities and political opposition, draw directly from the rhetoric and strategy of Polish nationalism in the first half of the 20th century.

Before the second world war the Polish nationalist movement was furiously antisemitic. Organisations including ONR-Falanga, the Camp of Great Poland, the National party and the Camp of National Unity had between them hundreds of thousands of members organised on the model of Italian and German fascists. They organised a boycott of Jewish shops and companies, as well as militias that physically attacked representatives of the Jewish community. Between 1935 and 1937 a wave of antisemitic pogroms passed through Poland. The most important centres of antisemitic violence were universities and university cities, which were controlled by the nationalist right. At universities, with the support of their authorities, the “ghetto benches” (special pews for Jews) were introduced, and the number of Jewish students reduced. Those who remained were regularly harassed and beaten.

Antisemitic violence spread from cities to the provinces. Areas in which the nationalists’ influence was strong in the 1930s became the most dangerous for Jews during the war and occupation. Marches and boycotts gave way to more deadly attacks. In some places – Jedwabne, Radziłów, Wąsosz, Szczuczyn – thousands of Jews were murdered by Poles in the summer of 1941. The last phase of the Holocaust (1943-44) saw Jewish “runaways” escaping ghettos hunted and denounced.

Polish antisemitism still has a very specific political face. It is the work and the tool of the nationalist right. This is PiS’s history and presents a problem for the party. Restoring this part of our national memory corrupts the image of Poland’s rulers, and so PiS seeks to close the mouths of those historians who remind us of the crimes of Polish nationalism. Jarosław Kaczyński’s party wants to blur the memory of an important element of its own identity and to purge itself of a murky heritage of pogroms and denunciations.

But that is not all. The more effectively Poland’s rulers can create a collective amnesia, the easier it will be for them to turn this heritage into a present-day reality – by organising a campaign of suspicion towards strangers, spreading hatred towards refugees and feminists, and turning a blind eye to fascists from ONR and All-Polish Youth and the increasing attacks on migrants. While whitewashing its own history, the party seeks to blame its opponents on the left for the antisemitic crimes of the past. We see this in the prose of the prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, when he suggested that the pogrom in Kielce in 1946 was the work of communist provocateurs, and not a population imbued with the antisemitic propaganda of the National Armed Forces – a nationalist armed organisation that was particularly strong in this region.

And so instead the antisemitic crimes of the past are represented as features of singular, depraved perpetrators rather than as the consequence of political movements and currents which we continue to see glimpses of today. Cleared of all charges, PiS can now level them at others instead – at the opposition, at critical historians and journalists – and in doing so deprive them of their legitimacy and of their right to participate in the politics of Poland now, and in the future.