US Congress shows weak knowledge of Polish history

US Congress shows weak knowledge of Polish history

Two US congressmen sent an open letter to the US Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan, The letter was full of historical inaccuracies and inconsistencies. For instance, it attacked (rightly) the glorification of the Ukrainian mass murder Stepan Bandera. But at the same time, it attacked also a Polish bill which penalizes the glorification of Ukrainian mass murders. That’s the level of ignorance in the US Congress.

Dear Congressman Khanna, Dear Congressman Cicilline,

We Poles can only wonder what possessed you to write this letter on a subject that you did not research or fact check. It is remarkable others signed it without any apparent thought.

Surely, there are competent people who could have provided such a much-needed service among all the signatories. Instead, folk blindly jumped onto an anti-Polish bandwagon without any due diligence or regard for truth. We read with dismay the number of inaccuracies therein. Perhaps someone could provide a list of the “deeply troubling actions” by Poland that have been repeatedly condemned by those organizations. Thought not.

Poland would be the last country on Earth to honor or glorify Nazism!

Not one member of Congress did any basic research on that new (impolitic) Polish law or WW2/Holocaust history.  Are you all oblivious to the following irrefutable FACTS?

The Polish nation was destroyed by the invasion from the two most murderous totalitarian regimes in human history. Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Poland was for hundreds of years the center of the Jewish world; the country that fought Nazi Germany for the longest time; the country that never surrendered; that had the biggest (but least supported by the Allies) underground resistance army; that suffered the greatest population losses (6 MILLION citizens; half of whom were Jewish) and the most vicious destruction; that has the most Righteous (despite the German mandated death penalty for any person and their family who helped Jews); that told the world about the genocide being perpetrated against the Jews (nobody listened or did anything), instead you FALSELY and absurdly link the new Polish legislation with anti-Semitism and support for Nazism.

It is the ignorance of the signatories that is a cause for concern rather than the Polish legislation.

For the record, Poland did NOT participate in the Holocaust. It could be considered an act of Holocaust Denial and Distortion to make such an assertion.

“Attempts to blur the responsibility for the establishment of concentration and death camps devised and operated by Nazi Germany by putting blame on other nations or ethnic groups.”

Here’s what the German Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, stated on February 4, 2018: “There is absolutely no doubt about who bears responsibility for the extermination camps, about who operated them and murdered millions of European Jews there: it was Germans. This organized mass murder was perpetrated by our country and no one else. The actions of individual collaborators do not alter that fact.”

The Polish legislation is actually designed to fight Holocaust Denial. Copy below of the text. The important principle of the law is to prevent incorrect and offensive phrases such as “Polish Death camp”.

If more people understood why phrases such as “Polish death camp” are a complete distortion of history and why such phrases must not be used, then perhaps the Polish law may not have been considered necessary. We can’t recall US Congress or a Member of Congress ever making statements to complain about inaccurate and offensive phrases such as “Polish concentration camp”! 

Perhaps you have heard of Yad Vashem?

Yad Vashem:

  • “There is no doubt that the term” Polish extermination camps “is a historic misrepresentation!”
  • “The campaign geared to recruit USA Jewry against the Polish Holocaust law contains a number of historical inaccuracies as well as statements such as “Polish Holocaust” deemed unacceptable by Yad Vashem.”

The US Congress would be better suited to tackling anti-Semitism in the US rather than giving sanctimonious lectures to countries that they have never visited or that they know little about. There are more anti-Semitic incidents in the US per capita than in Poland. A 60% rise has been reported in the US last year (Source: Anti-Defamation League). Surely that should be your focus.


Chris Jeżewski

Deputy Head of Polish Media Issues


What the law actually states:

“…after art. 55, the following art.55a and art. 55b are inserted:

“Art. 55a. 1. Whoever publicly and contrary to the facts attributes to the Polish Nation or to the Polish State responsibility or co-responsibility for the Nazi crimes committed by the German Third Reich, as specified in Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal – Annex to the Agreement for the prosecution and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis, executed in London on 8 August 1945 (Journal of Laws of 1947, item 367), or for any other offences constituting crimes against peace, humanity or war crimes, or otherwise grossly diminishes the responsibility of the actual perpetrators of these crimes, shall be liable to a fine or deprivation of liberty for up to 3 years. The judgment shall be communicated to the public.

  1. If the perpetrator of the act specified in section 1 above acts unintentionally, they shall be liable to a fine or restriction of liberty.
  2. An offense is not committed if the perpetrator of a prohibited act set out in sections 1 and 2 above acted within the framework of artistic or scientific activity.”,10368,nowelizacja-ustawy-o-ipn–wersja-w-jezyku.html

Also, not the first time that Congress has engaged in the anti-Polish narrative:

The United States should appoint someone for the position of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat anti-Polonism.

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