Our rebuttal to Sierakowski’s story in the Irish Examiner

Our rebuttal to Sierakowski’s story in the Irish Examiner

Dear Editor,

This article has nothing to support the headline and the writer was being mischievous with the facts.

The Polish law does not (and did not) in any way try to revise the history of the Holocaust. On the contrary it was a slightly impolitic attempt to ensure that the history was not distorted due to press mistakes or mistaken assumptions. The principle behind the law was to stop incorrect and offensive phrases such as “Polish death camp”. Everyone, including Yad Vashem, agrees those types of descriptions are inaccurate and misleading. Therefore, they should not be used.

The law is also perfectly compatible with this definition of Holocaust Denial and Distortion.
“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.”

Your correspondent moans about the law but perhaps he has never read it.
Here’s what is stated: “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,…”

Please note the words “Polish Nation” or “Polish State”. This excluded the actions of what was an insignificant minority of INDIVIDUALS. Look at what happened in other German-occupied countries with their collaborationist governments. Vichy France, Quisling Norway…

This photo caption and this paragraph is a fiction which is not supported by any actual facts and research.
The Nazi death camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Two-thirds of the 250,000 Jews who escaped during the Nazis’ liquidation of Jewish ghettos in 1942 had been killed by 1945, most of them by Poles or with Polish participation.”

A big assumption was made that the escapees MUST have been killed by Poles or with Polish participation. The writers totally IGNORE the brutal German occupation and make wild accusations that ignore or manipulate previous research. Professor Jan Grabowski was caught falsifying the research of Szymon Datner. Here’s what Datner actually wrote:
“In one of the studies, I estimated the number of surviving Jews, saved primarily thanks to the help of the Polish population, at around 100,000 people. We equally tentatively estimate that at least the same number of victims were captured by the occupying authorities and fell victim to the atrocities” (“Nazi crimes against ghetto escapees”, Jewish Historical Institute Bulletin, 1970 no. 75, p. 29).”

Grabowski added the 2 numbers together and then claimed that 200,000 Jews were killed by Poles! That’s not research; it’s a complete distortion.

Your correspondent insults the RIGHTEOUS who were acknowledged by Yad Vashem. He is being completely duplicitous when he makes the snide comment: “this is pure casuistry.”
He fails to mention that in no other German-occupied country there was a death penalty for helping Jews. Any Pole AND their family would be summarily executed by the German occupiers if they were discovered helping Jews. It is estimated up to 50,000 Poles were executed by the Germans for trying to help Jews. Sierakowski also ignores the fact that Poland fought the German Nazis from the first day of the war to the last. SIX million Polish citizens were killed, half were Jewish. The other half were not. Poland had been the centre of the Jewish world for hundreds of years.

From the Joint Statement.
“3. We believe that there is a common responsibility to conduct free research, to promote understanding and to preserve the memory of the history of the Holocaust. We have always agreed that the term “Polish concentration/death camps” is blatantly erroneous and diminishes the responsibility of Germans for establishing those camps.

The wartime Polish Government-in-Exile attempted to stop this Nazi activity by trying to raise awareness among the Western allies to the systematic murder of the Polish Jews.

We acknowledge and condemn every single case of cruelty against Jews perpetrated by Poles during the World War II.

We are honored to remember heroic acts of numerous Poles, especially the Righteous Among the Nations, who risked their lives to save Jewish people.

  1. We reject the actions aimed at blaming Poland or the Polish nation as a whole for the atrocities committed by the Nazis and their collaborators of different nations. Unfortunately, the sad fact is that some people – regardless of their origin, religion or worldview – revealed their darkest side at that time. We acknowledge the fact that structures of the Polish underground State supervised by the Polish Government-in-Exile created a mechanism of systematic help and support to Jewish people, and its courts sentenced Poles for collaborating with the German occupation authorities, including for denouncing Jews.”

Sierakowski failed to provide a single example showing how the law alters the history of Jews in Poland. I am disappointed that the Examiner published such a silly opinion.

Please allow a full response or remove the article.


Polish Media Issues

Copyright notice: Irish Examiner premises on Oliver Plunkett Street (Wikipedia).


%d bloggers like this: