The British “Open Democracy” insinuates “unsettling denialism” in the Polish anti-defamation law

The British “Open Democracy” insinuates “unsettling denialism” in the Polish anti-defamation law

In the libelous article “The unsettling denialism in Poland’s ‘National Remembrance’ Law” its author, Dan Davison, an activist of the Labour Party and PhD student (Sociology) claims that the Polish government and Polish people want to “reinforce the notion that no sections of either the Polish state or nation collaborated with the Nazis, or that if any Poles did collaborate, they were numerically insignificant and do not reflect the ‘true’ Poland. He offends not only Polish WWII victims but also Polish Catholics by saying “Put simply, the law aims to legitimise current Polish Catholic nationalism.”

We publish fragments of Davison’s story with our comments. Please contact the author of the libel on TT @dejdavisonvec or by email, and support our efforts to expose his offensive and historically false accusations about Poland’s WWII history and the Polish anti-defamation bill. Alternatively, please write to “Open Democracy” (

“Put bluntly, the prohibition serves to reinforce the notion that no sections of either the Polish state or nation collaborated with the Nazis, or that if any Poles did collaborate, they were numerically insignificant and do not reflect the ‘true’ Poland. This dangerous simplification of history is key to understanding why the new prohibition is widely criticised as anti-Semitic.”

PMI: No the Polish anti-defamation law doesn’t serve this purpose. This interpretation is pulled out of the hat. Nobody in Poland denies that there were isolated cases of collaboration with Nazi Germans. Collaborators in Poland — considered lowlifes on the margins of society — were executed by the Polish underground state. There was never an official collaborative regime in occupied Poland contrary to every other country under German occupation. And, unlike almost every other European nation, there were no Polish volunteers in the Waffen SS, the worst of the German killing machines. The author describes Poland’s historical narrative as “nationalistic bias,” yet there is a remarkable absence of discussion in Israel about the sizable number of Jews who were complicit with the Germans in the annihilation of their own people, e.g. Group 13, Hotel Polski, Zagiew, Jewish Ghetto police, and others. And any mention of widespread Jewish collaboration with the Soviets 1939-41 and 1944 onward elicits hysterical accusations of anti-Semitism.

“During World War II, the ‘Blue Police’ – essentially the pre-war Polish state police with German leadership – helped carry out the tasks of the Nazi administration.”

PMI: Again wrong, ‘Blue Police’ was an auxiliary institution tasked with protecting public safety and order in the General Government. Similar police forces, based on local professional police, existed in all German-occupied European countries. (

“In July 1941, at least 340 Jews were massacred in Jedwabne.”

PMI: Of course, no indictment of Poland is complete without the habitual canards about Jedwabne. But again, a nation of tens of millions is to be collectively guilty for the bad deeds of a few dozen Poles who were motivated by revenge for Jewish collaboration with the Soviets which resulted in death or deportation to Siberia of their Polish neighbors (1939-41). Davison forgets that no Pole was permitted to store enough fuel to burn a barn. German bullet casings were found at the site of the (aborted) exhumation. No Pole was allowed by the Germans to possess firearms. Hermann Schaper and four other German SS were convicted in German courts for the crime (Dagmar Herzog, „Lessons and Legacies VII: The Holocaust in International Perspective”). Just a few facts which did not conform to Jan Gross’s, a controversial author of pseudohistorical books,  preordained conclusions. Gross has admitted (though not publicly) that “had the exhumation been completed, we would really know.” In other words, Gross doesn’t know, his shills don’t know, and Davison doesn’t know. And, ironically, if Gross’s Catholic mother had not saved his Jewish father, he wouldn’t be alive to defame his native country.

“Anti-Semitic oppression in Poland continued after the end of the war and the establishment of Soviet rule in 1945. Most infamously, on 4 July 1946 in Kielce, where Jewish refugees were gathered, a mob killed at least 42 Jews and injured over 40.”

PMI: Kielce, another incident meant to showcase Polish anti-Semitism, is portrayed as unique to Poland. In fact, episodes of this kind occurred throughout postwar Soviet-occupied Central and Eastern Europe. However, evidence that it was provoked by the Soviet NKVD is at odds with the narrative promoted by the sociologist Gross and his clones in the media and academia. Davison omits the publications of the former US Ambassador to Poland Arthur Bliss Lane (1944 to 1947) and the works of Michael Chęcinski, a former Jewish intelligence officer. Mr. Lane reported in his book “I Saw Poland Betrayed: An American Ambassador Reports To The American People”: “But almost all sources agreed that the militia had been responsible to a great extent for the massacre, not only in failing to keep order but in the actual killing of the victims, for many had been shot or bayoneted to death…” The militia in postwar Poland was fully controlled by the Soviet occupiers.

“The prohibition against attributing any responsibility for the Holocaust to the Polish state or nation seeks to revere the many genuinely heroic acts that Poles committed during the occupation and to valorise the modern Polish nation by way of shared heritage.”

PMI: Poles never participated in mass exterminations on the scale of Ponary in Lithuania or Iasi in Romania. How odd and disconcerting that Davison would deliberately airbrush Germans out of their own ignominious World War Two history and eagerly blame their victim instead. And indeed, Poland was a victim: half of the six million Polish citizens murdered by the Germans were NOT Jewish. I will save myself the trouble of describing what life was like for Poles — all Poles — under a brutal German occupation. As for Auschwitz, the first victims (and the largest group of victims until the Final Solution in 1942) were ethnic Poles, whom you demean so unconscionably.

“Today in Poland, xenophobic suspicion towards refugees has manifested in mass, far-right demonstrations, such as the 60,000-strong march through Warsaw last November, which heavily featured the slogan ‘Pure Poland, White Poland’. Similarly, anti-Semitism has risen, with the Centre for Research on Prejudice estimating that 25% of Poles believe that Jews kidnap Christian children and that 43% of Poles believe that Jews ‘strive to the rule the world’.”

PMI: It is defamatory to refer to 60,000 patriots manifesting their patriotism as far-right nationalists. The author apparently bases his hyperbole on one anti-Semite interviewed on live TV. Did he speak with any of the marchers himself? A small number of far-right extremists unfurled their banners AFTER the march had begun and mixed in with tens of thousands of decent people including families, war veterans, disabled people, seniors, scouts, clergy whom you and most other media tarnish as haters because of a relatively few reprehensible participants. Is Israel xenophobic because they erected a wall for protection? Why, then, are Poles deemed racist because they reject an influx of “refugees” imposed upon them who include potential terrorists? Finally, the author is an activist of the Labour Party. He should look in the mirror and read about anti-Semitism in his own party first, instead of blaming Polish WWII victims

His misinterpretations and simplifications are disrespectful toward Poles who suffered horribly under the German occupation and for their families.

Shame on Open Democracy for this insulting story!

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