- The Defamation of Poland
The centenary commemorating the regaining of Poland’s independence calls for the use of reference to historical sources and analysis of events over the last 100 years. The wave of anti-Polonism increasingly spreading on both sides of the Atlantic forces us to do so. Several decades of falsifying history and slandering Poland on both sides of the Iron Curtain has successfully petrified the level of awareness also in many countries of the free world. In this false mind-set, Poland is not only a place, but also a perpetrator, or at a minimum, an accomplice of the Holocaust together with some altogether unspecified Nazis. Until recently, it seemed that wars could take place on land, the seas and in the air. For some time now, though, we have also been witnessing war in cyberspace. But the oldest of wars is the war in the sphere of information – the war for human, concerned awareness. It is time to stop lying to ourselves and admit that Poland is at war with false information/fake news and that we are being attacked by the combined forces of anti-Polonism. Poland’s enemy centers are located not only in the USA and Israel, but also in other countries. They include mainly opinion-forming academic and journalistic circles, part of the avant-garde of the media, which for its anti-Polish version of history is “conquering” for themselves the level of awareness of successive circles. In this information war, lasting for several decades now, Poland has only been successful at being persecuted and acquiescing to slanderers. The damage done to Poland in this war has been enormous. Even among Poland’s friends, there is a consensus that Poles are anti-Semites, and support for this claim is also found by those who come to Poland and encounter the “propaganda of shame” led by an infamous newspaper and its adherents.
We don’t know what will happen next, but without active counter action to the anti-Polish offensive, we will be reduced to the role of simply being guilty not only for the Holocaust, but also the outbreak of World War II, with obvious consequences in terms of material claims. So far, no plan has been formulated for an anti-defamation counter-attack. The Jedwabne case has been left at a disgraceful point for Poland. The Civic Committee for the Resumption of Exhumations in Jedwabne, established by Dr. Ewa Kurek, garnered more than 60,000 signatures on a petition for the resumption of exhumation works []. With no success. In addition, there is Prof. Jan Grabowski from Ottawa, a Poland slanderer, who does not encounter any objections from the Polish state. A conference entitled: „The New Polish School for Research on the History of the Holocaust of Polish Jews” was organized in Paris on February 21-22, during which “scientists” from the Polish Academy of Sciences’ Center for Holocaust Research were announcing to world public opinion that Poles are anti-Semitic murderers and co-initiators of the Holocaust [].A group of Poles protested against these lies, but these protests were condemned both by the President of the Polish Academy of Sciences []and by the Scientific Council of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences [].Mr. Tomasz Gross, who claims that during World War II Poles killed more Jews than the Germans did, was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland by President Aleksander Kwaśniewski…. In such a situation, the anti-Polish statements of Israeli politicians Netanyahu and Katz are not surprising.
In each and every war, it is necessary to identify the enemy’s targets and its means of attack in order to defend one’s position. Clearly, the aim of the attack on Poland is to introduce into the social consciousness stream of all the major nations the conviction that:
1o Poland is responsible for the murder of Jews during World War II,
2o The reason for this murder was the innate anti-Semitism of the Poles.
A closer look at the way of attacking Poland allows one also to identify the means used in this attack. The main means of attack is to falsify the historic reality of the German Nazi occupation in Poland. The lesser direction of the attack is the falsification of Polish-Jewish relations during the interwar period. At the same time, the fate of Jews on Poland’s territory during the period of the First Republic of Poland, which Jews considered it to be a Jewish paradise (Paradisus Iudaeorum in Latin) and during the period when Poland was partitioned (I wrote about it extensively in the study „Prawdy Polaków” []), is being concealed. Also, what Polish-Jewish relations looked like even during World War II is being concealed in different areas other than the German occupation zone. Let us repeat – the main brunt of the attack of anti-Polonism boils down to the hypocrisy of what the German occupation in Poland looked like. Only then and only in this area. A lie so positioned in time and space is the essence of the attack.
According to this lie, even if there were some “Nazis” on Polish territory during the war (of course, not Germans, only “Nazis” are mentioned), the Poles were in the same situation as the French, Belgians or Danes and they could have helped the Jews without any risk, but during that time, they willingly joined the Nazi oppressors and murdered Jews.
We will not be able to fend off this attack by recalling testimonies from other periods of history or from other areas, for example, by showing Poland’s contribution to Israel’s independence. . We will not be able to fend off this attack by recalling testimonies from other periods of history or from other areas, for example, by showing Poland’s contribution to Israel’s independence. The only effective defense is to squelch this lie by demonstrating on the international forum how the German occupation in Poland differed from the occupation of France, Belgium or Denmark. This means not only showing the martyrdom of the Polish nation, but also the need to demand compensation and, above all, to punish those guilty of numerous crimes committed by Germans against Poles and Polish citizens of Jewish descent. Without demanding punishment of those guilty, all explanations will be unbelievable and treated as an attempt to “whitewash Poland”.
- Crimes against the Polish nation
All issues related to the crimes committed against the Polish nation during the Second World War are of particular importance here. Let us hope that The Parliamentary Group for Estimating the Amount of Compensation Due to Poland from Germany for Damage Caused during World War II (Pol.: Parlamentarny Zespół ds. Oszacowania Wysokości Odszkodowań Należnych Polsce od Niemiec za Szkody Wyrządzone w trakcie II Wojny Światowej, established in 2017 and headed by Mr. Arkadiusz Mularczyk, will place on the international forum’s agenda, the question of German war reparations.
The “Report on Poland’s War Losses and Damages in the years 1939-1945” (Pol.: “Sprawozdanie w przedmiocie strat i szkód wojennych Polski w latach 1939 – 1945”), prepared in 1947 by the War Compensation Office, was resumed in 2017 by Professor Mariusz Muszyński (member of the Scientific Committee of the Smolensk Conferences) reprinted and provided with footnotes.
The total value of material losses suffered by Poland because of the Third Reich was estimated at 258 billion zloty (in August 1939 zlotys) – the equivalent of 49 billion USD from that time. At the current exchange rate, it amounts to PLN 2.738 trillion.
But these are only the material losses.
The key to our defense should be to demand justice for the greatest Wehrmacht crime committed during the Second World War. I am referring to the Wola Massacre (Pol.: Rzeź Woli). Within a few days during August 1944, German troops under the command of General Heinz Reinefarth murdered 30 to 65 thousand defenseless inhabitants, men, women and children in the Warsaw district of Wola, without any connection with the ongoing battles in the city. This crime was never punished, and after the war this same Reinefarth later became the mayor of the German town of Westerland on the island of Sylt during the years 1951-1967.
The Wola Massacre is a classic example of the crime of genocide, so it is a crime that is not time-barred. At the same time, it is the largest single crime committed by the Wehrmacht during World War II.
I believe that, despite the passing of time, this crime demands that it be tried before an international court and that the opinion of the international community be restored to the memory of those tens of thousands of people who were brutally murdered during that time. Leaving this crime unpunished places a burden on the consciences of the living. The murder of the inhabitants of France’s Oradour (642 victims) or Czech Lidice (340 victims) is well-documented and was the subject of post-war court trials, while the greatest crime of the Wehrmacht is still awaiting trial. Paradoxically, judging this crime before an international court will also be a piece of convincing evidence of how Poles were treated by the Germans. On this occasion, it will also be possible to show that Auschwitz was built not for the annihilation of Jews, but for Poles. The extermination of Jews in Auschwitz – Birkenau []only began in 1942 (after the Wannsee Conference []), that is, after nearly 3 years of mass killing of Poles.
It is shocking that this greatest crime of the Wehrmacht not only was not punished nor has its occurrence led to any form of redress, or even be judged, but that Poland never even demanded that its criminal perpetrators be brought to justice and punished. It is a disgrace to the Polish state and a shame to the living.
I believe that in the current international situation, where Poland and Poles, and in particular its World War II history, are being defamed with impunity for political gain, a public demand for a trial addressing this crime will help the international community to understand Poland’s fate. It will also place in a completely different light the issue of the reparations that we Poles deserve. Above all, however, it will restore the memory of the murdered and defend the dignity of the living. It is extremely important to bring those guilty of the Wola Massacre before an international tribunal, and to appoint judges from Israel, among others, to constitute the makeup of such a tribunal.
- The Possibility of Judging the Wola Massacre
At my request, an eminent specialist in international law, Professor Tadeusz Jasudowicz, prepared an expert opinion on the possibility of bringing the greatest Wehrmacht crime to justice for it to be finally judged and punished, and that the victims might be adequately compensated. The expert report carried out by Professor Jasudowicz shows that:
1) The Wola Massacre was an act of genocide, so it is not time-barred, and:
2) There is currently no judicial authority in the international sphere that can bring this crime to trial.
The question is, if not us, who will stand up for these thousands of brutally murdered people?
It is my firm belief that it is up to us. I believe that we have the obligation not only to remember their death, but also to demand a fair trial associated with this crime and its perpetrators. If, therefore, there is no competent court for this crime, then it should be established. My attention was drawn to the Supreme National Court and the information given on its website [] –
Supreme National Court – (Pol.: Najwyższy Trybunał Narodowy) – A Polish special court established on February 18, 1946 and acting on the basis of the Decree of January 22, 1946 on the Supreme National Court (Journal of Laws of 1946, No. 59, item 327, Journal of Laws of 1947, No. 32, item 143, and Journal of Laws of 1949, No. 32, item 238), dealing with the imposition of penalties for fascist- Nazi German criminals and traitors of the Polish Nation. The Tribunal proceeded in the years 1946-1948.
Despite the fact that the court’s functioning was not suspended nor terminated by any legal act, the Tribunal operated only until 1948. Successive trials against war criminals were already pending before common courts. It should be emphasized that the Tribunal was established without any previous legal precedent. Turns out, it was possible. Secondly, the Tribunal was never formally abolished. Thus, nothing stands in the way of the resumption of its functioning. Nothing stands in the way of including judges from outside of Poland to this end.
The existence of this Tribunal would be of great importance for the consideration not only of the Wola Massacre, but also of many crimes against the Polish nation which have not been tried so far. It must be acknowledged that the period of the People’s Republic of Poland and more recent years were not periods of full sovereignty of the Republic of Poland, and as a result could not demand full respect for its due rights.
Thus, only now does the issue of war reparations become a matter to be dealt with. Simultaneously working to establish an inventory of material losses and the determination of the amount of compensation due to us for the incurred war time losses, it is necessary to draw up a list of all crimes committed against the Polish nation, to present it to the world and to demand justice. It is probably necessary to draw up such a list for Soviet and Ukrainian crimes as well. However, raising the issue of genocide committed during the Wola Massacre would be of great importance in preventing the defamation of Poland and the Polish nation. It is demanded from all of us who are living as those who have been brutally murdered cannot stand up in court on their own.
Warsaw, 5 March 2019.
Translation – Jan Czarniecki