Justice4Poland

Connecting true geography and detailed unfolding of wide variety of crimes perpetrated by German/Ukrainian Nazis and communist Soviet Union on the Polish nation.

‘Golden Harvest’ book review


‘Sower of Discord’, a Polish-Jewish emigre sociologist ( NOT a historian! ) and Poles hater, Jan Gross has concocted yet another tale designed to vilify Poles. The ‘Golden Harvest’ tells about how Poles allegedly scavenged the site of the German Treblinka concentration camp in search of Jewish valuables. Gross was inspired by an article in left-wing newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza.

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War is hell and brutalizes all people, but Gross tendentiously zeroes in only on the extremely exaggerated or imagined offences of Poles. He twists, bends and writhes to come up with excuses for why many Jews stabbed Poland, the country which had been their people’s safe haven for centuries, in the back in 1939 by collaborating with the Soviet enemy. Although there are  many documented materials out there that focus on how horrible the German Nazis were, or how vicious the Soviets were. His choice, however, is to focus on one particular nation, the nation of the country he was born in.

 

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Book review by Jan Peczkis

http://www.internationalresearchcenter.org/en/ethnicity/golden-harvest-events-at-the-periphery-of-the-holocaust-hardcover-2012-author-jan-tomasz-gross-irena-grudzinska-grossjan-t-gross-again-tendentiously-manipulates-data-in-a-selectively-anti-polish-manner

The reader who is serious about understanding war-related looting can look no further than the large-scale looting of Arabs, by Jewish soldiers and Jewish civilians, during the 1948 War. Please click on, and read my detailed review, of 1949: The First Israelis.

Yes, I have read this book. And please spare me the irrelevant line about Jan T. Gross being half-Polish, and certain politically-correct Poles in media and academia agreeing with him.

Regardless of his motives (Holocaust Industry?), Jan T. Gross makes Poles out to be some kind of villains who were greedy for Jewish property. He also conflates Germans taking Jewish property and Poles during the same. In actuality, Germans came to Poland as greedy conquerors, and were never in desperate straits. They simply sought to enrich themselves. Poles, in stark contrast, had to eke out a life under the German occupation and the immediate postwar period. The ingrained corruption bred by the amoral Soviet-imposed Communist system later became another factor animating Polish conduct.

Do Poles have some kind of ingrained disease that predisposes them to loot from Jews? Hardly! In fact, looting of the living and the dead is virtually universal in wartime. Everyone stole from everyone–yes, Poles from Jews, but foremost Poles from Poles, Jews from Jews, Jews from Poles, and even Germans from Germans. Looting is far from rare in peacetime. An example of the latter is the looting of archeological treasures, by visitors and locals alike. For more on all this, please visit the Peczkis Listmania: LOOTING, GRAVE ROBBERY, PROPERTY RESTITUTION–NOT ONLY POLES FROM JEWS.

Without presenting any substantive evidence, Gross accuses Poles of having killed at least “a few tens of thousands” of fugitive Jews, and then having invariably done so out of greed and anti-Semitism. Actually, fugitive Jews met their deaths from many different causes. Some committed suicide, while others were killed by wartime events. The Germans proved perfectly capable of finding and killing fugitive Jews without the help of locals. Among informers serving the Germans were not only Poles, but also Polish-speaking Germans (Volksdeutsche), Polish-speaking Ukrainians, and yes, also Jews themselves. Who was responsible for how many Jewish deaths is next to impossible to determine. Finally, Poles who did denounce or kill Jews did so out of various motives. Some preferred to see Jews killed rather than risk having the Germans destroy their entire village in reprisal for actual or suspected Polish aid to Jews. Other Poles killed Jews for known or suspected banditry. Still other Jews were killed for their involvement with, or collaboration with, the murderous Communist GL-AL bands.

Gross blindly repeats many of the same fallacious arguments that he had presented in his NEIGHBORS and FEAR. Please go to, and read, the Peczkis reviews of the same.

NEIGHBORS –    https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R2WAV58AIN4308/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=0691113068

 

FEAR –     https://www.amazon.com/review/R3ECY6L85PTSOV

 

j-gross-a-traitor-to-his-homelandGross’s Pole-demonizing agenda

In particular, Gross again brings up and misrepresents Christopher Browning’s ORDINARY MEN, and Zygmunt Klukowski’s DIARY. Please look up those items and read the detailed Peczkis reviews. (I cannot provide a direct link from this review because Amazon software limits the number of links that can emanate from any single review. See below).

Jan T. Gross again brings up the accusation that Poles killed the Jews of Jedwabne and environs. Did you know that there are Jewish (never mind the Polish) sources that affirm that the Germans, and not the Poles, were actually the main killers of Jedwabne’s Jews? Please click on The Warriors: My Life As A Jewish Soviet Partisan (Religion, Theology, and the Holocaust), and then also click on the book by Maik embedded in the review, and read the Peczkis review of it also.

Predictably, Gross brings up the blood libel, directed against Jews, as an indictment against Poles. However, Gross provides no evidence that this was a significantly and deeply-held belief among Poles that actually animated their conduct against Jews on a significant scale. Besides, did you know that various other peoples had comparable beliefs, and not only against Jews? For instance, Jews sometimes believed that visiting Gypsies (Sinti and Roma) habitually stole Jewish children, and turned them into slaves. See the Peczkis review of THE JANOWSKA ROAD, and then read the first comment under my review for another such example.

For further rebuttal of Gross’ latest Polonophobic screed, refer to the detailed Peczkis review of the vastly more scholarly and objective

golden-harvest-of-hearts-of-gold1

A Detailed Refutation of the Polonophobic Bilge of Neo-Stalinist Jan T. Gross

Even the well-informed reader will learn much from this work. The comprehensiveness and depth of this tome is head, shoulders, and chest above that of Jan T. Gross and his Golden Harvest: Events at the Periphery of the Holocaust. (See also the Peczkis review therein).

In the Introduction, the editors trace historical developments. Communist propaganda smeared Poland as anti-Semitic, and the West welcomed this as a palliative for Yalta pangs of conscience. The rise of identity politics in American academia meant that the moral right always belonged to the minority, and criticism of Jews was dismissed as anti-Semitism. (pp. 13-14). [Of course, minority is a relative term. Next to the vastly more populous and powerful Germans and Russians, Poles are very much a minority!]

Historian Marek Jan Chodakiewicz shows how Jan T. Gross demonizes the Poles by selective anecdotes and systematic ignoring of contrary evidence (p. 21, 25, 31, 33), and how Gross makes utterly silly comparisons of Poles with Hutus. (p. 28). Chodakiewicz concludes that: “In this sense, GOLDEN HARVEST reads as another prejudicial assault on Polishness, patriotism, Christianity, tradition, and the sense of national identity.” (pp. 62-63).

Gross’ frauds begin with the book-cover photograph “of Polish Treblinka grave-diggers”. In actuality, the photo is of unclear origin, and even the leftist GAZETA WYBORCZA has disavowed it. (p. 24). The major exploitation of Treblinka remains was actually conducted by the Red Army–and on an industrial scale. (p. 27). Unlike Gross, Chodakiewicz puts Polish looting of Jews in proper wartime German-occupation context. As exemplified by the Krasnik area, “…the Polish countryside experienced an almost complete breakdown of law and order from mid-1942 onward…Informing was a plague…Theft and robbery were common…” (pp. 41-43). Fugitive Jews perished as both victims and perpetrators of widespread banditry. (p. 55). Gross repeats base Nazi propaganda about Poles profiting from Jews. (p. 57). Nazis actually took the lion’s share of Jewish belongings, and, “The claim that the Polish peasants enriched themselves at Jewish expense is spuriously false. The peasant looting of the leftover Jewish possessions, so-called `abandoned’ property, often junk, did take place.” (p. 61).

Peter Stachura points out that Gross craves attention and publicity, and concludes that, “Through the presentation of selective, unrepresentative, and invariably trivial or localized incidents and data, much of which derives from the work of Jewish and minor leftist Polish-based scholars, Gross aims to paint an unedifying and damning picture of Poles during the German occupation of Poland (1939-1944).” (p. 65).

Piotr Gontarczyk discusses the book-cover photo (pp. 71-73), and notes that Gross has little regard for the facts (p. 73), even repeating things that he knows are untrue, such as the Ringelblum accusation (p. 80) and Rzeszow Pogrom. (p. 89). Gross repeats hearsay as fact, and quotes renegades or Volksdeutsche as if they were normative Poles. (p. 82). Otherwise, Gross backed off his “100,000–200,000 Jews killed by Poles during the Holocaust” down to “tens of thousands” (p. 75)–the figures based on vague support. Both the Polish-Underground AK and NSZ punished Polish Treblinka grave-diggers. (pp. 76-77). Pointedly, looting of the dead is as old as human civilization, and wartime looting is universal, as exemplified by the Poles looting of the body in a downed aircraft. (p. 92). [For more on all this, see Peczkis Listmania: LOOTING…]

Double standards are blatant: If a Pole overcharged a Pole, it was an unfortunate wartime incident of no importance, but if a Pole overcharged a Jew, it was a Polish participation in the Holocaust. (p. 85). The same held for a Jew buying something a Pole had to sell to survive versus the reverse. (pp. 84-85). Denials notwithstanding, Gross is promoting Polish collective guilt–transferring the blame from Polish individuals to the Polish people and Catholic Church as a whole. (p. 89). Engelking-Boni cited drunken Polish peasants turning-in fugitive Jews to the Nazis on a Sunday “after the High Mass, one may surmise”, even though there is no evidence that the drunkards even attended church. (p. 90). Engelking-Boni’s cheap shot at the Church is obvious.

Teresa Preker(owa) found many Jewish accounts of Poles killing Treblinka-escaped Jews farfetched. (p. 100, 105). In a detailed analysis of the accounts of Treblinka escapees, Mark Paul concludes the Jewish escapees overwhelmingly received some form of assistance from Poles (though rarely permanent housing), and that there is no compelling evidence of Poles killing such Jews. (p. 119). Interestingly, Treblinka escapees, actually or presumably laden with valuables, faced financial exploitation not only by Poles, but also by fellow Jews. (p. 123). Pawel Styrna deconstructs the Gross-mentioned events at Wolka-Okraglik and Gniewczyna. The Poles of Wolka-Okraglik were exceptionally traumatized by the events at nearby Treblinka–in no sense representatives of Poles in general. (pp. 141-146). The Gniewczyna-related allegations of anti-Jewish crimes, never credible to begin with as they came from a single person–a Communist-era officer (p. 152), have been refuted. It is now realized that the Jew-murderers were Ukrainian policemen, and that the Gniewczyna Poles actually ASSISTED Jews. (p. 152).

Richard Tyndorf presents a fascinating collection of over a hundred different examples, mostly from Jewish sources, of large groups of Poles sharing the burden of hiding Jews (p. 156, 159-195). This includes numerous examples of even entire villages entering in, and persisting in, a conspiracy of silence about their hidden Jews. (In many instances, the “hidden” Jews in Polish villages lived openly without fear.) As an example, some 2,000 Poles at a village near Tarnobrzeg resisted German questioning and monetary enticement, sticking to their story that a Jew among them was not one. (p. 169).

Tyndorf’s findings debunk the idea that Polish rescuers of Jews were just a handful of altruistic individuals, acting alone, in a sea of indifferent if not hostile Poles, and that Polish benefactors of Jews habitually lived in constant fear of disapproval of their neighbors. It also contradicts the notion of Poles as romantic individualists lacking organizational skills. Finally, were Polish denouncers of Jews common, and denunciation of Jews was some kind of Polish and Catholic disease, it would be next to impossible to identify a single chain of Polish families, let alone entire villages, that lack a Polish denouncer. Instead, we have over 100 such examples!

Bethany M. Paluk surveys universal wartime looting. There are numerous instances of Jews looting Poles in Soviet-occupied eastern Poland. (p. 209). Many factors facilitate looting. Even sports championships in peacetime are sometimes sufficient to cause an apparent weakness in social infrastructure conducive to looting. (p. 205).

Judge Barbara Gorczycka-Muszynska (translated by Pawel Styrna) shows how the early post-WWII Soviet-imposed Communist authorities expropriated Poles’ properties. (p. 223). Jews were privileged in being allowed to reclaim their prewar properties, as enforced by Emil Sommerstein, a Jew in the Communist government. (p. 229). Contrary to Gross’ myth of Poles frequently offering murderous resistance to Jews returning to reclaim their properties, the AMERICAN JEWISH YEAR BOOK (1947-1948) noted that such restitution “proceeds more or less smoothly.” (p. 230). [Clearly, both sides are not engaging in selectively chosen anecdotes. Jan T. Gross does so, while those of the opposite position describe what USUALLY happened.] In addition, contrary to the myth of Polish citizens enriching themselves at the expense of Jews, Nazi-seized properties, unclaimed by 1948, were expropriated (nationalized) by the Communists. (p. 231).

John Radzilowski unmasks Jan T. Gross as a neo-Stalinist. Other neo-Stalinists include Joanna Michlic, Piotr Wrobel, and Jan Grabowski. (p. 251). Unlike their namesake, neo-Stalinists do not follow Stalin, and some may not even, strictly speaking, be Marxists. (p. 244). Like their namesake, however, they ignore or belittle Polish heroism and suffering, and attempt to destroy Polish Catholicism, patriotism, and nationalism by slanderously equating it with anti-Semitism and Nazi collaboration [also–not mentioned–with fascism, reaction, anti-pluralism, xenophobia, etc.] (pp. 243-244). Following Antonio Gramsci, they seek to de-Christianize Poland as a path to “progress” (p. 246), and to force a European identity upon Poles in place of the Polish identity. (p. 246).

Like other neo-Marxists of the Frankfurt school, the neo-Stalinists, a form of cultural Marxism, seek power not through politics or proletarian consciousness (p. 244), but by becoming a self-appointed elite (p. 253) that controls cultural institutions, especially the universities and news media. (p. 246). Dissenting thinkers are silenced not by being sent to the Gulags, but by censorship, character assassination, and the destruction of careers. As an example, consider the smear campaign directed at Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, followed by efforts to get him removed from university appointments. (p. 251).

Mark Paul provides a very detailed, eye-opening account of Jewish Soviet collaboration in 1939 [sometimes called the Zydokomuna.] Though often excused by such things as the opined bad Jewish experience in pre-WWII Poland, and Jewish fear of the Nazis, it is obvious that this collaboration was primarily a manifestation of active enmity against Poland. At numerous documented locations in the Kresy, Jews shot at retreating Polish troops. (p. 271, 274). At a minimum of 21 known listed locations, Jewish bands took up arms against the Polish authorities well before the anticipated arrival of the Red Army. (p. 272). Before Jedwabne, there was Brzostowica Mala. There, before the arrival of the Red Army, a Jewish-Byelorussian band, led by the Jew Zusko Ajzik, massacred about 50 unarmed Polish civilians using sadistic techniques. (pp. 290-291). (Some Polish retaliatory actions against Jews did take place in 1939, but [as usual], these “pogroms” were greatly exaggerated.)

Later, Jews betrayed hiding Polish soldiers and militiamen (p. 274, 276), and identified educated Poles as “class enemies”, which the Soviets murdered. (p. 275). Still later, virtually all of the witnesses at Soviet show trials, against Poles, were Jews. (p. 277). On the other hand, Poles document hundreds of instances of Jews protecting Poles from the Communists. This refutes Gross’ claim that Poles only noticed bad things about Jews. (p. 292).

Wojciech Jerzy Muszynski analyzes Polish nationalist movements before and during WWII. In no sense were the Endeks (SN) or ONR fascist, Nazi, or pro-German. (pp. 298-299). Endek anti-Jewishness was based on economic and political conflicts with Jews, and had nothing to do with Nazi racial and exterminationist anti-Semitism. (pp. 300-303). During the Holocaust, Endek publications condemned the Nazi slaughter of Jews, and were among the first, if not the first, to identify the Nazi use of poison gas against Jews. (pp. 308-309). The linkage of Polish Catholicism with nationalism prevented Polish nationalism from degenerating into the kind of national egoism seen, for example, in the genocidal Ukrainian nationalism (OUN-UPA). (p. 323).

Sebastian Bojemski (translated by Pawel Styrna) examines the NSZ, which for decades had been accused of killing Jews. This did happen indirectly when NSZ combatted bandit and Communist bands. Interestingly, the anti-Jewish crimes blamed on the NSZ were committed by the Communist GL-AL. (p. 328). See the Peczkis review of Tajne oblicze GL-AL i PPR: Dokumenty (Polish Edition). Other alleged NSZ crimes against Jews are unfounded. (pp. 344-347).

It is not true that the NSZ kept lists of Poles that helped Jews. (p. 329). Far from being anti-Semitic, the NSZ had Jewish and Jewish-descent members, and there are many examples of NSZ guerrillas and officers rendering aid to Jews. (pp. 330-342, 348). During the postwar Communist occupation, many Jews who had earlier benefitted from the NSZ’s aid came forward to defend accused NSZ members. (pp. 342-344).

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https://www.amazon.com/Golden-Harvest-Hearts-Studies-Wartime-ebook/dp/B00DUF887O/ref=cm_cr_dp_asin_lnk

 

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