This book presents a great deal of arcane information related to the Shoah. Much of it is directly-relevant to issues in modern Polish-Jewish relations, and that is the focus of my review.
FANTASTIC POGROM ACCOUNTS
It is common for Jewish authors to inflate, often by many multiples, the number of Jews killed in pogroms. This work does also. It cites some Hebrew or Yiddish sources that claim an amazing 650,000 Jews murdered by the hordes of the Ukrainian Khmelnitsky (Chmielnicki) in 1648-1649. (Ref. 18 on p. xix). (The actual toll was 10,000-15,000).
NO DEGERMANIZATION OF THE NAZIS. NO SOFT—PEDALLING OF GERMAN GUILT
This book has a very different tone from the nowadays-customary tendency of diffusing responsibility, for the Holocaust, away from where it belongs—the Germans. Rabbi Zimmels will have none of that. He writes, “When Sir Hartley Shawcross, British Attorney-General and Chief Prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trial, saw on his visit to Poland the ghastly exhibits in the Polish National Museum, of Nazi torture of the Jews, he is reported to have said that ‘it is the most horrible and convincing testimony of German degradation and should be shown in every country as a reminder of what the Germans did and would do again if ever they were allowed to re-arm.’” (p. xiii).
POLISH HISTORIAN EWA KUREK IS CORRECT: JEWS DID SACRIFICE SOME IN ORDER TO TRY TO SAVE OTHERS
Ewa Kurek has been in the news lately. The so-called Polish-Jewish Dialogue outfit withdrew its scheduled annual award to her just because, as it turned out, she had been speaking some well-supported but unflattering truths about Jewish conduct. The experience of Ewa Kurek serves as an object lesson (chilling effect) for any scholar who might be inclined to deviate from the standard Judeocentric narrative.
Rabbi Zimmels sheds some light on the issues raised by Kurek. (pp. 50-51). In October 1941, Gestapo officer Rauke decreed that all Jews of the Kovno ghetto must publically assemble at the town square at a specified time. Anyone hiding would be shot. At this assembly, those Jews unfit to work would be “relocated” [actually, put to death]. The Kovno JUDENRAT, well aware of Nazi intentions, wrestled with the question of whether it should comply with the order in the hope that the remainder of the Jews would possibly be spared by the Germans.
The Kovno JUDENRAT consulted the venerable R. Abraham Dob Beer Shapira. Zimmels writes, “On the following morning the Rabbi gave his decision as follows: if—God forbid—a decree is issued to destroy a Jewish community and means exist by which a part of the congregation could be saved the heads of the community must have the courage and take the responsibility upon themselves to comply with the order and save what is possible.” (p. 51).
JEWISH COLLABORATION WITH THE NAZIS: NO “SAVE ONE’S OWN LIFE” EXCULPATION
Author Rabbi Zimmels shows how the Jewish KAPOS acted in repulsive ways that went far beyond any perceived desperate need for self-preservation. In fact, the criminality of the Jewish KAPO continued to the very last hours of Nazi Germany—at which time the placation of the Germans was no longer even a theoretical consideration. He thus writes of the Jewish KAPOS, “They were cruel towards their own brethren, robbed them, beat them without mercy. They kidnapped young people for gain and acted like slave-dealers. Even in the last hours before the liberation, the KAPOS did not want to give up their role as overlords. They robbed their fellow men and treated them badly…” (p. 121).
Rabbi Zimmels continues, “During the transports, the KAPOS used to search the prisoners for anything valuable which, if found, was confiscated. In that way, they robbed the prisoners of their shoes and garments, the last things they possessed. When the Rabbi was searched and nothing, except the TALLITH KATAN, was found, KAPO ‘Willi’ became very angry, tore it off and threw it into the fire. This act caused the Rabbi great consternation. He burst into tears crying continuously…” (pp. 121-122).
The implications are clear. Those readers who are apt to excuse the Jewish KAPOS, on the basis of the debasement caused by Nazi German brutality, should afford the much-media-hyped Polish SZMALCOWNIKI (blackmailers), and denouncers of fugitive Jews, the same consideration.
THE REPURPOSING OF MATZEVA (JEWISH TOMBSTONES) IS TERRIBLE, BUT THE REPURPOSING OF CHRISTIAN TOMBSTONES IS JUST FINE
In recent years, there have been travelling exhibits of MATSEVA in the USA, as from Poland. These—by design–create negative images of Poles as a primitive people that could and did repurpose the MATZEVOT as a paving stone, building block, etc. The viewer is never told that, in Europe in general, cemeteries are not eternal, and that it is common for tombstones to be repurposed.
Ironic to this MATZEVOT-repurposing anti-Polish propaganda, author Rabbi Zimmels describes the following revealing incident—that of a fugitive Jew who had perfectly disguised himself as a Christian, and who unexpectedly died and was buried as one.
Zimmels comments, “When he died he was buried in the non-Jewish cemetery and a tombstone with a cross was put over his grave. After the liberation his brother, without first consulting a Rabbi, removed the corpse to a Jewish cemetery. He intended to erect a tombstone over his brother’s grave, particularly has he intended to emigrate from Lithuania where his whole family had been exterminated, thus no opportunity might again occur of erecting a tombstone. However, as he was poor and could not afford to pay for a tombstone he asked whether he could use the tombstone which the non-Jews had erected over his brother’s grave and remove the cross and engrave his name in its place. The decision was in the affirmative.” (p. 292).
The requested decision was made by none other than the famous Rabbi Emphraim Oshry (1914-2003). Pointedly, Rabbi Ephraim Oshry had ruled that it was all right to desecrate and repurpose a Christian tombstone! And yet we keep hearing complaints about this-and-that repurposed MATZEVOT. The double standard is palpable.
* * * *
THE POLOKAUST (POLONOCAUST) OR POLISH GENOCIDE
In Holocaust-related discourse, we are frequently reminded that, in contrast to 90% of Poland’s Jews, some 10% of ethnic Poles were murdered by the Nazi Germans. Why the disparity?
Because the Germans Found Out That They Lacked the Manpower to Murder Poles on the Scale of Tens of Millions!
Because it Would Be Too Disruptive of the Exploitation of German-Ruled Poland:
Because the Political Fallout Would Be Unacceptable:
Because the Reich Needed a Reservoir of Forced Laborers:
- Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression Volume 2 only (Hardcover) (Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression, Volume 2)
- Hans Frank’s Diary
Long-Term Nazi Plans (GENERALSIEDLUNGSPLAN) Did Include the Extermination of Poles:
- Racial Science in Hitler’s New Europe, 1938-1945 (Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology)
- Jewish Resistance During The Holocaust: Proceedings of the Conference on Manifestations of Jewish Resistance. Jerusalem, April 7-11, 1968
However, Some Nazis Thought That 70 Million Slavs Could Not Be Exterminated, Even if Germany Won the War, Owing to Strictly Utilitarian Reasons:
- Prelude to the Final Solution: The Nazi Program for Deporting Ethnic Poles, 1939-1941 (Modern War Studies (Hardcover))
BUT HOW MANY POLES DID THE GERMANS ACTUALLY KILL GIVEN THE TIME THEY HAD?
“3 MILLION POLES” MURDERED BY THE GERMANS (NAZIS)–THE FIGURE MAY ACTUALLY BE MUCH GREATER!
The “3 million Poles” was established by careful postwar research. It still finds support from at least some current historians—notably Tomasz Szarota. Furthermore, uncertainties in this figure go both ways. The Polish Jews murdered amount to 2.7-2.9 million. Andrzej Chmielarz points out that the total number of Polish citizens who lost their lives during WWII could be as low as 4.5 million or as high as 8 million. This means that the number of Polish gentile victims of Nazi German genocide could actually be as high as 5.3 million! [For documentation of these facts, please see pp. 90-91 of the following scholarly IPN publication: Materski and Szarota (eds). 2009. POLSKA 1939-1945: STRATY OSOBOWE I OFIARY REPRESJI POD DWIEMA OKUPACJAMI. Warsaw.]
THE POLOKAUST: POLAND’S FORGOTTEN HOLOCAUST: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Source: Amazon – Customer Review, June 8, 2018.