Connecting true geography and detailed unfolding of wide variety of crimes perpetrated by German/Ukrainian Nazis and jewish bolsheviks of Soviet Union on the Polish nation.
Highlights: Anti-Semitism is Irrational in Britain, But is Rational in Poland! [this page] Russian-Made Litvak Problem, and Jewish Separatism, Drove Polish AntiSemitism [p. 3].
Jewish: Economic Dominance, Usury, Liquor Trade, Germanophilia, Chronic Bad Press for Poles, Bogus Pogrom Accusations, Minorities Treaty Special Rights, etc. [p. 5].
Jewish Economic and Now Political Dominance [p. 13]
Polish Ambassador Lipski Never Endorsed the Persecution of Jews, Let Alone the Holocaust! [p. 24]
British Visitor to 19th-Century Partitioned Eastern Poland Comments on the Everyday Behavior of Poland’s Jews [p. 32]
—– Poland Revisited Russell, Sir Edward J. 1937 A British-Eye Analysis of Pre-WWII Poland. Anti-Semitism is Irrational in Britain, But is Rational in Poland! In this short booklet of 39 pages, Russell, a Briton, touches on several aspects of interwar Poland. The title refers to the author’s visits to Poland in 1930 and especially in 1936.
THE DREAM OF A RESURRECTED POLAND HAD NEVER VANISHED
Sir Russell notes how Polishness survived under the Partitions, as he says that: (quote) Both the Germans and Russians tried to stamp out the Polish language and Polish culture. The Poles rallied to their church, the Catholic Church, which became the symbol of their unity and the guardian of their tradition. The sermons, and such parts of the service as were not in Latin, were always in Polish: a censor was always present, but the priests were both able and brave. The women never lost hope or courage, and refused to be brow beaten. So the Polish language was handed on from mother to children, and the tales of Poland’s past went from generation to generation.
THE LITVAK PROBLEM. JEWISH ECONOMIC HEGEMONY OVER POLAND
Without using the term, Russell alludes to the role of the Litvaks (Litwaks: self-Russified erstwhile Polish Jews) as a major source of continuing Polish-Jewish tensions. He comments: (quote) Seventy percent of the population are peasants, but practically none of these are Jews. On the other hand, Jews [at nearly 10% of Poland’s population: p. 34] form about 50% of the merchant class, and about 90 percent of some of the professions: they own a considerable part of the wealth of the country. This disproportion is a source of great annoyance to the non-Jewish population. The problem is essentially a modern one: It began in its modern form in 1905 when the Russian government sent to Poland large numbers of Jews-more than a million, it is said–who were indeed hostile to Poland. (unquote).
BRITISH ANTI-SEMITISM IS UNJUSTIFIED: POLISH ANTISEMITISM MAY BE JUSTIFIED
The modern tendency is to treat all “anti-Semitism” as much the same, and for western Europeans to put on airs and act superior to the Poles owing to past Polish anti-Semitism. In contrast, Russell exhibits an even-handed view of Polish-Jewish relations, and suggests that what might pass for irrationality (and anti-Semitism) in England may well have an element of rationality in Poland (quote) …[Jews] remaining always distinct and giving the impression that in time of trouble their allegiance could not necessarily be counted upon. Their financial and professional powers are out of all proportion to their number. The Poles, being intensely patriotic, are nervous about them. In England we have no Jewish problem and should think it absurd to doubt the loyalty or sincerely of a man because he was a Jew. But in Poland, this is not so: the Jewish problem exists, and no solution has as yet been found. Much could probably be done by the Jews themselves to allay the suspicions with which they are regarded, and it is sincerely to be hoped that Poland will not follow the example of Germany and organize large scale expulsions.” (unquote). [Russell does not mention that England has no “Jewish problem” today because she had “solved” it by expelling her Jews in 1290.] Well said! I wish that more western writers had the kind of common-sense wisdom exhibited by Sir Edward Russell.
3 —– Polish History: A Brief Outline. Polish Encyclopedic Publications Konopczynski, Ladislaus 1920 Russian-Made Litvak Problem, and Jewish Separatism, Drove Polish Anti-Semitism. Exceptionally Detailed on the Foreign Rule Over Partitioned Poland The content of this book (review based on original, 2nd edition, published in 1920) starts with Polish territory in pre-literate times and leaves off at 1914. For this reason, it includes a perspective on Partitioned and occupied Poland not colored by later events.
RUSSIAN-MADE JEWISH OVERCROWDING, AND MILITANT JEWISH SEPARATISM, DROVE POLISH ANTI-SEMITISM
Much of the Pre-WWII antiSemitism, for which Poland nowadays gets blamed, owed to the natural consequences of the tsarist-Russian policies towards Russian-ruled central Poland, as described by the author: “The Jews were driven from the [Russian] Empire, either by pogroms, or by administrative measures. They crowded into the Kingdom of Poland where their invasion caused a grave crisis of nationalities. Whereas in 1817 they did not form more than 7.8% of the population, they now constituted 14.5%. Under the influence of these newcomers, known as ‘Litwaks’ [Litvaks], a well-defined movement towards national separatism began to take shape among the Jews of the Kingdom. Moreover, these ‘Litwaks’ had brought with them the Russian language and a superficial Russian culture; they affected to despise their Polish surroundings and acted as Russifying helpers and ‘agents provocateurs’, sowing discord between the peaceful Pole and his Jewish fellow-citizen.” (p. 135). Obviously, if the Litvaks were sufficient in numbers to account for a substantial fraction of the difference between 14.5% and 7.8%, then their migration could not have been a small one, as argued by some. And their anti-Polish orientation made them harmful regardless of their exact numbers.
POLAND UNDER AUSTRIAN RULE
One notable feature of this book is its depiction of Austrian rule over Poland that, although less harsh than its Russian and Prussian counterparts, was not nearly as benign as sometimes portrayed. For instance, there was Germanization at various levels, including the University of Lwow. Overall, “The German language and a German staff were supreme in the schools and seminaries; the censor ruthlessly blotted out the very names of Pole and Poland from the textbooks.” (p. 91).
THE MYTH OF POLES TRYING TO SQUELCH UKRAINIAN DEVELOPMENT
Ukrainian accusations of Poles using their political power, under Austrian rule, to suppress the Ukrainians, are not true. Konopczynski comments: “The Polish parties had always endeavored to satisfy the intellectual needs and the intellectual culture of the Ruthenians, wherever such needs showed themselves. Proofs of this may be found in the Ruthenian upper schools opened in Eastern Galicia, in the thousands of Ruthenian elementary schools, in the equal status of the two languages in the training-schools of the east, in the introduction of Ruthenian as an official language in district-councils wherever the communes asked for it (1907), in the creation of numerous Ruthenian chairs at the university of Lwow [Lviv], in the granting of large subsidies to the Ruthenians, of national institutions of every sort. All Polish parties recognize the right of Ruthenians to possess a university of their own, though the majority are opposed to the division of the university of Lwow into two separate sections, one Ruthenian and one Polish. But all this was not enough to soften the hostility of the Ukrainian party, which is all-powerful among the Ruthenians. This party could not bring itself to acknowledge, that a people, whose culture and political education was in its infancy, has still many efforts to make in raising itself to a higher level, which would enable them to compete on equal terms with the heirs of an ancient civilized country like Poland.” (p. 101).
POLAND UNDER PRUSSIAN RULE
Now let us focus on the Prussian share of partitioned Poland. Konopczynski comments: “The overt aim of the government was to annihilate Polish landed property, and in consequence uproot the Polish population itself, according to the motto of the philosopher Edward Hartmann: ‘ausrotten'” (p. 80).
Bismarck’s KULTURKAMPF, which began in 1871 (p. 78), was so comprehensive that it washed away the previous German liberals’ sympathy for Poles, and turned even Germans outside Prussia against Poles. (p. 82). The fanatically anti-Polish Society of the Eastern Marches (OSTMARKVEREIN, or HAKATA) acquired tens of thousands of members throughout Germany. (p. 82). Poles faced repression like never before. In the end, Prussian rule over Poland was so brutal that large areas of Silesia, East Prussia, Poznania, and other areas ended up largely Germanized, especially within the span of a few decades, by the early twentieth century. (pp. 83-87).
POLAND UNDER RUSSIAN RULE
Tsarist rule over the Russian share of Partitioned Poland became especially onerous after the failed January 1863 Insurrection. For example, there were public hangings of Poles in hundreds of locations in order to terrorize re-conquered Poland into submission. (p. 123). Systematic Russification was implemented. All traces of Polonism and Catholicism were erased as much as possible. In some locations, Polish Catholic Churches were converted into Russian Orthodox ones. (p. 128). [Decades later, after Poland had been resurrected as a nation, Poles reconverted some of these Orthodox churches back into Catholic ones. Because of this, Poles were (and are) falsely accused by Orthodox Ukrainians of forcible attempts to impose Roman Catholicism on Ukrainians!]
—– A World Problem: Jews-Poland-Humanity; A Psychological and Historical Study/ Translated from Polish Scholar’s Choice Edition Laudyn, Stefanja 1920
Why Polish Antisemitism. Jewish: Economic Dominance, Usury, Liquor Trade, Germanophilia, Chronic Bad Press for Poles, Bogus Pogrom Accusations, Minorities Treaty Special Rights, etc. Nowadays, books on Polish-Jewish relations adhere to the Manichean view of the Jewish victim and the intolerant Pole. [This has been a trope in Jewish writing for at least a century, as is obvious from p. 67]. The present book perhaps goes too far in the opposite direction. If so, the student of Polish-Jewish relations can use this book to counterbalance the other, modern extreme, and come up with a middle, Judeorealistic view of Jewish-Polish relations.
The following are direct quotes [except for the ALL-CAPS explanatory comments in brackets]: WHY JEWS WERE EXPELLED FROM MANY NATIONS ?
They looked to their profit only. The noblemen shed their blood on the battlefields, the peasant sprinkled the soil with his sweat–but the Jew reaped the harvest, making himself ever more indispensable, alike to the peasant, as to the nobleman. The West took notice of it, and as a result, there were frequent outbursts of hatred against the Jews, till the disturbances came to the knowledge of rulers, who at once united in clearing their lands. (p. 35).
WHY JEWISH OCCUPATIONS WERE SEEN AS UNPRODUCTIVE AND PARASITIC IN NATURE?
[The following describes the impact of the arrival of the Jews in Poland centuries ago.] The Polish peasants were uneducated and overworked on the farms, while the noblemen spent one half their life defending the country, the other half deliberating in the Diets, and the middle class was ill organized. Such state of affairs placed exceptional possibilities in the hands of those who neither sowed nor fought battles, neither worked hard nor shed their blood–but who carried off large profits in business. (p. 34). He (the Jew) took the ready goods and traded them with good profit while business, free from toil and catastrophes, drove a rain of gold into their deep pockets. (p. 37).
WHY JEWS WERE SEEN AS AN INIMICAL INFLUENCE ?
Every disreputable procedure, such as usury, smuggling and sordid mediation found in them ready and cunning adepts… (p. 36)….in every Polish town and village, such as: the liquor business [PROPINACJA], trade in stolen goods, stealing horses, profiteering, engaging in every manner of unclean practices, swindling. (p. 165). From the towns, the Jews slowly wended their way into the villages, where they monopolized the business of innkeepers [PROPINACJA]. With the sale of intoxicants in their hands, and other little practices of doubtful character, the crimes of larceny, receiving of stolen goods, usury, commercialized vice began to make their appearance among village people. (p. 256).
JEWISH ECONOMICS CONTRIBUTES TO POLAND’S PARTITION-ERA DEMISE
7 …towards the end of the eighteenth century there were one million Jews to 500,000 Polish burghers. (p. 36).The formation of the third or middle class was fairly paralyzed by the sudden influx of Jews and the way they exploited the best and most lucrative fields of enterprise…Thus the wealth of the foreign element kept on growing until they shoved many a true Pole and citizen out of business. This naturally brought fatal consequences in the face of an absence of well-organized native middle class…the lack of which, according to the opinion of many historians, became one of the main causes of Poland’s downfall. (p. 37). [Fast forward to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Partitioned Poland was under the rule of Prussia, Russia, and Austria]:
ENDEK BOYCOTT REASON I: ONGOING AND EXPANSIVE USURIOUS ACQUISITION OF LANDED ESTATES
[In Austrian-occupied Galicia] They [Jews] gained possession of immense tracts of land, mainly by way of insolvency. (p. 58). [This amounted to 30%-40% of Polish landed estates (p. 52, 320). As of 1892, 43,000 small Polish farms had passed into Jewish hands. (p. 321)]. [Jewish usurers would get Polish landowners indebted to them. Whenever the landowners could not pay, the usurers took advantage of them by acquiring their land in satisfaction of the debt. Then the usurers turned around, and used this wealth to buy even more Polish land. For a Jewish perspective on this, see: Dzialoszyce Memorial Book – an English translation of Sefer Yizkor shel kehilat Dzialoshitz ve-ha-seviva].
ENDEK BOYCOTT REASON II: EMANCIPATION OF POLAND FROM JEWISH ECONOMIC HEGEMONY
[In Galicia] They [Jews] were quick to monopolize the business and trade in cities and villages, and to exploit, in union with the Germans, forests, petroleum, coal, etc. (p. 52). In the [Russian-ruled] Kingdom of Poland the Jews were forbidden by the Russia state laws to acquire land, but they constitute 93.5% of merchants in grain and cattle, while forest business is fairly in their hands. 82% of the dry goods business is also in Jewish hands, while in the hide business 90.5% are Jews. These figures show how far the Jews have encroached upon Polish life and to what extent they have opposed any movement among the Poles, which was likely to interfere with the business they had so easily developed by reason of united capital, united influence and because of the difficulties Russia placed in the ways of Poles. (p. 58).
ENDEK BOYCOTT REASON III: JEWS EFFECTIVELY BOYCOTTED POLES FIRST
It would be too much to enumerate to what lengths the Jews had gone in fighting the Poles, who were practically defenseless and unskilled in united defensive action. The Poles could obtain no capital; the banks refused them credit; they could get no customers to buy their goods as three-fourths of the business was in Jewish hands…The seemingly liberal Russian press supported the Jews…with their [Poles’] attention completely riveted upon defending their fundamental rights of existence, the Poles had hardly time to adequately refute falsehoods and ward off attacks. (pp. 70-71). [Like today!]
ENDEK BOYCOTT REASON IV: JEWISH IMPACT ON POLISH CULTURE
It was only shortly before the insurrection of 1863 that the educated Jews started to follow such pursuits as medicine, law, literature, and principally journalism. Thus, the Jews took a new step, not so much with a view to getting hold of lucrative enterprises, as to gaining control over the thought of the nation. (p. 55). [In Austrian-occupied Galicia] In the larger cities where they [Jews] enjoy equal rights, they hold high offices and very influential positions. (unquote). (p. 52). [In Russian-occupied Congress Poland]: Besides, they [Poles] saw the influential jargon [Yiddish] press, openly inimical to Polish interests. They also saw the numerously attended jargon theaters, and the Jewish sectarian schools, where the Polish was no longer allowed. Meanwhile, Russian and German schools flourished under the protection of the government. The Polish communities were everywhere repressed by the joint Jewish-German forces. (p. 65).
ENDEK BOYCOTT REASON V: ELEMENTARY SELF-DEFENSE
In view of this domination of the whole of Polish economic life, is it not a national duty for all true citizens of Poland in self-defense to arise, and if necessary, boycott Jewish activities? The Polish National Democratic party and its leader–Roman Dmowski–were the first to awaken to the danger menacing the country, and to arouse public attention…Poland must oppose the parasitic aggressiveness of the Jewish element and cut asunder these economic shackles riveted by the Jews in the time of Russian, Prussian, and Austrian yoke. (p. 321).
ENDEK BOYCOTT REASON VI: THE 1912 DUMA ELECTIONS
The great commercial city, Lodz–enmeshed in a net of German-Jewish capital which directed its influence towards opposing the Poles–elected a Jew as a representative to the Duma. Warsaw, the capital of Poland, and the heart of the nation, stood helpless against the elective superiority of the Jews, who carried through their candidate. He was not a Jew, in fact, they feared the scandal, but still he [Yagiello] was of their own choosing–a radical socialist, a man who enjoyed no confidence even in his own party. Such a victory had the Jews gained in Warsaw where they constitute 37% of the population, and possessed the bulk of the real estate, as well as large capital and great influence…The Poles could hardly realize that the representative of Warsaw to the Russian Duma should be a Jewish protege, as this was an insult to the Polish nation, but it resulted in a general awakening [of Poles]. (pp. 64-65).
ENDEK BOYCOTT REASON VII: JEWS OPPOSE POLAND’S VERY RIGHT TO EXIST
Jewish arrogance, which dares to question before the forum of the world the right to independence of a nation whose history and civilization remained unsullied for a thousand years, is beyond all comprehension. (p. 263). WWI JEWISH PROFITEERING Author Stephanie Laudyn provides numerous examples, with specifics, about Jewish merchants who hoarded feedstuffs to drive up prices, and engaged in other practices that maximized their profits at the expense of the local nearstarving population. (pp. 143-146, 262).
10. THE POGROM PROPAGANDA SMEAR CAMPAIGN AGAINST POLAND
The author elaborates on the rather hysterical campaign, worldwide, which tried to discredit the new Polish state with fantastic calumnies of massive Polish pogroms. However, some local Jewish newspapers came to Poland’s defense (p. 264), and the Morgenthau investigation refuted almost all of these pogroms. During this time, in one sector of Poland, 262 Jewish stores had been ransacked. But so had nearly 1,800 that had belonged to non-Jews! (p. 264). [Here we are, a century later (2019) and fantastic pogrom tales against Poland keep being told. Consider, for example, Jan Grabowski [see his Judenjagd: Hunt for the Jews] and his media-promoted fantasies of 200,000 fugitive Jews killed by Poles during WWII.]
THE SO-CALLED MINORITIES TREATY: EXPANSIVE SPECIAL NATIONAL RIGHTS FOR JEWS
[The reader should realize that Jews already freely enjoyed religious, cultural, political, and individual rights in Poland. This was about something else entirely–special rights for Jews, that is, group rights.] In the very first Diet after Poland’s Independence (1918), both the Jewish members, Prilucki and Gruenbaum, demanded special rights for Jews. These included mandatory Yiddish in courts, offices, and schools. To this was added the demand for special voting districts, a special tax system, separate courts, etc.—essentially a “State within a State”. (p. 272). Other Jews strongly disagreed. Jewish spokesman Dr. H. Nussbaum rejected the notion that Yiddish is a Jewish national tongue. He saw it as a corruption of the German language, and pointed out that the establishment of Yiddish schools would be the creation of German centers in the heart of Poland. (p. 274). Polish Jew Segal pointedly asked why it is that Poland’s Jews think that they are entitled to an official language (Yiddish), national autonomy, etc., while the Jews of Berlin, London, New York, etc., feel no such entitlement. (p. 215). Good question! —– The Polish Tradition: an Interpretation of a Nation Super, Paul 1939 A Super Job (Pardon the Pun). Polish Anti-Semitism Real Causes. Why Boycotts Were Necessary. Poland Overcrowded With Jews. Significance of Poland’s Kresy (Borderlands) Author Paul Super, an American of Dutch-German descent (p. 107), who had lived a long time in interwar Poland, displays an unusually deep understanding of Polish thinking, Polish ways, etc.
THE MYTH OF THE AWFUL POLISH NOBLE
This book has countless tidbits of interesting information. For instance, notwithstanding the treatment of the Polish peasant by the landlord, he was still better off than his French, Germany, and especially Russian counterpart. (p. 43). On an entirely different subject, Poles commonly click their heels, during greetings, when shaking hands. (p. 128). Obviously, this has no pro-Nazi connotations.
THE “NATURE” OF POLES: TOLERANCE AND INDIVIDUALISM CLARIFIED
Paul Super summarizes this issue: (quote) This national characteristic more likely rests upon a real appreciation of the value of the individual, a high evaluation of individuality, and the worth and dignity of the person. Yours as well as his. For the Pole is slow to try to force his opinion on others; his tolerance is as real as his individualism…This characteristic and tradition has a very practical usefulness in the present world of politics; it makes the Pole loathe equally Communism and Fascism, any denying of the worth and dignity and freedom of the individual…See the things he rejected, fearing State tyranny: A titled nobility; a hereditary monarch; a family reigning in perpetuity; a standing army; all centralization of government. Note how for centuries he has equally despised the subservient mind of the Muscovite gentry, the herd mind of the Germans, and the bureaucratic Austrian, and how he has resisted discipline and regimentation either by State or Church these six or seven hundred years. (unquote). (p. 81).
THE TRUTH ABOUT 1930’s POLISH ANTI-SEMITISM: GROWING POLISH INTOLERANCE OF JEWISH EXPLOITATION
By way of introduction, Super introduces the author to the historical privileges of Poland’s Jews. He also describes how the Poles’ much-criticized LIBERUM VETO gave unprecedented freedoms to minorities, (quote) Their LIBERUM VETO preserved the heart of democracy, though not of good government, and protected minorities; indeed, it unduly empowered them. (unquote). (p. 133). Instead of regarding the Poles as animated by anti-Semitic Catholic teachings, Paul Super realizes that comparatively recent Polish antagonism towards Jews derived from economic considerations, and even this was still balanced by positive Polish attitudes towards Jews. He comments, (quote)…the Jews in Poland served definite economic functions, that of middleman, merchant, and banker. 12. Sadly, the general social ethics of the Jew did not emanate from his religion but from his vocation, and are regarded by Poles as lamentably low, with, of course, notable individual exceptions. The intellectual acumen and artistic ability of the Jew are, however, fully recognized by the Pole. Finally, the Jew is traditionally regarded by the Pole as not a creator of wealth, but as a collector of wealth created by the labor of others, and in the worst situations, as an economic parasite living on the Polish social body. (unquote). (p. 53). Although author Super does not mention the Endek-led boycotts of Jews, he makes it easy for the reader to realize why they were necessary. Author Paul Super also realizes that the worsening Polish-Jewish relations, and growing Jewish poverty, stem not from Poles being innately anti-Semitic, or imitating the Nazis in nearby Germany, but from the direct conflict between emerging Polish entrepreneurial activity and its long-established Jewish counterpart. Super writes, (quote) In post-war and independent Poland all this is changing. The peasant is tired of exploitation at the hands of the Jew, is rising against it, and learning to handle his products directly or through cooperatives. The people of the towns and cities are themselves going into business and urging Christians to deal with Christians. In the upper classes more and more are engaging in commerce and entering the professions. The result is, that the Jews in Poland, far too numerous on any count, are losing their economic functions to the Poles to whom the land belongs, and are, notwithstanding the vast wealth of their own Jewish upper class, both numerous and rich, beginning to experience unprecedented economic hardships. (unquote). (p. 54).
POLAND IS OVERCROWDED WITH JEWS
How should this be remediated? Super comments (quote), Unless other lands having fewer Jews cooperate in receiving Jewish emigrants from Poland, their fate in Poland will be a sad one, not because of the cruelty of the Pole, nor his intolerance, for a long history shows him to be neither cruel nor intolerant, but because of the huge Jewish population in Poland, its loss of social function, and its proved utter unassimilability on a large scale into the Polish social structure. (unquote). (p. 54).
THE DISTINCTIVENESS OF THE POLE FROM THE KRESY
POLAND’S POSSESSION OF THE KRESY IS NOT A FORM OF IMPERIALISM
Ukrainian nationalist and Communist propaganda has frequently painted Poland’s possession of territories that are predominantly non-Polish as imperialistic. Super knows better. He quips, (quote) During the 15th and 16th centuries Poland increased her territory threefold, her population twofold, and without intimidation, terror, or bloodshed. Active among the forces contributing to this great achievement was her characteristic toleration, which made other racial groups, the Lithuanians and Ruthenians [Ukrainians], desire to join Poland; this spirit then assisted in their assimilation into the Polish nation, and so completely was this achieved that many of Poland’s greatest heroes come from those stocks, notably Kosciuszko. Mickiewicz, and Pilsudski, and Prince Jeremy Wisniowiecki, whose son became one of Poland’s elected kings, 1669. (unquote). (p. 59). Author Paul Super continues, (quote) These more eastern lands were then called, as we see on 16th and 17th century maps, DZIKIE POLA, “the wild fields”, and Ukraine, “the border lands”. They were uncultivated, largely empty, Tarter overridden frontier territories, Polish by law and right, settled and developed by Polish initiative, defended by Polish arms, peopled by a simple Ruthenian [Ukrainian] peasant population able to live and prosper because of Polish forts and Polish knights in armor. Its rich black soil is further enriched by the blood of tens of thousands of Polish soldiers who died holding these lands against Tartar hordes and Turkish armies. (unquote). (p. 146). —– The Polish Jew: His Social and Economic Value (Classic Reprint) Baskerville, Beatrice C. 1906 Polish-Jewish Relations: Two Sides! Jewish Economic and Now Political Dominance. Ritual Murder Beliefs and Pogroms Condemned by the Church.
THE JEWISH DOMINANCE OF FOREIGN-RULED POLAND
Developing her thoughts, she asks, (quote) Can he [the westerner] imagine the capital of Poland, the most civilized city in Russia, the link between Europe and Asia, where every third man is a Jew, where the trade and commerce are in the hands of the Jews and where Jewish organizations have openly declared their intention of converting the Imperial army to the tenets of Socialism and of gaining the greatest amount of political influence…? (unquote). (p. 6). Baskerville notes the rapid growth of the Jewish population. She mentions the Litvaks (Litwaks) and their migration to Warsaw and other central-Polish cities and towns (p. 11), thus tacitly recognizing their sometimes-denied significance. Jewish economic dominance over the peasantry is commonly attributed to the actions of the nobility centuries ago. While once true, the nobility, unlike Jewish economic dominance, are but a distant memory, but the Jewish niche remains much the same, (quote) Today-there is not a trace of the Zamek [castle] left, the stock of the magnate has long since died out, but the descendants of the Jews who first settled there have increased and multiplied, plying the same trades and observing the same customs for ten centuries.(unquote)(p. 31). The relationship between the oft-exploiting Jewish usurer and the oft- exploited Polish debtor is, using modern parlance, a form of codependency: (quote) He generally manages to succeed, for the Polish peasant is easy prey. Having very little ready money…readily pays interest in kind without reflecting how much dearer it really costs him. And borrow he must from time to time…When a misfortune comes, and the cow dies or falls sick, the Jew is at hand, and so it goes on till the peasant is perpetually in his debt and power. He and his wife have no idea of the market value of their dairy and farm produce, for the Jews rule the market and keep their secrets to themselves. (unquote)(pp. 36-37). (quote) The following incident, which is not only true, but one of similar instances, will illustrate the happy-go-lucky way in which the Pole will burden himself with debt. (unquote)(p. 67). The Polish-Jewish co-dependency is further clarified by Baskerville: (quote) …the Poles affirm…No walk of life is free from you-you enter the professions as well as the trades, but we are a lazy people and found you useful.
DO NOT BLAME POGROMS, AND RESIDUAL BELIEFS IN RITUAL MURDER, ON THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Christian clergy, and not only the Church and papacy, opposed the blood libel: (quote) These two incidents show that the old conviction that the Jews are ready to murder Christian children for ritualistic purposes still prevails among the Polish masses, in spite of the efforts of the clergy to eradicate it. (unquote)(p. 146). Nor did Christian clergy promote pogroms. To the contrary: When some incidents inflamed Poles and Jews, (quote) In the churches the priests mounted the pulpits twice and thrice daily to preach against the evils of racial hatred and the necessity for Christian love and forbearance. (unquote). (p. 141). Interestingly, there were no pogroms in Russian-ruled central Poland between 1880 and 1906, and the latter (in Bialystok)[possibly also the former] was clearly Russian-instigated. (pp. 146-147). Baskerville suggests that Poles in general saw themselves as a humane and cultured people who would “deeply regret” the eruption of pogroms, notwithstanding the “arrogance of the Jewish masses”. (p. 127).
NO BLACK AND WHITE IN POLISH-JEWISH RELATIONS
Jewish factory owners had differing opinions on the relative worth of Poles and Jews as workers. (p. 52-on). Most of the time, Poles and Jews lived in amity (p. 57, 144), notwithstanding the anti-Semitic undercurrent (p. 144), which was normally dormant (p. 127), and otherwise lacking in aim and energy–completely unlike the virulent anti-Semitism of the Russians. (p. 150). As for blame, Baskerville faults with both sides: (quote) But to the mere observer it appears that there has been a good deal to forgive on both sides; and today, at any rate, the Jews are as anti-Polish as the Poles are anti-Semitic. They do not want to assimilate, they do not want to blend their interests with the interests of the rest of the community. They are striving to assert their national individuality, to live their own lives and attain their own ends, all three of which are as far removed from the Sclavonic [Slavonic] ideals as the twilight from dawn, as night from day. (unquote)(pp. 150-151). She adds, “Thanks to political and social conditions, and partly also to Talmudism, the Jews in Poland have preserved their exclusiveness.” (p. 107).
UNAPPRECIATED FACTORS IN THE ACTIONS OF THE MUCHMALIGNED ROMAN DMOWSKI
Although the Dmowski-led retaliatory boycotts of Jews after the 1912 Duma election were still years in the future, Baskerville alludes to one of the reasons for the newly-politicized Judaism constituting an affront to Polish national aspirations: (quote) …the Jew, who has been economically dangerous to Polish interests for centuries, has now become a political peril, because, having nothing to gain by keeping quiet and a possible gain in revolt, he has prompted and is guiding the present revolutionary movement. This conviction prompted the Poles to act with unexpected energy during the election for the Duma. (unquote). (p. 136). The Bund, though anti-Zionist, promoted Jewish particularism (p. 158) and grew increasingly anti-Polish. (p. 186). The Jewish Bund and SD (Social Democrats) often turned against even Polish socialists. (p. 164). Bund-led strikes ended up hurting Poles more than the Russian authorities: They closed factories, drove commerce overseas, and lowered the standard of Polish produce. (p. 165). Armed Bund gangs killed policemen in broad daylight. (p. 21).
A FLASHBACK TO THE COSSACK REVOLTS
In the rest of her book, Baskerville flashes back to early Polish-Jewish history. Although Jewish accounts focus on the exceptions, Baskerville points out that most Polish cities not only did not turn their Jews over to the murderous Cossacks during the Khmelnytsky (Chmielnicki) Revolt, but paid ransom to have them spared. Lwow (Lviv) was notable for paying a hefty ransom. (p. 233). —– Symbiosis And Ambivalence: Poles And Jews In A Small Galician Town Lehmann, Rosa 2001 Poles and Jews: No Black and White. Poles Rejoicing at the Holocaust a Myth This book covers the vicissitudes of pre-WWII Polish-Jewish relations in the town of Jaslicka, SW Poland (post-WWII boundaries), from a few centuries ago until the Holocaust.
MISCELLANEOUS INTERESTING FACTS
The term “Polish nobility” spanned the magnate and the poor noble-in-name-only, and constituted the largest franchised class in Europe: 8-12% vs. 1-2% of other European states. (p. 58). Lehmann mentions the WWII-Era Lemkos, some of whom considered themselves Ukrainians, and a considerable fraction of whom were pro-Nazi. (e. g., p. 141). Lehmann also characterizes the postwar killings of local Jews as the deeds of “local criminals, bandits, and soldiers”. (p. 152).
NO BLACK AND WHITE IN POLISH-JEWISH RELATIONS
Contrary to the likes of Heller’s ON THE EDGE OF DESTRUCTION, the evidence doesn’t support the awfulization of the Jewish experience. In fact, most of the time, Polish-Jewish relations were good. (p. xxi). Although both lived in a poor country, the Jews, on the whole, were wealthier than the Poles. (p. 64). Contrary to the common misconception about the Poles having ostracized the Jews and forced them into ghettos, it was the Jews who had, using modern parlance, selfsegregated themselves. Lehmann comments: “We have seen that the Jews strongly marked themselves off from the Poles. The distinction between the Jews (yidn) and non-Jews (goyim) reflected the Jewish fear of Gentile intrusion, as well as Jewish disdain for the gentile world.” (p. 124).
PREJUDICES BETWEEN JEWS AND POLES WENT BOTH WAYS
BOYCOTTS OF JEWS ARE WAY OVERBLOWN
The Endek-encouraged boycotts of Jewish shops, in favor of Polish ones, weren’t practiced by most local Poles. (p. 82). This adds to similar testimonies elsewhere, and reinforces the premise that Polish antiSemitism had been much more bark than bite.
THE MYTH OF POLES REJOICING WHILE JEWS WERE BEING MURDERED
This Polonophobic Holocaust lore is reinforced by the likes of the movie SCHINDLER’S LIST (SWINDLER’S LIST), where a Polish girl is shown giving a sarcastic farewell (Goodbye Jews!) to the soon-to-be-murdered Jews, while other Polish onlookers throw globs of mud at the Jews. The reality was quite different. During the Holocaust, the Germans came and took away the Jews, while the Poles were forced to stay indoors. (p. 147). This adds refutation to the notion that Poles tended to stand around and mock the Jews during such events. However, Lehmann, not to be denied, follows the guilt-by-observation thinking of Michael Steinlauf and Jan T. Gross)(pp. 183-184). By some leap of logic, the Poles are now in a sense culpable for the Holocaust merely for being AWARE of the fact of Jewish deaths. This is Holocaustianity with a vengeance!
THE MYSTIFICATION OF THE HOLOCAUST, AND NOW THE MYSTIFICATION OF ANTI-SEMITISM
In common with many authors, Lehmann portrays “anti-Semitism without Jews” as something profound, and fulfilling of some deep pathology. (p. 8). How about the Jews accepting some responsibility for the consequences of their conduct? And how about the reputations of peoples in general going far beyond the confines of the time and place of their domiciles? This also works against Poles, and not only Jews. Consider, for example, manifestations of “antiPolonism without Poles” in such places as China–thanks–unfortunately, to Jewish influence in the West.
19 —– The emergence of the Jewish problem, 1878-1939 Parkes, James William 1946 Includes an Unusually Clarified and EvenHanded Analysis of Pre-WWII Polish-Jewish Relations Though not published until 1946, this book was written just before the Germanmade Holocaust, and thus presents a Holocaust-eve analysis of Europe’s Jews. I focus on Poland’s Jews.
THE 1918 POGROM-MONGERING IN THE WESTERN PRESS
Both Poles and Jews tended to act in ways that exacerbated their conflicts. Consider, for instance, the so-called pogroms of 1918. (Quote) In these operations, ill-organized and illequipped soldiery perpetrated a number of acts of violence, including murder, on the Jewish population, sometimes with the approval of their military leaders, sometimes without. These acts, quickly reported by the Jews to the western Powers, seriously embittered feelings on both sides. The Jews rightly resented the fact that few were punished at all, and no compensation was paid for very serious damage done, and the Poles resented the action of the Jews in blackening the reputation of Poland at the hour of her rebirth. (Unquote).
JEWISH POVERTY NOT THE POLES’ FAULT: IT WAS INHERITED FROM TSARIST RUSSIAN POLICIES
Parkes tacitly confirms Dmowski on the inherited nature of the Polish-Jewish problem and the poverty of many Jews: (quote) There were far too many tiny shops, dirty and insanitary, whose whole stock of goods could have been bought for a few zloty. Far too many staved off starvation by vague and even anti-social occupations as middlemen, moneylenders, agents, or touts. Such as the inheritance which Tsarist Russia bequeathed to Poland, for the decline of Polish-Jewish industry and commerce had set in well before the foundation of the Republic. (unquote) (p. 148).
PEASANTS PUSH BACK AGAINST THE JEWISH ECONOMIC HEGEMONY
Many Jewish positions were being eliminated as part of the march of progress. (Quote) …the Government began its efforts to modernize and raise the general level of Polish life. A large number of the village and small-town Jewish shopkeepers and middlemen were bound to be ruined by the development of agricultural co-operatives, and yet these cop-operatives in themselves were far better designed to raise the level of peasant life than were the previous Jewish shopkeepers and middlemen. (Unquote)
20 —– AGGRESSIVE AND EXTREME JEWISH SEPARATISM
At the Peace Conference at Paris, Polish Jews demanded “the autonomous management of their religious, educational, charitable, and cultural institutions.” (p. 112). In effect, the Jews wanted separate-nation status on Polish soil. Parkes adds: “On the Jewish side also it was evident that the spread of the national idea among the masses–whether in Zionist or Socialist form–had led them to reject assimilation entirely.” (p. 135). Poles resisted the Minorities Treaty for several reasons, including, ironically, its damage to Jewish-Polish relations: “…all the special privileges given to Jews would only put them in an invidious position which Poles would resent, thereby making friendly relations impossible. In particular, to allow a minority to complain to an outside Power…would create and not solve problems. (p. 125).
WHAT DOES ASSIMILATION ACCOMPLISH ANYWAY?
However, decades earlier, Roman Dmowski had warned that assimilation does not necessarily convert Jews into loyal members of their host nation, and cited as an example that of Hungary’s assimilated Jews. Parkes tacitly confirms Dmowski as he comments: “The demand of Jews of eastern Hungary to be considered Jews by nationality…By nature they were an extremely assimilationist group, calling themselves proudly `Israelitish Magyars.'” (p. 113). However, if the new borders placed them in Romania, they would discard their Hungarian identification and become simply Jews. The same held for Jews who lived in Silesia, which was contested by Poland and Germany. (p. 113).
TOO MANY JEWS IN POLAND—SOME JEWISH LEADERS AGREE
The huge Jewish presence in Poland was an unavoidable constant: “The most moderate [Poles] were troubled by the fact that they wanted to live in a society that definitely embodies the POLISH tradition, and the Polish, primarily Catholic, way of life. They desired to oppress neither Jew nor any other minority, but they did not want to be `dominated by Jews’.” (emphasis in the original)(p. 152). When Nazis used the phrase “dominated by Jews”, they meant that some professions may be 10% Jewish; rarely 20%. For Poles, Jewish overabundance was broader and more extreme. Figures on the universities are telling. In the early 1920’s, Jews, at 10% of Poland’s population, typically accounted for more than 33% of students at the Universities of Warsaw, Vilna (Wilno; Vilnius), Cracow, and Lvov (Lwow, Lviv). (p. 143, 240). Nearly one-third of the faculties at the University at Wilno, in 1927-1928, were Jewish. (p. 240).
SUNDAY CLOSING LAW
The laws against Jews working on Sunday did not prevent them from working indoors with other Jews. They only prevented Jews from trading openly on Sundays. (p. 161). It is easy to see that this law served to reduce Jewish economic dominance, but it did not force Jews to be idle two days a week. It also served to prevent Christians from being tempted to violate their Sunday rest by trading with Jews.
THE SCHECHITA LAW
Parkes says, (quote) In the last years of the Republic a new threat to Jewish economic life was launched in an attack on Jewish ritual killing of meat (Schechita), and a Bill was passed limiting the work of Jewish butchers to the Jewish community. The effect of this was to throw thousands of Jewish butchers out of work, for a large proportion of the general trade had previously been in their hands, and their clientele had included many of the Christian population. (unquote)(p. 161). For now, the Schechita law did not restrict Jewish religious practices. Although Parkes does not mention this, the Schechita law served to reduce Jewish dominance of the meat industry, and to help Polish butchers in their competition against long-established Jewish ones.
NO BLACK AND WHITE ON POLISH-JEWISH RELATIONS
The 123 years of foreign rule were hardly conducive to Poles being receptive to Jews (p. 130), and the Poles’ long oppression made them unwilling to relinquish even a little bit of their sovereignty to Jewish particularism. (p. 155). The Jewish side absolutely refused to compromise on such things as matters related to their massive over-representation and the corrective numerus clausus. (p. 154). The Jews’ long history of facing discriminatory legislation made them unwilling to relinquish their advantages for some long-term good. (p. 155). In the end, Parkes contends that both Jews and Poles lacked the experience necessary to deal with each other (p. 154), and both Poles and Jews lacked the political maturity to overcome the circumstances that limited each of their thinking. (p.155). —– Poland Between The Wars, 1918-1939 Stachura, Peter D. 1998 Organized Jewish Hostility to Poland, Then and Now This book addresses many topics. I focus on a few of them.
This book has been mischaracterized as a nationalistic tome, one which attempts to blame prewar Polish minorities for all their problems. This is manifestly incorrect. Stachura never says that minorities conflicts with Poles are all of their own making. He merely says that their steadfast enmity towards Poland, and constant rebuffing of positive Polish overtures, influenced their fate.
JEWISH CONDUCT IN PRE-WWII POLAND IS ANTI-POLISH ACTIVISM, NOT “FREE SPEECH”
I first address some criticisms of this book. To begin with, there is no contradiction whatsoever between the self-chosen non-assimilated status of most Polish Jews and the fact of their overall economic dominance. Also, Jewish involvement vis a vis the Bloc of National minorities and relative to Narutowicz was hardly a free-speech matter. It was, as described by Stachura, nothing less than “a declaration of political warfare against the state” (p. 75), and one with intrusive German involvement to boot. Finally, complaints about Stachura not mentioning Sikorski’s 1942 comments and the Kielce pogrom of 1946 are doubly ridiculous in that they both occurred after the stated time scope of this book (1918-1939), an elementary fact obvious from even its title. (Parenthetically, Sikorski was not the only one who contended that Poland had far too many Jews. This opinion was shared by the Zionist Vladimir Jabotinsky, among others. As for the Kielce pogrom, there is ample evidence, from Russian and Jewish sources alone, that it was a Soviet Communist staged event).
TOO NARROW AN ANALYSIS OF POLONOPHOBIA
A major shortcoming of Stachura’s book is his inadequate treatment of the agendas behind the demonization of Poland vis a vis her minorities. He does mention the Soviet-imposed Communist puppet government’s need to appear legitimate by trying to make prewar Poland as bleak as possible. However, Britain and the US also needed to belittle prewar Poland in order to rationalize their dirty, stinking doublecross of Poland at Yalta. The advent of Holocaust supremacism has required the marginalization of the genocides of non-Jews, notably that of Poles. Finally, the emergence of the Holocaust Industry has created a need to blur the distinction between prewar Poland and Nazi Germany as much as possible in the public eye, and even to create an artificial continuity between the experiences of Polish Jews in prewar Poland and their subsequent genocide in Nazi-German ruled Poland.
JEWISH AGGRESSION AGAINST POLAND
Go figure: Stachura calls Dmowski a (what else?) anti-Semite, while at the same time identifying all the Jewish mendacity about Poland that had pushed Dmowski in that direction. For example: As related by Stachura, the Jewish hostility to the Polish state took on nothing less than staggering dimensions. A “Jewish lobby” at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 had opposed the creation of the Polish state. Jewish collaboration with the Communists was extensive, and was much more significant than any Byelorussian-Communist cooperation owing to the economic and political power of the Jews. Indeed, numerous world Jewish organizations and personages spared no efforts to continually defame Poles and Poland Reading this, it sounds so familiar to what occurs today under the auspices of Holocaust programming and Holocaust education. All we ever hear about is Polish anti-Semitism. Yet Stachura documents many specific examples of Jewish Polonophobia. For instance, bogus accounts of pogroms in Poland were created and circulated, only to be almost entirely discredited later through the investigative efforts of a delegation headed by Henry Morgenthau, a Jew himself. The so-called Minorities Treaty presented a platform for Poland’s allies and enemies to meddle in her internal affairs. An ironic situation developed wherein, for instance, Britain, with her global empire, dubious treatment of the Irish, and having almost no local Jewish population to deal with, used the Minorities Treaty to moralize Poland on her treatment of minorities! Polish anti-Semitism had been the reason given by many Jewish organizations and individuals for refusing to support the emergence of an independent Polish state. However, Stachura misses the opportunity to call the bluff on this excuse. The fact is that, if anything, tsarist Russia had been far more anti-Semitic than the Poles. On the basis of this alone, Jews should have preferred Polish self-rule over continued Russian rule. As for Communism, its totalitarian and barbaric nature had, if nothing else, been well demonstrated by the Russian Revolution. The reluctance or refusal of Jewish organizations to support the independence of Poland, even after its inception, owes, in actuality, to longterm Jewish financial and economic interests in Russia (and also the other partitioning powers, Austria and Prussia).
Stachura makes it clear that, in general, Poland was very tolerant of minorities. The Jews enjoyed a flourishing economic, cultural, and economic life unparalleled in any other nation. Although there were necessary repressive acts done by Poland against her seditious minorities, they were never systematic nor continuous. Stachura could have mentioned the commutation of the death penalty against Ukrainian nationalist leaders Bandera, Lebed, and Shukevych, who had been involved in assassinations of Polish and pro-Polish Ukrainian leaders. How did they return the favor? By organizing and implementing (during the later German occupation) an unspeakably sadistic genocide of 100,000 Poles (and thousands of Ukrainians who desired good Polish-Ukrainian relations or otherwise refused to submit to the fascist dictates of the OUN-UPA leadership). Stachura’s work needs to be expanded, and it is hoped that a future edition will do this.
—– A Marriage of Convenience Weinbaum, Laurence 1993 Anti-Semitism Can Be Rational. The Endek and Zionist Agreement on the Fact of Jewish Overpopulation of Pre-WWII Poland, and Joint Efforts to Solve It. Polish Ambassador Lipski Never Endorsed the Persecution of Jews, Let Alone the Holocaust! The author touches on Jewish life in Poland. Although he does not use the term Litvaks (Litwaks), he alludes to them when he notes that the Jews of Wilno (Vilnius) were the least Polonized, were affected by a lingering Russian influence, and were ones whose models tended to be Russian revolutionaries rather than Zionists. (p. 243).
POLISH AMBASSADOR LIPSKI NEVER ENDORSED ANY FORM OF PERSECUTION OF JEWS!
Poland’s ambassador to Nazi Germany, Jozef Lipski, has often been misquoted, by Polonophobes, in his statement that Poles should build a monument to Hitler were he to solve the Jewish problem. (p. 169). Lipski is slanderously accused of endorsing the Holocaust. Nothing could be further from the truth! In actuality, back in 1938, the extermination of Europe’s Jews was not even imagined. Lipski and Hitler were referring to a proposed mass emigration of Jews to the colonies–little different from what Jabotinsky and other Zionists had been working on all along!
Nowadays, anti-Semitism is customarily dismissed as the scapegoating of Jews, and mystified as “the world’s greatest hatred”. Not quite. Instead of picturing the likes of Endek antagonism towards Jews as something terrible, the Zionist Max Nordau, in 1900, saw it as a hallmark of a nation’s newfound development and national consciousness–one whose growing hostility towards Jewish particularism and economic dominance was a natural consequence of this development. (p. 15). Michal Glazer, a Polish Jew, noted that the poverty and unemployment of Poles and Romanians made it all the more untenable that they would continue to tolerate right-or-wrong Jewish economic dominance. (p. 18). Later, Jabotinsky showed unusual insight in understanding the true–economic–causes of Polish anti-Semitism. See the Peczkis review of: The Jewish war front.
ENDEKS AND ZIONISTS AGREE: POLAND HAS FAR TOO MANY JEWS
That Poland was overpopulated with Jews was a position hardly limited to Endeks and Revisionist Zionists. Icaak (Yitzhak) Gruenbaum had declared, as early as 1927, that “‘there are one million more Jews in Poland than she can possibly accommodate'”. (p. 90). Arie Tartakower suggested that there were 1,200,000 Jews in Poland whose position was economically untenable, and 100,000-120,000 of them should emigrate annually. (p. 165). The Zionism-in-a-hurry ideas of the Revisionist Jabotinsky were hardly new. In 1920, Polish Jew Max Nordau had advocated a mass emigration, within a 6 month period, of 600,000 Jews to Palestine. (p. 211).
THE MASS EMIGRATION OF POLAND’S JEWS WAS EMINENTLY REALISTIC
Jabotinsky suggested that 60,000 to 70,000 Polish Jews emigrate to Palestine annually over a ten year period. (p. 67). Was this realistic? Yes! Note that in 1949, the new State of Israel absorbed 240,000 Jewish immigrants. (p. 277).
NOT ALL A MARRIAGE OF CONVENIENCE: GENUINE ASPECTS OF THE ENDEK-ZIONIST ALLIANCE
Partly true to the title, Weinbaum sees the post-Pilsudski Polish government’s alliance with the Revisionists as an effort to get many Polish Jews to leave Poland. However, he does recognize that some Poles genuinely wished the Jews success in forming their own state. (pp. 10-13). The Poles gave arms to Revisionists for use in Palestine, and provided military training for its leaders.
THE REVISIONISTS AND FASCISM
Then and now, “fascist” is a loaded word, and a handy label for leftists to use against those they do not like. The Revisionists were attacked by their detractors as Jewish fascists. Early Italian fascism, which was not anti-Semitic, did win some admiration from the Revisionists. However, Jabotinsky had a sharp distaste for totalitarianism and fascism, and the Revisionists never went beyond the outer trappings of fascism. (pp. 32-33, 241). —– Poland: An Historical Sketch Moltke, Helmuth von 1885 Prussian Helmuth Moltke: In Poland, Jews Exploit Peasants The elder Helmuth Moltke wrote this book in 1832 (p. v), at a time when Poland’s partitions, at the hands of her neighbors, had been a relatively recent development, and at a time before Prussian chauvinism and militarism had come into full bloom. Although this work corrects many misconceptions about the structure of Polish society, it is not pro-Polish. Moltke (pp. 153-155) paints a rosy picture of Prussian rule over Poland. In addition, Emma S. Buchheim, the editor and translator (in 1885), defends the dismemberment of Poland as a “historical necessity” even as she praises the struggles of all true Polish patriots. (p. vii). She also praises Moltke as a writer whose talents in this regard had become overshadowed by his military career. (p. x).
GROWING JEWISH NUMBERS AND POWER
As the Jews marry when they are still almost children, they are soon surrounded by a numerous progeny. (p. 134). The small amount of trade still carried on in Poland was in the hands of the Jews. (p. 62). The Jews had their own diet, every province sent deputies to Warsaw, where they formed a great assembly…In short, next to the nobles, the Jews formed the most influential and powerful class in the country…the Jews managed to avoid all public burdens and taxes. (p. 69).The inns everywhere belong to the Jews. (p. 139). The mills, distilleries, public-houses, are inexhaustible sources of wealth, and the whole produce of the estate often passes through the hands of the Jews. (p. 140).
PROTECTING PEASANTS FROM JEWISH EXPLOITATION. THE PROPINACJA (LIQUOR TRADE): EVILS OF ALCOHOL
The laws forbidding the Jews on pain of death to trade with the peasants, to keep inns, to sell brandy–laws which were passed anew in every reign–show that they never ceased to carry on these trades, so profitable for them, so ruinous for the peasant. (p. 70). On pain of banishment they [the Jews] were forbidden to buy from the peasants the uncut corn, the unborn cattle, and the unshorn wool, which had usually been sold beforehand for drink in the public houses. (p. 142). Even now the mere prospect of these new rights induces the greater part of the [newly emancipated] peasants to pledge their farms to the Jews, so that after being entirely lost to the owners they are placed in the hands of person who will not husband them, but who will transform them into merchandize. (p. 151).
A UNIQUE FEUDAL HIERARCHY OF A LIMITED NATURE
The nobles were in exclusive possession of all political rights; they formed the entire state. Poland was a republic made up of about 300,000 petty suzerainties, each of which was immediately connected with the state, and was subject to the whole body alone, acknowledging no kind of feudal superiority or of feudal dependence. No Polish noble was the vassal of a superior lord. Even the retainer, if a nobleman, shared the political rights of his master; the meanest of them appeared at the diet in the fully enjoyment of that power which belonged to all without distinction. It is here that we find the fundamental difference between the Polish constitution and the feudal states of the West and the despotism of the East… (p. 3).
The mutual relations of the nobles were based upon perfect equality among all, and as much independence for the individual as was compatible therewith. Starting from the principle that a free man cannot be taxed or governed contrary to his own declared will, the unanimous consent of all was declared for resolutions dealing with these matters, in other words, for all laws; the dissent of a few or of a single individual sufficed for the rejection of a measure. (p. 4).
PRIVILEGED CLASSES LIMITED BY NONHEREDITARY POSITIONS
The woiwodes [voivodes] or palatines were governors of a province or palatinate…Since the offices of palatine (which may be compared with the ducal dignity of the Teutonic races), the castellan and starost were not hereditary, it was impossible for an electorate, a peerage, or a higher nobility to exist by the side of the monarchy… (p. 7, pp. 8-9).
NON-MILITARIZED EARLY POLAND
Poland is the only European state which down to the sixteenth century possessed no military force, except that of its armed and mounted nobles…hussars and cuirassiers. (p. 17).
PRIVILEGED CLASSES NOT WEALTH-SEEKING, NOR RANKED BY WEALTH
An admirable peculiarity of the warlike nobility was the simplicity of their habits…The wealth which the noble obtained from his subjects returned to them again. A few benches, tables and carpets formed the furniture of the richest palatinate. (pp. 18-19).The intercourse of the nobles was cordial and liberal, and no excessive deference was shown to the rich and powerful. (p. 21).
NOBILITY WITHOUT TITLES
When Lithuania was joined to Poland, the Czartorysky [Czartoryski], the Sanguszko, and Wiecnowiesky [Wiszniewiecki] were the only families who, contrary to the spirit of the constitution, retained their rank as princes of the republic. (p. 21).
SECONDARY DEVELOPMENT OF INEQUALITY BASED ON WEALTH, WITH LIMITED EFFECTS
There were Polish nobles who possessed estates exceeding in extent many a kingdom of those days…contrary to the spirit of the constitution… Radziwills, …Czartorysky, …Potocki, Zamojski, Lubomirsky,… While a small number of nobles amassed unlimited wealth, the greater part lost all their property. (pp. 2425). Nevertheless a superior and inferior nobility was never recognized in Poland. The title of count borne by Poles of to-day would have been despised by their ancestors. Influence, honours, and wealth did not bring political privileges or rank the poorest noble did not give up a single claim because of his poverty. (p. 27).
It was for this reason that distinctions of class, the arbitrary treatment of the inferior by his superior, did not develop in Poland as in other countries. (p. 28).
PREVIOUS PEASANT LIBERTIES, AND ONCE-LIMITED SERFDOM
But the peasant did not belong to the lord, he could not be sold. The estate might pass into other hands, but the peasant was not obliged to leave his farm. The fact that he could possess land prevented him from ever becoming a mere serf…If we sum up the condition of the peasant, as established by law and justice, we find that he enjoyed the possession of home and land, that the conditions under which he was attached to the soil were restricted, that he was liable to a reasonable amount of statute labour, and moderate state and church rates… It is remarkable that the Polish peasant enjoyed these privileges at a time when villeinage existed in all the rest of Europe. (p. 49, pp. 50-51).
WHY POLAND FELL: A SUMMARY
Among the chief causes of the fall of the republic was the continual decrease of the royal power of the state. (p. 29). This happy state of affairs ended with the extinction of the Jagellons [Jagellonians], when the nobles increased their power at the expense of both king and peasant. (p. 51). Another great evil from which the republic suffered was the abuse of the LIBERUM VETO, which, dangerous as it was in itself, had become law in 1652… (p. 38).
DECLINE IN PREVIOUSLY PREVALENT RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE
For a long time no state in Europe was as tolerant as Poland…It was not until the influence of the Jesuits and foreign emissaries fanned the flames of religious discord… (p. 46).
NOBLES’ OPPRESSION OF PEASANTS A RECENT DEVELOPMENT
This relation between eleven million men and barely half a million masters is an abuse of the last two hundred years, and was preceded by one thousand years of a better state of things. (p. 48). The kings were forced to promise that they would grant the peasant no letters of protection against his lord…Every noble was absolute master of his own estate…The utter misery of the Polish peasant is proved by statutes like that passed by the diet of 1768… (pp. 52-53).
30. THE OPPRESSION OF THE PEASANTRY WEAKENS POLAND, PREVENTS HER DEFENSE, AND BECOMES A TOOL OF POLAND’S ENEMIES
The result was those terrible insurrections of the peasants–the very threat of which alarmed the nobles–the ruin of landed property, and the failure of those sources from which a nation should derive its prosperity and strength. (p. 53). To the peasant, who had nothing to lose, it was a matter of indifference whether he was subject to his territorial lord or to a foreign foe. Every promise of improvement, nay, even a mere change in his conditions offered by the enemy, was calculated to make the peasant the most terrible enemy of his master. The mere possibility of an insurrection of the peasants…prevented the noble and his household troops from undertaking the defense of the republic… (pp. 74-75).
MAY 3rd, 1791 CONSTITUTION IS TOO LATE
After their long apprenticeship with sorrow, the Poles learned to seek the foundation of a wise administration in the greater power of the crown and in its hereditary character, in the abolition of the LIBERUM VETO, in the emancipation of the middle classes, and in the granting of a certain amount of freedom to the peasants. But this effort came a hundred years too late and had no effect on the fate of country. (pp. 117-118).
IN THE END, POLAND DID NOT FALL FROM WITHIN: AGGRESSORS DESTROYED HER
Whoever attacked the country with an army intended to conquer it, and for a long time the sole obstacle to this was the mutual jealousy of neighbouring states. (p. 75).
THE WISDOM OF GRADUALLY EMANCIPATING PEASANTS, AS BY ENNOBLEMENT (MAY 3 CONSTITUTION), INSTEAD OF BY (THE FOREIGN-DECREED) ABOLITIONS OF SERFDOM BY FIAT
The immaturity of the [suddenly-freed] peasants is best seen by the laws made in their favour. No one is allowed to lend them more than three florins. No one was to give them brandy on credit. (p. 143). —– Poland under the dominion of Russia Harring, Harro 1831 An Early Mid-19th Century Snapshot of Russian-Ruled Poland. Polish Nobility Not Feudal. Two Sides on Jews My review is based on the original 1831 English-language edition, a translation from the original German. I focus on a few themes. The author identifies himself as a German, or at least one of German extraction. (p. 94). He served as a cadet in Grand-Duke Constantine’s Imperial Russian Body Guard.
31. THE POLISH NOBILITY: RELATIVE SOCIOECONOMIC EQUALITY
Author Harring confirms the fact that the Polish nobility, unlike that of other countries, was not stratified according to rank, and that it constituted a much larger percentage of the population than its counterpart in other nations. He writes, (quote) The nobles form only one body. The distinction of high and low nobility is not legally recognized. The richest magnate in the law, not a more important person than the poorest knight,—EQUES POLONUS PAR OMNIBUS, NEMINI SECUNDUS. The nobles are extremely numerous–At least 60,000 families belong to the class of which, however, only about a hundred are wealthy, all the rest are poor. (unquote). (p. 253).
THE NOVEMBER 1830 INSURRECTION
One of the reasons for this Insurrection had been the growing heavy-handedness of the Russian authorities against Poles, notably in just the last several years before the event. For example, a large group of Poles had been beaten, imprisoned, or sent to Siberia merely because a boy had scratched this message on a wall, “Long live the Constitution of 1791.” Harring describes his personal impressions of the tsarist Russian repressions just before the Insurrection, (quote) I was an eyewitness to the misery and affliction with which thousands of families were then visited. The overwhelming sentence fell on the most distinguished families of the land, far and near. (unquote). (p. 83). The author has little to say about the Insurrection itself. However, towards the end of the book, Harring mentions the privations of the Poles following the recently-concluded and failed November 1830 Insurrection. (p. 275).
TWO SIDES OF THE COIN ON JEWS!
Author Harro Harring avoids the tendency of seeing Jews exclusively as victims or exclusively as ones responsible for the fact that they are disliked. He comments, (quote) The Franciscan Street in Warsaw is like those busy districts occupied by the Jews in Frankfort, Prague, Rome, Amsterdam, and Leghorn. In short, wherever the Jews congregated together, they are characterized by the same peculiarities, viz, uncleanliness, and the love of finery, avarice, and dishonesty: while the persecutions and insults to which they are exposed render them real objects of pity. (unquote). (p. 188).
SPECIFIC INCIDENTS INVOLVING JEWS
The author describes two events to which he was an eyewitness. In one of them, a Jew was caught stealing an item, and was beaten, by a Russian officer, for allegedly having stolen an earlier item. (pp. 207-on). In another incident, the Jew had entered an unauthorized area, and had engaged in attempted exploitation. Harring describes the event, (quote) Entrance to the Lazaretto, as well as to the barracks, is prohibited to all but officers and soldiers. The Jews in particular, are strictly kept out, and the sentinels drive them back whenever they attempt to enter.
POLAND’S PARTITIONS: THE AFTERMATH
Johnston lamented Poland’s fate, (quote) The fate of Poland must ever excite sympathy. With all the materials of freedom, independence, and glory, she has sunk to nothing;–her name is scarcely known among nations; and those very materials, which once constituted her pride, now constitute her misery. (unquote). (p. 383). The author eventually visited Warsaw. He found the city to be, in some ways, more singular and picturesque than Moscow. (p. 375). He condemned Russia for the massacre of Poles in 1794. (p. 374, 378). Robert A. Johnston found Poland’s culture and traditions magnificent. He challenged Poles to break the Russian yoke, and expressed confidence that they would. (p. 378, 384).
33. POLISH FEUDAL CLASS STRUCTURE
The author describes Polish nobility as well-dressed (p. 345), and frequently refers admirably to the buildings that belong to the nobles. He depicts the serfs as ones that usually owe their labor to an agent or lessee, and not directly to the proprietor. (p. 389). Nowhere does visitor Robert A. Johnston ever repeat the stereotype of the Polish nobility being particularly harsh to the serfs. The author provides little detail about Poland’s magnates. However, the Czartoryski family is said to own land that is nearly in size to a fourth of the territory of Scotland. (p. 390).
TWO SIDES TO POLISH ANTISEMITISM
The standard narrative is quite familiar to the informed reader. Volumes upon volumes of books have been written, in recent decades, mainly by Jewish authors, about Polish anti-Semitism, and they always blame Polish anti-Semitism entirely on the Poles. This standard narrative also blames Christianity (especially the idea of Deicide) for centuries of hostility to Jews, and even for the eventual Holocaust. The information in this book, which is based on the author’s direct experiences and not on what somebody told him, though not pleasant reading and definitely not politically correct, admits a challenge to the standard narrative. It is for this reason, and only for this reason, that I bring up this distasteful information. The following material refers geographically to the Kresy, primarily to what is now Belarus. I now let the author speak for himself without comment: DIRECT QUOTES FROM AUTHOR ROBERT A. JOHNSTON ON HIS EXPERIENCES WITH JEWS [AT ORCHA] The greater part of the town has been burnt: its population is about two thousand, and consists mostly of Jews; a more despicable, artificial, mercenary set of wretches cannot be seen; they are without character, without patriotism, and without manners. [p. 331]
[AT KROUPKI] The houses are entirely of wood, with a population of about three hundred Jews. We were detained the whole day before the Jews would give us horses. They disregarded the Russian order for horses, and nothing could equal their knavery and extortion. In most countries Jews are perfectly alike; but in none perhaps do they excel more, in knavery, than here. Every traveler must bargain for what horses he requires, and is sure of being imposed upon;–there is no appeal, and he must be at the mercy of these imposters. The instant he arrives, he is assured that there are no horses to be procured–shortly after he is asked what price he would give for them, and a price is demanded in proportion to the haste of the traveler to proceed. At night they invariably deny having horses, in order that the traveler might be detained, and pay lodging money, or more likely, be robbed. [p. 334]
[AT MINSK] The population is about seven thousand, of which about three thousand are Jews. Of the lower classes, the Jews are the most filthy and the most annoying; it is impossible to avoid the pestilential intrusion of these groveling reptiles. The moment a traveler arrives, he becomes haunted by them–he cannot stir without being watched. Every Jew employs a vagabond to ply in the streets and solicit the custom of the stranger; his house is ready on all occasions, for a hotel, or anything else, no matter how base! On entering the town we had great difficulty in finding a hotel to breakfast in, every house being crowded by the military. Jews innumerably flocked around and invited us; one of them begged us to enter his house, with the utmost obsequiousness; but at the door demanded sixteen roubles [rubles] for the use of a room. Fortunately, we found a German, less imposing, and here we were lodged in a common billiard room, and slept on the long benches, amidst all the noise, filth, and vociferation of the gambling Jews and Lithuanians. [p. 343] [AT MINSK] We were detained in this place several hours to repair the damages our carriage had received and met with several traits of the Jewish character. For the next stage they demanded as many roubles as what we had agreed to give for the former ones; this is a common piece of imposition with the Jews, a charge was also made for the time the carriage had occupied the stable, and a still more extraordinary demand was made for a few blows which one of our servants had given the Jew at the time he overturned the carriage! The greatest confusion and vociferation prevailed. The Jews had just ended their morning prayers, and entered the stable in a brody. One half spoke the Hebrew tongue, another the Lithuanian dialect, and German, French, and English, added to the noise. The glimmering rays of the carriage lamp were feebly thrown over this motley group, and never did a scene of such confusion prevail. At length the dispute was settled by money, the only power the Jews would submit to. [p. 348]
[NEAR KORELITZI] At sunset we left this village, and had not proceeded more than seven wersts, when, on descending a steep hill, we felt one of the carriage wheels giving way, in consequence of the damage it had received the night before, and the rapid manner in which we had driven during the night. Shortly after we had procured a light, and examined the extent of the damage, a band of Lithuanian Jews arrived, and offered their assistance. The wheel was taken off, and the carriage dragged to a solitary house named Pollanna, in a lonely, wild and sequestered vale; here our perplexities were increased, for no sooner had the Jews and their associates got possession of the wheel, than it was stolen;–neither threats nor reward could induce them to restore it. Hitherto we had traveled by night, as well as by day, among hordes of Cossacks, through endless forests and marshes, over hill and dale, and never met with an obstacle which could retard our progress; but such a check given to our speed made us feel the inconvenience of being in the wilds of Lithuania, among Jews, whom we knew both by report and experience would rob us, and who had been accustomed to attack and plunder the wretched French soldiers. [p. 353]
[NEAR KORELITZI] We now dispatched our servant to Korelitzi, for the assistance of the police, and had, during the night, agreed to all the exorbitant demands of the Jews, who demanded sixty-three roubles for the horses standing in the stable, and ten more for the use of the posts which supported the carriage! When the police officer arrived every one had disappeared, and the Jew was most submissively content to receive seven roubles, and to permit us to retain the plank which supported the carriage. [p. 355]
[AT NOVOGRODEK] The scene of our entering Novogrodec, with the carriage supported on a plan, and with only three wheels, was a source of infinite amusement to the inhabitants. As usual we were surrounded by Jews. [p. 356].
JEWISH ECONOMIC AUTONOMY: JEWS NOT PUPPETS OF THE NOBILITY OR GOVERNMENT
According to the standard narrative (or exculpation), Jews were essentially servants of powerful individuals, be they the Polish nobility or Russian government officials. Jews merely transmitted the exploitative policies of these powerful non-Jewish leaders onto the masses, and bore the harsh consequences of being forced to do so. The foregoing quoted statements challenge this narrative. One can immediately see the freedom that the Jews enjoyed, notably in economic matters. In addition, the intervention of the police official, against the Jews and on behalf of the traveler Johnston, points to the fact that the authorities, far from setting Jews upon non-Jews, acted to constrain Jewish conduct. —– The Travel Accounts of Simeon of Poland Simeon, Simeon Published 2007 A 17th-Century Polish Armenian Describes Poland’s Armenian Community, and Critiques Jewish Conduct Simeon was an Armenian who was born and raised in Poland. (p.16).
Simeon’s portrayal of Protestants and Jews is entirely negative. For instance, he writes: “In the land of the Franks the Jews are also forbidden to practice any arts or crafts…They cannot be tax-collectors, collect tolls, dues, or anything else; unlike in Poland and Turkey. [In Poland] they [the Jews] hold all these professions in their hands and have seized everything. Whatever affair these impious people engage in, it loses its prosperity, for they are dishonest and hyprocritical.” (p. 154). He adds: “There are 60,000 Jewish household in Egypt. They are all wealthy and well to do. As in Poland, they control everything; the KHARAJ, the customs, collection of revenue, the mint, etc. The very rich among them walk around with ten or twenty bodyguards.” (p. 199). —– The Jew at Home, Impressions of a Summer and Autumn Spent with Him… Pennell, Joseph 1892 A Middle View (Judeorealist View) of the Polish Jew and His Conduct. Author Joseph Pennell was an Englishman who visited Partition-era Poland and adjacent areas of Eastern Europe. My review is based on the original 1892 edition.
A RARE, OBJECTIVE, JUDEOREALIST ANALYSIS OF JEWS
Nowadays, the Jew is portrayed exclusively as the victim. Or-occasionally–he is blamed for everything. Neither extreme tells the whole story and both the exculpatory and inculpatory views of Jews can validly coexist. Thus, Pennell comments, “I am neither a Jew hater nor a Jew lover. I can sympathize with the oppressed Jews of Russia, and also with the Hungarians who are thoroughly sick of those they already have, and who are doing all they can to keep from importing any more.” (p. 7).
Pennell writes, “The weekly market was held while I was in Brody… For, if in Europe there have been now and then great Jewish musicians, great Jewish poets and artists, it is no less true that the average Jew all over the southeastern part of the Continent is doing his best to crush out all artistic sense in the peasants by supplanting their really good handiwork with the vilest machine-made trash that he can procure.” (p. 56).
OBSERVED PUSHY JEWISH SELLING IN ACTION
In describing his firsthand impressions of the Jews of Austrian-ruled Poland, Pennell comments, “The Jew with clothes to sell is the same the world over. He rushes out and assails every one who passes in Brody, as in Whitechapel or New York. For a man whose sole aim in life is buying and selling, his methods are most unbusiness-like and repulsive.” (p. 59)
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Connecting true geography and detailed unfolding of wide variety of crimes perpetrated by German/Ukrainian Nazis and jewish bolsheviks of Soviet Union on the Polish nation.
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