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translated by: Mariusz Wesolowski

I did not want to take part in the discussion caused by the publication of Prof. Jan T. Gross's book "Neighbors" which deals with the murder of Jews committed in July 1941 in the town of Jedwabne in the Podlasie area. Primarily because the said discussion, picking up various motifs, has been so far bypassing the most important fact, i. e., what has happened in Jedwabne after the entry of the German army into that territory, that is, who, when and under what circumstances committed the mass murder on the Jewish inhabitants of Jedwabne. This is the subject most worthy of discussion, all the more because Gross's statements, in the light of specific sources, seem to be not quite true. At the same time, however, the documentation at hand does not allow me yet to take a public stance in this key question... Before I come to the main topic, I must begin with the basic statements. Nothing can justify murders perpetrated on any group of the civilian population. Nothing can justify killing men, women and children only because they represent some social class, some nation or some religion, for any application of justice must have an individual character. Such crimes cannot be motivated either by one's own convictions, or by superior order, or by "historical necessity", or by the good of another nation, class, religion and social group, or by the good of some organization, military or civilian, visible or secret. I would like the reader of this article to keep in mind that such is my basic position. I am also in principle against murdering the members of any military or police force only because they belong to them, especially when they are unarmed or in the process of surrendering. Whoever, then, commits such a murder (the power or reason behind it notwithstanding) is for me simply a murderer. GREAT FEAR Before we try to evaluate the attitudes and behavior of different social and national groups in the territories occupied by the Workers' and Peasants' Red Army (RKKA), it is necessary to recall the fundamental facts, since without learning about the reality of those times we won't be able to understand the people who lived there or who had been brought there by the perturbances of war. The entry of Germans into the Podlasie area was accompanied by a great fear among the local populace, who received German armies with undisguised hostility. They gave support to the Polish units being pushed eastward, and many unmoblilized reservists and youths in the pre-conscript age went in large numbers also eastward to find a military body prepared to accept them and give them arms. That's why a number of men from that region (including the unmobilized reservists) took part in the battle of Grodno and the region of Sopockinie - this time already against the Red Army. The population of Podlasie was also giving support -especially after the battle of Andrzejow (in which took part the 18th Infantry Division of the Polish Army) - to the locally organized locally partisan groups which had been active till mid-October [1939] in, among other places, the vicinity of Czerwony Bor and Bagna Biebrzanskie [the Red Forest and the Biebrza Swamps], which

protected them from destruction. The anti-German attitude of the inhabitants of Podlasie was monolithic and unwavering. The period after the entry of the Red Army into the eastern territories of the Polish Republic can be divided into three subperiods. The first, called by Prof. Ryszard Szawlowski (and not only by him!) the Polish-Soviet War, lasted for two weeks, until the first days of October 1939, when the organized resistance of the larger combat groups of the Polish Army ceased, although some smaller units continued the fight as guerrillas. The second subperiod was the subjugation of the territory, combined with the implementation of the social "revolution" - political and economic, planned in advance and realized with the help of the army and special services. That's why I call it "revolution on a leash". During that time the first arrests had taken place. This subperiod ended in November 1939 in the official incorporation of the Polish north-east territories into the Byelorussian Socialist Soviet Republic, and the south-east territories into the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet Republic. Actually it was extended by two months, i.e., until the Soviet administrative system (a republic, an "oblast'", a region) was finally introduced in the annexed lands. The third subperiod, from the beginning of 1940 to June 1941, was characterized on one hand by the unification with the economic-social system of the Soviet Union (the forceful introduction of collective farming, strenghtening of the sovkhoz system, finalizing the process of nationalization of industry, commerce, banks, etc.), while on the other hand it brought a rapid escalation of repressions, especially in the first half of 1940, which took the form of mass arrests and deportations; the latter lasted in the so-called Western Byelorussia till the end [of the Soviet rule] and encompassed about 150,000 people. I would like to discuss this phenomenon in more depth, as it was - and very few people realize that - an activity based on the idea of collective responsibility. TIME OF DEPORTATIONS The first deportation, on the 9/10 February 1940, included the military and civilian settlers and foresters with their families. The second, on 13 April 1940, encompassed everybody whose relative(s) had been captured as Polish soldiers, policemen, etc., escaped abroad or went into hiding, or had been arrested as conspirators or "enemies of the people", that is, the socially dangerous element (SOE). The third, on 29 June 1940, which affected especially the cities, included the so-called "bezhentsy" [refugees], among them many Jews, particularly those among them who had registered with the authorities for voluntary return to the German zone of occupation. This fact partly demolishes the myth about the joyful welcome given to the Red Army by Polish Jews exclusively because of their fear of Nazis. The last deportation, started in the Wilno region (which had been snatched by the Soviets at the time of the liquidation of the Lithuanian Republic in June 1940) on 14 June 1941, and on the territory of the Byelorussian Republic on 20 June 1941, was interrupted by the German invasion. All of them, as we can see, were acts of violence undertaken on the basis of collective responsibility. For the father, who was a soldier, the whole family was held responsible; for a brother, who was a refugee - his close relatives; for a forester - those who lived with him. The strike was aimed at the "nest". On the other hand, for example, in Warsaw the Germans in revenge for an armed action of the underground executed people from the nearest appartment building, prisoners from the Pawiak gaol, or the inhabitants of a village near which a military train had been blown up; in short, people completely unrelated to the perpetrators. This collective responsibility included children, women and old people. It was most often the weakest ones who paid with their lives on the way and in exile - in Siberia or in the "hungry steppes" of Kazakhstan. TREASON IN THE DAYS OF DEFEAT

Who was the executor of the [Red] terror? The NKVD and, in the first period, also the Red Army (RKKA) which supervised the "chekhist operational groups", a relationship similar to that between the Einsatzgruppen and the Wehrmacht. And the militia? Very few people know that in the years 1939-1941 there were three different kinds of militia. The first kind was the various "red guards" and "red militias", composed of the locals armed with clubs, cut-down rifles, axes and revolvers, although sporadically they even had automatic weapons, who gave support to the Red Army in its "liberation march" and who performed the acts of "class anger" in the name of social groups oppressed by the "lordly Poland". As a rule, these groups surfaced immediately after 17 September 1939 (or even on that very day, which is telling) and operated, usually in a very bloody fashion, not only behind the lines of the Polish Army, but also after the entry of the Red Army, which gave the local "revolutionary elements" a few "free" days to settle personal accounts and exercise class revenge. Later on those "militias" would be replaced by the Workers' Guard, organized on the occupied territories under the order of the Byelorussian Front Commander of 16 September 1939, as well as by the Citizens' Militia, formed on the basis of a similar order of 21 September 1939. Next, after the incorporation of "Western Byelorussia" into the Byelorussian Socialist Soviet Republic, these two were replaced by the closely connected to the NKVD Workers' and Peasants' Militia (RKM), at first composed solely of newcomers (so-called "vostochniks", "easterners"), later on absorbing also the locals. The Polish population, apart from a small group of city communists and an even smaller one of village communists, received the Soviet aggression and the system brought by it in the same way as they had received the German invasion. This is confirmed by literally thousands of various testimonies. The participation of Polish peasants in the so-called selsoviets (village councils) does not mean anything, because these were purely "decorative" bodies. The real power rested with the executive committees, and especially with their supervisory party and police apparatus. On the other hand, the Jewish population, and especially Jewish youths and the city poor, participated en masse in giving welcome to the invading army and in introducing the new order, also by violent means. This is confirmed as well by thousands of Polish, Jewish and Soviet testimonies; there are official reports of the C-in-C of the Association for Armed Struggle [ZWZ,later the Home Army],General Stefan Grot-Rowecki, there is the [famous] report of the emissary Jan Karski, there are accounts written during and after the war. After all, even the [earlier] works of Jan T. Gross speak about these facts; Gross based his clear and undisputable conclusions on the materials preserved in the Hoover Institution in the States. The Soviet Army was welcomed with enthusiasm not only in the territories occupied formerly by the Wehrmacht, but also in the Eastern Borderlands, where the Germans never arrived. What's more, those "guards" and "militias", growing like mushrooms right after the Soviet aggression, consisted in the main part of Jews. And not only that. Jews undertook acts of rebellion against the Polish state by taking over towns, organizing there revolutionary committees, arresting and executing the representatives of the Polish state authority, and attacking smaller or, sometimes, quite large (like in Grodno) units of the Polish Army. Dr. Marek Wierzbicki (who for the last few years has been researching Polish-Byelorussian relations in the so-called Western Byelorussia in 1939-1941, and therefore also recording facts related to Polish-Jewish relations) in his large, still unpublished, article speaks of a 3-day-long battle between the rebellious Jews of Grodno and the Polish army and police (starting on 18 September 1939, before the arrival of the Red Army), of the two-day struggle for the nearby Skidel, about Jewish revolts in Jeziory, Lunna, Wiercieliszki, Wielka Brzostowica, Ostryna, Dubno, Dereczyn, Zelwa, Motol, Wolpa, Janow Poleski, Wolkowysk, Horodec and Drohiczyn Poleski. In these localities nobody had seen a single German - the attacks were directed against the Polish state.

It was [nothing else but] armed collaboration, going over to the enemy, treason in the days of defeat. How numerous was the group of [Jews] who had participated in all this? The specific number will be probably never known. In any case such incidents took place everywhere in the zone of operations of the Red Army's Byelorussian Front. NEW ORDER IN ADMINISTRATION The second question concerns the collaboration with the terror apparatus, especially the NKVD. It was undertaken first by "militias","red guards" and revolutionary committees, later on by the already mentioned workers' guards and citizens' militias. In the cities they were composed mostly of Polish Jews. Later still, when the situation was taken firmly in hand by the Workers' and Peasants' Militia (RKM), the Jews - according to Soviet documents - were substantially overrepresented in that body as well. Polish Jews in civilian clothes, wearing red armbands and armed with rifles, in large numbers took part in the mass arrests and deportations. This was the most drastic sight, but equally galling for the Polish society was the massive presence of Jews in all the offices and institutions, especially since these had been dominated before the war by the Poles. On 20 September 1940, during a conference in Minsk ..., the chief of the NKVD City Department stated: "We have been following this practice: Since the Jews have given us their support, one could see them - and only them - everywhere. It became fashionable that every director of an institution or a company boasted about the fact that he didn't employ a single Pole. Many of us were simply afraid of Poles." At the same time the minutes of communist party meetings in the Bialystok "oblast'" record numerous "complaints" about hearing only Russian and Yiddish in the Soviet institutions [and] about the Poles' feelings of being discriminated against... It was both true and in accordance with the current "party line" because at that time the highest Soviet authorities had introduced a "new policy" in regard to the Poles. Marek Wierzbicki in his article sums up that situation as follows: "The extensively developed structures of Soviet administration gave the masses of unemployed Jews a chance to find a job, which - in borderland towns with no industry and a very limited job market - was to them of great importance. The Jewish population, representing on the whole a much higher level of education than the Byelorussian society, provided numerous clerks, teachers and security police functionaries, which had a definite impact on Polish-Jewish relations because the Jews most often took over the positions of Polish clerks and teachers... Moreover, in September-December 1939, there took place numerous arrests of those representatives of the Polish population who had held before the war higher positions in the administrative and political hierarchy of the Polish state, or who had been involved into social activities. Local Jews - members of the provisional administration or militia - had been at that time actively helping the Soviets in hunting down and arresting such persons." He goes on, referring to none other than Jan T. Gross: "It was also a frequent occurrence that some representatives of the Jewish population jeered at the Poles, pointing out the sudden reversal of fortunes of the two nations. The Poles often heard vicious remarks along the lines of "You wanted Poland without Jews, now you have Jews without Poland", or "It's all over for you."" Thus we can see that the Jewish participation in the Soviet power structures is unequivocally attested to in Polish testimonies (especially those on the basis of which Jan T. Gross has been for the last quarter of the century constructing his books and articles) which have been recorded

already during the war, and which are preserved - among other places - in the Hoover Institution in the United States; the same applies to the Soviet state and party archives recently made accessible, as well as to the reports of the Polish underground command [from the period in question]... It seems, then, that the following statement expressed by Prof. Gross in his "Neighbors" does not have much justification [in facts]: "Frankly, the enthusiasm of the Jews at the sight of the entering Red Army was not a common phenomenon, and it is not clear why the collaboration of the Jews with the Soviets in 1939-1941 should be considered exceptional." FALSE EQUATION The second part of the quoted paragraph, which refers to the Poles, goes thus: "On the other hand there can be no possible doubt that the local population (with the exception of the Jews) enthusiastically welcomed the Wehrmacht units in 1941, and collaborated with the Germans, also in the extermination of Jews. The earlier quoted segment of Finkelsztejn's testimony about Radzilow - confirmed also by the quoted reminiscences of peasants from nearby villages - forms a precise negation of the common tales about Jewish behavior in the Eastern Borderlands in 1939 at the sight of the coming Bolsheviks." Before analyzing the contents, I would like to take note of the style of Gross's approach. Hundreds of extant testimonies and numerous reports of the Polish underground authorities (including the report of the pro-Jewish Jan Karski) do not offer sufficient grounds for drawing any conclusions. This may be correct - after all, we should try to investigate the situation in various specific localities without relying too much on widespread but general opinions. But, at the same time, a [single] testimony of Finkelsztejn's plus a few accounts of neighborhood peasants suffice [for Gross] to pronounce a sweeping judgment not about specific individuals but about the entire local population (except the Jews.) The same applies to the thesis that it was the Polish inhabitants of the small town of Jedwabne who murdered their Jewish neighbors - based on the testimonies of a few Jewish escapees who managed to survive, and on the materials of the Security Office originating from the (undoubtedly sadistic) investigations of 1949 and 1953, during the period when Polish bishops had been sentenced for treason against the Polish nation and espionage on behalf of "imperialists". Let's talk now about that Polish collaboration. It has been discussed by Andrzej Zbikowski... It consisted, among other things, in murdering the Jews by Polish "bands" composed mainly of exSoviet prisoners (recently liberated by the Germans), and in attacks on "the retreating smaller groups of the Soviet Army" by the same "bands". A simple equation between 1939 and 1941... But, for God's sake, a joyful welcome given to the Germans, who arrived in the middle of a horrible deportation and released hundreds of people from Soviet abattoirs (in Brzesc, Lomza, Bialystok and Jedwabne, among many other places) is different from attacks on the Red Army soldiers (our yesterday's occupiers), and these are different still from the murder of soldiers of the Polish Army. True, Jews didn't have an easy life in Poland, there were undoubtedly "accounts of injustices", to quote a line from the poet Broniewski, but they weren't deported to Siberia, or shot, or sent to concentration camps, or killed by hunger and overwork. Even if they didn't consider Poland their homeland, they did not have to treat her as an alien power and join her mortal enemy in killing Polish soldiers and murdering Polish civilians escaping to the east. They did not have to take part either in selecting their neighbors for deportations, these terrible acts of collective responsibility.

THERE WERE NO RED FLAGS ONLY ON THREE HOUSES Let's move now away from general issues to the situation in the town and district of Jedwabne. Jan Gross is correct in stating that there are not too many testimonies related directly to this place, but their number is not minuscule, either, and, in any case, there are many more in existence than the small selection utilized by Gross in his narrative on the events on 10 July 1941. "The new approach to sources", postulated by Gross in relation to the Jewish depositions, could be used also in this case. After all, these are testimonies by persecuted people, who were saved from annihilation only thanks to the Sikorski-Mayski agreement of July 1941. The survivors speak here as witnesses to a crime, and they touch upon the "Jewish problem" without any prompting, spontaneously, "from the fullness of their hearts." Did the Jews of Jedwabne, like so many others, offer a warm welcome to the Red Army? Various depositions taken both during the war and by myself at the beginning of the 1990s, give a positive answer to that question. Let's first have a look at the accounts deposited with the Polish Army of Gen. Anders and archived in the Hoover Institution, which are now also available in the Eastern Archive (Archiwum Wschodnie) in Warsaw. Acount no. 8356, by Jozef Rybicki, a cartwright from the town of Jedwabne: "The Red Army was received by the Jews who put up [triumphal] gates. They changed the old government and introduced a new one from among the local inhabitants (Jews and communists). Policemen and teachers got arrested (...)." Account no. 10708, by Tadeusz Kielczewski, a local government worker in Jedwabne: "Immediately after the entry of the Soviet Army there was spontaneously organized a municipal committee composed of Polish communists (the president, Czeslaw Krytowski, was a Pole, the members were all Jews). The militia was also composed of Jewish communists. At first there were no repressions because they [i.e., the Soviets] did not know the [local] populace, only after a series of denunciations by the local communists the arrests began. House searches had been conducted by the local militia among the people who were thought to possibly possess arms. The main wave of arrests by the Soviets started only after the first elections." Account no. 8455, by Marian Lojewski, a locksmith-mechanic from Jedwabne: "After the entry of the Red Army into our town an order was published to surrender all the weapons in the hands of the local population. For keeping any arms the penalty was death. Later on many house searches were conducted because of denunciations by Jewish merchants who accused the Poles of stealing various items during their absence. Numerous arrests were made among people against whom the local Jews had a grudge for persecuting them by the Polish state." Account no. 2675, by Aleksander Kotowski, a wood sorter from Jedwabne: "During the entry of the Red Army I was absent, [later on] the power was given to Jews and Polish communists, who had been imprisoned before for Communism. They led the NKVD to appartments and houses and denounced Polish citizens-patriots." Finally the account of Lucja Chojnowska, nee Cholowinska, deposited on 9 May 1991. Mrs. Cholowinska, the sister of Jadwiga Laudanska, in the spring of 1940 found herself in the partisan camp at Uroczysko Kobielne situated deep within the Biebrza swamps and - after a battle between the Poles and the Soviet army there on 23 June 1940 - was taken prisoner. Our conversation, conducted in Jedwabne, was concerned with that battle and not with the relations in the town where both ladies used to live. Nevertheless, at some point Lucja CholowinskaChojnowska stated: "In Jedwabne, inhabited mostly by the Jews, there were only three houses without a red flag during the entry of the Soviets. One of them was our house. Before the first

deportation a Jewish woman, our neighbor, came running to us (we always had excellent relations with the Jews), and warned us that our names were on the deportation list. Then I, with my sister Jadwiga and her 4-year-old daughter, run away to Orlikow, taking with us just a few clothes." Note well: the Jewish neighbor knew who was on the deportation list, and that was the most strictly guarded secret. So much about the beginnings. THE ARRESTS BEGIN Now some more questions. Of whom did the Jedwabne militia consist and what was its attitude toward those of the locals who had been considered too closely attached to the Polish state, the malcontents, the enemies? How (if at all) did the red terror manifest itself there, and had it been implemented only by the transplanted Soviet citizens, the "vostochniks", or also by the "old" Polish citizens, the permanent residents of the town and district of Jedwabne? Let's look for the answers in the same (in historians' parlance) "personal documents", deposited still during the war and later. Account no. 1559, by Kazimierz Sokolowski, a worker from Jedwabne: "The Soviet authorities created a militia, mostly from among Jewish communists, and the arrests began of farmers and workers who had been denounced by the militiamen. The populace had to pay high taxes, churches were also taxed, the priest was arrested. Mass house searches had been conducted among the people unfriendly toward the regime, the "enemies of the people"... The majority of the local populace tried to avoid taking part in the elections (on 22 October 1939, T.S.). All day long the militia was dragging them at gunpoint to the polling station. The sick were also carried there by force. Shortly after the elections they carried out a night roundup, arrested entire families and deported them to the Soviet Union." Account no. 1394, by Stanislaw Gruba, a worker from Jedwabne: "House searches were conducted in order to find weapons, anti-communist literature, etc. The suspects had been immediately arrested, just like the families of Catholic priests, and put in prison for further investigation." Account no. 2589, by Jozef Karwowski, a farmer from the Jedwabne district: "In October 1939 the NKVD announced pre-election meetings. The NKVD and militia assembled the audiences by force. If someone protested, he was immediately arrested and he afterwards disappeared without trace." Account no. 2545, by Jozef Makowski, a farmer from the Jedwabne district: "They arrested people, threw them into cellars and pigsties, starved them, didn't give them any water to drink, beat them bestially and in this way they tried to make them confess to their membership in Polish organizations. I myself was beaten unconscious during NKVD interrogations in Jedwabne, Lomza and Minsk." Account no. 8356, by Jozef Rybicki of Jedwabne, already know to us: "House searches were conducted among the wealthier farmers, they took away furniture, clothing and precious objects, and after a few days they came at night and arrested them. They dragged people by force to various meetings - whoever tried to oppose them, he was denounced as a "vreditel" (saboteur) and then arrested. The village elder was preparing lists, going from house to house and writing down the names and dates of birth. The electoral commission was composed of professional soldiers and Jews and local communists. The candidates had been chosen in advance, mostly Jews and communists from the Soviet Union." THEY PUT ON RED ARMBANDS

Let's move now to the postwar accounts collected by myself in the context of my inquiries about the battle at Uroczysko Kobielne. Jerzy Tarnacki, a partisan from Kobielne, wrote in a letter of 24 October 1991: "A patrol consisting of Kurpiewski, a Pole, and Czapnik, a Jew, came to arrest me and my brother Antek. We managed to escape from our own backyard. I went into hiding in the village of Kajetanowo, at the house of my friend Waclaw Mierzejewski. I learned from him that there was a Polish partisan unit behind the river Biebrza. I stayed in hiding until mid-April 1940." Stefan Boczkowski from Jedwabne observes in a letter of 14 January 1995: "The local Jews in Jedwabne put on red armbands and were helping the militia in arresting "the enemies of the people", "spies", etc." Kazimierz Odyniec, M.D., the son of Sergeant Antoni Odyniec (killed in the battle of Kobielno on 23 June 1940), wrote in his letter of 20 June 1991: "By the end of April 1940 a local Jew in the uniform of the Soviet militia came to our appartment and ordered Father to report to the NKVD office... Father bid us goodbye, first sending out Mother to follow that militiaman to see where else would he go, because the list [he had noticed] contained a score of names. Later on it turned out that Father didn't go to the NKVD. The next day the NKVD arrested Mother, trying to force her to reveal Father's hiding place." Dr. Odyniec, in a letter sent to me after the publication of Jan Gross's book, stated: "Gross stresses the cruelty of the Polish side without mentioning the behavior of a large group of Jews who had openly collaborated with the Soviets and who denounced the Poles deserving arrest or deportation. I'll give you an example of my own family (here comes a repetition of the description quoted above, T.S.). I also remember that the bodies of partisans killed at Kobielno were carried away by a Jew named Calko, a neighbor of my uncle Wladyslaw Lojewski" (letter of 25 October 2000). Roman Sadowski, an officer of the Home Army, the husband of Halina (sister of Kazimierz Odyniec, deported on 20 June 1941 to the Soviet Union), wrote to me on 10 November 2000: "During the Soviet occupation the Jews were "rulers" of those territories. They totally collaborated with the Soviet authorities. According to the statements of my wife's cousins, it was the Jews together with the NKVD who were preparing deportation lists." As we can see, although I did not undertake a systematic search for this kind of information, a substantial collection of spontaneous and unsolicited testimonies about the Jewish behavior practically "gathered itself." Therefore, I cannot agree with Gross's statement that "I have found only one account specifically concerned with the welcome given to the Soviets in the town [of Jedwabne] in September 1939 - as we know, that was the moment which fixed for many Poles the memory of Jewish disloyalty - and even this account is not very reliable, having been written down more than 50 years after the events." And then Gross talks about the bit of information collected by Agnieszka Arnold during her preparations of the documentary film about Jedwabne. Not being an expert in this specific field, I have quoted above five testimonies, for the most part written down before 1945, which talk about the attitudes of the Jews from Jedwabne toward the new Soviet authorities, and nine relations about the activities of the militia (composed predominantly of the Jedwabne Jews, although its commandant was a Pole, Czeslaw Kurpiewski, a known prewar communist.) Let's also add a very characteristic information, repeated in two independent sources: Apart from the Jewish militiamen in uniform, Jews in civilian clothes also participated in the arrests, just with red armbands on their sleeves and armed with rifles.

A CHARACTERISTIC INCIDENT: TRZCIANNE The very same documents from the Hoover Institution, supposedly so well known to Jan Gross, mention a whole list of cities and towns where the Jews enthusiastically welcomed the Red Army, and later on filled the ranks of militias: Zambrow, Lomza, Stawiski, Wizna, Szumowo (with the Jewish militia commandant by the name of Jablonka), Rakowo-Boginie, Bredki, Zabiele, Wadolki Stare, Drozdowo. We also know about a characteristic incident which took place in the Jewish town of Trzcianne, situated opposite Jedwabne but across the Biebrza river. According to the account of Czeslaw Borowski (dated 16 August 1987), who lives in the nearby village of Zubole, it happened as follows: "Near the end of September, and maybe at the beginning of October 1939, the Germans retreated from that area, the Soviets didn't yet arrive, so it was a sort of a neutral zone. In the Red Forest [Czerwony Bor] the fighting still continued. In Trzcianne the Jews were preparing a welcome for the Red Army. Jewish militia patrols ventured out as far as Okragle... in the direction of Monki; they noticed a cloud of dust and, thinking it to be the Soviets, they went all the way back to the triumphal arch raised at the entrance to the village. It wasn't the Soviets but a group of 10-15 Polish cavalrymen who were crossing that neutral zone. They came upon the triumphal arch, the rabbi with bread and salt on a platter... The uhlans charged into the crowd, destroyed the arch, laid about with the flats of their swords, trashed a few Jewish stores, they even wanted to burn the town but it didn't come to pass. The rabbi's daughter died of a heart attack. The cavalry went away. The Jews in Trzcianne were armed..." This account, recorded by myself almost 50 years after the event, has been confirmed by Soviet sources. They state that, by the end of September 1939, a "band of Polish soldiers", under the command of two local landowners, Henryk Klimaszewski and Jozef Nieczecki, attacked the town and conducted a "robbery and a pogrom among the Jewish population." During this action Henryk Klimaszewski supposedly kept calling for a showdown with Bolsheviks and Jews by saying, "Get the Jews for Grodno and Skidel, it is time to settle the score with them, away with the Communists, we will kill all the Jews." GERMANS SAVED HUNDREDS OF INHABITANTS Apart from the Hoover Institution collection, known to Prof. Gross, and the accounts in my possession, there are other testimonies about the behavior of the Jedwabne Jews in the years 1939-1941. Danuta and Aleksander Wroniszewski in an article "Aby zyc" ("Just to survive"), published in the "Kontakty" magazine on 19 July 1988, reproduced an account of an inhabitant of Jedwabne: "I remember when they were deporting Poles to Siberia, on each and every wagon there sat a Jew with a rifle. Mothers, wives, children knelt in front of them, begging for mercy. The last time it happened on 20 June 1941." Did the Polish inhabitants of Jedwabne and neighboring villages welcome the Germans with enthusiasm and as their saviors? Yes! They did! If someone drags me out of a burning house, where I could die any second, I will embrace him and give him my gratitude. Even if tomorrow I have to consider him my next mortal enemy. In those days the Germans saved hundreds of the locals (maybe also from Jedwabne?), who had been hiding for several days in the cornfields and among the bushes on the banks of the Biebrza river. They saved them from a deportation to death, somewhere in the deserts of Kazakhstan or the Siberian taiga. And it was already commonly known what such a deportation meant: Letters and other messages had been arriving from the "special settlements". Parallel to the deportations there were taking place mass arrests of the suspects, which often led to prolonged and deadly terms in the gulag or prison.

We shouldn't be surprised, then, by those signs of joy or by those (in Zbikowski's words) "bands" attacking the reatreating groups of Soviet soldiers. Attacking their yesterday's tormentors, representatives of one of the most cruel political systems ever suffered by humanity. THE MOST TERRIBLE DAY FOR THE POLES Recently there has been published a new, specific and trustworthy, source, namely, "The Chronicle of the Abbey of the Congregation of the Benedictine Sisters in Lomza (1939-1954)", edited by Sister Alojza Piesiewiczowna (Lomza 1995). Let's quote the fragment describing the events of 22 June 1941: "June 20. The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The most terrible day for the Poles under the Soviet occupation. Mass deportations to Russia. From the early morning wagons carrying Polish families drove across the town toward the railroad station. Deported were the wealthier Polish families, families of nationalists, Polish patriots, the intelligentsia, families of prisoners in Soviet gaols; it was even difficult to understand exactly what categories had been deported. Wailing, moaning and terrible despair ruled in Polish souls. On the other hand, the Jews and the Soviets are jubilant. It is impossible to describe what the Poles are going through. A completely hopeless situation. And the Jews and Soviets loudly rejoice and threaten that soon they will deport all the Poles. This may as well turn out to be true because for the whole day of 20 June and the next day, June 21, they dragged people to the train station without interruption... June 22. Very early in the morning there was heard the rumbling of plane engines, and from time to time the explosions of bombs over the town... A few German bombs fell on more important Soviet posts. A terrible panic overtook the Soviets. They started running away in complete chaos. The Poles were very happy. Every bomb explosion filled our souls with indescribable joy. After several hours there was not a single Soviet in town, the Jews hid in cellars and basements. Just before noon the prisoners broke out of their cells. People were embracing each other in the streets and cried for joy. The Soviets were retreating without weapons, they did not return a single shot. In the evening of that day no Soviets remained in Lomza. The situation was yet far from clear the Soviets run away, the Germans still didn't arrive. On the next day, June 23, the town was still unoccupied. The civilian population started breaking into, and pillaging, all the Soviet magazines, warehouses and shops. In the evening of 23 June a few Germans entered - the people were relieved." No other reaction could possibly take place in those days. A few weeks later, the Union of Armed Struggle (ZWZ) was hastily restoring the Soviet-damaged conspiratorial structures and collecting masses of weapons abandoned by the Red Army; this "interregnum" was used to prepare for the struggle with the next occupier. There are as many testimonies in support of this, as there are for the incidents of robbery, revenge and pogroms. As always, the reality turns out to be more complicated than we can ever imagine.

Tomasz Strzembosz (born in 1930), a historian, is a professor at the Catholic University of Lublin and in the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Author of numerous books, he recently published "Rzeczpospolita podziemna".

Tomasz Strzembosz, Rzeczpospolita, 2001-01-27

Answer to the anti-Polish venom contained in the article "Poland's willing executioners" Chris Janiewicz

This article has been published on the Web site of The Guardian, on the 08.04.01. under the title "Poland's willing executioners" by George Steiner. Personally, I would like to say that I've never read such collection of lies and venom against my Fatherland and my people. Thank you very much prof. Gross for providing such people like Steiner, with the excuse to write such comments about Poland.,6903,470068,00.html Below is my commentary to the anti - Polish venom of this publication. "Jan T Gross's unflinching account of anti-Semitic atrocities in the war, Neighbors, has awakened a nation to its systematically hidden and falsified Past" The only problem is that the book is based on lies, manipulations, and in some cases, testimonies of witnesses that were obtained by torture, threats of death and deportation to Siberia. "It did not involve any German units, though the occupiers and the Waffen SS had made no secret of their own homicidal intentions towards Polish Jews. The joyous, demented sadists of Jedwabne were Poles to a man (and woman)." The investigation conducted by IPN hasn't finished yet. So how could Steiner arrive to such a conclusion? Is he in possession of some documentary evidence indicating movement of the German troops, their presence in various regions, names of commanders and so on? If he is in possession of such documentary evidence, he should supply it to the investigating body IPN or state prosecutor Mr. Ignatiew, who is heading the current investigation. So far, there was only one investigation in the presence of the German units in Jedwabne conducted by the state prosecutor Monkiewicz, who in his article published in 1989 in the Bialystok University periodical "Studia Podlaskie" stated: <<"In the beginning of July 1941 from the German police battalions No. 309 and 316 were selected 200 men assembling a special troop called Kommando Bialystok under the command of the Wolfgang Birkner from the Warsaw Gestapo branch. That troop arrived to Jedwabne by trucks on the 10.07.41. For this action against the Jews, the Germans also used the Gendarmes and some of the "supporting police". This last formation was only used to bring victims to the main plaza and escort them outside the town. There the Hitlerites locked app. 900 persons in the barn and set it on fire...">> Somehow, I don't think that prosecutor Monkiewicz just "dreamed up" or made up those 232 Germans, trucks and the figure of Birkner.

According to prof. Szarota, such an officer existed in the Warsaw Gestapo office, held the rank of SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer, and was probably killed in Poznan. According to the testimony of Aleksander Wyrzykowski, who saved Szmul Wasersztein, the Nazis carried out the murder with some Polish participation. A Polish cook, Julia Sokolowska, testified in court that she prepared a meal that day for a large number of Gestapomen (60), who were the chief perpetrators of the crime. Another eyewitness, Leokadia Blajszczak, recalls the presence of the German police as well, and blames a local Volksdeutsches for leading the pogrom. The same Jan Sokolowski also provides a very similar version of events. Very well known and respected Polish historian, prof. Strzembosz, who only recently was able to obtain access to the 1949 court case files, and is still studying them, already claims that he has discovered a large number of testimonies blaming the Germans for the massacre. He also stated publicly that Gross selected only those testimonies, or even only parts of such, that suited him. The most recent investigation by IPN conducted in the German archives in Ludvigsburg Bawaria by IPN's representative Edmund Dmitrow discovered documentary evidence indicating that the murder in Jedwabne was committed by Gestapo Kommando under Obersturmfuehrer Herman Schaper. (PAP 06.04.01) Also new documentary evidence and witness testimonies were discovered in the State Archives and were passed to IPN. In the opinion of the general manager of the State Archives, prof. Daria Nalecz these documents also indicate participation of the German units in Jedwabne and that at least three Poles were burned in the barn together with the Jews. (PAP 23.03.01) "Jan Gross, who stumbled on the documentary evidence by accident in a Polish archive five years ago, spares us no detail. Jewish men were forced to enact grotesque rituals before being butchered; women were raped and beheaded; babies were trampled to death; finally, more than 1,000 tortured Jews were herded into a barn, drenched with kerosene and torched. The Poles played raucous music in order to muffle their screams. They had surrounded the town to make sure that no Jew could escape (it would appear that there were, in fact, seven survivors)." Slowly the evidence is emerging that Gross performed his research very badly, didn't research secondary sources properly, is using some witness's testimonies selectively, and hiding parts of their testimonies that don't fit his thesis. In another instance, he uses testimonies of witness's that weren't even in Jedwabne during the time of the murder. One of them never lived in Jedwabne, another one was deported to the Soviet Union in 1940 for the theft of some music equipment and returned to Jedwabne in 1945. Also, it become apparent that another witness, Shmul Waserstein held the rank of lieutenant in the State Security Forces, dreaded UB, and was in hiding during the time of the massacre, so wasn't able to observe any details. At least one Polish source claims that the key witness, Shmul Wasersztein, learned only after the war about the alleged scenario of the events in Jedwabne from a Jewish woman, Zeier, who was connected to the NKVD. (Teodor Eugeniusz Lusinski to the Institute of the Jewish History (ZIH), 20. 03.1995). There are two testimonies from 1945 by Wasersztein. Gross himself in his book complains: "In ZIH are two testimonies by Wasersztein written up separately - numbers don't correspond and some other details don't." (Prof. Jerzy Robert Nowak, article "Kto falszuje historie") "The massacre at Jedwabne had been preceded by similar atrocities in the surrounding region. At Radzilow, some 1,500 were massacred; 1,200 in nearby Wsosz. " There is a problem with the number of the victims. In his book, on page 42, Gross mentions the testimony of Menachem Finkelsztajn (Finkelstein?) who states that 3300 Jews were murdered in Jedwabne. On page 43, Gross says that numbers provided by Finkelsztajn should be divided in half. So, Gross arrives to the nice and tidy number of 1600.

Lets look at what the documentary evidence says about the number of the Jews living in the area. The Soviet census conducted in 1940 counted only 1400 Jews in the Jedwabne region, which also included the outlying town of Radzilow and the village of Wizna. If we also take into account the number of Jews that fled approaching German armies, this would put into serious question the number of victims in Jedwabne, where according to Mr. Gross and his witnesses 1600 perished. In Radzilow, only three days earlier, an alleged 1500 Jews were also burned in a barn. But Mr. Gross doesn't bother himself with such "minor" details as the size of the barn and an accurate number of victims. It would have to be the biggest barn in Europe in 1941. Recent archaeological works done in Jedwabne to establish the correct number of victims concluded that the mass grave where they are buried could contain maximum of 300 bodies and its size was app. 2 meters by 5 meters. Also, the Jewish side objected to any further work being carried out (exhumation) for religious reasons. Religion becomes very convenient sometimes. "In every instance, rituals of humiliation, of slow torture, of unspeakable bestiality accompanied the killings. Though encouraged and sometimes initiated by the Nazi occupiers, the actual mass murders were the work of 'local hooligans'. In fact, this anodyne phrase masks the involvement, and the participation, of the vast majority of the local Polish communities, who watched the carnival of Jewish agony with derisive indifference or active approval. When Jewish women strove to drown themselves and their babies in order to escape torture and incineration, there were Poles who stood on the banks cheering them on." It is a very strange story with those two women and their babies. At least the author of this article could do some research himself, before he starts repeating someone else's B.S. There are two contradicting testimonies of the so-called eyewitnesses of Gross's regarding this incident. I will just quote them, and let the reader see for him (her) self. Mrs. Rivka Fogel, "The sisters, the wife of Avraham Kubzanski and the wife of Saul Binshtein, whose husbands left with the Russians, **after enduring horrible punishment at the hands of the Germans**, decided to end their own lives and that of their children. They exchanged the children between themselves and together they jumped into deep water. **Gentiles standing nearby pulled them out, but they managed to jump in again and were drowned.**" Shmul Wasersztein about the same incident, as translated from JT Gross book "Neighbours": "That same day I saw a horrible scene. Chaja ("Chaya") Kubrzanska, 28 years old, and Basia Binsztajn, 26, both with babies in their arms **jumped into the pond and drowned, rather than falling into the hands of those hoodlums **. First they tossed the babies into the water and then they followed them themselves. Baska Binsztajn sank immediately to the bottom while Chaja Kubrzanska suffered for hours. **Bystanders (hooligans) made a spectacle out of it enjoying the view and were advising her to lie face down in the water, so she can drown quicker...**" HMMM.... "Gross's chronicle of inhumanity is near to unendurable. As nauseating, though in a different way, is his implacable exposition of the aftermath. After the liberation of Poland, there followed an ice-

age of systematic falsehood and amnesia. The hideous pogroms carried out by Poles at Cracow and Kielce in 1946 were either denied or unmentioned, as was the hunting down and murder of the very few Jews who escaped into the forests after an uprising in a death camp." Also, the lies written by the author of this article is near to unendurable. One would have to write a book, to refute all his lies. "Before long, German military archives made available films showing Poles in Warsaw cheering and laughing at the spectacle of the last defenders of the ghetto leaping into the flames rather than surrender." So, where are these films? There is suppose to be one made in Jedwabne. So far, nothing has been found despite searching for it. Lets not forget that the Nazis were masters of propaganda. They even tried to tell the world that it was Poland that attacked Germany and not the other way around. To achieve such an effect they staged an attack on the radio station in Gliwice, dressing up some criminals in the Polish soldiers' uniforms. After setting up a trap and killing them during the raid, the German propaganda officials took some photos as proof of the Polish army attack on Germany and presented it to the press. "Of course, there were postwar voices seeking to speak the truth. But they were not many and fellow Poles often turned on them in fury. To ask a taxi-driver to take one to the somewhat lamentable ghetto memorial in Warsaw was to risk insult or the assurance that the survival of a Jewish remnant was to be deplored." This is so much Jewish propaganda lies that I can't event comment on it. The whole of this article contains so many lies, it is like a flood, one big lie. You refute one, and the next one is coming or the old one repeated. And someone tries to tell me that there is no conspiracy against my country, Poland. But one day the time will come, they will have to pay for it. We will not forget or forgive. "After the Middle Ages, Jew-hatred in Germany was sporadic and assimilation seemed plausible. It is in Austria and Poland that anti-Semitism has been. The Catholic church has played a seminal role in this plague. As Gross points out, it is not only in the benighted Polish countryside that priests and bishops preach Jewish deicide and keep alive the blood-libel whereby Jews kidnap and sacrifice Christian children for ritual purposes." This part is very interesting. I think that here I will use Jewish sources. According to the Jewish historian, prof. Ezra Mendelson, during Polish independence 1918 - 1939 Poland was for the Jews the biggest cultural centre in Europe. A country of free development of the Jewish press, publications, education, Jewish political parties and organisations. Well-known Jewish historian, prof. Anthony Polonsky stated that before WWII in Poland there was far less anti-Semitism than in Romania and Hungary, despite Poland having had the biggest Jewish population in Central Europe. (Interview for publication "Wiez", nr. 7-8 1988). Another Jewish historian, prof. Jakub Goldberg stated that the situation of the Jews in Poland was far better than in any other Central European country beside Czechoslovakia, but Czechoslovakia had a much smaller Jewish population. So did the main rabbin of the British Empire, dr. Joseph Herman Hertz in his publication "Mysli zydowskie oraz mysli o zydowstwie" (Warszawa, 1936, p. 18). And so did N. Davies in his book "Gods playground" t. 2, p. 336.

Before WWII in Poland, there were 130 publications in Yiddish and Hebrew, existed 15 theatres showing in Yiddish, 266 elementary schools, 12 high schools and 14 trade schools with Hebrew or Yiddish languages. Jews represented 49% of lawyers, 46% of medical doctors, 59% of merchants and 21% of industrialists. But they (the Jews) were only 10% of the general population. Not too bad for the country that displayed "visceral, venomous and, it would appear, ineradicable" anti - Semitism. After regaining her independence after 1917, reborn Poland didn't solve all of the basic economic and social questions, but its legislation granted equal rights to all citizens irrespective of nationality and religious convictions. This was guaranteed by its constitution adopted by the Sejm in March 1921. Thus were abolished the legal norms inherited from the partitioning powers, which gave different legal status to various groups of society. However, some questions as laid down in the constitution lent themselves to various interpretations. In 1931, the Sejm passed a law that abrogated expressis verbis all regulations that were discriminatory on grounds of religion, nationality and race. After Hitler took power in Germany, mass persecutions of Jews started, among which there were also some 50,000 Polish subjects living in Germany. This resulted in official protests from the Polish consulates and embassy, which took various steps to help the persecuted. Many employees of the Polish consulates, as reports sent to Warsaw indicate, intervened on behalf of Jews for purely humanitarian reasons, since they wanted, at least to some degree, to alleviate the difficult situation of the persecuted Jews. These interventions stopped the Third Reich from applying against the Polish Jews all repressive measures, which were used against the German citizens of Jewish origin. Not bad either for a country with such "visceral, venomous and, it would appear, ineradicable" anti - Semitism. The rest of the article is too much B.S. to even comment on it. And then one has to ask the question. Where the anti - Semitism comes from. Chris Janiewicz Krzysztof Janiewicz, , 0000-00-00 powrot

Comment on the article titled "Revisiting a Massacre" HERALDS OF TRUTH 588 Essex Dr., Rochester Hills, MI 48307, Tel. & Fax: (248) 650-8553 E-mail: Editor-in-Chief, NEWSWEEK 251 W. 57th St. New York, NY 10019 March 10, 2001

Dear Sir, We would like to comment on the article titled "Revisiting a Massacre" by Andrew Nagorski (Newsweek, March 5, 2001). In spite of the allegedly "careful research" conducted by prof. Jan T. Gross in preparing the book "Neighbors", he used almost exclusively documents written in Poland in the postwar Stalinist era, when historical facts were arbitrarily changed or distorted and adjusted to communist ideology and its adherents. The scene of the described events, a small town Jedwabne - was located in the region of eastern Poland, from where the Soviet occupiers with significant support of local Jews, during the period of September 1939 to June 1941, deported to Siberian concentration camps nearly 2 million Polish inhabitants. From Jedwabne itself - about 300 Poles were exiled, several of them in the last few days before the arrival of the German Army. Prof. Gross forgets repeatedly in his book about the massive Jewish cooperation with the Soviet NKVD - the Soviet secret police, much worse in cruelty than the German Gestapo. It is no wonder, that during the next German occupation Poles were none too eager to risk their and their families' lives in saving communist party Jews. In Poland and only in Poland capital punishment was meted out to the entire family, which was executed for the slightest evidence of aid given to Jews. Gross' principal source for "Neighbors" - Szmul Wasersztajn alias Calka collaborated with the Soviets, despised his Polish neighbors, and was personally responsible for many tortures and deportations. After the war, he served the Polish communist Soviet regime as an officer in the secret police. Therefore his maliciously anti-Polish testimony is not credible at all and it is surprising Gross sympathizes with his account. According to numerous eyewitnesses of the tragic July 1941 events, about 300-armed German soldiers (members of the so called "Einsatzgruppen", special troops for Jewish extermination) arrived at Jedwabne to terrorize Polish inhabitants and commit genocide on the Jews. That was a policy of the German occupant and Gross' insinuations regarding the Germans, as looking for Polish advice or protecting the Jews, is simply an incredible lie. As a rule, Germans confiscated Jewish property, so the incentive alluded to is falsely attributed. There were probably few Polish hooligans participating in marginal robbery, like the three in Jedwabne who were immediately shot and killed by Germans, since confiscated Jewish property was always considered to be the property of the Third Reich. However every nation has its dregs of society and such were also present among the Jews. The infamous role of numerous Jewish leaders and officials (Jewish Councils so called "Judenrat", Jewish Ghetto Police and so on) is well documented as collaborators with Nazi authorities. The multitude of errors and distortions contained in Gross' book makes it a worthless secondary source in Holocaust studies. However, we are afraid, its publication and promotion could further deteriorate Polish-Jewish relationships and provoke mutual animosity. Is it the intent of NEWSWEEK to play into such a sinister role? Mr. Nagorski with his article performed a very poor job in evaluating the book's validity equally as bad as that done by Jan T. Gross! Karol Gutowski Andrzej Zawadzki President Secretary

Karol Gutowski Andrzej Zawadzki, , 2001-03-10 powrot

Jozef Cardinal Glemp The Roman Catholic Primate of Poland

JEDWABNE -- GUILT JUSTLY RECOGNIZED A statement for Radio Plus-Jozef Warsaw, the Primate's Residence, 4 March 2001 Brothers and Sisters, A year ago, a respectable Jew informed me that soon the issue of Jedwabne would be publicized -- a locality in the Lomza Diocese where the murder of Jews had been committed by Poles. Indeed, in July 1941, when the Lomza area and Bialystok region were occupied by the Germans, there occurred a horrible murder of Jews. In particular, the burning alive of the Jewish population, forcibly herded by Poles into a barn, is indisputable. Towards the end of February this year the matter got publicized by the publication of Professor Jan Tomasz Gross' book 'Neighbors'. Had this been known earlier? Yes, it had. It had been known by the inhabitants of Jedwabne and vicinity, and it had been known to the local and central authorities as well. It is true that encyclopedias under the entry 'Jedwabne' mention the killing of Jews by the Germans. Two court trials had taken place in connection with the Jedwabne mass murder, there were testimonies, documents, sentences and people knew the truth about the massacre. A sensation has been made of Gross' book, even though this is its second edition. The first edition, dealing with the tragedy of Jedwabne, had been issued earlier. Today, the release of its English- language version is being awaited with anxiety, because the truth thereby revealed to Americans is expected to unleash Jewry's sharp attacks on Poles. It must be stated, however, that the description of the Jedwabne events had already been published in English, as Gross has indicated in his book. The whole issue is somewhat reminiscent of the Katyn massacre: everybody knew who killed the Polish POWs, but officially at least one was not to know. If the murder and the collective killers are known, then everyone must wonder about two things: Why after 60 years is that fact being presented as a sensation? And, what were the reasons for such an outburst of inhuman hatred and cruelty? The question comprises

several different dimensions: historical, ethnic-national, psychological and, unfortunately, also political. As a clergyman I am primarily interested in the moral dimension. That is connected with a recognition of generational responsibility which involves asking God's forgiveness for the sins of one's ancestors and asking the forgiveness of the victims' descendants. Naturally, the scale of recognizing guilt entails ascertaining objective truth, that is -- examining the causes of the sin and the circumstances of the crime that was committed. The causes of such barbaric and hateful attitudes of Poles towards Jews, not encountered in other parts of Poland, must be researched. That task should be left to historians and sociologists. But one should never lose sight of the fact that the only source of the Jews' systematic extermination had been Hiterlite totalitarianism, and local animosities sometimes succumbed to that current and were used instrumentally. I agree with my Distinguished Colleague who wrote in ?the Catholic intellectual journal-translator? 'Wiez' ('The Bond'): 'We are not seeking any imaginary historical documents that could transform the tragedy of Jedwabne into an insignificant episode.' That is true, we are not seeking imaginary documents, but we are not ignoring reliable research. Personally, I should not like to combine various dimensions of the issue. I prefer not to have politicians impose on the Church the way it is to fulfill its act of contrition for the crimes committed by certain groups of people who, although believers, had become morally degenerate. I should not want them to determine the ideology in which the penitential prayers are to be 'attired'. However, at the end of February, within two days' time several high-ranking politicians approached me with a nearly identical programmed: on such and such a day the Catholic Church should conduct major prayers in Jedwabne, repent for its sins and ask forgiveness for the genocide, or risk incurring someone's wrath. I am aware of the fact that it is the task of politicians to programme the solution of difficult problems. The Church, however, should not get involved in such plans, because rather than introducing peace it will become a tool in the struggle. Jedwabne may be part of a programme of certain political friction, just as other matters had been in the past. Reservations towards political programmes in the solution of certain issues does not mean they cannot be harmonized without combining levels. That is why I have received with acknowledgement the letter of the Rabbi of Warsaw's Jewish Congregation, who justifies the need of the act with the text of the Holy Scripture: 'The 60th anniversary of the death of hundreds of Polish citizens of the Mosaic faith is an occasion to join in common mourning for the needless loss of so many human beings'. That is the proper spiritual level for mourning innocent murder victims. We shall do so eagerly in Warsaw with the common prayers of Poles and Jews, either in front of the Ghetto Heroes' Monument, in one of the churches or in the synagogue. In that spirit I understand the Rabbi's next statement: 'The murder of innocent people is not a local tragedy, it is the tragedy of the whole world.' Indeed, as mankind we deplore the spilling of innocent blood in any nation. The murders of innocent victims in Jedwabne, Katyn, Dachau and Auschwitz cause us pain as members of the human race, as do the murders in

Rwanda, the Balkans and among neighbors in Palestine. The tragedy of Jedwabne evokes serious reflection upon the nature of sin which turns man away from God and against another fellow-man. This is not about hasty or ostentatious penance, but about honestly looking at oneself in humility and truth. We cannot violate the good name of those who gave their lives to save Jews by taking up an act of general repentance being proposed by politicians. In the name of justice, we may not label any nation as a nation of murderers. We are not doing so in regards to the Germans, amongst whom Nazism emerged in its fullest form. Neither can the blindness provoked in the people of Jedwabne and vicinity be extended to the entire Polish nation But it would be most desirable for us as a Church, together with people of the Mosaic faith, in accordance with the revealed truth of the Holy Scriptures, to ask God's forgiveness for the sins that have been committed. In asking God's forgiveness, we should also thank Him for the 'righteous' of both nations who did not hesitate to sacrifice in the name of the justice to which every human being is entitled. __________________________________ Unofficial translation Cardinal Jozef Glemp, , 2001-03-04 . Bogdan Musia interviewed by Pawe Paliwoda

"We Cannot Be Afraid"

ycie, February 2, 2001
Pawe Paliwoda: There is a view that the book Neighbors, by Jan Gross-while not free of flaws in research - fully presents the nature of events in Jedwabne. What is your response to this? Bogdan Musia: Gross falls short of this in many respects. He shows those events in a specific way, using a narrow base of sources. I am surprised how he managed to reach his conclusions. I agree that Gross has made Poles more sensitive to an issue about which little was and is known. He did so through provocation and very emotional language. There is no fundamental analysis, however--that is, on the issue of historical context. The author presents the situation in Jedwabne between 1939 and 1941 as if nothing was happening

during this period. - Gross and his supporters maintain that mention of a context for these events is a search for an alibi for the perpetrators of the crime, motivated by anti-Semitism. - Suspecting from the outset that this is about anti-Semitism is nonsense. A fundamental condition of discussing past events properly is to determine their historical context. We can't present historical facts from the view point of the year 2001. We must reconstruct the background of events, their genesis. The historian must sensitize himself to a past context. There is no sense in a position like: I've had plenty to eat, live in New York or Warsaw, never had anything to do with facts of this kind, and now I will take some document and evaluate it from a moral point of view. That is arrogance. This isn't about an alibi for criminals-they should be condemned categorically. If Gross had written that X or Y was responsible for these crimes, that would be acceptable. However, he makes the society of Jedwabne, Polish society, responsible for this crime. First, he ought to prove this thesis. - What type of facts could make for a better understanding of the drama in Jedwabne? - Can you explain to me why this didn't occur in Jedwabne in September 1939? Why it didn't happen until 1941? Suddenly, 2 years after the Red Army invaded these territories, so much had changed. Why? Why doesn't Gross pose this question at all? We know from history that similar incidents occurred at this time in the eastern strip running from Latvia to the territory of present day Moldavia shortly after the Soviet occupation forces left this area. An explosion of anti-Semitism occurred in all these places. Poles were not everywhere. There were Rumanians and Jews, Latvians and Jews, Ukrainians and Jews, Belorussians and Jews. If we look at what went on in the territories of present day Moldova, the events in Jedwabne pale in comparison. Yet there weren't any Germans or Poles there. The inter-ethnic conflicts that arose were strictly related to the Soviet occupation of these territories. Gross omits this issue. - What is the relation between the Soviet occupation and anti-Semitism? - The Soviets, on entering these territories, destroyed the old bourgeois, capitalist system together with its representatives. They didn't however have much knowledge in personnel matters and thus had to rely on local sources. Who did this involve? In Poland before the war, there were tensions between Poles and Jews which were begging for conflicts. One part of the Jewish population, which had a leaning to the left, especially young people, did in fact collaborate with the Soviets. In this way, Poles began to see Jews as traitors, allies of the Soviets. It is widely believed that the Siberian forced labor deportation lists were prepared by Jewish communists. In part this is true. We can take, for example Michel Mielnicki's account. He was the son of Chaim Mielnicki from Wasilkw (the account is contained in the book Bialystok to Birkenau, which came out in Vancouver in 2000). He recalls that NKVD functionaries came to them and that his

father helped them fill out lists of those who were to be sent to Siberia. He describes Poles using the terms "traitor," "Volksdeutsche," and "fascists"--the language of the Soviet occupation regime. He quotes his father as saying, "We must get rid of these Polish fascists for they are our enemies." Except that, amongst these fascists and traitors, there were also children and babies. Despite so many Poles being deported with the help of his father, Michel Mielnicki expresses great surprise that there were suddenly so many antiSemites among these Poles after the Germans invaded. - Tomasz Strzembosz makes a similar argument to yours. - I totally agree with the central arguments of Professor Strzembosz, as contained in the text published recently in Rzeczpospolita (January 27-28, 2001). I presented this issue comprehensively in the book "Kontrrevolutionre Elemente sind zu erschiessen". Die Brutalisierung des deutsch-sowjetischen Kriegs im Sommer 1941 ["Counterrevolutionary Elements Must Be Shot". The Brutalization of the German-Soviet War in Summer 1941]. I based this book primarily on Jewish accounts from the period 1941-42. This doesn't mean that all Jews collaborated with the NKVD. They were, however, perceived as doing so by many Poles who did not see Jews being arrested and persecuted by the NKVD, but did see Jewish policemen every day for two years. - The opinion that the Soviet army invading Poland was greeted with ovations by a significant part of the Jewish population is often presented as another anti-Semitic stereotype. - There is no doubt about this. It is also confirmed by Jewish historians. In the work of Ben-Cion Pinchuk, as for example in Shtetl Jews under Soviet Rule: Eastern Poland on the Eve of the Holocaust. His main sources were accounts by people who survived the Holocaust in these territories. Pinchuk comes to completely different conclusions than Gross, as he has an incomparably more professional base of source material. Pinchuk writes of the greeting of the Soviets and Jewish involvement, especially in the first phase of the building of the Soviet system. In the cities, Jews who were adherents of communism played a large role in sustaining Soviet authority. They created revolutionary committees, militias and so forth. Pinchuk establishes all of this on the basis of accounts not by Poles or anti-Semites, but by those of Jews, as preserved at Yad Vashem [the Memorial Institute in Jerusalem - ed.] Gross quoted this monograph only once. Its thesis does not suit him as it is very inconvenient. He should, nevertheless, be able to say why Pinchuk comes to conclusions different from his own, despite knowing the facts that Gross writes about. This is why Gross makes a wide circle around the work of Pinchuk and many others. - I understand that Poles tainted with anti-Semitic crimes did not so much suckle hatred towards Jews with their mother's milk, as to arrive at their anti-Semitism by seeing some part of the Jewish population collaborating with the communists. This does not change the moral assessment of the Jedwabne atrocity, but it overturns the core argument of the adherents of the anti-Polish view who see "spontaneous and disinterested anti-Semites" in

Poland, "the most anti-Semitic country in the world." - It is absolutely certain that Poles are not anti-Semites by nature. This is an absurd thesis. Polish anti-Semitism has, of course, certain local traits but-just like the anti-Semitism of the Germans or Lithuanians-it was conditioned in a historical context, in an extraordinary period. I fully agree, however, that this does not lessen the moral blame of those responsible for the Jedwabne murder. In regard to Gross's book there is naturally no statement of the sort that we find in Pinchuk that those Jews who were responsible for communist crimes, those who were engaged in the communist party, in the Komsomol [communist youth movement - ed.] or police, were the first to flee the areas left by the Soviets. I have many very interesting accounts, including some from Tarnopol, which indicate that before the German invasion there was already an awareness among Jews working in the Soviet apparatus that it could come to anti-Semitic pogroms. Those Jews who stayed became scapegoats. - What is the degree of awareness in the West of the flaws in the book by Gross? Are, for example the owners of the New York Times, one of the main promoters of this book in USA, aware of this? - I don't think so, because in the USA there is a specific perspective in understanding the dramas of World War Two. Jews were victims, certainly, but Poles were the helpers of the perpetrators or passive witnesses to extermination. The Gross's book precisely confirms these prejudices, and reinforces stereotypes. There is no awareness of its shortcomings. - What is the cause of this state of affairs? - There is still no historian in the USA who would concern himself with the theme of war crimes, in an ethnic context, in that time and place. What there is instead in the USA is the literature of Holocaust survivors' memoirs. These are subjective accounts that often contain a large emotional charge, and one that is anti-Polish. If such a person who hid somewhere was persecuted by Polish szmalcownicy, then I am not surprised by a prejudice against Poles. The only problem is that this person then assesses all of Polish society from this perspective--and this is a mistake. - What does the American stereotype of the Polish anti-Semite consist of? - There is a widespread belief that the death camps were built in Poland because the Germans could count on Polish anti-Semitism and therefore had the appropriate emotional backing. This is a stereotype spread by people such as Claude Lanzmann or Elie Wiesel, people who are great opinion makers, as are newspapers like the New York Times. This assessment of history is an exact inversion of the anti-Semitic stereotype. This is antiPolish chauvinism. - The Holocaust has become a subject that is taken up with singular frequency in recent

years in USA. Where does this sudden American interest in history come from? - I would say that we are dealing with the expropriation of the Holocaust in American culture. In the 1950s, it wasn't in reality an issue for general public opinion; no one was particularly interested. Even for those who survived and migrated to the USA, it was recommended that they not talk about the past. People said, "Let's look to the future." Only in the 1960s did the process begin of discovering the extermination of the Jews, and this took on momentum in the 1970s. At that time, the film Holocaust was screened, which nearly 100 million Americans watched. This film was a dramatization of factual events, but it had an immense impact on public opinion. Today, the Holocaust plays an enormous role in the USA. Norman G. Finkelstein writes about this "industry" in his book The Holocaust Industry. Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering. -Does this mean that the memory of the extermination of the Jews is being commercialized? - Let me give you an explanatory example. In America, specialists in the Holocaust have the easiest time finding university or museum jobs. It is a subject which is easy to sell. It attracts people. If there is interest, then there must be something on offer to meet the demand. Such an offering could be an article, a film or a book. If you wish to publish a book in the States, then write about the Holocaust, and it is best to do so in such a way as not to trouble the reader, that is, in accordance with the prevailing stereotypes. - Has the history of the Holocaust then become pulp fiction? - American as well as Israeli historians and sociologists have repeatedly pointed out the exploitation of the Holocaust in America, where it has become an element of mass culture. They criticize this in strong terms, speaking of Americanization and mystification. Americans feel superior to Europeans, and therefore it would be a little awkward to talk, for instance, about the extermination of the Indians. Better to speak of the Holocaust, with which they have nothing in common. Germans and Poles are responsible for this--we [Americans - ed.] are not. At the same time, a moralistic phraseology and paternalist rhetoric are applied, which make a mockery of the facts. - In America, the extermination of the Jews is also instrumentalized in other ways, as a "religion of the Holocaust". What is the basis of this phenomenon? - The Holocaust, for part of the Jewish elite, is becoming a "surrogate religion," an instrument of integration. It is a means of countering the loosening of traditional relations that maintain the Jewish community, which is slowly melting into American society. Memory of the Holocaust and injustices committed, a common fate, is to become a means of rebuilding collective identity. The state of Israel could have become a similar point of reference for many Americans of Jewish origin. The policy of Israel in the Middle East does not suit many people. The Holocaust lends itself ideally as a touchstone of common

fate. - Aren't the superficial and stereotypical concepts in the book by Gross most convenient for those who instrumentalize the Holocaust? Could the religion of the Holocaust survive without Poles as born anti-Semites? - Poles, as at best passive witnesses of the Holocaust, is an unquestionable dogma in America, a typical element of the Holocaust and its Americanization. It is unusually difficult to enter into a discussion with this dogma. There are various traps of political correctness lying in wait for revisionists. At every turn it's possible to fall foul of the accusation: you want to learn the context of the crime, and that means you are a closet anti-Semite. - How then can investigative historiography be conducted in such circumstances? Doesn't it require great courage? - It does. It is similar to my experience with the exhibition Crimes of the Wehrmacht. Before I approached it, I took a long time making up my mind. This exhibition was dogma. In a period of three years, it became practically a religious cult. Criticism of the exhibition was blasphemy. I thought to myself: "Oh my God, I'll start to criticize it and they'll eat me alive." Frankly speaking, to take on such a subject, it's necessary to have more than just research skills. Tactical and strategic skills are needed. Even more, a specific sort of intuition is required. This becomes very complicated. - It is said that the truth, regardless of what it is, has a liberating force. From what you say, however, it transpires that the truth itself is not always sufficient in relations between nations. How then ought the process of the normalization of Polish-Jewish relations look? - In spite of everything, it's necessary to cast fear aside and ruthlessly seek out the truth. Poles ought to say openly: of course, there were szmalcownicy. It is then necessary to investigate how many there were, what sort of influence this had on the fate of the whole Jewish population, where they came from, whether or not there were attempts by the underground state to counteract them, and so forth. In my opinion, this is very important. Nothing should be kept hidden. This will result in a growth of trust in the Polish side. We should remember that there are many responsible Jewish historians. Not all practice history the way Daniel Goldhagen or Jan Gross do. A wonderful example of reliability is Peter Novick and his book, The Holocaust in American Life. He gives, for example, an analysis of the passive witness concept and asks critics: Would you be able to prevent the extermination of the Jews if this represented a danger to you and your family? Naturally, on both sides there are those acting against reconciliation. The best means of neutralizing their influence is the spectacular disclosure of their mistakes. - Wouldn't the carrying out of such a spectacular action, such as your intervention in the case of The Crimes of the Wehrmacht, by a Polish author in relation to a Jewish one,

inflame Polish-Jewish relations? - I don't think so. Of course newspapers like The New York Times would certainly throw themselves upon such a person with malicious glee--after all, there are people who are incorrigible. We cannot be afraid, however. This mustn't discourage us from honest investigation. - You propose reconciliation through getting to know one another. In the meantime, the majority of leaders on the Jewish side and the majority of the intellectual elite in Poland rather speak only of the need for Poles to admit to guilt. Everything is already known, and now the time has come for Polish expiation. - As a historian, I must first know what happened. Only then can I draw conclusions. I don't doubt that a certain significant group in Polish society either supported the Holocaust or were happy about it. However, and I continually repeat this, we should determine the context of these dramatic events. I don't believe that in a democratic state, in conditions of peace, this sort of incident would be possible. Why should the Polish nation be responsible as a whole for the deeds of the szmalcownicy? Let's reach for another example: the year 1981. There were Zomowcy and people were beaten up by them. Who should ask for forgiveness now and who should be made responsible for the crimes of martial law at that time? Does the entire Polish nation have to apologize, or does a specific group of people, have to apologize for similar atrocities at the Wujek coal mine? It would be equally inappropriate for Poles to apologize for the communist system on behalf of the entire nation, for the events of 1968 or 1970. This is an attempt to stretch personal responsibility into collective responsibility. - In other words, I would apologize on behalf of both of us for the fact that... - ...for the fact that, having absolutely authority, you beat me up. This position is an absurdity. It is the identification of the whole of society with one of its specific groups. This is a manipulation that most often allows some group involved in a situation to avoid responsibility. - Isn't the thesis of Jews themselves being anti-Semites during the Holocaust equally absurd? - Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. It isn't when the "fervor of the converted" is considered. Such situations are known. Here we have a subsequent example of the activity of certain elements on the basis of which it isn't possible to assess all of society. I remember such a characteristic example from the Kielce Province, where the Mayor of one of the towns there, who was half-Jewish, turned out to be a fanatical anti-Semite. Similarly, all deportations from ghettos occurred with the participation of the Jewish Police and ghetto administration. But was anti-Semitism the determining element here? Nonsense. It is possible to condemn these people morally, but necessary to understand the circumstances in which they had to act. We have to become familiar with and understand

the context of this situation. What other alternative did they have? - If this administration and police were made up not of Jews but of Poles, there would be a ready argument that... - ...that this was anti-Semitism. There were instances where Polish firemen were used in deportations. There is one such account, and now it is treated as anti-Semitism. Except that the fact is that these same firemen were previously deployed in roundups of Polish workers for slave labor. Now comes the question: Were these firemen also anti-Polish? - In the columns of Gazeta Wyborcza, Ryszard Bugaj has formulated the supposition that maintaining the anti-Semitic-Poland thesis serves to justify the property claims of American Jews against Poland. Isn't Gross's book one of the elements of such propaganda? - I perceive a certain similarity between the situation of Poland and that of Switzerland. I don't think that Gross wrote particularly his book with this aim, although there always exists the possibility of exploiting this type of emotional writing. In the case of Switzerland, a great campaign was waged. There was continual talk about banks in the press and television, about the gold of murdered Jews and about the money that's in these accounts. In this regard it was forgotten, of course, that there were American banks that did exactly the same. There were also banks in Jewish hands that did exactly the same. There was silence about this, however, and the campaign was focused on Switzerland. - Is it possible to say anything positive about Jan Gross's book? - What Gross had to say has stirred an interest in this subject in Poland. I see, in fact, that what Tomasz Strzembosz wrote is a very interesting analysis. Others will follow. Up to now, there has existed a fear of seeking out the complete truth about Polish-Jewish relations. A fear of being accused of anti-Semitism and a fear of touching upon certain painful places in the history of Poland has predominated. Gross wanted to provoke Poles, to tell them how terrible they are, but at the same time he has forced them into debate. This can represent a great breakthrough in Polish historiography, which up to now hasn't had much to say on these issues, and has in the main confined itself to journalistic platitudes. Each source, every account, must be investigated regardless of its ethnic or social undertones. The historian cannot confine himself to statements about moral rightness. Gross and his followers actually end up confining themselves to this, and demand that we do the same. Knowing Jewish and other sources however, it is possible to reduce the majority of arguments by Gross to absurdity. Using methods like his, it is possible to prove anything. He has spurred investigation here, this is a fact-but he has not shown how the research should be done. dr Bogdan Musia, ycie, 2001-02-02

Revisiting the Gross-Wasersztajn Story.

A goodly amount of time has elapsed since the Polish edition of John Thomas Gross' "Neighbors" made its appearance in 2000. It has been possible over these months to take stock of Gross' charges against the community of Jedwabne and to review "Neighbors" against the evidence that was presented in its support. Further work has also been done in identifying and locating materials which Gross has missed or failed to reference and to establish whether he pursued all available sources, such as visiting the site of the massacre and interviewing still living witnesses (we now know he did neither of these things). Regarding those parts of the book describing the actions of the Catholic Church whether he consulted church records and day chronicles from that time (also apparently not done). His work has been critically assessed on how he determines the selection from primary sources - are they corroborated by different types of evidence (e.g., original documents, living witnesses, site visits) and how does he resolve conflicts among these sources. Does the book reveal any biases of the writer that preclude his providing a fair and honest conclusion. Also, very disturbing in relation to the treatment of sources of evidence is new information that Gross had special access to1949 court records which were inaccessible until March of this year to Polish historians (perhaps President Kwasniewski would care to enlighten everyone why his government agency had treated Polish professionals as second class citizens in their own country). However, notwithstanding this, the process of verification of the facts and review of Gross' conclusions and his allegations is far enough advanced to render some preliminary observations. Above all, we find that Gross exhibits strong bias against even-handed treatment of available documentary sources. For instance, the oma court records from 1949, as professor Strzembosz, an acclaimed specialist on the history of the Eastern Occupied Territories notes, show a unique repetitive pattern - the accused when interrogated by security officers admit to certain criminal acts; later, when interviewed by prosecutors, they deny the most serious allegations; before the court, we find a near total denial and counter-charges of torture, beating and brutality against the Security Bureau interrogators. But Gross firmly tends to favor the testimony given under duress. More importantly, however, he does not explain why he selects one side over the other. Though even here, we should note, that in spite of his procrustean stance, the most incriminating parts of the testimony deal only with charges of helping congregate Jews into the town square (most defendants speak of being coerced by German soldiers or policeman and several speak of escaping from their guard duty as soon as they see an opportunity to do so). Nowhere are acts of murderous violence as narrated by Gross to be found ascribed to the defendants. For such charges, there is no independent corroboration discernible in the court records. So Gross has to resort in that instance to selective stitching of fragments of testimony. Beside being partial to only a few accounts given by preferred attestants and ignoring the numerically far larger number of witnesses, Gross clearly and mainly bases the episodes of his story on a single account - Szmul Wasersztajn's, who is now identified as being a thoroughly anti-Polish and anti-Christian personality. Known under the alias Calka, Wasersztajn was a known collaborator under the communist occupation of 1939-1941 and later after the war was a member of the communist security apparatus. His accusation served as the basis for the investigation and proceedings of the Jedwabne incident but he was never cross-examined by the court at oma in 1949 or at any time later. Yet, his account is sanctioned by Gross and serves as the framework for the Jedwabne massacre story.

Once again, Gross never candidly explains why he uses Wasersztajn's highly personal scheme to impart his version of the July 10th events and why he believes his consequent account in "Neighbors" is a true representation of the course of those events except for the embarrassing statement that we should believe unequivocally the stories of those who survived the Holocaust. Apparently, Gross theorizes Holocaust stories should be considered true even where they contradict one another which would further imply his method does not rest on reconciling sources, but on some vague principle of selection that he does not choose to reveal to us. [Except that his beliefs are sometimes a tad peculiar. Recently, Gross promoted "Neighbors" throughout Europe, especially in Germany, where, for obvious reasons, it is more than welcome. Here is a fragment from his statements given on March 22d to the German newspaper "Badische Zeitung": Question: "Why did Polish historians not study the pogroms of 1941 earlier? Was it because of the censorship existing then?" Gross' answer: "No that was not the reason at all. I, myself, needed several "revelations" to perceive that the Jedwabne pogrom actually looked like it did". Perhaps such cherubic juvenilia answers the question of method in a most pithy fashion!] But seriously, we do not know how he would reconcile Ryvka Fogel's account in the "Remembrance Book of the Jedwabne Jews" and other points, such as local Church records in Jedwabne, that directly contradict particular vignettes of the "Neighbors" version - more specifically the suicidal drowning of two Jewish sisters with their newborns and the story of the "visit" of Jedwabne Jewish elders to the Bishop of oma. Altogether, a disturbing picture emerges of a writer who arbitrarily and inexplicably disdains the greater part of relevant testimony and bases his story line on the biased account of the communist Szmul Wasersztajn. We referred to the court records, which Gross uses tendentiously. But what are these judicial documents and how did they arise? The trial of twenty-two Poles accused of participating in the death of the Jedwabne Jews actually has its roots in the Szmul Wasersztajn account (note that there is very strong evidence that Wasersztajn was in hiding - some two miles away during the July 10th pogrom), given in 1945 before the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw (Personal Accounts Collection, # 301). This interview was the basis for the actions taken by the police and the court in oma. The indictment of March 31, 1949 reads: "The Jewish Historical Institute sent to the Ministry of Justice evidentiary material regarding criminal actions in the killing of persons of Jewish nationality by the residents of Jedwabne. According to the testimony of Szmul Wasersztajn who had seen the pogrom of the Jews. The main perpetrators were ... ". In this way, the Wasersztajn account found its way into the court record, which Gross cites and it spurred the investigation and the court proceedings. Essentially, the communist Wasersztajn accused the Poles of Jedwabne before the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw which was dominated by communists and which in turn sent the accusation to the communist Ministry of Justice where it turned it over to the brutal communist security apparatus and courts. Such a genealogy informs the case and is one, which Gross finds ineluctably trustworthy. And so he uses the Wasersztajn story as his inspiration to build the skeleton for the storyline of his Jedwabne version. Other sources of evidence are not employed to critically balance and test the accusatory statements in Wasersztajn, but simply to help, wherever each can become a useful fragment in fleshing out the story's framework (or "improving" on the believability of Szmul's vindictive piece).

What do these documents specifically consist of that help select and embroider Wasersztajn's account. Principally they are a variety of court documents as follows: 1) The already mentioned testimony of defendants and witnesses a) before the County Security Bureau at oma b) before the County prosecutors and, c) before the oma court 2) The indictment and the ruling of the oma court 3) Letters of appeal before various government officials 4) Records of the Court of Appeals and the High Court in Warsaw An adversary of the communist system could have seen all this in another way. An inveterate communist enemy of Christians falsely charges them. This charge is sent to his friends at the prosecutor's office that also hate Christians and obtain forced confessions, which are then retracted by the Christians in court. The court sensitive to the politics of the time hands down criminal verdicts. Finally, the court records are used by a sociologist, never trained as a historian, to vilify the Christians of the Jedwabne community. But aside this wholly believable rendering, the suspicion raised by the origins of Gross' adopted schema for the story deserves to be scrutinized more fully. An effort to understand the basic design is worthwhile since it can help us clarify why certain elements appear in the story in spite of lack of evidence that they in fact had occurred. Why Gross uses the hypothetical "maybe" or "probably" for certain scenes becomes more transparent on such consideration. Each of the main scenes presented by Gross as having taken place on July 10th, 1941 are developed to produce a deliberate dramatic effect, and are intended to create a climate of growing suspense - much as one would find in a movie. Consider the first scene - the congregation of coarse farmers and villagers in wagons and horses - a massing crowd for some reason congealing in town (we are left puzzled but sense a first sign that something ominous may be underway) - then comes the next scene - a mysterious visit by the Gestapo to the Town Hall - we do not know what was said but clearly our suspicion is aroused even more - we become heedful (note that this incident is included despite the weakest evidence of when, and if it actually occurred) now follows an even more foreboding scene - the Germans, perhaps in a rhythmic, cadenced manner, are handing out sticks, whips, and knives to the local men (here again there is no real proof except for Gross' supposition). Suddenly, the next scene comes upon with a bloody shift to violence - we see Jews being pulled from their homes, pushed along streets to the town square - then the climax arrives the utterly vicious killing of the herded people is detailed- but it doesn't end with that- another more grotesque scene appears- the victims are once again prodded along a road. But to where? And what worse can happen? We watch with horror! What could be more terrible than that which has already befallen them- we watch this high pitched scene rend the heart - we see all of them callously pushed into the short lived safety of the barn followed by the diabolical pouring of gasoline - then a match is litAn effectively symbolic ending- meant to inhabit the memory- a holocaust in the very measure of the term- an extensive loss of life through fire.

The overriding problem with these powerful images is that they are composed of confabulation. There is some truth, some distortion, and some fiction; all bound together with a dramatic purpose. Where a basis for a scene is lacking, it is supplied from suggestion or by selection in the sources; where overwhelming data does not support a needed scene the data is simply ignored. The story progressively wets our interest and has us demand more- with gradually unfolding answers in accelerating tempo; as the next, and then the subsequent scenes are exposed to view. Just as the screen writer draws on real life events but exaggerates and skews them to mold melodrama - so has Gross produced a work that poorly correlates with an unprejudiced view of the record but is persuasively shocking because it contains all the progressive elements of good dramatic development, albeit still dressed in scholarly trappings. The most galling and impudent act in devising this storyline is basing it on Szmul Wasersztajn. Beside his dishonorable behavior, he was not an eyewitness to the events at Jedwabne; he was in a hideaway about two miles away when the pogrom took place. So we may quite confidently presume that his story, given to the Jewish Historical Institute in 1945, is at best a personal reconstruction from other accounts with a pastiche of his own biases thrown into the tangle. Incredibly, Wasersztajn whose testimony initiated the oma trial of March 31, 1949, never testified in support of his accusations, and his tall story was never independently corroborated at that time nor any time later. Two other accusers cited by Gross were shown at the trial in 1949 to be false witnesses. Abram Borszczak was proven to have never resided in Jedwabne; a fact confirmed by its residents, including a Jewish citizen of Jedwabne Joseph Gradowski - while the other witness Gross calls upon... Eljasz Gradowski- had been imprisoned for theft by the Soviets and already was in Russia in 1940. He returned to Poland in 1945. The court totally discounted their testimony as well as Wasersztajn's. Gross, to his chagrin, only very weakly admits to a mistake in calling upon Gradowski as his witness. In fact, professor Strzembosz has meticulously examined the records of the oma trial. He relates that after having completed the review, the details totally fail to confirm the Gross-Wasersztajn story. The accessibility of these court records since March and other evidentiary material recently unearthed have raised eyebrows about Gross' sense of fair play and his dependability as an interpreter of historical material. One further example of a fair-weather development of the Jedwabne account is the question of the 600 or so victims who were killed in the town square. That scenario is very problematic. On page 54 (all pages refer to the Polish edition) he claims that the Poles were allowed eight hours by the Germans to carry out the Jedwabne pogrom and because they were unable to fully complete this "job" as dusk approached (page 70) they resorted to burning the remaining 1000 Jews in Sleszynski's barn (page 64) just outside the town. However, a more finely grained examination reveals some truly perplexing dissonance in this scenario. How is that? Let us see what must follow if we accept Gross' eight hour scenario and the consequent burning. According to his calculations on page 63 there were over 200 Christian participants (even without the farmers and villagers mentioned by him who came from outside Jedwabne). Allowing 2 hours for the preparation and the burning of the barn, we are left with a possible slaughter of about 600 Jews during 6 hours by over 200 Poles. With these numbers, calculation gives us one victim per executioner every two hours in order to massacre the 600 victims. It would mean a fantastically slow killing rate for what Gross characterizes as bloodthirsty and vengeful killers. These murderers were well-supplied with "sticks, whips, and knives" according to Gross, but other parts of his book speak of the use of other horrible methods and implements leading to acts of forced drowning and beheading. So we see here a perplexing gap between the fury as Gross describes it and the expected complete carnage it should have brought. Readers in light of these thoughts can readily determine for themselves the amount of credence they should place on the Gross-Wasersztajn version of this scene.

Following closely on this is the issue of the mass graves. Is there only one mass grave or is there another mass grave yet to be discovered? We are able to ascertain with a good degree of confidence that the burned victims from the barn are buried near it, although the exact number cannot be determined forensically because of religious barriers to unearthing the remains (however, preliminary scientific examination of the site suggests a burial area that is hard pressed to contain more than several hundred remains). The account given by Gross speaks of a clean-up of bodies in the town itself extending over two to three days, but he does not guess as to where these remains are buried. Such a time lag would constitute a serious delay and in a macabre way of speaking, would be a threatening public health problem. And so this partly countervails the argument that the same burial pit was used as for the burned victims. It is most unlikely that the barn area burial pit would be allowed to stay opened for two or three days as the already heavy decomposition of the charred bodies and the July heat would have posed a major peril. So there is some good reason to believe that a second or several other burial sites for the town square bodies would have been prepared. Yet, there is no indication that such exist! But there is another altogether different explanation for the town square victims and it is that most were actually not killed in Jedwabne. It is possible that several hundred of the healthier and more skilled Jews were selected out for labor and led away out of the town only to die later at German labor and concentration camps. After all, it is Gross himself who drops the hint that the Germans were interested in saving and utilizing skilled and healthy workers. Why not keep those whose labor could be well exploited. After the selection process, the remaining one thousand were considered expendable and were so treated by the Germans. An unlikely scenario? Possibly. Except that the known gravesite by the barn appears on close scrutiny to be relatively quite small to contain even a thousand remains let alone 1600, and there is total lack of evidence currently for a second or multiple locations for the town square victims. Under these circumstances, this alternative explanation becomes an eminently more plausible one. All the above considerations and reflections on the evidence acutely contest at many points and levels, the Gross-Wasersztajn version of the Jedwabne events. Indeed, the slow but steadily mounting layers of grounds to the contrary presage a rather difficult time for the story over the next months. Lastly, a brief word about Gross' exaggerated sense of importance and authority. The last sections of the Polish edition of his book contain an extensive statement of his academic credentials and affiliations, followed by another shorter part featuring a well-known rabbi's restatement of the Pope's "Christian contrition to the Jews". The first of these sections is quite unusual for a purportedly scholarly work; the normal practice is at most to state academic accomplishments and standing tersely and within 2-3 paragraphs. Gross' purpose here may be to overwhelm the Polish reader with his credentials and edge him into accepting his reconstituted account of Jedwabne. Unfortunately for Gross, our times are much too different today for that play to be effective. Poles sense and Americans understand that America's universities provide the world's finest technical and scientific training. They also clearly perceive the humanities and social sciences at these universities as hopeless hotbeds of ideological fervor. One need not search afar to see that there is more freedom of expression pulsating just beyond the campus perimeter and that open, respectable debate in our best colleges has been cast out and is only a lifeless relic of the more civil university community of the past. In this new context, Gross' active credentialism raises more suspicion than confers faith in him. Finally, the closing section quotes John Paul II's exhortation to seek the Jews' forgiveness for past sins against them - the problem with this quote being that it leaves the other half out. John Paul II also asked Christians to forgive the Jews for the sins committed by Jews against Christians.

Moreover, lest we forget, there is a much higher authority than the Pope's and one, which is the very source of righteousness. Its admonition is the stark cautionary verse of Mark 3:29. "But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit hath never forgiveness - but is in danger of eternal damnation". After all on this ancient earth, we need not be Christian in faith to divine that there is also an exigent recompense, which does not admit of gratuitous remission, for hubris and for trespass before the ineffable. It is too a most recondite yet explicit declaration of the fountainhead for the Decalogue's instruction which proscribes bearing false-witness against one's neighbor.

RE: "Neighbors", by J.T. Gross

Dear Sir/Madam, Enclosed please find an analytical review of the book "Neighbors" by Jan Thomas Gross published recently by Princeton University Press. We hope that considering all Gross' factual and logical lapses you will decide not to recommend his book as a reliable source of information for your faculty staff and students. Sincerely, Heralds of Truth, , 0000-00-00

Polish historians question credibility of witnesses cited in 1941 pogrom book

Copyright 2001 British Broadcasting Corporation BBC Monitoring Europe - Political Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring March 29, 2001, Thursday LENGTH: 552 words

HEADLINE: Polish historians question credibility of witnesses cited in 1941 pogrom book SOURCE: PAP news agency, Warsaw, in Polish 1118 gmt 29 Mar 01 BODY: Two Polish historians have questioned the credibility of witnesses cited in a book on the July 1941 pogrom in Jedwabne, northeastern Poland. One is said to have been in hiding at the time, another lived elsewhere and a third had been deported into the interior of the USSR the previous year, theyclaim. The following is the text of a report by Polish news agency PAP: Warsaw, 29 March: Prof Tomasz Strzembosz is seeking is undermining the credibility of the witnesses who are cited by Prof Jan Gross in his book "Neighbours" Sasiedzi on the extermination of the Jews of Jedwabne northeastern Poland, in July 1941 . Gross wrote in his book that "the first and most precise account on this subject is the testimony of Wasersztajn, dating from 1945." Meanwhile, historian Prof Tomasz Strzembosz has told PAP that Szmul Wasersztajn could not have seen the murder of Jews in Jedwabne on 10 July 1941, because on that day he was in hiding at a distance of 500 metres from the place of the atrocity. As Strzembosz stresses, in its justification of the verdict in the Jedwabne case after the war a court stated that "Wasersztajn was not a direct witness" of this event. Strzembosz cites the same court files upon the basis of which Gross wrote his book. (as the author of "Neighbours" writes, "we find successive descriptions of the events in the files of the Lomza northeastern Poland trials of May 1949 and November 1953..." PAP ellipses ). According to Prof Gross, other not credible witnesses cited by Gross are Abram Boruszczak and Eljasz Gradowski. Gross writes: "Eljasz Gradowski, describing the participation of particular people in the pogrom, states that they looted Jewish property..." and "Abram Boruszczak states in this context..." PAP ellipses . Meanwhile, Strzembosz told PAP, Adam Boruszczak did not live in Jedwabne at all and was questioned in this case after the war upon the instruction of the Lomza court. Eljasz Gradowski, on the other hand, was sentenced for theft in 1940 (during the Soviet occupation) and deported into the interior of the USSR. He returned in 1945 and, as Prof Strzembosz adds, "had nothing to do with the Jedwabne case". Tomasz Strzembosz reported that in the hearing of the case before the Lomza court in 1949 neither Boruszczak nor Gradowski were taken into account as witnesses by the court since "they could, at most, have heard about the crime ". The Thursday 29 March edition of the Zycie daily, citing the opinion of the historian Piotr Gontarczyk, also writes that "in writing his Neighbours', Gross based himself on testimonies and accounts that were not credible." "He chose those which matched what he wanted," Gontarczyk told Zycie. An investigation into the case of the mass-murder of the Jews of Jedwabne, who were burnt to death in a barn on 10 July 1941, is being conducted by the National Remembrance Institute IPN . The motive for the crime is said to have been revenge for "the participation of Jews in Stalinist repressions". Jedwabne was a part of those territories of the Polish Second Republic that were occupied by the USSR between 17 September 1939 and the German aggression on the USSR on 22 June 1941. During this period, NKVD terror touched many Polish citizens of various

nationalities. BBC, BBC, 0000-00-00 powrot

The unknown life of Jerzy Laudanski. According to J.T. Gross he was one of the ringleaders in the Jedwabne massacre.
translated by: Mariusz Wesolowski JEDWABNE - AUSCHWITZ - SACHSENHAUSEN The unknown life of Jerzy Laudanski. According to J.T. Gross he was one of the ringleaders in the Jedwabne massacre. By Adam Cyra, Rzeczpospolita, 02 Feb. 01 In the Rzeczpospolita issue of 27-28 January 2001 I read an article by Prof. Dr. Tomasz Strzembosz under the title of "The Ignored Collaboration". Its author rightly stresses the fact that, in the light of specific sources, the statements in Jan T. Gross's book don't seem to be completely true. For example, the author of "Neighbors" writes in detail about the trial of more than 20 inhabitants of Jedwabne in the Stalinist period, not stopping even for a moment to analyze its legality or the trustworthiness of the defendants' depositions recorded by the Lomza agents of the Security Office [UB]. One of the main defendants in the short trial in 1949, who was sentenced then to 15 years in prison, was a young man who was found guilty not of the participation in the murder of Jewish citizens, but of collaboration with the Nazi occupiers. After spending almost 8 years behind bars, this prisoner received an early release shortly after the "thaw" in October 1956. CRETINOUS BANDIT AND GENDARME ...Jan T. Gross writes about him: " of the younger, because he was only 19 at that time, but also [one of] the most brutal participants in these events", "a cretinous bandit", who "...together with Wisniewski and Kalinowski stoned in turn Lewin and Zdrojewicz"; and even that "...two of them - Jerzy Laudanski and Karol Bardon - became later the Schutzmanner in the German gendarmerie".[page references to the Polish edition of "Neighbors" not given] Jerzy Laudanski, born in 1922, comes from one of the most respected Polish families in Jedwabne. He is still alive, just like his two elder brothers, Kazimierz and Zygmunt. In December last I have recorded an extensive testimony of Mr. Jerzy Laudanski, an ex-member of ZWZ/AK [Home Army] and a former political prisoner of KL Auschwitz (he was brought there

from the Pawiak prison in Warsaw on 15 September 1942 and received the serial number 63805; very few prisoners from his transport survived.) Later, he was also imprisoned in KL Gross-Rosen and KL Sachsenhausen. His eldest brother Kazimierz has written to me in Jerzy's defense: "I, born in Moscow before the revolution, raised in Jedwabne until reaching maturity, am the eldest sibling in the Laudanski family. On the third day after the tragedy I returned from the Ostrow Mazowiecka district to my own in Jedwabne. A thick, fetid trail of smoke flew across our yard from the direction of Sleszynski's barn. One had to see then the frightened stares of the inhabitants and [hear] their muted voices. After grasping the weight of that occurrence, I decided to investigate its course, the behavior of the locals and the role of Germans. In various articles written on this subject the latter is not mentioned at all, there is also no discussion of the activities of the communist organization which, apart from the crime itself, influenced shamefully also the very lives of the inhabitants of Jedwabne. The patriotic motive is also totally ignored. The turn of events was as follows: On that day the Germans arrived in Jedwabne in a group, and immediately started realizing their criminal plan. They ordered the mayor to call a town meeting in the market square, around the statue of Lenin, including both Poles and Jews. People came because they had to. A large crowd gathered. In the meantime other Germans grabbed a Polish teenager from the street, took him to a warehouse, and issued him a container filled with gasoline. Yet other Germans were looking for a suitable barn outside the town. They found such a barn on the Lomza side but its owner, one Jozef Chrzanowski, who could speak German, begged them [to leave it alone] and then they found another barn, the property of Bronislaw Sleszynski, near the kirkut [Jewish cemetery]. The epilogue wasn't known to anybody until the end. The crowd went without resistance. One could expect anything from the Germans, but the burning alive of so many people was a terrible surprise. EXCESSES OF THE COMMUNIST MILITIA A communist organization [in Jedwabne] had been in existence for a long time before the outbreak of the war. When, after 17 September 1939 [the beginning of the Soviet invasion of Poland - MW], this cell organized, as if during a revolution, a ruling voluntary militia, it was joined by a few Poles; the majority of its members were communist Jewish youth. The older strata of the Jewish society were against the excesses of this group. And here it is necessary to differentiate between the communists and the Jewish community. Toward the latter the Poles did not feel enmity because there were no reasons for it. But insofar as the Poles felt sorry for the Jews as a whole, they were also convinced that the Jewish communists had gotten their just desserts. Already in the autumn of 1939 the communists began arresting people, for example, they threw our father in prison for his cooperation with the local Catholic priests - he was a member of the church construction committee, and during open meetings he read aloud various political appeals. They arrested the school principal, Bronislaw Skarzynski, for giving the youth a patriotic education. Together with the NKVD, they compiled lists of families condemned to deportation to Siberia. My mother with two of my brothers managed to run away into the woods at the very last moment. Similar things were happening to many other Poles. And now patriotism... The very existence of the [Polish anti-Soviet] guerrilla movement, the death of our aunt in a fight with the Soviets, as well as the deaths of other local Poles speak for themselves. Just like in Warsaw the Poles assassinated Kutschera [a high Gestapo official. MW], in Jedwabne they killed a similar executioner, Shevelov, the vice-commander of the NKVD.

My brother Jerzy, so violently condemned (by Jan T. Gross - AC), right after the crime ran away to my home in the Ostrow Mazowiecka district, where later on, on the night of 28 May 1942, he was arrested by the Germans and, as a political prisoner, he survived the Pawiak prison, Oswiecim [Auschwitz], Gross-Rosen and Sachsenhausen. He wasn't petted there, but he did not denounce anybody. To me - and not only to me - he will always remain a hero. Our uncle Franciszek, the commander of the local "Strzelec" organization [veterans of Pilsudski's Polish Legions - MW], also was hiding at my place and also ended up in Auschwitz. In turn, another uncle, Aleksander Tyszkiewicz, chief of the Treasury Department in Bialystok, was shot along with his wife and a child by the Germans. Just like the entire Polish nation, we suffered under the Germans, under the Soviets and under the Polish People's Republic. THE TRIAL - 1949 The trial of the people accused of participating in the Jedwabne crime, which took place in Lomza in 1949, can be also called a crime. The very same communists from Jedwabne - Poles, driven by personal vendettas - became witnesses and accused everybody who ever had crossed them; for example, Stanislaw Kozlowski, a commonly respected Pole, whose daughter was the wife of a Lomza judge and whose son was inspector-general of schools in Torun, found himself among the defendants. My father also was accused of participating in that crime, although at that time he was just brought back from the [Soviet] prison in Lomza, and he was bedridden with numerous body swells and boils. We don't have to be ashamed of our family name. My brother Zygmunt was a reserve junior lieutenant. Marshal Pilsudski used to surround himself with officers from our family. Ignacy Moscicki, President of Poland, personally asked the Lomza subprefect to employ me in the local administration. Today, among the younger generation and among our children and grandchildren, there are many teachers, engineers and doctors, in Poland and abroad, and two of our relatives hold the highest academic degrees. We always have been ready to serve our country - "pro publico bono" ["for the public good"]." I would also like to add that in the Archives of the State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau in Oswiecim there is preserved an official camp photograph of Mr.Jerzy Laudanski, and that he himself has enriched our archival collection by donating this year seven preserved camp letters sent by him to his relatives from Auschwitz, Gross-Rosen and Sachsenhausen. Doctor Adam Cyra is an employee of the State Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau.

dr Adam Cyra, Rzeczpospolita, 2001-02-02 back to the english home page Jedwabne and the Will to remain ignorant, George! by Stanley Naj
original web page by: Polish American Congress History has never been George Will's forte - baseball - maybe? He had to cheat when coaching a presidential candidate, Ronald Reagan, by resorting to the use of a stolen classified Carter White House document. In his July 9, 2001 Newsweek column, he outdid himself when he commented upon a book written by a discredited scholar, Jan Gross, a former communist, now residing in the

West, to insult an entire nation and emigres of Polish origin. Mr. Gross, in a desperate struggle for recognition, revived a fictionalized report made in 1948 by a Soviet-controlled Polish Security Office (U.B. - Urzad Bezbieczenstwa) agent named Wasserstein, who, in order to arrest former members of the Polish underground, created a false report in which he charged that the former underground fighters helped the Nazis kill "Russian" Jews in the town of Jedwabne, Poland . Consequently, innocent Poles with no chance for defense were killed or incarcerated for many years. In those days an accusation made by a KGB agent was the proverbial "kiss of death." Mr. Gross took the story one step beyond. He accused the entire town of Jedwabne of participation in the crime. Mr. Will in his column willingly concealed this and other historic facts behind the incident to accentuate his support for Mr. Gross' unfortunate meanderings. Therefore, some history needs to be resurrected in order to illustrate what George Will was unwilling to discuss or reveal. During the period of endangerment from the Nazis, 1933-1945, most European peoples and nations succumbed to fear and collaborated with Hitler or Stalin or both. Jews collaborated with Stalin and Hitler - Poles did not. Jewish collaboration with Hitler, destructive as it became, began in April of 1933 with a famous Memorandum supporting Hitler's anti-Semitism and was followed up by the August 27, 1933 Transfer Agreement signed by German Zionists-Revisionists and the Nazis. The agreement permitted affluent Jews to remove their wealth from the Nazi governed territories. These two acts guided Nazi-Jewish relations throughout the Nazi period in Germany, Poland and elsewhere, permitting wealthy Jews to escape the dangers of the occupation but exposing the vast majority of poor Jews to Nazi/Zionist-Revisionist manipulations, suffering and death. The principals even opened emigration offices, staffed by Nazis and their Zionist-Revisionist proxies, in Vienna and Prague immediately after invasions of the respective countries. On the eve of the signing of the infamous Ribbenthrop-Molotov Agreement on August 22, 1939, Hitler, meeting with his generals, issued an order to "liquidate Poland and Poles and make lebensraum for the Reichsdeutsche." This order was issued for Poland and Poles not Jews, French, Danes or anybody else. It was the only order of its kind given by Hitler and it commanded all of the Nazi forces to liquidate the Polish nation and nobody else. For Jews, even as late as the 1942 Wannsee meeting, the Nazis outlined expulsions as the "final solution", not liquidation. On September 1, 1939, Hitler gave an additional order under Operation Tannenbaum - to kill Polish intellectuals immediately upon capture and forbade the inclusion of any Pole in any official organization - military or civilian. Hitler rescinded this order only in August of 1944. It is this order that makes Mr. Gross' lie and Mr. Will's naivet so obvious and the proof of its

significance is reflected in the recruitments for the Nazi SS in various countries. These numbers were provided by the German SS Pension office in 1993. This Office continues to pay out funds even today: Holland 5,000 recruits for the SS. France 5,000 recruits " Belgium 4,000 recruits " Denmark 2,000 recruits " Norway 2,000 recruits " England 100 recruits " Poland None Jedwabne and the Soviet Occupation. On September 17, 1939, the Soviet Union came to aid the Nazis, whose campaign against the Poles was running out of steam. The Soviets captured 46.5% of the Polish territories and stopped the Polish military from regrouping and continuing their struggle, especially in the North where Polish troops had successfully arrested Nazi advances. On September 28, the Nazis and Soviet Russia partitioned Poland. Each began to organize the territory to its political advantage. Hitler divided his acquisition into three parts. One section, the northern sector, was absorbed into the Reich and cleared of any Poles immediately. The second part was converted into three protectorates for the Polish population and its two major ethnic groups representing at least 10% of the total population: 1) General Government, with its capital, Cracow, is designated for Poles, 2) Judenland, with its capital, Zamosc, for European and Polish Jews, and 3) Ukrainian Reserve for Polish Ukrainians. Lastly, the Zakopane territory was given to Slovakia for its assistance in the attack on Poland. The third ethnic group in Poland, which also composed 10% of the total population, was the Polish Germans. This group, like the Jews, began to collaborate with Hitler almost immediately, and by 1935 Hitler decorated its representatives with Iron Crosses, a military award for valor. Hitler referred to them as Volksdeutsche. Jews collaborated with the Nazi invader through the Nazi approved Councils, Jewish Police and spy networks, such as the infamous Department 13 run by Nossig. (Department 13 was part of the Gestapo. Krzysztof Janiewicz) In the years 1939-1943, the Nazis set up 108 camps for the Polish - not Jewish - population. During the initial years, Auschwitz was for Poles, not Jews. Polish men, women, priests, nuns, children under 12 and children 12 to 16 were placed in specific camps to serve the "needs" of their new master - chief among them the murder of the leaders and deportation of Polish children who were endowed with Aryan features to the Reich. The Jews organized themselves in ghettos led by Nazi-approved leaders such as Czernikow and others. The Ukrainians formed SS-Units such as the Galizien-SS or guard units like the

"Trawnikimanner" to assist the Nazis in various operations. The Volksdeutsche, the Polish Germans, received their German citizenship upon signing a document and joined all levels of the Nazi killing machine. Some of the smaller ethic groups in occupied Poland such as Lithuanians and Latvians joined their national counterparts in servicing Nazi needs. Despite all the pressure, Poles did not collaborate! They organized themselves under the leadership of the Polish Government-in-Exile in London and fought their invaders - Nazis and Soviets, only to be betrayed by the British, French, Americans and in their own country their "neighbors" Jews, Ukrainians, Polish Germans and a host of smaller ethnic communities. In the Soviet partition, immediately after September 17, 1939, one ethnic group began to collaborate with the Soviet invader - the Polish Jews. Of the 3.1 million Polish Jews, 1,222,000 lived in the territories taken over by Soviet Russia. Between September 17 and October 22, 1939, they helped the Soviets identify Polish civilian and military leaders and intellectuals and assisted with deportations of about 1.5 million Poles into the Soviet Union's Siberia as well as helped in the murder of at least 100,000 Poles on the spot. Mr. Will does not dare to mention Jewish collaboration of the Jedwabne Jews or any other eastern community with Stalinist forces, but nevertheless this factor is the main cause of the Nazi action in that town. Jewish collaborators, along with identifying their neighbors, Poles, for deportation or murder helped the Soviets organize and conduct a plebiscite. On October 22, 1939 the Soviets rammed through a plebiscite which overwhelmingly favored the annexation of Soviet-occupied Polish territories into the Soviet Union. A week later, the Soviets annexed 46.5% of Poland into the Soviet republics of Belarus and Ukraine. British journalists, who were present in the territories of Soviet occupation, in their reports to their respective journals confirmed the betrayal of Poles by their "neighbors" - the Polish Jews. All inhabitants of the annexed territories instantaneously became citizens of the Soviet Union, the Polish currency, the Zloty, was declared worthless and all of the administrative jobs in the new Soviet territories were given to the collaborators. The persecution of ethnic Poles under the new administration intensified. After killing all of the Polish administrators and military men, the bloodthirsty collaborators started murdering old men, veterans of World War I and the Polish-Soviet War of 1921-22 in which Poland was victorious. Families of those killed were deported to Siberia. However, Hitler was running out of resources after his escapades in Western Europe, and the Soviet Union seemed to be the only easy target left for him. Rich in badly needed natural resources, it had to be taken immediately and he attacked it on June 22, 1941. Plans were drawn up and on June 6, the organization of four Einsatztruppen (Security Troops) A, B, C, and D was approved. These units followed the military forces purging the German occupied territories of Soviet Commissars and other "aparatchiks." Jedwabne was one of the towns which was occupied by the Soviet Union in September 1939. In October, after the plebiscite, the Jewish collaborators purged the Polish administration, killing or deporting all of its leaders and were given their jobs as a reward.

As an expression of devotion to their Soviet masters, the Jewish collaborators erected a statue of Lenin in the town. After the Nazi military machine rolled through the territories, the Einsatztruppen arrived. They gathered local communists and their sympathizers and began to destroy them in the manner they saw fit. They also demolished the Lenin monument. Their crime, committed against the Jewish Soviet collaborators in 1941 was not any different than those which took place from September through December of 1939 and were previously committed exclusively against Poles. In many towns, Bydgoszcz and Leszno being chief among them, the German troops killed over 5,000 Poles. In the same period, another 384 Polish towns and villages were completely destroyed inhabitants and property. Lastly, the documentation examined by scholars in Ludwigsburg, Germany, Warsaw, Poland and Stanford University in California show that the Einsatztruppen action taken against the Jewish collaborators was a Nazi responsibility. The Nuremberg Trial records, which contain the testimony of 22 Einsatztruppen commanders, clearly show a German pattern of murderous behavior. Further, Hitler's order of September 1, 1939 is key in refuting the unfortunate claim by Mr. Gross and Mr. Will. No Nazi would disobey the Fuehrer. No Pole committed any crime in Jedwabne on July 10, 1941. Mr. Will is just wrong. On the other hand, a crime was committed by Mr. Will in his column. However, no punishment will erase what he did. He casually dismissed the suffering and martyrdom of 26 million Poles at the hands of Hitler and Stalin to sensationalize the tragedy that befell less than 100 collaborators. It seem now, more than before, that Mr. Will's forte is baseball. Stanley Naj, , 0000-00-00 powrot

"LIVING IN POLONIA" - MORE "BIRDS"? T. Ron Jasinski-Herbert

"Polonia Today is known for it's incisive and often hard-hitting columns, "Living in Polonia," by its editor, T. Ron Jasinski-Herbert."


As we had suspected would ultimately happen, some Poles and Polish Americans are discovering

the truth about the Jedwabne incident and are attempting to inform the public. Hopefully, we played some part in the revelation. You will probably recall that Jerzy Kozinski authored "Painted Bird," the supposedly autobiographical tale of a young Polish Jew, who avoided the murderous instincts of the Nazis only to suffer at the hands of his fellow Poles. Well, that little epic turned out to be a total fabrication, the author and his family actually owing their lives to the decency of Catholic Poles. The facts are not all in and the investigation is ongoing, but it is already becoming clear that Jan Tomasz Gross' book, "Neighbors," supposedly the product of honest research, shares at least some the lack of respect for veracity as the "Bird." Gross relies primarily on the testimony of one so-called eyewitness, although there is even some evidence that his witness was not actually close enough to the scene to actually see anything. There is other testimony, but the author has a variety of excuses for dismissing it. Naturally, if the testimony comes from a Christian Pole, it is automatically deemed untrustworthy. Likewise, Gross considers any discussion of Polish-Jewish relations in Jedwabne to be extraneous, unworthy of serious discussion. That, of course, eliminates notice of the fact that Poles and Jews lived peacefully as neighbors in the town until the Soviets arrived. At that point, although Gross avoids the notion, many of the town's Jewish inhabitants happily accepted leadership of the town and turned over their erstwhile neighbors to the communists for interrogation, deportation and death. Well, that is not worth talking about, is it ... The victims were merely Poles. There is no question that Jews were mercilessly murdered at Jedwabne. There should also be no question that the relatively few participating Poles did so in revenge, providing a motive other than mere prejudice and hate. As is almost always true in Polish history, the problems that arose between Poles and Jews in their shared homeland were occasioned by political, rather than religious or racial, motives. Having been murdered, the Jedwabne victims surely do not care about the motivation, but it does explain a great deal about what happened there. We make no apology for murderers. As every Pole we have heard, we condemn the vicious, mindless slaughter that occurred in Jedwabne. If any of the Polish perpetrators are still living, they should be exposed and punished. At the same time, we deplore the use of the incident for the promulgation of anti-Polonism or national extortion. Those, too, in our eyes, are disgusting crimes for which those responsible should be held exposed and held accountable. Original T. Ron Jasinski-Herbert, Polonia Today, 0000-00-00 back to the english home page


translated by: Mariusz Wesolowski The following news report has appeared at the Radio ZET website (for the original in Polish see ):Radio ZET, March 26, 2001 MURDER IN JEDWABNE: NEW DOCUMENTS FOUND! The Central Directorate of State Archives, together with the Council forPreserving the Memory of Struggle and Martyrdom, make public the so farunknown documents related to the crime in Jedwabne.These documents reveal that the crime was part of the German policy to exterminate the Jewish population. Mrs. Daria Nalecz, from the Directorateof Archives, also has stressed the fact that in Jedwabne some Poles were killed as well; this puts a completely different perspective on the Polishparticipation in this murder.The documents in question, as well as the testimonies of witnesses to theseevents, have been presented at a press conference [...] from the Radio "Bis" (other translator): According to the daily news broadcast by Radio "Bis", Professor Daria Nalecz announced the discovery of new documents related to Jedwabne. These documents are testimonies of witnesses to the muder of Jews, deposited in 1947, that is, one year before other [i.e., quoted by Gross] Jedwabne relations. Twenty eight depositions include nine made by Jews. They all state that the crime has been committed by Germans. The daily news at the Polish Radio Program Three quoted the director of the Modern Documents Archive [Archiwum Akt Nowych] in Warsaw confirming the find of 28 depositions about Jedwabne. They are unanimous in pointing out Germans as the culprits. They contain no mention of Poles and their collaboration. The nine Jewish testimonies include one by a man who has been marched in the column of Jews to the barn, and managed to run away at the very last moment. He also blames the Germans and doesn't mention the Poles. Another deposition indicates that in Jedwabne also died several Poles." Radio ZET, Radio ZET, 2001-03-26 back to the english home page

Antipolish campaign continues correspondence from Belgium Christopher Skotnicki Polish-Belgian Association

It becomes a tradition that a Belgian daily newspaper Le Soir presents Poland and the Polish nation in a negative light concerning Polish-Jewish relations. Today s article (9 June 2001) written by a Jewish writer Pol Mathil is another example of that anti-polish campaign. The content of that article sheds doubt on the credibility of the author, as well as the daily Le Soir . In an earlier published article in Le Soir of 23 March 2001, Mathil, writing about the Jedwabne massacre, supports the thesis of Jan Gross who stated that 1600 Jews were pushed into a barn and burnt alive by their Polish neighbors. In today s article Mathil recalls the statement of the Institute of National Memory in Poland (IPN) saying that some 250 Jews were pushed into a barn

and burnt alive by the Poles. He does not mention other discoveries, essential to the Jedwabne affair such as: 89 Mauser bullets 7.5mm, and other objects found during the exhumation in Jedwabne site, which could only be possessed by German officers. These details considered unimportant by the author, change dramatically the whole incident, indicating an active role and engagement of German officers in the tragedy this fact is systematically ignored by Mathil. If Mathil s statements from few months ago show up so obviously wrong today, after an only partially completed investigation, what will happen soon to his current revelations so boldly pronounced. His selectivity in view of the professional ethics becomes nothing more than mere manipulation, which arrogantly falsifies the historical truth. It became a fashion today to accuse individual people as well as entire nations of anti-semitism. The Poles are not the only ones in the boat. This anti-semitic mania is being created by a group of people, trying to make a fortune on the The Holocaust industry , as rightly named by a Jewish author Norman Finkelstein in his book with the same title. This fortune-making on an alleged antisemitism is carried out at the cost of accused nations as well as of the Jews themselves. Finkelstein reveals how the process of gaining money and power is done by those who had little or nothing at all to do with the Holocaust suffering. In addition to the above, another fact is astounding: how easy it is for descendents of a nation that once was a victim of a nazi terror to take a role of an executioner. What is meant here is all the evil that Israel allows itself doing in relation to the Palestinians and the Lebanese. Another Jew, Josef Ben-Eliezer, talked about it in his interview on BBC. In his book Lost art of forgiveness he writes how serving as a soldier in Israel after the WWII he was a witness to a continuous terror on the Palestinians performed by the Israeli army. Not being able to live with it any more, he left the country and settled down in Germany. To this day, he cannot understand how a nation that once has suffered so much becomes itself an instrument of terror. It is a matter of time that the Jews be forced to bow their heads and face the truth about themselves, he says. All this sheds a serious doubt on Jewish credibility on the international arena. Will the old saying: He who uses a sword, vanishes by a sword come true? Christopher Skotnicki Polish-Belgian Association Christopher Skotnicki, Polish-Belgian Association, 2001-06-10 powrot


translated by: Mariusz Wesolowski The investigative unit of the National Remembrance Institute (IPN) will ask the Byelorussian prosecution authorities to open an investigation into the [war] crime committed at Naliboki in the Nowogrodek district. The [Polish] investigation of this crime has been conducted since April 1996 by the District Commission for Prosecuting Crimes against the Polish Nation in Lodz. The Lodz IPN reopened it

on March 20, 2001. The crime has been brought again to light recently by the Polish Canadian Congress. According to the current results of the investigation, in Naliboki, during the night of 8/9 May 1943, Soviet partisans massacred the Polish population. 128 men and 3 women were killed. These people were led out of their homes at night, and shot. Their property was stolen, and their homes burnt. Apart from the massacre in Naliboki, the IPN wants to investingate also the shooting of 10 people in the village of Derevno (December 1943), and the execution of 19 soldiers of the Home Army (AK) in Kamien (May 1943). Note: The circumstances of the Naliboki massacre, in which participated the Jewish units "Jerusalem" (commander Bielski) and "Pobeda" (commander Zorin) are described at (pages 24-25 and footnotes) Mariusz Wesolowski PAP, PAP, 0000-00-00 powrot


translated by: Mariusz Wesolowski

Rzeczpospolita, 15 March 2001 Professor Tomasz Strzembosz believes that the testimonies of witnesses in the 1949 trial in Lomza, on which Jan Gross has based his account in "Neighbors", indicate a direct German participation in the murder of Jews in Jedwabne. "In these documents the Germans - Gestapo agents and gendarmes - appear frequently and in specific roles. They take an active part in the hunt for Jews all over the town, in guarding them at the market square and in escorting them to Bronislaw Sleszynski's barn, where they have been burned alive", states Professor Strzembosz. He refers to the testimonies deposited both in the course of investigation and later on before the state prosecutor, as well as to the transcripts of the actual trial, conducted in Lomza on 16-17 May 1949. In Strzembosz's opinion, the said testimonies (coming from the witnesses as well as from the defendants) clearly point out to the fact that the Germans have forced the Polish inhabitants of Jedwabne to participate in that operation, especially in watching over the

Jews gathered in the marketplace. "The documents note instances in which Poles have been coerced - either by threats of violence, or simply by the presence of German police - to participate in these happenings. Once the Germans moved away, some of those Poles run and hid. The testimonies speak, for example, about a man who got hit on the head with a rifle butt for refusing to guard the Jews. There are witnesses who have seen him afterwards, covered in blood, in the street," said Strzembosz. In his opinion it is obvious that the German presence and their direct coercion have been vitally important for the actual turn of events. Strzembosz described as surprising and disgusting the fact that "Professor Gross, who relied on the very same documents, did not mention the participation of Germans in this event, but rather presented the murder of Jedwabne Jews as an independent and voluntary act of the Polish community." Strzembosz also holds that the records in question are not sufficient to determine who on the Polish side has participated in the killings. He stresses, however, that "they allow to determine the approximate size of the group [of those involved] as containing less than 50 people." Original in Polish: Prof. Tomasz Strzembosz, Rzeczpospolita, 2001-03-15 LIES AND DISTORTIONS prof. JERZY ROBERT NOWAK
translated by: Lesaw Kawalec Jedwabne and the atrocities in former eastern Poland ( subsequently referred to as East Poland ) in 1939 - 1941 DISTORTIONS AND ILL-FOUNDED STATEMENTS A tide of anti-Polish campaign has swept through Polish media over the recent months that fell in line with the attempts to hold all Polish people accountable for the mass murder perpetrated on the Jews of Jedwabne in July 1941. The publication of 'Neighbours', an extremely biased and deceitful book by the Jewish American sociologist Jan Tomasz Gross, served as pretext. The Jewish author, disregarding the findings of the prosecutor's office, cramming lots of lies and distortions of truth in his generalisations based on a few twisted and dubious testimonies, sets out to put the blame for the massacre on the local Poles and play down the German involvement. This is, not surprisingly, used to create defamatory generalisations that place Poles as accomplices of Germans in the Holocaust, which can help Jews extort huge sums of

compensation Poland would be supposed to pay for the former Jewish assets. Let us bear in mind that Jews have already received billions of dollars worth of restitution for damages whereas Poles have neither been paid any by Germany nor obtained anything from Russia. Interestingly enough, Gross' tendentious and slanderous texts, which arouse justified criticism, have been hailed by the very influential philo-Semitic lobby in the Polish media as revelatory and demonstrative of Poles needing to repent as a nation in sackcloth and ashes once and for all. Maciej towski wrote in his article Przedsibiorstwo Pokuta / Atonement Inc./ ( Tygodnik Solidarno of 9 Feb. 2001 ): '' I am repulsed by the behaviour of 'national flagellants' who use every opportunity to whip their backs in the limelight so effusively that I am getting unsettled about their sanity (...).May it not prove that some of my fellow countrymen are setting up Atonement Incorporated.'' Also, what is a particularly sombre grotesque is that the most exclamatory demands for Polish contrition to make up for the alleged sins towards the Jews of Jedwabne are being voiced by the most needy of remedial education in the Polish history if not to say sheer ignoramuses in the subject ( like the polonophobe David Warszawski, the well-known tendentious Semitophile Rev. Micha Czajkowski, the philologist Maria Janion, the sociologist Jacek Kurczewski, the Wprost 'pen-hoodlum' publicist Jerzy Stanisaw Mac or the sci-fi writer Stanisaw Lem ). I will elaborate on their extravagances in a further issue of Gos in a text titled Parada kamcw i dyletantw / Parade of liars and dilettanti . Still, it is worth analysing in detail Gross' polonophobic mendacity on Jedwabne and East Poland 1939 through 1941 to show the extent to and presumptuousness with which the historical truth in Poland 2000 / 2001 AD is being distorted in an anti-Polish fashion. How Gross twists facts The historian Piotr Gontarczyk writes in ycie of 31 Jan. 2001 about Neighbors by Jan Tomasz Gross: '' Poles are depicted as the accomplices of Nazis in the Holocaust. They are worse than Germans, and murder Jews - their neighbors - in a gruesome manner. The only place that warrants a degree of protection from the Polish mob turns out to be a German gendarmerie post.'' In putting forward these most serious accusations Gross relies on a Jedwabne massacre Jewish survivor Szmul Wasersztajn's single testimony that is notorious for having been published in two versions differing about the facts reported. Wasersztajn's claims also contradicted the factual data gathered by the prosecution and reported by prosecutor Waldemar Monkiewicz in charge of this case. Monkiewicz said the Jedwabne massacre had been perpetrated by more than 200 ( to be precise 232 ) German gendarmes. Wasersztajn reported only 8 Germans partaking of the murder ( an immense difference ) and contended that they were just on-lookers of the massacre allegedly committed by the local Poles. The Monkiewicz files attribute a decisive role in it to those 232 ( not 8 ) German gendarmes whereas the group of auxiliary policemen of Polish descent participated only in secondary operations such as bringing the Jewish victims out to the market square and escorting them. The whole case ought to be reinvestigated - and it is under scrutiny of IPN ( the Institute for National Remembrance ). Any hasty generalisations based on a single dubious unsigned testimony ( by Wasersztajn ) and, at that, so divergent from the prosecution's settlements should be discarded offhand. As early as on 13-14 May last year when interviewed by Nasz Dziennik I pointed to Gross' scholarly inadequacy since in insisting on a version of events levelled against the Poles he had failed to mention any relevant Polish findings. I was particularly outraged at his complete omission of the accounts published by prosecutor Monkiewicz, former director of a Okrgowa Komisja Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich / County Commission for Nazi Crimes Investigation, who had researched the whole case thoroughly. Gross did not mention the above apparently because otherwise Prof. Monkiewicz's accounts would have shattered the edifice of lies that the author had laboriously constructed on the basis of the Wasersztajn's touched-up testimony. Almost six months after this interview Gazeta Wyborcza of 18-19 Nov. 2000 published an

interview by Jacek akowski with a reputable researcher of WWII Prof. Tomasz Szarota. He too voiced his reservations connected with the complete omission of the Monkiewicz settlements. '' Gross has skipped all Monkiewicz accounts,'' says Prof. Szarota, '' and I have doubts if Monkiewicz could have just made up those 232 Germans, the trucks and the person of Birkner himself ( i.e. the German Hauptsturmfuehrer SS said to have been in charge of the Jedwabne massacre - J.R.N.).'' Responding to Gross in Gazeta Wyborcza of 2-3 Dec. 2000 Szarota writes ''The name that often appears in his ( Gross' ) polemic is one of Waldemar Monkiewicz. This man has published several texts ( I know five of them ) on the Jedwabne atrocity. Gross says '' I had not come across Monkiewicz accounts before I wrote Neighbors and I don't wish I had.'' Whether Gross likes it or not the texts by Monkiewicz belong to the references of the subject and a researcher is obliged to acquaint himself with them before he passes any judgement including their rejection.'' Let us add that the scholarly approach of Gross as a sociologist is astounding. Apparently, he has no idea whatsoever how to investigate historical truth when he says he does not regret failing to familiarise himself with the writings of a prosecutor who had researched a case to which Gross dedicated his book. This is a pure bungle ! Gross' extremely tendentious generalisations have also been criticised by Dr Stanisaw Rado, historian, director of Archiwa Pastwowe w Krakowie ( the State Archives in Krakow ), and since 4 October the chairman of Kolegium IPN ( board of the Institute for National Remembrance ). A Polish Press Agency PAP dispatch of 21 Dec. 2000, held back by the majority of the most powerful media, quotes him as saying at a press conference about Neighbors by J.T. Gross: '' in terms of investigating the truth it is dishonest.'' In an interview with Roman Graczyk titled Pochopne sdy Grossa / Gross' jumping to conclusions / in Gazeta Wyborcza of 20-21 Jan. 2001 Rado gives a detailed account of his critique of the methods Gross has used, and charges him with scholarly unreliability. Rado is critical of the fact that: '' Gross mostly relies on the 1949 and 1953 investigations testimonies. You need to bear in mind how administration of justice worked in those years, how witnesses and the accused were terrorised, how easily one was pronounced guilty. In all probability Gross had neglected to verify all kinds of facts in German archives, e.g. the role of W. Birkner, the commander of Einsatz Kommando Bialystok. Rado, critical of Gross' bias, goes on to say: ''I protest against placing the Polish people alongside Germans as perpetrators of the Holocaust.'' and warns that ''The book is due for publication in the USA and Germany and there is justified concern that once more the public opinion in the West will be shaped by a simplistic image that is really unfair to Poles.'' Gross tendentiousness was strongly criticised by another Polish historian, currently resident in America, Marek Jan Chodakiewicz ( Kopoty z kuracj szokow / Problems with shock therapy/ in Rzeczpospolita of 5 Jan. 2001 ), who blames Gross for ''virtually restricting himself to examining Jewish memories and some Polish testimonies including those obtained from people who had been subjected to tortures by the security apparatus ( UB ) (...).'' Referring to a 1988 study by a Jewish author Icchak ( Henryk ) Rubin, Chodakiewicz quotes: '' the functionaries of Jewish Committees appointed by the communist party who took these testimonies indicated who the guilty were and what they deserved. Thus nearly all of the documents show identical judgement and are stereotypical in content and the way they were written. They give an impression of having been dictated. Their authors sought to ingratiate themselves with the organisers of testimony collection and quite often they were simply afraid of writing anything else than had been suggested.'' Two texts by Prof. Tomasz Strzembosz, the most notable Polish expert in the Polish war-time history, have turned the tide in the controversy surrounding Neighbors: the interview in Gazeta Polska of 17 Jan. 2001 and the article in Rzeczpospolita of 27-28 Jan. 2001. In the former, titled Szubienica i hutawka / The gallows and the swing he called 'unacceptable' the methods Gross had used in drawing accusations against the Polish community of Jedwabne for the murder

committed on the Jews. Prof. Strzembosz charged Gross with ''drawing too far-reaching conclusions (...) on the basis on scarce accounts.'' Particularly that these are of the kind that ''one can have doubts regarding their full credibility.'' Like M.J. Chodakiewicz, Strzembosz too criticised Gross for ''relying on communist security materials.'' According to Strzembosz there is evidence that the massacre in Jedwabne was perpetrated by Germans and not Poles, as maintained by Gross. Prof. Strzembosz also targeted his criticism at those ( individuals, as I previously stated, whose historical learning is close to zero ) who mindlessly accepted Gross' version of events ascribing the atrocity to the Polish community of Jedwabne. Strzembosz suggested much more indepth studies of the factual records of those times including taking up issues rarely spoken of which had had a profound impact on the deterioration of Polish-Jewish relations. He pointed to the military collaboration with the Soviets of bolshevik Jews in East Poland in 1939. In this context he spoke of an anti-Polish ''Jewish military rising in Grodno and the surrounding lands in Sep. 1939.'' The 27-28 Jan. issue of Rzeczpospolita featured a lengthy and thoroughly supported article by Prof. Strzembosz titled Przemilczana kolaboracja / Held-back quislingism ( on pro-Soviet activities of red Jewish communities in East Poland in the aftermath of the 17 September 1939, including their armed sabotage and murdering Polish soldiers and civilians who were fleeing east [ it had been extensively presented in Gos in a commentary by Antoni Macierewicz ] ) Prof. Strzembosz's text, very firm in tone, greatly facilitated clearing the paths leading to this difficult and shameful taboo that was withholding the emergence of truth about Polish-Jewish relations in 1939 - 1941. Just a few days later ( 30 Jan. ) ycie came out with an excellent text by a young historian Piotr Gontarczyk, author of a recently released brilliant myth-busting book about an alleged pogrom in Przytyk. Polemic towards Gross' conspicuous attempts to sanitise the behaviour of Jews under Soviet occupation Gontarczyk writes that the relations between the Poles and the Jews were very strained there, and apparently the pro-Soviet Jews were at fault. According to Gontarczyk: '' The picture presented in the preserved Polish (and also some Jewish!) testimonies is rather dramatic: the humiliating treatment of Poles, denunciations to the NKVD, participation of the "red militia" consisting of Jews from Jedwabne in Soviet terror. There are also descriptions of Jews stripping their Polish ( sic ! ) neighbours of their clothes on their way to gulag. (...) According to the Belorussian historians latest findings based on the extant documents from the years 1939-41 the Soviet administration, especially the units dealing with economic issues, contained a high percentage of Jews, sometimes exceeding 70%. It is worth remembering that the Jews quite often took over the positions of the arrested or deported Poles.'' Gontarczyk also attacks Gross for using poor and tendentiously selected ''sources, not having carried out due critique, repeated introduction of ill-founded statements and facts, omissions and distortions of whatever does not fit his preconceived theses, construction of historical narration built on stereotypes, prejudice and hearsay, failing to abide by logic and academic objectivity in scholarly argumentation, and finally passing groundless and unscientific metaphysical-ideological judgements. Due to the above failings the book by J.T. Gross cannot serve as basis for a serious discussion of our history and of the Jedwabne mass murder in particular.'' The 2 February issue of ycie contained a remarkable interview with Bogdan Musia, one of the most distinguished young German historians. Musia appraised Gross' book with strong criticism pointing to the many omissions and absurd theses, and criticised the tendentious generalisations that held the whole Polish society accountable for the Jedwabne massacre. He also reproached him for the pervasive whitewashing of the Jews ''responsible for the communist felonies, '' whose role has received due attention from much more impartial Jewish researchers, such as Ben-Cion Pinchuk. I am glad that it was in Gos ( of 3 Feb. ) that the so far most interesting reaction to Prof. Strzembosz's text has been published - a lengthy article by Antoni Macierewicz with full support

for the theses of the Polish historian who had protested against obscuring the picture of the Polish-Jewish relations. I have referred to Macierewicz's statements in Niedziela. I think that one of his main conclusions is of particular significance: ''The facts leave no doubt - Jews in Jedwabne like elsewhere under Soviet occupation constituted the core of the machine of terror, yielded until the very last moment Polish patriots to the NKVD and were preparing consecutive deportations to Siberia.'' I consider it extremely significant that Macierewicz condemned the so called ''Polish school of historiography'' some circles of which readily lay foundations for anti-Polish historiosophy while the others keep cowardly silent. I fully share his views, which are critical of 'a methology' of such historians as Andrzej Paczkowski, Krystyna Kersten or Jerzy Holzer, all profound whitewashers of communism. On my part I can add Andrzej Garlicki ( whom I have already condemned in Gos ) a true expert in obscuring and distorting the picture of Polish-Jewish relations, Jerzy Tomaszewski, and many more. While I agree with the point that Macierewicz makes, and which is the disgraceful general silence on the part of Polish historians, which obviously deserves condemnation, I do want to show a few exceptions to that rule ( other than Strzembosz, of course ). To name but a few: Prof. Ryszard Szawowski with repeated publications of Wojna Polsko-Sowiecka 1939 / The Polish-Soviet War of 1939, Prof. Rulka from Bydgoszcz, or several younger generation researchers e.g. the mentioned Jan Marek Chodakiewicz and Piotr Gontarczyk, but also Marek Wierzbicki and Leszek ebrowski with their valuable contributions. Let me remind the readers of my own publication of a year and a half ago titled The Forgotten Atrocities about the felonies perpetrated by bolshevik Jewish communites in the years 1939 - 1941. Besides, in two press texts - an interview in Nasz Dziennik, and an article in Nasza Polska and another book Spory o Histori i Wspczesno / Disputes on the Past and the Present I reacted to Gross' and his applauders' calumnies. That still does not make much of a difference though, and means no major reversal in the overall commonplace falsity and defamation since the names just mentioned are only a fraction of the total in the field. The stronger then the indignation which one must feel towards those pseudoscientists who, in Macierewicz's words ''bring dishonour on the profession'' since '' instead of settling facts [they] take part in a witch-hunt that victimises the Polish nation and attempt to blame Poland for the extermination of Jews under German occupation, 'forgetting' that its true perpetrators were Germans. '' Gross - a relapsing liar In the next issue I will have a closer look at the Jedwabne massacre and the prior felonies committed in East Poland 1939 through 1941. Now I will focus on his biography and his gradual evolution to polonophobic libellous practices as illustrated in examples. Born in 1947, when in high school Gross was amongst the founders of Adam Michnik's Contradiction Searchers' Club. Since 1965 he studied physics and then sociology at the Warsaw University and in 1968 he was arrested for his involvement in the so called 'March events' and subsequently expelled from university. Having emigrated from Poland with family in March 1969 he received a PhD in sociology in the USA where he went on to become Professor of Sociology, and later of Political Sciences. His first book published in 1983 titled W Czterdziestym Nas Matko na Sybir Zesali/ 1940 They Exiled Us to Siberia Mother did by no means foreshadow the Gross of today - a fanatical mud-slinger. This collection of accounts by deportees to Siberia, co-authored by Irena Grudziska-Gross, was a valuable source of historical reference. At that time Gross cared about impartiality in his writings and did not negate the problem of quislingism of large sections of Jewish communities collaborating with the Soviets in 1939 - 1941. This very book describes many instances of Jews denouncing Poles, victimising them, fanatical Komsomol ( communist youth ) Jews devastating wayside shrines, and casts light on the role the red Jews played in Soviet administration. All that later evaporated from his publications, which in turn took on an increasingly polonophobic and slanderous character. As early as in 1981 Stefan Korboski, one time deputy Prime Minister of the war-time

Underground Polish State and Government in Exile's Envoy to Poland, exposed anti-Polish lies of Gross in a large text for the Parisian Zeszyty Historyczne / The HistoryFascicles / journal ( vol. 58, pp 176 - 184 ). This little known text was about a book Gross had published in 1979 and which was chiefly meant for the English speaking readership pretty ignorant about Poland. It was titled Polish Society under German Occupation and contained lots of nonsense which he would not have dared to repeat in a book targeted at the Polish readers. It was then that his manner of overemphasising the martyrology of Jews and the simultaneous downplaying of Polish heroism and suffering found its conspicuous expression. To this end he set out to convince his public that the war-time Polish conspiracy was not particularly hazardous; on the contrary - it took place in very liberal conditions ( sic ! ). Korboski ridiculed a nonsensical claim that truly compromises Gross and which holds that ( p. 240 ) '' Yes, paradoxically, Poles enjoyed more freedom in 19391944 than throughout the century.... I think that you can safely assume that the multitude of underground organisations and conspiracies ought to be attributed in a large measure to the General Protectorate's war-time policies of political freedom. One may doubt whether underground organisations could have been set up and thrived had it been otherwise.'' In other words - Gross deems the greatness of the Underground Polish State and conspiracy to be no particular Polish achievement. We were so free under German occupation, weren't we ?! True, Poles did owe Germans an unheard-of extent of freedom in one respect - in ways of dying: of a bullet, noose, chopper, with plastered mouth etc... Stefan Korboski discusses much more nonsense of Gross' generalisations about the Underground Polish State and concludes that in wondering about the motives that pushed individuals into conspiracy Gross brings the whole issue down to the benefits it entailed. He contends that passivity was no protection from the occupant terror whereas underground membership made people more cautious, secured better identity documents, and in case one was exposed they were assisted in finding a new shelter and given fresh identity documents. Put differently, those people were driven by cool calculation. Finally , professor Gross having ventured into contemplating the underground budget informs the reader that the Home Army ( AK ) paid its soldiers a salary ( pay ? ), the highest amounting to 800 zlotys i.e. approx. US$ 18. This reasoning betrays Gross' ignorance about the reality of the Underground. Keeping out of it indeed did not protect you from, say, forced labour for the occupant in the General Protectorate or Reich nor did it prevent you being caught in the street or arrested in retaliation. However, a Pole deprived of freedom as a result of these operations was one of a mass and did not feel the very personal burden connected with their relationship with the underground. A mere suspicion of underground membership brought on you long-lasting investigation, tortures, prison and sometimes death, or a concentration camp at best. These were the ' benefits of belonging to the underground' As regards the 'salaries' paid by the AK they were paid to those who had to devote all their time to conspiracy and were unable to provide for themselves or their families. The pay was very modest and enough to satisfy the most basic needs. It was not equivalent to $ 18 but $ 6 - 18. As can be seen from the above Prof. Gross is in favour of the 'materialist', though not Marxist, interpretation of the drives that determine human behaviour and puts the way people act down to a hope for benefits and money. His inquisitive mind of a sociologist did not notice such selfimposing simple motivation as patriotism, spontaneous desire to fight German invaders, courage, devotion or love of homeland. Korboski was fiercely polemic with the charges, pervasive throughout Gross' book, that hold the whole Polish society guilty of anti-Semitism and indifference to the Holocaust. As a summary of his critical remarks Korboski wrote: ''Gross joined the circle of those American writers who feel

under solemn obligation to accuse the Polish Nation of what it has never committed.'' Make Poles odious to make money In his text published in Tygodnik Powszechny of 11 Feb. 2001 titled Mrs Marx's pillow J.T. Gross argues with the statement I used when interviewed by Nasz Dziennik that his texts contribute to the creation of a favourable context in which the Jewish claims for restitution for the realty and assets they lost in Poland would have a historical rationale. In an ironic tone he writes: ''I wasn't taken aback by this argument since in the ideological milieu close to Nasz Dziennik compounding Jews and money is quite common.'' Firstly, I am not a publicist of Nasz Dziennik but of Niedziela and Nasza Polska. Second, opinions that numerous attempts, including ones that use blackmail, are under way to justify incredible tribute squeeze to be imposed on Poland are being overtly voiced by some honest Jews too ( as opposed to the distortionist Gross ), e.g. Prof. Norman G. Finkelstein from the USA, ex-leader of the Jewish religious community of Gdansk Jakub Szadaj and others. Third, the first publicist to expose the true Gross' motivation in the Polish press was Prof. Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski writing for the Krakow-based journal Arcana ( vol. 5 / 1998 ). Reviewing Gross' Upiorna Dekada / Ghastly Decade 1939-1948 / Prof. Pogonowski suggests what could be his true objective: '' promoting a myth about Polish complicity in the Holocaust. Obviously it would be easier to extract money from descendants of the guilty rather than descendants of innocent co-victims.( ... ) On 118 small-size pages the author accuses the Polish Nation of complicity in the genocide of the Jews. A symbolic buzzard eating dead flesh is shown on the cover the Ghastly Decade 1939-1948. It resembles communist propaganda posters, especially the famous "spit-soiled dwarf of reaction'' of 1945. ( ... ) Gross, despite his scientific credentials, is practising propaganda in the spirit of the statements made by the Secretary General of the Jewish World Congress [Israel Singer]. (... ) Gross' propaganda helps those who make demands for ransom to be paid by the Polish Government to compensate for crimes perpetrated in Poland by the Nazis, the Soviets, and by common criminals."( original text in English found at this web site, L.K. ) Prof. Pogonowski proved that Gross had inter alia consciously falsified quotations. He writes that Gross has deliberately manipulated a piece of text by Dr Klukowski taken from his Dziennik z lat okupacji Zamojszczyzny / A diary of the occupation years of the province of Zamojszczyzna. Klukowski wrote about mass murders perpetrated by German gendarmes - 'ours' i.e. resident in Szczebrzeszyn and others who'd arrived from other cities to kill ). Gross, quoting the word 'ours' left out inverted commas '...' so that it would seem it was our Polish gendarmes who had murdered the Jews. Prof. Pogonowski writes: ''There were no Polish gendarmes during the war ! ( ... ) By ridding a word of quotation marks Gross distorts the text and suggests it was the Poles who perpetrated the genocide. It is a telling comment on the credibility of his book.'' Despite Gross' repeated denial the hidden agenda of his tendentious 'writings' is all too conspicuous. Even a leftist politician such as Ryszard Bugaj in his Prawda historyczna a interes materialny / Historical truth and material interest ( Gazeta Wyborcza of 6-7 Jan. 2001 ) writes that '' Another thing that will contribute to creating a black picture of Poland in the West will be the book by Gross ( ... ) Upholding claims about anti-Semitic Poland is also useful to justify demands that Poland pay restitution for damages (... ) The conviction that the poor Poland must under pressure from Jewish circles shoulder the huge financial burden ( and unjust reputation that hurts) can seriously harm Polish-Jewish relations.'' The issue was also raised by Maciej towski in the previously reported quotation from Tygodnik Solidarno of 9 February 2001. His warnings included the deplorable consequences that its [Neighbors] publication in the USA will entail because it will strike a blow to Poland's 'image of victim' of the war-time genocide. In towski's words '' in order to lay hands on the Polish cash the American attorneys must attack this image. Gross' book was a godsend (...) The Polish crimes will make it to the news. This news will inevitably have its moral impact on the New York judges investigating the complaint versus the Polish government.''

( PS as of next week Niedziela will be publishing a series of articles subjecting more then 60 Gross' lies published in his various texts to a detailed analysis ) JERZY ROBERT NOWAK translated by Lesaw Kawalec

prof. Jerzy Robert Nowak, Gos 7 (865), 2001-02-17 JEWS MURDERING POLES prof. JERZY ROBERT NOWAK
translated by: Lesaw Kawalec

Jedwabne and the atrocities in East Poland 1939-1941 (part II) And the Jews kissed Soviet tanks..... In the beginning let me apologise to the Gos readers for the inadequate information about the series of articles I am writing to Niedziela . They won't be about just 60 but as many as100 Gross' lies. On closer examination I have found many more than a hundred lies in his works. However, for the reason of space available I will focus on one hundred lies. The magnitude of cynicism and chutzpah on the part of this Jewish sociologist from the USA in distorting the truth about the Polish history and Polish-Jewish relations is outrageous. In his most recent publications Gross consistently promulgates a picture of a profound dichotomy between the two Nations, the Jews being like angels, who always fall prey to the 'fanatical and ignorant' Polish rabble surrounding them who, in turn, as a nation are guilty of complicity in the genocide of the Jews. Alongside with trying to create a myth about alleged collaboration of Poles with the German occupants, he is making an attempt to whitewash the behaviour of the Jews vis--vis the Soviets in East Poland in 19391941. Both in Ghastly Decade, published 1999, and Neighbors of 2000 he turns the picture of Jewish quislingism upside down and has stubborn disregard for facts. In Neighbors ( p. 104 ) he writes that the enthusiastic reception of the Red Army was by no means commonplace, and one can't tell why the Jewish collaboration with the Soviets in 1939-1941 should be seen as exceptional. In Ghastly Decade ( p. 66 ) he contends that even the few genuinely happy individuals must have stood out in the overall air of fear and dejection. His most ridiculous allegation ( Ghastly

Decade p. 66 ) is one that the Jews did put up triumphal arches ( which was commonplace - J.R.N.) to honour the Soviet invaders but they usually did so out of fear. Strangely enough, the other nations in East Poland were not overcome with fear with anything near this degree of jubilation. There are virtually thousands of testimonies which prove this, including the many accounts by Jews, apparently much more honest than Gross. Let us recall that the leader of the Underground Polish State himself - general Stefan Rowecki "Grot" - wrote 25 Sep. 1941: ''It became manifest that the Jewish masses all over the place, and in Woy, Polesie and Podlasie in particular (...) upon the encroachment of the Bolsheviks assaulted with all their fury local Polish offices, massively lynching functionaries of the Polish State, Polish activists (...) ( in A. bikowski, ydzi Polscy Pod Okupacj Sowieck / The Polish Jews under the Soviet Occupation 1939-1941 in Studies on the History of Jewry in Poland published by the ydowski Instytut Historyczny / the Jewish Historical Institute /, Warsaw 1995, vol. 2 p. 63 ). Let this immense pro-Soviet Jewish enthusiasm be illustrated by the fact, which Gross himself admitted ( in Revolution from Abroad , Princeton 1988 ) that it was only the Jews in East Poland who were in a very peculiar habit of kissing the Soviet tanks. No sources give any account of any other nations tarnishing their reputation by such pro-Soviet servility. In Gross' words ( Revolution...., op. cit. p. 29 ) '' even tanks were kissed. The Jews seemed to have a particular predilection for kissing tanks, and there is no mention of the Ukrainians or Belorussians sharing this fondness. A peculiar 'tank perversion'. Anti-Polish sabotage Can the alleged fear of the Soviets explain the collective participation of red Jews in East Poland in armed sabotage levelled against the Polish army in 1939. Let us not forget that it was the only army at that time that resisted the German Nazis. In the book published in 1999 titled Przemilczane Zbrodnie. ydzi i Polacy Na Kresach 1939-1941 / The Concealed Genocide. The Jews and the Poles in East Poland 1939-1941 / I elaborated on the extent of this Jewish sabotage ( e.g. in Grodno, Skidel, Ryszcza, Skaat, Koomyja, Izbica, Luboml ). Recently the Jewish armed treason was condemned by prof. Tomasz Strzembosz in Przemilczana Kolaboracja / Held-back Quislingism ( Rzeczpospolita of 27-28 Jan. 2000 ) who stressed that their occupation of towns and villages, setting up revolutionary committees there, arresting and executing Polish state officials, assaults on small and big army units ( as in Grodno ) were acts of rebellion against the Polish state. Prof. Strzembosz referred to the recent findings of another historian Marek Wierzbicki, who includes in his text an account of the armed struggle for Skidel, and of the Jewish rebellion in Jeziory, unna, Wiercieliszki, Wielka Brzostowica, Ostryn, Dubno, Dereczyn, Zelwa, Motol, Wopa, Janw Poleski, Wokowysk, Horodel, Drohiczyn Poleski ( here and elsewhere all in Polish transcription - L.K. ). No one saw a single German there, these armed operations were all directed against the Polish state. This was

armed quislingism, siding with the enemy, treason in the days of defeat. In my book, about to come out, titled Polacy i ydzi na Kresach / Poles and Jews in East Poland I will report more examples of Jewish armed sabotage against Poland elsewhere. It affected large territories of East Poland and truly stabbed the Polish army. Why does Jan Tomasz Gross holds all that back ? Apparently, the historical truth is meaningless for this whitewasher of Jews. What does matter is polonophobic prejudice and slanderous brainwashing. Among the most atrocious tokens of this pro-Soviet collaboration on the part of a number of Jews in East Poland were the assassinations of both Polish officers and the rank and file as well as ordinary civilians which they committed. These facts have been mentioned by Prof. Strzembosz and I also reported these in Przemilczane Zbrodnie / Concealed Genocide in a separate chapter a year and a half ago. Thus I will not give account of the murders described there such as the killing of the Polish student leaders at the Lww University of Technology for their alleged anti-Semitism or slaughtering the Dominican friars of the Czortkw monastery, brutally murdered by the Jews of NKVD. Here I will concentrate on some of the recently revealed instances of massacres of Poles committed by red Jews. I have collected these for the publication of Polacy i ydzi na Kresach 1939-1941 / Poles and Jews in East Poland 1939-1941,which is about to come out. After 17 September: murdered officers Ryszard Pedowski, brother-in-law of Tadeusz Piotrowski - the author of Poland's Holocaust, a valuable work on Poland during WWII - reported on the assassination of 12 Polish officers by the Jews in Grabowiec ( Hrubieszw county, province of Lublin ). In his account the Polish officers were murdered in the bakery of a well-to-do Grabowiec Jew called Pergamen. Then, another Jew, locally known as 'Kuka' ( water supplier ) transported the corpses to the cemetery and left them there in a ditch. When found, the dead bodies were dressed in nothing but underwear. The locals secured a Christian burial for them. "Kuka' was later poisoned - he knew too much.. According to Pedowski both the officers and the water supplier were murdered by the poor local Jews sympathisers of the communists ( based on Piotrowski T., Poland's Holocaust, Jefferson, North Carolina, 1998, p. 55 ) Prof. Piotrowski stressed that the Grabowiec murder of the Polish officers ought to be subjected to investigation. Let us ask then if it has been or when it will be brought to the attention of IPN ( the Institute for National Remembrance ) ? The Grabowiec case was also a subject of the correspondence I got from Bolesaw Boratyski of Grabowiec. He emphasised that the reason why 'Kuka' was killed was that he was too talkative about the massacre and complained he

had not been paid enough for his service ( Boratyski's account of 30 Dec. 1999, in my possession ) It was accentuated that these facts are well-known and still remembered by the people of Grabowiec. There are many scattered pieces of information about the atrocious treatment the Polish rank and file and officers received ( including murder ) from communist Jews. Julian Grzesik wrote in Alija o Martyrologii ydw Europejskich / Alija on the Martyrology of Europe's Jews, published in Lublin in 1989, that instances of Jews apprehending, disarming and sometimes killing Polish soldiers were reported. The author of this text has a first hand account of the murdering, in 1939, of a sergeant who had refused to hand his gun over to a Jew. J.K. Kuncewicz recalled in Tygodnik Kulturalny of 7 May 1989: ''On 23 September we were surrounded by the Soviet tanks and rushed to a mill in Hrubieszw. We were handled by the local Jewish militia, who demonstrated in a very vulgar fashion who was in power ( ... ) Most of those who did not risk escaping are on the Katyn list. Numerous Jews, not only communists, soon filled the vacancies in the Soviet administration assisting the NKVD in seizing Polish officers and administrative officials. A shocking account requiring further documentation was sent to me in 1999 by Rev. Pawe Piotrowski from Curitiba, Brasil. He wrote: ''Working for a dozen years in Rio de Janeiro I was the chaplain of the 9th Cavalry Regiment's retired combatants there. Their long-time president was Janusz Pawekiewicz. In 1939 he commanded the rear guard of one of the Polish units retreating to the south-east. Unfortunately, I cannot report any more detailed data but I know they are available in the London archive which has throughout the years been composed from the testimonies of the Polish soldiers fighting on the various fronts of WWII. He recalled his outrage on seeing banners welcoming the saviours from the East, who have not yet encroached on these territories. The unit Pawekiewicz headed strayed from the main forces, stayed behind so that a gap was created between him and the main group. Apparently that made the residents of Chem think there were no Polish troops any more, that all have escaped. On entering the town his unit made for a local school where the soldiers saw an appalling sight: on the floor of a classroom lay 12 dead bodies of Polish officers nailed down through the eyes and heads. The soldiers found a janitor and asked who had done that. He answered ''the Jews''. Questioned about the whereabouts of the murderers he said: ''Only Jews live in this street.'' It should be added that Janusz Pawekiewicz spoke about it in public, and more detailed accounts are to be found in the London archive I have mentioned. (... ) ( the text of the account by Rev. Pawe Piotrowski has been published in a Nasza Polska's column "Polish Holocaust' of 15 Sep. 1999 ) Ryszard Jasiski, president of the Towarzystwo przyjaci Frampola / Friends of Frampol Association /, reported in his story of the Frampol September 1939 some

passages from Jerzy Carwieniec Czerwiski's memoirs that give an account of the tragic events of end 1939: ''29 September two Jews of the 'Red Militia' brought to their station, based in a local school, an officer cadet - platoon commander - heading West across the Vistula on his way back from the East via Frampol . There the militants, with their leader A.R. 'Nuchym', when questioning him demanded that he remove the eagle from his cap and tear off his shoulder straps with platoon commander rank insignia. The cadet refused and when A.R. wanted to do it by force he reportedly hit 'Nuchym' on the face. The infuriated militia men skewered the Pole with bayonets, "Nuchym' himself excelling in sadism. This is how - not from enemy bluets but murdered by a Cain - died Wincenty Panasiuk, born 1912 in Opatw, student of the Warsaw University (...) In the night, afraid of the locals, they dragged the dead body to the so called 'priest field', dug a pit there in its north-eastern part behind what is now a water pump, cast him there, put a horse carcass on top and buried to cover up. The student Wincenty Panasiuk of Opatw was to have been a teacher and ironically he was murdered in a school. When the dead body of the soldier was dug out of the pit where he was to have been hid 'for ever' by the assassins, his uniform betrayed numerous stab wounds ( in Jasiski R., Frampolski Wrzesie 1939 / Frampol September 1939 - continued in a regional monthly Wok Frampola issued by Towarzystwo Przyjaci Frampola / Friends of Frampol Association, July 1998, vol. 3, pp 20-22 ). Mr Micha awacz in an account he sent me 29 July 1999 described an appalling incident of murdering, before his very eyes, of a young Polish soldier by a group of Jewish militia men in Chem. awacz recalls: '' ...arrival of Soviet tanks in Chem through flowered arches that the Jews had prepared, cordial welcoming of tankmen and soldiers.... The Jews go wild with jubilation... Suddenly all Jews from teenagers to forty-somethings have red bands on their arms. Instantly they rule the streets as militia, almost all of them armed with guns, clubs, bayonets and knives, craving for blood and murder. Their aim is conspicuous - looking for a victim. It was in the afternoon, about 6 p.m. We saw a band of a dozen or so Jewish teens attack with knives, clubs and bayonets a young soldier in the street we were going along. Each of the Jews wanted to have his share in the murder. They attacked him all when he was all alone. It was about 50 - 100 metres before us. We were walking in the same direction as the soldier. On seeing that and hearing the cries of the butchered soldier and the voices of the Jews I fainted. My father lugged me to a gateway in a house (...) and then onto the staircase where I came to (...) I still have this picture in my memory.'' You could go on and on with similar stories of Poles murdered by communist Jews. Krzysztof Jasiewicz, in his precious Lista Strat Ziemiastwa Polskiego 1939 - 1956 / Losses of Polish Landed Gentry 1939-1956, mentions Witold Rozwadowski ( 1912 - 1939 ) arrested alongside his father, most probably in September 1939. According to Jasiewicz, Rozwadowski was murdered in the Oszmian prison by his Jewish friend - a militia man in Oszmian ( cf Jasiewicz K.,

Lista Strat Ziemiastwa Polskiego 1939 - 1956, Warszawa 1995, p.887 ) Felicja Starosielec, in an account of 21 August 1999 she has sent me, reports that her brother was taken out of his junior secondary school, arrested, accused and shot by the Jewish militia. 22 Aug. 1999 Tadeusz Kalinowski of Skierbieszw, Zamo county ( powiat ), sent me a testimony signed by Jzef Chudzik of Majdan Sitaniecki which sheds light on the circumstances of murdering two young Polish soldiers about 17 Sep. When walking unarmed in uniforms they were killed by a group of armed Jews in Wierzba near Zamo. Mr Chudzik who witnessed the murder also refers to other witnesses by their names. Janina Dugosz-Adamowska in her account of 15 August describing the tragedy of her family from East Poland recalls her cousin Maria (maiden name Zborowski ) deported to Siberia and her husband Rudolf - killed by Jews in his home in Lww ( a doctor; professional competition to Jewish doctors and an 'oppressor' since he came from an aristocratic family ). Wacaw Zaczuk, in the account he sent me 26 August 1999, described an atrocious murder ,which must have been perpetrated for robbery, on a Polish woman and her child by a Ukrainian-Jewish patrol in the vicinity of Woynka in October 1939. Zaczuk, in September a defender of the Brze fortress, managed to get out of Soviet captivity with his friend Wadysaw Schlichtyn and was following the railway track leading to Wodawa. He writes: '' Going along the railway track near Woynka we saw a patrol of two people with guns at hand ( before he wrote it was a Ukrainian-Jewish patrol - J.R.N. ) following a path that led to the rail track (..). From the opposite direction came a woman with a little girl holding a loaf of bread in her arms. We estimated the distance at about 120 - 150 metres. We thought the patrol would first meet the woman. Still, we feel a bit worried - we decide to slow down. We see the patrol stop the woman, we hear no voices but in a while there are two shots ( ... ) The woman and her little girl died because she was Polish and had a fur coat. (...) Although it was so long ago I remember everything as if it had happened today - they were no more than 18-20 years old, one was a Jew the other Ukrainian.'' Massacres of prisoners Among the most gruesome atrocities that communist Jews perpetrated on Poles during the war was their active share in massacring Polish prisoners after the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Those were large scale massacres. The authors of a documentary monograph on the subject - Krzysztof Popiski, Aleksander Kokurin and Aleksander Gurjanow estimate that in the course of the hasty 'evacuation' of prisoners 20-30 000 Polish citizens, mostly Poles and Ukrainians, died. They were murdered both in prisons and during the evacuation

itself. According to Stanisaw Kalbarczyk, during the June 'evacuation' as many as 50-100 000 people died. E.g. only 90 out of 2000 survived the massacre in uck prison. On account of the massive character of murdering the Polish prisoners ( and Ukrainians too ) in prisons and during evacuation in June 1941 it is all the more important to investigate what those communist Jews were specifically responsible for in those massacres. And their role was deplorably significant. In the words of Mark Paul referring to the felonies of 1941: ''There are a number of authentic accounts that report on the local Jews in the Soviet service who participated in executions of the prisoners, repeatedly committed on a large scale by Soviet security forces in that period of time ( cf Mark Paul: Jewish-Polish relations in the Soviet-occupied Poland 1939-1941published in The Story of Two Shtetls, Brask and Ejszyszki, Toronto-Chicago 1998, part 2, p. 218 ). In Zbrodnicza Ewakuacja Wizie i Aresztw NKWD Na Kresach Wschodnich II Rzeczpospolitej w Czerwcu-Lipcu 1941 / Criminal Evacuation of the NKVD Prisons and Arrests in the Easernt Parts of the Second Republic in June-July 1941 you read accounts of bolshevik Jews murdering prisoners in uck, Oszmian and Woyn. Names - settled during investigations - have been published of some of the Jews who were on duty in the prisons where the massacres took place. Among others, there were Szloma Szlut, Karp - a Jewish woman, Mohylow - a Jewish driver, and a Krelensztejn, also of Jewish descent. Two Jewish women from uck excelled in brutality: Blumenkranz, aged 20, daughter of a shoe shop owner in ul. Jagielloska, and Spigel ( of whom little is known ). They shot prisoners in the prison yard. Apart from the massacres in uck, Oszmian and Woyn, other places where Jews have been reported to have murdered Poles include Czortkw, Tarnopol and around Brask. Rev. Wacaw Szetelnicki has written that 21 June 1941 at the outbreak of the German-Soviet war the retreating Soviets murdered the imprisoned Poles and Ukrainians. In the Tarnopol prison three Jews from Trembowla were identified to have been involved in genocide: Kramer -a horse cabby, Dawid Kuemmel, and Dawid Rozenberg ( cf Rev. Szetelnicki W., Trembowla. Kresowy Bastion Wiary i Polskoci / Trembowla. A Stronghold of Faith and Polish Spirit., Wrocaw 1992, p. 213 ). The names of the murderers are well-known. One can't help wondering whether the IPN ( the Institute for National Remembrance ) has launched an investigation of this case and, if it has, why does the general public know little about it ? Some shocking information about a murder that has been perpetrated on 40 Poles is to be found in a last year's text by Zbigniew Romaniuk. He is widely known for his systematic efforts to preserve the Jewish past of Brask and for

preparing the ground for a true dialogue between Poles and Jews. Deeply concerned about these aims he put too much trust a few years ago in the intentions of Marian Marzyski who was making the film Shtetl, which a couple of years later turned out to be slanderously polonophobic. All the more trustworthy then are the remarks made by Romaniuk, who when doing research on Brask in 1939 said: '' Gwna Komisja Badania Zbrodni Przeciwko Narodowi Polskiemu / Chief Commission for the Investigation of the Genocide Committed on the Polish Nation / is now investigating the shocking murder of 40 people of Ciechanowiec, Brask, and the surrounding areas. In June 1941 the NKVD accompanied by two Jewish policemen from Brask were escorting the group to the Biaystok prison. On their way they encountered military operations and had to retreat. Near Folwarki Tylwickie some prisoners were shot while others, for the lack of bullets, were skewered down with bayonets and battered to death with butts'' ( the text of W. Wierzewski's interview with Z. Romaniuk published in The story...op.cit, part I, p. 26 ) In a separate text Romaniuk reported some names of the people murdered then. They were: Helena Zaziemska, a Szlezinger ( maiden name Klukowska ) - both teachers, and a businessman Ignacy Poski. Formerly resident in East Poland Maria Antonowicz wrote to me in the account of 15 Aug. 1999 about the part Jewish militants played in murdering Polish prisoners in Berezwecz: '' almost all men in our group ( including my father ) were transported to the prison in Berezwecz ( in what used to be a monastery ) near Gbokie and that was where the ( in vain )crying-for-vengeance torture started. We know all that from my mother, now dead like most of my parents' generation, who would have had so much to say but had to keep silent for half of the century and in the end took most of the important facts concerning the 'white spots' to their graves. When Germans took Berezwecz over the local Poles looked for the near and the dear ones. In the prison they found mutilated corpses tied by wire and cast into pits. Some of them had no limbs, ears or tongues. In all probability they were atrociously tortured before death. As reported by witnesses the massacre was perpetrated by the NKVD and the Jewish militants. The ones who had not been murdered for the lack of time ( reportedly 2000 people ) were rushed east. (...) On the road next to the village Nikoajewo the NKVD murdered the whole column of prisoners (...) I do not know of a single instance of a Pole saved by a Jew, and there were opportunities to do so during the Soviet occupation or the years of the People's Republic. Nobody has even apologised to us for the Polish Holocaust ( except Germans ). Not only did We - East Poles lose our relatives but also lands, homes, remembrances of our family, all our assets and even graves, now covered by the dust of time so that any trace we left will be completely forgotten. (...) The Polish people know of the Jewish Holocaust, of Action Vistula ( 'akcja Wisa' ) but know nothing about Action Siberia. Poles are familiar with the Kielce massacre but do not know how many Polish kids died in Siberia of hunger and cold, or the blood bath that the victims of deportations,

prisons and gulag went through. And yet the Jews working for and collaborating with the NKVD and the communist security in post-war Polish People's Republic did largely contribute to this death toll and sea of suffering. The information reported by Mrs Antonowicz about the extremely brutal extermination of the Polish prisoners of Berezwecz have been confirmed in other sources, e.g. Prof. Ryszard Szawowski's monograph on the Polish-Soviet war of 1939, where he writes about the Soviets perpetrating atrocious tortures on the Polish prisoners before murdering them including mangling them, picking eyes out and severing limbs. Those examples are the tip of the iceberg of what communist Jews did to Poles in 1939 - 1941. These matters need to be further researched, investigated and verified. There are numerous accounts of felonies committed on Poles that need both verification and exposure of their true perpetrators. Below are some examples of such cases that call for close scrutiny, which I have selected from books, press articles and testimonies sent to me. A former resident of war-time Lww Zbigniew Schultz wrote to me in a letter of 28 March 1996 about the anti-Polish activities of the owner of the house where he lived - a young married Jew whose name was Schechter ( it was a tenament house in Lww at 10 ul. w. Kingi ). According to Schultz, Schechter, co-owner of the house, had a big grocery shop he shared with his mother and brother. Following the arrival of the Soviets in the city he joined the NKVD. His maid, a Jewish girl called Tinka, visited us those days and told us her master would come back home in blood-stained shirts. She argued that he was murdering political prisoners in the Lww prison. Wadysaw Pobg-Malinowski recalls that several officers and soldiers were assaulted at dawn and tormented to death by communists - Ukrainians and Jews ( cf Pobg-Malinowski W., Na Rumuskim Rozdrou / At Cross-road in Romania ( some memories ), Warszawa 1990, p.9 ) Pobg-Malinowski just gives information about the fact of the murder, while it is necessary that we discover the names of both the victims and the perpetrators. Another case in need of close scrutiny is one reported to me in a letter I got in 1999 from Tadeusz Maciejewski and describing the murder committed by the Jews on 4 Poles in Radu. Among the victims was Maciejewski's neighbour Bierecewicz. A murder in Brzostowica Maa More new facts about communist Jews murdering Poles in East Poland have come to light thanks to the historian Marek Wierzbicki in Polacy i Biaorusini w Zaborze Sowieckim / Poles and Belorussians under Societ Occuppation /

published in 2000 in Warsaw. Wierzbicki focused on the Belorussian collaboration with the Soviets but he also mentioned instances of some communist Jews murdering Polish officers, administrative officials etc. in the aftermath to 17 September 1939. He writes on p. 116 of his book that Godacki, a Jewish shoemaker from Sokka, shot three policemen. The same kind of murder was committed in Bogusze by Abel abdych on 24 September. Particularly appalling were the descriptions of murders of Poles committed by communist Belarussian ana Jewish marauders. On pages 70-72 he gives an account of an atrocious murder in Maa Brzostowica perpetrated by a communist band of Jews and Belorussians led by a Jewish trader called Ajzik. The communists of both nationalities murdered count Wokowicki with his wife, their son-in-law and the mayor, the secretary of the local council's office, a cashier, a postman and a local teacher. The victims were first made to drink lime whitewash and then thrown into a lime pit and buried while most of them were still alive. After that the communist felons trod on the site to press it smooth since the soil kept cracking. They did so until all the cracks disappeared. According to Wierzbicki, the murder of the Wokowickis must have taken place after the arrival of the Soviets in the district of Indura i.e. on 19-20 September. But in Kraysztof Jasiewicz's version the Wokowickis and the others were murdered in the night of 17 to 18 September. The NKVD not only did not punish the felons but rewarded some of them by taking them on to the militia ( ... ) Ajzik himself became the head of the co-operative, which even more strengthened his social position. Daniki, wisocz, Tomaszwka Poles have also been murdered in the villages of Daniki, Aminowce, Massalany, Szydowicze, Zajkowszczyzna. The murdered included Sadowniczy - the administrator of Daniki - his son and brother, Witold Beretti ( an Italian by birth ), the wife and the sister-in-law of Antoni Kozowski - the lessee of the Golnie estate, then Kozowski himself, two forest administrators of the Bispinga estate, and the administrator of the Zajkowszczyzna estate Apolinary Jawiski. As Wierzbicki put it in his book: ''the actions of those dregs are said to have been directed by a revolutionary committee of Wielka Brzostowica.'' Wierzbicki describes the operations of this committee, which was lead, by the way, by a Jew called ak Motyl ( or perhaps was it a nickname ? - J.R.N ) and consisted of Jews, Belorussians and one Pole. ( Wierzbicki M., op.cit., p. 76 ) On pages 86-87 Wierzbicki mentions criminal activities of a 'revolutionary committee' in a small town called Zelwa, organised after the armed rebellion by the local Belorussian and Jewish population which resulted in 12 Poles shot on 21

September 1939. According to Wierzbicki it maight have been then that the aristocrat Jerzy Bod, ex-parliamentarian, and Rev. Jan Kryski - the parish priest of Zelwa - were assassinated. Ukrainian and Jewish militants are reported to have murdered a teacher, resident near wisocz, and the station-master of wisocz train station, previously kidnapped. Wierzbicki ( op. cit., p. 98 ) referred to the account by a Jewish wood merchant Jachiel Szlechter of Tomaszwka, Brzeg county, which describes murders committed by bands of marauders ravaging the counties of Brzeg and Luboml, inflicting terror and violence on the refugees from the territories occupied by Germany. Szlachter writes that those marauders of Jewish, Belorussian and Ukrainian origin exterminated great numbers of the Polish inteligentsia that had managed to get across the border and whose bodies lie buried in the pine forest by the road leading from Tomaszwka to Poleniec and in Szack, 2000 metres away from the cemetery. Are the murderers of Polish people ever going to be convicted ? The examples given above indicate that in the years 1939-1941 there were numerous instances of communist Jews murdering Poles. The truth about that ought to be revealed now that there are so many defamatory attempts to show the Polish people as alleged accomplices of Hitler in the genocide of the Jews. One can't help being outraged at the passivity with regard to this issue after 1989 demonstrated first by the Gwna Komisja Badania Zbrodni Przeciwko Narodowi Polskiemu / Chief Commission for the Investigation of the Genocide Committed on the Polish Nation and recently by the IPN / Institute for National Remembrance/. Are the requirements of the pro-Jewish political correctness to be an obstacle to exposing and persecuting the Jewish murderers of Polish people ? Why should we avoid revealing the truth about the atrocious murders which communist Jews perpetrated on their Polish neighbours just because we should be particularly cautious about the sensitivity of the Jews - the victims of the Holocaust. We, as a nation, underwent Holocaust too - I lost my father then but nobody, and large sections of Jewish communities in particular, reckons with our sensitivity or remembers about our sufferings. Not only is the truth about our martyrdom being held back from the general public but an increasing number of revolting defamatory charges are being put forward against us. I have always been and I always will be in favour of investigating all instances of infamous behaviour on the part of individual Poles whether towards their fellow countrymen or people of other nations. All extortionists, all accomplices in genocide in the service of either of the atrocious totalitarianisms ought to be condemned. However, the remembrance of the Polish victims calls upon us to adequately demonstrate the genocide of the Poles as perpetrated by people of other nations, without any differentiation into the 'better' or the 'worse' ones, the more or less

'elect'. There can not be two different measures by which to judge. Let us remember and honour the memory of the Jewish officers and the rabbi Baruch Steinberg - the victims of Katy. But do not let us fail to expose the responsibility of Jewish prosecutors from Kozielsk or Starobielsk ( all three town names being the most prominent symbols of the Soviet extermination of the Polish elite - L.K. ) zealously denouncing the Polish officers for their 'counterrevolutionary chauvinism'. ( see the reports by H.A. Eljman ). It is high time we set out to systematically compile statements by the last surviving witnesses of the Polish Holocaust - the most concealed, Soviet genocide carried out by communist Jews. After more than 60 years following the beginning of the dark series of atrocities inflicted on the Polish Nation it is all the more necessary to launch an appeal for stepping up the process of exposing the felonies committed then, investigating the clues leading to their perpetrators. Each piece of information ought to be examined rather than neglected now that there is still some possibility of reaching the witnesses of those tragic events. Many witnesses of the genocide of the Polish people have died and some are well in years, like Tadeusz Maciejewski now 87, who has sent me the information about the 4 murdered Poles in Radu. It is high time we speeded up investigating those felonies. The Koniuchy massacre - many accounts, no-one guilty ? It is astonishing that the chairman of the IPN Prof. Leon Kieres, who has enough time for trans-Atlantic travels and issuing hasty and untimely declarations before the investigation is over, has not yet brought up the issues of mass murders of Polish people in any public forum. I mean not only the tens of thousands of Poles massacred by Ukrainian chauvinists but also the mass murder of 1944 staged in the village of Koniuchy where communist Jewish marauders exterminated a whole Polish village. Well, identifying the perpetrators is of no particular difficulty some of them have bragged about their atrocious 'deeds'. Chaim Lazar described in his book Destruction and Resistance ( New York, Shengold Publishers, 1985, pp. 174 - 175 ): ''on one occasion 120 guerrillas of all the camps armed with the best weapons made for the village. There were approx. 50 Jews led by Jaakov Prenner. At midnight they arrived at the outskirts of the village and took the right positions. The order demanded that no living soul be spared. All domestic animals were to be put to death and all property destroyed. The go-ahead came shortly before dawn. Within a couple of minutes the village was surrounded form three sides. On the fourth side was a river and a bridge, controlled by the guerrillas. The militants, having prepared torches in advance, set fire to homes, stables and pantries and opened up intensive barrage of homesteads. The half-naked peasants jumped out of the windows trying to run for their lives. All over the place there were only bullets for them, though. Many

jumped into the river but the same was to happen to them too. The mission was accomplished in short time. Sixty families numbering about 300 people altogether were mown down; nobody survived.'' ( retranslated from Polish, L.K. ) Let us report another description of the slaughter found in the book by a Jewish writer Izaac Kowalski A Secret Press in Nazi Europe: The Story of a Jewish United Organisation ( New York,Central Guide Publishers, 1969, p.333-334 ) also cited in Anthology of Armed Jewish Resistance, 1939-1945, edited by I. Kowalski et al., ( Brooklyn, NY, Jewish Combatants Publishing House, 1991, vol. IV, pp. 390-391 ): ''The commander of our base ordered all men capable of combat to get ready to carry out the operation within an hour... I saw partisans coming from all directions, from various factions... Our detachment was ordered to destroy all living creatures and burn the village to the ground. At a fixed time the partisans started flooding the village with shotgun and machine gun barrage and also shooting incendiary missiles. This resulted in the thatched roofs catching fire. The villagers and the small German garrison responded with heavy firing but within two hours the village and the fortified bunker were completely destroyed. Our losses amounted to two lightly injured.'' ( retranslated from Polish, L.K. ) Another Jewish writer Rich Cohen gave this account in the book The Avengers ( New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 2000, p.145 ): '' The partisans - Russians, Jews and Lithuanians - attacked the village from the fields with the sun behind their backs. The machine guns fired from the guard towers. The partisans replied with firing. The peasants hid in their homes. The partisans threw grenades on rooftops and the houses exploded in flames. Other homes were set aflame by torches. The peasants were escaping through the windows and down the narrow streets. The partisans chased them shooting down men, women and children. Many peasants were making off towards the German garrison by the cemetery, in the outskirts. The commander of the partisans had foreseen this move and had placed some people behind the tombs. When the partisans opened fire the peasants returned, only to encounter the soldiers going from the back. Hundreds of peasants died caught in cross-fire.'' ( retranslated from Polish, L.K. ) The people of the Rudnicka Woods dared to defend themselves. Some names of the Jewish partisans from the Rudnicka Woods are known from Izaac Kowalski's A Secret Press in Nazi Europe ( op.cit., p. 405-407 ) : Israel Weiss, Schlomo Brand, Chaim Lazar, Jacob Prenner, Izaac Kowalski, Zalman Wolozni. What caused this gruesome massacre in Koniuchy ? The Polish peasants from the village of Koniuchy near the Rudnicka Woods had organised a self-defence unit whose mission was to protect the village from the constant forage requisitions by the partisan detachments, permanently calling to the town. Therefore, at endApril the village was reported by Jewish sources to have been selected for an act

of vengeance. The Jewish author Chaim Lazar ( op. cit., pp. 174-175 ) presents the village as an alleged centre of plotting against the partisans. Kowalski writes that Koniuchy was 10 kilometres away from the partisans' base but nowhere does he mention any instances of its inhabitants spying or chasing any Jewish or Soviet partisans ( In the words of a Polish-Canadian author Mark Paul such activities would have been suicidal for the locals ). Kowalski charges the peasants with shooting at the partisans when on various dangerous, though unspecified, missions. According to Mark Paul there was no compelling reason why the partisans should constantly pass through a village 10 kilometres away from their base other than requisitions of provisions. According to a Polish historian Kazimierz Krajewski ( in Na Ziemi Nowogrdzkiej / In the Land of Nowogrdek , p. 511-512 ) Koniuchy was no fortress and the whole 'arsenal' of the farmers consisted of a few rusty guns. Krajewski reminds us also that shortly before the assault on Koniuchy the Soviet partisans attacked a small village Niewoniace, which supported the Home Army ( AK ). Two families - 8 people - of the Polish Resistance soldiers were murdered and their homes were burned to the ground.

JERZY ROBERT NOWAK an excerpt from a larger text

prof. Jerzy Robert Nowak, Gos 8 (866), 0000-00-00 powrot Answers from prof. Norman Davies to the accusers of Poland

From TLS, April 13, 2001: Sir, Tony Judt and Abraham Brumberg (Letters, April 6) may complain that their side in the debate about Jedwabne is being misrepresented. But that is par for the course, especially as they themselves routinely misrepresent others. What is important is that the same standards [novel concept -S.K.] be applied to all parties included. And here one can report a small advance. At the third time of asking, Brumberg has come round to the sensitive issue of misconduct by Jews. He inadvertently confirms what ought to have been the starting point of the discussion about Jedwabne in the first place, namely that vice and virtue are not determined by ethnic criteria. Judt could learn much from your Latvian correspondent ((Vaiva Pukite, April 6), who writes movingly about "the agonizing choices" and "tragic dilemmas" of nations like Latvia or Poland

which were caught in the trap between Hitler and Stalin. Instead, he reveals his true hand by suggesting that his "European mainstream" consists of those who have left "the nationalist rearguard", "anti-Semitic clerics" (and me) behind. In other words, he is not advocating universal values but only a more deferential approach to Jewish matters. This simply won't wash, even in a mainstream. If he were seriously in favour of people "staring their history in the face", he would examine the attitudes of American Jewry, which did so little to help the victims of the Holocaust [! - S.K.], but which is now so ready to point the accusing finger at others. Nationalism and sheer selfishness must be contested everywhere, not just in selective quarters. And accusations are not the end of it. For after the accusations come American organizations demanding apologies, American lawyers demanding compensation and American politicians demanding unconditional support for the State of Israel. This is no fit way either to remember the dead or to disentangle the rights and wrongs of history. On wartime Poland, Judt is way off target by making comparisons with France, the Netherlands, or Austria. Vichy France, for example, had a French government, a French administration and French officials, who could subsequently be held to account for their malpractices. Occupied Poland had no such luxuries, in either the Nazi or the Soviet zones of occupation. All Polish institutions were abolished, all Polish enterprises confiscated and all Polish law cancelled. As a result, with the possible exception of the Underground Resistance, there was no Polish collective that might subsequently have been held collectively responsible... What is more, France had only one occupying power to deal with. Poland had two, and both of them run by mass murderers. The consequences should not be too hard to imagine. Those elements of the citizenry who felt themselves in mortal danger from the Nazis were sorely tempted to collaborate with the Soviets. Those who felt threatened with death or ruin by the Soviets were sorely tempted to join the fight against Communism. The different experiences of these different groups lie at the root of differing historical interpretations. Abraham Brumberg resorts to many ruses. One of them is to pretend that he alone understands plain English. Another is to shout "false equation", if ever Jewish conduct is questioned. The latter is usually enough to stop debate, but deserves examination. On the one hand, it is perfectly true, under Nazi rule, that all Jews were in unparalleled danger. Their predicament can only be discussed with the greatest caution and compassion. On the other hand, it would NOT [emphasis N.D.] be correct to maintain either that Jews were the most imperilled group in all places, or that the rest of the population were at any time free agents. Living at the mercy of the Gestapo or the N.K.V.D. proved a murder-filled nightmare for almost everyone. When the Nazis employed police auxiliaries, for example, they practised both deception and threats. The auxiliaries were first told that disobedience under military regulations was punishable by death. They were then told darkly that they could be assigned to "special duties". When the killing actually began, one could not realistically approach one's SS officer and say: "I'm sorry, mein Gruppenfuehrer, I think that I've changed my mind." Of course, circumstances could vary in degree. The Jewish Police in the ghettos operated under more immediate threats than some of those outside. But free men and women should not rush to condemn the inhabitants of wartime Eastern Europe by the standards of free countries. And summary justice WAS [emphasis N.D.] regularly administered by the Underground against collaborators. If Brumberg hasn't heard of it, it doesn't mean it didn't happen. [what it does mean is Brumberg's statement to the TLS that he doesn't know about this is shocking for someone they employ as an "expert" on this subject - when I read his statement in the TLS in a bookstore, I went over to a shelf, plucked out Lukas' Forgotten Holocaust and read about how Stefan Korbonski had reported the condemnation of collaborators - S.K.]

Brumberg's criticisms of Jan Nowak on the question of quislings and military service in wartime Poland are based on elementary misunderstandings. He does not distinguish between conscripts (draftees) and volunteers; and he makes no reference to the Nazis' crazy system of pseudo-racial classification. Non-Jewish Poles, in fact, were classed, like their Jewish compatriots, as Untermenschen or "sub-humans". But they were put into three or four special categories. Class I referred to Poles "eminently suitable" for Germanization. Class II referred to those thought "capable" of Germanization and Class III referred to "unsuitables". A fourth category consisted of so-called "Non-Aryan Christians", that is, a large contingent of people who did not regard themselves as Jewish but who were seen as Jewish by Nazi administrators applying the Nuremberg Laws. In 1939-40, the Wehrmacht took only Class I conscripts. By 1944-5, it was taking Class IIs and Class IIIs. Such men had no choice. And, as the British Eighth Army found in Italy, tens of thousands of them came over to the Allied ranks. Yet Nowak was talking of political and military VOLUNTEERS [emphasis N.D.]. And here the record is unambiguous. No Polish leader of any standing ever offered to work for the Nazis. And no military unit was formed under German Command from Polish volunteers. By 1942, the Waffen-SS was filling up with volunteer divisions from France, Holland, Russia, Scandinavia, Hungary, Ukraine and even Bosnia. But they never got any Poles. Sad to relate, there were more British volunteers for the Waffen-SS than there were Polish volunteers [! - S.K.] Werner Cohn (Letters, March 30) thinks that the Kielce Pogrom took place "between November 1944 and December 1945". In fact, it took place in July 1946, in the immediate aftermath of the Communists' falsified Referendum; and about fifty persons are thought to have perished. During the repressions and civil war of 1945-8, an estimated 1,500 Jews lost their lives out of an estimated total of 30-40,000 people. Mr. Cohn thinks that "thirteen major Polish parties [were] represented in the London governmentin-exile". In fact, there were four: the Peasant Party, the Polish Socialist Party, the National Democrats and the Christian Democrats. Poland's exiled government included Jewish representatives and ministers. Cohn thinks that the ideology of the National Democrats was "barely distinguishable from that of the Nazis". In fact, it was more akin to right-wing Zionism. The National Democrats believed in "one country for one nation". As a result, they said many horrid things about unassimilated Jews but also about international socialists and especially Poland's Ukrainians and Germans. They came from a tradition which saw Germany as Poland's chief enemy; and they fought the Nazis with exemplary fervor. Werner Cohn thinks that "we about Jedwabne, and Kielce and yues, about Endeks". And so we should. And so we do. But we should not tar whole nations with the sins of individuals, and we should not reduce wartime Poland's ethnic kaleidoscope to a dialectical slanging match between one team of innocents and another team of miscreants. In Poland, where they tend to know more about Polish history than they do in Brooklyn [or Chevy Chase, MD - S.K.], the debate about Jedwabne is being conducted very thoroughly.

The latest twist came when both the Director of the Institute of National Memory and the Director of the State Archives produced previously unexamined files which appear to throw doubt both on the scale and the authorship of the massacre. The new documentation, which is still being evaluated, may or may not invalidate Jan T. Gross's conclusions. But it certainly underlines the very narrow range of sources which he used. --Norman Davies Wolfson College, Oxford, TLS April 13, 2001 Prof. Norman Davies, , 0000-00-00 powrot

The Exploitation of the Tragedy in Jedwabne Enough is Definitely Enough by Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski Blacksburg, April,20,01 President Bush handled adroitly the assumption of responsibility and liability for the recent air accident in response to Chinese demands for an apology. It should be a timely example for Poland's president A. Kwasniewski because, strangely enough, an apology-mania is spreading among politicians in Poland, as if apology, with all its legal implications, was equivalent to an expression of regret. Current Polish apology-mania was stimulated recently by a propaganda booklet Neighbors written by New York sociologist J. T. Gross apparently frustrated by his obscurity. It appears that Gross wrote Neighbors in order to finally attract attention. In the process he demonstrated an extraordinary hatred for the Polish people. He alleges that in 1941 Polish neighbors murdered their Jewish neighbors while Germans tried to protect at least some of the victims. The booklet about events of 60 years ago is based on selected and anecdotal reports manipulated to make it a thrilling horror tale - a fiction passing for a documentary. Gross's previous books were ignored by critics in the United States, but now he is basking in the limelight of publicity created by his accusations against Poles while under Soviet and German occupation. The case in point is a massacre of allegedly 1600 Jews in the town of Jedwabne where in Dec. 1940 the NKVD registered only 652 Jews. In Summer of 1941 Germans entered Jedwabne and brought with them Polish-speaking ethnic Germans to serve as Gestapo controlled new town administration to replace their Soviet predecessors. On July 10, 1941 German police and military, actively

assisted by the new mayor and the local hooligans (who did not know German plans), conducted a horrible massacre of local Jews by burning many of them in a small barn. The reminder of local Jews was locked up in a new ghetto created near the marketplace. Details of the massacre can only be established by forensic evaluation based on exhumation and search of the site. After the war an officer of the Soviet terror apparatus ordered to inscribe on a marker on the site of the massacre that 1600 Jews were burned in the barn by the Germans. Uncritically, Gross accepts this number. The Soviets had a policy to overstate the number of people killed by the Germans, perhaps to hide the number of victims of their own postwar executions. Gross dedicated his book to Szmul Wasersztajn, who according to the Catholic Information Agency (KAI, Warsaw, 2,28,01) was a member of communist secret police under the NKVD and used the name "Calka,". Several versions of Wasersztajn's dairies are on record. In them he depicts the tragedy of Jedwabne on the basis of hearsay even though he himself did not see the tragic events as he was hiding in another location. Gross describes a soccer game played by local Poles using freshly cutoff bleeding head of a Jewish victim. There is no evidence that this ever happened. It was rejected together with the entire Wasersztajn diary even by the NKVD supervised post WWII communist court when Jews Jakub Berman and Goldberg-Rzanski headed the communist terror apparatus. Gross's narrative is mainly based on communist prosecutors' files and he describes Polish resistance as "bands." However, even communists political police, in contradistinction to Gross, considered the Wasersztajn's depositions worthless for their show-trial of Polish anti-communists in Jedwabne. In one of his earlier publication, Gross himself documented the prevalence of Jews among NKVD agents in Poland. Therefore, it is pertinent to quote Simon Wiesenthal who said on his eightieth birthday:"I know what kind of role Jewish communists played in Poland after the war. And I as a Jew, do not want to shoulder responsibility for Jewish communists, I can not blame 36 million Poles for those thousands of [wartime] extortionists." Typically no Jewish survivor of the war has been tried in the courts in Israel, no matter how terrible crimes he might have committed in Europe during or immediately after the war. Who is to express regrets for the collaboration between the "Jewish committees" and the NKVD in Soviet occupied Poland? Then, the last memory of Poland by many a Polish citizens before the door was slammed shut on a boxcar bound for Siberia was that of a Jewish communist militiaman slamming the door. (There was no similar collaboration between Polish Catholics and the Nazis for example.) However, the problem of an apology by the Jews for collaboration is more complicated. Let us consider the fact that the last experience of Jewish victims packed into boxcars, bound for the gas chambers, was that of a Jewish ghetto policemen slamming shut the death car door. Available data indicate that an average Jewish policeman in the Warsaw Ghetto sent to gas chambers about twenty two hundred victims. In this tragedy what kind of an act of contrition is due

and by whom? - Polish Catholics do not seek reparations, moral or financial, for procommunist activities of their Jewish compatriots which included executions and deportations to the gulag archipelago . They hope that mutual respect can replace the rather counterproductive charge and countercharge pattern which the propaganda booklet Neighbors, by J. T. Gross, engenders. Enough is definitely enough. In 1939 Poland defended its freedom and refused to join either Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. Poland suffered an inferno created by German Nazis and by the Soviets who's terror apparatus stayed on Polish soil for 45 postwar years.. Mutual transgressions within Poland's population took place. Today full reconciliation requires each ethnic and religious group in Poland to adhere to the principle : We forgive and we ask for forgiveness.(As Polish bishops wrote to German bishops.) That goes equally for Poles, Ukrainians, Germans, Belorussians, Catholics, Protestants, Greco-Catholics, and Jews. Jewish refusal to share fully and sincerely in this commitment will result in protracted antagonism and an opportunity for those who exploit the suffering inflicted by the Nazi Germans and the Soviets and turn this suffering into a profitable business and an opportunity for cynical ego trips. Already on April 19, 1996 the real estate tycoon Rabbi Israel Singer, General Secretary of the World Jewish Congress stated that "More than three million Jews died in Poland and the Polish people are not going to be the heirs of the Polish Jews. We never going o allow this. (...) They're gonna hear us until Poland freezes over again". If Poland does not satisfy Jewish claims it will be "publicly attacked and humiliated" in the international forum. By now a number of classaction suits against Poland was filed in American courts which have no jurisdiction over Poland. After Germany and Switzerland now Poland is the current target for a shakedown. I.C. Pogonowski author of Poland, An Illustrated History, Hippocrene Books Inc.,NewYork,2000, Jews in Poland,and Poland:A Historical Atlas. POBox 10037, Blacksburg, VA 24062, Fax: (540) 951-1329 Note: It could become a serious threat to Poland if these law suits were backed by the United States Government especially if the World Jewish Congress or any other Jewish organization could force the succession rights to all Jewish properties not reclaimed by individual Jews survivors and heirs. Some wild claims include Poland's responsibility for Jewish properties on the prewar territory, half of which was lost to the USSR after the war. Considering the fact that before the war Jews in Poland had per capita three times higher net worth than the national average, this kind of development would place that country under foreign domination both economically and politically. This kind of demands backed by an international political blackmail of the type recently applied to Switzerland could well result also in opening up endless German claims for property lost in Poland

as a result of the international postwar settlements ordered by the Allies. The threat of a shakedown complicates Poland's chances of admission to the European Union. The apology-mania in which people who did not commit the crime apologize to people that were not at the crime site benefits politically the post-communists by confusing and intimidating the Polish electorate. The liberal Tygodnik Powszechny printed a statement by president A. Kwa niewski that somehow the show-trials during the Stalinist terror in the 1940s have saved the honor of Poland because the tragedy of Jedwabne was used in some of them in order to destroy known anti-communists. Since people are voting their pocketbook practically everywhere the postcommunist take advantage of the plight of Polish farmers who can not compete against the subsidized western European farmers. The post-communists are also helped by the high unemployment, which was "outlawed" under the communist rule and the fact that despite economic growth for most of the Poles the standard of living now is lower than before the market shock-therapy. Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski, , 0000-00-00 Why did Gross changed his opinion? Jan Moor-Jankowski
It would appear that prof. Gross changed his opinion from 1983, when he wrote those words below in his book "In 1940 they sent us to Siberia, Mum". In his publication "Neighbours" he makes very contradictory statements in regard to Jewish collaboration with the Soviet aggressor. Chris Janiewicz W CZTERDZIESTYM NAS MATKO NA SYBIR ZESLALI (IN NINETEEN-FORTY THEY SENT US TO SIBERIA, MUM) Selected and edited by Jan Tomasz Gross and Irena Grudzinska-Gross Published by "ANEX", London, 1983 (Excerpts translated from Polish to English by Jan Moor-Jankowski, see below) (Archives of the Hoover Institute, Stanford, CA. contain about 2,300 essays by Polish children liberated from Soviet deportation, and more than 10,000 reports by soldiers of the Polish Army East (Army of General Anders) and their families. Gross presents in this volume 130 children's essays and 36 reports by adults.) In his book "Neighbors", published 2000, Gross goes to a great extent in emphasizing that the Jewish population was not collaborating in 1939 - 1940 with the Bolsheviks invading eastern Poland. This contradicts the lengthy statements published by him in 1983, in Polish "In NineteenForty They Sent Us to Siberia, Mum"; an astonishing proof of Gross' duplicity, and indication that his recent hate-mongering book was prepared for American readers who would not know about his earlier publications in Polish.

Chapter: Jews p.28-33 "The Red Army of occupation was received in eastern Poland enthusiastically by the Jews. In almost every locality entered by the Soviet Army there were groups of Jews, sometimes quite large, publicly expressing their enthusiasm." "There were many such (Jewish) enthusiasts of the new authorities, so many that they left a lasting memory not only among Poles and Ukrainians, but among the Jews themselves." " 'The Jews greeted the Soviet soldiers with joy, their young people spent the evenings together with the soldiers'.'the Soviets also showed confidence in the Jews." Three independent relations from different localities present the same picture, and one could repeat it many times over because nobody disputes these facts." "Grodno: when the Bolsheviks entered the Polish territories they showed great distrust of the Polish population, but full confidence towards the Jews. They (the Jews) manned all institutions and were entrusted with the leading positions. There are similar reports from the town Zolkwia. A statement of (a Jew) from Lwow seems to illustrate well the situation at that time: 'when there was a political meeting, a demonstration, or another joyful manifestation, the visual effect was always the same: Jews'" "There were also acts of symbolic vengeance and ridicule directed against the Polish population. A physician from the little town Wielkie Oczy recalls Jewish youth who organized what they called a "komsomol" and drove through the district overturning and destroying roadside chapels. "The local non-Jewish population did not appreciate this and often threatened to remember it in future times" "The numbers of Jews working in the propaganda apparatus was out of proportion with their overall number. Truly, the anti-Semitism grew enormously during the Bolshevik occupation and it manifested itself very soon, namely during first days of the war between the Soviets and Germany." (refers to the period 1939-early 1940) "As soon as there was a possibility (for the Jewish refugees in Russian occupied eastern Poland) to return to German occupied Poland, crowds of Jews stood entire days in queues to meet with the German repatriation committees that arrived in Lwow,Valdimir and Brest, the Jews cheered by their hundreds and thousands for Germany and Hitler. Just imagine: crowds of Jews shouting "long live Hitler" ("niech zyje Hitler")." Compiled by: Jan Moor-Jankowski M.D. Research Professor of Forensic Medicine, NYU School of Medicine (ret.) Director, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre (ret.) French Academy of Medicine Foreign Corresponding Member Knight of the French Order of Merit for WWII Resistance and for scientific achievements. Officer, Polish Order of Merit Medal, USSR Academy of Medicine Bud Medal College de France Trumpeldor Medal from Prime Minister of Israel, Mrs.Golda Meir

Jan Moor-Jankowski, , 0000-00-00

We Refuse to Accept the Propaganda of Hatred and Lies... We Refuse to Accept the Propaganda of Hatred and Lies... ,, powrot

We Refuse to Accept the Propaganda of Hatred and Lies...

This site has the purpose of presenting information casting light on the Jewish-PolishAmerican author's, J. T. Gross's book "Neighbours," a seemigly factual-historical account of the alleged enormous massacre of Jews that is supposed to have been perpetrated by their Polish neighbours ( all the townsfolk!) in the little town Jedwabne [pronounced : yedvabne] in eastern Poland in July 1941. The book is due out in the US in July 2001. An unheard-off media frenzy is expected to accompany the publication. Piotr Gontarczyk, a Polish author comments on Gross's book : "The author of 'Neigbors' has used uncritically an extremely poor selection of sources. His book is replete with illfounded statements; he leaves out or obscures whatever doesn't fit his preconceived thesis, constructing a narrative on the basis of stereotypes, biases, and common gossip. In his reasoning, he doesn't abide by the rules of logic or scholarly objectivity. In short, Gross makes arbitrary metaphysical-ideological statements that have no scholarly grounds whatsoever. Because of all these shortcomings, Gross's book cannot be the basis of any serious discussion on the Polish history in general, and on the Jedwabne crime in particular"

There are thousands of lies, but there is only one truth.

Every murder is a tragedy, one that should not happen. But every false accusation of committing a murder is also a tragedy - a tragedy for the accused. It should not happen either. Of course, every investigation of a murder should be conducted with an extreme caution. All the evidence should be scrutinized in the minutest detail. Not only to establish the whole truth, to point the perpetrator and possible accomplices, and to bring them to justice, but also to prevent accusations against innocent people. Especially when a mass

murder seems to be the case. It is evident that in his book on the alleged superpogrom of 1600 (sic!) Jews, allegedly perpetrated by the Poles in the German-occupied eastern Poland, J.T. Gross have not shown due caution, but voiced mere opinions whose basis is the vague testimony of two Jewish "eye-witnesses," Shmul Wasersztajn and Rivka Fogel. Below are fragments of their testimony. Rivka Fogel: "Two sisters, the wife of Avraham Kubrzanski and the wife of Saul Binsztajn, whose husbands fled with the Russians, having endured a horrible punishment at the hands of the Germans, decided to end their own lives and those of their children. They exchanged the children, then jumped together into deep water. Gentiles standing nearby pulled them out, but they managed to jump in again, and drowned." Shmul Wasersztajn on the same incident: "That same day I saw a horrible scene. Chaja ("Chaya") Kubrzanska, 28 years old, and Basia Binsztajn, 26, both with babies in their arms, jumped into the pond and drowned, rather than falling into the hands of those hoodlums. First, they tossed the babies into the water, then followed them themselves. Baska Binsztajn went to the bottom instantly, while Chaja Kubrzanska suffered for hours. The bystanders (hoodlums) treated it as a show, enjoying the view and advising her to lie face down in the water, so she could drown quicker..." It is obvious that these statements seriously contradict one another. Alas, these and numerous other contradictions and ambiguities have been no obstacle to J.T. Gross to fabricate his highly accusatory book. On this webpage, we will try to present the other side of the Jedwabne story, as seen by those Polish historians and journalists who, unlike some other Polish historians and journalists, dare to question Gross's gross revelations.

This site will be gradually updated.

Wlodzimierz Kaluza & Krzysztof Janiewicz 10 March 2001


original article It seems that some good comes out of even the most disconcerting of events. The allegations about the murder of Jews in the Polish town of Jedwabne during World War II is hurtful to Polonians. In his review of "Neighbors," the book by Jan T. Gross that accuses Poles of committing the massacre, reviewer Istvan Deak, a non-Pole, presented some facts about which we have been attempting to educate the general public for years, often with little apparent success. Some quotes from Deak's review, published (surprisingly) in the May 31, 2001, issue of the "New York Review of Books" follow: "Farmers were hard hit by Soviet confiscations of land as well as by anti-Soviet partisan activity and the even more violent retribution by the Soviet army and police that followed ..." "Many times in modern history, whether under Russian or other foreign rule, it was a punishable offense for a Pole to refer to his own country as Poland." "During World War II in Europe only Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and Poland never surrendered to the Nazis, even though Poles were simultaneously persecuted by the Soviet Communists." "More than a million non-Jewish Poles were killed in German prisons and camps; thousands upon thousands died fighting [alongside the Allies]...." "Although there was a tremendous rise of political anti-Semitism in independent Poland during the inter-war years, Jewish political and cultural activity also flourished there." "Asking questions about a crucial historical event does not make one automatically an antiSemite, yet this is how some of Gross's Western supporters have chosen to view those raising questions about parts of his work. No book of history should be treated as Holy Writ, especially not a book which is based on a limited number of documents." "Such lack of awareness [about Jedwabne] might seem inconceivable; yet until recent stories were published, I wonder how many Americans had ever heard of what happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the end of May 1921, when the city's whites, incited by the press and by politicians, massacred several hundred innocent blacks. Although I am a professional historian, I heard of this atrocity only last year, forty-four years after I arrived in the U.S. The Tulsa massacre, moreover, took place when the United States was at peace, whereas Jedwabne occurred during a terrible war, under alternating cruel occupations, and in the midst of total administrative and political chaos." Well put, Mr. Deak ... and thank you for providing some measure sense and accuracy among the flood of claims and premature apologies. T. Ron Jasinski-Herbert, POLONIA TODAY ONLINE, 0000-00-00 back to the english home page

Search in the aim to localise the exact place where the Jedwabne tragedy did happen

translated by: Krzysztof Janiewicz

From PAP 18.03.2001 The work has begun in Jedwabne to localise place where the Jewish victims of the massacre are buried, in the aim to establish a small cemetery. Last Thursday the monument with the sign omitting Polish participation in the crime has been removed. Research of grounds is done by the means of the surface methods such as resonance and earth probe, and to the large extend are based on the military aerial photographs that were taken in the 1950 and 1953. Photographs are showing contours of the burned barn and disturbed soil. Since 1960s, the area was used for agriculture. The results of the research should be known sometimes next week. On Saturday prof. Tomasz Strzembosz, who is doing a research on the circumstances surrounding massacre, and is critical towards prof. Grosss publication "Neighbours" based on the thesis that crime was committed by the Polish neighbours, arrived to Jedwabne. Prof. Strzembosz will meet with the people who witnessed events from 60 years ago. Prof. Strzembosz is of the opinion, that the witness testimonies from the 1949 court case in Lomza, used to the large extend by prof. Gross in his book, indicate that the Germans were directly involved in the murder of the Jews in Jedwabne. Prof. Strzembosz also disputes truthfulness of the Shmul Wasersteins testimony. Shmul Waserstein is a main witness of prof. Gross in regard to the Jedwabne massacre. Prof. Strzembosz is stressing a point that Shmul Waserstein, according to his knowledge, was in hiding during the events in Jedwabne, so he cant be regarded as an eyewitness, and whole of his testimony is only hearsay. PAP, PAP, 2001-03-18 powrot

National Post (Toronto) June 23, 2001 LETTES TO BOOKS Re: the Review of Jan T. Gross's Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in

Jedwabne, Poland, by Allan Levine (June 16) It is a thankless task to review a sensational bit of historical writing whose accuracy has been seriously challenged by virtually every professional historian who has examined the events, and whose author, American sociologist Jan T. Gross, conducted virtually no research in wartime archives. Since he cites no supporting Nazi documents or reliable eyewitnesses, Gross's claim that the local Polish population of Jedwabne undertook, on its own, the annihilation of 1,600 Jews in July, 1941, is a theory that requires careful scrutiny. Those witnesses Gross relies on either didn't actually see most of what they claim (Shmuel Wasserstein) or weren't even present in the town (Eliasz Grondowski and Abram Boruszczak) and were therefore discredited at the Stalinist trials. A census taken by the Soviets counted fewer than 600 Jews in Jedwabne in September, 1940. It has long been known that several hundred of them fled to nearby towns such as Lomza. Not surprisingly, when the investigation branch of Poland's Institute for National Remembrance carried out an exhumation earlier this month, only some 200 bodies were found. Would the supporters of the Gross school of history be so ardent if, say, he had multiplied the number of victims of Deir Yassin sixfold? More importantly, the discovery of bullet fragments from German weapons at the site suggests that German soldiers were responsible for the massacre. Again, this is not surprising since the German authorities have long suspected the direct involvement of a special Gestapo unit under the command of Hermann Schaper that operated in the area. While there were doubtless some local collaborators, their number was not the preposterous 225 cited in the book. The prosecutor charged with the investigation has identified no more than 40, some of whom acted under duress, and none of whom represented any Polish authority or organization. Their ringleader was a registered ethnic German who had moved to Jedwabne a few years before the war. [OMITTED: The book also claims that the locals scavenged the dead bodies. If that is true then they were singularly inept because the exhumation found jewelry and other valuables.] Another important aspect glossed over by Gross was the role of the relatively small in number but ubiquitous Jewish militiamen their neighbours! mentioned by every Polish family from Jedwabne deported to the Gulag between 1939 and 1941. As a Jewish witness from a nearby town reported, the Soviets could not have accomplished this alone: "It was my understanding that my father served as advisor to the NKVD about who among the local Poles was to be sent to Siberia, or otherwise dealt with. 'We have to get rid of the fascists,' he told my mother. 'They deserve to go to Siberia. They are not good for the Jewish people.'" Polish authorities are presently conducting investigations of civilian massacres (including women and children) in two other villages, Koniuchy and Naliboki, where Jewish partisans boast of killing 300 and 130 Poles respectively. Some of the partisans later surfaced as Stalinist security police after the war and took part in extra-judicial killings like the one in Siedlce that took 34 Polish lives. Since the victims and perpetrators don't fit the accepted profile, neither the Western media nor the usual pundits who comment on Polish-Jewish relations have picked up on those stories. In his book Fugitives of the Forest, reviewer Allan Levine simply ignored those events, preferring to lay all the blame on the Poles.

Hanna Sokolski Media Relations Toronto District Canadian Polish Congress Hanna Sokolski, Canadian Polish Congress, , 0000-00-00 powrot

Reflections on Richard Lukas' The Forgotten Holocaust Ewa M. Thompson

No book is an island. Books are read and interpreted in the midst of other books, and their position in the stream of scholarship often determines what we say about them. In other words, history is written by winners. Losers have a hard time getting their story told. The Forgotten Holocaust tells the story of a nation which fought on the Allied side in World War II but emerged from the war a loser, even though the Allies won. In 1945, Poland was reoccupied by its sworn enemy, Soviet Russia. Authentic Polish voices were silenced, and Polish scholarship on World War II was virtually gagged. While the Jewish Holocaust lasted four years, terror in Poland lasted for fifty years, from 1939 to 1989. It is in this context that one should read Lukas' book. It tells the story of a country and a people that were the prime target of Nazi hate and of Soviet hate. No other nation in Europe was thus exposed to the hate of two totalitarian regimes, and no country in Europe resisted longer, or more nobly. This is what The Forgotten Holocaust faintly outlines, but it will take many more books like this one to make a dent in the consciousness of the American public. To understand The Forgotten Holocaust, one has to realize that the context of World War II for Poland was different than that for the United States. To understand the Polish story, it is crucial to remember that in September 1939, Poland was attacked by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. It is crucial to remember that the Soviets were sworn friends of the Nazis in 1939, in 1940, and in 1941. The year 1945 began a new reign of terror in Poland. Until 1954 in particular, the Soviet-controlled secret police murdered and terrorized people by the tens of thousands, starting with the hero of Polish resistance, General Emil Fieldorf, murdered in 1950 under Stalin's deputy in Poland, Jakub Berman, and falsely accused in a show trial by prosecutor Benjamin Wajsblech (Antoni Zambrowski, "Morderczyni sadowa na lawie oskarzonych," Tygodnik Solidarnosc,

1 January 1998). In Poland, three names strike terror into people's hearts: Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Jakub Berman, Stalin's right hand in Poland from 1944 to 1953. Adolf Hitler's crimes are well known, Stalin's crimes are beginning to be known, but Jakub Berman's crimes are totally unknown in the West. Lukas points out that in World War II, Poland had the largest, on a per-capita basis, and the most effective Resistance movement in Europe, and virtually no collaborators of any social stature. Poles are proud of not having produced a Quisling government or a Vichy government. Poland lost one-quarter of its population in the war. Portions of Poland were polluted by Nazi invaders who built their largest extermination camp on Polish soil. Virtually every Polish family tasted the bitter taste of displacement, death, pauperization and, after the war, total powerlessness. This part of the Polish story deserves Jewish sympathy and recognition, and Poles are eagerly awaiting for tokens of these attitudes. In 1939, Hitler said: "The destruction of Poland is our primary task. The aim is not the arrival at a certain line but the annihilation of living forces...." (Lukas 4) Before Jews became the primary target, Poles were shipped to Auschwitz by the tens of thousands.150,000 Polish Catholics went to Auschwitz. In Sachsenhausen, 20,000 Poles perished, in Mauthausen, 30,000, in Neuengamme, 17,000 (Lukas 38); 35,000 went to Dachau, 33,000 Polish women went to Ravensbrueck many of them to be experimented upon, with glass and other objects implanted in their uteruses. In view of that, to hear from uninformed members of the Jewish community that Poles participated in the annihilation of Jews makes you ask, "has the world really gone mad?" Unlike those Jews who survived the Holocaust and moved to the West, Poles remained captives of the Soviets for 45 years. Unlike the Jews, Poles were never individually compensated by Germans for forced labor and camp atrocities. Tens of thousands of Poles were executed for helping Jews. In the Belzec concentration camp alone, 1,000 Poles died solely and exclusively for having been caught helping the Jews (Lukas 150). In 1944, after the fall of the Warsaw Uprising, the Germans ordered the entire population of Warsaw man, woman, child to leave the city, somewhat like the Khmer Rouge leaders who did the same to the capital of Cambodia Phnom Penh in the 1970s. Two hundred thousand Catholic civilians died in that uprising, of those who survived, 50,000 were shipped to concentration camps. The Germans closed all scientific, artistic and literary institutions in Poland. Some 2250 periodicals ceased publication. Polish university professors were shot or sent to concentration camps. Calorie allotment for those Poles who were not shipped to

concentration camps was 669 calories per day. While this was going on, on the other side, in the Soviet-occupied part of Poland, Polish intelligentsia perished in Katyn and in the Gulag. Twenty-one thousand were murdered at Katyn, Bologoe, Dergachi. A million and a half went to the Siberian gulag. Show me another nation in Europe that suffered the fury of two of the most murderous regimes in modern history. Yet even in these circumstances, at least one million people were involved in sheltering Jews (Lukas 150). In these circumstances, everyone of them was a saint, a hero, deserving no fewer accolades than Raul Wallenberg who was sheltered from Nazi retribution by his nationality, wealth and social status. In contrast, Poles who helped Jews were protected by nothing. Lukas makes it clear, for those who wish to learn, that in Poland during the war and afterwards, terror was total. Psychologists tell us that in conditions of terror, for most people the norms of human behavior dissolve and the instinct of selfpreservation takes over. Encyclopedia Judaica says: "standards of normal society did not obtain in ghettos and concentration camps." (Lukas 222) Nor did they obtain in the terrorized Polish lands. That there were so many instances of heroism, generosity, and love of one's neighbor in occupied Poland is an amazing fact that still awaits the explanation of researchers. The fact that hundreds of thousands of ordinary human beings showed superhuman courage not for a day, not just in battle, but month after month, should amaze and humble us, the urbanized beneficiaries of America's good fortune. Lukas readily admits that the Jewish tragedy in World War II had no parallels. But he helps us comprehend that the Polish tragedy had no parallels either, although in a different way. The grief of the Holocaust has obscured the tragedy of Poles whose land was polluted by the Holocaust executives: those who conceived of the crematoria and then proceeded to build them. The land on which Poles live, and which they love, was thus polluted, and this pollution is a source of suffering for every Pole. The Jewish remnants departed. The Poles stayed. It is their land. They could not afford the luxury of departure. That pain should be acknowledged by those Jews who are concerned with the ramifications of the Holocaust. Surely the people who had to pick up the pieces, so to speak, after the Germans left, deserve some attention and consideration? Surely they too deserve a measure of sympathy, just as Antigone deserved sympathy for mourning the desecration of her brother's body. That sympathy, that understanding, have so far been denied to Poles. Poles expect from the Western world, from Americans and, yes, from America's Jews, a measure of understanding in this matter. Lukas' book strives to generate that ounce of understanding.

There is one more aspect of Lukas' book which needs to be mentioned. To Polish Christians it has become increasingly clear that events of World War II need to be viewed not only in moral terms but also in terms of interests. It has to be said, bluntly, that while the interests of Jews and Catholics were the same concerning the Nazis, namely, the Nazis were a sworn enemy, in regard to the Soviets these interests did not coincide. For the Jews, the Soviet Union was a possible refuge from the horrors of Nazi occupation. For all too many Jews, the Soviet Union was a land of promise. A significant part of the secular Jewish community in Poland greeted the Soviets as friends and collaborated with them in every way until the mid-1950s, thus contributing mightily to the destruction of Polish economy, culture, and population. Similar things could be said about the Polish-Soviet war in 1919, when mendacious gossip of "pogroms in Poland" was spread by Marxist and non-Marxist Jews in the West, to prevent the creation of a non-Marxist independent Polish state (Norman Davies, God's Playground, vol. 2, Columbia 1984, 262-3). In contrast, for Polish Christians the Soviet Union was, from the beginning, the country of the Gulag, a sworn enemy bent on destroying the Polish identity. This aspect of World War II is virtually unknown in the United States. Here we touch upon an issue which is extremely sensitive and has to be approached not in the spirit of accusation but in the spirit of understanding. In Revolution from Abroad: the Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia (Princeton, 1988), Professor Jan Gross says: "For the record, it must be stated unambiguously" that when the Red Army attacked Poland, it was welcomed by smaller or larger but, in any case, visible, friendly crowds in hamlets, villages, and towns. These crowds were largely Jewish ( Gross 29). As I said in my article on the Katyn murders and the Warsaw Ghetto uprising (World War 2 and the Soviet People, edited by John & Carol Garrard, St. Martin's Press, 1993, 213-233), for Jews, the choice between Nazis and Soviets was clear. Throughout the war, a highly visible percentage of Jews in eastern Poland sided with the Soviets and not with the Poles. For Polish Christians, this was an act of treason. For the Jews themselves, it was a means of survival and an ideological choice. The interests of the two groups were dramatically different and I propose to look at it this way. When Polish resistance against the Nazis and against the Soviets got organized, the pro-Soviet groups, including Jewish groups and their sympathizers, were treated like any other segment of enemy forces. In underground struggle, where there is no time for due process and decisions have to be made quickly, it was kill or be killed for the Jews who sided with the Soviets; and for the Poles who sided with the cause of Poland. Lukas cites examples of the pro-Soviet partisans and sympathizers, in the Bialystok and Wilno (Vilnius) area, who were killed by the Polish underground forces. Such was also the case with the family of Ms. Yaffa Eliach who shielded the Soviet NKVD officers, and who now

lives in the United States, is rabidly anti-Polish for both psychological and ideological reasons, it seems, and whose hatred, vented in The New York Times, added to that mountain of prejudice against Poles that has ruined many a Polish career in this country. From the standpoint of Polish interests, people like Ms. Eliach's family were traitors who collaborated with the enemy. From the standpoint of Jewish interests, these were Jews who sided with those who offered the best odds for survival. The disparity of interests was tragic for Jews and Poles alike. We have to recognize it, acknowledge it, and come to terms with it. But to recycle these enemies of Polish independence as victims of anti-Semitism is deeply unjust to Poles. Yet this has been done countless times, in countless books, statements, articles, policies, decisions. After 1945 came the Soviet occupation, the aforementioned Jakub Berman, the most dreaded man in Poland, on whose conscience lie the deaths of 30,000 Home Army soldiers murdered in prisons and torture chambers in Soviet-occupied Poland (Teresa Toranska, Them, Harper & Row, 1987, 201-354). Now I realize that these must be painful facts to learn or to recall for those who are overwhelmed by the uniqueness of the Holocaust. But nevertheless, they are significant facts which, for instance, Ms. Eva Hoffman chose to ignore in her book, while resorting to the customary repertoire of anecdotal evidence and insinuation to reinforce the all too pervasive image of Poles as gratuitous anti-Semites and as primitives whose indifference was largely responsible for Jewish losses in World War II. Nothing could be farther from the truth. While Poles in Soviet-occupied Poland after World War II were forced to maintain a frustrated silence, there developed quite a repertoire of invectives that created their own universe of discourse, a universe which no single review can hope to deconstruct. I can only signal its existence. The fact remains that even such relatively mild writers as Ms. Hoffman could not abstain from invoking that repertoire. Yet these accusations, of the alleged deeply-seated and gratuitous antiSemitism in Poland, are sadly reminiscent of the Nazi strategy of presenting Jews as forever diseased, mentally and physically, and forever a pernicious influence. To cast these impoverished Polish peasants, who never experienced the luxury of a hot shower or of an elegant meal, as near-criminals, to condemn these mute people grilled by American cameramen until they say what the producer wanted them to say, reminds me of the Nazis expressing disgust at some impoverished Jew in the ghetto because he smelled bad and could not afford the luxury of selfdefense. No book is an island, and Lukas' book nearly drowns in the sea of scholarship on East Central Europe written by those who have engaged in the generation-old business of demonizing Poles as a nation and as a political entity. Former Nazi collaborators, the Soviets, recycled themselves as allies of the West, and

repositioned themselves as legitimate suppliers of evidence and scholarship about Eastern and Central European history. We are still the dubious beneficiaries of this process. The authority of Lukas' book is pitted against the authority of books of that earlier provenance. No book is an island. Yet I am trying to make Lukas' book resonate with you in a way that defies the odds. Lukas' book has nearly drowned in the sea of books that do not want to know what Lukas knows. Perhaps I am engaged in a hopeless task. But I believe that those present here came in order to partake of the truth to hear the full story, to understand and to learn. In spite of tremendous odds, I am confident that the Polish story will have a chance to be heard. I do hope that for the small segment of the Jewish community present here, the book and my presentation of it will make a difference.
This paper was read at the PolishJewish dialogue, Houston Holocaust Museum, March 1, 1998.

From: The Sarmatian Review, April 1998 Issue Ewa M. Thompson, The Sarmatian Review, 0000-00-00 powrot Descent of the Satan or Arrival of the Gestapo? Prof. Tomasz Strzembosz
(Rzeczpospolita 12th May 2001 No. 110) A few weeks ago, while following my last article, "Another Picture of the Neighbors", published by the "Rzeczpospolita" ("Rz" of 31st March 2001.) I kept receiving phone calls from editors of various papers and radio stations, someone called informing that he represented the "Trybuna". Once I politely replied to several questions about my knowledge of the crime of Jedwabne, I heard the following: "Why do you engage in polemics with Gross?" I replied: "In order to get closer to the truth." Then, he put the receiver down. This is exactly where the problem is. Several individuals know perfectly well what happened in Jedwabne on 10th July 1941. Professor Gross knows, as he investigated the matter. Ms. Arnold knows, since she has talked to a certain number of people from that town. Others, including some historians, know, because they've read Prof. Gross's book. They know. Once having this knowledge, they present with strong confidence various opinions, including those with moral evaluations. They judge, condemn, decide about the guilt, demand to apologize, and even wonder why there was silence for so many years, and that today, thanks to Prof. Gross (and themselves), the silence is broken.

It is as if they did not know about Poland of 1945-1989, and if some portion of the blame for that silence could not be put on them as well. It is always that some "them" are to be blamed. At the same time they forget, as Prof. Gross has forgotten, either, that various "them" have already written about the fact, but the press did not follow-up the topic at that time, and that the radio and television were silent. It was true even after 1989, when one was already "allowed" to do it. There was as much silence during all that time as there is much noise today. At the same time, let us point out an interesting phenomenon. "All the Saints" are blamed for that silence, except for one group that has been truly obliged to write about the fate of Jews, not only in Warsaw or in the General Gouvernement, but in the entire area of the former Second Republic. It is namely the Jewish Historical Institute. It is the Institute that has kept Wasersztajn's testimony in its collection for 55 years; it is the Institute that, by transferring that account to the public prosecutor's office at the District Court of Justice in oma, has triggered the investigation and the trial of 22 residents of Jedwabne accused of murder. It is the most qualified of all Polish institutions to examine Polish-Jewish relations, also in the former Eastern Poland, including the years 1939-1941, also in those cases when the matter becomes very complex. After all, it was not established, as it seems, with the purpose to critically review efforts made by others. MISSING FACTS There are many among us who "know." At the same time, if we take a closer look at the issue, it turns out that facts are constantly missing to be able to base upon. Namely, we do not even know how many Poles and how many Jews lived in Jedwabne prior to 10th July 1941, and on that very day. Professor Gross says that according to 1931 census data, 2167 Polish citizens lived there, of whom over 60% were of Jewish descent (p. 27 [number of pages refer to Polish version of the book]). On the other hand, the "Przewodnik ilustrowany po wojewdztwie biaostockim" ("Province of Biaystok Illustrated Guide"), developed by Dr. Mieczysaw Orowicz, a great authority in tourism and sightseeing, in 1937, informs that 2500 people lived there, of whom 60% Catholics and 40% Jews (p. 168). Several people who remember those times well, have told me that both before the war and during the occupation as well, Jews were a minority of the population. In his article entitled "Unexamined Neighbors" " (the "Gazeta Wyborcza" of Dec. 9 - 10, 2000.), Dr. Krzysztof Jasiewicz claims, referring to a Soviet document of Sept. 16, 1940, that the population of the precinct of Jedwabne (in January 1940, Soviet authorities divided the region of Biaystok into precincts, being smaller than the former poviats) was 38,885, of whom 37,300 Poles, 1,400 Jews and 185 Belorusians. Thus, there were fewer Polish citizens of Jewish descent in the entire precinct than the number of those allegedly burnt in the leszynski's barn, i.e. 1,600. We must also remember that Jedwabne was not the only town in the precinct, and that Jews lived in villages, too. Still, perhaps something did change during the period by July 1941? Yes, many Jews had left Jedwabne, but others from Radziw and Wizna arrived. We do not stand on a firm ground even in what concerns this fundamental issue. May be it would be easier for us to evaluate the facts, as according to the field examination by the team of Andrzej Przewonik, having already experiences from Katy and Miednoje, 250 to 400 people were burnt alive in that barn. Using such weak premises leads to shameful errors. While discussing Polish-Jewish relations in Jedwabne, Prof. Gross speaks about permanent threat of a pogrom (p. 28 - 29), and that only good relations of the rabbi with the local parish priest saved the Jews of Jedwabne from one in 1934. He says (p. 30): "The rabbi of Jedwabne and the

local parish priest, almost until the war, when a new pro-nationalist priest, Marian Szumowski, arrived, had good relationship with each other", and, earlier, he says: "The coming (according to rumors) pogrom was only prevented by rabbi Awigdor Biaostocki, accompanied by Jeny Rothchild, visiting the local parish (...)". However, should our scholar looked up the relevant list of the Diocese of oma, he would have found that father Ryszard Marian Szumowski was the parish priest of Jedwabne from 1931 till July 1940, when he was arrested by NKVD. Thus it was he, the "pro-nationalist" priest who prevented the pogrom in 1934, as it is mentioned in the commemorative book of the Jews of Jedwabne, the author has based upon. He could have spared blaming the priest's passive attitude towards the events of 1941, as father Szumowski was not among the living any more at that time, and it was only his curate, father Kembliski, who remained in the parish. Let us add: one should be extremely careful while dealing with towns like Jedwabne, where the same names repeat notoriously. A daughter of Mr. Czesaw Krystowczyk, son of Franciszek and Waleria, born on Dec. 14, 1907 and deceased on March 23, 1995, asked me to write that he was not the same person as Mr. Czesaw Krystowczyk, son of Jan and Stanisawa, a local communist, mentioned in Kieczewski's account, quoted by me in the article entitled "Concealed Quislingism" ("Rz" of Jan. 27, 2001.). I can therefore do it with full satisfaction. THE CASE OF THE JEDWABNE CITY BOARD (JUNE - JULY 1941.) Prof. Gross has written the following at the very beginning of the book, in a chapter entitled in a peculiar way, the "Preparations": "In the meantime [i.e. between June 22 and July 10, 1941 - T.S.], a new city government was constituted. Mr. Marian Karolak became the Mayor, and among the members of the local authority there were a Wasilewski and Jzef Sobuta. All that we can say about the City Executive Board is that it planned and agreed with the Germans on the murder of the Jews of Jedwabne". [underlined by T.S.] What does "was constituted" mean? Under German occupation, in the region of Biaystok being established here at that time? Who had elected the Board? Who? It could be established spontaneously, following an initiative of a group of people, but, for God's sake, the Germans were at power here, and it could be no more than a receivership, by German appointment, and subordinate to the Nazi administration being established here at that time. Still, according to Ms. Jadwiga Kordas, a German called Bryczkus (the way the name was pronounced by her - I don't know how it spells) was the Head of the Commissioner's Office (Amt) in Jedwabne (we do not know, since when). In the light of the above, the fact that the Board was treated as a Polish institution is clearly meant to cause a feeling that it was the Polish city government that collaborated with Germans to exterminate the Jews. While in fact both Marian Karolak, as well as other above-mentioned representatives of the city government were simply quislings appointed by the Germans. It is emphasized by the fact that both Marian Karolak, as well as Jzef Sobuta and Karol Bardo were not autochthon residents of Jedwabne, and had settled here as late as in the thirties. Karolak, as several people told me, arrived here following imprisonment for embezzlement. They had therefore neither support nor authority, what made them perfect to play the role assigned to them. It is indicated by their behavior on 10th July 1941. Furthermore, based on what documents or accounts Prof. Gross can claim that it is them who had "planned and agreed with the Germans to murder all the Jews of Jedwabne", and that they were the initiators, not only mere executors of the crime. The author presents several "arguments" and "testimonies."

"Non-Jewish friends" warning Dwojra Pecynowicz and Mietek Olszewicz about the action
being prepared. The arrival of peasants from neighboring villages in Jedwabne, "even though it was not a market day." (p. 51) A testimony by Jerzy Laudaski, a messenger at the military police station at that time, that "four or five Gestapo officers came by taxi to the city hall in 1941, and they began to talk there, but I don't know what they were talking about. Some time later, Karolak Marian said to us Poles to summon Polish citizens to the City Board, and having summoned the Poles, he ordered us to go and drive Jews to the town square to work, what people did, and I also took part in driving Jews into the town square then". (p. 52)

A testimony of Karol Bardon, German military policeman who worked in MP workshop in the
Nowy Rynek (New Town Square), that he "saw several Gestapo officers in front of the city hall of Jedwabne, although he does not remember whether it was on the day of the mass murder or earlier." (p. 53) - A fragment of an account of Szmul Wasersztajn, who wrote that on 10th July: "Germans gave such an order." (p. 52)

Testimony by Henryk Krystowczyk, who, as court records show, at first categorically claimed
that the agreement with the Germans had been signed by: Mayor Karolak and Eugeniusz liwecki, the Deputy Mayor, but while having been pushed by the judge, he admitted that he had "heard [about it - trans. note] from people." (p. 53) Thus, there are many premises and testimonies! - Let us take a closer look at them, though. Someone's (we do not know whose) warning Dwojra Pecynowicz and Mietek Olszewicz about the action to be taken does not tell us anything explicit about the concluded "agreement." One could tell it because of the arrival of a larger group of Germans (I shall discuss it later), it could be a result of some hearsay, a reflection of what had happened in Radziw on 7th July, etc. The account of the MP messenger about the arrival of Gestapo officers, and who thinks that they discussed something, but does not know what, but can only associate the fact with the call to drive Jews to the town square, does not say anything about an "agreement", but about a given order, rather. By the way, I have never heard of Germans concluding "agreements", neither with the Warsaw Judenrat in 1942, nor with the Warsaw Mayor-Commissioner in 1939 - 1944. How can we then talk about an "agreement" with representatives of a small town. They were simply giving orders. Bardon, similarly as Jerzy Laudaski, only saw the Gestapo entering the building of the Board. Szmul Wasersztajn, who, by the way, does not mention an "agreement", but an "order", was, for obvious reasons, the most misinformed person: there had to be a barrier in communication between the quisling City Board and the community that was about to be murdered. Henryk Krystowczyk also heard something. With the reservation that Henryk Krystowczyk is an absolutely non-credible person. He is a liar, caught on lying, and a man who offered himself as a witness of the crime for low reasons, i.e. vengeance. When he testified that he had seen Jews being driven to the barn by: Czesaw Laudaski with his son Zygmunt, and Aleksander ojewski, "with a walking-stick in the hand ", and he allegedly had seen it from the attic of his second cousin's, Wacaw Krystowczyk's house at Przestrzelska St., the said Wacaw admitted that "he could not make good observation while in my house, as the view is foreshadowed by leszyski's barn" (GK

SC 123, f. 213v i 218). It is true. One cannot see from Przestrzelska Street what happens on the way to the barn, nor even in Cmentarna Street, as it is overshadowed by houses and trees, and, moreover, it is hard to recognize people from the distance of 250 meters, or who had a walkingstick in the hand. This is why Krystowczyk recognized those whom he wanted to recognize, including Czesaw Laudaski who had been absent beyond any doubt. Let us summarize. Prof. Gross has based information of exceptional importance for the factual and moral reasons, and putting the blame on the Polish City Board and the Poles themselves, on gossip and suppositions. During the German occupation one could say that it was based on the SLS Agency, i.e. "Some Lady Said." And especially while formulating such an accusation, he should have cared for credible source foundations, and he was especially obliged to do it. But in fact, the author of the "Neighbors" words it in the following way: "Where the idea of the whole project was conceived? - Was it submitted by the Germans (as one could assume by the phrase that "the Germans gave such an order", according to the account by Wasersztajn), or, was it a "grass-root" initiative of city councilors of Jedwabne? - It is impossible to determine it. It is anyway without greater importance [underlined by T.S.], as clearly both parties came easily to an agreement." (p. 52) Well, this is something I cannot understand! I cannot discuss it with him, as if it were indifferent to a Polish historian, whether the initiative of that terrible murder committed on people from that town, on the neighbors, came from the occupiers, or whether it was a "grass-root" initiative of the City Board, quisling, but composed of Poles. What the Jewish community would say about a Jewish historian who would write that it was indifferent to him, whether Judenrat's sending thousands after thousands of Warsaw Jews to the Umschlagplatz was done by German orders, or was it a "grass-root" initiative of the very Judenrat, as "clearly both parties came easily to an agreement." I leave this question without an answer. I would also like to ask the author of the "Neighbors" two simple questions: 1. How does he know that beside the City Board also a City Council existed in Jedwabne in 1941, and that it took any part in any possible talks with the Germans? 2. How does he know that both "parties" easily came to an agreement, as in fact we know nothing about the talks themselves (their course, results, circumstances)? All these are irresponsible words, cast in the wind, without any grounds, but, on the other hand, with an all too clear tendency to throw mud on the residents of Jedwabne. Simply shameful. There is no reason then to consider, following the accounts of Szmul Wesersztajn and Eliasz Grdowski (footnote 48 on p. 54), whether in fact the Germans proposed the Poles that they "allowed" (as it comes out from the context) to save the lives of some number of Jews professionals, and Bronisaw leszyski resisted to that, or, whether, following Wiktor Nieawicki's account, "the Germans suggested while at the very barn that some Jews be spared, as they needed labor force, and one of the Poles who managed the action replied that they would submit sufficient number of their own people to work" [underlined by T.S.]. Wasersztajn could possibly hear something about it, but not at "first hand" (according to Jan Gross), while Eliasz Grdowski, who was in the USSR till the end of the war, did not hear anything - not even something "not at first hand." And, let us add it, he is an evident liar, who not only disclosed in his testimony that he'd been hundreds kilometers away from Jedwabne on 10th July 1941, but pretended that he was one of those subject to repressive measures. Namely, he testified the following: "Initially they drove all the Jews to the town square in Jedwabne - I fled (...)"

and he mentioned as many as 26 people guilty of the murder, adding that Abram Boruszczak, a witness of the prosecutor, who was not a resident of Jedwabne at all, had witnessed the same. It is getting spicier by the fact that the same Eliasz Grdowski, while testifying in front of the City Court of Justice in oma in the case to admit the property right to Gedal London, concerning a property at Przestrzelska Street in Jedwabne, that used to belong to Ms. Sora Drejarska, his sister, and he testified on 8th January 1947 (therefore, two years earlier): "Drejarska was murdered with her entire family by Germans and only her brother remained alive", while testifying in a similar case concerning Josech Lewin, he claimed: "He is a brother of Fajga, born Semin, who was murdered by Germans on 10th July 1941, and it was done in that way that the Jews, including herself, were driven to a barn in Jedwabne and were burnt alive. I know that, as I was hiding in the area of Jedwabne at that time" [underlined by T.S.]. Another Polish citizen of Jewish descent, Mr. Jankel Bena, gave testimony as a witness in the same case: "On 10th July, I saw Germans driving all the Jews of Jedwabne to a barn and setting fire (...). I was hiding from the Germans at that time, and was hidden at the cemetery then, and witnessed everything." One thing we don't know is whether it concerns the catholic cemetery at Cmentarna ("Cemetery") Street, located several hundred meters from leszyski's barn, or the Jewish cemetery, located within several dozen meters. The same concerns other witnesses, too. The City Court of Justice in oma made a statement at that time: "The fact of the death of Zelik Zdrojewicz was ascertained by the testimony of an eyewitness, Zelik Lewiski, who had seen Zdrojewicz being driven on that critical day with the entire Jewish population of Jedwabne to a barn, set on fire by the Germans. The witness managed to escape from being driven into the barn in the last moment" [underlined by T.S.]. This prompts a question: When did Eliasz Grdowski and others testified truly? - Was it when they accused the Poles of murder, thus ruling out the German participation, or when they provided account about the Germans, not mentioning a single word about the Poles? It seems like they said what they deemed beneficial or comfortable in a given moment. One more comment. Prof. Gross's statement that the accounts of the last witnesses of the Holocaust are especially credible, and that they should be treated as such, was disqualified and ridiculed by himself. Perhaps in other cases, yes, but in those he used to present his premise, no. I cannot help it. In what concerns Eliasz Grdowski and Abram Boruszczak, it also refers to Wiktor Nieawicki, who, according to Gross "escaped before being driven with the crowd of Jews to the barn" (footnote 48, p. 54). Could he get back, close to the barn, in order to listen to the conversations between the murderers? - And who informed him, hiding away from deadly danger, about that conspiracy? - Probably not those "Poles who managed the action." Thus, the entire premise assuming an agreement between some Polish authorities and the German political police is "suspended in a vacuum" being not proved by any serious arguments. WHO SET THE LESZYSKIS' BARN ON FIRE? This fundamental issue is still waiting to be solved. I have no documents that would be of prevailing importance, but I would nevertheless like to present some testimonies that can prove useful. The first one is a statement by Aleksander Wyrzykowski, husband of Antonina, the very main

positive heroin of the "Neighbors" - a film by Agnieszka Arnold, and who is also present in Gross's book. It was the two of them who kept seven individuals of Jewish descent in hiding as long as till 1945. Aleksander Wyrzykowski (born in 1908 and living in Milanwek by Warsaw at that time), signed a "Testimony" on 2nd May 1962, which begins with the following words: "I, Wyrzykowski Aleksander, together with my wife, Antonina, would like to submit the following statement. From November 1942 to 22nd January 1945, we were hiding seven Jews in our place. We lived in Janczewko in the poviat of oma at that time. Not far from our place, in the town of Jedwabne, the Germans, assisted by some Poles, burnt 1600 Jews alive in 1942 [wrong: it was in 1941 T.S.] (...)" [underlined by T.S.]. the second testimony is that by Stefan Boczkowski of the village of Grdy Mae, located in the vicinity of Jedwabne, and who, together with a friend, Roman Chojnowski of the same village, witnessed the events in Jedwabne on 10th July. They were both over 15 at that time. He wrote me the following in his letter of 21st November 2000: "Both of us, with many other local people were walking within some distance, at the rear of the column [of Jews - T.S.] - but we could see almost entire column pretty clear. Once the column approached the barn, they brutally ordered the Jews to enter it, and, in most of the cases, German soldiers "physically helped them" enter the barn - by kicking, beating up and pushing individual people by force. Once all those from the column were pushed into the barn, the large door was closed, i.e. the door that served to let horse-driven carriages with cargo into the barn. Then a military pickup with soldiers arrived at a high speed, and some of the soldiers immediately jumped down on the ground, while the remaining soldiers began to hand to those on the ground metal containers with gasoline, and those soldiers immediately poured the gasoline on the sides of the barn, all around; immediately after they poured the gasoline, some soldiers began to set fire on the barn on the sides all around. The barn was immediately set on fire with high flames and smoke. There was a terrible cry, lament and some hell-like uproar (...)". Another account is in line with that of Boczkowski. It was submitted in New York City, and this time not to myself, but to Waldemar Piasecki. I cannot evaluate how credible it is, although it sounds very credible, indeed. It was submitted by Apolinary Domitrz of the village of Rostki by Jedwabne, born in 1929, who, together with his colleagues, Jan Rakowski and Zenon Ryszkiewicz, was pasturing cows within a half-kilometer off the fire. Having spotted the fire, they arrived running when the barn was on fire for quite a while already. The record says: "It was warm when the barn was set on fire. It burst up. Then we immediately ran to Jedwabne. (...) A turn to Cmentarna Street. And so we stood some two hundred and fifty meters from the barn. It was a fire like hell. It cracked like chopped splinters. It was built of wooden boards, thatched. Everything was very hot. There was a blast and a yellow smoke came out. Like that. And the Germans withdrew from the fire. And what about the others? What "others"? Master, there were no Poles in there. Only the Germans. We have seen no Poles. How many MPs were there? Oh, master, plenty came in. Some twenty or thirty. I did not count them, but there were many of them. (...)" (Witness No. 5. Jedwabne - the inner history of the crime. "Kulisy", No. 16 of 19th Apr. 2001.) One can say that the contemporary account published by "Kulisy" is of no importance. Confronted with "zero" credibility of Grdowski and Boruszczak, testifying in front of the court, I would not be as skeptical in relation to accounts provided years later, provided they were submitted independently of one another and if facts and pictures they describe confirm one another. The difference between the testimonies provided by Boczkowski and Domitrz is that the former watched from the very beginning the Jews being driven and the fire itself, and thus saw the Poles, while the latter arrived when Poles had already left the area around the barn. There is yet another element to increase the level of credibility of Boczkowski's account. Even though he did not know the files of the case of 1949 while submitting his testimony, he clearly distinguishes between two groups of Poles involved in guarding Jews in the town square and driving them into the barn. The first one were those "forced" to perform the task under pressure,

while the second one were "volunteers" marked off by beating up the Jews. The conviction of the local community that it was the Germans who had burnt the Jews in Jedwabne and that the same could happen to the Poles is present in the account by father Kazimierz Olszewski, the priest at the Center for the Blind in Laski by Warsaw. He wrote, among other things: "I was born in the village of Grdy Due, 4 kilometers off Jedwabne, and I lived there till 1953. My parish church was in Jedwabne. (...) The Soviets fled on 22nd June 1941, and then the Germans came. On 10th July 1941 I was with my father, who worked in our field by the village of Przestrzele, some kilometer and a half from Jedwabne. Some time before the evening we noticed a column of smoke. The day was warm and sunny. There was a fire in Jedwabne, something was burning. We came back home in the evening. The news was spread - the Germans had burnt Jews in a barn of Jedwabne. I could hear around me that soon the same would be the fate of the Poles. I shall never forget a conversation with my mother, Helena: "Mum, I'm afraid that they will burn us alive, too." Then I heard the answer: "Do not fear, it takes a short while." I shall never forget the smoke of the barn on fire and the conversation with my mother. (...) Little was said about the participation of the local community in the Holocaust of the Jews, as there was no doubt of who was the main perpetrator of the murder in Jedwabne." (A letter of 6th March 2001.) I am not writing all this in order to try to diminish the participation and responsibility of Poles at all cost, as there is no doubt that some group of them took part in the murder. Instructive in this context is however a statement by Prof. Adam Dobroski, and concerning the events of Tykocin, "which till recently have been regarded as the most drastic example of the Polish participation in the extermination of Jews. According to Jewish accounts, it was the Poles who had organized the pogrom (...). But following a more extensive research of the source material, the extent of Polish participation has been clearly decreased, and currently they say that while in fact a certain number of Poles took part in it, but as a result of the Germans having earlier rounded-up Poles, and they summoned some by their names, and took others directly from the street." (A. Dobroski "Historical Controversies are Verified in a Dialogue", "Rzeczpospolita" of 5th May 2000.). Exactly the same as in the case of Jedwabne. The above quotation leads us to the problem of analogies, to look at the murder in Jedwabne from the perspective of other cities and towns of the oma region. What happened in other places We do not have more comprehensive knowledge of similar murders as that of Jedwabne, committed in at least several places at approximately the same time, but descriptions of those events reveal scenes that indicate some predefined "scenario", a ritual course of the mass extermination of Jews. At the same time, the Germans are the key "directors" and "actors" in each case, with some smaller or bigger participation by some group of the local community. At the same time, descriptions provided by Polish and Jewish witnesses match one another. There is therefore no question of manipulation or lies on the part of the witnesses. Namely, Jews in Zarby Kocielne were treated exactly in the same way as those in Jedwabne, and the only difference is that it happened as early as September 1939. Wacaw Zakrzewski, in his account entitled "On Pathless Tracts of the War" (Archiwum Wschodnie, sign. II/507/) of 1973, has recorded that while Germans entered Zarby on 14th September 1939: "Local Jews led by the rabbi came out to greet the Germans. The Germans allowed them to

welcome them, and ordered that all the Jews gathered in the town square. Once all the Jews gathered, they ordered them to collect the fertilizer that remained after the market with their bare hands, and ordered the rabbi to take it away in the hat (...)". Does not it remind us of the order to clean the town square in Jedwabne, as an overture to the execution? Was not it at Czyewo, located west of Jedwabne, where Germans who came here in June 1941, ordered to smash monuments of Lenin and Stalin into pieces? Doctor Marian Godlewski of Warsaw, who was a resident of the town at that time, recollects the following: "The Russians erected a monument of Lenin, in the town square of Czyewo, and that of Stalin - a bust - at the train station, on a small square by the train station. The station was within some kilometer to the town. Immediately after having seized the town, the Germans drove all the Jews of Czyewo and told them to break Lenin's monument into pieces, and then go to the station and break Stalin's monument into pieces, and then carry all that remained of both monuments on hand-barrows, sing Jewish mourning songs, and throw the broken monuments into the Broja river after the procession. The event was organized by Germans." (A letter of 19th April 2001.) After all, the order to break monuments of the "leaders" into pieces, to carry them on handbarrows in a procession and to sing (in Jedwabne they sang: "The war is because of us" and Soviet songs) is also an element of a ritual that preceded the murder. Let us now take a look from the perspective of accounts given by local Jews. At first those from Zarby Kocielne. "At the beginning of August 1941, Polish policemen gathered Jewish men who had worked for the Soviet authorities and whom they knew as active collaborators. Many managed to hide, and they gathered approximately 30 in total. They were made carry Lenin's statue, from the market square to the river by the town. On the way, Polish policemen forced the Jews to sing Hatikwa, and one of them, Jaakow Krzybowicz (Grzybowicz?) was made play the accordion. By the river, while throwing the statue into water, a local policeman, Roman Zakrzewski, ordered a local Jew, Abram Bonowicz to deliver a speech he dictated to him. (...)" (AIH, Account 301/386. Account by Rachela and Mindl Olszak, a typewritten copy). It is described in a similar way by Cipa Goldberg (Acc. No. 301/383), who adds the following fragment: "One day, the Germans drove rabbi piewak on the street, made him take off his shoes and sweep the street, and collect rubbish in his own hat." It was very similar in Kolno: "On July 5 1941, the Germans and their Polish assistants drove the entire Jewish community and gathered them around Lenin's monument. They made the men to put on their talliths and sing; While singing Hatikwa, accompanied by terrible beating up and shouts, the statue was broken into pieces by Jewish smiths. The debris was loaded on cars. They were driven by Jews in talliths, the Germans sitting on top of the cars with the reins in their hands, the Poles hustling and beating up (...). At the cemetery, they dig a grave, make them prey, sing, and to the great joy of the persecutors, the debris that remained from Lenin's statue is buried." (AIH, acc. 301/1996, Biaystok, 28th Nov. 1946.) Apart from that, repeated, with some modifications, ritual, another characteristic moment that begins the wave of atrocities completed with extermination, is the arrival of a larger group of Germans. It is the most visible in accounts concerning Radziw, located some 20 kilometers north of Jedwabne. Chana Finkelsztajn has recorded the following in her account of 22nd Oct. 1945 (No. 301/1284): "On 7th July [1941 - T.S.] many Germans arrived"; another account by Menachem Finkelsztajn (No. 301/1994, of 28th Nov. 1946.) informs: "It is 3 p.m., 7th July 1941; four German cars full of Gestapo officers arrive from a little town of Stawiski to Radziw; with them there is one person in a Polish uniform." The same Chana Finkelsztajn wrote in another version of her account (No. 301/1284) that "on 7th July, three taxis

with Germans arrived." (The same witness, contrary to Gross's statements of the marginal participation of the Germans in the crime of Radziw, recognized the present Gestapo officer, Hermann Schaper, as the "commander of the whole action"). The same applies to Jedwabne: The above-quoted Bardon, Jerzy Laudaski and Szmul Wasersztajn inform about the arrival of the taxis. There are though other accounts that mention trucks instead of "taxis." Prelate Tadeusz Klimaszewski, the present parish priest of Wizna, while sent to the town from a nearby village of Supy, saw a German truck in a street leading to Wizna from Jedwabne, and they mentioned four trucks with Germans at that time. (Account of 18th March 2001.) Stefan Boczkowski saw a pickup at leszyskis' barn. All that added together would indicate that it was not "Satan descending in Jedwabne", as Prof. Gross put it, but a commando from Ciechanw instead, arriving to yet another site of a pogrom. This fact would provide a logical explanation of that series of mass murders that took place in locations north of oma in the Summer of 1941. Tomasz Strzembosz Rzeczpospolita 12th May 2001. prof. Tomasz Strzembosz, Rzeczpospolita, 2001-05-12

Poland Exhumes 200 Jewish Victims of 1941 Massacre June 4, 2001 By REUTERS Filed at 5:09 p.m. ET WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish prosecutors found the remains of roughly 200 victims of a 1941 massacre of Jews in a small town in eastern Poland during a contested exhumation that ended on Monday, officials said. The figure was far less than the 1,600 Jews that Polish-born historian Jan Gross claimed were killed in his controversial book "Neighbors" published last year. [No wonder it was a "contested exhumation", Gross's lies are slowly uncovered. K.J.] The exhumation, criticized by Jewish groups as desecrating the dead, was initiated by Poland's National Remembrance Institute (IPN), a state body probing war crimes, after the book blamed local Polish townsfolk in Jedwabne for conducting the massacre. "We cannot say how many people were killed in Jedwabne or whether there are any other graves. We know how many human remains we found... We saw bones and ashes of roughly 200 people," IPN's top prosecutor Witold Kulesza told

Reuters. "We did not conduct a full exhumation since we did not pull out the bones from the graves," he said. Kulesza said there were no immediate plans to search for more graves in the area. German Nazis were in control of the area at the time of the massacre in July 1941. The blame for the mass killings had been laid at their feet until Gross published his book and ignited a furious national debate. IPN requested the exhumation, which received a final go-ahead from Justice Minister Lech Kaczynski last month, to establish the number of victims and the circumstances of their death. Kaczynski said earlier that the limited scope of exhumation was part of an agreement with the Jewish community. [But Reuters reported doesn't say what the Justice Minister, Lech Kaczynski also said. Here are excerpts from his statement, as reported by PAP on the 05.06.01: "In Jedwabne died far less than 1600 Jews, that Gross writes about in his book... It is impossible for those to graves to contain 1600 bodies, not even a number of bodies close to 1600. It is very obvious that there are not so many victims here..." Further questioned in this regard by the reporters, Lech Kaczynski stated: "...there are more than one hundred (bodies). Approximately 200." BURNT REMAINS Gross's book alleges that Polish villagers went on a murderous rampage through Jedwabne, then herded the remaining Jews into a barn near the local Jewish cemetery and set it alight, killing nearly all of the town's 1,600 Jews. "We have excavated two graves, one within the boundaries of a barn and one just outside of it. We found bones and human ashes, as well as keys, jewelry and other personal belongings," Kulesza said. [What Kulesza forgot to say, or reporter didn't quote, is that the location of the second grave doesn't correspond with the testimonies of Gross's witness' K.J.] The exhumation, monitored by rabbis and guarded by police, was followed by some Polish Jews who prayed and recited psalms as workers and archaeologists

removed layers of dirt. Some historians and Jedwabne residents argue the killing was committed by Germans or by a small group of local Poles acting on the orders of the Nazis. Kulesza said prosecutors found cartridges but further investigation was needed to determine whether they came from German army weapons or other types of guns. [No, he didn't say "to determine whether they came from German army weapons". According to PAP he said that IPN is in the possession of nearly one hundred cartridges, bullets and rifle bridges, and is conducting examination of these items, what would help to establish which German units took part in the massacre, not "whether they came from German army weapons". Death penalty, never mind firearms, punished even possession of the radio receiver by any Polish national under the German occupation. The only people armed with firearms in Jedwabne could be the Germans. K.J.] Local Jedwabne authorities plan to unveil a monument at the massacre site during a 60th anniversary ceremony on July 10, due to be attended by Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski. Last week, Jewish groups criticized Polish authorities after their proposed text to be inscribed on the monument did not explicitly blame Poles for the killings, saying only that the massacre was ``inflamed by German Nazism.'' About three million Polish Jews were killed during World War Two, mainly in concentration camps. [Of course the author "conveniently forgot" about three million of the ethnic Poles that were also killed by the Germans during WWII. Forgotten Holocaust. K.J.] Reuters, REUTERS, 0000-00-00 powrot Mrs.Margaret Pageler President of Seattle City Council by Wojciech Wlazlinski

Mrs.Margaret Pageler President of Seattle City Council. Re: ACT Theatre. "Polish Joke" by David Ives.

Dear Mrs.Pageler. The Polish community and I, are highly concerned about the event which is taking place in the ACT Theatre in Seattle titled "Polish Joke" by David Ives. The lack of sensitivity to this controversial matter by the Theatre group is appalling.Ms. Susan Trapnell, Director of Seattle Art Commission, saw this play, did not see anything wrong with it, and refused to intervene. Her acceptance of this play is, indeed, very peculiar. All attempts to obtain the text of the play from the Theatre have been, to date, unsuccessful. The response by Ms. Trapnell to the request for a copy of the text that: "...this play is meant to see not read", is incomprehensible. Opinions of other parties, not necessarily of Polish origin, are overwhelmingly in opposition to that of Ms. Trapnell. Because of the repeated refusal by persons connected to ACT Theatre to respond to this very reasonable request, I am still not acquainted with the text. However, the highly offensive content of the Theatre's Internet home page regarding "Polish Joke", is still available world wide. It sufficiently portrays the real meaning and purpose of this play despite rhetorics to the contrary. "Who ever thought that being Polish was part of the human condition? Young Jasiu doesn't want to be Polish all his life, but he finds that he cannot escape his destiny. On his hilarious journey, Jasiu will try anything and everything to escape the curse of his Polish ancestry." The above publicity text was available on the Theatre's home page for a relatively long time and was changed on July 8th after protests. No words of public explanation, apology or acknowledgement of the controversy it has stirred were issued by the Theatre. "[...]JASIU: OK ROMAN: Are you ready? JASIU: I'm ready ROMAN: All Polish jokes ... are true.[...]" "[...]"To be Jewish is an art. To be Irish is a social skill. But to be Polish, Jasiu -- dat is a destiny," Roman tells his nephew. "And can you escape dis destiny? Can you flee da Polish gong dat says life has no purpose?" "Maybe," Uncle Roman muses later, "being Polish is da human condition itself. And if you are human -- how do you escape the human condition? "[...]" As of today, the above text still exist on the home page. The play "Polish Joke", advertised in the manner quoted above, will not draw any decent persons of any ethnic background, but will exploit those of lower minds looking for a cheap sensation. I will appreciate if you would be so kind as to express your opinion about this unpleasant matter. Sincerely, Wojciech Wlazlinski Polonianet Publishing Co. Chicago. ,,


Letter to the Editor of NEWSWEEK by Michael Preisler

Letter to the Editor of NEWSWEEK What's going on with George F. Will? This conservative stalwart appears to be dramatically changing his political perspective with his July 9th review of the book, "Neighbors." The villains in it are long-suffering anti-Communist and anti-Nazi Polish Catholics who were alternately subjected to the terror of these two evil occupiers of their country during World War II. Author Jan T. Gross accuses the Poles of atrocities against their Jewish neighbors at the very moment the Red Army was ending a two-year occupation of their village. In previous writings which he now carefully avoids repeating in "Neighbors," Gross admitted Polish Jews had tormented their Catholic neighbors by collaborating with the enemy wherever the Communists were in charge of the territory. Mr. Will accepts all of Gross' allegations as gospel truth despite the fact they were based largely on the statements of one such collaborator, Szmul Wasersztajn, identified with connections to the terror apparatus directed by the NKVD, the predecessor of the KGB. And, true to the way Communists usually told their stories, Wasersztajn claimed to be an eyewitness to the alleged atrocities even though he never was. In gratitude for providing Gross with the kind of material that was able to influence even someone like George Will, the author paid special tribute to Comrade Wasersztajn by dedicating "Neighbors" to him. What will George Will next be giving us as recommended reading? Karl Marx? Michael Preisler Auschwitz Prisoner No. 22213 Co-Chair Holocaust Documentation Committee Polish American Congress 177 Kent St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11222 (718) 384-2584 Michael Preisler, , 0000-00-00 powrot

Murderers who take pride in their crime

Partisans or bandits? On February 12, 2001, the Canadian Polish Congress wrote to Poland's Institute

of National Remembrance/Memory (Instytut Pamieci Narodowej-IPN) to initiate an investigation into a mass murder perpetrated in the village of Koniuchy (now Kaniukai, Lithuania) during World War II. According to the count of the perpetrators themselves, some 300 defenceless Poles-mostly women and children-were massacred in that bloody orgy. Professor Witold Kulesza, the director of the IPN's Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation, announced on February 22, that there would be a formal investigation into this matter, thus bringing to fruition an undertaking commenced by the Congress' Information Services in 1996. One of the most tragic aspects of any war is the murder of the civilian population which, most often innocently, gets caught up in sweeping events that unfold around them and over which they have little or no control. As extensive documentary evidence shows, Jews hiding in the forests were most often killed during German raids, by Soviet partisans, and by marauding bands of various descriptions. A much smaller number of Jewspartisans and forest people were killed by Polish partisans for taking part in incessant raids for provisions against the Polish population. There are abundant descriptions authored by Jewish partisans attesting to how cruel and violent these robberies could be. The Jewish partisans in Rudniki forest, who had subordinated themselves to the Soviet partisan command, consisted of four divisions: "Death to Fascism," led by Jacob (Yaakov) Prenner; "Struggle," led by Avrasha Rasel; "To Victory," led by Shmuel Kaplinsky; and "Avenger," led by Abba Kovner. There were fifty partisans in each division, and the four divisions together formed the so-called Jewish Brigade, of which Abba Kovner was the commander. See Rich Cohen, The Avengers (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000), 110. Subsequently, the Jewish Brigade was disbanded and the Jewish partisans were merged into the Lithuanian Brigade which, despite its name, contained few ethnic Lithuanians; its make-up was said to be 20 percent Jewish. Ibid., 112, 121. We also learn that after the city of Wilno was taken and the Red Army advanced into East Prussia, because of the intervention of a Jew who worked for the Soviet high command Jewish partisans were excused from engaging in battle; they remained in Wilno were they were presented with Medals of Valour, the highest honour in the Red Army. Ibid., 154. According to Isaac Kowalski, the partisans of the almost exclusively Jewish "Nekamah" unit were appointed to various important economic posts in the city. Isaac Kowalski, A Secret Press in Nazi Europe: The Story of a Jewish United Partisan Organization (New York: Central Guide Publishers, 1969), 386.

In northeastern Poland, the peasants were close to starvation after they "met" both the German and Soviet "requisitions." In some cases, they defended their property and resisted these raids, only to see their homes and villages "pacified." Soviet-Jewish partisans obliterated the village of Koniuchy in the Rudniki forest, near Wilno, in April 1944. According to Jewish participants who took part in this bloodbath, some three hundred inhabitantsmostly women and childrenwere slaughtered. Peasants attempting to escape from the inferno were shot. Even an infant found by two Jewish women partisans near the body of his murdered mother was picked up and hurled into a blazing hut. The following account is by a Jewish participant of that inferno: "The Brigade Headquarters decided to raze Koniuchy to the ground to set an example to others. One evening a hundred and twenty of the best partisans from all the camps, armed with the best weapons they had, set out in the direction of the village. There were about 50 Jews among them, headed by Yaakov Prenner. At midnight they came to the vicinity of the village and assumed their proper positions. The order was not to leave any one alive. Even livestock was to be killed and all property was to be destroyed. The signal was given just before dawn. Within minutes, the village was surrounded on three sides. On the fourth side was the river and the only bridge over it was in the hands of the partisans. With torches prepared in advance, the partisans burned down the houses, stables, and granaries, while opening heavy fire on the houses. Half-naked peasants jumped out of windows and sought escape. But everywhere fatal bullets awaited them. Many jumped into the river and swam towards the other side, but they too, met the same end. The mission was completed within a short while. Sixty households, numbering about 300 people, were destroyed, with no survivors." See Chaim Lazar, Destruction and Resistance (New York: Shengold Publishers, 1985), 174-75 "Konyuchi [sic] was a village of dusty streets and squat, unpainted houses. The partisans - Russians, Lithuanians and Jews - attacked Konyuchi from the fields, the sun at their backs. The partisans-Russians, Lithuanians and Jewsattacked Konyuchi [sic] from the fields, the sun at their backs. There was gunfire from the guard towers. Partisans returned the fire. The peasants ducked into houses. Partisans threw grenades onto roofs and the houses exploded into flame. Other houses were torched. Peasants ran from their front doors and raced down the streets. The partisans chased them, shooting men, women and children. Many peasants ran in the direction of the German garrison, which took them through a cemetery on the edge of town. The partisan commander, anticipating this move, had stationed several men

behind the gravestones. When these partisans opened fire, the peasants turned back, only to be met by the soldiers coming up from behind. Caught in a cross fire, hundreds of peasants were killed." See Rich Cohen, The Avengers (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2000), 145. "The entire village [of Koniuchy] was laid in ashes and its inhabitants were killed," according to Zalman Wylozny who served in the "Death to Fascists" detachment. See Golota, "Losy Zydw ostroleckich w czasie II wojny swiatowej," Biuletyn Zydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego, no. 187 (1998): 32. Kowalski, A Secret Press in Nazi Europe, 333-34; also reproduced in Isaac Kowalski, comp. and ed., Anthology on Armed Jewish Resistance, 1939-1945, volume 4 (Brooklyn, New York: Jewish Combatants Publishers House, 1991), 390-91. According to Kowalski, Koniuchy was located about ten kilometres from the periphery of the partisan base, but there is no mention by him that the residents were going out of their way to hunt down Jewish or Soviet partisans. (Indeed, such conduct would have been suicidal.) Rather, whenever the partisans "crossed" or "passed" the village on their way to "important and dangerous missions" of an unspecified nature, they "were met by sniper fire." Since there was no compelling reason for the partisans having to pass repeatedly through a village ten kilometres from their base, it is apparent that these confrontations occurred during "economic" actions, i.e., raids on this village. Polish historian, Kazimierz Krajewski, disputes the Jewish versions. The village was not the "fortress" it is made out to be and its entire "arsenal" consisted of several rusted rifles. The sole cause of the villagers' misfortune was that they attempted to fend off relentless and increasingly violent partisan raids. Krajewski also mentions that, on April 27, 1944, shortly before the assault on Koniuchy, Soviet partisans attacked the hamlet of Niewoniance, which also supported the Home Army. Two families of Home Army members consisting of eight peoplewere murdered and their farmsteads burned to the ground. See Krajewski, Na Ziemi Nowogrdzkiej, 511-12. We now know, as well, that the nearest German garrisons or police post was six kilometres away in Rakliszki. See Malewski, "Masakra w Koniuchach," Nasza Gazeta, March 8, According to the Polish historian Kazimierz Krajewski's "Na Ziemi Nowogrodzkiej: "Now"-Nowogrdzki Okreg Armii Krajowej", published in Warsaw in 1997: "The only 'crime' committed by the inhabitants of Koniuchy was the fact that they had had enough of the daily - or, rather, nightly - robberies and assaults, and they

wanted to organize self-defence. The Bolsheviks from the Rudniki Forest decided to annihilate the village in order to terrorize into submission the inhabitants of other settlements. ... The massacre of the population of Koniuchy, including women and children, has been described by Chaim Lazar as an outstanding 'combat operation,' of which he is genuinely proud. The description [by Lazar] of the village's 'fortifications' is a complete nonsense. It was an average village, in which a group of men has organized a self-defence unit. Their equipment consisted of a few rusty rifles." Krzysztof Janiewicz, , 0000-00-00 powrot To the Editor of The Wall Street Journal July 12, 2001 by Prof. Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski

To the Editor of The Wall Street Journal July 12, 2001 Dear Sir: Your July 12 editorial Poland's Reckoning is misleading. Instead of using editorial generalizations let us say clearly that in 1939 Poland defended its freedom and refused to join either Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union. Poland suffered the worst wartime terror created by the German Nazis and by the Soviets (whose terror apparatus stayed on Polish soil for 45 postwar years). Before German attack on the USSR on June 20, 1941, in Dec. 1940, the NKVD registered 652 Jews in the town of Jedwabne where you have alleged the "Poles" burned 1500 Jews on July 10, 1941. In reality, upon occupying Jedwabne the Germans appointed Polish- speaking ethnic Germans to serve as the new town administration to replace their Soviet predecessors (mostly local Jews) On July 10, 1941 German police and military (based at Ciechanow), actively assisted by the new mayor (a German citizen from Upper Silesia) and some known local criminals, conducted a horrible massacre of Jews by burning many of them in a small barn. The reminder of local Jews was locked up in a new ghetto created near the marketplace. Details of the massacre are being currently established by ongoing investigation of the site. Apparently, after the war an officer of the Soviet terror apparatus ordered to inscribe on a marker at the site of the massacre that 1600 Jews were burned in the barn by the Germans. The Soviet policy was to overstate the number of people killed by the Germans as was done in the case of the victims of Auschwitz. Preliminary reports of the investigation indicate that in the mass graves in Jedwabne there are some 200 victims buried - most of them Jews with a few Christian Poles. A large number of spent German cartridges were found at the execution site. The victims had personal objects indicating that they were prepared for a transport to an other locality. The Germans brought a truck full of gasoline canisters, to set the barn on fire. (The Germans used a similar procedure in several localities near Jedwabne.) There was no gasoline available then to the Poles, who also could not posses guns under death penalty, enforced by both the Germans and the Soviets during their respective occupations of Poland. The Stalinist show trial in 1949,

mentioned in your Poland's Reckoning, was complete with forced confessions extracted by tortures (confirmed even by Gross). Soviet purpose was to punish the accused for their membership in the Polish anti-communist underground rather than to bring justice to Jewish victims. Jerzy Laudanski, the main villain of the controversial book Neighbors by the New York professor of sociology (not of history) J. T. Gross, is a hero of Polish anti-German and anti-Soviet underground. It is on record that Mr. Laudanski was tortured by the Gestapo in the notorious Pawiak prison in Warsaw, and did not betray anyone. He was then transferred to Auschwitz, to Gross Rosen camp, and finally to Sachsenhausen near Berlin. Aleksander Kwasniewski, former minister in the pre-1991 communist government and now the president of Poland, is given credit in your editorial for apologizing "as a human being, a citizen, and the President of the Republic of Poland" for an atrocious crime committed in Jedwabne on Jewish men, women and children sixty years ago. His statements are full of innuendos, appeals to the supposedly guilty conscience of the Polish nation and a veiled assumption of Polish national responsibility for the massacre. Mr. Kwasniewski, thus, violated the basic democratic principle the independence of the judiciary from the executive branch of the government (i.e. the president). Without waiting for the conclusion of the ongoing criminal investigation, he accused the Poles of planing initiating, and carrying out the burning hundreds of Jews in a barn (as Gross insinuates in his Neighbors). I believe that this is a part of an effort, by the former communist elite, who are still in positions of power, to obscure the 45 years of their crimes against the Polish people. Presently they attempt to smear the Polish Resistance by accusing it of crimes against Jews. Thus, Kwasniewski and others in the clique of former communist oppressors and their families are successfully confusing many formerly oppressed Poles and their children. In the present sad state of affairs in Poland people are voting their pocketbook and they still protest the economic hardship of the shock therapy of privatization with nearly 20% unemployment. Most Poles now experience a lower standard of living than they had during most of the communist rule. In their desperation they elected by a slim majority a "post-communist president" Kwasniewski. He uses the tragedy of the Jewish genocide of WWII in an attempt to gain political support of those Jewish institutions and individuals, who exploit the genocide during World War II for political and financial gain. Your editorial page of April 11, 2001 coined the term Holocaust profiteers for people accusing IBM of collaboration with the Nazis. In the meantime this accusation has been withdrawn from the NY courts Similarly J. T. Gross, the author of the book Neighbors, now discredited by the results of the exhumation is facing accusations in Polish courts by the Laudanski family for slander and falsification of records. The whole matter of vilifying of Poles is personally painful to me: I am 50% disabled by sixty four months of imprisonment by the Gestapo and in the concentration camp Sachsenhausen. It must not be forgotten that in addition to three million Polish Jews another three million Christian Poles were killed in WWII. These six million represented 20% of prewar population of Poland. Sincerely, Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski Blacksburg, July 5, 2001

Author, among others, of: Poland - A Historical Atlas (200 maps and graphs), Hippocrene Books, NY, 1987, Jews in Poland - A Documentary History - The Rise of Jews as a Nation from Congressus Judaicus in Poland to the Knesset in Israel, Hippocrene Books, NY, 1993, Unabridged Polish English Dictionary (200,000 entries), Hippocrene Books, NY, 1993, Poland an Illustrated History, Hippocrene Books, NY, 2000. Address: PO Box 10037, Blacksburg, VA 24062; tel (540) 951 2343; fax: (540) 951 1329 Prof. Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski, , 0000-00-00


To: Europe Transitions Online by Chris Janiewicz

To: Europe Transitions Online Dear Sir or Madam: I would like to voice my strong objections regarding the article published on your Web Site, titled "Victims and Oppressors " and written by mr. Tomasz Krzyzanowski. The above mentioned article is prejudicial and slanderous towards Poland and the Polish people in general, and the population of the town of Jedwabne in particular. It could be even classified as besmirching and racist against Polish people and Poland. This article featured in your publication is based on the prejudicial, full of lies and manipulations book written by John Tomas Gross and titled "Neighbours". Perusing the first few pages of John Tomas Gross' book "Neighbours" one's hopes rise that here we will learn the truth about the crime of Jedwabne. The author is being introduced as a noted historian (by education he is a sociologist), professor of political sciences of the University of New York and author of essays on the subject of Polish-German-Jewish relationships in the years 1939-1948. Gross names various sources that he relied on. Unfortunately, as one reads his book, one is assailed by doubts whether the version presented in it is trustworthy. Although Gross mentions various sources and refers to numerous historians, yet in his argumentation he is relying on the statements of one man only - Szmul Wasersztejn, a Jew living in the town, but according to some witnesses, not present there during the massacre. (Teodor Eugeniusz Lusinski to the Institute of Jewish History, 20.03.95, according to Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz). This crown witness of Gross, in Poland went under the name of Stanislaw Calka or Calko, and not Wasersztejn, who after the war was an agent of U.B. in the rank of lieutenant. (UB-Communist State Security Forces responsible for death and torture of many Poles). Other two so called "eyewitnesses", that testimonies Mr. Gross based his book on, Abram Boruszczak never lived in the town of Jedwabne and Eljasz Gradowski, was sentenced by the Soviet authorities for theft and deported to Soviet Union in 1940, well before the events in Jedwabne took place. He returned to Jedwabne in 1945. Another one is Karol Bardon, volksdeutsch and the German gendarme, who was sentenced to a death penalty for collaboration with the German occupying forces and when submitting his testimony was fighting to save his life, that was indeed commuted by the Communist authorities to a life sentence. Also material evidence provided now by the exhumation of the victims grave is clearly contradicting thesis provided by Mr. Gross's book. Instead of 1600 dead, burned in the barn, forensic and archaeological experts estimate this number as maximum 400. Also, Mr. Gross alleges that there was no German participation in the massacre, and their sole purpose to be there was taking photographs. But the exhumation of the graves and surrounding

area discovered 89 shells of Mauser 7.5 mm, (weapon being standard German army rifle from the WWI till the end of WWII, with some modifications carried in 1935), plus 1 cartridge and 2 bullets coming from 9mm Parabellum pistol were also found on the site - all date back to World WarII. One of the bullets was lodged in the body of the victim end came from Parabellum, that also was a standard weapon of the German officers. As stated by prof. Kola, who was supervising exhumation, many of the rifle shells had 1939 stamped on. As the historical sources, witness testimonies and material evidence strongly indicate, nobody was "DESPERATELY SEEKING GERMANS", as Mr. Krzyzanowski would want it, they were there and not only taking photographs, but also shooting. Beside of the "anti-Semitism" that Mr. Gross stated as the reason for a massacre, he also mentions other motive, theft and robbery. But exhumation discovered some gold and silver coins, gold jewellery and watches buried in the graves together with the victims. According to his "eye-witness" testimonies, Mr. Gross stated in his book that the grave of the victims carrying parts of Lenin's monument supposed to be in the Jewish cemetery, but the pieces of the monument, buried together with the forty two corpses of the Jewish men that supposed to carry it, were found inside the barn not in the cemetery. The head of the monument was marked by the fire, and according to prof. Kola, this monument was buried with the victims together in the barn, before it was set on fire. Here the so-called "eye-witness" testimonies are contradicted by the cold facts of the material evidence. And if the witness's lied in so many aspects, of their testimonies, what else did they lie about. There are many more lies and manipulations contained in Mr. Gross's book, manipulation and misquoting of the witness's testimonies, documentary sources, evidence. It appears that the only truth contained in his book is the fact that on the 10.07.1941 a number of Jews was burned in the barn in Jedwabne. The rest are lies and fabrications. The lack of scientific honesty and integrity on the part of prof. Gross, has been commented on by numerous historians, not only Polish, but also Prof. Norman Davies in his polemic with Brumberg featured in the Times Literary Supplement and Dr. Richard Lucas, who is a retired professor of history. He taught at seven universities in Ohio, Florida and Tennessee and is the author of several books. His book "The Forgotten Holocaust" went through several editions, including a Polish one, and is now considered a classic. And from the Polish historians not only (as Mr. Krzyzanowski would lead us to believe) Prof. Strzembosz and Mr. Gontarczyk severely criticised Prof. Gross for his manipulations, and not only criticised but proved him wrong on every "fact" mentioned in his book, but also Dr. Chodakiewicz, Dr. Musial, prof. Pogonowski, Mr. Zebrowski, Dr. Machcewicz, Dr. Cyra and others. Particularly Prof. J. R. Nowak, who in his recently published book "100 lies of J. T. Gross about the Jewish Neighbours and Jedwabne", using Soviet, Jewish and Polish sources proves beyond reasonable doubt fraudulent thesis of Prof. Gross's book. Prof. N. Finkelstein in his interview featured in "Rzeczpospolita", under the title "Goldhagen for the beginners" accused Prof. Gross of the "quasi-scientific rhetoric" and branded his book as a typical "Holocaust Industry publication". All of the writers that I have mentioned above are very highly regarded scholars of the historical science, not only Polish but also British and American, so maybe Mr. Krzyzanowski would like to familiarise himself with their works on the subject and only then would like to voice his opinion. Also Mr. Krzyzanowski wrongly states that: "... Roman Catholic bishops in late May made a

historic apology to the Jews of Jedwabne in northeastern Poland,...". Two months ago, Poland's Catholic bishops formally expressed their "regret" over the massacre widely and incorrectly described in the media as an "apology", and the Primate of Poland Glemp together with the Premier Buzek didn't attend 10th of July celebrations. To obtain more information on the Jedwabne subject I would advice Mr. Krzyzanowski to familiarise himself with the Web Site "We Refuse to Accept the Propaganda of Hatred and Lies... " Maybe Mr. Krzyzanowski would like to carry on what he knows best: being sport correspondent for Reuters, and leave history and moral judgments based on the historical facts alone. Yours truly, Chris Janiewicz Krzysztof Janiewicz, , 0000-00-00 powrot

Documents found in the archives in Ludwigsburg Documents found in the archives in Ludwigsburg indicate that in 1968, six former SS officers and police were tried in a German court for participating in the massacre at Jedwabne. A Berlin TV correspondent located the documents. Contradictory statements from witnesses place the number of victims from 500 to 1000; some blame the Germans, some the Poles. "Donosy" a daily Internet news digest from Poland, today posted this item: In the archives in Ludwigsburg were found documents concerning the crime in Jedwabne. These documents indicate that in Feb. 1968, 6 former members of the SS and the police were indicted for this crime before a German court. There are also depositions of witnesses from Jedwabne, who were interrogated by the Commission for Prosecuting Nazi Crimes in Poland. The archives were discovered by the Berlin correspondent of the Polsat news network. PAP, PAP, 2001-03-20 back to the english home page Open letter to Mr. Sheldon Silver, Speaker of the New York State Assambly

Sir, It is with deep regret that we hear of the actions, that are undertaken, to try to missinform the public opinion about the issue of any debt that Poland as a nation is due to the Jewish population. Whoever looks carefully will see that there is an international effort by the Jewish community directed against Poland and against the Polish nation. We can give you numerous examples of that from USA, Australia, Belgium, South America, Great Britain, and so on and so on. Sir, looking back into the history, how many lives of the Polish people were lost because of the collaboration of Jews either with the German or Russian occupant. If one starts making counts, who knows who was more immoral - the Germans, Russians or maybe the Jews who were collaborating with the occupant. How many Poles were sent to Siberia just because they were denounced by some Jews - they count in thousands. Up to this very day the issue of concentration camps organises by Morel brothers in Poland is not resolved and the State of Israel refuses to pass these criminals to Poland. We, the Polish community, are shocked by this outrageous anti-polish actions that are massively being taken by the Jewish community trying to missinform the international opinion about the historical facts and trying to pass the responsibility onto the Polish nation. It seems as if "old" Jewish-American community (from before the II World War) is trying to wash away its own blame for the holocaust. When in 1942-3 Polish and Jewish courriers were sent to the US informing of the horrors being fabricated in the concentration camps - nobody believed them, the Jewish-Americans including. How can one blame Polish nation and try to make them responsible for things they have not performed. We therefore, oppose any action that is being undertaken and which has a clear anti-polish background. We urge you to stop these actions which falsify the historical facts and historical responsibilities. At the same time we strongly appeal to the Polish authorities to intervene in this outrageous matter and put a stop to these kind of non-senses. P.S. Note of explanation to the readers. On March 22, 2001 in New Your there is a scheduled hearing on the Polish Property Restitution organised by the Jewish community. Official note from the Jewish organisers on the hearings: "Sheldon Silver is the Speaker of the New York State Assembly. The hearings are meant to educate him and other members of the Assembly about the wrongs committed against Jewish Poles after WWII, the refusal of the Polish Government to face up to its responsibilities, and the impact of that refusal on New Yorkers and others. Our goal is to impress upon the Legislators the importance of these issues so that the State of New York will help convince the Polish Government to adequately compensate Holocaust survivors and their heirs for the theft of Jewish-owned property after WWII. Your attendance is

crucial." - I leave it without comments. May the reader draw his/her own conclusions. In this particular matter all correspondance should be addressed to: (You can participate in teh protest! Please look - WK) Polish-Belgian Assoc. Brussels Christopher Skotnicki, , 0000-00-00 powrot The historical or the journalistic truth? By Piotr Gontarczyk
translated by: Mariusz Wesolowski [...] By the end of May 2001 Andrzej Przewoznik, the secretary of the Council for Preservation of Monuments to Struggles and Martyrdom (ROPWiM), announced the text of the new inscription on the Jedwabne monument. It went as follows: "To the memory of Jews from Jedwabne and environs, men, women and children, cotenants of this land, murdered and burned alive at this spot on July 10, 1941. A warning to posterity, in order that the sin of hatred, inflamed by the German Nazism, will never again turn the inhabitants of this land against each other". The proposed inscription created numerous controversies. On June 5, 2001, Gazeta Wyborcza published a communique signed by several Jewish organizations in Poland. Its authors declared their disagreement with the phrase "German Nazism", and demanded the addition of the phrase "On that day, the entire Jedwabne Jewish community was annihilated". The most important objection against the proposed wording was not formulated openly, but one could guess it from the numerous comparisons and hints. For example, Piotr Pacewicz wrote in Gazeta Wyborcza: "A small parcel of land, where Jews, citizens of the Polish Republic, died by the hand of their Polish compatriots, does not seem to be the right place to look for a compromise. Even if the German complicity in this crime has not been completely explained". The implication of this and other similar pronouncements is rather obvious: the inscription should state clearly that the Jews of Jedwabne have been murdered by Poles. We may assume that the demands of Jewish representatives and the journalist from Gazeta Wyborcza have been based on the book by Jan Tomasz Gross, who blamed the entire responsibility for the June 10, 1941 tragedy on the Polish "neighbors" mentioned in its title. Gross stated, for example, that the representatives of the Polish community had signed an agreement with the Gestapo re the massacre of Jews, some of whom the Germans wanted to save but the Poles didn't let them. The Nazis, according to Gross, did not participate in the crime, they only took pictures of Poles torturing the Jews.

The version of events presented by Gross had been for several months considered truthful and reliable.(...) Then the historians were finally able to access the key documents (...). It turned out that the scenario presented by Gross in "Neighbors" was, to put it mildly, very doubtful. Gross simply removed from the described events any and all facts indicating the actual role of the Germans, and based his conclusions on the testimonies of people who simply did not witness the happenings at Jedwabne. It also turned out that all the key elements of Gross's reconstruction (such as the signing of an agreement with the Gestapo) were either of untrustworthy provenance or just common gossip which had found its way into the public debate about Jedwabne only due to the particular "methodology" of that author. "Neighbors" had been subjected to withering criticism, which - apart from a few personal invectives against Prof. Strzembosz - was not constructively answered by Gross (...) Why would now these suspect "finds" be reflected in the text of the inscription? The content of the preserved archival documents does not leave any major doubts about the real course of events in Jedwabne. The crime against the local Jews was not conceived by their Polish neighbors. Its initiators, overseers and active participants were the functionaries of the Nazi security apparatus, who on July 10, 1941, arrived in town. The Germans were only too aware of the very strong antiJewish and anti-Communist sentiments among the local populace, caused by the tragic events from the time of the Soviet occupation, and - according to the preserved German documents they tried to use them for their own ends. [...] Recent archival searches conducted by the National Remembrance Institute (IPN) have confirmed these facts. They uncovered, among other things, German documents suggesting that the Einsatsgruppe of the Gestapo officer Schaper from Ciechanow might have been responsible for Jedwabne. Even more interesting results have been brought by the exhumation proceedings. In their course, bullets and shell casings have been found which unequivocally indicate the real role of the Germans. The approximate number of victims has been also determined - probably about 150-250, and not Gross's 1,600. Thus, paradoxically, the only truly false bit of information on the old, now removed, monument seems to be the badly exaggerated death toll. In the light of these facts we can safely assume that the objections against the [new] inscription (...) are without any merit. The statement that on July 10, 1941, the entire Jedwabne Jewish community has been annihilated is not true - only about 150-250 people died then, out of more than 1,000 Jews inhabiting Jedwabne on the eve of WW2. Many of them continued residing in Jedwabne until their deportation to the Lomza ghetto. Also the thesis that German Nazism bears the responsibility for this crime seems to be - from the scholarly point of view - absolutely correct. But we cannot forget that the honest description of reality is more complex (...). [Therefore] We must remember the enmity and animosity toward Jews on the part of many Poles before the war, the tragic results of the mutual relations between these two nations in the 1939-41 period, and many, many other important elements. The trouble is that on a commemorative plaque one can put only the main reasons for the tragedy and not a lengthy academic dissertation. From this point of view, the phrase about "German Nazism" seems to be most correct and appropriate. The participation of some Poles in this crime is, of course, shameful and blameworthy. However, it is not enough to put the whole responsibility for Jedwabne on the Polish community. Such an inscription would be much more remote from the truth than the old one. [...]

Who will yield? How will the Polish authorities respond to the pressure from the Jewish community? Will they defend the correctness of the proposed inscription, or will they bend under the threat of a boycott [of the celebrations in Jedwabne]? What will win? Hard historical facts, or theories of J.T. Gross who in his conversations with journalists speaks about "devils descending on the earth", and holds that he has arrived at his version of events through "illumination"? Will the Polish authorities agree with the position of Piotr Pacewicz from Gazeta Wyborcza who is not interested in the role of the Germans because the Poles are guilty just the same? What will finally constitute our knowledge about these tragic events: the historical truth, or the contradictory to it postulates of the representatives of the Jewish community and ridiculous opinions of journalists? Piotr Gontarczyk (translated by Mariusz Wesolowski) Piotr Gontarczyk, Zycie, 2001-06-21

Walesa on Jedwabne: Quiet Over This Grave !

translated by:

"Lets quiet down over this grave," Lech Walesa told Radio ZET, after being asked what the Poles should do about the murder in Jedwabne. He added that he had apologized to the Jewish nation during his visit to Israel, and now he expected an apology from the other side. When asked "Who should apologize for the murder of Jews committed by the Poles in Jedwabne ?" the former Polish President replied that "it would be best if the dead did it just as evildoers will do on Judgement Day." Walesa reminded that he had apologized at the Kneset in 1991. " I apologized to them as President of Poland, we've done it repeatedly, but not one Jew has ever apologized to the Poles, in spite of the fact that many interesting things went on [in the past], including Jewish perpetrators of crimes [against the Poles]." According to him, " there are Jewish also-runs [ an evident allusion to J.T. Gross, the author of "Neighbours," whose books haven't sold too well both in Poland and America] and others who live only from writing books, and who reopen the old wounds, traumatizing the two nations who suffered most. This is disgusting, and we should have ended it long ago. The two nations who suffered so much should be tolerant of and patient with one another, understanding that villains were on both sides" added the former President. As far as he is concerned, "it [the murder in Jedwabne] happened during the war; Poland

was under the German and Russian administration, so one should hold accountable those who caused the war, and even those who got information from Mr. Karski"[ an allusion to the British and Americans during WWII, who got to know about the Holocaust from Jan Karski, a courier of the Polish-government-in-exile]. " Nations such as the US, France, and Great Britain have not apologized to us for not keeping agreements and pacts " Walesa said. " One can never say enough 'I am sorry,' but there's no need to make a blame-game out of it only because somebody has written a book and made a few bucks. The Polish and Jewish nations suffered so much that they should never again be in conflict with one another. Those who should be beaten up are those who used to beat us, and we shouldn't keep on bickering" he added. Asked if President Kwasniewski should apologize for the murder in Jedwabne, Walesa replied: " He should start from an apology for communism, and that he backed it, and other matters should be left to God." Lech Walesa, PAP, 0000-00-00 back to the english home page Professor Finkelstein Upholds His Objections !
translated by: Jan Kulach Jewish organization responds to Finkelstein objections. Doctor Karl Brozik, director German Section of Jewish Claims Conference, has attempted to repulse the objections submitted by American historian of Jewish origin professor Norman Finkelstein. Doctor Brozik, in his article presented at "Die Welt", has endeavored to clear up the misapprehensions related to the "would-be" (in his opinion) findings about still living Jewish victims. Also he has denied the alleged JCC's money embezzlement, transferred as a compensation in 1950 s'. In spite of the numerous misapprehension clearing-up attempts by the German JCC Section, Norman Finkelstein has uphold upon the whole the presented earlier objections. In his "Berliner Zeitung" interview, he has accused JCC of appropriation of compensations obtained by negotiations in 1950 s'. Also, he has warned that a similar appropriation may take place at the currently being conducted negotiations. At his spacious interview given for the mentioned newspaper he has incriminated JCC for an unfair course of action. He has said again that actually not less than 135 thousands Jews, former III-rd Reich labour and concentration camps prisoners are still alive. Norman Finkelstein, New York's UB, Faculty of History graduate, is the author of many historical and political science publications. This historian criticizes also the proposed by Jewish organizations funds distribution system. He has maintains that in order to obtain possible highest compensations, the number of still living Jews - the III-rd Reich victims, is deliberately

exaggerated. He maintains also that it is an injustice that the coerced to work in III-rd Reich nonJewish labuorers, of which a dozen or so times more are still alive, would receive the same compensation as about 25 thousands Jews. Moreover, the Easter- European victims has never had any chance for any compensation while JCC has received from German Government in 1953 80 million USD designated for compensations. The current value of those money equals approximately one billion USD ($1 000 000 000 US). The fund has never been used according to the actual destination. The whole amount has been transferred to Jewish organizations in Arabic countries. Moreover professor Finkelstein maintains that the fund had been used to establish the pensions for prominent Jewish activists ( some of them are sill being paid until now). According to professor Finkelstein, JCC itself has supplied the evidence. He emphasizes that the 1953, bearing JCC seals, documents testify the reception of 80 million dollars from German Government. He adds also that the respected Jewish historians, Ronald Zweig and Nana Sagi have described all those circumstances in their book titled "German Reparacions and the Jewish World - a History of the Claims Conference". Professor Norman Finkelstein, as historian, warns also of the data forgery by Jewish organizations. Krzysztof Grnik, INFOPATRIA, 0000-00-00 powrot


Excerpts: "These documents must be carefully analyzed. However, they seem to indicate that the German participation was very likely, if not essential," said Professor Nalecz. [...] "If it was part of a German-planned round of executions, we need to adopt a different perspective toward the Polish collaboration. Taking this crime out of its historical context may lead to completely wrong interpretations," stated Prof. Nalecz. "There could be different reasons for the possible cooperation of Poles - animosity, material gains. The possibility of German coercion cannot be also excluded." Other documents contain indications that some Poles might have been among the Jedwabne victims. A list of Poles murdered in the 1944-1950 period contains three names with annotations: "1941, Jedwabne". [...] Aneta Gryczka Aneta Gryczka, Zycie, 2001-12-29 back to the english home page

Gross versus the facts

translated by: Mariusz Wesolowski The first installment of translations. Piotr Gontarczyk "Gross versus the facts" ("Zycie", 1 February 2001) - selected fragments "One of the most important sources for Gross's findings has been the materials from the investigation conducted by the Security Office (UB) in 1949. It is important to know that some of the people who were subject to this investigation later on in the courtroom gave completely different testimonies, stating that the previous ones had been forced out of them them by beatings... In the context of the realities of the 1940s in Poland, such recanting was an act of courage. Futile, alas; having the choice between the testimonies coerced during the investigation and the ones from the courtroom, Gross chose those that better fitted his conclusions, i.e., the former. The second source of knowledge of the author of "Neighbors" is reminiscences of Holocaust survivors. It has been already stated many times that these testimonies were gathered after the war by various historical committees which sometimes cared less for the truth than for some political and propagandistic agendas. People familiar with these sources know that they often contain a huge emotional baggage and hasty opinions resulting from dramatic experiences. Yet other accounts, especially the ones deposited after the war in the United States, seem to be not descriptions of the past but just pretexts to present their authors' dislike or simply hostility toward Poland and the Poles, commonly known as antipolonism. This extremely complicated and varied problem Gross has summed up in two sentences: "Of course, every witness can be wrong, and every testimony, if possible, should be compared with the knowledge obtained from other sources. But we have no reason to suspect the Jews of any illwill toward their Polish neighbors [sic]" (page 18 of the Polish edition). Such statements simply avoid the issue at hand. What's also interesting, Gross not only didn't keep the necessary objective distance to the testimonies used by himself, but also - contrary to his own postulate didn't attempt to compare them with other sources. The results are clearly visible in numerous fragments of "Neighbors". On page 49 [of the Polish edition], in one of the quoted testimonies, there appears the bishop of Lomza who, in exchange for material benefits, had promised the Jews that he would prevent the pogrom. The context of this event is unpleasant because the prelate accepted the tribute (silver candlesticks) but did not keep his promise. The author of "Neighbors" did not even give the name of the said bishop, not to mention any attempt on his part to investigate that occurrence. It is very unlikely that the then-bishop of Lomza, Stanislaw Lukomski, could take any bribe from the Jews. Not only for ethical, but first of all for technical, reasons. During the entire Soviet occupation he remained in hiding, returning to his palace... in August 1941. Hence the visit of the Jewish delegation to the bishop, which - according to the testimonies quoted by Gross - has taken place "some time" before the Jedwabne tragedy (in the first half of July 1941), is very unlikely to have happened, just like many other events described in "Neighbors".

...Gross's book is based on a poor and biased selection of sources. This applies mainly to the problem of Polish-Jewish relations in Jedwabne and the environs during the Soviet occupation. The author of "Neighbors" stated that he had found only one (!) testimony related to this subject, so he drew the conclusion that nothing significant had happened during that period between the local Jews and the rest of the population. It is pointless to list here literally hundreds of documents which univocally contradict such a conclusion. The article by Prof. Tomasz Strzembosz, recently published in "Rzeczpospolita", is an excellent refutation of Gross's theories. More interesting, in the context of the structural analysis of "Neighbors", there seem to be observations about the specific methodology used by Gross in his employment of sources. On page 32... the author... referred to Michal Gnatowski's work "W radzieckich okowach...". Gross did not mention, however, that this book contains interesting information about the feelings among the Polish population in the Jedwabne region, derived from Soviet documents. We find there, for example, the words of one Jan Gosek who on October 20, 1940, stated: "Now we have here a Jewish empire. They are being elected [to official positions] everywhere, and the Pole is like a horse, only he is pulling the cart and only he gets the whip" (page 159 of Gnatowski's book). On page 21 of "Neighbors" there is a brief note about the results of Gross's research in the archives of... the Hoover Institution. Gross writes that he has found there "...three general remarks about the Jews in Jedwabne suggesting their overeagerness toward the new regime" (page 31). He also added in a footnote: "Mention of Jews in Jedwabne, in which, by the way, no specific persons are named, can be found on pages 14, 45 and 99 of the typescript about the Lomza district". Well, we have to state that nothing is correct here. The documents contain not general remarks but specific descriptions, they are much more numerous and appear on many other pages as well, and they give specific information about specific persons. [an example follows.] There are more such examples. They prompt us to ask a question: How come in books and documents known to Gross there obviously are sources which his book says don't exist? The absence of a discussion of Polish-Jewish relations under the Soviet occupation constitutes one of the greatest shortcomings of Gross's book. And these relations were very tense. The picture presented in the preserved Polish (and also some Jewish!) testimonies is rather dramatic: the humiliating treatment of Poles, denunciations to the NKVD, participation in the Soviet repressions of the "red militia" consisting of Jews from Jedwabne. There are also descriptions of the instances when Jews ripped off the clothes of their Polish - nomen-omen - neighbors who were being deported to Siberia. The problem seems to be truly important, and it cannot be limited merely to the distorted perception of the Poles. According to the latest findings of the Byelorussian historiography - based on the extant documents from the 1939-41 period - the Soviet administration, especially in the economic sector, contained a high percentage of Jews, sometimes exceeding 70%. It is worth remembering that often the Jews took over the positions of the arrested or deported Poles. Evgenii Rozenblat, a historian from Minsk, stated that the participation of the Jewish population in the establishment of the Soviet rule had been so substantial and visible that the definite increase of anti-Jewish sentiments among the Poles was only a consequence of their rejection of communism. It seems that in the Lomza district - due to the highly developed national consciousness among the local Poles and the absence of other minorities - the Soviets relied heavily precisely on the Jewish population. In other parts of the Eastern Borderlands the situation was more complex (because of the interplay of three nations: Poles, Jews and Byelorussians/Ukrainians); here the subjective perception of reality was more distinct: we, the Poles, the conquered population; they, the communists, the persecutors and their helpers, Poland's traitors, the Jews. We know from numerous testimonies that, after the experiences of the years 1939-41, a substantial portion of Polish society simply seethed with hatred toward the Jews. It would be worthwhile to analyze

what role such emotions have played in the minds of not only Poles, but also Ukrainians, Latvians and Lithuanians after the arrival of the Germans. I fully share the opinion that even the Jewish participation in Soviet repressions cannot be used as an excuse for the [Jedwabne] crime. But the point is not to "excuse" anybody. The duty of a historian is to investigate the circumstances which had taken place - chronologically and logically before the described event. Otherwise any conclusions about the genesis of the events at Jedwabne will be left dangling in the air, without any serious scholarly foundations... Many facts described by Gross can be considered dubious. In other cases, in which a cautious approach would be most advisable, ... the author of "Neighbors" uses presumptuously the words "probably" and "must have". Some of his statements seem to be just an outflow of ignorance or prejudice mixed up with a swarm of shallow stereotypes. Such, for example, is the fragment on page 29, where (on the basis of another testimony of dubious value) the author states that in the prewar Jedwabne the parish priest accepted material benefits for stopping an impending - according to rumors - pogrom. The taking of tributes/bribes by Catholic priests (see the case of bishop Lukomski) became in Gross's book a sort of norm. However, it is worthwhile to quote the description of the method by which the author of "Neighbors" has verified this information: "This episode fits perfectly into the norm of the Jewish fate ... the endangered community ... accepted as absolutely natural the fact that in such a situation the secular or religious powers had to be given protection money" (page 29). Such proofs, i.e., the verification of facts through one's own imaginings, I consider incompatible with a sound historical methodology... Other bits of information given by Gross are more serious. For example, on page 53 he holds that the town council of Jedwabne had... signed an agreement with the Germans re the murder of Jews. The source of this story is a relation of a person who had heard about it "from some people". This is not the first time that Gross presents sheer gossip instead of facts. What's interesting, he supports this practice with a thesis that the lack of better information about the whole thing shouldn't trouble us too much: "Our ignorance about the precise content of the agreement doesn't make a big difference. Some kind of agreement between the Germans and the immediate organizers of the Jedwabne murder, that is, the town council, must have been concluded" (page 53). A statement that something must have happened even though we know nothing about it does not fit even in the widest definition of scholarly methodology. Just like so many other yarns by Gross. It is a platitude to say that Poles and Jews - as any two nations - differ from one another, if only by culture and religion. In Gross's historiography, however, these differences are much deeper: Different are the criteria of judgment, different are civic duties and different are responsibilities. This inequality holds even in the discussion about the common past... Ethnic criteria also apply to Gross's methodology: "...Our initial approach to every testimony coming from a near Holocaust victim should change from sceptical to affirmative. Simply because if we accept the fact that the contents of such a testimony have really happened, and that we are ready to acknowledge the error of such evaluation only after finding convincing proofs to the contrary, we will save ourselves from many more mistakes than the ones we have committed by taking the opposite stance." ("Neighbors", page 94.) In short, a testimony from a Holocaust survivor has to be automatically trustworthy... Other testimonies - not so.

Gross's postulates run contrary to the most basic rules of the historian's craft. The latter insist on an objective analysis of each and every source, the ethnic origin of its author notwithstanding... The inequality of the two nations in Gross's historical narrative is very obvious: Whatever bad has been done to Jews by some group of Poles, he turns this event into a universal paradigm, surrounded with quasi-religious theories and mystical judgments. In "Neighbors" we thus read about "the participation of the ethnically Polish population in the annihilation of Polish Jews" (page 95), and about "the responsibility of the Polish society for the magnitude of the crime of the Holocaust" (page 19)... A completely different style of narrative applies to the other side. There are no simplistic generalizations or hasty moral verdicts there. There is no mention of collective responsibility, either. Every single motif which could become uncomfortable or not fit into the "oppressor-victim" dichotomy is either minimalized or completely skipped. Just like, for example, the question of Polish-Jewish relations in the Soviet-occupied Eastern Borderlands. And this is the rule in Gross's writing. Already in "Upiorna dekada" he mentioned the issue of Jewish participation in the communist terror apparatus. This is a delicate question because, according to the available statistics, persons of Jewish origin constituted over 30 percent of the functionaries in the central office of the Ministry of Public Security. If Gross applied here the same tools which he applies to the Poles, this could turn into a horror (the responsibility of the Jewish society for the crimes of communism, etc.). In this instance the author's approach is much more balanced: "The statement that a disproportionate number of Jewish Communists worked in the political police does not yield itself to a clear interpretation"("Upiorna dekada", page 93). Instead of trying to figure out the meaning of this, let's quote the final sentence of this argument: "In the light of this knowledge [i.e., the contemporary knowledge about communism, PG], therefore, to the question why Jewish Communists were present in the security apparatus, the only sensible answer may be: and why not?" ("Upiorna dekada", page 94). The very strange style of the narrative, combined with the evident lack of accountability for his words, makes numerous fragments of Gross's books ambiguous, unintelligible or totally devoid of any scholarly characteristics... The picture painted in "Neighbors" is truly unsettling. It seems that the Poles are Nazi collaborators who sign an agreement with the Germans regarding the murder of Jews. The Germans want to save a few Jews but the Poles disagree and in a bestial way murder almost all their Jewish neighbors. And, generally speaking, the only place to provide shelter for the Jews against the bloodthirsty Polish mob was the Nazi gendarmerie post. In fact, there should be no question about the criminal nature of Poles, since their spiritual guidance was in the hands of Catholic priests. Gross mentions only two of them, and they are both common criminals... The author of "Neigbors" has used an extremely poor and tendentiously chosen selection of sources, nor did he undertake a critical analysis; he constantly introduces into his books illfounded statements and facts; he omits or mangles whatever doesn't fit his preconceived theses; he constructs a historical narrative on the basis of stereotypes, prejudices and common gossip; in his reasonings he doesn't observe the rules of logic and/or scholarly objectivity; finally, he pronounces arbitrary metaphysical-ideological opinions which have no scholarly basis whatsoever. Because of all these shortcomings, Jan Tomasz Gross's book cannot form the foundation of any serious discussion about Polish history in general, and the crime in Jedwabne in particular. Piotr Gontarczyk

Piotr Gontarczyk, Zycie, 0000-00-00 powrot The Verdict of Circuit Court in Lomza in 1949 Piotr Gontarczyk
translated by: Miroslawa i Andrzej Zawadzcy ************* Jan Tomasz Gross' book on Jedwabne crime (July 10, 1941) is based on the records of investigation conducted by the UB (Agency for Public Security) in the early 1949 and on the records of court proceedings that took place in Lomza in May that year. Those records were not available to historians for months on end while The National Memory Institute was being created. Therefore it was initially impossible to verify the information contained in The Neighbors 1/ - Gross was the only person to unofficially (illegally?) acquire the copy of the enclosed records from professor Paczkowski of The Institute of Political Sciences. The author then went on to silence all his adversaries on the account of their not being familiar with the records. 2/ - As soon as historians were allowed access to the archives, professor Tomasz Strzembosz and I simultaneously published our objections to the book by Gross in "Rzeczpospolita" and "Zycie". Our objections were of serious nature: ignoring inconvenient sources, lack of fundamental knowledge, quoting unreliable accounts of individuals who had not been witnesses of the crime, undermining the role of Germans, etc. 3/ - These objections have never been addressed in a rational manner by J.T. Gross, except for his attempts at discreditation or launching on personal attacks. 4/ - Enclosed is one of the most important archives in regards to the Jedwabne crime. This is the court sentence issued by The Circuit Court in Lomza, where 22 individuals were tried in 1949. They were charged with the collaboration in the crime committed on the Jews. In spite of some shortcomings, such as the date of the event or the overestimated count of the victims, this document is of great significance: it describes the course of the trial, and the preceding investigation. The damaged fragments of the records were marked [...], the alleged meanings of the damaged parts were marked [aaa?], and the necessary supplements were marked as [aaa]. Piotr Gontarczyk, Ph. D. Call number, document KSU 33/49 THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE VERDICT IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF POLAND Date: May 16-17, 1949 Members of The Criminal Law Department of The Circuit Court in Lomza: Chairman and speaker: Judge M. Malecki Jury: W. Mortewicz, St. Skrzypkowski

Recorder: Cz. Mroczkowska

in the presence of the Assistant Prosecutor of The C[urcuit] C[ourt], Cz. Jagusinski, the members of the court considered on May 16-17, 1949, the case of the following: 1. Boleslaw Ramotowski, son of Pawel and Jozefa, born on 4-7-1911 in the village of Janczewo, commune of Jedwabne, county of Lomza 2. Stanislaw Zejer, son of Teofil and Jozefa, born on10-24-1893 in Orlikowo, commune of Jedwabne, county of Lomza 3. Czeslaw Lipinski, son of Jan and Leokadia, born on 9-16-1920, in the village of Grzyniki, commune of Przytuly, county of Lomza 4. Wladyslaw Dabrowski, son of Jozef and Katarzyna, born on 5-25-1810 in Jedwabne, county of Lomza 5. Feliks Tarnacki, son of Julian and Konstancja Makowska, born on 5-16-1907 in Jedwabne, county of Lomza 6. Jozef Chrzanowski, son of Ksawery and Kamelia, born on 11-1-1889 in the village of Kucze Duze, commune of Jedwabne, county of Lomza 7. Roman Porski, son of Ludwik and Wiktoria, born on 8-15-1904 in Konopki Tluste, commune of Jedwabne 8. Antoni Niebrzydowski, son of Andrzej and Jozefa, born on 1-5-1901 in the village of Jascze, commune of Stawiski, county of Lomza 9. Wladyslaw Miciura, son of Jan and Jozefa, born on 9-21-1903 in Radom and residing in Jedwabne 10. Jozef Zyluk, son of Ludwik and Katarzyna, born on 1-12-1910 in Baczkowo, commune of Szczuczyn 11. Marian Zyluk, son of Ludwik and Katarzyna, born on 4-23-1918 in Folwark-Pruszka, county of Augustow 12. Jerzy Laudanski, son of Czeslaw and Zofia, born on 4-14-1922 in Jedwabne, county of Lomza 13. Zygmunt Laudanski, son of Czeslaw and Zofia, born on1-12-1919 in Jedwabne 14. Czeslaw Laudanski, son of Antoni and Franciszka, born on 9-12-1894 in Przytuly, county of Kolno 15. Wincenty Goscicki, son of Jozef and Antonina, born on 1-22-1890 in the village of Optow, commune of Zamojsc, county of Ostrow 16. Roman Zawadzki, son of Marcel and Rozalia of Rysk, born on 8-3-1905 in Stawiski, county of Lomza 17. Jan Zawadzki, s. of Marcel and Rozalia of Raszczyk, born on 1022-1899 in Przestrzele, commune of Jedwabne, county of Lomza 18. Aleksander Lojewski, s. of Adam and Michalina Fil, born on 1-14-1893 in Jedwabne, county of Lomza 19. Franciszek Lojewski, s. of Pawel and Marianna Fil, born on 12-14-1910 in Jedwabne, county of Lomza 20. Eugeniusz Sliwecki, s. of Jan and Jozefa Bruszkiewicz, born on 12-26-1905 in Jedwabne, county of Lomza 21. Stanislaw Sielawa, s. of Stanislaw and Aleksandra, born on 1-6-1905 in Jedwabne, county of Lomza 22. Karol Bardon, s. of Pawel and Zuzanna Kup, born on 10-11-1894 in Pastwiska, county of Cieszyn charged with collaborating with German authorities in capturing 1200 individuals of Jewish nationality who were then mass burned by the Germans in Bronislaw Sleszynski's barn on June 25, 1941 in Jedwabne, county of Lomza. This is the charge described in the article1, p.2, decree

from 8-31-1944. The Court declares: 1. Karol Baron is guilty of collaborating with Germans in murdering 1500 individuals of Jewish nationality on June 25,1941; 2) Jerzy Laudanski, 3) Zygmunt Laudanski, 4) Boleslaw Ramatowski, 5) Wladyslaw Miciura, guilty of participation, at the time, place and circumstances mentioned above, by following orders from Germans, in murdering of about 700 people of Jewish nationality by escorting them to the barn which was then put on fire; 6) Stanislaw Zejer and 7) Czeslaw Lipinski have been found guilty of obeying the German order to capture and escort the first three highest ranking Jews to the assembly location at the above mentioned time and place; 8) Wladyslaw Dabrowski, 9) Feliks Tarnacki, 10) Roman Gorski, 11) Antoni Niebrzydowski and 12) Jozef Zyluk have been found guilty, under the same circumstances, of obeying German orders to guard the civilians of Jewish nationality at the assembly location from where they were escorted to the place of execution and for that: 2. 1) Karol Baron is to be sentenced to death along with the revocation of public and civil rights for ever, and to have all property confiscated under article 1, p.1, decree from 8-31-1941 in the light of the text from 12-10-1946 ([...] 377); 2) Jerzy Laudanski to be sentenced to fifteen years in prison, from article 1, paragraph 1 and 5 clause 1 of the above mentioned Decree, 3) Zygmunt Laudanski, 4) Boleslaw Ramotowski and 5) Wladyslaw Miciura, all three to be sentenced to twelve years in prison and to have their public and civil rights revoked for the period of ten years; 6) Stanislaw Zejer and 7) Czeslaw Lipinski to be sentenced to ten years in prison with their public and civil rights revoked for eight years, and to have their property confiscated, from article 1, paragraph 2 and clause 1 Decree from 8-31-1949; 8) Wladyslaw Dabrowski, 9) Feliks Tarnacki, 10) Roman Gorski, 11) Antoni Niebrzydowski, 12) Jozef Zyluk to be sentenced to eight years in prison with the public and civil rights to be revoked for ten years and to have his property confiscated, Decree from 8-31-1944, article 1. For the following individuals the temporary confinement, from January 15, 1949 through May 17, 1949, is to be credited: Boleslaw Ramotowski, Stanislaw Zejer, Czeslaw Lipinski, Feliks Tarnacki, Roman Gorski, Antoni Zebrzydowski, Wladyslaw Miciura, Jozef Zyluk, Jerzy Laudanski, and Zygmunt Laudanski. They are to be relieved from the legal and trial costs. The following individuals are to be acquitted, the legal costs are to be covered by The State Treasury: Jozef Chrzanowski, Marian Zyluk, Czeslaw Laudanski, Wincenty Goscicki, Roman Zawadzki, Jan Zawadzki, Aleksander Lojewski, Franciszek Lojewski, Eugeniusz Sliwecki, and Stanislaw Sielawa. On 2-9-1950 the verdict was sent to the Persecutor to be executed; prisoners were transferred. On 1-30-1950 ten penal cards were made [signature illegible]

JUSTIFICATION I. Boleslaw Ramatowski, Stanislaw Zejer, Czeslaw Lipinski, Wladyslaw Dabrowski, Feliks Tarnacki, Jozef Chrzanowski, Roman Gorski, Antoni Niebrzydowski, Wladyslaw Miciura, Jozef Zyluk, Marian Zyluk, Jerzy Laudanski, Zygmunt Laudanski, Czeslaw Laudanski, Wincenty Goscicki, Roman Zawadzki, Jan Zawadzki, Aleksander Lojewski, Franciszek Lojewski, Eugeniusz Sliwecki, Stanislaw Sielawa and Karol Bardon have been charged with participating, while cooperating with the Germans, in capturing of about 1,200 individuals of Jewish nationality who were then mass burned by the Germans in Bronislaw Sleszynski's barn on June 25, 1941. As far as it is known from the court case, the crime committed on the Jewish population in Jedwabne on June 25, 1941 was of a horrible nature and it resulted in 700 fatalities, some burned alive in the barn, and the rest murdered in the cemetery. There were several dozens of Germans involved (witness J. Sokolowska), 68 of which were the Gestapo. The rest was the local population that was forced to cooperate. The Jews were assembled on the square, where, after many excesses such as carrying the statue of Lenin, they were escorted to the cemetery where some were shot to death and others were led to Sleszynski's barn and put on fire. The local population, including the defendants, was terrorized into participating by the large number of Germans who arrived in Jedwane on the critical day, as it becomes apparent from all accounts given at any time by both, the defendants and the witnesses to the prosecution. Germans, because of their relatively small number, needed the defendants' help in taking Jews out of their homes and bringing them to the place of the assembly. The defendants were forced into participating, however, the defendants were not individually supervised in carrying out the orders. One of the defendants, Stanislaw Zejer, stated that under the order of the Gestapo, he personally escorted two Jewish individuals to the square, a behavior typical of the remaining defendants. In the circumstances of the incident [...] I. Karol Bardon's actions [...] stand apart, as they do not appear to be forced. According to witness Sokolowska's testimony the defendant was in the service of the gendarmerie at the time [...] and therefore, his participation in the crime resulted from voluntarily [joining?] the German service. On the critical day he appeared equipped with the carbine at the assembly location (witness Jozef Gradowski). Bardon remained to be engaged all through the day (w. Sokolowska). On that day Bardon demanded [kerosene?] of Niebrzydowski to put Sleszynski's barn on fire, he received it and so he put the barn on fire (the defendant Niebrzydowski). The defendant Z. Laudanski also talked about the defendant Bardon during the investigation (k. 103). Bardon had been sentenced to 6 years in prison for having had collaborated with the Germans. At the present time he deserves the capital punishment [for?] the extent of his wrong - doings, article 1, paragraph 1 of the Decree. The remaining defendants need to be classified according to the established evidence of their wrong - doings into those who took part in driving Jews into Sleszynski's barn to be burned, such as the following: Jerzy Laudanski, Zygmunt Laudanski, Boleslaw Ramotowski, and Wladyslaw Miciura, and then those, who drove Jews into the square, such as the following: Stanislaw Zejer and Czeslaw Lipinski and those who took part in guarding Jews at the square, as the following: Dabrowski Wladyslaw, Tarnacki Feliks, Gorski Roman, Niebrzydowski Antoni, and Jozef Zyluk. The Court acquitted the following defendants for the lack of the sufficient evidence: Jozef Chrzanowski, Marian Zyluk, Czeslaw Laudanski, Wincenty Goscicki, Roman Zawadzki, Jan Zawadzki, Aleksander Lojewski, Franciszek Lojewski, Eugeniusz Sliwecki and Stanislaw Sielawa. As to the general characteristic of the evidence in the trial one should rate it as relatively scant since the witnesses to the persecution, [Eljasz] Gradowski and Boruszczak, failed to appear before the court, as they were not delivered the summons. Others, such as Stanislaw Sielawa, Sokolowska, and Kozlowski - withdrew their depositions made in the Agency for Public Security. Still others were not familiar with the case. The defendants generally revoked their previously made testimonies; Szmul Wasersztajn's testimony is an unofficial statement, and the late Henryk Krystowczyk's account is unreliable. In their testimonies made at UB (Agency for Public Security)

Eljasz Gradowski and Abram Boruszczak stated that they escaped during the incident - therefore their accounts and [Eljasz] Gradowski's in particular could not be considered an indisputable evidence, and especially since it appears impossible for Gradowski in the circumstances of the incident to be able to witness the actions of 25 individuals indicated by him. In regards to those witnesses, Jozef Gradowski stated that they were not present in Jedwabne at the time of mass murder. For the reasons mentioned above the accounts of Szmul Wasersztajn, Eljasz Gradowski, and Boruszczak need to be treated as the subsidiary evidence, assuming that the only source of information for these witnesses were the defendants. Witness Krystowczyk stated that he watched the defendants Laudanski and Lojewski Aleksander from the distance of 250 meters by [raising?] a roofing tile in the attic of a house. It seems to be impossible in the circumstances described by the witness to register the actions of individual defendants. Some of the defendants testified that they had been tortured in the Agency for Public Security and therefore testified under duress. Because many defendants were investigated by The Prosecutor's Office at the same time, and their testimonies are in agreement with those made in the UB. Therefore the accusation that the testimonies had been forced needs to be dismissed and the evidence considered valid. Considering each of the defendants the following needs to be observed: II. Jerzy Laudanski denied his part in the crime during the trial. However, while being interrogated by the UB and The Prosecutor's Office he admitted that he had been driving Jews to Sleszynski's barn. From his explanations and from the depositions of Antoni Goscicki it turns out that at the critical time he was employed as a janitor at the gendarmerie station in Jedwabne and he had to do with Jews by leading them to the forced labors. Defendant Lipinski testified about him that he came with Kalinowski; the latter's name appears in several depositions of other defendants. Eljasz Gradowski, Abram Boruszczak, and Szmul Wasersztejn have also talked about Laudanski. The act of the defendant needs to be classified as described in article 1, clause 1 and 5j paragraph 2 of the Decree. Also, because he had been in the service of Germans and because of his attitude [...] for his part in the crime he needs to be sentenced to 15 years in prison. III. Zygmunt Laudanski pleaded not guilty during the trial, however, during the investigation [...] in the UB and in The Prosecutor's Office he admitted to guarding Jews in the square and also [to being in the vicinity of] Sleszynski's barn, and therefore, to driving them to the crime scene. [He testified] in The Persecutor's Office about Bardon and Jozef Zyluk, that the latter escaped at the time when Jews were escorted to the barn; witnesses Borawska and Chrzanowska maintain that the defendant was being bro[ught?] to the market place by Germans, from where he then escaped, his act needs to be classified like that of Jerzy Laudanski, and he needs to be sentenced to 12 years in prison considering that he was less involved in the crime [than?] as mentioned by witness Henryk Krystowczyk. IV. Boleslaw Ramatowski admitted that he was guarding Jews in the square and saw Jozef Zyluk standing by. In the UB he admitted that he escorted Jews to Sleszynski's barn, and in The Prosecutor's Office he admitted that he supervised Jewish population at the square. Eljasz Gradowski mentioned him as the one who was driving Jews into the barn. Witnesses Gradzka and Jarnutowska said that the defendant had been brought to the square by Germans. In the light of the above the Court has decided that the defendant was involved in driving to the barn, since he had no reason to lie before the UB, and therefore, his act has been classified like that of the preceding defendant with the sentence of 12 years in prison. V. Wladyslaw Miciura pleaded not guilty during the trial. In the UB he testified to have seen Kobrzeniecki putting the barn on fire. This implies that he was in the vicinity of the barn where he certainly would not go to merely observe the incident. At the time the defendant was employed in the gendarmerie station as a carpenter and he was on the front line of those to be summoned in case there would be an action against Jews; for those reasons he needs to be considered guilty of

driving Jews into the barn, classified the same as the three defendants above, and given the same sentence. VI. Stanislaw Zejer explained at the trial that a Gestapo man ordered him to lead two Jews, whom he initially took and later released. Then he testified that he saw Germans escorting defendant Roman Gorski and how Jerzy Laudanski walked behind the Jews. In the UB and at the Prosecutor's he testified that on German orders he brought two individuals of Jewish nationality to the square where he guarded them and later ran away home. This evidence is enough to consider the defendant guilty of the crime from article1, clause 2 and 5, paragraph 1 of Decree from 8-3144; considering the weight of the crime, as a penalty the Court has decided a 10 year sentence as proper. VII. Czeslaw Lipinski, the defendant presently denies his participation in the crime. In the UB he testified to have brought one Jewish male and two young Jewish females. In the Prosecutor's Office he testified that he had been guarding Jews on the square. The defendants were of the opinion that it was not without a reason or incidentally that the defendant told about escorting Jews in the UB. His witnesses, like Rybicka, Lipinsk[...] Dolewski testified that the defendant had been brought by force and later he escaped. Under these circumstances the defendant needs to be considered guilty of the crime, and like Zejer, sentenced from article 1, clause 1 [...] and 5, paragraph 1 of the Decree. VIII. Wladyslaw Dabrowski - the defendant pleaded not guilty during the trial, however, in the UB and in The Prosecutor's Office he admitted to guarding Jews for two hours. Witness Eljasz Gradowski talked about him, too. The defendant testified that he had refused to go and Germans hit him on the face and forced him to go. The testimonies of the witnesses: Dabrowska Maria and Jozef Kalczynski that the defendant was laying tiles on the roof of the church at the time, cannot be accepted in the light of the earlier quoted data. Because guarding Jews on the square meant harm in respect to life's safety - which the defendant was well aware of - based on how the events were developing, and how they resulted in bringing Jews to a place of execution - the defendant's act then qualifies from article 2 of the Decree. It needs to be indicated that from the initial stage of the German's conduct, which was assembling Jews - the defendant might have not been able to predict the course of the action, such as the burning and the shooting of the Jews at the cemetery. As for the penalty, considering the significant distance in time since the commitment of crime, the Court has established a sentence of 8 years in prison as satisfactory. IX. Feliks Tarnacki - during the trial the defendant pleaded guilty of guarding Jews for 15 minutes before running away. His testimony in the UB and the Prosecutor's Office is the same. Witnesses Walczynski, Waclaw Krystowczyk, and Przestrzelski testified that at the critical time the defendant left Jedwabne on the bicycle. It has to be understood that it took place after he had participated in the crime. X. Gorski Roman - admitted at the trial that he guarded Jews on the square for15 minutes. The same had been established during the investigation. Defendant Romatowski described the involvement of the defendant. Witnesses [...]ska, Borawska, Mroczkowska testified that the defendant was forced to the square by Germans. XI. Antoni Niebrzydowski - denied his participation in the crime - admitted only that as a kerosene warehouseman under Soviets - he provided Bardon with 8 liters of kerosene as demanded. Both at The Prosecutor's and in the UB the defendant admitted to have guarded Jews on the square. XII. Jozef Zyluk pleaded not guilty and explained that he took Zdrojewicz from the mill and later he let him go on the way. During the investigation the defendant testified that he released the Jew on the road from where the latter came to the square on his own. At the Prosecutor's he told that he

then went home and watched Jews being brought to Sleszynski's barn. In the investigation the defendant did not say that it concerned Zdrojewicz; this last information was provided by witnesses: Brzeczko and Dlugolecki. However, considering the above depositions one should come to a conclusion that the defendant's actions harmed Jewish population and that he played a similar role as the 4 earlier mentioned defendants. In particular, the defendant had to be present on the square while Jews were being guarded since he lead the Jew in that direction and saw the barn on fire. Defendants Zygmunt Laudanski and Boleslaw Ramotowski talked about him during the investigation. The criminal act of Tarnacki, Gorski, Niebrzydowski, and Jozef Zyluk needs to be classified in the same manner as that of Wladyslaw Dabrowski. Consequently, their sentence is to be uniform. At this point one needs to refer back to witness Henryk Krystowczyk to mention that his brother, witness Waclaw Krystowczyk testified that defendant Henryk Krystowczyk did not rely on direct observations but on the accounts of other individuals. XIII. Jozef Chrzanowski pleaded not guilty and none of the defendants indicated that he had participated in any way. He had admitted to guarding Jews during the UB interrogation, however, he did not confirm that at The Prosecutor's Office. As it is apparent from witnesses' testimonies [...] Godlewska, Chrzanowska, Germans forced him but he managed to escape and hide in the rye field, as it is known Germans ordered him to make his barn available for burning Jews and that is why they seized him. Quite possibly, the whole thing took him some time and to avoid Germans and giving up his barn he rescued himself by fleeing. Merely the testimony given in the UB, without any supporting data as to what degree the defendant appreciated the content of the official record, is not the sufficient evidence to find him guilty. XIV. Marian Zyluk - Defendant pleaded not guilty during the investigation as well as the trial. Witnesses Strzelczyk and Krystowczyk Stanislaw testified that at the critical time the defendant was ill. Antoni Niebrzydowski talked about him in the UB, and, Z. Laudanski talked about him in the UB and at the Prosecutor's - he talked about Jozef Zyluk. The evidence is not sufficient. XV. Czeslaw Laudanski pleaded not guilty. Only Wasersztejn talked about him k. 28 of the investigation and witness Waclaw Krystowczyk who had turned out earlier as unreliable. Witnesses: Rybicki, Malczynski, Chrzanowski, and Dobkowski testified that the defendant was seriously ill. Therefore, there is lack of evidence of guilt. XVI. Wincenty Goscicki pleaded not guilty during the trial and in the course of investigation. Boleslaw Romatowski talked about him during the investigation at the Prosecutor's but during the trial the defendant renounced his testimony. Witness Goscicka testified that at the critical time he was sleeping. XVII & XVIII. Roman Zawadzki and Jan Zawadzki pleaded not guilty and Boleslaw Ramatowski has mentioned about them during the investigation at The Prosecutor's. According to the UB documentation Jan Zawadzki was to guard [Jews]. Witnesses Jarnutowski and others have decided that both of the Zawadzkis were working: one in the mill - the other in the sawmill. The Zawadzkis should be acquitted for the lack of evidence. XIX. Aleksander Lojewski pleaded not guilty. Witness Krystowczyk has mentioned about him (k.141 of the investigation) and today's testimony, however, the witness had grudge to Lojewski so his testimony is not reliable. Witnesses [...] Karwowski, Biedrzycki, and Kamalski have testified that at the critical time the defendant was at his daughter in law. [Eljasz] Gradowski and Boruszczak have mentioned about him, however for the reasons earlier explained their

testimonies alone should not be considered as evidence. XX. Franciszek Lojewski pleaded not guilty. According to the UB documents the defendant had orders from Germans but he fled. Niebrzydowski and Miciura have mentioned about him in the UB investigation. This evidence is insufficient and the defendant had to be acquitted. XXI. Eugeniusz Sliwecki pleaded not guilty. Witness Krystowczyk has mentioned about him but his conviction comes only from the fact that he was a city council employee in Jedwabne. Eljasz Gradowski's testimony from the investigation cannot be considered sufficient evidence of the defendant's guilt. XXII. Stanislaw Sielawa pleaded not guilty and only Szmul Wasersztejn has mentioned about him. This evidence is insufficient. Judge: [three illegible signatures] Aside from the evidence the assumption could be made that on that critical day, prior to the massacre, there happened isolated incidents of killings of Jews who were escaping and eluding the assembly, and it all happened in front of the defendants. In regards to the significance of the crimes committed by the defendants, it needs to be stressed that it was a rarely witnessed case in the history of the mankind to mass murder 1,500 defenseless people. Judge: [illegible signature] Jury: [illegible signatures] ******************* I want to remind three significant elements in the course of events as presented in the book by Jan Tomasz Gross: 1) Polish people came up with the idea of murdering Jews. 2) City council members signed an agreement with Gestapo concerning the murdering of Jews. 3) Jews have been murdered by the population of Jedwabne exclusively, and Germans took no part in those tragic events. However, one implication prevails from the above document - and it is confirmed by other archives - that the murder in Jedwabne was planned, organized, and carried out by Germans, who were the main executive power in the described events all throughout its course. Polish people who were put on trial, were not responsible for murdering Jews, but for taking part in the crime of Germans, into which - as The Court clearly stated - Germans forced them. The important issue in the verdict is the case of the physical force used during the UB interrogations. Nearly all defendants stated during the trial that they had been coerced into confessing their guilt by beatings, they were forced into signing earlier prepared records of

interrogation without being able to view them, or that the records differed from their actual testimonies. Methods like these - because of the way the communist system operated and because of the low standards of the UB personnel - were the commonly used practices in the UB. Like the old Soviet saying goes, "Give me an individual and we will come up with the clause", for the interrogating officers it did not matter to establish the actual course of events as much as to produce the guilty parties, that could come up before The Court. The above mentioned practices were best described by the Minister of Public Security at the time, Stanislaw Radkiewicz:" A lack of objectivity in the investigations is a common practice, complete ignoring of circumstances and evidences provided by the accused, and manipulating the witnesses' testimonies to conveniently support the fabric of the charges, so they no longer tell what had really happened."/6 However, by recognizing the UB testimonies as doubtful evidences in terms of defining the true involvement of the sentenced individuals in the described events - some were later acquitted in the court of higher instance - the ruling was unanimous and without the shade of the doubt as to who bears responsibility for this tragic crime: " The local population, including the defendants, was terrorized into participating by the large number of Germans who arrived in Jedwabne on the critical day, as it becomes apparent from all accounts given at any time by both, the defendants and the witnesses to the prosecution. Germans, because of their relatively small number needed the defendants' help in taking Jews out of their homes and bringing them to the place of the assembly." The only person accused of a voluntary participation in the crime was Karol Bardon, a local volksdeutch who already worked at the gendarmerie station and was soon promoted to a German gendarme. Undoubtedly however, there were other Polish individuals who voluntarily participated in the crime and never appeared before the court (Kalinowski, Wasilewski, Kobrzeniecki, and several others) either because they were deceased or could not be found. They might have been motivated by vengeance for the pro-soviet conduct of local Jews in the year 1941 or by the war frenzy (or by both of elements combined). Considering the main arguments of Gross' book it needs to be observed that they are in a sharp conflict with the textbook knowledge about the German occupation. There could be no city council in Jedwabne as it is stated by Jan Tomasz Gross. There was only a municipal administration that was appointed by Germans and consisted of local scum and a few volksdeutch (vide: Bardon), who having German support played lords of life and death with the local populace. In the light of the above, the information about a Polish-Gestapo contract to murder Jews as provided by The Neighbors reflects the intellectual level of its author even more than the state of his historical knowledge. The information regarding the mentioned contract comes from three individuals who were even not witnessing the events in Jedwabne. These were the individuals named in the presented document: Henryk Krystowczyk, Adam Boruszczak, and Eljasz Gradowski. The first of the named was collaborating with Soviets in the years 1939-41 and he fled the town as soon as the Germans arrived in fear of retributions from townspeople. He returned in 1945 with the Soviet army as a high-ranking communist party official and he testified against a number of innocent people who were repugnant towards communism. He was motivated by personal accounts and was taking revenge for his brother's assassination, who had been also collaborating with the Soviets and was later killed by the underground in 1946. Eljasz Gradowski and Abram Boruszczak also have made allegations against several dozens people, reciting from the memory, identical with that of Krystowczyk and entirely false version of the events. Both have solemnly assured that they had seen everything with their own eyes and even had themselves been driven to the barn during this tragic incident. However, in the trial it was exposed that Eljasz Gradowski had been deported deep into The Soviet Union in 1940 for theft, and therefore he was not in Jedwabne at the time. /7 Similarly, Abram Boruszczak had

never resided in the town and the address that he provided during the investigation was false. Both of the above mentioned "witnesses" did not appear before the court when summoned. Information concerning the lack of reliability in the testimonies of the above witnesses is contained in the above records, but Gross chose to ignore them. Interestingly enough, it is precisely Krystowczyk and Boruszczak, either quoted by their names or by indicating the relevant document's page, that are along with unreliable account of Szmul Wasersztejn, the chief narrators of The Neighbors. The presented court verdict has never been mentioned in Gross' book. I leave it up to the reader to draw conclusions resulting from the comparison of main arguments presented in The Neighbors and the quoted court verdict. 1/ See: acknowledgements of Jan Tomasz Gross; The Neighbors (Sejny: published by, Pogranicze ,2000): I would like to thank professor Andrzej Paczkowski with whose help I got access to the archives The Head Commission [sic! should be The Head Commission of Investigating the Crimes Committed on the Polish Nation] at the time when it was practically closed because all the materials were being transferred to the newly created National Memory Institute (p.10). 2/ A Different View of the Neighbors by Tomasz Strzembosz, from "Rzeczpospolita", no. 77 from 3/31-4/1/2001. 3/ A Different... by Tomasz Strzembosz, ; Gross Concealment by Piotr Gontarczyk, from "Zycie" no. 77 from 3/31-4/1/2001; "Passing by with the Facts" (interview by Piotr Semka with professor T. Strzembosz), from the same newspaper. 4/ See: Neighbors Anyway by J. T. Gross, "Rzeczpospolita" no. 86 from 4/11/2001. 5/ Archives of The National Memory Institute, call no. SOL (Circuit Court of Lomza), position 123, vol. II, 224-229. 6/ A speech of the Minister for the Public Security Stanislaw Radkiewicz about tasks for public security machine in the light of the resolutions of the VI Plenum of KC PZPR (March 1951). In: The Security Machine in Poland, years 1950-1952. Tactics, Strategy, Methods; introduction by Andrzej Paczkowski, selection and elaboration by Antoni Dudek and Andrzej Paczkowski (Warszawa: publisher: Bellona, 2000), p. 75. 7/ SOL 123, a record of the main trial, a deposition of Josef Gradowski. Piotr Gontarczyk, , 2001-09-06


"Polonia Today is known for it's incisive and often hard-hitting columns, "Living in Polonia," by its editor, T. Ron Jasinski-Herbert"


The door is opening to reveal the goal at which all the earlier vilification has been leading. Remember the word "Jedwabne." If you have not heard it already, you will be hearing it until you want to scream. Jedwabne is a town in Poland where it is now being claimed that Poles, not Germans, viciously murdered Jews during World War II. A book by Prof. Jan Tomasz Gross called "Neighbors: The Story of the Annihilation of a Jewish Town" ["Sadiedzi: Historia zagady zydowskiego miasteczka"] makes its English language debut on April 1, 2001. Published in Polish last year, it has already caused a small furor there, but turning American opinion against Poland is the big prize and the leaders of Jewish organizations are gearing up for a major explosion of anti-Polish fervor. The "New York Times" plans to print major segments in serial form, preparing the public for a prolonged session of Poland-bashing. Why put Poland in such a difficult position? Prof. Norman G. Finkelstein, himself a Jew, makes it clear in his book "The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering." As the courageous Finkelstein explains, those interested in making hay on the bones of the Holocaust have drained all they can from the Germans, Swiss and Austrians. The billions that he reveals have been misappropriated for political causes, often withheld from those who actually suffered, are whitewashing the real wartime culprits. And so, the next target is the nation in Eastern Central Europe that is advancing the fastest and becoming financially ready for picking. You guessed it, Poland is next in line for a monetary raping. It is a little more difficult for the Holocaust Industry, however, to place the leeches on the skin of Poland. After all, even after decades of purposefully using terms such as "Polish death camps" and "Polish Nazis," even after two generations have been taught that "Poles drink anti-Semitism with their mothers milk," even after fifty years of claiming that "the Poles were worse than the Nazis," not all the world is convinced. Particularly important, the Poles resisted the calumnies and some Polish Americans, such as President Edward J. Moskal, President of the Polish National Alliance and Polish American Congress, valiantly defended the truth and accepted the epithets hurled at them. The lies were repeated to them so often that most American Jews accepted them, but, on the other hand, most other Americans were only confused. Now then, in order to "break the bank," is the time to stick the knife deeply into the back of your neighbor and, once and for all, convince Americans so completely that Poles were the real villains of WWII and thereby force Poland, which still deeply needs the moral and financial support of the United States, to pay the extortion or face international approbation. It's simple. Forget centuries of Polish-Jewish mutual history, forget that Poland was once the European haven of Jewry, forget that thousands of Poles sacrificed their lives to save their Jewish neighbors, forget that Polish priests and nuns harbored Jewish children from the German terror. Remember but one thing: "Remember Jedwabne." The topper on all this is that, even though the so-called proof is spotty at worst, based on questionable testimony at best, a cowardly Polish government is admitting to anything placed against it, apparently hoping that its breast-beating will assuage Jewish demands and calm international nerves. Prime Minister Buzek is hanging his head in shame and Foreign Minister Bartoszewski is hitting his head against a Polish wailing wall, while the underlings are drying tears of conscience from their reddened eyes.

Leading the pack of weak-kneed Poles is Prof. Leon Kieres, President of Poland's quasigovernmental Institute of National Remembrance, who admits to anything and everything, having an instinctive notion that all Poles are barbarians anyway. He is aided and abetted by the Polish Embassy in Washington, D.C., which issued a press release stating that Kieres told a New York rabbi "that the Jews of Jedwabne were murdered by Poles." It is hard to determine what sort of guilty plea Kieres entered at that private meeting, but Kieres admitted in public only that "there were Jews who had died at the hands of Poles," leaving at least somewhat open the important questions of how many, under what circumstances, and whether there was duress. Emulating the processes of former Nazi and Communist regimes, he announced the institution of an investigation at the same time as he assigned the guilt. Why bother with the investigation; it is obvious, in the world of Kieres and his compatriots, financially stressed Poland should save the money devoted to finding facts and simply commit national suicide. Fall penitently in the face of extortion; roll out the barrels of money and win salvation! An investigation of sorts, we suppose will be conducted, but it will always be one of those exercises in futility, satisfying almost no one except the benefactors of the resultant pay-off. Farright rabbis have declared that the bodies of the Jedwabne victims cannot be exhumed, as anyplace where Jews are murdered becomes sacred ground, a claim that familiar to anyone who ever heard of Auschwitz and an insult to moderate Jewish theology. Some have contended that the witnesses from Gross' book, most of whom could not have been near the scene, present questionable testimony. The story that herds 1,600 persons into a barn for burning is difficult to accept by those who know the minute size of such Polish structures. The role of the occupying Germans, whether total, partial or inflammatory, has been described in ways that present widely differing perspectives. Moreover, the clear bias of author Gross is itself a matter worthy of discussion. All of the foregoing is not to suggest that no single Pole was involved in the terrible atrocities alleged at Jedwabne. We simply do not know, in the absence of an honest investigation and properly conducted research, what happened at that unhappy place or who was guilty of any criminal acts. Surely, any Pole who may have played a part in the atrocity should be held accountable, but, together with the Polish nation, should be considered innocent until proven guilty. It appears unlikely, however, that there will be a full investigation or anything resembling an honest judgment. The investigation has been perverted, a trial will not be held and the judgment has been already rendered. Poland will be moved from the book of victims to the list of villains, all with the willing participation of Poland's glorious leaders. Let the preying begin! Original T. Ron Jasinski-Herbert, Polonia Today, 0000-00-00 back to the english home page

Letter to the Editor of TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT Norman Davis


Letters to the Editor The massacre at Jedwabne Sir, - It was bad enough to see Abraham Brumberg passing judgment on the nations in his review (March 2) of Jan T. Gross's book, Neighbours. But he cannot be allowed without challenge to batter your correspondents, who, despite their disagreements with him, have been extremely polite and conciliatory. Having, by his own admission, confused a respected liberal newspaper with a way-out rag of similar name (Letters, March 23), he expresses surprise that the defamed Editor should even bother to complain. He then goes on to accuse Jan Nowak, whose standing in these matters is incomparably higher than his own, of writing "Absurdities". Nowak holds that Brumberg makes "inflammatory statements" and "generalizations that lie at the root of all ethnic and racial hatred". And Nowak is absolutely right. Of course, Brumberg is a better bruiser that most; but his tendentious techniques are transparent for anyone who cares to examine them. He gives us one or two fine demonstrations in his letter, let alone in his review. He gains the effect by pointing exclusively to the conduct or misconduct of the group whom he wishes to denigrate, while keeping quiet about all the people or facts which would not support his bias. On the question of wartime collaboration with the Nazis, for example, he brings up the role of the (Polish) Blue Police "in helping round up Jews for extermination". It never strikes him to mention the Ghetto Police, who were not exactly Hindus but who were often entrusted with the key operation of rounding up victims for transport to the death camps. On the question of Polish recruitment for military service, he quotes just one correspondent to one journal, whose talk of the "paltry attractiveness" of Polish recruits would have delighted Heinrich Himmler, while flying in the face of all the evidence from the Battle of Britain, from Monte Cassino and indeed from the Afrika Corps. If one doesn't know what Brumberg is omitting. One can't see what he is peddling. Jewish people have suffered more in the past from the habits of gratuitous selectivity and of collective ethnic slurs than anyone else. Brumberg should have more sense than to carry on the trade. Yet many issues of more general interest are raised by Gross's book. One of them concerns the context and sequence of events at the Jedwabne massacre, which actually took place before the Nazi Holocaust in a district that had recently been subjected to the murderous rule of the Soviets. Gross himself says this is important and has written about it at length elsewhere. But it isn't given prominence in any detail in the reviews. Another issue concerns the peculiar reactions of the British and American media, which seem to be greatly exercused by this one atrocity, while ignoring many others that would equally illuminate the overall wartime picture. Most importantly, Jedwabne raises the sensitive moral question of those nations, like the Poles, who have every reason to regard themselves as victims, yet who discover individuals in their midst who can only be described as criminals. If Mr Nowak's letter is a guide, the Poles would appear to be responding to their dilemma with thoughtfulness and humility. Which is more than can be said for some. Norman Davies Wolfson College, Oxford -----------------------------------And for good measure the TLS published a letter from Werner Cohn of Brooklyn, NY:

" ...Poles committed ghastly mass murders of Jews during the Second World War. ...the very large National Party (Endeks), used its underground press to carry on a vicious antiSemitic campaign, barely distinguishable from that of the Nazis. ..." Prof. Norman Davies, , 0000-00-00 powrot

Grave next to the barn (2 x 5 Meters)

translated by: Krzysztof Janiewicz

Article from the "Gazeta Pomorza i Kujaw" 19.03.2001 Archaeologists from UMK and specialists from the Toruns "Geophysics" localised the mass grave of the Jewish population in Jedwabne. Today it is precisely known that on the 10.07.1941 there was a barn in which the Jews from Jedwabne where burned and then buried next to it. In the opinion of prof. Andrzej Kola from the UMK Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, this grave could contain approximately 300 bodies. Because of the book "Neighbors", in which the author, J. T. Gross described the crime committed many years ago, the whole of Poland is talking about Jedwabne, which is a small town in the Lomza district. Prof. Gross is accusing the Polish population of Jedwabne, and not the Gestapo or the German gendarmes, of committing this crime. The case is currently under the investigation conducted by IPN. On Thursday, the old monument was removed from the place. It will be replaced with a new one erected in the same location of the massacre of the Jewish population. Unfortunately, people currently living in Jedwabne couldnt indicate the exact locality. For this reason, specialists from UMK were asked to help. In the past the same specialists were able to precisely localise mass graves of the Polish officers murdered by NKVD in Charkov, and also the Jews murdered by the Germans in concentration camp in Belzec. "First Ive received aerial photographs taken in the early 50s to analyse. On Saturday, we went to Jedwabne. This time, we were not able to drill in the ground, because the Jewish side objected to any interference with the grave. Because of this, we had to relay on two other methods. We used the georadar and magnetic resonance. Indications of both instruments were nearly identical, we also

carefully analysed the surface structure of the soil. Using such methods, we were able to establish that the grave is approximately 5 meters long and 2 meters wide. The old monument was 10 meters away from this place. In the very close proximity to this grave we found remains of the barn" said prof. Andrzej Kola. On the old monuments was the information that on the 10.07.1941 in Jedwabne, 1600 people died. Also, prof. Kola doesnt have any doubts, that the grave can contain a maximum of 300 bodies. Would that mean that there could be some more graves in the close vicinity? In the opinion of prof. Kola it is not very possible. All witnesses indicate that there was only one burial place. Prof. Andrzej Kola also said: "It is very regrettable that the Jewish side doesnt agree to the exhumation. In one-week time, we would be able to verify what the people are saying and what the author of "Neighbours" has written. This could serve as a good lesson for the future. Many times Ive found that the verbal testimonies of the witnesses have to be treated as not very reliable historical sources". Grzegorz Konczewski "Nowosci - Gazeta Pomorza i Kujaw" 19.03.2001 Grzegorz Koczewski, Nowoci - Gazeta Pomorza i Kujaw, 2001-03-19 powrot "The facts speak for themselves" by Maciej Walaszczyk
translated by: Niki Nasz Dziennik, 6 Jun 2001 Maximum 250 skeletons of the victims of the tragedy in 1941 have been found next to the foundations of the shed in Jedwabne. The Jews enclosed in the shed were shot at from German arms. These are the key conclusions after the archaeologists' three days of work.Because the Jewish side did not give their consents, the exhumation procedure has been discontinued. However, the IPN institute dares not admit officially and explicitly that Jan Gross's version of the 1,600 victims was a lie. "I cannot say whether there are any other graves. At the moment the

exhumation procedure is over and will not be continued", said prof. Witold Kulesza, the head of the investigation department at the IPN, in his concluding summary of the three days' exhumation. The decision of discontinuation was largely influenced by the Jewish protests because of - as Leon Kieres, the IPN's president, put it - the Jews' religious sensitivity. Prof. Kulesza also emphasised that the archaeologists made bores in a few other places that had been indicated to them, but they found nothing.The information from a few witnesses, who claimed there was another grave by the road that the column of Jews was led along, also proved untrue. The only site in which the remains of the victims were found was by the shed. After the exhumation works were completed, the number of victims was estimated to be "from over 100 to not more than 250". And this is substantially different from the 1,600 reported by Jan Gross. Considerably less likely seems to be also his version that blames Poles as the main perpetrators of the crime.There were 89 shells of Mauser 7.5 mm, 1 cartridge and 2 bullets found on the site all date back to World War II. These will undergo criminological examination in order to establish exactly which period of the war they go back to, as well as when and where they were made. "The melted bullet 'sheath' that was found amidst the remains comes from an officer's Parabellum that was a part of equipment of all German officers", said Lucjan Nowakowski, one of the prosecutors involved in the investigation. In his opinion, one shot was most probably fired inside the shed, and another one from the outside, perhaps fired at the people trying to get out of the shed. Among the remains they also found a significant number of valuables: Russian coins of gold and silver. According to Kulesza, this denies the allegations of the victims being robbed after they were murdered. On Monday, Poland's Justice Minister Lech Kaczynski officially informed that no more that 200 Jews were killed in Jedwabne. According to him, the verification of the reported 1,600 victims is the most important outcome of the current investigation. However, the president of the IPN institute puts his emphasis elsewhere and says that on the basis of the investigation "it can't be denied that the murder was committed by Poles". In his view, German participation in the crime of July 1941 in Jedwabne is still to be explored. In his yesterday's interview to Polish Radio Station I, Kieres said that so far, it has been established that about 40 Poles and 8 German military policemen participated in the murder. The exhumation of the remains of the Jewish pogrom in Jedwabne began last Wednesday. It was carried out under the watchful eye of the Jewish representative, Menachem Ekstein who is an expert on exhumation. On the second day, fragments of a concrete statue of Lenin were found, of the one that had been erected in Jedwabne already in the autumn of 1939 when the eastern regions of Poland were occupied by the Soviet Red Army. The statue's head had visible marks of being exposed to fire. This finding brought a change to the picture of what happened in Jedwabne on July 10, 1941. Earlier on, as the investigation was in progress, it had been assumed that the remains of the 42 Jewish men were to be sought for in the cemetery. But the IPN representatives say that under the circumstances, the finding of the statue's fragments inside the shed's foundations implies that the victims carrying the statue were taken to the shed in which they were burned. Some witnesses had formerly reported that the men were forced to break the statue with hammers, and then to carry its fragments to the cemetery where they were killed. Then, their bodies were reportedly buried in the cemetery and covered up with the statue's pieces. Maciej Walaszczyk. Maciej Walaszczyk, Nasz Dziennik, 2001-06-06

Protest to ABC Radio National Chris Janiewicz

15th of May, 2001, Perth Ms. Rachael Kohn Executive Producer and Presenter The Spirit of Things ABC Radio National 700 Harris St. Ultimo, NSW 2007

I would like to voice my strong objections regarding the broadcast of "A Walk on the Dark Side", by ABC Radio National on the 29.04.2001 and repeated on the 03.05.01. The above mentioned program was prejudicial and slanderous towards Poland and the Polish people in general, and the population of the town of Jedwabne in particular. To begin with, I can not see how a subject of this program can fit with the statement about the Spirit of Things as it appears on your Web Site. Subject of Jedwabne has nothing to do with such issues as "adventure into religion and spirituality." or "beliefs as expressed through ritual, art, music, and sacred texts", but it is a part of history of WWII. So, I would like to know a real reason for inclusion of this subject in The Spirit of Things, as it doesn't fit in to profile of this series. You chose to base your program on the book written by J. T. Gross, "Neighbors: The Story of the Annihilation of the Jewish Town", which supposed to be a case study of Jedwabne in the county of Lomza, the Province of Podlasie. Prof. J. T. Gross based his study on a few Jewish recollections and selected depositions of Polish witnesses, who had testified under torture by the Communist State Security Forces (UB). After only such shallow and very limited research, prof. Gross arrived at a conclusion about the alleged mass participation of the "Polish society" of Jedwabne in the Holocaust. He argues that it wasn't the German Nazis, or some Poles led by the Germans, but that "the Polish society" of Jedwabne spontaneously attacked and murdered its Jewish neighbours. According to prof. Gross, on the 10.07.1941, without any German participation or encouragement, the local Poles an masse, all together in a orchestrated attack, abused, beat and murdered in a very gruesome way some of the Jews. They finally, herded the remainder of them, somewhere between 900 - 3300 people, (according to the various Jewish witnesses' testimonies) into the ordinary barn and burned them alive. Perusing the first few pages of Jan T. Gross' book "Neighbours" one's hopes rise that here we will

learn the truth about the crime of Jedwabne. The author is being introduced as a noted historian (by education he is a sociologist), professor of political sciences of the University of New York and author of essays on the subject of Polish-German-Jewish relationships in the years 1939-1948. Unfortunately, as one reads his book, one is assailed by doubts whether the version presented in it is trustworthy. On the subject of the witness testimonies and methodology that a historian should use in analysing his sources and then disseminating his findings, I would like to mention the statement that prof. Gross himself made in the book "Neighbours": "As far as the craft of the historian who deals with the era of the gas ovens is concerned, I think we must radically alter our attitude toward the sources. Our initial attitude toward each testimony of near victims of the Holocaust should change from the inquisitive to the affirmative." This is a startling statement because it would be practically tantamount to abandoning the scholarly standard. In each instance, if possible, it is historian's duty to verify the sources, testimonies, recollections and memoirs against other documents. A history scholar needs to apply a rigorous litmus test to each testimony by checking it against other witness account and contemporary documents: Jewish, German, Polish, and Soviet. Finally, he has to divide recollections into first- and secondhand observations and classify their reliability accordingly. Unfortunately, J. T. Gross doesn't adhere to such standards in his book. That's why "Neighbours" should be classified as a literary work and not as historical research, ergo not factual in every aspect. The lack of scientific honesty on the part of prof. Gross, has been commented on by numerous historians, such as prof. Norman Davies, prof. Tomasz Strzembosz, dr. Marek Chodakiewicz, dr. Bogdan Musial, prof. Jerzy Robert Nowak, prof. Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski and many others, amongst them by dr. Slawomir Radon, chairman of the College of IPN (Polish National Remembrance Institute) conducting the present investigation headed by the state prosecutor Radoslaw Ignatiew. They accuse prof. Gross of drawing premature conclusions without a solid research of Polish and German archives and following up all possible leads. Also prof. Pogonowski accuses prof. Gross of the outright manipulation of the documents in regard to another book written by J.T. Gross, "Ghastly decade, 1939-1948". In his critique of this book, in the chapter "Gross falsifies quotations in order to make his points", prof. Pogonowski says: "...On page 56, he changes the meaning of a sentence in the diary of dr. Zygmunt Klukowski (Dziennik z lat okupacji Zamojszczyzny - A diary of the years of occupation of Zamojszczyzna). Gross insinuates that in October 1942, Poles murdered some 2300 Jews while the Germans deported for execution 934 other victims. The deception is achieved by the omission of quotation marks; this changed the meaning of a crucial statement in the original diary, in which reference was made to locally stationed German gendarmes." Strong words indeed, totally undermining prof. Gross's credibility as a historian. We can see that Mr. Gross is not a stranger to manipulation of his sources.

Prof. Gross names various sources that he relied on. Although he mentions various sources and refers to numerous historians, yet in his argumentation he is mainly relying on the statements of Shmul Waserstein, a Jew living in the town, but according to some witnesses, not present there during the massacre and who learned only after the war about the alleged scenario of the events in Jedwabne from a Jewish woman, Zeier, who was connected to the NKVD. (Teodor Eugeniusz Lusinski to the Institute of Jewish History, 20.03.95, according to dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz). Other witnesses state that, he was in hiding in Janczewo, in the Wyrzykowski's house, during the time of the massacre, so wasn't able to observe any details. This crown witness of prof. Gross, in Poland went under the name of Stanislaw Calka and not Waserstein, and after the war held the rank of lieutenant in the State Security Forces, dreaded UB. This fact was established by prof. Tomasz Strzembosz, who has been researching this period of Polish history for many years, based on depositions of two reliable witnesses who were interrogated by Waserstein (Calka) at the UB after the war. Prof. Strzembosz draws attention to the credibility of sources and other witnesses on which Gross relies. Another witness whose testimony is used by J.T. Gross, Abram Boruszczak, never lived in Jedwabne, and another witness, Eljasz Gradowski, was sentenced by the Soviet authorities for stealing of some electrical equipment and deported to Soviet Union in 1940, well before the events in Jedwabne took place. He returned to Jedwabne in 1945. Also, many questions can be asked in regard to the testimonies of the Polish witnesses as well. In the matter of the Polish witnesses' testimonies, Gross is extensively using the testimonies of people who were interrogated by the U.B. (Communist State Security Forces) in 1949. That organisation was well known for extracting statements from the suspects by using such methods as torture, sleep depravation, beatings and the threat of deportation to Siberia, not only for the suspects, but also for their families. Most of the accused recalled their "confessions" in front of the court. This was not only an act of self-defence. It was also a sign of bravery. After all, the accused were immediately returned to the "tender, loving care" of secret police officers, who had tortured the confessions out of them in the first place. Here I would like to remind you, that prof. Gross's main witness was one of the functionaries in that apparatus. The confessions were in accordance with a preordained scenario, unofficially promoted by the Communist leadership who promoted the idea that Polish society was "fascist" and "reactionary", what was supposed to create an explanation for the repressive regime and an excuse for the West inaction. Yet, it would appear that such facts have no meaning for prof. Gross, because throughout his book he extensively uses the testimonies of Karol Bardon, originally sentenced to the death penalty, which was commuted to a 15 years prison sentence. Any man subjected to such circumstances would tell anything that the interrogating officer wants him to say, simply to survive. What sort of pressure did the interrogating officers exert on him? What lies did he tell to save his life? Testimonies and confessions obtained by such methods wouldn't be admissible in any court of law in any democratic country. If you wish to read further about the subject of the 1949 Lomza trial, witness' testimonies and how prof. Gross manipulated and selectively quoted them, you can read article written by one of the foremost Polish historian, specialising in the history of Polish conspiracy on the north-eastern territories of the Polish Republic under Soviet occupation, professor of the Catholic University of Lublin and the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN), prof.

Tomasz Strzembosz. The above mentioned article can be found on the Web Site (or and under the title "Ultimate debunking of Gross". Another Polish historian, Leszek Zebrowski stated about "Neighbours": "What is happening now in connection with Gross's book can be described by a single word: hysteria. [...] Gross just cannot be criticised! And this book contains numerous errors and even obvious lies. For example, its author quotes sources (with page references, etc.) which do not contain this specific information, or which state something completely different. Also, by omitting important fragments, he manipulates their meaning, etc. " And another Polish historian, Piotr Gontarczyk said: "The author of "Neighbours" has used an extremely poor and tendentiously chosen selection of sources, nor did he undertake a critical analysis; he constantly introduces into his books ill-founded statements and facts; he omits or mangles whatever doesn't fit his preconceived theses; he constructs a historical narrative on the basis of stereotypes, prejudices and common gossip; in his reasoning he doesn't observe the rules of logic and/or scholarly objectivity; finally, he pronounces arbitrary metaphysical-ideological opinions which have no scholarly basis whatsoever." There are many such questions one can ask after analytically, not emotionally reading prof. Gross's book and comparing his statements with various sources and researches done by Polish recognised historians. Many questions could be raised about the methodology used by prof. Gross. Because of all these and other shortcomings, prof. Gross's book cannot form the foundation of any serious discussion about Polish history in general, and the crime in Jedwabne in particular. Ergo, can't be used to form any sort of moral judgement. But lets look a little bit closer at the material and interview with prof. Gross contained of your program. It opens with a very dramatic recitation of the supposedly eyewitness testimony, that aims to introduce the listeners of your program to the subject of Jedwabne. Unfortunately, you didn't mention whose testimony it is. But people familiar with the subject know that these are the words of Shmul Waserstein, not a very credible witness, about whom I spoke at the beginning of my letter. Even communists political police, in contradistinction to prof. Gross, considered the Waserstein's depositions worthless for their show-trial of Polish anti-communists in Jedwabne. After such a dramatic introduction enters prof. Gross himself. There is nobody to oppose his imprecise statements, the sole purpose of this interview is to allow prof. Gross to further spread his anti-Polish propaganda without any opposition. So, the groundless accusations can flow freely. First is the number of the victims. Prof. Gross states 1600. Without any proof, any sources. You, yourself quote the number of victims on your Web Site as 1800. Also without enlightening

your readers how did you arrive to such number. In regard to prof. Gross at least we can speculate how he arrived to this particular number. (We have to speculate in this regard, because he doesn't mention any historical sources.) But on what basis did you arrive to your number of 1800? That's 200 more than prof. Gross. This is probably how he arrived at that number. In his book, (Polish version) on the page 42, prof. Gross mentions the testimony of Menachem Finkelsztajn (Finkelstein?) who states that 3300 Jews were murdered in Jedwabne. On page 43, prof. Gross says that numbers provided by Finkelsztajn should be divided in half. (Such is credibility of the sources that he uses) So, prof. Gross arrives to the nice and tidy number of 1600. But lets look at the cold facts of the documentary and physical evidence. The Soviet census conducted in 1940 counted only 1400 Jews in the Jedwabne region, which also included the outlying town of Radzilow and the village of Wizna. In Radzilow, only three days earlier, an alleged 1500 Jews were also burned in a barn. If we also take into account the number of Jews that fled approaching German armies, this would put into serious question the number of victims in Jedwabne, where according to Mr. Gross and his witnesses 1600 perished. The barn in question belonged to Bronislaw Sleszynski, who was a cabinet-maker, carpenter, supplementing his income by farming. He owned two hectares of land and was too poor to afford a huge barn or to have any use for it. The barns in Poland are not big or very solid structures. Many of them are big enough to accommodate a horse drawn cart (remember, we are talking 1941) with the horse standing outside the barn. Most of the barns would have an area of 50-100 square meters. In the best case scenario, such a structure could accommodate maybe 100-300 people, with a lot of pressure applied to the outside walls. How Mr. Gross and his "eye witnesses" managed to fit into such a structure 1600 people is beyond common sense. It would have to be the biggest barn in 1941 Europe. On page 78 of his book, (Polish version), prof. Gross is quoting the testimony of Leon Dziedzic, who was forced by the Germans to burry the bodies of the victims. And Leon Dziedzic says that the barn wasn't full. He says: "The left part of the barn was nearly empty, only single corpses were found there. There were more corpses in the middle part. And only on the right, there was a pile of bodies". So, it's not just enough that the barn was too small to accommodate so many people, there was still some room left. Also, according to the most recent news, archaeologists have localised the mass grave of the Jewish population in Jedwabne. In the opinion of prof. Andrzej Kola from the UMK Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, the grave is approximately 7 meters long and 2 meters wide and could contain approximately 300 bodies. Research of grounds was done by the means of the surface methods such as resonance, earth probe and geo-radar, and to the large extend are based on the military aerial photographs that were taken in the 1950 and 1953. Photographs are showing contours of the burned barn and disturbed soil.

Prof. Andrzej Kola also said: "It is very regrettable that the Jewish side doesn't agree to the exhumation. In one-week time, we would be able to verify what the people are saying and what the author of "Neighbours" has written. This could serve as a good lesson for the future. Many times I've found that the verbal testimonies of the witnesses have to be treated as not very reliable historical sources". Further prof. Gross stated that there was no episode of the German participation beside taking of the photographs, and there was only token presence of the Germans, about 11 Gendarmes with maybe further 8 or 10 arriving in the morning of the 10.07.1941. Such statements contained in prof. Gross's book are strongly disputed by many Polish historians. State prosecutor Waldemar Monkiewicz, who conducted earlier investigation of the German activities in the Lomza district, in his extensive article entitled "Extermination of Jewish settlements in the Bialystok region in the years of 1939-1944", published in 1989 in the Bialystok University periodical "Studia Podlaskie" states, that among other events concerning the Jedwabne pogrom, there was active a so-called Kommando Bialystok led by Hauptsturmfuehrer Wolfgang Burkner from the Warsaw Gestapo office. Here is a translation of the relevant part: "In the beginning of July 1941 from the German police battalions No. 309 and 316 were selected 200 men assembling a special troop called Kommando Bialystok under the command of the Wolfgang Burkner from the Warsaw Gestapo branch. That troop arrived to Jedwabne by trucks on the 10.07.41. For this action against the Jews, the Germans also used the Gendarmes and some of the "supporting police". This last formation was only used to bring victims to the main plaza and escort them outside the town. There the Hitlerites locked app. 900 persons in the barn and set it on fire..." Somehow, I don't think that prosecutor Monkiewicz just "dreamed up" or made up those 232 Germans, trucks and the figure of Burkner. According to prof. Szarota, such an officer existed in the Warsaw Gestapo, held the rank of SSHauptsturmfuehrer, and was probably killed in Poznan. And Monkiewicz's findings are supported to a certain extend by the Polish historian dr. Marek Chodakiewicz, who is Instructor in History at Pierce College in California and an ABD in History at Columbia University: "Professor Gross quotes the testimony of Aleksander Wyrzykowski to underscore the persistence of ugly anti-Semitism in the Jedwabne region even after the war. Alas, Gross failed to include in his lengthy quote Wyrzykowski's assertion that Germans murdered the Jews of Jedwabne with some Polish assistance. Further, Professor Gross analysed, but rejected the testimony of Sokolowska, who claimed that she had cooked a meal for "60 Gestapo men" on the tragic day. Both accounts thus flatly contradict the central thesis of "Neighbours"; Aleksander Wyrzykowski, AZIH, file 301/5825. By the way, Wyrzykowski's testimony is also suspicious. Only "Copy III" is available. Where is the original?..." "The claims by Gross that on July 10 the SS-Einsatzgruppen were near Minsk, in Belorussia, notwithstanding, the presence of at least of a part of those units in the Bialystok area as late as the beginning of August 1941 is confirmed by the Gestapo functionary Waldemar Macholla, by the

war diary of the 322 police battalion, by a study of the annihilation of the Jewish population in Choroszcz, a town not far from Jedwabne, and by the investigation of the Nazi crimes in the Bialystok area conducted in the 1960s in the then West Germany. (Szymon Datner, "German occupation security forces in Bialystok Region (1941-1944 in the German documentary material (Waldemar Macholla)", "Biuletyn Glownej Komisji Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w Polsce [afterward BGKBZHwP], no. 15 (1965): 11; Kazimierz Leszczynski, "War diary of the Police Battalion 322" BGKBZHwP, no. 17 (1967): 216,218,222) " Another eyewitness, Leokadia Blajszczak, recalls the presence of the German police as well, and blames a local Volksdeutsches for leading the pogrom. The same Jan Sokolowski also provides a very similar version of events. Another witness states that the town was "green from the German uniforms". Nearly all of the Polish historians agree that there was some participation of the Polish population in the Jedwabne massacre. But the circumstances under which they participated in it are of the paramount importance. Most of the witnesses state that the Germans were the chief perpetrators, and the Poles were simply forced to participate in it under a threat of violence against themselves. Such statements are contained in the testimonies of the Polish witnesses, the same witnesses that prof. Gross selectively quotes, because the full quotation would contradict his central thesis of "Neighbours". "I do not admit to being guilty, that in July 1941 I took part in the burning of Jews in Jedwabne and I explain, that on the critical day when I stood on my own courtyard a German came up to me, took me with him to the market, to guard the Jews, who had been driven to the market. As soon as the German walked away from me, I immediately ran away from the market..." "I do not admit to being guilty and I explain: on the critical day when I was at home, gendarmerie came to my home with the mayor of Jedwabne Karolak and told me to go to the market and guard the Jews. Because I didn't want to go and tried to run away, the German hit me on the head with his gun [this was confirmed by the testimony of a number of witnesses] and he hit me in the face with his hand and knocked a tooth out. Then I stood there for around 2 hours. As soon as the German moved away from me, I ran away home. (...)" "I do not admit to being guilty that in July 1941 I took part in the murdering of Jews in Jedwabne and I explain that on the critical day I was at home. During that time the mayor of Jedwabne Marian Karolak came to my flat with a Gestapo man and they took me to the market, where Jews were being brought..." "At 12 a.m. to my house came Karolak Marian, the mayor, and a German gendarme, who kicked me. They took me to the Market of Jedwabne, where they ordered me to guard the Jews together with several 16- 17-year-old boys from the village (...) " "In 1941 to my house came Karolak, a German mayor, and Bardon Karol and they ordered me to go to guard the Jews at the market, whom they were driving to the sugar market. I did not know what was going on and I went at the order of Karolak and Bardon. I was on the side of the Dworna Street and I had nothing in my hands." And so on. Nearly all of them say the same thing: that the Germans forced the local men out of

their houses and rushed them to the market square or made them "drive" the Jews. Now in the last testimony one name is very interesting. Karol Bardon, the same Bardon who served in the German Gendarmerie unit, was sentenced to death and on whose testimony prof. Gross based a large part of his book. He quotes Bardon in regard to the events in Jedwabne on pages: 40, 41, 56, 57, 61, 63, 64, 65, 70, 71, 72, 73, 76, 77, 84. Very credible witness indeed. In his next statement prof. Gross mentions some Jewish woman and the fact that she spoke to the priest. What was the name of this woman? What was the name priest? Would it be as true, as the event that he describes in his book and regarding Bishop of Lomza, Stanislaw Lukomski? There is a certain problem with the Bishop of Lomza, who according to Gross (page 52, 53, Polish original), accepted a tribute of money and silver artefacts from the Jewish delegation in exchange for protection. Gross even mentions Nielawicki's uncle, who went to Lomza in this delegation. According to Gross the bishop promised them such protection. The only problem with this testimony is that bishop Lukomski went into hiding in the distant countryside in October 1939, because of threats from the Soviet NKVD, and emerged from his hiding place in August 1941. Unless the location of his hideaway was common knowledge among the Jewish population, how did the Jewish delegation manage to find him and speak to him, so he could promise them the protection that prof. Gross speaks about? Further prof. Gross speaks about Wyrzykowski family and how they were persecuted for hiding of the Jews, and is using this as an example of the Polish anti-Semitism. Here is what dr. Chodakiewicz, who studied the same sources as prof. Gross, has to say on the subject: "...Further, Gross uses Wyrzykowski as an isolated case of a Righteous Gentile who was persecuted after the war for having assisted Jews and was even forced to flee the area. However, according to Jewish and Polish witnesses, the Wyrzykowskis were indeed persecuted, and Aleksander's wife even savagely beaten, by bandits who wanted to extort from them the "Jewish gold" that they falsely assumed the couple had received for helping Jews. Were the bandits anti-Semites? Perhaps so. Clearly, however, they were not motivated by a desire to punish the Wyrzykowskis for their rescue of Jews, but by avarice. (See Jozef Gradowski, "Zaswiadczenie," 26 April 1967, AZIH, file 301/5825; Jan Sokolowski to Andrzej Kaczynski, editor of "Rzeczpospolita" 12 may 2000.)" And then, at the end of your interview, prof. Gross stated that he is unable to explain why (in his opinion) one group of people, acting along ethnic divisions, an masse, without any reason, in some unexplainable attack of the collective amok, murdered their neighbours. But maybe the reason is very simple, but prof. Gross doesn't want to state it, because it would contradict a central thesis of his book. Maybe the Polish inhabitants of Jedwabne were forced by the Germans to cooperate in conducting the German plan of annihilation of the Jewish inhabitants of Jedwabne. Maybe the Germans required such participation of the local population for propaganda reasons? From the

various witnesses' testimonies, or rather parts of their testimonies that prof. Gross saw fit to omit, we can see clearly the Germans going from house to house and under the threat of violence forcing the Poles to "drive" the Jews to market place and then guard them there, what allows them to take the photographs. From the latest documentary discovery, it is known that at least three Poles were burned in the barn together with the Jews. For what reason? Maybe they were the people who strongly refused to cooperate with the Germans, and suffered punishment for their resistance. But can we reasonably expect the same heroism from the whole population? Lets don't forget that the main tool of control of the population in occupied Poland, the Germans were using wide spread terror and collective responsibility. Between 1939-1945, they totally annihilated 400 villages and towns, burning the buildings and killing the whole population. In case of any resistance from the Jedwabne population, they would not hesitate to do the same. Don't forget the words spoken by A. Hitler on August 22, 1939, when he authorised his commanders, to kill "without pity or mercy, all men, women, and children of Polish descent or language. Only in this way can we obtain the living space [lebensraum] we need". And on the 22.09.1939, he clearly stated his war aims: "The destruction of Poland is our primary task. The aim is not the arrival at a certain line but the annihilation of living forces - Be merciless! Be brutal - It is necessary to proceed with maximum severity - The war is to be a war of annihilation." And such was the reality for the Polish population under the Germans. Germans did not ask. They gave orders. To disobey meant death. Or in the best case scenario, concentration camps. But prof. Gross goes on and on, allowed by you, to spread half-truths and manipulations totally unopposed. By his propaganda and groundless accusations, he is deepening divisions, inciting hatred and resentment between two ethnic groups who suffered from the hands of the same enemy. And you, by giving him an unopposed voice in your program, are fulfilling a similar role. I don't know the reason for prof. Gross's anti-Polish attitude. The same as I don't know the reason for your action of providing him with the opportunity to voice his propaganda on your program, even contrary to the statement contained on your Web site. "The Spirit of Things" is an adventure into religion and spirituality. It explores contemporary values and beliefs as expressed through ritual, art, music, and sacred texts. Dr. Rachael Kohn is an acclaimed broadcaster and is widely recognised as an expert in comparative religion." I don't think that the subject of Jedwabne has anything to do with your field of expertise in comparative religions. Can you provide me please, with an answer as to what research you have done on the subject of Jedwabne, and on what basis do you think that prof. Gross was telling the truth to your listeners? Because he wasn't talking about "ritual, art, music, and sacred texts", but cold facts of history. History, that hasn't been fully researched yet, and is still a subject of an investigation by IPN. Once again, as an Australian citizen and taxpayer, I strongly object against broadcasting such besmirching, inaccurate and inflammatory material by the government radio station that is funded by the Australian taxpayers.

Chris Janiewicz Attachments: 1. C/C of letter to Ms. Amanda Armstrong, ABC National Acting Program Radio Manager. 15 May, 2001, Perth Ms. Amanda Armstrong Acting Program Manager ABC National Radio 700 Harris St. Ultimo 2007 NSW As an Australian taxpayer and Australian citizen of Polish background, I would like to voice my strong objections regarding the broadcast of "A Walk on the Dark Side", by ABC Radio National on the 29.04.2001 and repeated on the 03.05.01. The above mentioned program was prejudicial and slanderous towards Poland and the Polish people in general, and the population of the town of Jedwabne in particular. To begin with, I can not see how a subject of this program can fit with the statement about the Spirit of Things as it appears on your Web Site. Subject of Jedwabne has nothing to do with such issues as "adventure into religion and spirituality." or "beliefs as expressed through ritual, art, music, and sacred texts", but it is a part of history of WWII. So, I would like to know a real reason for inclusion of this subject in The Spirit of Things, as it doesn't fit in to profile of this series. I would like to emphasise here, that ABC is a taxpayer funded institution, and as such shouldn't serve as a vehicle for the prejudicial slender against any of the Australian ethnic groups. cc: Ms. Rachael Kohn Presenter The Spirit of Things

Krzysztof Janiewicz, , 0000-00-00 powrot

WHO HINDERS THE DIALOGUE? An interview with the Reverend Professor Waldemar Chrostowski by Pawel Paliwoda
Excerpts translated by: Mariusz Wesolowski

ZYCIE (Warsaw) 10 April 2001 PP: You have postulated many times the reciprocal character of Polish-Jewish relations. Why does this need repeating? WC: This reciprocity should find its expression in a mutual goodwill acquaintance of the partners, as well as in respect for the identity of the other side. I must say that my first disappointment in this respect took place at the beginning of the 1990s. It was related to the developing conflict over the Carmelite convent in Auschwitz. In my opinion, already at that time Polish-Jewish relations were lacking in reciprocity. That's why I have now serious doubts, looking back at the last 15 years, as to whether true dialogue has ever taken place. PP: Was it this realization that caused your resignation from the position of co-chairman of the Polish Council of Christians and Jews? WC: Our ways parted when I clearly told some people engaged in that dialogue that the Catholic participation in the Council couldn't be limited to repeating and presenting Jewish demands to the Polish Catholics. That was the very essence of the problem. Tensions in this respect surfaced in the mid-1990s when, after the relocation of the convent at Auschwitz, the Jewish side advanced new demands, among them one about the removal of the papal cross. PP: What kinds of opinions or positions caused this asymmetry in the dialogue? WC: It was mostly the focus of the entire dialogue on Jewish sensibilities and Jewish points of view. In some cases the demands were very specific: for help in the diplomatic recognition of the state of Israel, or for support of the Israeli policy toward the Palestinian and Christian populations. Another aim was to involve the largest possible number of Christians in propogating the Jewish vision of World War Two, which reduces those

dramatic events solely to the Holocaust [...]. Mutual contacts also became a forum for various material and financial demands. This aspect now becomes more and more pronounced on the Jewish side. PP: Is the Jewish community in Poland and the world so homogeneous and united that it can be simply called "the Jewish side"? WC: All those groups [...] differ somewhat between themselves. However, their fundamental aims and principles render them strongly cohesive. Whoever, on the Jewish side broadly understood, breaks away from the canon is immediately criticized and removed from the contacts with the Christians, and even ostracized. The first element of that canon is the very strong ideologization of the Holocaust. At present, this is the main ingredient of the Jewish identity. The second element is the exclusion of any criticism of the state of Israel. And, finally, the issue of anti-Semitism whereby, as seen clearly in the Polish-Jewish dialogue [...] the main goal for the Jewish side is finding among the Christians allies to fight anti-Semitism. This [...] is coupled with a totally arbitrary definition of anti-Semitism. PP: How does the Jewish side define anti-Semitism? WC: It would seem that anti-Semites are those people who don't like Jews, and who employ means and methods reflecting this hatred toward the Jewish society. During the last few years, however, it has become clear that anti-Semites also include those who are not liked by the Jews. This reversal of perspective turns the term "anti-Semite", just like "Jew", into a label, a bad name or an insult. Just as one can become a Jew in name, one can become an anti-Semite in name. Just one such response, one such label, is sufficient to raise a general outcry: "Watch out, [he or she is] an anti-Semite!" Of course, such tactics (on one or the other side) make any kind of dialogue extremely difficult. PP: Did the concept of anti-Ssemitism lose its moral implications? WC: In my opinion, this term has been so politicized and abused that today it very seldom carries any moral message. It appears most often as an element of political correctness. Just listen to those people in the media who chant in one breath: "intolerance, xenophobia, anti-Semitism" (...) [In this way] they cheapen the real meaning of this term. [...] Let's note a specific paradox here: those, who want to fight so radically against antiSemitism, at the same time are very tolerant of other "isms" and other, equally threatening, forms of evil. This shows once again that anti-Semitism and the fight against it are treated in the categories of a political struggle which is aimed not so much at eliminating anti-Semites per se (who, fortunately, seldom have any political importance) as at combating all of those who are inconvenient to the Jewish side and its sympathizers.

PP: A few years ago one of the most progressive dailies in Poland formulated a thesis that whoever does not loudly distance himself from anti-Semitism is also tainted with antiSemitism. WC: Such a diagnosis shows that the people who have thought it up need a diagnostic, maybe even professional, help themselves. Before penning something like that, one needs to stop and think whether one does not help in turning a blind eye toward real antiSemitism. It is my conviction that the abuse of the term "anti-Semitism" has already hurt the Jews themselves, and it will hurt them even more in the future. [...] Maybe one day, somewhere in the world, Jews will need again the help of their non-Jewish neighbours; that's why they should try even now to gain their understanding, solidarity and sympathy, not just submission. Otherwise, when real danger strikes, their appeals for help will have no effect. In the 1990s there took place several more or less showy apologies and they didn't change anything in [Jewish-Polish] relations. On the contrary, they created a specific fashion for apologies, and fashions tend to trivialize the meanings of serious messages. [...] An absolute misunderstanding [is] a recent proposal put forth by "Wprost" magazine. Its authors offer the President, the Prime Minister and the Primate a formula based on the famous letter of the Polish bishops to the German bishops which contained the sentence "we forgive and ask for forgiveness", but in a significantly changed and humiliating form [...]: "we apologize and ask for forgiveness". This is a sick idea; a one-sided and humiliating repentance of Poles does not help in the development of a dialogue. [...] A true reconciliation is difficult because it also requires an honest look at the future and genuine participation on the Jewish side. PP: What we can propose instead? WC: Until now Polish-Jewish relations in the context of the Holocaust were perceived within the Poles-Jews-Germans triangle, but the accents on the responsibility of each and every party were gradually shifting. Right after the war it was said that the Germans were persecutors, Jews and Poles victims. About 20 years later that paradigm changed: Germans were persecutors, Jews - victims, and Poles - witnesses. In the 1990s this interpretation changed again: the Germans - persecutors, Jews - victims, Poles persecutors. The Poles have been put into the category labelled by the Jewish historiography as "the Nazis and their allies". The case of Jedwabne shows that the analysis of Polish-Jewish relations ought to be undertaken within a quadrangle: PolesJews-Germans-Soviets. I say purposely "Soviets", not "Russians". Only this approach, without the current hypocrisy, would reveal the historical complexities in Polish-Jewish relations. But the problem here is, does the Jewish side (just like the Polish side) want to confront this aspect of its contemporary history? Frankly, I doubt it.

PP: Why are you being so pessimistic? WC: In 1989, as part of a group of Polish clergy engaged in religious dialogue, I visited a synagogue in Chicago. We met there a Jewish community led by a man who seemed to be an over-zealous practitioner of Judaism. I didn't recognize him until I heard his name; then I realized that until 1968 he had been the Communist Party secretary at the University of Warsaw. I perceive this episode as symbolic. The Jews living in America don't want to know anything about their engagement with Communism. They speak about this subject with great dislike, and are very sensitive on this point. In this situation it is difficult to expect any candid discussion in the future. To many Jews in America and elsewhere such a discussion would mean the necessity to confront their own biographies and, in a sense, the questioning of their current identities. PP: Is then Polish-Jewish dialogue doomed? WC: Reconciliation has a very important meaning, it is a great goal. In order to reach it, a lasting change in the mutual perception on both sides is absolutely necessary. Reconciliation implies reciprocity. Not because the faults of Poles and Jews are identical or even comparable, but simply because they did exist on both sides. On the other hand, empty gestures have no meaning and achieve nothing. There are certainly matters for which we Poles ought to apologize to people with whom we share a common destiny. But there also exist matters about which we Poles should hear words of apology. This also applies to the Jewish side. [...] (end) Pawe Paliwoda, ycie, 0000-00-00 powrot Letter to "The New York Times" HERALDS OF TRUTH 588 Essex Dr., Rochester Hills, MI 48307, Tel. & Fax: (248) 650-8553 E-mail: Joseph Lelyveld, Executive Editor THE NEW YORK TIMES 229 West 430 Street New York, NY 10036 Dear Sir, April 09,

2001 We would like to comment on the article published on April 8, 2001 titled "Poland Faces an Ugly Truth, and Doesn't Blink" by Tina Rosenberg. In spite of the allegedly "careful research" conducted by prof. Jan T. Gross in preparing the book "Neighbors", he used almost exclusively documents written in Poland in the postwar Stalinist era, when historical facts were arbitrarily changed or distorted and adjusted to communist ideology and its adherents. The scene of the described events, a small town - Jedwabne - was located in the region of eastern Poland, from where the Soviet occupiers with significant support of local Jews, during the period of September 1939 to June 1941, deported to Siberian concentration camps nearly 2 million Polish inhabitants. From Jedwabne itself about 300 Poles were exiled, several of them in the last few days before the arrival of the German Army. Prof. Gross forgets repeatedly in his book about the massive Jewish cooperation with the Soviet NKVD - the Soviet secret police, much worse in cruelty than the German Gestapo. It is no wonder, that during the next German occupation Poles were none too eager to risk their and their families' lives in saving communist party Jews. In Poland and only in Poland capital punishment was meted out to the entire family, which was executed for the slightest evidence of aid given to Jews. Gross' principal source for "Neighbors" - Szmul Wasersztajn alias Calka collaborated with the Soviets, despised his Polish neighbors, and was personally responsible for many tortures and deportations of Poles. Hiding on that day, in a house about two miles away he could not possibly be an eyewitness of the July massacre as Gross seems to believe. After the war, Wasesztajn served the Polish communist Soviet regime as an officer in the secret police. Therefore his maliciously anti-Polish testimony is hardly credible and it is surprising Gross sympathizes with this reprobate. According to numerous direct eyewitnesses of the tragic July, 1941 events, a select unit of German soldiers (members of the so called "Einsatzgruppen", special troops for Jewish extermination) arrived at Jedwabne to terrorize Polish inhabitants and commit genocide on the Jews. That was a policy of the German occupant and Gross' insinuations regarding an "easily reached agreement", and describing the Germans as looking for Polish advice or protecting the Jews is simply an incredible lie. As a rule, confiscated Jewish property was considered the property of the Third Reich, so the incentive for the Poles alluded to is falsely attributed. However every nation has its dregs of society and such were also present among the Jews. The infamous role of numerous Jewish leaders and officials (Jewish Councils so called "Judenrat"; Jewish Ghetto Police, and so on) is well documented as servile collaborators with Nazi authorities. The multitude of errors and distortions contained in Gross' book makes it a worthless secondary source in Holocaust studies. However, we are afraid, its publication and promotion could further deteriorate Polish-Jewish relationships and provoke mutual animosity. Is it the intent of New York Times to play into such

a sinister role? We hope you will print all the above information in the spirit of free speech and full disclosure so as to keep your readers better informed.

Karol Gutowski President Karol Gutowski Andrzej Zawadzki, , 0000-00-00 powrot

Andrzej Zawadzki Secretary

100 Falsehoods of J.T. Gross (1 - 3) dr. Jerzy Robert Nowak

translated by: Mark Lech Jaworski

Notes of Lech Marek Jaworski who translated "100 Falsehoods of J.T. Gross" by dr. Jerzy Robert Nowak from the Polish original Based on the recent book PRZEMILCZANE ZBRODNIE = [UNSPOKEN CRIMES] (about Jewish collaborators with a Soviet invaders of Poland in 1939) published by WYDAWNICTWO VON BOROVIECKI Warsaw in 1999 and a personal conversations of the translator with the Author in Warsaw in January and March of 2001 . Dr. Nowak, a Polish historian, University Professor, scientist, writer and essayist is a bright spot on the horizon of renewal of Polish patriotism. His books are sold on the streets of Polish cities, often ignored by big chain booksellers and politically correct but biased mass media in Poland, like GAZETA WYBORCZA = [ELECTION'S GAZETTE] which are written in Polish, but have no Polish soul. Professor J.R. Nowak is at times invited to take part in panel discussions on Polish TV, but hosts or other panelists interrupt his daring statements. Dr. J.R. Nowak specializes in examining controversial subjects. He has given the world tremendous contributions by breaking a taboo surrounding Jews in Poland. His 47 articles in the Polish Christian daily SLOWO = [WORD] under the title "PRZEMILCZANE SWIADECTWA" = [UNSPOKEN TESTIMONIES] were very popular. Essay "WHAT JEWS SHOULD APOLOGIZE TO POLES FOR" published by the paper NASZA POLSKA = [OUR POLAND] uncovered the truth hidden by communist tyrants and their Jewish collaborators. As an all-round historian, dr. Nowak published 24 books and over 700 papers. Subjected to scrupulous reviews by his peers as well as ignorant detractors, was never proven wrong and his integrity has never been shaken. He published book about Hungarian Uprising "HUNGARY - SO CLOSE BUT UNKNOWN," history of

20th century Hungarian literature, "THOUGHTS ABOUT POLAND AND POLES," two volumes on "THREATS TO POLAND AND POLES," which became in 1998 a national bestsellers in Poland. Again in 1999 his book "BLACK LEXICON" was another bestseller unmasking 'elites' of contemporary Poland. "CHURCH AND THE FRENCH REVOLUTION," exposed this dramatic event in a true light. A series of essays "100 FALSEHOODS OF J.T. GROSS" is being published in a Polish Christian weekly NIEDZIELA [Sunday], (circulation over 300,000) as an answer of the learned man to the vicious attack on Polish nation by a hate monger writer J.T. Gross. Gross is part of the worldwide conspiracy against Poland, to extort billions of dollars for not numerous but rich, self-appointed 'friends of the victims' of the Holocaust. When US or German taxpayers and Swiss bankers refused to continually finance Israeli wars, to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, shadowy charitable foundations and defenders of inhuman rights from Manhattan started concerted attack on whatever is left of Poland. After over 100 years of Russian and German occupation in 19-th century, Second World War invasion by Nazis and Soviets and almost 50 years of Soviet colonial exploitation, Poland is struggling for survival. Unreasonable claims against this troubled nation with over 15% unemployment and over 50 billion US dollars of foreign debt could bankrupt the state; but maybe this is what some shadowy figures want, destroy infrastructure, pauperize and buy Poland at the discount, colonize her again. Dr. Nowak's essay is suitable only for a reader with an open mind, not easily influenced by half-truths and demagoguery. Scientific accuracy applied to a historical research by dr. Nowak, compels the reader to search for truth. It is much more difficult to seek the truth than fantasize to suit the evil hidden agenda. Search for the truth is always swimming upstream; only garbage spills with a flow. By the way; dr. Nowak's weekly column in NIEDZIELA is called just that "POD PRAD" = UPSTREAM." On a personal note, I do this translation on my own time, it has not been ordered by anyone (like a book of Mr. Gross) or financed by some generous benefactors. I thank my wife Barbara for help and encouragement. Lech Marek Jaworski Vancouver Canada sobota, dubna 28, 2001


by Jerzy Robert Nowak
[Entries in square brackets and distincly different font, are translator's additions, some page numbers relate to the Polish language editions] Couple of times before, I quoted statements of a Jewish friend of Poles professor Norman Finkelstein from USA, warning us against claims and blackmail

of few large Jewish organizations. N. Finkelstein said that those organizations want to extort from a poor Poland about 60 billion US dollars as a compensation for Jewish property. In order to intensify pressure on Poland in the matter, and to blacken her image in the eyes of other nations, vicious anti-Polish propagandawhich attempts to portray Poles as alleged partners of the Nazis in murdering Jews-is constantly being pumped out by such ignoble parties. In such propaganda, a particular role is played by biased, Pole-eating texts of a Jewish sociologist Jan Tomasz Gross, especially by his last two books: GHASTLY DECADE and NEIGHBORS. Gross, a former participant of incidents in 1969, (emigrated from Poland in 1969). In spite of his statements in TYGODNIK POWSZECHNY February 6TH 2001, accusing me of being the first to criticize him for giving a pretext to make monetary demands from Poland which is simply untrue. In fact such a criticism took place much earlier, by the pen of renowned Polish scientist dr. Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski, an American professor, who recognizes perfectly the agenda and manipulations of J.T. Gross and other antiPolish Jews. It is also very difficult to accuse him of being anti-Jewish, because his well-documented book published in 1993 and 1998 was fore worded by enthusiastic introduction of famous Jewish Sovietologist from the US, professor Richard Pipes. Professor Pogonowski precisely exposed intentions of J.T. Gross in an excellent review of a GHASTLY DECADE 1939 - 1948, published by ARKANA of Krakow (Number 5, 1998). In 1998 already Professor Pogonowski pointed out that the real goal of Gross is "to create myths about participation of the Polish nation in the annihilation of the Jewry. It is easier to collect compensation from the guilty than from the fellow victim. () Gross's propaganda helps extreme Jewish groups to exhort a squeeze on the Polish government to pay up for a crimes committed in Poland by Germans, Soviets and common criminals." In his works Gross spins an extremely libelous generalizations about Poland and Poles. Relying on the not very trustworthy report of Szmul Wasserstein, he accuses Poles of "genocide" of Jews in Jedwabne, omitting completely or belittling role of the Germans in this murder. He says for example that during the murder in Jedwabne there were only eight German military policemen, ignoring the report of an earlier investigating prosecutor W. Minkiewicz that there were 232 German police officers in Jedwabne. Not an unimportant discrepancy! Gross presents extremely falsified and deformed picture of the Jewish history in Poland as an unending chain of suffering at the hands of "anti-Semitic" Poles, from whom the only solution to avoid pogroms, was to bribe them. He does not explain why such an anti-Semitic Poland was called "Jewish Paradise" (Paradise Judeorum) by 18th century? Why did (according to Norman Davies) the four fifths of the world's Jewry live in this "anti-Semitic" Poland of the 19th century? Gross writes about a "basic theme of participation of ethnic Polish population in annihilation of Polish Jews"(NEIGHBORS page 95), that allegedly "during Hitler's occupation a great majority of the Polish society felt lack of sympathy to Jews" (GHASTLY

pages 41-42). Particularly heavy accusations of Polish "anti-Semitism" Gross launches against the Polish clergy, quoting the worst, the dirtiest libels as stated with pleasure by the extremely biased statements of Menachem Finkelsztain: "Polish murderers () are driven by animalistic instinct, by blood and theft instilled in them over the centuries by the black clergy, which built its existence on racial hate" (NEIGHBORS page 46, book style by Gross). Gross unleashed libelous hue and cry against Poland and Poles, undoubtedly knowing the anti-Polish climate in some Jewish circles in America. It is a surprise though, to find intellectuals living in Poland, who with such a fervor would pick up and carry all accusations of Gross against Poles, disregarding the fact that they were not verified by historians, and without even waiting for a result of an investigation conducted by a public prosecutor in the matter. Curiously, among persons of that sort, there are authors who have not the slightest idea about history of Poland during the WW2, like world-renowned science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem, philologist Maria Janion, sociolologist Jacek Kuczewski etc. How right was Maciej Letowski in TYGODNIK SOLIDARNOSC = [Solidarity Weekly] on 9th of February 2001, about those who immediately and uncritically supported Gross, challenging Poles to repent for alleged crimes: "I wakes up in me a feeling of resistance against the behavior of 'national self-flagellators,' who on every occasion, bang their chest so vividly in front of the camera, that I start wondering about their sanity () Let's not accuse some of our compatriots of building a PENANCE ENTERPRISE." Let criminal investigation expose who committed the crime in Jedwabne and publicly condemn the perpetrators, regardless of their nationality. It is reprehensible, however, that Gross uses extreme generalizations about the whole Polish nation; paired with constant falsifications of true meaning of materials he is quoting. In this series of articles written for the NIEDZIELA = [SUNDAY], titled "100 FALSEHOODS OF J.T. GROSS," I intend to prove by specific examples that masochistic 'national self-flagellators' simply made fools of themselves, uncritically praising Gross -an author, who commits numerous cynical manipulations and intellectual fraud. I will prove that Gross on many occasions shamelessly lied in his texts, falsified pictures of the whole periods of history, twisted and falsified true meaning of the books he quoted. It gives a very bad impression about people who aspire to belong to the intellectual elite, that they did not notice false conclusions from books such as TEN JEST Z OJCZYZNY MOJEJ = [HE IS MY BROTHER], by W. Bartoszewski and Z. Lewinowna. Starting from the text presented below, I will enumerate point-by-point falsehoods of J.T. Gross. The lie #1 about freedom for Poles under Nazi occupation Few people know that in 1981 some of Gross's lies were unmasked by Stefan Korbonski himself, one of the leaders of Polish Resistance against Nazis, former

Delegate to the occupied country, deputy Premier of the underground government. In an article published in = ZESZYTY HISTORYCZNE [HISTORICAL CHRONICLES OF KULTURA] in Paris (No. 58, pages 158-184), Korbonski strongly condemned anti-Polish lies of Gross contained in a published 1979 book POLISH SOCIETY UNDER GERMAN OCCUPATION. Gross has written this book for Anglo-Saxon readers, unfamiliar with Polish realities. Without scruples he served them nonsense, which he would not dare to present to the Polish readers. His mannerism of exaggerating martyrology of Jews and belittling Polish martyrology and heroism has shown up already. To this end he was leading the Anglo-Saxon readers to believe that the activities of the Polish Resistance were not particularly risky, to the contrary, they have been undertaken in the amazing freedom of action. Korbonski in his text laughs at the particularly embarrassing to Gross nonsensical statement (page 240 of his book) "Yes, paradoxically Poles enjoyed bigger freedom during the period 1939 to 1944, than during the whole century I think that one can assume that multiplicity of underground resistance organizations and abundance of conspiratorial initiatives is a proof of the political freedom in Poland under Nazi occupation. It is hard to imagine that all this underground organizations could rise and in such a number if it was other way around." That means, according to Gross, that the Greatness of the Polish Underground Statehood and the Polish conspiracy was not a merit to Poles, because we were so free during the German occupation! Of course, Poles had, thanks to the Germans, unlimited freedom in one aspect - freedom to die: on the gallows, by the executioner's hatchet, with gypsum in one's mouth, from exhaustion in a concentration camp Let's ask, how the man, who writes such hogwash, could be treated as a credible author in Polish matters? Gross goes all the way to present Polish nation as blood thirsty and fanatical, always against Jews. Therefore, he is falsifying history of Jewry from the ancient times until after WW2. Lie #2. False picture of history of Jews in Poland centuries ago. One could enumerate a multitude of honest Jewish authors, praising Poland as symbol of exceptional tolerance and refuge for Jews. Famous Jewish thinker, rabbi of Krakow Moses Isserles. Wrote in 16th century: "If God would not have given us this country (Poland that is - J.R.N.), as a refuge, the fate of Israel would have become unbearable." Modern Jewish historian Barrett Litvinoff in a monumental work THE BURNING BUSH (London 1988) appreciated that "most likely Poland protected Jews from total annihilation." In a picture of Polish Jewish relations presented by Gross there is no trace of exceptional role of Poland as a refuge for Jews. On the contrary, in NEIGHBORS (2000, Polish

edition page 83) we learn that since Chmielnicki - the time noted by mythologized Jewish memory as Khurban, catastrophe spreading fear archetype Shoah readiness to destroy everything strange, Jews at first, not only survived in a Polish village but was also repeatedly manifested in a paroxysms of violence." Chmielnicki in fact committed slaughter of Jews, but as a leader of Cossacks and Ukrainian peasants, killing Jews as well as Polish gentry. Saying this that in a context of Polish farmers and weave generalizations about repeated appearances of "paroxysms of violence" on Polish soil, could only be done by completely illiterate ignorant (and this is not a case of Gross) or a willful cynical charlatan. Lie #3. Accusing Poles of participation in a genocide of Jews. In NEIGHBORS (pages 94-95) Gross expresses regrets that a Polish historiography is incomplete without "works on basic subject of participation of ethnic Polish population in annihilation of Polish Jews." In his earlier book GHASTLY DECADE (1998 page 117) Gross has written: "Poles () very often, in many ways, participated in a process of extermination of Jews." I am amazed that slanderous calumnies of Gross, in a spirit of the worst Poles eaters, were not countered by emphatic reply of prominent representatives of Polish public life, witnesses of the war time. Let us recall that even Jerzy Kosinski, author of infamous PAINTED BIRD afforded, at the end of his life, to accentuate the need to deny "such phenomenon like a mean stereotype of Pole - anti-Semite, collaborating with Nazis and responsible for Holocaust. When I hear that I think of the best of Goebbels time." (During the Interview to PRZEGLAD TYGODNIOWY No 15 1988). It is also appropriate to remind Gross the slanderer, the statement made by the President of the Jewish Combatant Association - Arnold Mostowicz: "No nation put on the altar of help to Jews, such a hecatomb of sacrifices as Poles, because in many occupied countries such a help was not threatened with such a risk" (Quoted from AC, WARSAW'S RIGHTEOUS ZYCIE: 25TH of February 1998) Lie #4. About small handful of Poles who helped the Jews. Calumnies about Poles participating in extermination of Jews, are accompanied by slanders belittling to the extreme, extend of Polish help to Jews. According to Gross: Only small handful of Poles who helped Jews" (GHASTLY DECADE page 36), and "Poles principally were not willing to help the Jews" (ditto page 41). Let me recall in this context evaluation of Marek Edelman: "I want you to imagine that 12,000 Jews survived in Warsaw until the Warsaw Uprising (1944) To keep 12,000 alive, at least 100,000 people must have been involved. Population of Warsaw was 700,000 then, that is one out of seven Poles involved. This is very large percentage. () I think that there is no other city like that in the whole Europe. Especially that here the punishment was much more severe." (Quote from the interview with Marek Edelman in TYGODNIK POWSZECHNY 18th of April 1993). Jewish author Klara Mirska, who emigrated from Poland after

incidents in March 1968, wrote in a book published in Paris in 1980, IN THE SHADOW OF TERRIBLE FEAR: "I collected many testimonials about Poles saving Jews and think sometimes: 'Poles are extraordinary. They could be impulsive and unjust, but I do not know whether in any nation one could find so many people full of romanticism, so many people without the flaws, so many angels, who with such a sacrifice, disregarding their own life were saving others." Saved by the Poles Jewess Janka Altman wrote to Marek Arczynski about Poles, who were risking their own life to protect Jews during the war: "I do not know, whether we the Jews, seeing tragedy of another nation, would be able to such a sacrifice" (Quoted from M. Arczynski and W. Balcerak: CRYPTONYM ZEGOTA. History of helping Jews in Poland 1939-1945, Warsaw 1983, page 364). [I wonder how many war torn Palestinian children are raised by the Israeli families?] Lie #5. False conclusions from the book: TEN JEST Z OJCZYZNY MOJEJ = [HE IS MY BROTHER] To slander Poles as a nation presented totally in black, Gross uses with a great chutzpah false conclusions from the books he quotes from. On page 48 of the GHASTLY DECADE, Gross says: "Reading Bartoszewski's and Lewinowna TEN JEST Z OJCZYZNY MOJEJ = [HE IS MY BROTHER], does not allow for any doubts as to where the threats to the hiding Jew were coming from." As a proof, Gross gives short fragment of published in 1969 book, describing an example of anti-Jewish behavior of three country boys. I reiterate, the book of Bartoszewski and Lewinowna on 1034 pages, describes hundreds of examples of Poles helping Jews, risking their own life. Few fragments mention anti-Jewish incidents. It does not stop the Gross from using such a book to lie with impudence about "generally felt animosity to Jews." Lie #6. Falshood about anti-Semitism of a Polish press. In a GHASTLY DECADE (Page 44) Gross says: "In very important book GERMAN-JEWISH WAR (Aneks 1989) Pawel Szapiro presents full set of texts on Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. As it could be seen from that selection, anti-Semitism was a rule of the public opinion of the Polish society, with a notable exception of very honorable and influential exemptions. ()." It is worthwhile to notice chutzpah of Gross in perverting the true sense of Szapiro's book. Historian associated with Jewish Historical Institute of Warsaw. His selections prove without any doubt, that most of the Polish conspiratorial publications sympathized with a Jewish fight in Ghetto [against Nazis] and very rare exceptions were antiJewish texts. Let's add that Ludwik Landau, renowned Jewish author of CHRONICLES OF THE YEARS OF WAR AND OCCUPATION (1962, volume 2, December 1942 - 30 of April 1943, page 377), noted that on 11-th day of fighting, on 30-th of April 1943: "Fighting was appreciated everywhere, evoked sympathy, even in a circles not very accessible to the Jews, especially because of

unequivocal stance of the underground press." Lie #7. Ignoring results of the investigation of a Prosecutor W. Monkiewicz In his attempts to blame Poles exclusively for murder of Jews in Jedwabne, Gross relied on not very trustworthy (published in two different versions) testimonies if Szmul Wasersztain. Prof. Tomasz Strzembosz uncovered in GLOS (3 March 2001) that Wasersztain was an agent of [communist] Secret Police (UB), acting as an interrogator having a rank of the lieutenant. Wasersztain completely ignored part played by German policemen in Jedwabne, writing that there were only eight of them. Gross relying on Wasersztain, at the same time did not say a word in his book about brought in 1989 conclusions of investigation of Jedwabne murder by Prosecutor Waldemar Monkiewicz. He reported that decisive role was played not by the Poles but 232 troopers of German military police, (not 8, according to Gross). Willful withholding of those conclusions by Gross in NEIBORS, was pointed out by me in May of 2000 and later by professor Tomasz Szarota. Lie #8. Generalizations painting picture of Catholic Church in black. In his attempts to blame Poles exclusively for murder of Jews in Jedwabne, and denying any German crimes there, Gross completely forgets any motives for resentment to Jews, such as their support of soviets conducting ethnic cleansing of Poles in an area they invaded in 1939-41 ( I wrote about it in details in a book PRZEMILCZANE ZBRODNIE = [UNSPOKEN CRIMES] (1999). The only factors that - according to Gross - may have inspired a murder was "wild" anti-Semitic, Christian fanaticism of Poles and intent to rob. In a book NEIGHBORS he spreads slanders about Bishop of Lomza and two other Polish clergymen and extreme generalizations about attitude of Catholic Church to Jews. On pages 4546 of NEIGHBORS, Gross explains inspiration to commit murder in Jedwabne: "() propaganda started to spread to the crowd from opinion creating circles, the time has come to get even for a death of Christ on the cross, with those who use blood for matzos and who are a source of all evil in the world - the Jews (). The seed of hate fell on a fertile ground, well cultivated for many years by the clergy. Wild and bloodthirsty crowd accepted that as a holy challenge of a mission, given to them by the history - to liquidate the Jews () Who killed them? Polish murderers, dirty hands from underground world of blind people, driven by animalistic instinct after blood and robbery thought and raised over dozens of years by black clergy, which on the grounds of racial hate built their own existence." (The weird style is a total responsibility of Gross and his publisher). Gross writes about "regularly repeating themselves threatening moments - such as Easter, when priests evoked in sermons a picture of Jew God killer." Taking chances with such a twisted "black generalizations" about Catholic Church in Poland, which in April may reach readers in USA and Germany, Gross willfully omits any information about people of the Church which does not fit his biased

thesis. No reader of his book will learn that Catholic Church in Poland had such a Hierarchy like Bishop Antoni Szostkiewicz, who was made famous for strong objection to the inspired by the Tsar anti-Jewish sentiments in Warsaw, after Russian pogroms in 1881. (Among other acts, he ordered to hang in all the churches pastoral letters condemning all attempts to ignite anti-Jewish atmosphere). Such as Polish Bishop of Vilnius Edward von Ropp, whose intervention effectively prevented Tsarist's attempts to start a pogrom of Jews in 1905. Such as Bishop of Tarnw Franciszek Janowski, who in 1931 effectively stopped attacks on Jewish stores in Lvov. (French historian E. Tollet writes about in a HISTORY OF POLISH JEWS). When Polish Primate August Cardinal Hlond, who in 1936 condemned imported from abroad hate of Jews and using violence against them. Lie #9. Willful omission of the role of Bishop T. Kubina. One must admit that Gross is very consistent in painting very black picture of a Catholic Church. In a GHASTLY DECADE 1939 - 1948 takes page and half to describe black fate of Jews in Czestochowa during 1945-46 and a threat of pogrom. Testimonies about it are identical. In a book written by Stanislaw Meducki ANTI-JEWISH INCIDENTS IN KIELCE 4TH OF JULY 1946 (Kielce 1994, volume 2, page 115), we read: "After incidents in Kielce, situation was tense, even threatening. () Proclamations were issued, signed by a Bishop Kubina from Czestochowa Dioceses, which pacified public opinion." Lie #10 Character assassination against Bishop S. Lukomski. [Note of the translator to provide historical background for the readers not familiar with a details of a complex situation of Eastern part of Poland during the WW2. Germans attacked Poland from the West on September 1st 1939, knowing that Soviets will not come to the defense of Poland despite of signed Treaty with Poland. Hitler made a secret deal with Stalin on August 23rd 1939, called Ribbentrop - Molotov Pact, dividing spoils of the imminent invasion of the whole Europe. That made a WW2 possible. When Stalin realized that France and Great Britain are not going to keep their promises given in a Treaty with Poland, to immediately open a front with Germany from the West, he joined his ally Hitler and invaded Poland on a 17th of September 1939. Stalin started immediate ethnic cleansing of Polish territories killing hundreds of thousands (including the cream of the crop of Polish patriots, 14,000 officers of the Polish Army in Katyn Forest Massacre) and deporting millions to Siberia. Regrettably, most of the Jews in those areas welcomed Soviet forces with gifts and flowers, collaborated with them in finding Polish patriots, officers, policemen and civil servants. They were subsequently jailed, tortured, deported inside Russia, sent to gulags and killed. Some Jews like infamous Tuvii Bielski, commentant of the terrorist group named "Jerozolima," did not even bother to fight German or Soviet invaders, as proper partisans of Home Army [AK] did. He spent war time in a harem of kidnapped

Christian women, robbing farmers and accepting protection money from poor Jews who were starving in his camp. Indigent Jews were calling his hideout "Tsar's Palace." (Memoirs of his one time deputy, communist Jozef Marchwinski, married to the Jewess). It is worth to note that after several months of Soviet terror in the territory, Hitler betrayed Stalin and went for a preemptive attack on Russia, starting common among mobsters turf war. After escape of Soviet tyrants Nazi troops fell on Jedwabne and surrounding areas. It is hard to imagine terror of population during rapid changes of the front line and changing one sadistic ruler for another. Mass murder in Jedwabne occurred during first two weeks of German administration. Polish authorities were killed or "resettled" by Stalin. Soviet administration run away in a hurry. Germans were taking pride in efficiency of their government and at least trying to give a token impression of a legitimacy and rule of law; unlike Soviets, who simply did not care about such bourgeois relic. Germans were taking advantage of chaos of the first days after their "victory" by implementing their own agenda of killing Jews and Poles to give fertile land to the German "settlers" as a fulfillment of the promised by Hitler "Lebensraum" (living space). If there was a chance of incriminating somebody else for their evil deeds, Nazis were taking it. False pseudo-documentaries of Polish soldiers allegedly killing Germans in Gdansk (Danzig), shown by a Nazi's newsreel, Soviets blaming Germans for a Katyn Forest Massacre, with a tacit approval of the Great Britain and US, are common propaganda tricks used by not only Soviets or Nazis. Genocide followed by disinformation could even make heroes out of the Stern Gang - butchers of 250 Palestinian, primarily Christian civilians killed in a village of Deir Yasin. by Zionists in 1946. Time Magazine reported that "250 Arabs, mostly women and children were tossed into the wells." There was no German troopers ordering Jews to commit murder. Now it is either forgotten, described as a "battle of Deir Yasin" or casually mentioned that group of Rabbis recently went there to pray. Stalin killed thousands of Polish Catholic and Uniate Christian priests and nuns, Hitler killed almost three thousand Polish Catholic clergy including Bishops. That puts them on even keel on a scale of mass murder and anti-Christian genocide.] Gross throws abominable slander against Bishop of Lomza Stanislaw Lukomski, accusing him of taking silver candle holders from the Jewish delegation and in spite of that, not protecting them from pogrom of Jews in Jedwabne. According to Gross: "Jewish leaders sent a delegation to the Bishop of Lomza, which brought beautiful silver candle holders, with a request for protection, for an intervention with a Germans and prevention of pogrom in Jedwabne." Indeed , "Bishop for some time kept his word. But Jews trusted too much in his promises and did not listen to the warnings of friendly Polish neighbors." Facts refute such an accusation. Bishop was absent in Lomza for an extended period of time, hiding from the Soviet invaders, mainly in Tykocin and Kulesze Koscielne, he came back to Lomza on 9th of July, that is one day before murder of Jews from Jedwabne. It is very proper question of the Editors of KAI: B. Lozinski and A. PietrowaWasilewicz in, which devastates Gross'es lies, in a text published on 26th of

February 2001: "The question arises. How could delegation, which was suppose to deliver silver candle holders to the bishop, know that he will be in Lomza? Murder occurred on 10th of July, bishop conducted written negotiations with a German military authorities, before he returned to the capital of his dioceses. Were those negotiations with a German military so well known that everybody in the area knew that Lomza bishop is coming back to his exile? It questions reliability of the whole report. Bishop Lukomski mentions that separate suite in the palace, occupied only since August, and from that time sat in his office. () how to explain the testimony of the witness that "Bishop of Lomza for some time kept his word"? Pogrom in Jedwabne occurred next day, no more than two days, if we consider entry in the Chronicle of Benedictine nuns" (they give a date of return of Bishop Lukomski as 8th of July -J.R.N.). Authors of the KAI text remind us that: "In his memoirs Bishop Lukomski writes about extermination of Jews. Those are not notes of the unfeeling man, but a person terrified by bestiality of the Hitler's troopers. True picture of the stand of Bishop Lukomski on the matters of extermination of Jews, comes from the priests who were in his dioceses and are still living. Reverend Kazimierz Lupinski remembers that, circulated verbal recommendation of Bishop Lukomski, was circulated among priests "not to dispense absolution to the confessing Poles who took part in a killing of the Jews by Germans." Let us recall information related to Bishop Lukomski in his biography written by Reverend Professor Zygmunt Zieminski in the Polish Biographical Dictionary (volume 18. page 560) "He intervened with a German authorities against violence directed against Polish and Jewish population. During the retreat of the German Army he frustrated efforts of blowing up Cathedral in Lomza." To be continued... Copyright to the Polish Translation Lech M. Jaworski 2001, prof. Jerzy Robert Nowak, Niedziela - Tygodnik Katolicki, 2001-02-27 In a shadow of Jedwabne dr hab. Pawe Machcewicz
translated by: Emilia Wisniewska

RYS. PAWE GAKA PAWE MACHCEWICZ There is a doubt that the book by Jan T. Gross and the emerged discussion about it are the most important events of the last few years in Polish disputes about the future. "Neighbors" and also the earlier by two years (and almost unnoticed) Ghostly Decade, touch upon the most significant for Poles matters, such as: creating the picture of us in such a key subject as German and Soviet occupation, attitudes of Polish society towards Germans and Jews, and relation of Poles to the holocaust. It is no wander that these matters, regardless of decades passing by, move our strong emotions. Exemplification of it was the last meeting at the History Institute of PAN dedicated to Gross's book, with over hundred participants. The even was unusual mainly due to the atmosphere of the dispute, whose participants at the end either shouted at each other or cried. It there a chance to talk about books by Gross in peace, accounting for other arguments that just ourown? Facts and questions. Lets try to reconstruct both, the most important facts, as well as questions that thus far do not have answers. On tenth of July 1941, in a small town with only about three thousands of residents, several miles from Lomza, the murder of the entire Jewish community has been committed (the numbers of atrocities oscillate between 900 to 1500-1600 people: Gross assumes the highest number). Neighbors, Poles, were involved in the killing of Jews. Of course, not all of them did it. Author, basing it of the record of the prosecutorial investigation and trial in 1949, selects the group of more than a dozen of the most active murderers. Almost no one questions these facts. However, there are doubts related to the role of Germans. The events certainly were not spontaneous. They were registered by the German camera crew, which showed up in the morning in Jedwabne. During the investigation, the information was retrieved that the talks between Germans and the administration of town had been held for several days. To understand the context of the events in Jedwabne one must remember that more than 10 days before, the officers of Germans police battalions murdered two thousands Jews in Bialystock by burning many of them in a synagogue. Striking is, at least, a similarity of the method, as in Jedwabne at least several hundred of Jews were burned in the barn. Gross does not deliver much attention to these leads (as well as he

ignored other versions of the events, according to which there was between several tents and over more 200 Germans officers, coming into the town), prejudging that, this does not present a key significance, in the whole picture, of what has happened on 10 of July. What were the motives Historians pay attention to the other circumstances as well, which Gross did not take into consideration at all or in the insufficient degree. The key question applies to the motives, for which Polish neighbors murdered the whole populations of the Jews in town. One of them could be antiSemitism (those areas were the only ones in Poland, where ONR has influence in the rural areas) or the plain greed ' the intention of taking over the assets of the murdered. However, this is not all. According to the written records about the events of July 10th, the other circumstance was the motive of retaliation for (alleged or real ' now we can not determine that yet) collaborations of Jews with the Soviet aggressor between September 1939 and July of 1941. Gross asserts, that there was no premises to think, that Jews of Jedwabne collaborated with NKWD to the larger extend than Poles did, and that they play any role in turning in and liquidating the guerrilla formations in the area. We know already, that the young Jews before their death had been forced to carry the large Lenin monument built in the town by Soviet occupants, and singing before their death, "The war is because of us". Professor Szarota called attention to the fact, that one of the main murderers, brother Laundanski, has lost their sister, who was arrested and murdered by NKVD. Other lead consists of the information (lacking in "Neighbors") that a few days before pogrom, the group of prisoners, who were the former participants of anti-Soviet conspiracy, released by the German occupants, arrived to Jedwabne. The referenced leads do not give a ready answer, however they indicate the role of the believes about co-responsibility of the Jews for the soviet crimes, that they could have played in the matter, even if they were far from reality. This does not the change the moral judgment of what has occurred in Jedwabne, and do not excuse the murders. Regardless of German inspiration for the crimes and the retaliatory motive for the alleged cooperation with the soviet occupant, there is no doubt, that their Polish neighbors had killed Jews. The same occurred in Kielce on July 4th 1946: even if that pogrom has been a product of the provocation by the Public Security Office (there are bases for such a statement), there must have been Poles who with knives and bars moved to the house on 7 Platy Street to murder the Jews. Historian can not, however, stop at the moral assessment, but has a duty to explore the secondary conditions, which could allow understanding a sense of the events as they unfolded. It is worth listening to the critics of Gross, who allege that he is minimizing facts and interpretations that does not support his assumptions in "Neighbors". These critics do not come from the need to minimize the responsibility for the crime (this opinion could be heard in the History Institute), but approaching the truth as close as it possible, as well as modesty in approaching historical body of knowledge, which seems to be more complicated and less explained, than Gross concluded it. One evens but generalized conclusion Discussion, about the reliability of Jan T. Gross in the reconstruction of the background and the sequence of the events in Jedwabne, is overshadowing what is most significant and controversial in "Neighbors" (and also in "Ghastly Decade"). Based on the study of one town, author is concluding statements about the Polish-Jewish relationships, Polish co-responsibility for the

Holocaust and the collaboration with Germans. His main thesis sounds:" Jedwabne, however, it is perhaps the biggest one time murder, committed by Poles on the Jews ' was not the isolated incident", and "in the collective memory of the Jews, the Polish neighbors in many villages murdered them out of their own unforced will". In a "Ghastly Decade" author asserts, that "Poles, in most cases, had not showed help or even sympathy for the murdered co-citizens and often participated in the process of annihilation of Jews". He also argues that it was possible to rescue a greater number of Jews, as "none of the police is able to reinforce constantly broken rules. When one Pole in five or ten, but not one in a hundred or two hundred were to try to help Jews, Gestapo would be helpless. The brutal oppression is easiest installed against the small group of people, that is isolated in own society". India and the General Government This expression here is unusually strong, and one needs to question to what degree they are justified. Let's begin by agreeing with Gross regarding the numerous reports and memoirs that confirm indifference of Poles towards the destiny of the Jews, even worse - some incidents (however it is impossible to try to estimate how spread was it) money extortion or - in rural areasseeking out hiding Jews by peasants. However assertion that more widespread help for the Jews would tie down Gestapo and prevent its repression, in the light of the politics of extermination of Poles, seems to belong to the political science fiction. Such supposition better fits to the struggle of Gandhi for political independence from British in India rather than to the General Government. Beyond other consequences, hiding Jews threaten the life of the entire Polish family, while we can reasonably expect from common people their decency but not the heroism. The most important however is that currently we know much about one case - in Jedwabne- of murdering Jewish population by Poles; there is enough to suppose that the similar events took place in Radziwolow. Perhaps other case will see the light, which is currently unknown, however the categorical assertion by Gross has no foundation. The duty of the researcher - especially in such a delicate matter - is precision of his formulations and responsibility for each world. And these are often missing in the books by Gross. Lets call upon one more matter regarding collaboration with invader by Poles and Jews. While Gross reject theses about the cooperation of Jews with invading in 1939 by Russians, he is assessing attitudes of the Polish civilians towards Germans after the Soviet -German war was started. "Telling straight"- he writes in "Neighbors" - enthusiasm of the Jews in the view of incoming Red Army was not wide spread, and it is not known, what was the exceptional character of the collaboration of Jews with Soviets during 1939-1941. However there is no doubt that the local population (with exception of Jews) enthusiastically welcomed incoming Wermacht army in 1941 and collaborated with Germans, including also the extermination of Jews". How top call these opinions other then substituting one stereotype for the other - stereotype Judeo - communism by other stereotype relating in this instance to the war attitudes of Poles towards their German occupant . The need for research The book by Gross is needed. It moves our conscience, shaking the heroic picture the German occupation in which there usually was no place for these who extorted money, peasants catching the Jews escaping from the ghettos and Polish participant of anti-Jewish pogroms. Lets hope that this will start the discussion about most painful matters of our past. Most of all, we need the true research, which would allow to verify the assumptions contained in the "Ghastly decade" and

"Neighbors". Such a research (addressing amongst others the clandestine press, persecutions and trials against the money exhorts and collaborates) is undertaken by the Institute of National Remembrance. However, it happens eleven years too late. Neglect in taking up the research that could and should have been undertaken after 1989, will have consequences difficult to repair. The book by Jan T. Gross will be published in several months in the USA and Germany, and it will not a scientific broad base source materials, which were still not written- will be molding the public opinion of the big part of the world about polish-Jewish relations during WWII. I honor J. Gross for the courage of taking up such a difficult subject and at the same time I have doubts if his multiple simplifications and very risky generalizations do not make it difficult instead of easing the Polish Jewish dialog and the readiness of Poles to admitting own guilt. The author is a PhD, a historian, and an author of the books on the subject of history of Poland; recently he has been nominated for the position of the Public Educational Director at the Institute of National Remembrance. dr hab. Pawe Machcewicz, Rzeczpospolita, 0000-00-00 back to the english home page


Excerpts (quotes from the depositions found in Lomza): Mojzesz K., 39: "In 1942 the Germans herded all the Jews from the town of Jedwabne into a barn and set it on fire, so that nobody survived. I was not present there but one Motek Kilingros managed to run away from Jedwabne and thus escaped from being herded into the barn; later on, he was with me in the Lomza ghetto, and he told me (...)" Dawid M., 31: "In July 1942 Germans ordered all the Jews of Jedwabne to come to the market place; at that time I belonged to a partisan unit, I was in Jedwabne and I saw Lejba Pendziuch [the person to be declared dead by the court] among other Jews there. They led all the Jews by fours to the barn, and they set it on fire. [...] About 700 Jews were burned in that barn." Hercek C., 32: "In July 1941 Germans murdered all the Jews of Jedwabne by burning them in a barn. I saw how they herded them into the barn [...] and how then they set it on fire. At that time I was hiding from the Germans in Jedwabne. I was in hiding and I survived. They burned the Jews in daytime." Jankiel B., 46: "On 10 July 1941 I saw how the Germans herded all the Jedwabne Jews into a barn and fired it up. [...] I was then hiding from the Germans at the cemetery, and I saw everything." Chaim S., 30: "The Germans burned the Piekarewiczs in August, I don't remember the year..."

Eljasz G., 23: "[...] the Gradowskis [Grondowski] were burned by the Germans in 1941 [...]" Rywka F., 38: "[...] the Piekarskis were deported by the Germans when they were liquidating Jews and they still haven't come back [...]" Piotr M., 65: "[...] Mr. Piekarski with his wife Golda were burned by the Germans [...]" Jozefa M., 60: "[...] the Germans burned the Piekarskis [...]"

Mikoaj Wjcik, Nasz Dziennik, 2001-03-27 back to the english home page An Open Letter from the Residents of Jedwane to the Government of the Republic of Poland COMMITTEE FOR THE DEFENSE OF THE GOOD NAME OF JEDWABNE

We express our categorical protest against the slander of the Jedwabne community in connection with the murders committed on people of Jewish nationality during the period of Nazi occupation. Most media present this tragic event as a crime committed by the entire community of Jedwabne. We disagree with this opinion, and according to our knowledge (of the events) this act was committed by the Germans with the probable participation of from ten to twenty Poles. As a small community, we are defenseless before the world's, unbelievable in its methods, campaign defaming our community and all of Poland. Jedwabne experienced great losses during both occupations, the Soviet and the German, and the people actively joined in armed struggle with the occupiers and for freedom of their land. We remind everyone that the principal "witness" against the Poles is a former member of the Security Bureau (N.B., the communist security apparatus), to whose crimes were exposed by innumerable people. As on March 11th, Bishop Stanislav Stefanek reminded us - "today, we have a very rich offering of multifarious propaganda; we have specialized groups for disruption, provocation, disinformation, document alteration which dress in the toga of historians. Today, we have a new method of destroying people. That is why with such difficulty we come to the truth which is our moral obligation." The truth of Polish-Jewish relations in our area is complex. Until the moment of the Soviet army's entry, Poles and Jews were in Jedwabne an example of good neighborly co-operation. This exemplary co-existence was disturbed by citizens of Jewish nationality during the Soviet occupation. We do not seek to cover-up historical truth and that is why we await the results of the investigation conducted by the Institute of National Remembrance. We desire that Polish-Jewish dialogue and reconciliation between our nations be conducted in mutual respect and truth. We ask the Government of Poland to stand alert for Poland's good name and to put forth effort to clarify all the circumstances regarding the tragedy, since truth should see the light of day. With great regret, we note the breach of Article 42, Par.3 of the Polish Constitution that states "everyone is innocent, until guilt is determined by a valid court decision". We ask Mr. President

that you be the President of all the people and invite you to Jedwabne for April 13th and July 10th. COMMITTEE FOR THE DEFENSE OF THE GOOD NAME OF JEDWABNE PS Other evidence to support our claims is found in the numerous letters coming from within the country and from other countries, also from persons of Jewish nationality. COMMITTEE FOR THE DEFENSE OF THE GOOD NAME OF JEDWABNE, Tygodnik Katolicki Niedziela, 0000-00-00 powrot

POLISH-AMERICAN PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE"> Letter to Princeton Univ. Press POLISH-AMERICAN PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE Dana I. Alvi - Chairwoman P.O. Box 3206 Santa Monica, CA 90408 Tel. & Fax 310-829-1527 E-mail: March 17, 2001 Publisher, Princeton University Press Princeton University Princeton, NJ 08544-0430 tel: 609-258-4900 fax: 609-258-6305 NEIGHBORS by Jan Tomasz Gross Sir/Madam, The subject of the book by Jan Tomasz Gross published in Polish under the title SASIEDZI has caused great consternation in Poland. The charges by Mr. Gross that Polish citizens, in 1941, took part in a massacre of Jews at Jedwabne have yet to be investigated forensically. To date, Mr. Gross has been discredited by Polish scholars. In spite of the fact that the charges are unsubstantiated, they have been prematurely broadcast worldwide by the media and Jewish establishment. If anything can be termed as "hate speech" this matter certainly can. The emotions that this book has stirred run high and may possibly lead to

violence. SASIEDZI is due to be published in English under the title NEIGHBORS by the Princeton Univeristy Press. Undoubtedly, the publication will add to an already volatile predicament. Should violence occur and injury result, would the Princeton University Press see itself in some way responsible, - ethically and perhaps legally ? Should forensic findings (including examination of exhumed bodies) prove Mr. Gross' charges wrong, what would then be the responsibility of the Princeton University Press for publishing slander ? The purpose of this letter is to request Princeton University Press to consider withholding the publication of NEIGHBORS until a meaningful, exhaustive and complete forensic investigation is finalized. NEIGHBORS is the latest and certainly not the last in a long series of slanders perpetrated by the Jewish establishment against Poland and those of Polish heritage. After World War I, Jews unleashed a similar torrent of invectives against Poland in order to prevent the reconstitution of that country after more than a century of foreign partition and rule. Noteworthy Jews, such as Felix Frankfurter and Louis Brandeis, are on record as having demanded members of the U.S. diplomatic core stationed in Poland to submit reports under their own names that were in fact generated by Frankfurter and Brandeis. These reports contained the, by now, usual litanies of antiSemitic allegations. Diplomats had their careers threatened if they did not comply with the demands of the Jewish establishment. Jews have long sought to use the geographic territory of the country of Poland as a visible center of their World Wide Empire. As Jews became more vocal on this point, during the era of World War I, leading political minds regarded such ambition as the heights of criminal insanity. The ongoing program of antiPolish agitprop is nothing more than Jewish sour grapes over not having established their official homeland upon the wreckage of partitioned and war-ravaged Poland. Poland and Poles are still being punished for fending off a Judeo-Imperialist i.e. Communist military assault on Western Europe in 1922. Since then, the Jewish establishment has actively pursued a strategy of both physical and cultural genocide against the Polish nation. Polands best and brightest have been hunted down and killed by organized Jewry. The Katyn Massacre is the most known of such activities. Millions of the most capable and talented Poles were carted off by Jews into the Soviet Gulags and never seen again. While the Jews complain that no one ever did enough to help them during the Nazi era, researchers have yet to come up with documentation of a single incident in which any Jew resisted the Communist onslaught by protecting any Pole. The historical record is replete with incidents of Jews aiding and abetting both the Nazi and Soviet forces in their victimization of Poles.

Incidents such as Jedwabne, however fabricated, served as the pretext for the judicial murders of Polands most illustrious World War II heroes. A common thread in all of their show trials were false accusations of antiJewish atrocities. These trumped-up charges form the basis of Mr. Gross assumptions. In fact, some of those individuals who Mr. Gross portrays as the butchers of Jedwabne, were not even there at the time. These unfortunates were tried and sentenced for taking part in the Jedwabne atrocity, even though they happened to be imprisoned at Auschwitz at the time of the incident. Such technicalities never bothered the Jewish judges who sentenced their Polish victims to even further imprisonment and/or death. It is a shame that the prestige and cache imbuing the Princeton University Press is being used to further legitimize the Jewish establishments continuing antiPolish genocide. If Princeton University Press does release Mr. Gross publication, it joins Columbia University in sinking to despicable depths of giving credence to all manner of slanderous accusations against Poland. Columbia presided over the Pulitzer Prize given to Art Spiegelman for MAUS. MAUS portrayed Poles as pigs in a scenario in which various ethnic groups were represented by animals. Needless to say this portrayal of Poles was not the least bit sympathetic. Meanwhile, the actual circumstances of Mr. Spiegelmans fathers wartime experiences which were the, so-called, inspiration for MAUS, could prove remarkably revelatory. Columbia University also awarded accolades to PBS Frontline for its production of SHTETL. SHTETL served as a platform for the now discredited anti-Polish rant of Yaffa Eliach and Marian Marzynski, who just happened to be saved by Poles who risked their own lives to protect these Jews from the Nazis. Where is the universal condemnation particularly in academia of the bold-faced lies churned out by the Jewish establishment on a daily basis ? Why are Mr. Gross, Ms. Eliach and Mr. Marzynski still being paid by insitutions of higher learning to poison the minds of innocent students ? It is no coincidence that Mr. Gross attempts and the Jewish establishments attempts at artificially imposing both a false perception of Poland on the outside world as well as a collective guilt complex on the Polish citizenry, comes at a time when Jews are shaking down any country they can for tribute, no mater what the pretext. It is no coincidence that this Jews as victims hipe is being peddled by the media when the world is taking a critical look at the history of rampant political criminality orchestrated by the Jewish establishment. Israels behavior as the worlds worst rogue nation is merely the tip of the Jewish iceberg. Furthermore, it is no coincidence that the entire government of Poland is in the hands of Jews masquerading as Poles. These Jews, such as Aleksander Kwasniewski aka Stolzman and others, had parents and other family members who were actively engaged in the mass murder of Poles. It is no wonder that the present so-called

government of Poland is issuing mea culpa statements legitimizing demands made by the Jewish establishment for tens of billions of dollars from Poland in reparations. The bottom line is always the bottom line. Yours truly, Dana I. Alvi, Chairwoman c: interested parties With this letter, we are enclosing the opinion expressed by an acknowledged Polish historian, Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski. Response to Sarasota Herald Tribune Dana I. Alvi, POLISH-AMERICAN PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE, 0000-0000 powrot Jedwabne - Polish massacre of innocent Jews?
Mr. Strybel is a journalist whose articles appear in Dziennik Zwiazkowy and Polish News [see bio below]; he is a long-time member of the Siec. Contribution is courtesy of the author. Jedwabne -- Polish massacre of innocent Jews? By Robert Strybel, Our Warsaw Correspondent [sorry - I don't know where was published the original article - WK.] WARSAW--A year ago hardly anybody in Poland or anywhere else had heard of Jedwabne. Now it is fast becoming one of the most loudly publicized Polish-Jewish controversies. Some say it is another case of rich, influential Jewry accusing poor Poles of eternal anti-Semitism and shifting the blame for the Holocaust from the Germans to them to bolster their property-restitution claims against the Polish government. For others it is a case of asking forgiveness for the worst Polish pogrom against Jews and seeking true reconciliation between the two nations, although some wonder if the Jews ever intend to reciprocate. Still others insist that all the facts must be brought into the open so any historical inaccuracies can be righted. The issue can also be viewed as a challenge to the political maturity of Poles who should choose an approach that will do the least harm to Poland's international image and strategic interests. Jedwabne is all that and probably much more. But let us start at the beginning. The basic facts are that on June 10, 1941 an estimated 1,600 Jews in the little northeastern town of Jedwabne were beaten, stabbed, stoned or bludgeoned, then herded into a barn and burnt alive. The inscription on a memorial erected in the town in the 1950s blamed the killings on "the Gestapo and Nazi Gendarmerie", but a book by Polish migr Jew Jan T. Gross contends that the killings were the work of local Poles. The book "S_siedzi", whose English-language version is due to appear in America shortly, has naturally stirred up a hornets nest of angry controversy. While historians of every persuasion agree that some Poles did take part in the pogrom, the extent of their participation, the role of the Germans and even the number of victims have remained in dispute. Gross states that 92 Poles took part in the massacre, but the post-war communist regime put only 23 men on trial, of which only 12 were found guilty and sent to prison. The number of Germans in

Jedwabne on that day is also contested. Gross claims there were only a couple, but a cook testified she was ordered to prepare supper for 60 German gendarmes that day, and some historians suggest that a 230-strong German force had been sent into the area to exterminate the Jews. The number of victims also remains unclear. Tomasz Szarota, a Polish historian of Jewish descent, doubts whether 1,600 people could possible have fit in a small barn. The victims? bodies were all buried in a nearby ditch so the mass grave could be exhumed to determine the exact number. Jews, however, oppose such a move, insisting their religion does not allow the bones of the dead to be disturbed. The issue has divided Poles and Polish Americans, religious leaders, historians, politicians, journalists and even the townspeople of Jedwabne who are sick of being badgered by the reporters and TV crews that have descended on their town. Edward Moskal, leader of the PolishAmerican Congress, who has frequently defended the Polish image against Jewish attacks, wrote in the Chicago Polish daily "Dziennik Zwi_zkowy": "Gross's cry of outrage is hardly the proper methodological tool for an historian. And in the case of Jedwabne it certainly does not confirm his thesis alleging the spontaneous and mass participation of the Polish community" in the Holocaust. (...) Those were truly sad events, but before a proper evaluation can be made, the world must become acquainted with Poland's entire history. That is becoming impossible in view of the pseudo-history being pursued by so many prejudiced historians in their untruthful and distorted presentation of Poland (...) The truth, if it is now to be revealed, is that not all Jews were angels, nor were all Poles. But the Jews have not given up pointing fingers at others, while refusing to admit their own sins." Rather than mulling over any balance of blame, Jan Nowak-Jeziora_ski, underground Poland's World War II "courier from Warsaw" and former Radio Free Europe director, has expressed a largely pragmatic approach: "Films and photos of the massacre were made by German crews and deposited in Ludwigsburg (Germany), and there exists a strong probability they will soon be shown on TV screens world-wide. What can be done to limit the harm caused by such a spectacle" There exists an urgent need for some symbolic act that would express regret and atonement for the crime committed by our countrymen (...) It is important for it to take place before Gross's book appears (in English--RS) and before the film is found and disseminated, and for Polish and foreign media to publicize it. Only then will we be able to effectively and credibly defend Poland's good name from the slander alleging that Poles were Hitler"s partners in the crime of extermination. If we justify or diminish the crime, shift the responsibility to the victims or seek out extenuating circumstances, then in the eyes of the world, the whole nation may become an accomplice in the crime." Poland's ex-communist President Aleksander Kwa_niewski, who has a record of bowing to Jewish pressure, said he would personally travel to Jedwabne for the 60th-anniversary commemoration and "apologize to the Jewish nation on behalf of Poles". Solidarity-rooted Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek said: "It it was our duty to pay due homage to the victims and uncover the whole truth (...) and the inevitable truth is that Poles were involved in the crime in Jedwabne; no serious-minded historian denies that". But he added: "The Murder in Jedwabne was not carried out in the name of the Polish nation or state. At that time Poland was an occupied country (...) We are ready to face even the darkest facts of our history in the spirit of truth. Nevertheless, we cannot allow the Jedwabne case to spread false notions about Poland's co-responsibility for the Holocaust or the Poles" inborn anti-Semitism." Many historians and others taking part in the debate point out that the pogrom occurred nearly two years after the area was invaded by the Soviets who were welcomed and aided by many local Jews. Throughout Poland"s Soviet occupation zone, pro-Soviet Jewish militiamen and informers fingered their patriotic Polish neighbors who were arrested by Stalin's NKVD and sent to Siberia,

often never to be heard from again. Jews took over the jobs of ethnic Poles and threatened and blackmailed their Polish neighbors in various ways. It is understandable -- although not in any way morally excusable or justifiable -- that some Poles, who had seen their loved ones exiled or killed or had themselves been persecuted by Jewish collaborators were seething with revenge against them. Others -- various thugs, thieves and assorted low-lives -- saw the pogrom as an opportunity to get their hands on the homes and possessions of the murdered Jews. It is a known fact that such scum exists in every society and seems to crawl out of the woodwork especially during wars, revolutions and other violent upheavals. But many Jews regard any such clarifications as an attempt to explain away the pogrom and diminish Polish guilt. When I noted that all wars deprave people and that both Jews and Poles not only betrayed one another to save their own skin but also turned in their fellow countrymen, the chief rabbi of Warsaw, American Michael Schudrich, replied: "This is only about Jedwabne, about Poles killing Jews. Period. Let's not try to relativize everything. Since the partitions, Poles have perceived themselves as victims, and that has largely been the case. But in this particular instance it wasn't, and Poles must come to terms with that specific situation. Let them not worry about what others did to them but rather own up and set an example for others to follow. Let Jews learn from Poles." It would indeed be good if Jedwabne became a springboard for mutual reconciliation in the spirit of the Polish bishops' 1965 appeal to their German counterparts: "We forgive and ask for forgiveness." Both Poles and Jews can produce a long list of grievances against each other, and it's too bad a "hooray for our side mentality" continues to dominate in the way those problems are addressed. We (here meaning Poles and Jews) continue seeing a blade in the other side's eye and not the beam in our own. Too bad some Polish historian wasn"t the one to first expose the Jedwabne pogrom. To correct that Polish oversight, perhaps some Jewish scholar will finally decide to research and publicize the April 1944 massacre in Koniuchy where 300 Polish men, women and children, the entire population of this tiny village near Zamosc, were killed by a largely Jewish Soviet partisan unit for daring to defend their property against repeated communist plunder. Over the years, Pope John Paul II and other Polish churchmen, Presidents Lech Wa__sa and Aleksander Kwa_niewski, plus other high-ranking Polish government officials and leading intellectuals have all beat their breasts and apologized to Jews for whatever harm they may have suffered at the hands of Poles. There is no doubt that an official apology for Jedwabne will also be forthcoming shortly. But will Poles ever live to hear "przepraszamy" ("we're sorry") for the proSoviet collaborators who betrayed Poland and welcomed the invading Red Army in 1920 and again in 1939? For the Bermans, Rzanskis, Fejgins, Romkowskis, Brytsygierowas, Minces, Borejszas and entire teams of other Jewish Communists who had Polish freedom-fighters jailed, tortured and killed after World War II, while Sovietizing Poland's economy, suppressing its Catholic Church and atheizing its education and culture. Will anyone ever express official regret over the fact that two top Soviet leaders of Jewish nationality -- Molotov and Kaganovich -- signed Stalin's Katyn death warrant which led to the execution of 22,000 of Poland's best military officers, judges and community leaders" ROBERT STRYBEL, a native of Detroit, Michigan, received his Master's Degree in Polish Language and Literature from the University of Wisconsin. He has taught Polish-related subjects at the secondary, college and adult-education levels and has spent many years working as the American Polonia's correspondent in Warsaw. His articles currently appear in a dozen PolishAmerican publications. He and his Polish-born wife have one son (born 1972). ___________________________________ THE TIMES (London)

March 9, 2001,,7-96210,00.html FRIDAY MARCH 09 2001

Robert Strybel, Polish News, 0000-00-00 back to the english home page THE LATEST WORD by Prof. Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski

WHY DOES GEORGE WILL SLANDER POLES? THE ANSWER MAY BE TERRIBLY SIMPLE. I first learned about George F. Will's anti-Polish views a few years ago when he as well as many others protested against Poland entering NATO. Other times, he mentioned Polish alleged antiSemitism when there was no need to. Now the chance of trashing Polish people comes again and Will grabs it. Such a chance appeared as well before J.Gross the author of "Neighbors." Encouraged by Rabbi Israel Singer's, the General Secretary of the World Jewish Congress, statements in 1996 such as " If Poland does not satisfy Jewish claims, it will be publicly attacked and humiliated in the international forum." So it is a plan to deliberately slander Poland's name and manipulate the American public's opinion against Poles. It was permitted to slander Poles now. Both Gross and Will are driven by hatred and fame. Gross (who is not a historian) while accusing Poles of a vicious crime, failed to truly research the archives. None of them checked reliable sources. Or they did but chose sensationalism over justice. If George F. Will did what a professional journalist should do, he would know that there are always two sides of a story. I say that he based his article on other articles as such and did not read the book. Because if he did, he would know that it's the best example of hoaxes, clumsy, and the best of ridicule. And if he read it and still believed it, he is one naive fellow. His news is old news anyway. The exhumation of the buried exposed some interesting facts. Conducted by the Institute of National Remembrance against the protests of Jewish leaders but with the presence of young Polish Jews reading prayers revealed about 200 bodies compared to the 1600 expected. Also, 89 shells of German type of weapons were found. With such serious accusations, Polish historians surely hoped for an autopsy, but because of the protest of Jewish groups it wasn't possible. Looks like someone isn't cooperating. Of course, the author would rather keep the original story. It fits the stereotype better of anti-Semitic Polish peasants turned murderers. The "eyewitness" on whose accounts the book is based claimed that Jews were axed with no shots fired, no presence of Nazis troops, appears wrong more than once. Other potential burial sites were checked and no traces of human remains were found. Sorry about that, Mr. Will, no more exciting revelations against Poles. Lawsuits are pending. There is more bad news. The buried victims had jewelry and money on them, which excludes greed as a motive. As it is the degenerate imagination of Szmul Wasersztajn and J.Gross to make up stories about the tortures and "little children being roped together by their legsthen put on pitchforks and thrown into smoldering coals". Almost forgot, the Lenin statue buried among suggests that revenge for Jewish collaboration with Soviets was more likely the reason if Poles committed the crime. Later, the author of "Neighbors" admitted that the number "1600" was symbolic. He does not explain why he based the book on Wasersztajn's accounts of the event alone rather than 29 other Jewish witnesses who had a totally different story to tell. Gross admitted that he made a foolish mistake

by naming two more witnesses, one never lived or was near Jedwabne , the other was in Siberia at the time. What's more interesting is the fact that the documents J.Gross refers to, all say that it was the Germans who carried out the killings not the Poles. How he came to his conclusion puzzles everyone. One of the accused at the trial who came from a respected family, a soldier of the Polish Underground, a prisoner of Pawiak, Aushwitz [Auschwitz - WK.], Sachsenhausen was tortured in the prisons of communist Secret Service for alleged involvement in the killings of Jews. Gross did not mention Jewish collaboration with Soviets because as he said "it is a fact well known in the West." Did George Will know about it or is it news to him? Gross also failed to prepare the reader to objectively view the book by keeping silent about tens of thousands Poles (innocent women and children included) deported from the area to Siberia, by 1941, by the Soviets. Poles, whose names appeared on deportation lists written by Jewish neighbors. Guess who filled the positions of deported Poles? Polish historians accuse the author of "Neighbors" of not using all the information from files available in Polish and German archives as well. I'll say that George Will did not do his homework, but repeated someone else's rubbish. How someone like George F. Will could not distinguish fact from fiction, amazes me and proves that not only American society at large but also the educated ones are showing signs of ignorance and prejudice. Does this carnival of anti-Polish propaganda ever end? Is 60 years of prejudice not enough for American Jews and American media to do what they please? Vicious racial statements like " The hatred of Jews is fed to Poles with mother's milk" are just one of many examples. If George F. Will did not hear about Jewish collaboration, it does not mean that it did not happen, his knowledge of history must be limited then. Not surprisingly, this aspect of living in a Soviet occupied country is never mentioned in "Neighbors." Since the Soviets took over, there were more Jewish denouncers to Soviet authorities in the Lomza district than any other parts of occupied Poland. The trial of the Jedwabne massacre that took place in 1949 was conducted by communist UB (Office of State Security). People like Jakub Berman, Shlomo Morel, and Rubin Nussbaum ruled the country. At a time when according to Arthur Bliss Lane, the American Ambassador in Poland " the government composed of Jews who have received their indoctrination in the Soviet Union and who are responsible for the repressive measures of the Security Police, the lack of freedom of the press, and the lack of independence of the nation". The trial was based on the testimony of one "eyewitness," Szmul Wasersztajn, who claimed to see the massacre although from 3 km away. The number of persons suspected in the crime was 9 (yes, nine) which is far from the 1600 stated by Gross, repeated by Will ("half of the Polish town murdered the other half" as 1600 was the number of victims). But it stands for 1/200 of the Poles and that hardly represents "the whole Polish community." You tell me how can 9 people without guns terrorize 1600? And if it was possible to fit 1600 Jewish souls (some other "eyewitnesses" claim 2200 and 3300) into one barn, that must have been the largest barn in all of Europe at the time. The original barn was actually big enough to fit less than 400. So, let's say those barbaric Poles locked in the first 400, burned them, then locked the next 400, then burned another 400 and one more group of 400. That way you could fit 1600 or even more. But you can burn the old wooden barn, only once. The book is full of such misrepresentations and the most respected scholars won't touch it knowing how ridiculous some claims are. I was surprised to see that Newsweek picked that story out. The only explanation would be the great anti-Polish propaganda. There is hardly a paper in the US or a TV station that is not a part of it. Why is it that the public hears nothing about Jewish Police or Judenrat in the ghettos or rich Jews who let their poor Jewish brothers suffer and die on the sidewalks while they dined on caviar and collaborated with Germans to buy their way out? Because the US seems to be a country consisting of the greatest censorship among other great things. Freedom of speech applies to the one who has access to the media. And people like J.Gross or George F. Will don't want to give up their "talking stick" just yet. Not until they trash Poland's name completely. So again, why does George Will popularize anti-Polish sentiments? Because it is permitted. BECAUSE HE CAN. Re.: George Will - THE LAST WORD - Newsweek, July 9, 2001; p. 68

Why does George Will take part in a hate Poland campaign? He gives a strong support to a propaganda book by T. J. Gross's entitled "Neighbors" - a fraudulent publication - now a subject of law suits - a book full of made up stories compromised by the results of exhumation and current investigation by the Polish government. Gross, a New York sociologist, apparently frustrated by his own obscurity, exploits the tragedy in Jedwabne to finally attract attention. In the process Gross demonstrates an extraordinary hatred for the Polish people. His book about events of 60 years ago is based on selected and anecdotal reports manipulated to make it a thrilling horror tale - a fiction passing for a documentary. George Will usually writes about matters he is familiar with but not this time. Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski Blacksburg, July 5, 2001

Author, among others, of: Poland - A Historical Atlas (200 maps and graphs), Hippocrene Books, NY, 1987, Jews in Poland - A Documentary History - The Rise of Jews as a Nation from Congressus Judaicus in Poland to the Knesset in Israel, Hippocrene Books, NY, 1993, Unabridged Polish English Dictionary (200,000 entries), Hippocrene Books, NY, 1993, Poland an Illustrated History, Hippocrene Books, NY, 2000. Address: PO Box 10037, Blacksburg, VA 24062; tel (540) 951 2343; fax: (540) 951 1329 Prof. Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski, , 0000-00-00

THE SILK ROAD OF LIES A historian Leszek Zebrowski about Gross's "Neighbors"
translated by: Mariusz Wesolowski

A historian Leszek Zebrowski about Gross's "Neighbors" and the resulting discussion. The original title of the interview, "Jedwabnym szlakiem klamstw", is a pun on the name of Jedwabne which also means in Polish"made of silk", hence my "Silk Road". The heading of the post paraphrases the title of Brumberg's propaganda piece in the TLS, and has been invented by one of my correspondents. Mariusz Wesolowski Sat, 31 Mar 2001 23:27:19 -0800 THE SILK ROAD OF LIES A conversation with a historian Leszek Zebrowski (excerpts) and Waldemar Moszkowski: The discussion about the events at Jedwabne has been going on for several months. What conclusions can draw from it the average newspapers reader?

Leszek Zebrowski: It is a multilayered discussion which takes place on different levels: historical, political, theological, ethical, even financial. The presence of real historical analysis in it is minimal. The majority of writers simply accepted Prof. Gross's book "Neighbors" as the revealed truth. Anyone who tries to check, compare or criticise it automatically places himself in the lost position. During various public meetings, Prof. Gross ignores everything that doesn't fit into his principal thesis that the Poles (as a national group) have been co-perpetrators of the Holocaust. His followers, such as Jerzy Slawomir Mac from the weekly "Wprost", go even further. Unfortunately, the discussion has been joined by politicians who rely mostly on similar articles in the press. And although the investigation hasn't been concluded yet, the case already seems closed. Foreign publications present an even worse picture (although I have to admit that some of them talk about the ongoing harassment of the inhabitants of Jedwabne, or even quote opinions of Prof. Tomasz Strzembosz, thus doing much more than the majority of Polish publicists; but there are also common calumnies, for example, Abraham Brumberg's article in the TLS, which was too much even to Jan NowakJezioranski). [...] For the last few months, Gross's book has been very aggressively advertised. The prestigious Princeton University Press (followed by various Internet booksellers) has published the following blurb: "One day in the summer of 1941 one half of the inhabitants of the Polish town of Jedwabne murdered the other half. 1,600 men, women and children - all, except seven, Jews in the town." Gross also repeats this statement several times in the English-language introduction to "Neighbors" [...]. This is an obvious untruth! Did one statistical Pole murder there one statistical Jew? It doesn't matter that in Jedwabne lived a little over 2,000 people, of which the Jews constituted about 40 percent (although Gross states, without revealing his source, that "sixty some percent were Jews"). [Zebrowski's point is that the total population of Jedwabne would have to number about 3,200 people for the above statement to be true. MW] We must also remember that some of the Jews run away with the Soviets in June 1941, some were later on killed in the Lomza ghetto, and yet others were murdered by the Germans in various executions in the area. [...] September 1940, in the "Jedwabne oblast'" (it was an administrative region introduced by the Soviets, which consisted of 161 settlements including the towns of Jedwabne, Radzilow and Wizna) there lived about 1,400 Jews. If we add up the figures appearing in various Jewish testimonies (and Gross wants us to accept them "in an affirmative way", that is, at face value), the total number of murdered Jews will be several times bigger than the entire Jewish population of that area before the German-Soviet war. [...] Waldemar Moszkowski: Could one expect such a slanted "discussion"? LZ: Of course, because this discussion has been going on for a very long time. It is enough to consult the excellent monograph by Tadeusz Radzik, called "PolishJewish Relations in the United States of America in the years 1918-1921" (Lublin

1988) [in Polish]. Its author presents, on the basis of sound and well-researched sources, the full extent of the anti-Polish hysteria at the moment when Poland was regaining her independence. Newspapers published drastic photographs of Jewish pogroms [in Poland], which later on turned out to be taken [many years before] in Tsarist Russia! The Poles were even blamed for the pogrom in Kishyniev which had taken place in 1903. This method has been used again in more recent times. [...] Prof. Krystyna Kersten's article about the Kielce "pogrom", published in "Polityka" (June 8, 1996) and entitled "The Polish hand", was adorned with a picture taken in Kovno in late June of 1941. It is hard to blame it on accident, because the photograph was clearly doctored. From the original (published... in "The Century of Ambivalence. The Jews of Russia and the Soviet Union 1881 to the Present" and in "The Pictorial History of the Holocaust") someone had cut out the fragment with a Gestapo agent in the forefront! Even then in the background there were still visible the figures of uniformed Germans. We may also recall the discussion started by "Gazeta Wyborcza" in 1994, just before the 50th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising. According to Michal Cichy and his "findings" presented there, the Warsaw insurgents murdered "plenty" of Jews. We also learned about some Jewish historians' belief that the Poles in the uprising had killed "more Jews than Germans". German losses numbered about 10,000 killed and 6,000 missing in action. So did the Poles murder 16,000 Jews? Obviously, in some circles the end justifies the means: falsified quotes, telling omissions, strained arguments. It all came to light, and then "Gazeta Wyborcza" suddenly closed the "discussion". [...] LZ (cont.): What is happening now in connection with Gross's book can be described by a single word: hysteria. [...] Gross just cannot be criticised! And this book contains numerous errors and even obvious lies. For example, its author quotes sources (with page references, etc.) which do not contain this specific information, or which state something completely different. Also, by omitting important fragments, he manipulates their meaning, etc. WM: Can you give us some examples? LZ: Certainly. For example, Gross refers to the unpublished typescript of Tadeusz Fraczek's doctoral thesis about the postwar underground movement in the Bialystok region, and indicates the pages containing descriptions of "executions of Jews, communists and other people". Some of these pages do not contain anything like that at all, while other descriptions are taken from the Security Office reports, so they require an independent confirmation. Gross also quotes a 1962 deposition of Aleksander Wyrzykowski (who, together with his wife, hid some Jews from Jedwabne) [...] but he omits the following most important fragment: "At that time we lived in Janczewko, in the Lomza district. In the nearby town of Jedwabne the Germans, with the help of some Poles, burned alive in 1942 [sic] 1,600 Jews." [...] Gross ignored this because of Wyrzykowski's unequivocal statement regarding the fundamental role of Germans. It is also not true that the

Wyrzykowskis were hiding seven Jews, there were nine of them. One man, old and seriously ill, died in hiding [and] a baby was also born. Wyrzykowski wrote: "It was healthy and able to survive. Alas, an infant could betray the hiding place.This group of unfortunates decided to liquidate the child". Another example - Gross quotes a fragment of Dr. Zygmunt Klukowski's diary (referring to the German occupation in the Zamosc region): "The peasants, afraid of repressions, catch the Jews in villages and bring them to the town, or sometimes just kill them on the spot". However, he does not mention the reasons, also described by Klukowski: " the area there take place constant roundups, raids, executions, etc. Armed attacks are so frequent that it is impossible to even keep track of them. ...Among the "bandits" are numerous Jews."If we read the sentence quoted by Gross together with this (preceding it) fragment, the whole quote assumes a completely different meaning. The errors and lies of Gross can be listed almost infinitely. Using such "research methods", one can prove literally anything, even that the earth is flat. [The next question refers to the denial - by Gross and Anna Bikont - of the substantial Jewish collaboration with the Soviets in general and the NKVD in particular; WM wants to know if there exist any primary sources indicating the existence of such collaboration in Jedwabne.] LZ: Of course they exist! What's more, Gross should be familiar with them [...] After all, he is reputed to be an expert on the questionnaires collected [...] still during the war and the regional monographs prepared later on in the Study Centre in London under Prof. Wiktor Sukiennicki. In his book Gross ignores them carefully. [...] Also, such testimonies are very common, they relate not only to Jedwabne but to the entire Borderlands under the Soviet occupation. What's more, there are relations of Jews who describe their collaboration with the Soviets in detail, some are even proud of it. WM: Is that possible? How can anybody boast about that? LZ: Of course it is possible. The notorious Yaffa Eliach, describing the situation in Ejszyszki, writes: "In Eishyshok the local communists prepared a list of persons for deportation." She also gives the names of these communists: "Luba Ginunska was the local party chief, and her most active helpers included Chaim Szuster, his girlfriend Maitke Bielicka, Rywka Bojarska di Bulbichke (Potato), who was the Komsomol leader, Welwka Katz and Pessah Cofnas". A similar story emerges from the memoir of Mendel Mielnicki from Wasilkow near Bialystok: "I don't exactly know how my father got in touch with the NKVD.[...] I understood that he served as an advisor to point out the Poles to be deported to Siberia or to be taken care of in some other way. (...) "We have to get rid of fascists," he said to my mother. "They deserve to go to Siberia. They are not good to the Jewish people."Yitzhak Arad, a Jewish historian from the Yad Vashem Institute, described in his memoirs the situation in Swieciany in the Wilno district: "During

the night of June 14 the whole town was taken by surprise by the members of the NKVD and militia who had arrested hundreds of people and put them in prison. The majority of prisoners were the former Polish officials, landowners, army officers... On the very same night similar actions had been conducted everywhere in Lithuania; almost 30,000 people, often including entire families, were arrested and deported to Siberia and Kazakhstan. ...Jews played a rather important role in the apparatus of the Communist Party which was behind this operation." Gross states vaguely that in Jedwabne the situation in the 1939-41 period must have been similar to what was happening elsewhere at that time. [...] We must remember, too, that there were only a few NKVD agents there. But they were helped by several scores of local [Jewish] "militiamen" wearing red armbands and carrying carbines. We know the names of some of them.They were visible every day. They took part in herding the locals to various "meetings" and "votings", and also in roundups, arrests, house searches and deportations. WM: [...] the Poles have several thousand trees in the Yad Vashem, Does this fact reflect the true scale of the Polish help given to Jews? LZ: [...] These 5,000-some people are only a tip of the iceberg, but one doesn't hear about that in Poland. However, there are historians who, on the basis of solid (unlike Gross's) research, hold that the real extent of the help to Jews in Poland was completely different. It is worthwhile to quote the findings of Gunnar S. Paulsson, which are not being popularized in Poland: "Among the nations who risked their own lives to save the Jews, the Poles have an absolute precedence. (...) The fate of 27,000 Jews hiding in Warsaw depended on 50-60,000 people who gave them shelter, and on 20-30,000 people helping in different ways; on the other hand, the "szmalcowniki", police informers and anti-Semites numbered 23,000 people. They claimed two or three [Jewish] victims per month." The same historian goes on to ask: "How many Poles were involved in saving the Jews? Of those who fit the Yad Vashem criteria, maybe one hundred thousand. Of those who gave the less vital help, two or three times as many. The ones inclined to offer passive help constituted the majority of the population." Let's not forget that Paulsson analysed only the situation in Warsaw and its environs! His conclusions are completely contradictory to those of Gross and the journalists repeating his statements [...]. Paulsson also undertook a very interesting comparison between Warsaw and Holland [...] which is considered by the Holocaust historians as [...] the country most helpful to the Jews: "For comparison purposes we may analyse the case of Holland. 20-25,000 Jews were hiding in that country, especially in Amsterdam, out of whom 10-15,000 survived the war. The general percentage of survivors in Holland was then 40-60 percent, while in Warsaw it was 55-75 percent..." [...] These facts must be compared with the idiocies written by Stanislaw Janecki and Jerzy Slawomir Mac in the postcommunist "Wprost" of 25 March 2001: "If the Poles helped the Jews to the same extent as they conspired against the Germans, the associated with it risk would be minimized. Mutual denunciations would stop, and the Gestapo would be

helpless. The good example here is Holland, where a Jew was hidden in almost every home." Since the population of Holland at that time numbered about 8 million, how many Jews would have to hide there, and where would they come from? [...] WM: Recently we hear more and more often about the collective responsibility of the Poles (Gross wrote that the Jews in Jedwabne "were murdered by the society"). Is this point of view valid? LZ: I don't agree with the concepts of collective guilt and collective punishment. These are criteria used by totalitarian states! It is absurd to accuse even all the inhabitants of Jedwabne (because, contrary to Gross's opinion, only individuals took part in those events), not to mention the whole nation, and equally absurd is to apologize in the name of everybody. Anyway, this kind of thinking is done on a strictly ethnic platform: any time now the Russians will demand from us an apology for Dzerzhynsky, the Germans for von dem Bach-Zelewski. There are even people who want to make a Pole out of Stalin... Should we also apologize to ourselves for Bierut, Radkiewicz and Jaruzelski? Furthermore - the apologies have been already made. President Walesa apologized in the Knesset, the Church apologized for Kielce. Asking for more and more apologies will only lead to the general loss of meaning of such acts. It is worthwhile to quote an opinion of Gerald Reitlinger from his book "The SS: Alibi of a Nation, 1922-1945, about Reinhard Heydrich (the chief architect of the Endloesung) and his helpers: "Since Heydrich, to whom was attributed a Jewish pedigree, had to take this guilt on himself, he decided to turn Jews into their own executioners. Hitler [...] knew about Heydrich's hatred toward his Jewish origin. Heydrich, in his turn, knew other (Jews) who shared with him this pathological self-loathing. He was finding them, thanks to his infallible instinct, those Globocniks, Eichmans, Knochens, Dannekers and Brunners, those pseudo-Aryans connected with the SS and the SD." Thinking in ethnic categories may therefore lead "ad absurdum". In any case, it is interesting that these numerous publicists who have been for so many years fighting againstthe concept of "nation", considering it outdated and unfashionable, here do not show such reservations, freely putting the blame on the entire Polish Nation.[...] [...] Let's remember: the investigation is not finished, the documents of this case (but what documents and when?) are supposed to be published soon, nevertheless, the verdict has been already delivered. Gross published a list of murderers, the President apologizes, other officials are under the pressure to do the same, we have been "collectively found guilty"... [...] (end) Waldemar Moszkowski, Nasz Dziennik, 2001-03-31

Jewish grave controversy deepens By Ray Furlong in Prague, Czech Republic

BBC News Online: World: Europe Monday, 4 June, 2001, 22:24 GMT 23:24 UK The exhumation of bodies in the Polish village of Jedwabne, the site of a wartime massacre of Jews has uncovered the remains of far fewer people than were originally thought to have died. Polish Justice Minister Lech Kaczynski said about 200 bodies were found, compared with the 1,600 expected. [Expected by whom? Obviously not by us, but by the Jewish side and their collaborators. K.J.] -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The discovery of bullet fragments at the site suggests that German soldiers were responsible -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The exhumation was begun after controversial allegations last year that Poles had carried out the atrocity and not Germans as originally believed. These discoveries will further fuel the raging debate in Poland about the country's wartime role. Mr Kaczynski said the crime at Jedwabne was not as large as generally assumed although it was atrocious. Germans or Poles? Furthermore, the discovery of bullet fragments at the site suggests that German soldiers were responsible for the massacre. This was long believed to be the case until last year when a Polish-American historian alleged that Poles alone carried it out. His book provoked a nationwide debate. Were Poles only victims of Nazism or also perpetrators of atrocities? This exhumation does not answer the questions. There may be more bodies buried near the site of the dig and the participation of Poles in the massacre still cannot be ruled out. In July, on the 60th anniversary of the Jedwabne pogrom, Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski is due to apologise for it. But the investigation might not uncover exactly what happened in time for that. Polska Agencja Prasowa (PAP) 5 June 2001 16:30 The Institute of National Memory accepts that the Germans who were present in Jedwabne most probably fired at the victims when they tried to break out of the barn after it was locked, advised prosecutor Lucjan Nowakowski. He arrived at this preliminary conclusion after finding around 100 German bullet shells and magazines during the exhumation.

Ray Furlong, BBC, 0000-00-00 powrot

Protest letter to "The Observer" Chris Janiewicz "The Observer" Guardian Unlimited Email: Protest letter regarding publication of the article "Poland's willing executioners' by George Steiner Dear Sir or Madam: I would like to voice my strong objections regarding the article "Poland's willing executioners" by George Steiner Sunday April 8, 2001 in "The Observer". The above mentioned article is prejudicial and slanderous towards Poland and the Polish people in general, and the population of the town of Jedwabne in particular. I would even call it racist against Polish people. Views that Mr. Steiner expressed in your publication are based on the badly researched book written by J. T. Gross "Neighbours". There are many questions one can ask after analytically, not emotionally reading prof. Grosss book and comparing his statements with various sources and researches done by Polish recognised historians. Many questions could be raised about the methodology used by prof. Gross. Below I enclose my own comment about prof. Grosss book "Neighbors", that I hope you will be able to publish as an answer to the article written by Mr. Steiner. Yours truly, Chris Janiewicz Email: The internet address of Mr. Steiner's article is,6903,470068,00.html "Neighbors" - literature or history Perusing the first few pages of Jan T. Gross' book "Neighbors" one's hopes rise that here we will learn the truth about the crime of Jedwabne. The author is being

introduced as a noted historian (by education he is a sociologist), professor of political sciences of the University of New York and author of essays on the subject of Polish-German-Jewish relationships in the years 1939-1948. Gross names various sources that he relied on. Unfortunately, as one reads his book, one is assailed by doubts whether the version presented in it is trustworthy. Although Gross mentions various sources and refers to numerous historians, yet in his argumentation he is relying on the statements of one man only - Shmul Wasersztein, a Jew living in the town, but according to some witnesses, not present there during the massacre. (Teodor Eugeniusz Lusinski to the Institute of Jewish History, 20.03.95, according to Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz). This crown witness of Gross, in Poland went under the name of Calka and not Wasersztein, who after the war had the rank of lieutenant in U.B. (dreaded Communist State Security Forces). This fact was established by Prof. Tomasz Strzembosz, who has been researching this period of Polish history for many years, based on depositions of two reliable witnesses who were interrogated by Wasersztein (Calka) at the UB after the war. Another witness whose testimony is used by prof. Gross, Abram Boruszczak, never lived in Jedwabne, and another witness, Eljasz Gradowski, was sentenced by the Soviet authorities for stealing of some electrical equipment and deported to Soviet Union in 1940, well before the events in Jedwabne took place. He returned to Jedwabne in 1945 Prof. Strzembosz draws attention to the credibility of sources and witnesses on which Gross relies. In the matter of the Polish witnesses testimonies, Gross is extensively using the testimonies of people who were interrogated by the U.B. (Communist State Security) in 1949. That organisation was well known for extracting statements from the suspects by using such methods as torture, sleep depravation, beatings and the threat of deportation to Siberia, not only for the suspects, but also for their families. Most of the accused recalled their "confessions" in front of the court. This was not only an act of self-defence. It was also a sign of bravery. After all, the accused were immediately returned to the "tender, loving care" of secret police officers, who had tortured the confessions out of them in the first place. Here I would like to remind, that prof. Grosss main witness was one of the functionaries in that apparatus. The confessions were in accordance with a preordained scenario, unofficially promoted by the Communist leadership who promoted the idea that Polish society was "fascist" and "reactionary", what was supposed to create an explanation for the repressive regime and an excuse for the West inaction. Yet, it would appear that such facts have no meaning for Prof. Gross, because

throughout his book he extensively uses the testimonies of Karol Bardon, originally sentenced to the death penalty, which was commuted to a 15 years prison sentence. Any man subjected to such circumstances would tell anything that the interrogating officer wants him to say, simply to survive. What sort of pressure did the interrogating officers exert on him? Testimonies and confessions obtained by such methods wouldnt be admissible in any court of law in any democratic country. When on the subject of the witness testimonies and methodology that a historian should use in analysing his sources and then disseminating his findings, I would like to mention the statement that Prof. Gross himself made in the book "Neighbours": "As far as the craft of the historian who deals with the era of the gas ovens is concerned, I think we must radically alter our attitude toward the sources. Our initial attitude toward each testimony of near victims of the Holocaust should change from the inquisitive to the affirmative." This is a startling statement because it would be practically tantamount to abandoning the scholarly standard. In each instance, if possible, historians must attempt to verify the sources, testimonies, recollections and memoirs against other documents. A history scholar needs to apply a rigorous litmus test to each testimony by checking it against other witness account and contemporary documents: Jewish, German, Polish, and Soviet. Finally, he has to divide recollections into first- and secondhand observations and classify their reliability accordingly. The lack of scientific honesty on the part of prof. Gross, has been commented on by numerous historians, among others by Dr. Sawomir Radon, chairman of the College of IPN (Polish National Remembrance Institute) conducting the present investigation headed by the public prosecutor Radoslaw Ignatiew. They accuse prof. Gross of drawing premature conclusions without a solid research of Polish and German archives and following up all possible leads. Unfortunately, Prof. Gross doesnt adhere to such standards in his book. Thats why "Neighbors" should be classified as a literary work and not as historical research, ergo not factual in every aspect. Yours truly, Christopher Janiewicz Krzysztof Janiewicz, , 0000-00-00

powrot Another "Rush to Judgment" ? Miroslawa Zawadzka

In this past year, Pogranicze Publishers, Sejny in Poland published a controversial monograph by John Thomas Gross titled "Neighbors". It attempts in some 115 pages, to describe and "adjudicate" a set of incidents that took place nearly sixty years ago - the gruesome killing of Jews in Poland's Lomza County (in the region of Radzilow and Jedwabne) during the German occupation in July, 1941, and so almost immediately upon the retreat of the previous occupiers - the Soviet army. The English language translation of this book is scheduled to appear in April of this year in the United States. We can also expect to see the release of a film under the same title by Agnes Arnold. Unfortunately, a critical appraisal of "Neighbors" leaves many disturbing questions regarding Gross' handling and interpretation of the evidence on which his contentions are based. These cannot be left to stand alone without commentary. But first, a brief summary of his work. The introductory part informs us that at the start of World War II in 1939 about 1,600 Jews lived in Jedwabne, constituting around 60% of the town's population. In the almost two years of Soviet occupation (just before the war) mutual relations between Poles and Jews were good, but abrupt changes occurred soon enough, according to Gross in the latter part of June, 1941, when the Germans entered the territory of Bialystok; he ascertains that at that point in time, the subjugated Poles joyfully received the conquering Germans. In Radzilow (p. 41, Polish text) he says, "they built in honor of the German army a triumphal arch, decorated with a swastika, Hitler's portrait, and a slogan reading 'May the German Army Live Which Frees Us From the Chains of the Judeo-commune' ". Gross then follows with "the first question these 'hooligans' asked was 'can we kill the Jews?' ". On apparently receiving a favorable reply, the Poles, Gross claims, started a brutal massacre - as an example he presents the story of the beheading of a young Jewess whose torso was then thrown into the water. He further asserts that the Jews were kicked, robbed, and viciously beaten. His description of these various acts runs for several pages. On page 46 (Polish version), he discovers increasingly worse things about the Poles; they "were the masters during the massacre for not a single German was present". But in the end, the Germans determined that the "Poles allowed themselves too much". Gross now goes on to relate that eighteen Jewish lives were saved as they later came out of hiding (seemingly "protected" by the German police?). "Together with the Jews also eradicated was everything that was Jewish in the town - schools, the synagogue, and the cemetery" he notes. On page 51, the action passes to the nearby town of Jedwabne. In the interlude since the German entry, a new town administration is installed with mayor Marian Karolak (appointed by the Germans, Gross fails to

note that Karolak was a Silesian and ethnically German (a Reichsdeutsch)). This "Polish" administration of the town "planned and arrived at an agreement with the Germans to "murder the Jedwabne Jews" (p.51, Polish text). "Certainly, many people had access to this information since the local men began to congregate in the town and massively gathered already in the early morning, though it was not market day the coordinator of the Jewish murders at Jedwabne was the town's new mayor, Marian Karolak ... though the entire town administration took part in the murders". It is difficult to determine who exactly initiated the pogrom (on p. 52, for example, his star witness, Szmul Wasersztajn is quoted thus "this command was given by the Germans"), but according to Gross his observation is really not pivotal since everyone (apparently that is the conquerors and the conquered) had come to a mutual understanding" and here Gross makes for the connection "a taxi came with four or five Gestapo functionaries and they started talking with the town administration" (headed by Reichsdeutsch Karolak Yet, it is uncertain on which day this Gestapo visit took place, whether on the day of the massacre or earlier nor what this understanding was exactly is also unclear and Gross does not seek to elucidate it. But he does venture into a personal guess, "Most probably the Germans gave the Poles a free hand for eight hours to do to the Jews whatever they wished (p. 43, Polish text). Gross moves on from here to his next guess, another hypothetical reconstruction. "The authorities of course, in Jedwabne, were the Germans and only they could take up the decision to kill the Jews". But he holds that "they did not do so; they even suggested keeping alive a certain number of Jewish skilled workers though they did that without conviction since finally all (the Jews) were burned" (p. 56, Polish text). The German police station, Gross writes, was a haven that day and a few Jews were saved only because they found themselves there. On pages 65-73 (Polish text) a description is given of a horrible killing of Jews. Gross here speculates that "supplied by the German police and the town administration with sticks, whips, and rods (clearly the poor Polish farmers did not have their own sticks Gross seems to say), the "Poles' (Szmul Wasersztajn's 'hooligan' has now been rehabilitated by Gross) rounded up the Jews, beating, killing, stoning, and maiming them. Those fleeing were captured by pursuit with horse and wagons. Amidst the jeers and laughter, they were murdered, mothers with babes in their arms were drowned, beaten with iron hooks, stabbed in the stomach with knives, tongues were cut out and other tortures perpetrated". He now adds "they soon realized that these methods were inadequate to totally eliminate one and half thousand people by dusk so it was decided to burn all of them together in a barn" (p. 76, Polish text). And this was carried out, he finally relates. "Those few escaping were caught and killed off. But after July 10th it was forbidden for "Poles on their own initiative to kill Jews" Gross announces and emphasizes that a few survivors returned to the now ordered town; but not for long for "they were finally in the end pushed out to the Lomza

ghetto". On page 57 (Polish text) his prosecutorial rhetoric reaches a crescendo. Lest no one make a misinterpretation, he reiterates three time on that page that the "Poles were responsible for the crime". He delivers this statement, "the perpetrators were the Poles". Then shortly he claims that "the Germans stood by and took pictures as the Poles cruelly beat the Jews" (though see earlier where the remark is made that the Germans were not present). Finally, a third time Gross makes a summary, blanket accusation "The Jews were killed by people of Polish nationality". Conflicts within the Documentary Sources From where does Gross obtain his information to provide these detailed accounts. Does he evaluate and reconcile his sources and are his inferences defensible? The primary sources consist of Polish court records as well as the testimony of witnesses before Jewish organizations in Warsaw in the middle nineteen-forties. The main trial over the killings of Jedwabne Jews was held at the Circuit Court in Lomza, Poland where following an investigation, proceedings took place on May 16th and 17th, 1949, and so during the bleakest days of Stalinist terror. We all know how investigations were conducted then (torture, shakedowns, intimidation) and how justice was made to serve the policy and propaganda interests of that totalitarian state. John Gross himself, hesitatingly agrees with this, writing on p. 21 of the Polish text that "equally the courts and the prosecutors enjoyed a deservedly bad reputation (presumably he means among the populace). He writes regarding the proceedings that "each after the other remonstrated that they were beaten during the investigation and in this way were forced to testify which in view of the methods then in use by the Security Bureau is very likely". But regardless of this crucial admission, the greater part of the sources Gross utilizes for the book "Neighbors" come precisely from such tainted documents and witnesses. Does Gross at least attempt to critically evaluate these questionable hearings and testimonies. Most pertinent here are accounts of two "foundational" witnesses to the events described by Gross, Szmul Wasersztajn and Menachem Finkelstein. They both testified in 1945 before the Jewish Historical Institute as well as later before the Jewish Historical Commission in Warsaw in 1946. The records are a "loose translation" from the Yiddish into Polish as Gross confirms. These witness's formal statements differ between themselves regarding details (perhaps due to the "loose translation"). The above testimony of Finkelstein and Wasersztajn it should be remembered occurred in a period when unlimited raw power lay in the hands of people like Jacob Berman and Hilary Minc, and the courts and prosecutors were controlled by the bloody and intimidating Rozanski and Swiatlo (all four of the above were Jewish communists). But, even bypassing this issue for now, it ought to be noted that the statements of Wasersztajn and Finkelstein are confused and frequently conflicting. For instance, on page 40

(Polish text), we read "those civilians who were beaten I did not recognize since they were surrounded by a large circle of Germans" a few lines down the following appears "the authors of the massacre with the approval of the Germans were local "hooligans". In comparing the original documents with Gross, there is manifest such strained attempt to obtain elusive connections and hastily fit fact into preconceived end results. On page 12 (Polish text), we find Gross providing this description of the shocking death of two Jewish women as it was related by Wasersztajn. "That same day I observed a terrible scene; Chaja Kubrzanska, 28 years old, and Basia Binsztajn, 26 years old, both with newborns in their arms seeing what was happening went to the pond, preferring to drown themselves with their children rather than fall into the hands of the bandits. So they threw their children into the water and drowned them with their own hands. Then Basia Binsztajn jumped in and went immediately straight down. Chaja Kubrzanska suffered for a few hours. The gathered hooligans made a spectacle of this; they chided her to turn herself about face, down into the water so she would drown more quickly... she seeing that the children had drowned already threw herself more energetically into the water and there found her death". But this same terrible story in the book of Remembrance of the Jedwabne Jews (with which Gross is familiar) in a wholly different manner relates that event. Written by the Jewess Ryvka Fogel, a witness to the drownings writes that "the sisters, wives of Abraham Kubrzanski and Saul Binsztajn whose husbands had deserted them and left with the retreating Soviet armies, after undergoing awful punishment by German hands, decided to end their own lives and their children's. They exchanged their children and together jumped into the deep water. Non-Jews standing nearby rescued them, but they once again jumped in and drowned". An obvious question is which of the two stories supports the thesis of Polish guilt that Gross has set himself to establish? The answer is just as obvious as the question... Wasersztajn's since his testimony can be molded to produce the desired culpability. From the account of Fogel it seems indeed that the Poles undertook the rescue of the Jewish women. But this display of heroism by the Poles would greatly weaken Gross's intent to achieve theatre, revulsion, and to work the fields of castigation. But we can go even further into the background of the story of these suicidal drownings. An immediate question arises... why did the Germans pick Kubrzanska and Binsztajn for such severe maltreatment. Perhaps on account of their husbands collaborating with the Soviet occupiers, since during the communist occupation of 1939-1941 both their husbands served actively in important positions with the NKVD (the dreaded Soviet secret police) in Jedwabne. If the testimony of Ryvka Fogel contradicts Wasersztajn's in many respects, how should his testimony of Ryvka Fogel contradicts Wasersztajn's in many respects,

how should his testimony then be understood (this part as likewise the remainder)? Most Poles in Jedwabne in those times knew that Wasersztajn was an informer against his country. According to these respondents, during the Soviet occupation of September, 1939 to June, 1941, Szmul Wasersztajn denounced Polish families to the NKVD and assisted in their removal and exile to Siberian gulags. And yet it is to this class of witness that Gross pays the greatest homage. Another instance of Gross' carelessness in drawing inferences from available sources is the following invented account given on page 40 (Polish text) where he states, "The leaders of the Jewish community (in Jedwabne) sent a delegation to the Bishop of Lomza which brought with it beautiful silver candlesticks and a plea that the Bishop extend his protection to the Jews and intervene with the Germans and not permit a pogrom in Jedwabne the Bishop for some time kept his word". Indeed is this what happened? Gross allows himself much latitude with different accusations without verifying their truthfulness. The falsehood behind this account of the Bishop of Lomza is blatant, for we know that the Bishop escaped and hid during the entire period of Soviet occupation at the location far distant from Lomza. He returned to his diocese only in August, 1941 ard even then his whereabouts were kept secret ard only known to few trusted Catholics. The attempt to make out that the Polish Catholic bishops enjoyed privileges in Hitler's occupied Poland is ludicrous. Both the Polish intelligentsia and the Polish priesthood were being bestially exterminated by the Germans at that time. On pages 52, 80, and 81, Gross quotes (from the files and dossiers found in investigative and prosecutorial materials of the communist County Security Bureau in Lomza) with the purpose of establishing Polish complicity "one of the younger ones, for merely nineteen years of age, but also (one of the most brutal participants in these events - a moral idiot and criminal juvenile" who with "Wisniewski and Kalinowski stoned Lewin and Zdrojewicz" and further he finds even "two of them, Jerzy Laudanski and Karol Bardon were later policeman (schutzman) in the German police". On the issue of the person of Jerzy Laudanski we can find a retort by referring to a letter published in the Republic (Rzeczpospolita) of January 27-28, 2001, from Dr Adam Cynar of the National Auschwitz Museum-Birkenau under the title "Jedwabne-Auschwitz-Sachsenhausen". In this letter, we learn of Jerzy Laudanski's still living brothers, Casimer and Sigmund that they come from one of the more notable Polish families in Jedwabne. Jerzy Laudanski during the war was involved in underground, conspiratorial work with the ZWZ and the Home Army (AK); arrested, he was later sent by the Germans to Pawiak prison and then to Auschwitz (# 63805) and then again from there imprisoned in Gross Rosen and Sachsenhausen. One might inquire of Gross... when indeed did Jerzy Laudanski become a policeman in the German police and whose testimony, the Stalinist

Security Bureau of 1949 (which ferociously persecuted Home Army partisans) or Dr. Cynar as worthy of trust and belief? Information provided by Gross in the Chapter entitled "The Soviet Occupation, 1939-1944" (Polish edition) carefully skirts a well-known, documented fact of Polish history in that volatile period. (See Tomasz Strzembosz, Republic (Rzeczpospolita), January 27-28, 2000 - The Forgotten Collaboration). It documents that large segments of the Jewish population (as yet Polish citizens), and particularly Jewish youth and poorer classes openly greeted with joyful welcome the invading Soviet armies (which raises the interesting question of a preventive camouflaging intent behind the tactic of Gross' absurd description of Poles welcoming Germans into Poland). Armed and ready, many Jews collaborated with the communist Soviets, brazenly denouncing their fellow Poles and taking active part, along with Soviet marauders in terror, robbery, arrests, and deportations. Documentation of such widespread complicity is plentiful in Polish sources and can also be found in Dr. Cynar's letter. He relates the following scenario as described by Casimer Laudanski, a resident of Jedwabne. "When after September 17, 1939, a communist cell, reminiscent of the Bolshevik revolution, organized a government and a paramilitary, the members of this were a few token Poles but the greater number were the communist Jewish youth". It should not be revelatory that in the next period, that of German occupation, the Poles for practical reasons, did not offer risk their lives and their families lives in defense of the leftist Jews... of these erstwhile fellow citizens turned denunciators and oppressors. The Massacre in Light of the Facts John Gross for reasons only known to himself has omitted completely in his book a very essential major work published in 1989, and so already in the postSolidarity period in the Studium Podlaski (published by the University of Warsaw branch at Bialystok). The Studium is a meticulous study of the destruction of Jewish communities in the Bialystok region in 1939 and 1941 to 1944. The author, of that work, prosecutor Waldemar Monkiewicz, was head of the Regional Commission on the Study of German War Crimes. According to his determination, on July 10, 1941 about 200 German functionaries and policeman arrived in military vehicles (from Battalions 309 and 316) acting within the operational framework of Einsatzgruppen B, sobriquet "Kommando Bialystok" (these battalions were composed in the main of German criminal elements). They were commanded by Wolfgang Brkner from the Warsaw Gestapo. These battalions were usually transferred from place to place, carrying out annihilation of Jews. In Jedwabne, he notes the role of a few Poles was limited to "bringing Jews to the town square and then escorting them beyond the town" under German coercion. Then "the Germans herded the Jews together beyond the town where some 900 of them were burned alive". Prosecutor Monkiewicz was acquainted with the court

proceedings of 1949 where several Poles were accused of helping Germans locate Jews and then marching them to the killing field. In that instance, verdicts were issued for sentences of a few to several years (but only half of those accused were found guilty). After many years, Monkiewicz spoke reluctantly of this (in his remarks to Danuta and Alexander Wroniszewski in "Contact" (Kontakt) from July, 1986) he said, "these people had to be sentenced without regard to their degree of guilt. For these were the times of Jacob Berman, Rozanski and their ilk". Based almost exclusively on the testimony of Szmul Wasersztajn, Gross articulates a fanciful philosophy of historical evidence. "Our basic point of departure in regard to every transmittal coming from the unexpectedly saved victim of the Holocaust" Gross writes on page 64 (Polish edition), "ought to change from skeptical to affirming". Is this a serious ground for interpreting evidence by one who purports to write history? Principles based on such a foundation permit endless "new dramas" to be written (just as in the period of Stalinism) and in this particular case lead to preposterous and foolhardy hypotheses... obvious sophisms flowing from a specious foundation. Utilized in this manner, proofs arising from such faulty reasoning are a logic of anarchy and inconsistency. In this book by John Gross we discover many such irrationalisms. If a contest was held where judges were guided with such perverse logic and politics, then the book "Neighbors" would be a prime exemplar of deformed and wrongheaded intellect. Mirosawa Zawadzka, , 0000-00-00 back to the english home page DO NOT SHAME JEDWABNE! An interview with Mrs. Leokadia Blajszczak, an eyewitness to the Jedwabne tragedy, by Grazyna Dziedzinska.

Leokadia Blajszczak, maiden name Lusinska, daughter of Franciszek and Zofia, born on November 24, 1930 in Jedwabne, a liaison of the National Armed Forces during the Soviet and German occupation, an economist by education. She and her husband have lived in Warsaw for the past 50 years. However, she still remembers the small town in which she was born and raised, the town, which holds her mother's grave. She was eleven when the Germans murdered the Jews in Jedwabne. She volunteered to tell her story after reading the appalling lies contained in Gross' book because, as she herself said: "I will not let anyone shame Jedwabne!". I had the opportunity to talk to Mrs. Blajszczak about this Nazi war crime, one of many such crimes. I told her how I heard prof. Tomasz Gross claim that half of Jedwabne, the Poles, had murdered the other half of Jedwabne, the Jews. Mrs. Blajszczak strongly disagreed with this statement. First, the Jews were murdered by Germans not Poles - she says. Second, the majority of statements and statistics quoted by Gross are false. Poles did not differentiate between Jews and themselves - back then

Jedwabne was a little town with 12 streets and two market squares. The majority of its citizens were Polish. My street, the November 11 Street, now renamed Sadowa, was a medium size one which harbored eighteen families, 72 people altogether. Taking about two times the amount for every street, that is 144, multiplied by 14, we come to 2016 inhabitants - 65% Poles (1310 people) and 34% Jews (685 people), 1% other. Most of them were artisans of various professions and shopkeepers. The intelligence consisted of priests, pharmacists, hospital attendants, the school superintendent, a few teachers and a midwife. Poles and Jews were not in conflict with each other. Nobody really saw the difference. Sunday was a holy day for Poles and Saturday was a holy one for Jews. Polish and Jewish children played and went to school together. My father made horseshoes. He learned his profession in the 5th Uhlan Regiment. His other occupations included artistic blacksmithing and providing medical care to horses, which he had always favored. He was good at what he did which is why he and his brother made weapons for the NSZ partisan soldiers during the German and Russian invasion. In front of our house there was a square with lime and birch trees. Polish and Jewish children played hide-and-seek there and climbed the trees. After the Germans invaded Jedwabne, the majority of men and boys fled from Jedwabne. Jews started panicking. Soon the Russians arrived after having signed the traitorous Ribbentrop - Molotow pact with the Germans and the Jews greeted them as saviors. They decorated a street with banners and flags, put red tablecloth on a table and greeted them with bread and salt. The Russians drank a lot and sang revolutionary songs while the Jews waited on them. When Polish men returned to Jedwabne they were captured by merely worse invaders - Jews wearing red hand bands took over control from the police and local administration offices. They gained control in the NKVD by bringing in their Russian families, wives and children. At that time there was a severe winter in Russia, as well as in Poland, temperatures exceeded minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 degrees F). The Jewish Russian families arrived starved, dirty, carrying louses. They were to live with Poles in their houses. Masza, a Jewish girl, was stationed with us. Our mother bought her anti-louse treatment and gave her a separate, clean and nice room. "What can one do, this is war, we must help each other" she said. When a Russian school was opened, Masza taught in it. Before the Jewish families arrived from Russia, Jews were already occupying many Polish houses so when more Jews arrived there was lack of space to accommodate them. The Jews came with a solution, they began to make lists of "public enemies" and handed them to Russians. Among those listed were former policemen, soldiers, the wealthiest and educated people of the town. They were either sent to camps or killed immediately. Jews could then take over their houses. As a gesture of gratitude, they built the Russians a cement monument on the town square. It represented Lenin and its back was facing Mrs. Leokadia's home. They surrounded the monument with fencing leaving the children no place to play. Those who were on lists were captured at dawn, in their homes, by two men with guns - one Jewish, one Russian. "Dress up, but quickly, quickly!" - they said, leaving only 15 minutes for one to get ready. Sleighs waited outside the house ready to take them 20 kilometers away, to the Lomza train station where they were loaded onto cattle wagons. Many of them died from cold, disease and starvation before reaching the destination point. The Soviet-German friendship ended quickly after the Germans invaded Russia. The Red Army and many Jewish communists fled Jedwabne, and Germans took their posts. Two NKVD soldiers' wives drowned their children and committed suicide in fear of being tortured by Germans, although Poles tried to help them. Karol Bardon, a man familiar with the German volksdeutsch, began to make alliances with the military policemen in one of the Jedwabne's sentries. He worked as a windmill mechanic in Jedwabne since 1935. He was the one who introduced Mrs. Leokadia's father as a great blacksmith to the German military policemen. One day he came to Mrs. Leokadia's house and told her father to prepare some horseshoes for them for the next day. Her father had drank a little and he joked to Karol Bardon that no horseshoes will be needed for the next day because Hitler will be dead by then. Half an hour later the military police came for Frank, Mrs. Leokadia's father, and took him to the sentry. First he was hit in the face by Bardon, then the others beat him so badly that he was all black and blue. Unable to move and covered with blood, he was thrown to the potato storage cellar. Mrs. Leokadia and her mother went looking for him the next morning. They found him

crawling towards the house. He was spitting blood for the next three weeks. He was lucky, nevertheless, the military police didn't know about the additional occupation he had with his eldest son, an NSZ member alias "Rydz Smigly". Behind the smithy there was an annex and a shed for tools where the carpenter made wooden parts for the weapons. During the Soviet and German invasion, NSZ partisans brought him metal and wooden parts, from the woods or houses, from which he and his son made guns. The whole family was engaged in anti-German conspiracy. Mrs. Leokadia ("Jagna") and her mother Zofia had also pledged to the NSZ. They prepared packages containing food, medication and bandages, which they ordered at a trusted pharmacist Mr Jalowszewski. The packages were made for partisans hiding in the woods. Many people put their lives in danger, but..."there was no other way". Leokadia picked up medication from the pharmacist or, as a liaison, either rode her bike or walked to the cemetery carrying a bucket, brush and cloth, as if to clean graves. She transported leaflets, commands and letters and hid them between graves. Until now she does not know exactly what she was carrying under her shirt, neither does she know who brought and received them. At 6:00AM, the Gestapo arrived in trucks. We both went to church every morning at 6:00 AM, my mother and I. After church we went to the bakery to buy bread and then headed home where my mother did her housekeeping with our fathers' help. We used to go to a secret school where Edmund Przestrzelski and our priest Kebinski taught. None of us knew at that time what was about to happen when on July 10 1941, during our walk to the church, we saw two trucks loaded with soldiers arrive at the sentry. A big group of Germans wearing uniforms and holding rifles jumped out of them. My mother grabbed my arm and told me that the Gestapo came and that they are going to capture people. We starting running towards the house and when we got there my mother told my father to take Franek (my brother, named after my father, age 16, the younger Teodor, 13 year old, stayed home) and flee because the Gestapo will take him. My father and brother then went to my mother's family's house in a nearby village. At the same time many adult Polish men fled the town and hid in the woods or in other villages. About an hour after my father and brother left we heard someone knocking strongly at the door. It was Bardon with another military policeman. "Where are the boys?" he asked. Terrified, my mother replied that they went to the field to repair machines. "What's wrong?" she asked, since she knew Bardon before the war started, when he was still a "normal" person. "Today," Bardon replied, "is Lenin's funeral". The Jews will put him in the Jewish cemetery. The Jews must therefore clean the streets and square while the Poles must make sure everyone is notified about that and that they work properly. A Pole that disagrees to cooperate will be shot. Along with my younger brother and other kids we went to see the "funeral". The Germans gathered Polish boys on the square. They were holding withes in their hands and they were definitely not the "blood-thirsty degenerates" described by Gross in his "work". Gross did not try to look for the truth. These boys were defenseless and terrified and were forced by the Germans to "keep watch". Some were sent to fetch two blacksmith's hammers to destroy the monument. From the square I headed towards the marketplace where the Jews were raking, sweeping and weeding the cobblestones. "Bring me some water" - asked a woman I knew, but when I tried to hand it to her a German man in civilian clothing (since he did not understand Polish) told me to leave. I acted as if I didn't understand but he hit with his whip on the back. Then the Germans had a procession - four Jews carried the remainders, pieces of the head and breast, of Lenin's monument on their shoulders. They walked calmly because they believed that they would return home. No one was beating them and no one was hurting them. The Germans made them sing: "for us the war, by us the war". They weren't more than 400 together escorted by Germans in uniforms and civilian clothing, some carrying whips. The procession stopped in front of the barn which was conveniently located in an open and uninhabited place away from the town and right next to the Jewish cemetery. Bronislaw Sleszynski owned this barn but he had no say in what was happening. He was ordered to hand over the key and that was all I saw as the Germans sent the children away. I came home. My mother and neighbors were appalled, some were saying that the same will happen to us too. That night the barn burned down with the people inside and no one in Jedwabne could sleep everyone was shocked and upset by the Nazis' cruelty. Mrs. Blajszczak stresses that it Gross lies

saying that Poles looted Jewish property. The penalty to enter the houses of those murdered was death and the Nazis already took everything to their storage. Also, it is only Gross' and his "informer's" Mr. Szmul's degenerate imagination that Poles cut Jews' tongues and gouged their eyes out - live burning was the Germans' specialty. Moreover, Germans also burned towns where there were no Jewish inhabitants like, for example, Dobki in the Wysokie Mazowieckie region, Boruski, situated next to Cmielow. They poured fuel over houses and made sure that no one got out and those that did were shot. In Bialystok on June 27, 1941, the Germans started murdering Jews in the early morning with machine guns and grenades. They poured fuel over the synagogue and threw grenades into Jewish homes. After a few hours the synagogue was burning like a torch, the whole Jewish quarter was in flames. Jews who tried to escape were forced into the burning synagogue. The Germans also made the Jews put each other into the flames. On that day, around 1000 Jews died in the synagogue. The few that survived owe their lives to a Pole, the custodian of the synagogue, who opened a little window in the back wall. He saved lives, but did not survive himself. Mrs. Blajszczak is shocked by the fact that Szmul Wasersztajn, who worked for the UB (communist secret service) for a long time and who owes his life to the Wyrzykowski family, accused and persecuted innocent Polish citizens for the account of "participating in the massacre and murders of Jews". What more, he left Poland in 1968 and went to Israel without taking any responsibility for the torture of Polish patriots. This was the fate of 19 year old Jurek Laudanski - a great man, a great patriot, who came from a respected family, a soldier of the underground army ZWZ/AK, a prisoner of Pawiak, Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen, who did not betray his friends even under torture - Jurek Laudanski was arrested in 1949 upon his return to Poland and tortured in the prisons of the secret service. The same fate awaited his father Czeslaw and his brother Zygmunt who were imprisoned for "murdering Jews" in Lomza but never admitted to false accusations, even after being cruelly tortured. Many other citizens of Jedwabne were sentenced to long-term prison without shred of evidence. Jan Gross is not worthy to even compare to a great hero and martyr as Jurek Laudanski, and much more not entitled to defame his and many other generous Polish names in his tabloid book. I also haven't heard him want to apologize for what he wrote. Is this the free and democratic Poland, the patron of honor and respect to its citizens, the Poland that the underground army's soldiers and the best men of Solidarnosc, the greatest patriots fought and died for? An interview with Mrs. Leokadia Blajszczak, an eyewitness to the Jedwabne tragedy, by Grazyna Dziedz, , 2001-05-13 back to the english home page

Diffrent versions of crime

translated by: Emilia Wisniewska

Heated discussion in Ksieznica Podlaska marked the end of the visit to Bialystok by the Professor Jan Gross, author of the book 'Neighbors' You wrote that Germans were not present at the scene of pogrom yet there were plenty of Germans forcing Poles with their whips to guard Jews at the main square - said, , on Friday in Ksieznica Podlaska, clearly upset, Irene Chrzanowska, family name Reniewska, who as 16 years old girl witnessed the pogrom of Jewish people in Jedwabne.

- I have accounts from witnesses who claim otherwise - reposted Professor Jan Thomas Gross, author of the book' Neighbors', which was written about this murder. At Ksieznica Podlaska, there amassed a big crowd and in it historians, officers of the Institute of National Rrmembrance, who are leading an open investigation in the matter of the murder of Jews in Jedwabne on 10 of July 1941. Residents of Jedwabane were there as well. Jan Thomas Gross explained at the beginning what was his inspiration to write this book - A few years ago I read the narration by Shmul Wesersztajna, who described the murder in Jedwabne, and this text is coming back to me - said Professor Gross. He emphasized that what frightened him the most was the fact that the crime was committed on Jewish neighbors by the very Poles. Inspirators of the murder were supposed to have been the city council with its mayor. How many Germans were there? According to the witnesses, there were no Germans in town on that day except for 10 people at gendarme station. At the same time, Gross added, if not for Nazism and the Hitler's politics oriented towards extermination Jewish nations, there would not be this murder. On the contrary, Irena Chrzanowska, family name Reniewska, recalled, that through the holes in the huge gate, she saw Germans urging Poles with long whips to go to the main square. In her view, there was at least 300 of Germans. Wieslaw Biedrzycki, the grandson of the owner of the barn, in which Jews burned, is questioning credibility Wersersztejn's report. - Was he perhaps Calko,living on Przytulska Street? He has been hiding in Janczewo then. He is writing only what was told him by others. How siting in the bush at the pond, 1.5 km (about 2.5 miles) away from the main square, would he be able to see through the buildings, what was going on there? - asked I am not denying that Poles participated in this crime, but do you know what were deeds of the Jews during Russian occupation? They were walking with the Russian secret police (NKVD), and they were turning the people in. - Does this excuse murder of women and children? - responded Professor Gross. Testimony, trial, rapport. Prof. Gross responding to his critics, that claimed incomplete source materials, mostly in the context of explaining if Germans were or were not in Jedwabne during the pogrom, answered, that based on the trial materials of 1949 and the story told by Wasersztajn, and German reports about the operation of the special

SS squads at that territory, he can be certain that the only perpetrators of the murder were Poles themselves. - Do you know, by what means, was the Security Office ( UB) making people to sign up for anything, what interrogators wanted then for? - said one of Jedwabne's residents. - I know that they were biting people during the interrogations. UB officers in 1949, however, did not have a cause to falsify the testimonies about the murder of the Jews in 1941 - explained Professor Gross. Those testimonies give the impression of being sloppy - as if workers of the Security Office had a job to go through interrogating people, and suddenly decided to cut it short. - The book has much to be desired, the source material is treated selectively, and now it will go into the world, and people will not be studying details, but will claim that Poles are co-responsible for the Holocaust - some of the historians from Bialystok talked about it. Why they did not discuss anything during the meeting? - I am an employee of the University of Bialystock, he is a professor in New York City, who will believe me? - Stated one of them. At the end of the meeting, I asked Professor Gross, would he be writing more about Jedwabne. - This is not my interest any longer, now it is a matter for historians - he rebuffed. MJO MJO, Kurier Poranny, 2001-02-18 back to the english home page Second letter to the Princeton University Press.
POLISH-AMERICAN PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMITTEE Dana I. Alvi - Chairwoman P.O. Box 3206 Santa Monica, CA 90408 Tel. & Fax 310-829-1527 E-mail: 18 C. POLISH History JEDWABNE / J. T. GROSS Second letter to the Princeton University Press. First letter dated March 17, 2001 under "18 B.

POLISH History JEDWABNE / J. T. GROSS. First part. Second part under "18 Ca. POLISH History ... " March 26, 2001 Terry Vaughn, Editor-in-Chief Princeton University Press Princeton University Princeton, NJ 08544-0430 tel: 609-258-2928 fax: 609-258-6305 e-mail: re: NEIGHBORS by Jan Tomasz Gross Mr. Vaughn, This is further to our letter dated March 17, 2001. In said letter, among other things, we requested Princeton University Press to withhold the publication of NEIGHBORS on therein stated grounds. We are providing additional reasons why the publishing of NEIGHBORS must be delayed. The main premise of Mr. Gross' book is that Poles perpetrated the massacre of Jews in the town of Jedwabne. Enclosed, is a German document translated into Polish which negates Mr. Gross' premise. The document was compiled by Jews in the 1970s for the purpose of Holocaust documentation. Jews made the sworn statements in the complete safety of Canada and the United States. The 1970s were a time when the Jews were engaging in a frenzied orgy of Poland bashing, making the most of a strictly inter Jewish Communist party dispute in the 1960s which resulted in immigration from Poland of members of one of the quarreling Jewish factions. This exodus was touted by the media as the result of Polish antiSemitism. In this period, when gratuitous demonization of Poles and Poland was all the rage among world wide Jewry, it is very surprising that the Jews giving depositions as to the 1941 Jedwabne massacre make no accusations as to the involvement of Poles in the incident. We are supplying your institution with the Polish text and translating in this communication only the pertinent passages into English. We feel that linguists on your staff would prefer to examine the original text in its original language. First of all we must clarify the historical context of events taking place during WWII and the present day. Wartime events of 60 years ago are shrouded in inconsistent "eyewitness" testimonies, "survivor" testimonies and the politically expedient considerations of any given era and nation. In recent years, elderly Jews representing themselves as "survivors" were sent by Jewish organizations to schools, church goups and other gatherings to tell and re-tell their horrific and miraculous stories of surviving gas chambers in various "death camps". The survivors carried on with more than appropriately theatrical weeping and wailing, bringing their audiences to tears and causing nightmares in traumatized, impressionable children. Under pressure of unpopular and surpressed scholarship, Jewish historians were forced to announce that there were no gas chambers in "Germany proper", issuing a "correction" that gas chambers existed in Germanoccupied Poland. This "correction" had, of course, a political purpose as the Jews proceeded to refer to "Polish death camps" and "Polish concentration camps" ad nauseam. Additionally, Jews concocted the canard that Germans built their camps in Poland because of "Polish antiSemitism" at the same time shrieking to the world that most of Europe's Jews before WWII lived in Poland, and that most perished during the War. The evidence and records of the gas chambers were said

to be in inaccessable Russian archives or, so completely destroyed by retreating German armies that not a shred of evidence remains. Also, that Communists in Poland would not allow investigation. In fact, the decision-making Communists who, after Germany capitulated in 1945, terrorized Poland were Jews. Significantly, Jewish interests have made the tragedy of Jewish WWII experience the most profitable industry ("industry" per Norman G. Filkenstein, THE HOLOCAUST INDUSTRY), an extortion racket, and a shakedown of nation after nation for money. To date, this industry has refused to conduct thorough forensic investigations of the alleged gas chambers as well as mass graves and tenaciously guards the magic number of "6,000,000 dead Jews" although that number, too, has been discredited. The February 26, 2001, issue of CHRISTIAN NEWS informs on page 16 in a letter to the Editor of a German ARD Television news report: "They reported from Israel that during a 24 hour ceremony commemorating the victims of Nazism, all of the names of (six million) Jews who perished were being read aloud. The video clip showed a man eagerly reading from a list he was holding in his hands. SIXTY NINE NAMES A SECOND [caps added]." The date of this letter is given as Nov. 30, 1991 which may or may not be a misprint, it is not relevant. Please note that in April 12-19, 1996, the LOS ANGELES JEWISH TIMES article "3,000,000 Nameless Jews" informs that: "More than 50 years after the end of WWII, less than half of European Jewry's victims have been identified. According to a report from the International Registry of Names of the Holocaust Victims, more than 3,000,000 murdered Jews are still unidentified. It is critical - while some witnesses and their memories are still alive - that Jewry help produce the missing names." The data from the Polish bureau of identity records listed for the year 1968, indicates that 2,700,000 Jews then in Poland had changed their names to Polish names. In 1939, as the German armies invaded Poland, approximately 1,500,000 Jews escaped East of the Bug river to an area then invaded by the Soviets. In this particular area already existed the prime concentration of Poland's total Jewish population. When Germany attacked the Soviets in 1941, many Jews from those Eastern areas escaped further East ahead of the German Army to spend the wartime untouched in the relative safety of centrtal Asia. So, by the time Germany attacked the Soviet Union, many of the Jews from Jedwabne and environs had emigrated to safer havens. This group included some of the Jewish NKVD members who terrorized Poles causing widespread death and destruction. In 1945, hordes of those Jews returned to Poland to become the Communist Government of Poland. In reaction to the term "Polish death camps" and "Polish concentration camps", we must state that such facilities existed, but only after 1945 when these camps in JudeoCommunist occupied Poland were presided over by Jews for the purpose of exterminating the rest of Poland's best and brightest who survived pre-1945 War years. These camps were run by the likes of the murderous butcher Solomon Morel, who is now living in comfortable retirement in Israel teaching Israelis how to torture Palestinians. On March 4, 2001, Channel 4, NBC TV, aired the first of two parts of 'Biblical Mysteries' special. This part showed the "quest to find the Ark of the Covenant - the biblical chest containing the Ten Commandments". Biblical scholar "Mike Sanders journeys to one of the Middle East's most dangerous territories to find the elusive ancient ark ... Eventually led to a Palestinian-controlled village reputed to be a training ground for terrorists, Sanders gets set to uncover what would be one of the greatest archaeological finds of the age. ... Sanders believes he has found the sacret object buried at the site of a former Egyptian temple in Israel's volatile West Bank." - AMAZING ! In the show, Mike Sanders, with a straight face, informs the audience that special radar will be used to verify the contents under this one particular foundation-stone of the ruins of this ancient temple. :>)) Obviously, Mr. Sanders did not anticipate a very serious question he prompted, i.e. why the Holocaust Industrialists have not, to date, used radar to verify and lay to rest troubling

holocaust claims instead of jailing people who seek answers. One of those claims includes the alleged "Kielce pogrom" in 1946. The "Kielce pogrom" was staged on July 4, 1946, just as an inquiry arose in Nuremburg regarding the massacre of Polish Officers at Katyn. This "Kielce pogrom" and its resultant worldwide publicity shut up that inquiry which would have also revealed the participation of Jews in the murder of the Officers. Until then, the Germans were still blamed, some "confessed" and were executed by the Soviets. The "Kielce pogrom" remains shrouded in more manipulated confusion than events at Jedwabne. 42 Jews were allegedly killed by Poles, but no witnesses were allowed to take photos of the "pogrom" which was sealed off from public view by the Communist military standing shoulder to shoulder. Actually, a certain Mrs. Pirot was commissioned by the Communist authorities to create photographic images using staged "hospital" and "morgue" scenes. In her efforts to create the most ghastly scenes, Mrs. Pirot created photos of both medical and forensic absurdities. Mrs. Pirot's photographs proved to be too ridiculous for even the Communist authorities to use, but provide a wonderful example of the extremes of falsification to which Jews are willing to go. On the day of the "pogrom", American journalists were celebrating 4th of July. Although other international journalist were present, no photos exists. Caskets of the alleged victims, were promptly sealed with metal nails (against Jewish religion) and buried at a lavishly staged ceremony. The funeral ceremony, officiated by the chief rabbi of the "Polish Army", Rabbi David Kahane (surprisingly, he did not object to the metal nails although he was aware of them), was photographed for international antiPolish propaganda. Since then, a wishy-washy investigation was conducted with Jews disallowing the use of ground penetrating radar to determine whether ANY BODIES AT ALL are in the caskets. Lacking any photographs, on June 8, 1996, in commemoration of the 50 anniversary of the alleged massacre, two pseudoPolish papers POLITYKA and KURIER PLUS, published an article by a pseudoPolish professor, Krystyna Kersten, titled "The Kielce pogrom: still more questions than answers - the Hand of a Pole" ("Pogrom Kielecki: nadal wiecej pytan niz odpowiedzi - Reka Polaka"). To further impact their antiPolish creation, these pseudoPoles added to their article a blurred photograph. The photo shows a man in the foreground with a club in his hand, - "the hand of a Pole" - over a body on the ground. More scattered bodies are shown, men standing, more men in the background and soldiers watching. These pseudoPoles contrived a caption: "Ten persons had gun wounds, four puncture wounds ... they were - massacred". ("Dziesiec osob mialo rany postrzalowe, cztery rany klute ... pozostali - zmasakrowani") These publications went out internationally. The undersigned, familiar with many holocaust photographs, recognized this one. A check at the library confirmed the fraud. In JEWISH RESPONSES TO NAZI PERSECUTION (1979) by Isiah Trunk, on page 41, this same photo is captioned "Lithuanians murdering Jews in the streets of Kaunas, June 1941". In THE PICTORIAL HISTORY OF THE HOLOCAUST, edited by Yitzhak Arad, on page 177, this same photo is captioned: "Murder of Jews in Kovno, Lithuania, end of June 1941. The perpetrators are Lithuanians, the onlookers - Germans." Both photographs are clearer than the one published in the pseudoPolish papers where the pseudoPolish editors not only blurred the photo to hide German uniforms, but clipped off a German soldier in the forefront on the right edge. The photo is controversial anyway. It appears altered even before the pseudoPoles used it, and some researchers claim that it portrays the Lithuanians settling scores with the Lithuanian NKVD members, some of who undoubtedly were Jews. -- End of first part. Second part under "18 Ca. POLISH History JEDWABNE / J. T. GROSS. Dana I. Alvi, PAPUREC, 2001-03-26 powrot

Letter to Princeton Univ. Press Anna R. Dadlez, Ph.D.

Dear Mr. Vaughn; I am deeply disturbed by your publication of J.T. Gross's latest book entitled Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne (Polish title: Sasiedzi) in which he attributes to Poles the horrendous crime perpetrated on Jews (the number he quotes is being investigated) in Jedwabne, a town which in July 1941 found itself under German control after having been in the Soviet zone from September 1939 - June 1941. There appear to be serious doubts about the veracity of the work. The particular questions that arise are as follows: 1. Mr. Gross's thesis relies on several witnesses. However, reports describing other witnesses' testimony contradict those provided by Mr. Gross. Assuming that Mr. Gross knows Polish, it is troubling to find that he used incomplete excerpts from the source (documentation connected with the 1949 trial) he claims to have relied on most, i.e., that he rejected the testimonies which invalidated his thesis. (Among other sources: Prof. Tomasz Strzembosz, "Inny obraz sasiadow" ("A different Image of the Neighbors" in Rzeczpospolita March 31, 2001, or Waldemar Moszkowski, " Jedwabnym szlakiem klamstw; rozmowa z historykiem Leszkiem Zebrowskim" (" On the trail of Jedwabne lies; conversation with the historian Leszek Zebrowski") Nasz Dziennik, 31 March - 1 April, 2001 2. Another worrying point is his almost breakneck pace in trying to make the book ready for print. He himself admits that he did not make a thorough investigation of the case (Jan Tomasz Gross's letter to Gazeta Wyborcza, November 27, 2000.) The question arises why didn't he? What was the need for using such a sloppy methodology on a subject of tremendous historical importance? Was he perhaps influenced by the present negotiations in New York where Jewish American groups are attempting to get war reparations from Poland? I have recently read of both German and Polish documents which strongly suggest the innocence of the Polish community in Jedwabne in this horrific crime. The investigation is ongoing. Records of the 1949 trial became unavailable shortly after Gross gained access to them some years ago (see "Jan Gross on Poland's Shame" The New Yorker On Line Only, posted March 5, 2001) They finally became available again in March of this year. Historians are examining them. Many disagree with the conclusions drawn by Gross from these very sources. German documentation is also becoming available. Any historian, myself included, should be willing to suspend judgement in this matter until final conclusions are reached. However, I must deplore the negative publicity the Polish nation has received through your publication of Neighbors, publicity that may very well be totally unwarranted. In a country which prides itself on a free press, a book advancing horrific accusations without substantial evidence should not have seen the light of day.

Sincerely Anna R. Dadlez, Ph.D. Anna R. Dadlez, Ph.D., , 0000-00-00 powrot Neighbors - response to Free Press
translated by:

HERALDS OF TRUTH 588 Essex Dr., Rochester Hills, MI 48307, Tel. & Fax: (248) 650-8553 E-mail: Editor-in-Chief, DETROIT FREE PRESS 321 Lafayette Detroit, MI 48226 March 14, 2001 Dear Sir, We would like to add more information to the article titled "Village horror rattles Poland" by Beata Pasek (Detroit Free Press, Monday, March 12, 2001). Critics, historians and numerous eyewitnesses are already suspicious, that Jan Tomasz Gross' book "Neighbors" is in reality a fictional account not a documentary. The reasons for this are as follows: 1. The author bases his conclusion almost exclusively upon information from one witness disregarding evidence given by others. His principal source for "Neighbors" - Szmul Wasersztajn alias Calka - collaborated with the Soviets, despised his Polish neighbors, and was personally responsible for many tortures and deportations of Poles to Siberian gulags. He lied when he talked about the German rescue of Jews. The allegedly "easily reached agreement" between Nazi commanders and Poles in Jedwabne is a pure absurdity. Everybody knows that Germans, especially Nazi commanders, never made any agreements with Poles. They issued orders and executed them by force and killing. 2. Jan T. Gross fails to mention, interestingly, that on the day of the massacre nearly 300-armed German soldiers (members of so called "Einsatzgruppen", special troops for Jewish extermination) arrived at Jedwabne to terrorize Poles and murder Jews.

3. In his book, J. T. Gross omitted other important information: Appointed by the Germans as mayor of Jedwabne, Marian Karolak, had a German background, and on the arrival of Hitler's army became a Reichsdeutch (German citizen). With the help of a few local bandits and thieves, he cooperated with the Germans in the destruction of Jews. Gross simply, for unknown reasons, chooses to charge all the Polish inhabitants of Jedwabne for this tragedy. 4. The massacre of Jews in Jedwabne was brought before a court in 1949 and 12 villagers (one of them was just a by-stander) were convicted for collaboration with Germans. Among judges and attorneys in this case were many communist Jews. Prosecutor Waldemar Monkiewicz, head of a Commission on German War Crimes, wrote in1989, that some of the convicted persons were innocent and sentenced only because, in the postwar Stalinist era, historical facts were arbitrarily changed and adjusted to favor communist ideology and its adherents. 5. Why did J. T. Gross decide to write this book especially since he is neither trained as a historian nor as a criminal attorney after a lapse of 60 years? Perhaps he seeks to participate in the so-called Holocaust industry as so very well described in Norman G. Finkelstein' book "The Holocaust Industry" published by Verso in 2000. It shows that some people make money and advance their careers out of promoting the Holocaust while the needy Holocaust victims receive very little. 6. Without doubt the multitude of errors, oversights, and distortions written by Gross make the book a worthless secondary source in Holocaust studies. Moreover, we are afraid its publication and promotion could further deteriorate Polish-Jewish relationships and provoke mutual animosity. We hope you will print all the above information in the spirit of free speech and full disclosure so as to keep your readers better informed. Karol Gutowski President Andrzej Zawadzki Secretary

P.S. Jedwabne is located Northeast of Warsaw and not Southwest as your map indicates. This is a very crucial fact because the East was where the first Soviet campaign of terror, brutality and death took place, during September 1939 to June 1941. Karol Gutowski Andrzej Zawadzki, , 0000-00-00 powrot A MURDERER RECEIVED THE VIRTUTI MILITARI?!

translated by: Mariusz Wesolowski The

following appeared in the Polish-language Gazeta

of Toronto (March 22, 2001): Here are the highlights: After a few brief mentions in the press, the crime in Koniuchy has been surrounded by the sticky mist of silence. [Unlike Jedwabne] It is not discussed in large Polish dailies (not to mention similar foreign publications), historians don't debate it on the radio, the Primate of Poland doesn't have anything to say. Despite the inquiry opened by the Institute of National Remembrance, nobody knows what is being done, or what will be done, in this case. [...] One doesn't have to look for the perpetrators in Argentine or Paraguay; living for decades in total impunity, they have even been boasting about the "combat action" at Koniuchy, describing its exact course in their memoirs. The chief of the Soviet band, Genrikas Zimanas [in Polish Henryk Zyman], has been decorated by the People's Republic of Poland for his "internationalist achievements" with the Virtuti Militari [the highest Polish decoration for bravery]! The victims of Koniuchy don't have a monument, and somehow we don't hear from Minister Przewozniak about his plans for erecting one. Their graves are situated in a neglected cemetery, and seldom someone lights there a candle - because nobody was left from entire families. [...] A crime is a crime, even if it is committed in wartime. In the case of Koniuchy, known are the names of victims, the location of their graves, the identities of murderers, and the circumstances of this event. Reports about that "pacification" still exist in Lithuanian and German archives. It seems, therefore, that the Sherlock Holmeses from the Institute should have an easy job. How can we then explain their tardiness? Is the approach to the tragedies of our nation marked again by political opportunism? Are victims of genocide again divided into "better" and "worse", "politically correct" and "inconvenient"? [...] we hear whispers about Koniuchy: "Not yet...", "Maybe later..." So, if not yet, then when? When the last witnesses of those days all die out? Andrzej Kumor Note: In July 1944 a unit of Soviet guerrillas, which included about 50 Jews, massacred

the Polish village of Koniuchy in retaliation for its self-defense efforts to stop the ongoing robbery and rapine. Several Jewish participants have bragged about this shameful and criminal act in their memoirs published mostly in North America. Andrzej Kumor, Gazeta of Toronto, 0000-00-00 powrot The Moral Duty of Getting at the Truth Bishop Stanislaw Stefanek
translated by: Bozena Mercik

The Homily made by His Excellency bishop Stanislaw Stefanek,/ S.Ch./, the Ordinary of Lomza, during the mass in the parish church in Jedwabne on 11 March, 2001. "This is my Son, whom I have chosen - listen to Him!" ( Lk 9.35 ) Dearest in the Lord! The Liturgy of the Second Sunday in Lent takes us to Mount Tabor, the Hill of Transfiguration and then, after such a deeply mystical sensation, it says the farewell with the following instruction: This is my Son, whom I have chosen - listen to Him. After experiencing the High Mass and singing the Lenten Psalms we would like to leave the congregation bearing that instruction in mind. Today we are having a special commentary referring to Mount Tabor: at this very moment the mass, during which 233 martyrs have been canonized, is coming to an end in St.Peter's Square in Rome. They are the martyrs for faith who were murdered during the civil war in Spain in the thirties. We shall remember that fact since it is not only the latest event in the universal Church but also the fulfillment of the consideration pointed out by the Holy Liturgy as well. There is also a social context in our meeting here which is being experienced by all of us and by many residents of our homeland: the unprecedented attack at Jedwabne. As a matter of fact that is the attack at the comprehension of World War II, at the comprehension of the latest history of Europe and the world. Jedwabne is a symbol, it is a sign. In virtue of that your bishop is standing among you here today to pray together. We are in the eye of the unleashed cyclone meant by its initiators to inflame the minds by the spiral of accusations and hatred all over again. This is my beloved Son - listen to Him. We are on Mount Golgotha and Mount Tabor. On Golgotha the Son, sent to his Father, uttered his last words: "It is finished!" On Mount Tabor Jesus Christ has revealed his Deity. The way to God, the way to glory goes through Golgotha. The beloved Son, the chosen Son has been put to the test of suffering. That is the way of glory. That is the way of the martyrs from Spain, of the Polish martyrs canonized two years ago in Warsaw, and

of many other martyrs. That is the way to God: it leads through the experience of love. Love put to the test, as is gold in the fire, love put to the test up to the martyrdom. That kind of love ultimately builds history and lasts as permanent cultural and material heritage, since where there is love, all durable material goods are made and all cultural works are preserved. That way leads through the trial which originates from sin. Sin creates hatred. The hatred forced Nero to set Rome on fire, blame the Christians and then murder them. That was the first generation of martyrs of the Church then. The Holy Father reminded the youth gathered in the square in front of the Basilica of St.Peter's in the Lateran about that just after the meeting had started. That was the beginning of the martyrdom of the Church. The sin, the crime of the insane caesar and the slander used at the Christians. Golgotha has been following the Church throughout the ages. Just after the war a very interesting book "Between heroism and bestiality" by a great philosopher and thinker - father prof. Konstanty Michalski, rector of the Jagiellonian University for a period of time - was published. It states that the road of history, the road of a human being, the road of a nation leads just between heroism and bestiality. We interpret the words spoken a week ago exactly in that context. The statement of a Jewish rabbi from a Jewish congregation in Warsaw was: "The murder of the innocent people is not a local tragedy, it is a tragedy of the whole world ". Referring to those words the Polish Primate cardinal Jozef Glemp said: " We grieve over the innocent bloodshed of any nation. The murder of the innocent in Jedwabne, Katyn, Dachau and Auschwitz make us, as members of the human race, suffer in the same way as does the genocide in Rwanda, in the Balkans or between neighbors in the Palestine". Such is the history of love and hatred, heroism and bestiality. Where is the source of such a tremendous aggression towards man? The source is the father of all evil and his rebellion against God. Man is the first to be struck by the blow of that aggressiveness since he is the very image and resemblance of God. That is why man falls first, assaulted by the repugnance of God. The only origin of evil is the hate of God. The mechanisms of that offense may vary. The Holy Bible depicts three kinds of greed: power, money and pleasure. Nothing has changed since the times of St.John's. The father of all evil, the adversary of God who despises people, acts by means of the same mechanisms: power, money and pleasure. The innocent man is the victim, the martyr. The martyr, regardless of ancestry or religion, is the sufferer of hatred. The latest history has brought in new ideas in accordance with the routine we have been watching over the ages. They are genocidal this time, since people have become equipped with the global technology. Revolutions and world wars are the arenas where the eternal sources of struggle with God gush with a stream of repugnance and bear new martyrs. Two cities became centers of the genocidal technology within the last century: Moscow and Berlin. They are the cities - symbols, which are associated with the two totalitarian systems. Nowadays none of us would certainly dare blame neither the residents of Berlin of the atrocities of nazism nor the residents of Moscow of the outrage of bolshevism. That would be highly unfair. We often use the names Berlin - Moscow as symbolic words to denote the headquarters of international genocide. We have learnt to understand our history much

deeper and we never simplify the scheme of the father of all evil to a single nation, a name or a city. Two horrendous waves of genocidal strategy organized by nazism and bolshevism have passed through the land given to us by God's will to administer. That is the reason why there are so many heroes in those lands - soldiers, totally exterminated villages, as well as exiles and displaced persons, prisoners of war and martyrs of the post-war era, the time when everything associated with the word"freedom" was being destroyed. There are our Jewish brothers in this land , especially loved and respected by us, who were burnt alive here. This land is so rich and so exhausted. How were the genocidal technologies established then and how have they been organized at present? That is a very modern organization. The times when a king headed his soldiers and confronted another king, when the front line and the methods of fighting were clear, are all gone. Nowadays the offer of all kinds of propaganda is very abundant; there are groups specialized in sabotage, provocation, lies, document destruction or myth invention, dressed in a gown of historic research. There is a new way of destruction of man. Therefore it is extremely hard to get at the truth. Consequently, a thorough historic research and data search must be compulsory, with the full responsibility taken for that investigation. Hence the moral duty of getting at the truth, the duty of participating in data search, as the contemporary history is extraordinarily distorted in its external account. I have been experiencing Jedwabne myself since I came to Lomza. Only four years have passed. First, I payed visits to all the decanates. Then, just a few days after I had been assigned to my service in Lomza, among other facts, I got to know that fragment of our painful history. I experienced Jedwabne, Radzilow, Wasosz, Wizna, Lomza and Krasowo Czestki from Piekuty parish, where all the village was slaughtered. I have learnt a lesson. This is my land, the land pointed out by the Providence for my duty. My performance and my solicitude here will be evaluated at the Final Judgement. I have been experiencing Jedwabne for over a year now, since the time I was told by my friends in Warsaw in a discreet conversation, in a subdued voice: - An extensive attack at Jedwabne is going to take place, it is a question of money. I was also told that, as a bishop, I would be very annoyed. Hence, I started to be on the watch; I began to enquire about who and how could possibly make money on our economical, quiet land. I have been experiencing Jedwabne in a very particular way since the campaign against Jedwabne, inconceivable in its methods, was actually unleashed - as I had been foretold by my friends. Who gains by a war? Who makes a fortune on a war? We know that manufacturers of weapons, technical equipment, food and clothing have been making money on a war. Gigantic concerns are usually visible at the subsidiaries of any great wars. They are well hidden. Moreover, they are respected by both fighting sides. Sometimes they deliver weapons to both fronts. That is a privilege of manufacturers of the

tools run by the blood of innocent martyrs, the soldiers. There are others there, who make great fortunes as plunderers, getting rich by looting. Looting is a well known phenomenon . It occurs at any unrest; any protest march, any barricade is enough - and we have got a burnt police car and a few looted stores right away. That is a well known mechanism in the whole human history. Robbers and thieves are everywhere nowadays. There is also a new way of making money on a war - by mischief . A term "Shoah business" has emerged in the United States. I have tried to get its meaning. I have to admit there has been nobody who could fully explain it to me. The brief interpretation was: the best business profit right now is made on the innocent blood of the slaughtered Jews and we have to be aware of whose displeasure we expose ourselves to when we talk about it loud. That is why such enormous mechanisms have been started. Jedwabne is neither the first nor the last one. That predatory and hypocritical campaign, so very modern in its technique, reaches far and aims far. Anyhow, we are not going to devote the reflections of today's liturgy to that matter right now. We are to come back here to Jedwabne, to this martyrdom land and ask ourselves a question: -What is our task today? What are the duties of the land we run? Altars have been raised and Holy Masses have been said on the graves of martyrs. Since the times of Nero the Sacrifice of the Risen Jesus Christ Who has overcome death, Who is mightier than a lie, Who is the King of the World , has indicated the significance of martyrs' blood. The altar has been raised on martyrs' blood. That is why the beatification of 233 Spanish Martyrs is taking place in Rome today. The place of Christ's Sacrifice is the place of prayers to the glory of the Almighty, the place of prayers to honor and remember the martyrs for ever. That is the highest ennoblement of the martyrdom. The liturgy commemorating martyrs is the greatest and the most lasting record in history which brings every stage of the fight between good and evil to an end. We do a self-examination on the graves of martyrs. The righteous conscience has to account for the hatred in the depth of one's heart. Each of us examines his or her inner self; even the slightest trace of hate and retaliation , which may be triggered by apparent harm, has to be thoroughly searched for and tracked down. We master the righteous conscience on the graves of martyrs. A famous writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has participated in fighting which employed different kinds of methods. He was a soldier of the Red Army. After his arrest he started wondering if he was really able to join the murderers' side. Would he do it? He conducts a very deep and interesting analysis of his inner conscience. He draws on his own experience of arrest and gulags. His attitude towards others is analyzed at the very moment he is not only being stripped of his officer rank but of his chances for his personal safety as well. He comes to a very interesting conclusion: "the boundary between good and evil goes through the very middle of my heart. It is up to me which side - good or evil - overcomes my heart." The boundary between good and evil goes through the very middle of our heart. Therefore a self-examination of our own reaction and our own response to a provocation is essential.

We have to start a school of wisdom on the graves of martyrs. This is my beloved Son, listen to Him. Only God will let us avoid a new temptation, a new spiral of hatred. The provocation is very well prepared. Let the school of wisdom be set up at the altar and on each place where the innocent bloodshed of man has occurred. It has been a blessing for me lately that I was able to talk to someone who witnessed those dramatic moments of 1941 here, in the square of Jedwabne. Thanks to those conversations I may say I felt as if I were in the middle of that procession of innocent people led to be burnt, with the revered figure of the rabbi of Jedwabne among them. The school of wisdom. One must go deep into the innermost recesses of the heart, as the provocation has been arranged very well. We establish a school of community love on the graves of martyrs. In His letter "Novo millennio ineunte" the Holy Father calls that school the spirituality of communion. The true brotherhood of people is also the brotherhood of blood. Last year I had a chance to bless a newly restored, huge grave in Kolno, with the representatives of two different nations, Russians and Germans, present. The most precious treasure has been laid in that grave by history: the human blood. That is a school of communion, a school of social life, a school of brotherhood, true brotherhood. The borderland we live in is the best to form a new spirituality. Here the Poles, the Lithuanians, the Russians, the Belorussians and the Ukrainians are not far away from each other. The representatives of the Jewish nation from other countries and from this area are close by here, too. All are not far away from each other here. That is why one can think of establishing a school of community life in this place, of creating such programs and organizing such communities which would be able to study the adoration of the truth and life in the truth. The undisturbed respect towards the other human being comes from the love of the truth. The truth and respect. Even if we do not want to follow the Bible in the use of the word "love", the love which gives life, the love which also embraces the enemy with its redeeming power. The school of social life, the school of establishing a new relationship of great Europe and the whole world. Finally, the foundations of "The Sanctuary of the Innocent Blood" have to be reposed on the graves of martyrs. The place steeped with blood must be honored. It must rank as a sanctuary. The Sanctuary of the Innocent Blood. With respect to religious beliefs, with regard to the cult symbols and the kind of rituals which have been worked out by each religion throughout the ages. I was happy to learn that efforts had been made to honor the places: the place of worship of the Jewish congregation, the last resting place - the cemetery and the grave of the murdered - the burnt ones. That is a program. That is a very vital program. I often ask myself: how does the Lord write His simple message on those crooked lines of provocation; what are we required to do then?

What does the Lord require from You, from Your priest, who faces that many unfair opinions with such dignity? What task does the Lord assign for me, the bishop of Lomza, on those crooked lines? When I was listening to the God's voice very intently, I heard today's word : This is my beloved Son, listen to Him. The Transfiguration, Mount Tabor we are climbing again, is an ideal setting, or one could say a movie screenplay, a social program assigned for us by God for tomorrow. There is Moses on Mount Tabor: the law, the tradition, the Jewish faith, the tale of salvation, the Chosen People, Jahwe's Messianic role and everything the word "Moses tradition" comprises. There is Elijah, the prophet, the truth, the Lord's Word Servant, the teacher, as well as the school of praying, the master of contemplation, mysticism, creativity of the spirit, culture and furthermore, all those treasures which have been brought to the Jewish nation heritage by those two great figures. There are two trends, Moses and Elijah, and He the Altered, with the radiance on His face and the luminous clothing, standing between them. The topic of the conversation is His departure which is going to occur in Jerusalem, that is Golgotha, that is Passion and Resurrection. There is no better screenplay, there are no better programs: He and the plentitude of time. Jedwabne, once a place of peaceful neighborly cooperation. My interlocutor I have quoted before told me about Eucharistic processions and the rituals of the Jewish Liturgy with the Holy Book, which were passing through these very streets. The neighbors understood each other then. The enemies of God made Jedwabne the place of martyrdom and the laboratory of stirring up hatred. This is also the place of heroic gestures of coming to the rescue to the neighbors and acquaintances, as it was in the case of a Jewish girl handed over to a Polish neighbor's care, who spent over a year in the Polish household; or the case of Berek, an adolescent man who had been in touch with the Jewish youth since the very beginning and who was bravely organizing possibilities of defense. There have been many such gestures there. This is the place of making up conscience, the school of shaping character, the point of developing a new society. That is Jedwabne's future. That is the future of Poland and the prospect of all those places where the innocent have undergone suffering. Amen. Bishop Stanislaw Stefanek, Nasz Dziennik, 2001-03-13 back to the english home page "Neighbours", history or literature

The J. T. Gross book "Neighbors: The Story of the Annihilation of the Jewish Town", is a case study of Jedwabne in the county of Lomza, the Province of Podlasie. J. T. Gross based his study on a few Jewish recollections and selected

depositions of Polish witnesses, who had testified under torture by the Communist secret police (UB). After only such shallow research, Gross arrived at a conclusion about the alleged mass participation of the "Polish society" of Jedwabne in the Holocaust. He argues that it wasn't the German Nazis, or some Poles led by the Germans, but that "the Polish society" of Jedwabne spontaneously attacked and murdered its Jewish neighbours. According to Gross, on the 10.07.1941, without any German participation or encouragement, the local Poles an masse, all together in a orchestrated attack, abused, beat and murdered in a very gruesome way some of the Jews. They finally, herded the remainder of them, somewhere between 900 - 3300 people, (according to the various Jewish witnesses testimonies) into the ordinary barn and burned them alive.

Physical evidence.
Well, I have to admit that Gross settled for the number of 1600. This is probably how he arrived at that number. In his book, on the page 42, Gross mentions the testimony of Menachem Finkelsztajn (Finkelstein?) who states that 3300 Jews were murdered in Jedwabne. On page 43, Gross says that numbers provided by Finkelsztajn should be divided in half. So, Gross arrives to the nice and tidy number of 1600. The barn in question belonged to Bronislaw Sleszynski, who was a cabinetmaker supplementing his income by farming. He owned two hectares of land and was too poor to afford a huge barn or to have any use for it. Now, from my experience the barns in Poland are not big or very solid structures. Most of them are big enough to accommodate a horse drawn cart (remember, we are talking 1941) with the horse standing outside the barn. In the best case scenario, such a structure could accommodate maybe 100 people, with a lot of pressure applied to the outside walls. Most of the barns would have an area of 50-70 square meters. How Mr. Gross and his "eye witnesses" managed to fit into such a structure 1600 people is beyond common sense. But there is more. On page 78 of his book, (Polish version), Gross is quoting the testimony of Leon Dziedzic, who was forced by the Germans to burry the bodies of the victims. And Leon Dziedzic says that the barn wasn't full. He says: "The left part of the barn was nearly empty, only single corpses were found there. There were more corpses in the middle part. And only on the right, there was a pile of bodies". So, its not just enough that the barn was too small to accommodate so many

people, there was still some room left. The Soviet census conducted in 1940 counted only 1400 Jews in the Jedwabne region, which also included the outlying town of Radzilow and the village of Wizna. If we also take into account the number of Jews that fled approaching German armies, this would put into serious question the number of victims in Jedwabne, where according to Mr. Gross and his witnesses 1600 perished. In Radzilow, only three days earlier, an alleged 1500 Jews were also burned in a barn. But Mr. Gross doesn't bother himself with such "minor" details as the size of the barn and an accurate number of victims. It would have to be the biggest barn in Europe in 1941. There are some most important steps to be taken to corroborate (or contradict) witnesses testimonies with the physical evidence. First, the dimension of the barn in question would have to be defined. Second, as accurately as possible the number of victims would have to be established. Exhumation and forensic examination could do this. There should be enough evidence to make it easy enough to find the location of the barn in question. According to this book (page 62), a monument was erected there. Victims should be buried in the close vicinity.

Polish witnesses.
In the matter of the Polish witnesses, Gross is extensively using testimonies of people who were interrogated by the U.B. (Communist State Security) in 1949. That organisation was well known for extracting statements from the suspects by using such methods as torture, sleep depravation, beatings and the threat of deportation to Siberia, not only for the suspects, but also for their families. Testimonies and confessions obtained by such methods wouldnt be admissible in any court of law in any democratic country. Most of the accused recalled their "confessions" in front of the court. This was not only an act of self-defence. It was also a sign of bravery. After all, the accused were immediately returned to the "tender, loving care" of secret police officers, who had tortured the confessions out of them in the first place. The confessions were in accordance with a preordained scenario, unofficially promoted by the Communist leadership who deeply believed and promoted the idea that Polish society was "fascist" and "reactionary" and therefore it spontaneously murdered Jews. Lets not forget who ruled Poland in 1949. Remember names like Jacob Berman, Hilary Minc, Roman Romkowski, Rozanski and others. With Berman and Minc occupying the second and third most powerful positions in the ruling communist

party apparatus. Throughout his book, Gross is extensively using the testimonies of Karol Bardon, originally sentenced to the death penalty. Such a man would tell anything to survive. What sort of pressure was exerted on him by the interrogating officers? Gross himself writes extensively on this subject on pages 23, 24, 25, 26. (Polish original). But of course, it has no meaning to him. The same as many other important facts. According to the testimony of Aleksander Wyrzykowski, who saved Szmul Wasersztajn, the Nazis carried out the murder with some Polish participation. A Polish cook, Julia Sokolowska, testified in court that she prepared a meal that day for a large number of Nazi policemen, who were the chief perpetrators of the crime. Another eyewitness, Leokadia Blajszczak, recalls the presence of the German police as well, and blames a local Volksdeutsches for leading the pogrom. The same Jan Sokolowski also provides a very similar version of events. Now from the Polish historian, Marek Jan Chodakiewicz who is Instructor in History at Pierce College in California and an ABD in History at Columbia University: "Professor Gross quotes the testimony of Aleksander Wyrzykowski to underscore the persistence of ugly anti-Semitism in the Jedwabne region even after the war. Alas, Gross failed to include in his lengthy quote Wyrzykowski's assertion that Germans murdered the Jews of Jedwabne with some Polish assistance. Further, Professor Gross analysed, but rejected the testimony of Sokolowska, who claimed that she had cooked a meal for "60 Gestapomen" on the tragic day. Both accounts thus flatly contradict the central thesis of "Neighbours"; Aleksander Wyrzykowski, AZIH, file 301/5825. By the way, Wyrzykowski's testimony is also suspicious. Only "Copy III" is available. Where is the original? Further, Gross uses Wyrzykowski as an isolated case of a Righteous Gentile who was persecuted after the war for having assisted Jews and was even forced to flee the area. However, according to Jewish and Polish witnesses, the Wyrzykowskis were indeed persecuted, and Aleksander's wife even savagely beaten, by bandits who wanted to extort from them the "Jewish gold" that they falsely assumed the couple had received for helping Jews. Were the bandits anti-Semites? Perhaps so. Clearly, however, they were not motivated by a desire to punish the Wyrzykowskis for their rescue of Jews, but by avarice. (See Jozef Gradowski, "Zaswiadczenie," 26 April 1967, AZIH, file 301/5825; Jan Sokolowski to Andrzej Kaczynski, editor of "Rzeczpospolita" 12

may 2000.) If we take into the account what prof. C.I. Pogonowski had to say in his critique of the "Ghastly decade 1939-1948" about Grosss methodology: "On page 56, he changes the meaning of a sentence in the diary of Dr. Zygmunt Klukowski (Dziennik z lat okupacji Zamojszczyzny - A diary of the years of occupation of Zamojszczyzna). Gross insinuates that in October 1942, Poles murdered some 2300 Jews while the Germans deported for execution 934 other victims. The deception is achieved by the omission of quotation marks; this changed the meaning of a crucial statement in the original diary, in which reference was made to locally stationed German gendarmes."
We can see that Mr. Gross is not a stranger to manipulation of his sources.

Professor Tomasz Strzembosz, in the interview conducted by Elzbieta Isakiewicz for "Gazeta Polska", cites an eyewitness who maintains that only about 20 or 30 Polish thugs (and not the entire "society" of Jedwabne) abused the Jews. It was the Germans who herded about 800 (and not 1600) of them into the barn and burned them alive. Here I would like to draw the readers attention to the fact that the number of " about 20 or 30 Polish thugs" would correspond approximately with the names that the Jewish witnesses named as perpetrators.

The Jewish witnesses.

It is very curious that the Jewish witnesses could record the events in such detail, when in fact the Jewish witnesses usually ran away very early on and hid in places from which it was rather difficult to observe the unfolding tragedy. I say it only as an example of normal human behaviour. Fight or flight behaviour. If you can't fight, you run as fast as you can. I know I would under the circumstances that they are describing. So these witnesses are in hiding, in the cellars of their Polish rescuers' homes, in the barns under the hay, in the stables, woods, shrubs and so on. And from such places, they are able to see everything? Here I would use as an example part of the article written by Willma and printed in "Gazeta Pomorska" under a title "Beard of my son" (Broda mojego syna). "...Couple of days after burning of the Jews, Leon Dziedzic went to the stable to get some hay for a horse. From under the hay looked at him Szmul's face. From

his hiding Wasersztajn saw everything what happened in Jedwabne..." So Wasersztajn is hiding in Dziedzic's stable and sees everything? From under the hay, through the walls, three kilometres away, he sees everything? Very gifted man, indeed. But at least one Polish source claims that the key witness, Szmul Wasersztajn, learned only after the war about the alleged scenario of the events in Jedwabne from a Jewish woman, Zejer, who was connected to the NKVD. (Teodor Eugeniusz Lusinski to the Institute of the Jewish History (ZIH), 20. 03.1995) Wasersztajn is not a very credible witness. There are two testimonies from 1945 by Wasersztajn. And Gross himself in his book complains: "In ZIH are two testimonies by Wasersztajn written up separately - numbers dont correspond and some other details dont." (Prof. Jerzy Robert Nowak, article "Kto falszuje historie") The contradicting testimonies of the witnesses, Shmul Waserstein (Wasersztajn) and Mrs. Rivka Fogel, regarding the same event, are as follows. Mrs. Rivka Fogel, "The sisters, the wife of Avraham Kubzanski and the wife of Saul Binshtein, whose husbands left with the Russians after enduring horrible punishment at the hands of the Germans, decided to end their own lives and that of their children. They exchanged the children between themselves and together they jumped into deep water. Gentiles standing nearby pulled them out, but they managed to jump in again and were drowned." Mr. Shmul Wasersztajn about the same incident, as translated from JT Gross book "Neighbours": "That same day I saw a horrible scene. Chaja ("Chaya") Kubrzanska, 28 years old, and Basia Binsztajn, 26, both with babies in their arms jumped into the pond and drowned, rather than falling into the hands of those hoodlums. First they tossed the babies into the water and then they followed them themselves." Baska Binsztajn sank immediately to the bottom while Chaja Kubrzanska suffered for hours. Bystanders (hoodlums) made a spectacle out of it enjoying the view and were advising her to lie face down in the water, so she can drown quicker..." Let's compare these two sentences: "Gentiles standing nearby pulled them out..."

and "Bystanders (hooligans) made a spectacle out of it..." Then there is a problem with the Bishop of Lomza, Stanislaw Lukomski, who according to Gross (page 52, 53, Polish original), accepted a tribute of money and silver artefacts from the Jewish delegation in exchange for protection. Gross even mentions Nielawicki's uncle, who went to Lomza in this delegation. According to Gross the bishop promised them such protection. The only problem with this testimony is that bishop Lukomski went into hiding in the distant countryside in October 1939, because of threats from the Soviet NKVD, and emerged from his hiding place in August 1941. Unless the location of his hideaway was common knowledge among the Jewish population, how did the Jewish delegation manage to find him and speak to him, so he could promise them the protection about which Gross speaks?

The Germans
Now, if youll remember from the earlier quote of Mr.

Chodakiewicz, where he says: "...Both accounts thus flatly contradict the central thesis of "Neighbours"..." But there is a third account that, if accepted by Gross, (so Gross also flatly rejects it), would also contradict this central thesis of "Neighbours". Gross did not explain the question of the German presence in Jedwabne and their role in organising and conducting the pogrom. Gross assumes that there were practically no Germans in Jedwabne, apart from a small group of 11 gendarmes in the local precinct and maybe a few Gestapo men. But prosecutor Monkiewicz, in his article published in 1989 in the Bialystok University periodical "Studia Podlaskie" states, that among other events concerning the Jedwabne pogrom, there was active a so-called Kommando Bialystok led by Hauptsturmfuehrer Wolfgang Birkner from the Warsaw Gestapo office. Here is a translation of the relevant part: "In the beginning of July 1941 from the German police battalions No. 309 and 316 were selected 200 men assembling a special troop called Kommando Bialystok under the command of the Wolfgang Birkner from the Warsaw Gestapo branch. That troop arrived to Jedwabne by trucks on the 10.07.41. For this action against the Jews, the Germans also used the Gendarmes and some of the "supporting police". This last formation was only used to bring victims to the main plaza and escort them outside the town. There the Hitlerites locked app. 900 persons in the barn and set it on fire..." Somehow, I dont think that prosecutor Monkiewicz just "dreamed up" or

made up those 232 Germans, trucks and the figure of Birkner. According to prof. Szarota, such an officer existed in the Warsaw Gestapo, held the rank of SS-Hauptsturmfuehrer, and was probably killed in Poznan. By following his tracks, one could try to find documents related to the German presence in Jedwabne and their role in the pogrom. Any responsible historian would do that before publishing his findings. By the end of the day, an investigation carried out by prosecutor Monkiewicz belongs to the bibliography of the issue, and Gross should follow the lead, and then, after thoroughly checking his information accept or disregard Monkiewiczs investigation, but not to dismiss it off hand. And Monkiewiczs findings are supported to a certain extend by the Polish historian Marek Chodakiewicz: "The claims by Gross that on July 10 the SS-Einsatzgruppen were near Minsk, in Belorussia, notwithstanding, the presence of at least of a part of those units in the Bialystok area as late as the beginning of August 1941 is confirmed by the Gestapo functionary Waldemar Macholla, by the war diary of the 322 police battalion, by a study of the annihilation of the Jewish population in Choroszcz, a town not far from Jedwabne, and by the investigation of the Nazi crimes in the Bialystok area conducted in the 1960s in the then West Germany. (Szymon Datner, "German occupation security forces in Bialystok Region (1941-1944 in the German documentary material (Waldemar Macholla)", "Biuletyn Glownej Komisji Badania Zbrodni Hitlerowskich w Polsce [afterward BGKBZHwP], no. 15 (1965): 11; Kazimierz Leszczynski, "War diary of the Police Battalion 322" BGKBZHwP, no. 17 (1967): 216,218,222) For a proper understanding of the entire case of Jedwabne it is not insignificant whether the murder has been committed spontaneously by the town's inhabitants with the permission of local gendarmes, or if it was done by a bunch of scumbags who were stirred up by Germans who had sent to Jedwabne a police battalion in order to "cleanse" the town of Jews. Gross chose the first, without properly exploring the second. So, prosecutor Monkiewicz clearly states that in the massacre were involved specially assembled troops from police battalions 309, 316, and that they were called Kommando Bialystok. Yet, Gross is clinging to the notion that Einsatzgruppe B was at the time of the massacre somewhere near Minsk. We know that Einsatzgruppe B was assembled from Einsatzkommando 8 (aka

Sonderkommando 8), Einsatzkommando 9, Sonderkommando 7a, Sonderkommando 7b and Sonderkommando 7c (aka Vorkommando Moskau). Could it be just possible that one of the Sonderkommandos or Einsatzkommandos was present in Jedwabne? Just one of the possibilities. But isnt it possible that the Kommando Bialystok wasnt part of Einsatzgruppe B at all, but was a separate battalion operating at the rear of Einsatzgruppe, and independently of it, as some kind of "mop up squad"? Simply finishing off people that Einsatzgruppe missed? The Bialystok General District constituted an independent administrative district within the German regime in occupied Poland, so wouldnt it be advisable to search for any documentation of the German activities there, not only the Einsatzgruppe B reports? It seems that in Grosss opinion, the only German military or paramilitary unit operating in the area was Einsatzgruppe B. But according to historical sources the Einsatzgruppe numbered only between 600 - 1000 men, and all four units numbered approximately only 3000 men. Einsatzgruppen were dispatched with the advancing army groups. So, whats left behind? Nothing? No troops at all? Maybe this massacre was committed by some other unit, not necessary the Einsatzgruppe B. There are far more questions that should be answered and untied ends in "Neighbours". Grosss methodology leaves much to be desired. In his book "Neighbours", Gross proposes a new methodology: "As far as the craft of the historian who deals with era of the gas ovens is concerned, I think we must radically alter our attitude toward the sources. Our initial attitude toward each testimony of near victims of the Holocaust should change from the inquisitive to the affirmative." New scholarly standards? It truly shows in his latest book. Are the Holocaust "near victims" different than any other "near victims"? Thank God, Courts of Law dont operate according to this principle. Hopefully current investigation by IPN, headed by prosecutor Radoslaw Ignatiew, will shed a little more light on the events in Jedwabne. I think Gross would be showing a much wiser and more prudent attitude if he were to wait with publishing his book until this current investigation finishes. To end this work, and to show that the same accusations were already aimed at the Poles and Poland, I will quote Adam Dobronski, a history professor at the University of Bialystok:

"...Im not very familiar with the Jedwabne case, but I know very well what happened in Tykocin, that till now was considered in the Bialystok region to be the most drastic case of Polish participation in the extermination of the Jews. From the testimonies of the Jewish witnesses, it was assumed that it was the Poles who organised pogrom: armed with sticks (such as pieces of wood, canes) they dragged the Jews from their hiding places and chased them to Lopuchowo. But after further research of the sources, the extent of the Polish involvement had been largely minimised, and now it is said that yes, some number of Poles participated in this, but only because the Germans rounded them up (lapanka). Some were summoned by their names; some were picked up off the streets and in that way forced to obey the orders. In any case, it wasnt their initiative, or they werent the first culprits of the crime. (Main culprits of the crime). Under duress, they committed those shameful acts." Maybe the same situation that was in the Tykocin case can be seen in regard to the Jedwabne case? A translation by Joanna Zimmerman of this part of the interview with Prof. Dobronski from Rzeczpospolita is available from the Lets compare the most important parts of it: First: "...In Jedwabne I encountered a common fear. A fear of how the world would react once word comes out that the Poles helped the Germans murder Jews. Unfortunately, I am... "
The way these two sentences are presented on the Yizkor Book Project page would imply that this is a statement made by Prof. Dobronski, when in fact it is a question-statement made to Mr. Dobronski by the interviewer Kaczynski. Manipulation done in the aim of making an impression on the reader, to persuade them to believe that this is a statement made by the learned professor, when in fact it is a statement made by some reporter. The professors answer in the Polish original starts from the words "Unfortunately, I am..." See the Polish original in "Rzeczpospolita" 05.05.00 Nr 104 Publicystyka. I would classify the interviewer Kaczynski as hostile and manipulative, but Prof. Dobronski is not allowing him to do that. But, the Polish speaking readers can judge this for themselves. And the translator from "Yedwabne: History and Memorial Book" is doing her best to use Kaczynskis attitude to the maximum.

Second: "Armed Poles pulled Jews...". Armed with what? Machine-guns, rifles, some other firearms? No. In the original, it is clearly said that the Poles were armed with the sticks. (In Polish kije) Suggestive manipulation again. Third: The very important sentence "From the testimonies of the Jewish witnesses, it was assumed that it was the Poles who organised pogrom..." is also missing from Ms. Zimmerman translation. In Polish: "Z relacji zydowskich wynikalo, ze to wlasciwie Polacy zorganizowali pogrom..." Probably because it would be a bit inconvenient in the Jedwabne scenario, where witnesses are also accusing the Poles. Fourth: After the sentence "Armed Poles pulled Jews out of their hiding places and caused them to lop uchowa." is the half of a very important sentence in the Polish original, which is missing from the translation. In Polish this sentence is: "Ale po szerszej penetracji zrdel, rozmiar polskiego udzialu zostal wyraznie pomniejszony..." This should be translated as: "But after further research of the sources, the extent of the Polish involvement had been largely minimised..." but Ms. Zimmerman translates it only as: "But later on, the extent of the Polish involvement had been minimized...". It is important to show that the Polish involvement was minimised because of the research that had been done, and "largely" minimised. She is clearly attempting to make a false impression on the reader. The third and fourth omissions were attempts to hide the fact that "the testimonies of the Jewish witnesses..." were negated by the "further research of the sources". Now, after the archaeological research done on the site of the massacre, team of the Polish archaeologists lead by prof. Andrzej Kola, arrived to the conclusion that the mass grave is approximately 5 meters long and 2 meters wide, and in the prof. Kola's opinion can contain only maximum of 300 bodies. Also, here is what prof. Kola had to say on the subject: "It is very regrettable that the Jewish side doesn't agree to the exhumation. In one-week time, we would be able to verify what the people are saying and what the author of "Neighbours" has written. This could serve as a good lesson for the future. Many times I've found that the verbal testimonies of the witnesses have to be treated as not very reliable historical sources". (As reported by "Nowosci - Gazeta Pomorza i Kujaw" 19.03.2001) Now, to conclude this article.

From "Different versions of crime" MJO " Kurier Poranny" 18.02.2001: "At the end of the meeting, I asked Professor Gross, would he be writing more about Jedwabne. - This is not my interest any longer, now it is a matter for historians - he rebuffed." So, the learned professor of sociology, portrayed and also portraying himself as historian, Mr. Gross fulfilled his role as propagandist, and after writing his book of half-truths, manipulations and lies, he is not interested in uncovering the whole truth. He left the mess to be cleaned up by us, the Poles. Just another "chutzpah". Collated and based on the various sources. Krzysztof Janiewicz, , 0000-00-00 powrot United States security is affected by current attempts to destabilize Poland. I.C. Pogonowski

May 14, 2001 Madam Condaleza Rice Special Assistant to the President Blacksburg, for National Security The White House Washington D.C. Fax (202) 456 2883 United States security is affected by current attempts to destabilize Poland. Dear Madam: During the coming June visit by President Bush to Poland a demonstration is planned to bring world attention to the matter of restitution the Jewish properties in Poland. Of course, any person should have equal rights to recover personally his or her inheritance in Poland. However, in the war ravaged Poland, where more Christians were killed than Jews, there is no justification for foreign legal bodies like the World Jewish Congress to inherit the properties of Polish nationals of Jewish background, who do not have living heirs. Already on April 19, 1996 the Reuters Agency reported that the real estate tycoon Rabbi Israel Singer, General Secretary of the World Jewish Congress stated that "More than three million Jews

died in Poland and the Polish people are not going to be the heirs of the Polish Jews. We never going o allow this. (...) They're gonna hear us until Poland freezes over again". If Poland does not satisfy Jewish claims it will be "publicly attacked and humiliated" in the international forum. By now, a number of class-action suits against Poland was filed in American courts which have no jurisdiction over Poland. After Germany and Switzerland now Poland is the current target for a shakedown. It could become a serious threat to Poland's stability if these lawsuits were backed by the United States Government especially if the World Jewish Congress or any other Jewish organization could force the succession rights to all Jewish properties not reclaimed by individual Jews survivors and heirs. This would result in a control over the largest single conglomeration of Polish assets by a foreign body and would lead to a political and economic de-stabilization of Poland. Moreover, this could well also open up endless German claims for property lost in Poland as a result of the international postwar settlements ordered by the Allies. The very threat of a gigantic shakedown complicates Poland's chances of admission to the European Union and Poland's value as a member of NATO. I include information about the current hate Poland campaign which resulted in an apologymania. In it people who did not commit a crime of sixty years ago apologize to people who never were at the crime site. I am a disabled survivor of sixty four months of Nazi prisons and concentration camps. I hope that this letter will be useful in the preparation of the visit to Poland by President Bush. Sincerely, I.C. Pogonowski, author, among others, of "Poland, An Illustrated History", Hippocrene Books Inc.,NewYork,2000, "Jews in Poland",and "Poland:A Historical Atlas." POBox 10037, Blacksburg, VA 24062, Tel.: (540) 951-2343, Fax: (540) 951-1329

As Norman Davies said in his response to Abraham Brumberg and Tony Judt, well known antiPolish liars and besmirchers: "...And accusations are not the end of it. For after the accusations come American organisations demanding apologies, American lawyers demanding compensation and American politicians demanding unconditional support for the State of Israel." Here, I would like to take an opportunity to thank Prof. Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski, Prof. Jerzy Robert Nowak, Prof. Tomasz Strzembosz, Mr. Edward Moskal, Senator Antoni Macierewicz and many other distinguish Polish historians, writers, politicians and ordinary Poles, who sacrifice their time, effort and very often are subjected to various pressures for their unwavering fight against powers that want to destroy Poland and throw her on her knees. Krzysztof Janiewicz

Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski, , 0000-00-00 powrot CONFRONTATION AMONG "NEIGHBORS" A Conference at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum By T. Ron Jasinski-Herbert



A Conference at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
By T. Ron Jasinski-Herbert Washington, D.C.--A conference at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., on April 30, 2001, produced predictable, if not entirely satisfactory, results, seeking a form of reconciliation between the Polish and Jewish communities at all costs. As with similar such events, the conference title, "Confronting the Holocaust in Poland," at least mildly suggested the outcome. The "confrontation," weak as it may have been, emanated from the allegations contained in the book "Sasiedzi" ["Neighbors"] by Jan T. Gross. The audience was composed of many more Jews than Poles, at a ratio estimated to be at least ten to one. Each speaker was recognized with at least polite applause, but the loudest rewards were bestowed upon anyone who clearly posited Polish perfidy in the Jedwabne incident. The general tenor of the discussion was that it would be cathartic for Poland to admit its wrongdoing and beg forgiveness, thereby somehow cleansing itself of national guilt for wrongs against the Jews. Moderator for the event was Stanley A. Blejwas (far left), Professor of History at central Connecticut State University, who quit the Polish American Congress after it voted (unanimously except for his abstention) to retention of the cross near the Auschwitz concentration camp. Participants in the panel, in the order of their presentations, were (l. to r.) Antony Polonsky, the Albert Abramson Chair of Holocaust Studies at Brandeis University; Jan T. Gross, "Sasiedzi" author and Professor of Politics and European Studies at New York University; Piotr Wrobel, Konstanty Reynert Chair of Polish Studies at Trinity College, University of Toronto, Canada; Alexander B. Rossino, a scholar with the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum; Pawel Machcewicz, Director of the Research and Education Office, Institute of National Remembrance, Warsaw, Poland; and Andrzej Paczkowski, Professor at the Institute of Political Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, and Fellow of the Woodrow

Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C. Prof. Blejwas began the "conference" with the parable from the bible about the Good Samaritan and its admonition to "love thy neighbor," an obvious, though strained, attempt to make a connection with Gross' book. It is unlikely the Gross had the parable in mind when he titled his writing. Antony Polonsky may have been the only true scholar on the panel, utilizing facts instead of prejudice. He has participated in numerous other discussions regarding Polish-Jewish relations, including a more divided gathering last year at the Yeshiva in New York, and always attempts to present a documented, unbiased opinion. In this case, he not only dared to challenge the view that Poles are anti-Semitic, but agreed with Norman Davies that the Polish view of Jews not differ significantly from that other Europeans. Moreover, he saw the position of Jews in prewar Poland as that of other citizens, whose poverty was due to being part of an underdeveloped country. Then, as they came to see themselves as a separate ethnic group, their situation deteriorated by reason of the depression, the impact of the rise of German Nazism and the nationalistic division with the Polish government. Nevertheless, they were not subject to specific or legal discrimination, even while such actions were being taken in neighboring states. In contrast to Polonsky, Jan T. Gross, author of "Neighbors," is comfortable using prejudice instead of facts. In a distortion typical of his book, he stated that Jedwabne was the story of one half a town murdering the other half, implying that the town's whole Polish population was involved in the deed. Not to be undone by the actuality, he then averred that the Holocaust is still absent from the curriculum of Polish schools, so Poles remain ignorant of Jewish suffering during World War II. This writer did not attend school in Poland, so he cannot attest to the classroom experience, but he has seen and purchased many books in Poland, even during the communist occupation, about the Holocaust and Polish Jewry, indicating that there was no dearth of knowledge about those events. He then made a pointed slam directed specifically at the President of the Polish American Congress, saying that "it is anti-Semites, not Jews, who give Poland a bad name." Naturally, that "dig" brought gleeful applause from the audience. Describing himself as the "troublemaker in the crowd," Piotr Wrobel expressed dissatisfaction with the methodology employed by Gross, whereby witness testimony substitutes for documentary evidence. He reminded the panel that the testimony of Shmul Wasserstejn, upon which Gross heavily relied, was considered as relatively unimportant by the Jewish Institute in Poland in its 1966 text regarding the Jedwabne incident. Unfortunately, Prof. Wrobel was not as vociferous a "troublemaker" as might have turned the discussion more decidedly toward factuality. Mr. Rossino, a younger man interested in truth who was obviously lost among this grouping, attempted to demonstrate the overbearing influence of the SS, and even the German Army, in the Jedwabne area at the time of the murders. The Germans, he explained, believed the Bolsheviks to be aided by Jews and were anxious to incite ethnic tensions. Instigating pogroms was an SS responsibility and information was collected in areas where anti-Semitism might be infused due to the Jewish involvement in the communist occupation. Rossino concluded that "It was the SS which struck the match and lit the fuse," but this clear indication of German underpinnings for the Jedwabne incident was ignored by both the other panelists and the audience. Not surprisingly, although he had presented more factually substantiated information in a shorter time than anyone else on the stage, the speaker received only a smattering of applause.

Pawel Machcewicz of the Institute of National Remembrance said the discussion of Jedwabne was "the most important public debate in Poland in 1989." As Wrobel, he found fault with the methodology, saying one should be critical of eyewitness sources. Perhaps the least favorably disposed toward Gross of the panelists, he stated that the author ignored the role of the Germans and failed to appreciate the impact of Jewish collaboration with the Reds, citing revenge as a part of the interplay. He concluding by saying that the book was a start toward discovering the truth and would undoubtedly require amendment. Nevertheless, he fell short of withholding judgment until his own Institute's investigation had been completed. The final speaker was Andrzej Paczkowski, who delivered a rather esoteric description of the various views held by Polish analysts. His primary point was that the communist regime was destructive to a realization of the true past, thereby leaving the door open to acceptance of the Gross perspective of Poles as victimizers. Pre-chosen "commentators" were then called from the audience to deliver their observations, which can be summarized here in relatively few words. Professor Engels suggested that the degree of planning evident in the Jedwabne incident indicated to him that there was substantial German involvement. Mr. Abe Brumberg was most clearly distinguished by labeling everything with which he disagreed as "idiotic," a scholarly approach, indeed. The final observer's remarks came from a Timothy Snyder, whose credentials were not given, but who was a Polish American. He praised the coverage of Jedwabne in Polish papers as far beyond anything seen in American papers and revealed that Poles were well informed about the issue. Discussions at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum do not generally allow for questions from the floor in matters involving Polish-Jewish relations, the powers that be apparently fearing what the public may say or ask. Written questions were collected and sorted by Professor Blejwas, those few chosen for use being so bland as to be unworthy of exposition here. Nevertheless, the question period gave Machcewicz the chance to say that the Institute of Remembrance was looking into more alleged Polish anti-Semitic activities, Polonsky the opportunity to speculate on a different Jewish life in Poland had the May 3rd Constitution survived, and Gross the pleasure of denying that the death penalty for assisting Jews was no excuse for Polish failures. Finally, Polonsky came to the fore again by refusing the suggestion that the death camps were placed in Poland because of some pre-disposition toward anti-Semitism on the part of the Poles. Instead, he explained, the camps were constructed on Polish soil because that is where the greatest number of Jews were to be found and because Auschwitz was the hub of the German rail system. In a fitting, though somewhat amazing finale, Polonsky stated that what happened in Lithuania, Romania, Ukraine and Belarus was more sinister and on a far larger scale than anything that happened at Jedwabne. The scholar among the group had placed the issue in a more proper perspective. Original

T. Ron Jasinski-Herbert, Polonia Today, 0000-00-00 powrot

Comments on John Tomas Gross's Ghastly Decade 1939-1948 by Prof. C.I. Pogonowski

Who is Prof. Ivo Cyprian Pogonowski? I will only quote from The Sarmatian Review: "Pogonowski is a truly remarkable American of Polish background, a genuine role model who combines Benedictine devotion to work, fidelity to the best ideals of Polish history, and an ability to achieve some success in American public life. A recipient of a recent Polish American Prize, Pogonowski is one of those "bright points of light" which every ethnic community has to have to remain viable and to justify its existence in a broader spectrum of American society. He is the author of" Poland: A Historical Atlas" [1987] and "Jews in Poland: A Documentary History" [1993]. His forthcoming Polish-English and English-Polish Dictionary enlarges and updates all Polish-English dictionaries in existence. The biggest Unabridged Polish - English Dictionary that he is an author contains 200 000 words on 3936 pages. It is called "a monument of the Polish language in America". During the WWII he was a prisoner in such concentration camps as Auschwitz and Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen. He survived the terrible "death march", when SS open fire to the Polish prisoners. He wrote critique on the John Tomas Grosss book "Ghastly Decade 1939-1948" that analyses how and why Mr. Gross writes his books, and what tactics he is using to achieve the outcome that he desires. Below is excerpt from this work. Comments on John Tomas Gross's "Ghastly Decade 1939-1948" Matters related to compensation for Poles and Jews for damages suffered under Nazi and Soviet occupation. Reuters Agency reported from Buenos Aires, Argentina on Fri, 19 April 1996 (14:50:17 PDT) on The World Jewish Congress. Israel Singer, General Secretary of the World Jewish Congress stated that "More

than three million Jews died in Poland and the Polish people are not going to be the heirs of the Polish Jews. We are never going to allow this. (...) They're gonna hear from us until Poland freezes over again. If Poland does not satisfy Jewish claims it will be "publicly attacked and humiliated" in the international forum. Today some Jews are estimating the value of Jewish assets lost in Poland and vicinity in the billions of dollars. Descendants of the Holocaust victims obviously could not hope to extract billions of dollars from descendants of the Polish gentile victims of war. Aware of these difficulties, some Jews have promoted a myth about Polish complicity in the Holocaust. Obviously it would be easier to extract money from descendants of the guilty rather than descendants of innocent Covictims. Jan Tomasz Gross wrote three essays in the spirit of this kind of myth. They were published in Krakw in 1998 by Universitas under the title of "Upiorna Dekada, 1939-1948. (Ghastly Decade 1939-1948)." On 118 small-size pages the author accuses the Polish Nation of complicity in the genocide of the Jews. This propaganda effort is surprising when coming from a writer of serious works. A symbolic buzzard eating dead flesh is shown on the cover the Ghastly Decade 1939-1948. It resembles communist propaganda posters, especially the famous "spit-soiled dwarf of reaction of 1945." The decade "1939-1948" does not represent any distinct period in the Polish history. It does, however, include the Holocaust perpetrated by Nazi Germany and the exodus of Jews from Eastern and Central Europe, which resulted from pogroms staged by the Soviets in the area of all the satellite states. Stalin exploited the Zionist movement in order to abolish the British Mandate in Palestine. In the process, he created a window of opportunity, to use the words of Paul Johnson, for establishing the State of Israel. The Polish Nation had no complicity in these events. Gross falsifies quotations in order to make his points. On page 56, he changes the meaning of a sentence in the diary of Dr. Zygmunt Klukowski (Dziennik z lat okupacji Zamojszczyzny - A diary of the years of occupation of Zamojszczyzna). Gross insinuates that in October 1942, Poles murdered some 2300 Jews while the Germans deported for execution 934 other victims. The deception is achieved by the omission of quotation marks; this changed the meaning of a crucial statement in the original diary, in which reference was made to locally stationed German gendarmes. Self-defence and national identity under the occupation. The ethnic Poles considered German and Soviet invaders as equally dangerous, while many Jews searched for security on Soviet side. The Poles were naturally preoccupied with saving their nation, which was exposed to massive executions starting two years before the Holocaust. From the beginning of the war, the

Germans were committing mass murders on the Polish civilian population, especially throughout western Poland newly annexed by Germany. They brought with them lists of victims prepared long before the invasion of Poland. The Soviet NKVD prepared a list of 21,857 people of the Polish leadership community, all of whom were executed during the Spring of 1940. Mass execution of the Jews in German gas chambers was begun two years later. Gross does not recognise the fact that helping Jews was a part of the resistance against the Nazis. Illogically he cites the fact that more Poles were engaged in the armed resistance, than in saving of the Jews as a proof of Polish anti-Semitism. In order to understand the desperate struggle of the Poles in the face of the greatest catastrophe in Polish history and the general disinterest of the ethnic Jews in the fate of the Polish state, one can quote statements by the Nobel Prize laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer (1904-1991) in New York's Forverts of Sept. 17, 1944. Writing under the pen-name Iccok Warszawski, under the title "Jews and Poles Lived Together For 800 Years But Were Not Integrated" he stated: "Rarely did a Jew think it necessary to learn Polish, rarely was a Jew interested in Polish history or politics. (...) Even in the last few years it was still a rare occurrence that a Jew would speak Polish well. Out of three million Jews living in Poland, two and half million were not able to write a simple letter in Polish and they spoke [Polish] very poorly. There were hundreds of thousands of Jews in Poland to whom Polish was as unfamiliar as Turkish." In the same paper, he wrote on March 20. 1964: "My mouth could not get accustomed to the soft consonants of [Polish] language. My forefathers have lived for centuries in Poland but in reality I was a foreigner, with separate language, ideas and religion. I sensed the oddness of this situation and often considered moving to Palestine." (The above quotations are from Chone Shmeruk's Isaac Bashevis Singer and Bruno Schultz published in the Polish Review Vol. XXXVI, 1991, p.161-167.) Bashevis Singer suggests that Jews in Poland were a self-segregated separate ethnic or national group. Death penalty for helping Jews was unique to Poland. The essence of the policies of the Nazi government at all times was the implementation of the doctrine of the Lebensraum, or "German" living space. The aim of the Berlin government was to seize Slavic lands and replace the Slavic population with what they considered "racial Germans." Thus, Poland was to be colonised by Germans and the Polish nation eradicated. For this reason, the Nazi-Germans used every opportunity to kill Poles. One of the examples of this policy was
the death penalty and immediate execution of entire Polish families and neighbourhoods for helping Jews.

At the same time, for example, in Denmark, which the Germans did not intend to colonise, no one was executed for helping any of the few Jews whom lived there. Gross disregards these facts, and on the page 41, he gives the following illogical title to a chapter: On the fact that the prevailing Polish anti-Semitism also was the reason why the

Poles who helped Jews were brutally and totally murdered by the Germans. Then

on page 60, Gross writes: "how was it that the people who sheltered Jews during the war, did not like to admit it after the war. (...) It was believed that anyone helping Jews got rich" and therefore could be robbed or repressed for "breaking the local code of behaviour." Gross does not mention the fact that it often was difficult to admit to one's neighbour that by sheltering a Jew one was risking one's neighbours life without his knowledge -- it was easier not to tell one's neighbour about the "time bomb" next door and therefore not to celebrate the fact that it did not explode. One could consider how much more Polish gentiles could have done to avert the tragic fate of the Jews in a situation where Polish gentiles could not prevent the killing of millions of Polish Christians, and when the Polish Nation itself faced genocide. It is difficult to find a Polish gentile family which did not experience the loss of close relatives under the German and Soviet occupation. In central Poland, which the Germans turned into killing fields, called by them the General Protectorate, there were eleven million Polish gentiles and two million Polish Jews. The cultural barrier described by Bashevis Singer separated them. Thus, for each Polish family there was one Jew that desperately needed help. The presence of the prewar German minority and of "racial Germans," recruited locally by the Nazis, further complicated the struggle for survival of both Polish gentiles and the Jews. Also important was the Soviet policy to nominate Jews to very visible posts in the Communist terror apparatus in order to shift the blame for Soviet crimes to the Jews. This perfidious Soviet policy did not facilitate a postwar admission that one risked one's and others' lives while sheltering the very people whom later became Soviet executioners in Poland. Widespread Jewish complicity in the Soviet terror apparatus installed in Poland speaks volumes about their lack of concern for the existence of a sovereign Polish nation. Arab oil versus the pogrom in Kielce. Stalin signed in Yalta a pledge to hold free elections in Poland. The Soviets broke this pledge and used various propaganda means to draw the Allies' attention away from this fact. They exploited the horrible Jewish tragedy, about which the world was beginning to learn the gruesome details. The Soviets used the accusation of Polish anti-Semitism to justify their protracted occupation of Poland, while at the same time the NKVD staged pogroms in all satellite states, in particular in Poland. 19th century ritual murder accusations of the Black Hundred and the Tsarist Okhrana were recycled by the Soviets. Of the many pogroms in 1945 and 1946 only the Kielce pogrom of July 4, 1945 was exploited worldwide by the Soviet propaganda. The pogroms in Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Czechia, and eastern Galicia as well as the Kielce pogrom was conducted under close control of the

NKVD in order to generate an exodus of Jews who otherwise would not emigrate. The American Ambassador to Poland was convinced the date of the 4th of July was chosen for an efficient dissemination of news among the American Jewry on the anniversary of the American Independence, a day free of work (Arthus BlissLane, I Saw Poland Betrayed, New York, 1948). A month later a bloody pogrom was staged in Bratislava, Slovakia, where participants of a veterans' convention were ordered to march to Jewish quarters where they committed crimes similar to those in Kielce. Needless to say, Gross treats the Kielce events as a genuine proof of Polish anti-Semitism. On the fiftieth anniversary of the Kielce pogrom, the post-communists exerted much effort trying to whitewash the NKVD and UB which engineered and controlled the pogrom, while blaming it on Polish mob. It bears repeating, however, that innocent people were tortured and executed within a week after the pogrom, after a show trial which lasted a few days. The strength of the postcommunist grip on Poland makes the correction of these mendacities difficult. I have personally discussed the Kielce events with Israeli Judge Mrs. Sara Dotan. She was assigned to supervise in 1996 in Tel-Aviv the deposition of Israeli survivors of Kielce pogrom for a report prepared by post-communist investigators Zbigniew Mielecki and others. Judge Dotan stated that she was severely shocked to learn from the witnesses that the Kielce murders were committed by soldiers and Catholic priests. I have tried to explain to her that apparently the witnesses mistook the military shirts equipped with white neck bands for the Roman collars (which were not worn by Polish priests in 1946). Apparently some of the uniformed men from the Soviet terror apparatus in Poland (such as soldiers from the Blocking Companies of the Second Infantry Division stationed in Kielce, soldiers from the Internal Corps as well as the uniformed riot police) were assigned to stage the pogrom. Apparently, they were given civilian coats and pants to feign a role of a Polish mob. By wearing the regular military shirts they appeared to the Israeli witnesses as having had the Roman collars now popular among the clergy visiting the Holy Land. The tragic events known as the Pogrom of Kielce of 1946 were demonstrably a part of Soviet postwar global strategy. The Soviets ruthlessly exploited Jews for Soviet political purposes. In New York on July 7, 1946 the Society For The Promotion Of Poland's Independence issued a Declaration On the Kielce Crime. The declaration was signed by prominent historians Henryk Askenazy, Oskar Halecki and others. It stated:

(...)The Warsaw regime receiving its orders from Moscow and acting strictly in obedience to them has (...) [pursued] policies planned methodically and aimed at compelling the Jews to leave Poland and to embarrass the British Government in matters pertaining to the Palestine problem, and, furthermore, to aggravate the political crisis in the Near East, to envenom Judeo-Arab antagonisms. It is indeed for that purpose that the Warsaw regime endeavors to squeeze in the remnants of Poland's Jewish population which has succeeded in escaping Hitler's massacre, into American and British zones of occupation of Germany." Soviet attempts to destabilize the oil-rich Near East also included the opening of the Iron Curtain to allow hundreds of thousands of Jews, many of whom went to Palestine, to join the struggle for the independence of Israel. The emigrating Jews were armed with Czech weapons given to them by the Soviets. Bernard Lewis (Semites and Anti-Semites. New York: W.W. Norton 1986) states that the Soviet Bloc was the only source of weapons used by the Jews during the decisive struggles in Palestine. In the Spring of 1947 Andrei Gromyko was the first to propose in the UN the establishing of the State of Israel. Decisive moves by the USSR in the UN on the recognition of the State of Israel were a part of the strategy to make Islamic owners of the Near East oil fields dependent on Soviet weapons and political support. Soviet aim was to blockade the supply of Arab oil to the United States and its allies as well as to generate fanatical hatred of the Muslim world against the West. Crime during catastrophic events One can endlessly cite criminal acts and moral failures inside the Ghetto walls and outside of them. The courts of the Polish Home Army (AK) associated with the Polish Government-in-Exile in London condemned to death and executed traitors and criminals. All over the world cataclysms offer an opportunity for people to act on their worst instincts. In the United States, it is a standard procedure to call on the National Guard to protect the population against widespread looting and crime during catastrophic events. No one in America considers such crimes to be a national disgrace. AntiPolish propaganda practiced by Gross and others like him demands that the Polish Nation accepts the behaviour of individual criminals to be sins of all Poles. The Holocaust Museums Gross quotes Jzef Lipinski, the famous professor of economics, who wrote Two homelands ("Dwie Ojczyzny") "anti-Polonism is as bad as anti-Semitism or as anti-Ukrainism," and then goes on to criticize Poland for not copying American museums of the Holocaust. These museums practice anti-Polonism and spread the myth about Polish complicity in the Holocaust. Large exhibits of the 1946

Pogrom of Kielce are shown as the Polish phase of the genocide of the Jews. There is nothing in the Holocaust Museums on the German megalomaniac interpretation of the theory of evolution which says that life is a mortal struggle for the survival of the fittest. The Germanic race was supposed to be the fittest, as opposed to Semitic and Slavic races. Marx strengthened the confusion when he came up with his theory of history according to which the law of the jungle was justified in the political struggle between nations or social classes. The Holocaust Museums do not show how Marx and Darwin provided fertile ground for the development of anti-Semitism which percolated in German society throughout the second half of the nineteenth century, as German racism and the ideals of German superiority gained ground. At the same time Wagner's operas were strengthening German megalomania, Nietzsche's dream of supermanhood pleased the Germans. While Bismarck's regime toned down anti-Semitism, it directed its hatred towards Polish Catholics. Bismarck marked the Poles for destruction in order to assure Germany's rule over Prussian territory (Werner Richter, Bismarck, New York: Putnam Press, 1964. p. 101). While Bismarck's anti-Catholic campaign was being conducted in parts of Poland occupied by Germany, mixed Christian-Jewish marriages were occurring quite often among the Germans. The children of those marriages were thaught to say that they were totally and unconditionally German. But anti-Semitism kept growing, sustained among other reasons by a resentful realization that Jews played a prominent role in German society. Forcing of Jews to be executioners both in ghettos and death camps. The Holocaust Museums should show how the racist sentiments were at the root of the opinion that German defeat in 1918 was due to Jews and how antiSemitism became the rallying force for politicians and demagogues in the Weimar Republic. In this atmosphere, the descendants of mixed Jewish-German marriages leaned over backward to prove that their loyalties lay with Germany rather than with Jewry. Therefore when Hitler came to power, many members of such families volunteered for the job of solving the Jewish question. Among such people were von Heydrich, Globocnik, Eichman, Knochenn, Dannecker and many others. These people represented a "pathological Jewish self-hatred," to use the words of a Jewish historian Gerald Reitlinger (SS-Alibi of a Nation 1922-1945, Engelwood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1951 & 1981). In particular, Reitlinger points out that when SS General Reinhard von Heydrich became responsible for the program of extermination of the Jews, he arranged it so that the Jews themselves were forced to be executioners of Jews both in ghettos and death camps.

As a result an average Jewish policeman in the Warsaw Ghetto dispatched over 2,200 persons to the gas chambers of Treblinka. At the Umschlagplatz in Warsaw, where Jews were loaded into trains going to Treblinka, Jewish policemen offered food in the railway carriages to entice hungry inhabitants of the ghetto to enter. The most horrible dimension of the Jewish tragedy in World War II was that German planners made the Jews themselves execute the Jewish genocide. The abominable activities of the extortionists (szmalcowniki), or gentiles who collaborated with the Nazis as "racial Germans" (the volksdeutsche) or other collaborators, were of marginal importance in the genocide of Polish Jews. The real destruction was done with active participation of Jewish Councils and Jewish Police. This aspect of the Jewish tragedy has been carefully hidden in the US Holocaust Museum, which instead prominently features such "Polish" elements as the Kielce pogrom. Reconciliation versus tradition Traditional Jewish hatred of the Poles developed during the partitions of Poland. It was much more common than Jewish hatred of the Germans. This was mentioned by the Polish writer Zofia Kossak-Szczucka during the Holocaust, when she was appealing to Polish gentiles to sacrifice for the cause of saving Jews within the Zegota program financed by the Polish Government-in-Exile in London. Today Jewish hatred of the Poles manifests itself in the use of generalisations when dealing with accusations. Jewish students are often taught that the Holocaust would not have taken place if the Poles did not want it. While teaching about the Holocaust, an animal farm rendition of the genocide of the Jews is used ("Maus" by Art Spiegelman) showing Jews as mice, Germans as cats, and Poles as swine. Some of the colleges in America include this animal farm as obligatory reading. If ever this cartoon rendition of the Holocaust is translated into Polish and published in Poland, it will offend many that remember how the Nazis referred to the Poles as swine. In the conclusion of his Ghastly Decade Gross equates Polish anti-Semitism with Hitlerism in Germany, Stalinism in Russia, and legally- sanctioned slavery and racism in the United States. This is highly unfair. Anti-Semitism never was legally sanctioned in free Poland. When Poland was a Soviet satellite the Warsaw regime carried out Moscow's orders whether in Kielce, or in 1968, or at any other time during the entire history of Peoples' Poland. Gross writes: "The Poles - because of the Holocaust - must study the history of the persecution of the Jews in Poland. Otherwise they will not be able to live in harmony with their own identity." The insinuations included in this statement are in contrast with what Simon Wiesenthal wrote in "Krystyna, a Tragedy of Polish Resistance": "In Polish history, the relations between Poles and Jews never were

simple." On his eightieth birthday Wiesenthal said: "I know what kind of role Jewish communists played in Poland after the war. And just as I, as a Jew, do not want to shoulder responsibility for the Jewish communists, I cannot blame 36 million Poles for those thousands of [wartime] extortionists (szmalcownicy) [who were common criminals]." Conclusion The separatist Polish Jews described by Bashevis Singer are no more. Today Jews in Poland are a part of the Polish Nation, and they follow the conciliatory advice of Simon Wiesenthal. During the Second World War Poland was devastated and plundered by the Germans and the Soviets. Jewish possessions in Warsaw were devastated, together with the possessions of all the inhabitants of the Polish capital. After the war the capital was rebuilt from ruins with great effort and sacrifice of the Polish people. So it was in other Polish towns. The Germans and the Soviets systematically robbed the Polish population. All claims for restitution for damages incurred in the years 1939-1989 should be settled without regard to creed or ethnic origin. Unfortunately, Gross, despite his scientific credentials, is practicing propaganda in the spirit of the statements made by the Secretary General of the Jewish World Congress quoted at the beginning of this text. Gross' propaganda helps those who make demands for ransom to be paid by the Polish Government to compensate for crimes perpetrated in Poland by the Nazis, the Soviets, and by common criminals. Excerpt from the critique written by Prof. Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski prof. I.C.Pogonowski, POLISH PANORAMA, 0000-00-00 powrot Response to Sarasota Herald Tribune Prof. I. C. Pogonowski Neighbors by I. T. Gross Sarasota Herald Tribune, Assoc. Press, p.9, March 13, 2001. Some years ago Professor Jan Tomasz Gross wrote a well-documented book entitled Revolution from abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Polands Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia. In this work, published by Princeton University Press, Gross gave substantial evidence of the complicity of some Polish Jews in

the murder of thousands of Polish Catholics by the Soviet forces who occupied much of Poland in September of 1939 during the joint Soviet-Nazi invasion of that country. This extensively footnoted book was received with stony silence by the journals, which might have been expected to review it, from the professional quarterly Slavic Review to the New York Times. Indeed, professor Gross was essentially put in a state of hostile isolation by many persons in the literary and professional Slavic community. Apparently Professor Gross has now worked his passage back into "politically correct society" with his recent Neighbors, also published by Princeton University Press. Relying principally on recollections of a Polish-Jewish Communist official (Szmul Wasersztajn aka "Calka"), Gross has produced a thin argument to the effect that In 1941 Polish civilians from the village of Jedwabne drove 1600 Jews into a barn and burned them to death. The geometrical improbability of the spectacle aside (the farmer who owned the barn owned only four acres), one wonders how such a scantily researched book can receive the instant cachets of the same journals which had simply ignored Revolution from Abroad There seems to be a pattern of alleging murders of Jews in areas of Poland, which shifted from Soviet to German control in- June of 1941. The widespread collaboration of some Jews in fingering priests, schoolteachers, Landowners, physicians, sat other professionals (spoken of by Gross in his earlier works) certainly led to retribution against the guilty dining Soviet withdrawals. This does not translate into genocidal pogroms, which were staged by the Germans. That the Polish Underground Army did retaliate against collaborators either with the Nazis or the Soviets is not denied. That innocent perished with the guilty in such retaliations is commonplace in wartime conditions, but for anyone to mistake such retaliations as anti-Semitic rage whenever the collaborators were Jews is simply absurd. Furthermore, nobody denies that there were evil individuals in the Polish population who did murder Jews during the War. But they carried out their crimes understanding that they were explicitly forbidden by the Polish Underground government and carried the death sentence from that government. In Israel, within a short walk of the Yad Vashem memorial to Jewish victims of the Holocaust, is the site of Deir Yassin, where the Stem Gang/Irgun activists of Yitsak Shaniir and Menachem Begin (later Prime Ministers of Israel) slaughtered all the men, women and children in the unfortunate Arab village on April 9, 1948. This is an example of an organized atrocity against civilians committed by an official national body. Nothing like that was ever carried out by any official organization of Polish Catholics during the horrific years of World War II (in which over three million Polish Catholics died at both Soviet and German-Nazi hands). We have long passed the time when Poles should feel they have to dedicate time

and energy to answering "national guilt" charges like those made in Neighbors. After a fifty-year occupation of Poland by the Soviets, we can simply observe that during this entire wretched period the probability of a crime committed by a Polish Catholic against a Polish Jew was much less than a crime committed by a Polish Jew against a Polish Catholic. There are many evidences that this is so, Including the earlier work by Professor Gross as well as John Sacks An Eye for an E~ The leadership of the dreaded US (communist secret police) by Jakub Berman (of which Szmul Wasersztajn, the chief source of Neighbors was a member) is a matter of record. The collaboration between the "Jewish committees" and the NKVD in Soviet occupied Poland is also a matter of record. The last memory of Poland by many a Polish Catholic before the door was slammed shut on a boxcar bound for Siberia was that of a Jewish militiaman slamming the door. There was no similar collaboration between Polish Catholics and the Nazis. Nevertheless, Polish Catholics do not seek reparations, moral or financial, from Jews. They hope that mutual respect can replace the rather counterproductive charge and countercharge pattern which Neighbors engenders. Enough is definitely enough. Prof. I. C. Pogonowski, , 0000-00-00 powrot REPORT OF REV. FR. EDWARD ORLOWSKI
translated by: Thaddeus Mirecki original page at: Polish American Congress Pastor of the Parish of Jedwabne, Dean of the Jedwabne Deanery Jedwabne, June 10, 2001 After completing the seminary, for 14 years I was an associate pastor in various parishes, including 3 years in Lipsk on the Biebrza River, where I served together with Fr. Jozef Keblinski, who throughout the entire period of Soviet and German occupation fulfilled pastoral duties in Jedwabne. Every day at dinner, at supper, Fr. Jozef Keblinski would tell me about what happened in Jedwabne; among other things, he spoke about the burning of the Jews. From his reports, which he repeated many times, I know the exact sequence of those events. From July 1 1998 I became the Dean and Pastor of the Parish in Jedwabne. () Why do I feel entitled to speak out in the matter of the murder of Jews in Jedwabne? Because I had very detailed information about the events of this murder of the Jews from Fr. Jozef Keblinski, who told me about it many times. Thanks to that, I consider myself an indirect witness. The roots of the matter go back to 1939, when the Germans came to Jedwabne, but on the basis of the Ribbentrop Molotov Pact they yielded the place to the Soviets. When the Soviets arrived,

the Jews greeted them with flowers, they took over positions in the city government, they formed from the Jewish youth a Soviet militia and they began cooperating with the NKVD. The cooperation consisted giving the NKVD detailed information, and because in October of 1939 a resistance movement had been formed, there was a facility for training in guerilla warfare for three counties: Lomza, Bialystok and Augustow. At this facility there gathered a group of people from military schools in Warsaw and its environs. They lived and conducted activities in Jedwabne, but the Jews were spying on them, so they relocated to the neighboring village of Kubrzany, but there also they were spied upon. Then they relocated across the Biebrza River, to a swampy region, to the forest of Kobielno, where there was a foresters station that they made their base. But there too they were spied out, due in large part to the participation of Jews from Jedwabne. On Pentecost in 1941, the NKVD came with units of the Red Army, and a battle was fought there in which some partisans were killed, but many more soldiers of the NKVD. After this event, there began the most cruel deportations. The Jews prepared lists of patriots, of the most valuable people, the educated, who were to be deported as quickly as possible. The Jews participated actively in the arrests, they would lead the NKVD people to the dwellings of the deportees, and together with the NKVD, they drove them off in horse-drawn wagons to the rail station in Lomza. The wagons were escorted by Jews armed with rifles. The mothers and wives of those arrested pleaded with the Jews, their neighbors, to allow their husbands and sons to escape on the way to the station. The Jews allowed no one to escape there is no known instance of assistance in anyones escape. The most tragic was the last convoy, just before the entrance of Germans into Lomza, just before the outbreak of the German-Soviet war. There was not enough time to load all of the people on the huge train of cattle cars. The remaining ones were put into a prison, awaiting the next transport. On June 22 1941, the Germans entered Lomza. The prisoners forced the doors, got out of the prison and returned to Jedwabne, where they met the Jews who had escorted their convoy. The homes of the Poles had been taken over, families had been deported into the depths of Russia, the returning Poles had no place to go. On July 10 1941, the Germans organized the liquidation of the Jews in Jedwabne. For a few days preceding this liquidation they gathered the Jews to work in the town square, for the purpose of pulling up the grass from the square; after that work they would let them return home. The second day they repeated this experiment, and it was only on the third day they decided to murder them. So it was that in the third day the Jews were burned. Fr. Keblinski lived in the rectory which the Germans had handed back from the "Selsoviet." The Germans had their headquarters in the Old Pharmacy. The Germans returned the rectory to Fr. Keblinski. For a short time, the German chaplain lived there together with the priest. Because Fr. Keblinski knew German, by necessity he acted as interpreted between the Poles and the Germans, the Jews and the Germans. Fr. Keblinski found out from the Germans that the Jews were to be destroyed, because one of the gendarmes passed along the information that a unit of 240 German commandos had arrived in Bialystok, for the purpose of ending the Jewish problem. Fr. Keblinski tried to argue that perhaps these Jews could be saved. The Jews even wanted to collect valuables for the purpose of bribing the Germans. But the Germans declared that was impossible, they said that wherever a German soldier sets foot, no Jew has a right to live. Fr. Keblinski warned some of the prominent Jews. He could tell only those whom he considered capable of being discreet, otherwise he himself would have been shot.

On the day when not only the men, but also women and children were gathered in the town square, Fr. Keblinski went to the headquarters of the high officer who was directing the entire action and tried to reason with him: if you consider the men guilty because of their sympathy for Communism, surely the women and children are not guilty. And he heard in response: "Do you know whos in charge here? Dont meddle, if you dont want to lose your head and want to stay alive." He opened the door and yelled in a loud voice: "Raus!" Fr. Keblinski left the post, he felt totally powerless. On posts there were signs warning that anyone who hides a Jew, or allows one to escape, is subject to being shot, along with three generations of his family. He saw how the Poles were forced, herded out into the town square, for the purpose of guarding and leading the Jews to the barn. But nobody, not the Jews, not the Poles, suspected what would be the final outcome. The Jews went with their everyday articles, calmly, without suspecting what awaited them. Fr. Keblinski estimated that there could have been 150 to 200 Jews. About the moment itself we know only that there was an explosion, then cries; I know that the Jews attempted to escape from the barn, but the barn was tightly surrounded by armed Germans. Only the Germans were armed; certainly, they did not agree to give arms even to Karolak, a German agent whom the Germans named as mayor. The action of the final killing of the Jews was solely and exclusively the action of the Germans; Poles were forced to stand guard under threat of loss of life. From the testimony of a Jew in a legal case before a regional court in Lomza, it is unequivocally apparent that the Jews were burned in the barn by Germans. At least three Poles were pushed into the barn and burned there, they were pushed by the Germans and burned there along with the Jews. The Jews carried with them their everyday articles, they had spoons, forks, the butcher had a knife. The Jews did not know that they were going to their deaths. That knife was intended for ritual ceremonies. Rev. Edward Orlowski Translation: Thaddeus Mirecki Ks. Edward Orowski, Polish American Congress, 2001-06-10 back to the english home page

Between the hammer and the nail

Not only the Germans "pacified" villages

Excerpt from the book "The Story of Two Shtetls", published by The Polish Educational Foundation in North America. It is an important book, which deals with Polish-Jewish relations in the eastern part of Poland during World War II. The book contains contributions by scholars and publicists, both Poles and Jews, from

various countries. The Story of Two Shtetls Bransk and Ejszyszki: An Overview of Polish-Jewish Relations in Northeastern Poland During World War II (Part Two) - revised and expanded (Toronto and Chicago: The Polish Educational Foundation in North America, 1998) Pages 99, 114-16: Anti-Semitic Pogrom in Ejszyszki? An Overview of Polish-Jewish Relations in Wartime Northeastern Poland by Mark Paul OTHER CIVILIAN MASSACRES: One of the earliest and most gruesome episodes was the "pacification" of Naliboki, whose aim was the liquidation of the nascent pro-Home Army underground organization in that townlet. The Polish and Byelorussian villagers had formed a self-defence unit to fend off Soviet and Jewish marauders. In Soviet eyes, their chief "crime" was that they had rebuffed overtures from the Soviet partisan command to fall into line.[1] The joint Soviet-Jewish assault on Naliboki occurred on May 8, 1943. One hundred and twenty-eight (or nine) innocent civilians, including women and children, were butchered in a heinous pogrom that lasted almost two hours. The Jewish factions that did most of the pillaging and murdering of entire families awakened from their sleep were the Bielski ("Jerusalem") and Zorin ("Pobeda") detachments. Everyone is in tears. The plunderers did not omit a single homestead. Something was taken from everyone. Because he resisted, they killed the father of my schoolmate and cousin, Marysia Grygorcewiczwna. The "soldiers of Pobeda" and "Jerusalemites" took with them the pigs and chickens which they shot, flour, as well as other provisions. They wanted to live! But they took the lives of others. They did not come to fight. In the space of almost two hours, 128 innocent people died, the majority of them, as eyewitnesses later testified, at the hands of the Bielski and "Pobeda" assassins.[2]

The Soviet report prepared by General Platon on May 10, 1943 gave the following-grossly embellished (e.g., there was no German police garrison in Naliboki!)-Version of this reputed "military operation": On the night of May 8, 1943, the partisan detachments "Dzerzhinsky" "Bolshevik" "Suvorov" under the command of the leader of the "Stalin" Brigade by surprise destroyed the German garrison of the "self-defence" of the townlet of Naliboki. As a result of two-and-a-half hours of fighting 250 members of the self-defence [referred to by its Byelorussian name of "samokhova"-M.P.] group were killed. We took 4 heavy machine-guns, 15 light machine guns, 4 mortars, 10 automatic pistols, 13 rifles, and more than 20,000 rounds of ammunition (for rifles), and a lot of mines and grenades. We burned down the electrical station, the sawmill, the barracks, and county office. We took 100 cows and 78 horses. I order the leaders of the brigade and partisan detachments to present those distinguished in this battle for state awards. In this battle, our units lost six dead and six wounded. Praise to our brave partisans-patriots of the Fatherland.[3] Other villages, such as Szczepki and Prowzaly, and the townlet of Kamien Nowogrdzki met a similar fate in the early months of 1944.[4] These exploits are strangely missing from memoirs of the Bielski partisans and from sanitized Holocaust histories.[5] Ironically, in August 1943, a few months after the massacre in Naliboki, as part of a massive anti-partisan operation known as "Operation Hermann," some 60,000 German troops descended and, with the assistance of Lithuanian auxiliary forces (attached to the SS) and Byelorussian police, rounded up the civilian population of dozens of villages in the area of Naliboki forest suspected of supporting the partisans (some 20,000 villagers were deported to the Reich for slave labour) and burned down their homesteads.[6] Among those murdered for the crime of aiding partisans and Jews were a number of priests: Rev. Jzef Bajko and Rev. Jzef Baradyn from Naliboki, Rev. Pawel Dolzyk from Derewna, and Rev. Leopold Aulich and Rev. Kazimierz Rybaltowski from Kamien.[7] Tuvia Bielski and many other Jewish partisans vividly recalled this German operation. "One night I sent Akiba and a number of people with him to the village of Kletishtze [Kleciszcze]. Perhaps it would be possible to get some food. When our people came to the village, they saw numerous German forces. The

village was illuminated with the powerful lights of military vehicles. Akiba returned with empty hands, but the information he had was important. Some time later the farmers told us that the number of Germans that were in the village that night was in the thousands. After a while we found out that the Germans had gathered all the farmers of the village of Kletishtze and had taken them away from their village in trucks. They burned the village. The farmers were taken to Germany and only about a score managed to escape. Cattle, which they could not take with them, the Germans shot if the fire did not succeed in consuming them. In the same way, the Germans burned at that time seventeen villages and hundreds of farmers' homesteads. Also, the village of Nalibuki [Naliboki] was consumed by fire. The intention of the Germans was, as our agents informed us later, to destroy the villages which were close to the forest in order that the Partisans would not be helped by them with supplies and places to hide.[8] NOTES: [1] According to Krajewski, the foremost authority on these events, a self-defence group was created in Naliboki in August 1942, at the urging of the Germans, as a condition of not carrying out a "pacification" of this small town in the wake of a nearby assault by Soviet partisans on German troops. The townspeople were given a small quantity of rifles (22) and basically guarded the town against marauding bands. The self-defence group did not engage in military confrontations with the regular Soviet partisans and in March 1943, under the leadership of the local Home Army commander, Eugeniusz Klimowicz, reached a non-aggression agreement with Major Rafail Vasilevich, the local leader of the Soviet partisans. In April, when the self-defence group was summoned to the village of Niescierowicze to fend off a violent assault by marauders, two of its members were killed. The local Soviet command did not question the validity of such interventions. A surprise attack on Naliboki was launched on May 8, 1943 by the Stalin Brigade, with the participation of the Bielski detachment (which reported to it at that time), under the command of Major Vasilevich. A large part of the town was burned to the ground and 129 people were killed. See Krajewski, Na Ziemi Nowogrdzkiej, 387-88. See also Komisja Historyczna Polskiego Sztabu Glwnego w Londynie, Polskie Sily Zbrojne w Drugiej wojnie swiatowej 3: Armia Krajowa, 529; Antoni Boguslawski's afterword in Tadeusz Lopalewski, Miedzy Niemnem a Dzwina: Ziemia Wilenska i Nowogrdzka (London: Wydawnictwo Polskie and Tern (Rybitwa) Book, 1955), 245; Adolf Pilch, Partyzanci trzech puszcz (Warszawa: Editions Spotkania, 1992), 135; Waclaw Nowicki, "W imie prawdy o zolnierzach AK: List otwarty do prof. A. Hackiewicza," Slowo- Dziennik katolicki, no. 141, August 11, 1993; Zygmunt Boradyn, "Rozbrojenie," Karta, no

16 (1995): 127; Tadeusz Piotrowski, Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide in the Second Republic, 1918-1947 (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 1998), 102; Tadeusz Gasztold, "Sowietyzacja i rusyfikacja Wilenszczyzny i Nowogrdczyzny w dzialalnosci partyzantki sowieckiej w latach 1941-1944," in Adam Sudol, ed., Sowietyzacja Kresw Wschodnich II Rzeczypospolitej po 17 wrzesnia 1939 (Bydgoszcz: Wyzsza Szkola Pedagogiczna w Bydgoszczy, 1998), 277-78, 281-82; Zygmunt Boradyn, Niemen rzeka niezgody: Polsko-sowiecka wojna partyzancka na Nowogrdczyznie 1943-1944 (Warsaw: Rytm, 1999), 100-101; Marek J. Chodakiewicz, Piotr Gontarczyk and Leszek Zebrowski, eds., Tajne oblicze GLAL i PPR: Dokumenty (Warsaw: Burchard Edition, 1999), vol. 3, 251, 253. [2] Waclaw Nowicki, Zywe echa (Warsaw: Antyk, 1993), 98, 100. [3] This order is reproduced, in Polish translation, in Gasztold, "Sowietyzacja i rusyfikacja Wilenszczyzny i Nowogrdczyzny w dzialalnosci partyzantki sowieckiej w latach 1941-1944," in Sudol, ed., Sowietyzacja Kresw Wschodnich II Rzeczypospolitej po 17 wrzesnia 1939, 281-82. Eugeniusz Klimowicz, the Home Army commander, was charged with various crimes in Stalinist Poland, among them for activities directed against Soviet partisans! The death sentence imposed on him by a military tribunal in Warsaw was commuted to life imprisonment. Klimowicz described the events leading up to the pacification of Naliboki in a petition he sent to the head of the Supreme Military Tribunal, dated May 30, 1956 (Sygn. Akt Sr 749/51; pismo: Do Ob. Prezesa Najwyzszego Sadu Wojskowego w Warszawie). [4] Kazimierz Krajewski, "Nowogrdzki Okreg Armii Krajowej," in Jaroslaw Wolkonowski, ed., Sympozjum historyczne "Rok 1944 na Wilenszczyznie": Wilno 30 czerwca-1 lipca 1994r., (Warsaw: Biblioteka "Kuriera Wilenskiego," 1996), 54; Krajewski, Na Ziemi Nowogrdzkiej, 388; Gasztold, "Sowietyzacja i rusyfikacja Wilenszczyzny i Nowogrdczyzny w dzialalnosci partyzantki sowieckiej w latach 1941-1944," in Sudol, ed., Sowietyzacja Kresw Wschodnich II Rzeczypospolitej po 17 wrzesnia 1939, 277. According to Krajewski, 14 villagers were killed in Prowzaly in retaliation for an attempt to organize a local self-defence group. Seven families were wiped out in Szczepki. [5] The only Jewish account the author has come across that appears to refer to the massacre in Naliboki is one related by one of the Jewish partisans involved in the assault to Sulia Wolozhinski Rubin, his mistress (at the time), and recorded by her almost twenty years later. It is replete with lapses, obvious concoctions and a remarkable lack of detail (place name, date, chronology, etc.), which is surprising given that her husband is said to hail from Naliboki and would have taken part in the massacre of his former neighbours.

The reason given for the assault is also highly dubious, since there was no compelling reason for anyone to have to pass through the isolated townlet of Naliboki (which was not in proximity to Dworzec) other than to forage. Moreover, the decision to launch the assault was entirely in the hands of the local Soviet partisan command. Sulia Rubin's hearsay account is as follows: "There was a village not far from the [Dworzec] ghetto which escaping Jews would have to pass on the way to the forest, or partisans would pass on the way from the woods. These villagers would signal with bells and beat copper pots to alert other villages around. Peasants would run out with axes, sickles-anything that could kill-and would slaughter everybody and then divide among themselves whatever the unfortunate had had. Boris' [Rubizhewski] group decided to stop this once and for all. They sent a few people into the village and lay in ambush on all the roads. Soon enough signaling began and the peasants ran out with their weapons to kill the 'lousy Jews'. Well, the barrage started and they were mown down on all sides. Caskets were made for three days and more than 130 bodies buried. Never again were Jews or partisans killed on those roads." See Sulia Wolozhinski Rubin, Against the Tide: The Story of an Unknown Partisan (Jerusalem: Posner & Sons, 1980), 126-27. As for the hostility of the local population, in another part of her memoir, Rubin recalls that when she fell sick, she was sheltered by villagers in nearby "Kletishtche" [Kleciszcze] for three weeks until she recovered her strength. "Kletishtche was a planlessly scattered, muddy village laid between two deep forests. The houses were wooden and primitive, but as clean as possible and the local peasants were good people." Ibid., 134-35. However, in an interview conducted in 1993 for the documentary film "The Bielsky Brothers: The Unknown Partisans" (Soma Productions-written and produced by David Herman; reissued in 1996 by Films for the Humanities & Sciences), Sulia Rubin, who is interviewed together with her husband Boris Rubin at her side, provides a different version, now claiming that the assault on Naliboki was carried out by her husband when he learned that his father had been nailed to a tree by some villagers: "His father Shlomko was crucified on a tree Boris found out. That village doesn't exist anymore. 130 people they buried that day." It is difficult to understand how a pivotal event like that, had it occurred, could have been omitted from her detailed memoir. Moreover, the claim that the decision to attack Naliboki was Boris Rubin's is quite simply a concoction. This documentary, however, does inadvertently underscore the true source of the conflict with the local population. As one of the interviewed partisans put it, "The biggest problem was feeding so many people. Groups of 10 to 12 partisans used to go out for a march of 80 to 90 kilometres, rob the villages, and bring food to the partisans [i.e. partisan base and family camp]."

[6] Zygmunt Boradyn, "Stosunki Armii Krajowej z partyzantka sowiecka na Nowogrdczyznie," in Zygmunt Boradyn, Andrzej Chmielarz, and Henryk Piskunowicz, eds., Armia Krajowa na Nowogrdczyznie i Wilenszczyznie (19411945) (Warsaw: Instytut Studiw Politycznych PAN, 1997), 112. Other "pacifications" carried out by the Germans on a massive scale in this part of Poland are described in Maria Wardzynska, "Radziecki ruch partyzancki i jego zwalczanie w Generalnym Komisariacie Bialorusi," Pamiec i sprawiedliwosc: Biuletyn Glwnej Komisji Badania Zbrodni przeciwko Narodowi PolskiemuInstytutu Pamieci Narodowej 39 (1996): 46-50. The author points out that the armed Soviet partisans would flee the area leaving the defenceless local population to fend for itself. [7] Mieczyslaw Suwala, "'Boze, cos Polske' w Puszczy Nalibockiej," in Udzial kapelanw wojskowych w Drugiej wojnie swiatowej (Warsaw: Akademia Teologii Katolickiej, 1984), 386. [8] Albert Nirenstein, A Tower from the Enemy: Contributions to a History of Jewish Resistance in Poland (New York: The Orion Press, 1959), 371-72. Excerpt from the Mark Paul--s book "The Story of Two Shtetls", Canadian Polish Congress, 0000-00-00 powrot Foreseen expiation The President of IPN has already passed his judgment.
translated by: Emilia Wisniewska

Jewish leaders in the USA expect solemn observation of 60-th anniversary of the pogrom in Jedwabne. Lets hope for a presence of the highest government officials of Poland at the ceremony - said the President of the Institute of National Remembrance, Professor Leon Kieres, while on the visit to the USA. The President of IPN will meet with activists of the Americal Jewish Commitee on Monday evening in New York. During the meeting, the President has declared his intention to promptly explain the matter of pogrom and end the investigation 'already in April or May'. Professor Kieres stressed, as well, that the plans have been made to replace the existing plaque on the monument in Jedwabne, which indicated Germans as perpetrators of the murder with a new table informing that Poles committed the murder.

KWM, PAP KWM, PAP,, 0000-00-00 powrot Letter to the newspaper "The Age" in Melbourne, Australia Christopher Janiewicz
"The Age", Melbourne, Australia Online News Editor: Gary Hughes Email:

Dear Mr. Hughes: I would like to voice my strong objections regarding the article "Poles' day of shame exposed" by Paul Heinrichs, published in your newspaper on Sunday 18 March 2001. The above mentioned article is prejudicial and slanderous towards Poland and the Polish people in general, and the population of the town of Jedwabne in particular. Mr. Heinrichs is using the interview with the widow of Mr. Bienstein (Neumark) and the book "Neighbours" written by Prof. John T. Gross. With due respect for Mrs. Bienstein, I will refrain from detailed analysis of her late husband's testimony. I will only say that Mr. Bienstein's testimony is quoted only once in the book by Prof. Gross and even then, not in regard to the day in question, but in regard to the Soviet occupation of Jedwabne. (Page 33, Polish original) By saying, "...Although some details of the massacre provided by Janek Bienstein in 1980 figure in Sasiedzi..." Mr. Heinrichs would like to create an impression that the book contains or is based on large portions of Mr. Bienstein testimony, when it is clearly not. Perusing the first few pages of Jan Tomasz Gross' book "Neighbours" one's hopes rise that here we will learn the truth about the crime of Jedwabne. The author is being introduced as a noted historian (by education he is a sociologist), professor of political sciences of the University of New York and author of essays on the subject of Polish-German-Jewish relationships in the years 1939-1948. Gross names various sources that he relied on. Unfortunately, as one reads his book, one is assailed by doubts whether the version presented in it is trustworthy. Although Gross mentions various sources and refers to numerous historians, yet in his argumentation he is relying on the statements of one man only - Szmul Wasersztejn, a Jew living in the town, but according to some witnesses, not present there during the massacre. (Teodor Eugeniusz Lusinski to the Institute of Jewish History, 20.03.95, according to Dr. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz). This crown witness of Gross, in Poland went under the name of Calka and not Wasersztejn, who after the war was an agent of U.B. (Communist State Security Forces). This fact was established by Prof. Tomasz

Strzembosz, who has been researching this period of Polish history for many years, based on depositions of two reliable witnesses who were interrogated by Wasersztejn (Calka) at the UB after the war. Strzembosz draws attention to the credibility of sources and witnesses on which Gross relies. When on the subject of the witness testimonies and methodology that a historian should use in analysing his sources and then disseminating his findings, I would like to mention the statement that Prof. Gross himself made in the book "Neighbours": "As far as the craft of the historian who deals with the era of the gas ovens is concerned, I think we must radically alter our attitude toward the sources. Our initial attitude toward each testimony of near victims of the Holocaust should change from the inquisitive to the affirmative." This is a startling statement because it would be practically tantamount to abandoning the scholarly standard. In each instance, if possible, historians must attempt to verify the sources, testimonies, recollections and memoirs against other documents. A history scholar needs to apply a rigorous litmus test to each testimony by checking it against other witness account and contemporary documents: Jewish, German, Polish, and Soviet. Finally, he has to divide recollections into firstand second-hand observations and classify their reliability accordingly. Unfortunately, Prof. Gross doesn't adhere to such standards in his book. That's why "Neighbours" should be classified as a literary work and not as historical research, ergo not factual in every aspect. Further Mr. Heinrichs, following a lead of prof. Gross, mentions trials of 22 Poles sentenced for the crimes allegedly committed in Jedwabne in 1949. Indeed, prof. Gross is extensively using their testimonies in his book, therefore one can say that the whole book is based on their testimonies and the testimonies of Mr. Szmul Wasersztejn and Mr. Finkelstejn. That would bring us to the next problem with prof. Gross's methodology and integrity. In the matter of the Polish witnesses, Gross is extensively using the testimonies of people who were interrogated by the U.B. (Communist State Security) in 1949. That organisation was well known for extracting statements from the suspects by using such methods as torture, sleep depravation, beatings and the threat of deportation to Siberia, not only for the suspects, but also for their families. Most of the accused recalled their "confessions" in front of the court. This was not only an act of self-defence. It was also a sign of bravery. After all, the accused were immediately returned to the "tender, loving care" of secret police officers, who had tortured the confessions out of them in the first place. The confessions were in accordance with a preordained scenario, unofficially promoted by the Communist leadership who promoted the idea that Polish society was "fascist" and "reactionary", what was supposed to create an explanation for the repressive regime and an excuse for the West inaction. Prof. Gross himself writes extensively on this subject on pages 21, 23, 24, 25, 26. (Polish original). Yet, it would appear that such facts have no meaning to him, because throughout his book he extensively uses the testimonies of Karol Bardon, originally sentenced to the death penalty, which was commuted to a 15 years prison sentence. Any man subjected to such circumstances would tell anything that the interrogating officer wants him to say, simply to survive. What sort of

pressure did the interrogating officers exert on him? Testimonies and confessions obtained by such methods wouldn't be admissible in any court of law in any democratic country. In regard to the Jewish witnesses' statements, they are very contradictory in some important parts. For example, Mr. Heinrichs mentions in his article "Some of the Jews committed suicide rather than face their attackers." Is he aware that there are two eyewitness testimonies regarding such an incident, testimonies that totally contradict each other? To such an extent, that one testimony blames Poles for the active participation in the suicide, with another testimony saying that Poles tried to prevent the intended suicide and attempted to rescue the two women in question. Then there is a problem with prof. Gross's statement that there was no Germans present in Jedwabne, and that after he had done an extensive research of the German archives, he didn't find any documents mentioning the town of Jedwabne. On such basis prof. Gross arrived to the conclusion that citizens of that town, on their own volition murdered their Jewish neighbours. But according to the latest research, such documents exist in the German Federal Achieves in Ludvisburg, Bavaria, and the town of Jedwabne is mentioned in these documents a few times. So, now the question would arise, did prof. Gross really researched those archives, or didn't he? There are many such questions one can ask after analytically, not emotionally reading prof. Gross's book and comparing his statements with various sources and researches done by Polish recognised historians. Many questions could be raised about the methodology used by prof. Gross. There is a very important problem with the number of victims, According to historical sources such as the Soviet census conducted in 1940, only 1400 Jews were in the Jedwabne region, which also included the outlying town of Radzilow and the village of Wizna. In Radzilow, only three days earlier, an alleged 1500 Jews were also burned in a barn. If we also take into account the number of Jews that fled approaching German armies, this would put into serious question the number of victims in Jedwabne. Never mind the size of the barn that couldn't accommodate 1600 people. Also, according to the most recent news, archaeologists have localised the mass grave of the Jewish population in Jedwabne. In the opinion of prof. Andrzej Kola from the UMK Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, the grave is approximately 5 meters long and 2 meters wide and could contain approximately 300 bodies. If one wanted to analyse the whole book, such work would take many more pages, so here I have mentioned only a very few examples. The lack of scientific honesty on the part of prof. Gross, has been commented on by numerous historians, among others by Dr. Sawomir Radon, chairman of the College of IPN (Polish National Remembrance Institute) conducting the present investigation headed by the public prosecutor Radoslaw Ignatiew. They accuse prof. Gross of drawing premature conclusions without a solid research of Polish and German archives and following up all possible leads.

Then Mr. Heinrichs mentions the statements made by the Polish President Kwasniewski and Prime Minister Buzek. Here I would like to draw Mr. Heinrichs's attention to the fact that neither of them is a historian. They didn't conduct any investigation into the Jedwabne matter, the current investigation by the appropriate investigative body hasn't been concluded as yet, and that the various statements made by politicians usually don't have much factual value in such circumstances. Our own politicians from time to time are prone to make statements that are not corroborated by facts or are not necessarily truthful. Why in Mr. Heinrichs opinion, should Polish politicians be any different or better informed? So why, as is Mr. Heinrichs's opinion, should statements made by politicians convince the majority of Polish academics, nota benne professional historians with the highest scholarly honours? Or anyone else for that matter? Does he remember some very "truthful" statements made publicly and under oath by the American ex-President Bill Clinton? Now, in regard to the interview conducted with prof. Gross on the subject of the works by prof. Strzembosz and the collaboration with the Russians by many members of the Jewish population. Ironically, prof. Strzembosz in his proof of Jewish collaboration with Russians, quotes earlier works of prof. Gross himself, now in the archives of the Hoover Institute, containing reports of this collaboration. Is prof. Gross blessed with such a short memory that he forgot his own book published in 1983 under the title "In the 1940 they exiled us to Siberia"? But I don't wish to enter a discussion with Mr. Heinrichs or anybody else regarding who did what sixty years ago. Evil people were on both sides. The article that prof. Gross speaks about to Mr. Heinrichs, and written by prof. Strzembosz, is far from being "the most significant of the articles". Far more significant would be, for example, the article written by prof. Strzembosz and published on the 15.03.2001 "Germans forced Poles to participate in Jedwabne murder". Also, at this moment of time he is conducting further historical research into the case of Jedwabne, and also new facts, contradicting the very thesis of prof. Gross's book, are coming to the fore nearly every day. So, maybe, as Mr. Heinrichs says, the "soft pedal" approach and general attitude of sections of Melbourne's Jewish community and Mr. Nadworny is the right approach to have and the antagonising attitude of Mr. Heinrichs is the wrong one? After the meeting held on 18.02.2001, that marked the end of the visit to Bialystok by prof. Gross, when asked by the reporter if would he be writing more about Jedwabne, he rebuffed: " This is not my interest any longer, now it is a matter for historians". Shouldn't he take such an approach before writing his book? First historical research and investigation, and then the writing of the book afterwards, based on facts uncovered by such investigation, not the other way around. Now it is too late to leave the matter of Jedwabne to the historians. Prof. Gross has already done a lot, or maybe even irreparable damage, by publishing his book without doing proper historical research, and by stating a lot of sweeping conclusions and inflammatory statements in it. To conclude, I would like to advise Mr. Heinrichs to do some research of the topic next time,

before he writes another offending article. I would advise him to research historical sources and works of the professional historians, not to draw conclusions based on badly researched literary works of sociology professors. Or maybe he should make a career in writing science fiction novels? Christopher Janiewicz PS. The article in "The Age": Krzysztof Janiewicz, , 0000-00-00 powrot

To Ms. Anne Roiphe from "The New York Observer" by Jaroslaw Waszczuk, Tuesday, July 24, 2001

To Ms. Anne Roiphe: Re: "Poland Offers Apology 60 Years late" Dear Ms. Roiphe: The title for the article "Poland Offers Apology 60 Years late" is very misleading for readers of The New York Observer. Poland did not exist on July 10, 1941 and was no Polish law and rules there. Do you really believe what Gross wrote true story? Mr. Gross is Polish -Jew whose parents had to leave Poland after 1968 together with others ( According to the Jewish publicist Ambraham Brumberg . Polish Communist Regime forced to leave 30.000.00 Jews after 1968) Do you know who were these Jews and why communists forced them to leave? In your article you have pointed , history, church , Kielce, Michnik, etc. However , somehow you forgot about these 30.000.00. Most of them landed on American soil and I am wondering how it is happen, that USA, the country where communism is prohibited gave shelter for high rank communist's aparatchicks for the only reason, because they were Jews. Gross story looks like a vendetta for 1968. Why his parents and other Jews who had to leave Poland after 1968 were silent about Jedwabne until now. Please, don't take me wrong . I believe that Jews were murdered in Jedwabne. However, I still don't know how it is happen and who is responsible for this terrible and horrifying massacre. It wasn't proven in any court. I am man of principles and court should decide who committed this murder and how it is happen. Mr. Gross's book is a lynch and nothing to do with law. I would like to hear how Mr. Gross and witnesses would be testified in open court. Does not matter if it would be Israeli court or Republic of Poland court. I guess that you remember the Ivan the Terrible case, the auto worker from Detroit. I guess that you also remember how Israeli's court ruled in Demjaniuk's case. I agree with you that Kwasniewski's apology was stupid and irresponsible as well offensive to most of Poles in and out of Poland.

Best regards Jaroslaw Waszczuk Jaroslaw Waszczuk, , 0000-00-00 powrot

Protests and actions taken by the Polish Government in exile against the extermination of the Jewish population by the German Government 193943.
INTRODUCTORY NOTE The purpose of this publication is to make public the contents of the Note of December 10th, 1942, addressed by the Polish Government to the Governments of the United Nations concerning the mass extermination of Jews in the Polish territories occupied by Germany, and other documents treating on the same subject. In the course of the last three years the Polish Government has lodged a number of protests with the Governments of the civilized countries of the world condemning the repeated violations by Germany of International Law and of the fundamental principles of morality since September 1st, 1939, i.e. since Germany's aggression against Poland. In the Note of May 3rd, 1941, presented to the Governments of the Allied and Neutral Powers the Polish Government gave a comprehensive survey of the acts of violence perpetrated against the population of Poland, of offences against religion and cultural heritage and destruction of property in Poland. Since then, however, German authorities in Poland have committed many increasingly brutal acts of violence and terror. In recent months these persecutions have been directed with particular violence against the Jewish population, who have been subjected to new methods calculated to bring about the complete extermination of the Jews, in conformity with the public statements made by the leaders of Germany. In the hope that the civilized world will draw the appropriate conclusions, the Polish Government desire to bring to the notice of the public, by means of the present White Paper, these renewed German efforts at mass extermination, with the employment of fresh horrifying methods. * Republic of Poland, Ministry of Foreign Affairs: "The German Occupation of Poland," Extract of Note addressed to the Governments of the Allied and Neutral Powers on May 3, 1941, London and New York. REPUBLIC OF POLAND Ministry of Foreign Affairs LONDON, December 10th, 1942 Your Excellency, On several occasions the Polish Government have drawn the attention of the civilized world, both

in diplomatic documents and official publications, to the conduct of the German Government and of the German authorities of occupation, both military and civilian, and to the methods employed by them "in order to reduce the population to virtual slavery and ultimately to exterminate the Polish nation". These methods, first introduced in Poland, were subsequently, applied in a varying degree, in other countries occupied by the armed forces of the German Reich. 2. At the Conference held at St. James's Palace on January 13th, 1942, the Governments of the occupied countries placed among their principal war aims the punishment, through the channel of organized justice, of those guilty of, or responsible for, those crimes, whether they have ordered them, perpetrated them, or participated in them". Despite this solemn warning and the declarations of President Roosevelt, of the Prime Minister, Mr. Winston Churchill, and of the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs, M. Molotov, the German Government has not ceased to apply its methods of violence and terror. The Polish Government have received numerous reports from Poland testifying to the constant intensification of German persecution of the subjected populations. 3. Most recent reports present a horrifying picture of the position to which the Jews in Poland have been reduced. The new methods of mass slaughter applied during the last few months confirm the fact that the German authorities aim with systematic deliberation at the total extermination of the Jewish population of Poland and of the many thousands of Jews whom the German authorities have deported to Poland from Western and Central European countries and from the German Reich itself. The Polish Government consider it their duty to bring to the knowledge of the Governments of all civilized countries the following fully authenticated information received from Poland during recent weeks, which indicates all too plainly the new methods of extermination adopted by the German authorities. 4. The initial steps leading to the present policy of extermination of the Jews were taken already in October 1940, when the German authorities established the Warsaw ghetto. At that time all the Jewish inhabitants of the Capital were ordered to move into the Jewish Quarter assigned to them not later than November 1st, 1940, while all the non-Jews domiciled within the new boundaries of what was to become the ghetto were ordered to move out of that quarter. The Jews were allowed to take only personal effects with them, while all their remaining property was confiscated. All Jewish shops and businesses outside the new ghetto boundaries were closed down and sealed. The original date for these transfers was subsequently postponed to November 15th, 1940. After that date the ghetto was completely closed and its entire area was surrounded by a brick wall, the right of entry and exit being restricted to the holders of special passes, issued by the German authorities. All those who left the ghetto without such a pass became liable to sentence of death, and it is known that German courts passed such sentences in a large number of cases. 5. After the isolation of the ghetto, official intercourse with the outside world was maintained through a special German office known as "Transferstelle". Owing to totally inadequate supplies of food for the inhabitants of the ghetto, smuggling on a large scale was carried on; the Germans themselves participated in this illicit trading, drawing considerable incomes from profits and bribes. The food rations for the inhabitants of the ghetto amounted to about a pound of bread per person weekly, with practically nothing else. As a result, prices in the ghetto were on an average ten times higher than outside and mortality due to exhaustion, starvation and disease, particularly during the last two winters, increased on an unprecedented scale. During the winter 1941-1942

the death rate, calculated on an annual base, has risen to 13 per cent, and during the first quarter of 1942 increased still further. Scores of corpses were found in the streets of the ghetto every day. 5. At the time when the ghetto was established the whole population was officially stated to amount to 488,000, and in spite of the appalling death rate it was being maintained at this figure by the importation of Jews from Germany and from the occupied countries, as well as from other parts of Poland. 6. The outbreak of war between Germany and Soviet Russia and the occupation of the eastern areas of Poland by German troops considerably increased the numbers of Jews in Germany's power. At the same time the mass murders of Jews reached such dimensions that, at first, people refused to give credence to the reports reaching Warsaw from the Eastern provinces. The reports, however, were confirmed again and again by reliable witnesses. During the winter 1941-1942 several tens of thousands of Jews were murdered. In the city of Wilno over 50,000 Jews were reported to have been massacred and only 12,000 of them remain in the local ghetto. In the city of Lwow 40,000 were reported murdered; in Rowne 14,000; in Kowel 10,000, and unknown numbers in Stanislawow1 Tarnopol, Stryj, Drohobycz and many other smaller towns. At first the executions were carried out by shooting; subsequently, however, it is reported that the Germans applied new methods, such as poison gas, by means of which the Jewish population was exterminated in Chelm, or electrocution, for which a camp was organized in Belzec, where in the course of March and April, 1942, the Jews from the provinces of Lublin, Lwow and Kielce, amounting to tens of thousands, were exterminated. Of Lublin's 80,000 Jewish inhabitants only 2,500 still survive in the city. 8. It has been reliably reported that on the occasion of his visit to the General Gouvernement of Poland in March, 1942, Himmler issued an order for the extermination of 50 percent of the Jews in Poland by the end of that year Herr Himmler's departure the Germans spread the rumour that the Warsaw ghetto would be liquidated as from April, 1942. This date was subsequently altered to June. Himmler's second visit to Warsaw in the middle of July 1942, became the signal for the commencement of the process of liquidation, the horror of which surpasses anything known in the annals of history. 9. The liquidation of the ghetto was preceded, on July 17th, 1942, by the registration of all foreign Jews confined there who were then removed to the Pawiak prison. As from July 20th, 1942, the guarding of the ghetto was entrusted to special security battalions, formed from the scum of several Eastern European countries, while large forces of German police armed with machine guns and commanded by SS officers were posted at all the gates leading into the ghetto. Mobile German police detachments patrolled all the boundaries of the ghetto day and night. 10. On July 1st, at 11 a.m., German police cars drove up to the building of the Jewish Council of the ghetto, in Grzybowska Street. The SS officers ordered the chairman of the Jewish Council, Mr. Czerniakow, to summon the members of the Council, who were all arrested on arrival and removed in police cars to the Pawiak prison. After a few hours' detention the majority of them were allowed to return to the ghetto. About the same time flying squads of German police entered the ghetto, breaking into the houses in search of Jewish intellectuals. The better-dressed Jews found were killed on the spot, without the police troubling even to identify them. Among those who were thus killed was a non-Jew, Professor Dr. Raszeja, who was visiting the ghetto in the course of his medical duties and was in possession of an official pass. Hundreds of educated Jews were killed in this way. 11. On the morning of the following day, July 22nd, 1942, the German police again visited the office of the Jewish Council and summoned all the members, who had been released from the Pawiak prison the previous day. On their assembly they were informed that an order had been

issued for the removal of the entire Jewish population of the Warsaw ghetto and printed instructions to that effect were issued in the form of posters, the contents of which are reproduced in Annex 1 to this Note. Additional instructions were issued verbally. The number of people to be removed was first fixed at 6,000 daily. The persons concerned were to assemble in the hospital wards and grounds in Stawki Street the patients of which were evacuated forthwith. The hospital was close to the railway siding. Persons subject to deportation were to be delivered by the Jewish police not later than 4 p.m. each day. Members of the Council and other hostages were to answer for the strict fulfilment of the order. In conformity with German orders, all inmates of Jewish prisons, old-age pensioners and inmates of other charitable institutions were to be included in the first contingent. 12. On July 23rd, 1942, at 7 p.m., two German police officers again visited the offices of the Jewish Council and saw the chairman, Mr. Czerniakow. After they left him, he committed suicide. It is reported that Mr. Czerniakow did so because the Germans increased the contingent of the first day to 10,000 persons, to be followed by 7,000 persons on each subsequent day. Mr. Czerniakow was succeeded in his office by Mr. Lichtenbaum, and on the following day 10,000 persons were actually assembled for deportation, followed by 7,000 persons on each subsequent day. The people affected were either rounded up haphazardly in the streets or were taken from their homes. 13. According to the German order of July 22nd, 1942, all Jews employed in German-owned undertakings, together with their families, were to be exempt from deportation. This produced acute competition among the inhabitants of the ghetto to secure employment in such undertakings, or, failing employment, bogus certificates to that effect. Large sums of money, running into thousands of Slates, were being paid for such certificates to the German owners. They did not, however, save the purchasers from deportation, which was being carried out without discrimination or identification. 14. The actual process of deportation was carried out with appalling brutality. At the appointed hour on each day the German police cordoned off a block of houses selected for clearance, entered the back yard and fired their guns at random, as a signal for all to leave their homes and assemble in the yard. Anyone attempting to escape or to hide was killed on the spot. No attempt was made by the Germans to keep families together. Wives were torn from their husbands and children from their parents. Those who appeared frail or infirm were carried straight to the Jewish cemetery to be killed and buried there. On the average 50-100 people were disposed of in this way daily. After the contingent was assembled, the people were packed forcibly into cattle trucks to the number of 120 in each truck, which had room for forty. The trucks were then locked and sealed. The Jews were suffocating for lack of air. The floors of the trucks were covered with quicklime and chlorine. As far as is known, the trains were dispatched to three localities -Tremblinka, Belzec and Sobibor, to what the reports describe as "Extermination camps." The very method of transport was deliberately calculated to cause the largest possible number of casualties among the condemned Jews. It is reported that on arrival in camp the survivors were stripped naked and killed by various means, including poison gas and electrocution. The dead were interred in mass graves dug by machinery. 15. According to all available information, of the 250,000 Jews deported from the Warsaw ghetto up to September 1st, 1942, only two small transports, numbering about 4,000 people, are known to have been sent eastwards in the direction of Brest-Litovsk and Malachowicze, allegedly to be employed on work behind the front line. It has not been possible to ascertain whether any of the other Jews deported from the Warsaw ghetto still survive, and it must be feared that they have

been all put to death. 16. The Jews deported from the Warsaw ghetto so far included in the first instance all the aged and infirm; a number of the physically strong have escaped so far, because of their utility as labor power. All the children from Jewish schools, orphanages and children's homes were deported, including those from the orphanage in charge of the celebrated educationist, Dr. Janusz Korczak, who refused to abandon his charges, although he was given the alternative of remaining behind. 18. The deportations from the Warsaw ghetto were interrupted during five days, between August 2Oth-25th. The German machinery for the mass slaughter of the Jews was employed during this interval on the liquidation of other ghettoes in Central Poland, including the towns of Falenica, Rembertow, Nowy Dwor, Kaluszyn and Minsk Mazowiecki. 19. It is not possible to estimate the exact numbers of Jews who have been exterminated in Poland since the occupation of the country by the armed forces of the German Reich. But all the reports agree that the total number of killed runs into many hundreds of thousands of innocent victims - men, women and children - and that of the 3,130,000 Jews in Poland before the outbreak of war, over a third have perished during the last three years.* [This statement hides the fact that 1,222,000 Polish Jews were absorbed into the Soviet Union as a result of the October 22, 1939 plebiscite held on the eastern Polish territories.] 20. The Polish population, which itself is suffering the most grievous afflictions, and of which many millions have been either deported to Germany as slave labor or evicted from their homes and lands, deprived of so many of their leaders, who have been cruelly murdered by the Germans, have repeatedly expressed, through the underground organizations, their horror of and compassion with the terrible fate which has befallen their Jewish fellow-countrymen. The Polish Government are in possession of information concerning the assistance which the Polish population is rendering to the Jews. For obvious reasons no details of these activities can be published at present. 21. The Polish Government as the representatives of the legitimate authority on territories in which the Germans are carrying out the systematic extermination of Polish citizens and of citizens of Jewish origin of many other European countries consider it their duty to address themselves to the Governments of the United Nations, in the confident belief that they will share their opinion as to the necessity not only of condemning the crimes committed by the Germans and punishing the criminals, but also of finding means offering the hope that Germany might be effectively restrained from continuing to apply her methods of mass extermination. I avail myself of this opportunity to renew to Your Excellency the assurances of my high consideration. L. S. EDWARD RACZYNSKI. Extract of Statement made by the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. St. Mikolajczyk, on behalf of the Polish Government, November 27, 1942, at a special meeting of the Polish National Council; and text of Resolution adopted by the National Council: The Polish Government, in the fullest understanding of their responsibilities, not neglecting their duty to inform the world of the mass murders and bestialities of the Germans in Poland, have done everything in their power to counteract this terror. We are fully aware of the fact that the fundamental condition of an effective counter-action against the German programme which, in relation to Poland is best expressed by one slogan - TO

DESTROY THE POLISH NATION WIPING OUT THE TRACES OF ITS EXISTENCE - is to shorten the time of suffering and resistance for the Poles in Poland and to defeat the enemy quickly. THAT is why the previous appeals from Poland to open up a second front and now the appeals to hasten up, at any price, the pace of the war, are considered by us to be the fundamental principles of the policy of the Polish Government. The persecutions of the Jewish minority now in progress in Poland, constitute, however, a separate page of Polish martyrology. Himmler's order that 1942 must be the year of liquidation of at least 50 per cent of Polish Jewry is being carried out with utter ruthlessness and a barbarity never before seen in world history. Every one of us knows the details, so I will not go into them again.... From Poland, there comes protest against the murders and persecutions. The protest is accompanied by cries of pity, sympathy and utter helplessness of those who have to look on what is happening there.... In the name of the Polish Government, I support this protest of Poles in Poland and that of the Polish National Council. The Polish Government defends the interests of all Polish citizens of whatever religion or nationality they may be, and does it both in the interests of the state and in the name of humanity and Christianity.... I can only hope and pray that the protest of the Polish Government and that of the Polish National Council which represents all the groups 6f Polish society, will shake the conscience of the world, will find its way to quarters where decisions speeding up military action are taken, that it will bring about an intensified help for those who are still alive, that it will strengthen on the Allied side the determination to punish the crimes and serve as a warning to the assassins whose crimes, duly registered, will not escape a just punishment and who soon will feel the hand of justice fall heavily on their backs. After the Declaration of Mr. Mikolajczyk, the Polish National Council unanimously adopted the following resolution: The Government of the Polish Republic has brought the last news about the massacres of the Jewish population in Poland, carried out systematically by the German occupying authorities, to the attention of the Allied Governments and of public opinion in Allied countries. The number of Jews, who have been murdered by the Germans in Poland so far, since September 1939, exceeds 1,000,000. From the beginning of the conquest of the territories of the Republic, the bestial occupying power has subjected the Polish nation to an appalling policy of extermination, to such an extent that by now the Polish population has been reduced by several million. Now the occupying power has reached the summit of its murder-lust and sadism by organizing mass-murders of hundreds of thousands of Jews in Poland, not only the Polish Jews but also the Jews brought from other countries to Poland with the purpose of exterminating them. The German murderers have sent to their death hundreds of thousands of men, women, children and old people. Their purpose is to enfeeble the Polish nation and completely to exterminate the Jews in Poland before the end of this year. In the execution of this plan Adolf Hitler and his henchmen are using the most appalling tortures.

The Polish Government, the Polish National Council, and the Polish Nation at home, have often protested against the German crimes, and announced that a just punishment would be meted out to these offenders against mankind. Lately the Polish Government has submitted to the Polish National Council the draft of a law providing for the punishment of the German criminals. In the face of the latest German crimes, unparalleled in the history of mankind, which have been carried out against the Polish nation, and particularly against the Jewish population of Poland, the Polish National Council again raises a strong protest and pronounces an indictment before the whole civilized world. The Polish National Council solemnly declares: By its heroic attitude at home the Polish nation is gathering its strength for the day of just retribution, amidst unspeakable sufferings. The Polish National Council appeals to all the Allied nations and to all the nations now suffering together with the Polish nation under the German yoke, that they should at once start a common action against this trampling and profanation of all principles of morality and humanity by the Germans, and against the extermination of the Polish nation and other nations, an extermination the most appalling expression of which is provided by the mass-murders of the Jews in Poland and in the rest of Europe which Hitler has subjected. To all those who are suffering and undergoing torture in Poland, both to Poles and to Jews, to all those who are taking part in the struggle for liberation and for the preparation of a just retribution on the German criminals, the Polish National Council sends words of hope and of unshakeable faith in the recovery of freedom for all. THE DAY OF VICTORY AND PUNISHMENT IS APPROACHING Text of a Broadcast by Count E. Raczynski, Polish Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs (December 17th, 1942). I am speaking to you tonight on a subject, the immensity of which I would like you to realize to the full. I would like to make you understand how real is the tragedy, which is taking place not so very far from the shores of this island, on the Continent of Europe on the soil of Poland. For more than three years the Germans have consistently done everything they could to hide from the eyes of the world the martyrdom of the Polish nation, the like of which has never been known in the history of humanity. But "when we would keep silence the very stones will cry out." After receiving from Poland reports of a further intensification of the German terror, the Polish Government considered it their duty to send a note to all interested Governments drawing their attention to the horror of the situation and reminding them that what Germany is aiming at is: to reduce the population to virtual slavery and in the end to exterminate the Polish nation. More particularly the Polish Government communicated to the Governments of the United Nations authentic information on the mass slaughter not only of those Jews whom the Germans overwhelmed in Poland, but also of the hundreds of thousands of those whom they have transplanted from other countries and imprisoned in the Ghettoes, which they have established in

our country. The note states that according to the reports in possession of the Polish Government, of a total of three million, one hundred and thirty thousand Polish Jews, more than one-third, has already been exterminated, and ends with the appeal for "condemning the crimes, punishing the criminals and devising means offering the hope that Germany might be effectively restrained from continuing to apply her methods of mass extermination." This morning, the Governments of the United Nations of the European Continent united their voices with those of the Powers m a solemn declaration, expressing their unshakeable determination to cauterize with red-hot iron the evil which so dangerously infects the German people. It is tragic to contemplate that this policy of extermination applied to the Jews by the German Government is being carried out with the active help or, at least, support of a considerable section of the German people, while the remaining part of that people allow it to pass in silence. I know that in a totalitarian regime it is not easy to protest, but the occupied nations nevertheless find the means to manifest their will and their opposition to the barbarous methods of Germany. When I think of the German nation, so powerful in its armed might and owning so gigantic a war machine, and at the same time so cowardly accepting the destruction of an entire race, the representatives of which, such as Heine, Mendelssohn and Einstein contributed so much to the glory of Germany's civilization and, on the other hand, when I think of my own nation, which itself is being massacred and nevertheless is capable of such acts of defiance and compassion as the demolition by Polish workers of a part of the wall which surrounds the ghetto of Warsaw, then I cannot help thinking how small is this mighty German nation-and how measureless is its infamy. Civilized words and remonstrances are today of no avail where that nation is concerned. The bloody crimes call out for justice without mercy, and the assurance that even now they will receive their answer in ever more telling deeds as the might of the United Nations grows and as the hour of judgment approaches apace. , , 0000-00-00 powrot

The Sarmatian Review"> The Disabling Mode: Poles in Jewish Discourse Ewa M.Thompson

Let me say at the outset that as I understand it, we are engaging here in a secular and not a theological conversation. We are meeting here as two ethnic groups, Jews and Poles - both Americans. It is the secular aspect of our identities that is the focus of our encounter. From our American Polish standpoint, there are three segments of Jewish-Polish relations which need correction and further discussion. The first has to do with

independent Poland between the two world wars. The Soviet-inspired interpretation of interwar Poland as a country fast descending into fascism is common at American universities today, but it is poignantly false. Until the outbreak of World War II, the party in power in Poland was that of Jzef Pilsudski, beloved by the Polish Catholics and a friend of the Jews, as Dr. Abraham Peck pointed out in his presentation on March 1. While tensions between the majority population and the country's minorities increased in the 1930s, no anti-Semitic party ever gained power in free Poland, and Catholic anti-Semitism, although deplorable, was substantially different from what was going on in neighboring Germany, a fact which the March 1998 Vatican document, "We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah" also stresses. Until World War II broke out and Poland was overrun by Nazis and Soviets, Polish universities employed Jewish professors, Poland had a flourishing Jewish press, Jewish members of parliament, Jewish heroes such as Wilhelm Feldman. As the Jewish American historian Joseph Rothschild wrote, "interwar Poland's faults and weaknesses were many...but .... Though badgered, the opposition parties operated legally...though harrassed, the... press remained independent and active; outspoken enemies of the regime continued to teach at the universities and to publish their criticisms; the autonomy of the judiciary from the administration was preserved." (East Central Europe between the Two World Wars, 72) Thus to say that pre-war Poland was ripening for the Holocaust is untenable. And yet, such false views have become entrenched in American discourse. On the eve of this discussion, i.e., on 28 March 1998, the Houston Chronicle printed the following in the note advertising our meeting: "The panel will cover the history of the Jewish community in Poland and the rise of anti-Semitism that lead to the Nazi Auschwitz concentration camp." The suggestion that it was Polish anti-Semitism that led to the creation of Auschwitz is an outrageous lie. For the first two years of its existence, Auschwitz was used primarily for the execution of Polish Catholics by the Germans. Over the years, Poles have suffered scores of such indignities with no attempt from the Jewish side to correct the mendacities of an anonymous provenance.

Polish Jews were not only victims of history, but also actors in history. The second segment of the Polish story that has disappeared from Jewish memory is World War II itself. Few people wish to remember that Poland was attacked by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, and that the first two years of war brought unspeakable destruction to the Polish population and culture. The deportations of one and a half million Poles - mostly Catholics - to the Soviet Gulag traumatized the entire Polish nationand that happened before the Shoah. Polish Catholics were on the death lists of the Soviets just because they were Polish Catholics. Polish children were starved and gassed, Polish parents were

taken to Germany and worked to death as forced laborers. The nation was brutalized to the point which I am afraid would have been incomprehensible to secure middle class Americans even if they learned about it from textbooks which they have not, for this section of history has been excised from American memory as well. Have we ever heard from Jewish organizations any words of sympathy for the unspeakable tragedy, suffering and losses that befell the Jews' Polish brethren in World War II? It was in these conditions that the Shoah took place. True, the Shoah overshadows Polish suffering. But it does not wipe it out. Between three and four million Polish Christians were killed during World War II by two sides, Nazis and Soviets. In a book titled Maus, a Jewish American cartoonist, Art Spiegelman, presented the Polish people in World War II as secure pigs, who looked indifferently at Jewish suffering. That such a racist and mendacious book is taught in American schools and universities today is a great injustice to Poles. And this is happening today, even as we speak, and not in some remote point in the past; and it is perpetrated by educated and supposedly responsible people, teachers and university professors. This book is also prominently displayed in the Houston Holocaust Museum's bookstore. In spite of the terror imposed on Poland in World War II, there was no systematic collaboration with the Nazis. None. Zero. There were no SS units composed of Poles. There was in Poland no Vichy government. You cannot find any document written by any member of the exiled Polish Government or the underground resistance that condones or encourages turning in Jews to the Nazis. This was rather exceptional in Nazi-occupied Europe, but it has been elbowed out of American Jewish memory. The third segment of Polish history which needs correction in American Jewish memory has to do with the Polish-Jewish relations under the Soviet occupation in 1939-41 and then again, in the decade following World War II. A book published by Princeton University Press and