Tekst jest traktowany jako integralna całość, można go cytować, ale zgodnie z prawem z podaniem źródła, tzn. autora książki i jej tytułu, osoby udzielające wywiadu, no i tłumacza amatora:). Tłumaczenie jest moje (z pomocą Google Translate), dlatego jest pewnie w nim dużo błędów:), pro publico bono, całkowicie bez wynagrodzenia.
Jews should return to Poland
with Seweryn Aszkenazy
Should Poland satisfy the claims of Jewish organizations that demand that it pay compensation for the property of Polish Jews who died in the Holocaust?
I believe that private claims should be made by private individuals. I have heard that many people buy and trade these claims. No one should trade these. This is definitely a great shame for Jews. If Poland can’t afford to give away this property, then it is necessary to understand it and, above all, to recognize the law of the Polish state, according to which - if there are no heirs of a given property or other thing - they should return to the state. This is how it is all over the world. If the Jews, as a group, have any claims to Poland, let them have these claims to Germany, to Austria and to Russia, which unleashed the WW2, but not to Poland!
However, the World Jewish Congress and other Jewish organizations demand $ 65 billion from Poland. To achieve their goal, they exert international pressure on Poland and apply political pressure. It was because of their initiative that both American and British parliamentarians sent open letters to the Polish government, in which they indicated that Poland still failed to restitution of Jewish property and should meet Jewish claims as soon as possible.
And Austria and Ukraine have fulfilled their commitments? And did Switzerland perform fairly honestly? And Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belgium and France did? This wonderful and civilized France gave a meager 500 million euros in exchange for real estate worth billions of euros, which she took from Jews. And how many tens of thousands of Jews the French helped the Germans murder! Unfortunately, nobody cares about it being publicized, or maybe they are afraid to say what they should say. Please, imagine such a sketch, such a picture. A man without a head, ragged, without one leg and on crutches, talks with a head that has no body. This is the discussion between Poles and Jews. Germans and Russians, and therefore Nazism and communism, murdered Polish intellectuals and cut off Poland's head. At Hitler's command, a list was prepared containing 200,000 Polish intelligentsia who were to be murdered. According to the Institute of National Remembrance, only over 100,000 people were murdered within the Intelligenzaktion during the first half of year of the German occupation. During the entire war, Hitler and Stalin probably killed the majority of these 200,000 Polish intellectuals, officers, scientists, social activists, writers, thinkers, philosophers, priests, etc. All universities were closed, and children had the right to study only for the first four patch. The teachers had to teach them only a minimum of reading and counting. It was supposed to be everything. In this way, the Germans wanted to make Poles half-literate and cheap labor; their slaves.
Therefore, they also limited possibility for Poles to use books of a philosophical nature and robbed the equipment of Polish laboratories and scientific institutions. The scale of plundering works of art during the WW2 in Poland is estimated at 63,000 items. Professors of the Jagiellonian University, who were invited to a lecture on the attitude of Nazism to science, the Germans took to the concentration camp in Sachsenhausen. Even Mussolini interceded for Polish professors with Hitler.
It was a well-organized action. When the Germans entered Lwów, they killed several dozens of professors from the Lviv Polytechnic in the first days. They murdered the most serious and most valuable Polish intellectuals. These are historical facts. That's what he knows well. This is all historically confirmed. They wanted to cut off Poland's head and cut it off. In 1939, two out of three Poles were illiterate or half-literal (In literature can be found that in 30’s 20% of whole Poland society couldn’t read – note from Translator). I don’t know how many illiterates or semi-illiterates were in Poland in 1945, but after the murder of the Polish elite and the leadership class during the war, their percentage in Polish society certainly increased. Thus Poland became a state without a head. A society without the moral and intellectual compulsions that the elite represents in any society. With Jews, the opposite was true. Jews lost almost 90 percent during the Holocaust. its population, but 10 percent, these most important, and therefore the most brilliant minds, thinkers, artists, intellectuals and scientists, were saved in the vast majority. No one can understand this conversation between a body without a head and a head to a saved body. No one, unfortunately, shows sympathy for Poles.
What happened in Poland is a real miracle. The surviving children of the Polish elite and their genetics proved so strong that after three generations of this great tragedy, Polish mathematicians are at the forefront of the best mathematicians in the world. Poland has high-level universities, where lectures are often conducted in English. They educate excellent doctors who work in the world, including America. However, Poland is still a poor country. So how can you give back 65 billion euros? It is pure stupidity! And will it satisfy them? Zuckerberg himself, who created Facebook is worth $ 60 billion. Therefore, Jews should take care of science. Make sure that they help and are a part of society, and don’t argue about a relative pair of pennies. I am realist. Politically, these claims will never be met by Poland. What kind of politician can go to poor voters and say to them: "Look, we have to take you $ 65 billion, and you will continue to be beggars for the next ten years!" It is politically impossible! This must finally be said out loud!
I fully agree with you. If someone thinks that the state on the achievements of Poland will hand over to Jewish organizations and Israel - that is, entities that have no legal right to represent Polish Jews killed by the Germans - 65 billion dollars, it is either naive or specifically uses this subject for implementation of their particular interests. A government that would take away 65 billion dollars for Poles wouldn’t be able to maintain even one month in power. However, the problem still exists because, for now, Jewish organizations haven’t withdrawn from their claims. The Jewish historian, William D. Rubinstein, however, thinks that there is no convincing reason why Poland should pay any compensation to Jewish organizations.
I don’t understand why we argue about it. This policy, these pressures on Poland indicate that those people who demand money from Poland don’t know what they are saying. They should have more empathy and empathize with the situation of Poland and Poles. Unfortunately, they don’t. I don’t like very much that Jews always come out with the subject of the Holocaust and accuse their opponents of anti-Semitism. It's enough with this constant talk about how poor Jews are and that you must pay them!
You have repeatedly demanded the publication of information on the course of restitution of the property of pre-war Jewish communities in Poland. How other Jews assess your commitment to this matter?
I am a man who has no secrets. Living with secrets is difficult. Besides, I'm an independent man and I know most people who are associated with Jewish organizations. Anyway, I once met Abraham Foxman at a party. I gave him a hand and looked into his eyes; I understood that he didn’t know what was going on. Christ, supposedly praying to God, said: "Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing." I have to forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing. And how are they looking at me? If only they could, they would recognize me as a non-Jew. My origin, however, means that they can’t accuse me of this, which is a problem for them.
The recovery of property belonging to pre-war Jewish communities is one great tragedy. Poland has given away more than half of this property so far. They, however, almost stole everything or wasted. Nobody wants to disturb anyone in this theft and there is almost nothing left. There is no serious Jewish institution that would look at these matters. All this is carried out wild and full of corruption. It seems to me that this corruption is even considered to be such an interesting cunning. There is no word in Polish that would accurately express the Russian word "maładiec". He stole everything, killed, cheated, maładiec! That's what all such maładiec. Poland is in this situation, God knows who's not stealing there. However, we must look optimistically in the future and count on the fact that it can still be changed and we will finally be able to get rid of these evil and dishonest people. Hence my fight. I see it all and that's why I have to talk about it! I can’t stand corruption. Corruption is hell for me. It's the end of the world. That's how civilization ends. That's how civilization ends. I understand that if an inspector comes to control, he'll give him a bottle of vodka so he doesn’t look for a hole in the bridge. Or you can give a penny to your sister or doctor in the hospital. They don’t earn much and will take additional care of the patient. Although I don’t like it, of course, I can still understand it, but it also has to end.
Even if Poland agreed to give Jewish organizations some percent of these $ 65 billion, say, 12 billion, they would still steal it and Jews who need it after they wouldn’t receive it. Jewish organizations often struggle with the problem of corruption. They don’t do any audit. They also don’t have any exact system that would show what the money is for and what they were really spent on.
The Germans gave the Jewish organizations huge amounts of money and nothing was left of them. That is why I have repeatedly proposed that Poland and Poles, represented by the Polish government, tell the Jews: "Listen, we can’t give money to you, but we want you to be part of our Polish world. That is why anyone who had a grandmother or a grandfather from Poland could become a Polish citizen!". That would be an appropriate gesture, which would be extremely important for Jews, because Europe is becoming a dangerous place for Jews today. On the streets of France, there are cries of "Death to the Jews!". They are attacked and synagogues are destroyed. About forty percent of French Jews hide their Jewish symbols in fear. It is similar in almost all of Europe. The well-known Italian philosopher Gianni Vattimo, while masking his anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism, said that Europeans should give Hamas rockets that could cover all Zionist targets, because the rockets they currently have don’t allow them to kill too many Jews.
Not only Europe, but also the United States may turn out to be a place where the Jews won’t be able to feel safe in the future. The number of Muslims is increasing here each year. Against this background, Poland seems to be the safest place for European Jews.
Granting Polish citizenship to the descendants of Polish Jews would, in a sense, follow the footsteps of Spain and Portugal, which, as part of the compensation for expelling Sephardic Jews at the end of the fifteenth century, recently proposed granting their descendants their citizenship. The history of the Jewish diaspora in Poland differs significantly from the history of the diaspora in Portugal and Spain. Poles haven’t expelled Jews from themselves. In Poland, the Jewish community ceased to exist and lost its property as a result of German occupation and Stalin's communist dictatorship. In fact, it was in Poland that some Jews who had been expelled from Portugal, Spain or other European countries once found refuge.
According to prof. Bernard D. Weinryb before the Second World War from 16 to 17 million Jews living in the world, as many as 13 to 14 million came from Poland. Every tenth inhabitant of the WW2 was Jew. It was the highest rate among all the then countries in the world. In 1939, every third inhabitant of the Polish capital was a Jew. Warsaw was the second in the world - just after New York - a city inhabited by such a large Jewish community. However, even if only Jews who survived the Holocaust remained in Poland after the WW2, Poland would be the largest Jewish community in the world right after the United States and Israel. However, this didn’t happen and today we live in a completely different reality. You wrote in one of your texts that: "The number of Polish citizens with some Jewish roots doesn’t exceed 0.5% of the nearly 40 million Polish population, that is 200,000. Less than 30,000 of Polish citizens living in the country today consider themselves for Jews".
On the one hand, the postulate of the return to Poland of the Jewish population that comes from it seems to be noble. On the other hand, the idea of the Jewish re-arrival to Poland arouses much resistance even among the Jews themselves. The Jewish opponents of this idea believe that the diaspora, especially the diaspora in Poland, ended in Auschwitz. Besides, it isn’t known if the Polish state and the Poles themselves would be ready to re-welcome the Jews who, with the exception of their grandparents, have almost no connections with Poland today. It is also not known whether Poles would at all want the national and religious structure of Polish society to change. Many Poles even believe that the possession of relatively few national and religious minorities by Poland is not a disadvantage, but an advantage, because in this way, we rarely encounter tensions and conflicts against this background. Anyway, for Israel to have such a homogeneous social structure that Poland currently has, it would be for many Israeli Jews to fulfill their dreams. Finally, the Arab population is increasing in Israel year by year and in the future, Jews may become a minority in their own country. Besides, many Poles who hear your proposal, an alarm lamp turns on and they fear that calling the Jews to come back to Poland again may be a camouflaged attempt to colonize it. In any case, this presents Poles a former candidate for Polish president, director and publicist Grzegorz Braun, who also claims that such postulates as yours are an attempt to create a "Russian-German condominium under Jewish management" in Poland and other countries of Central Europe. This would be a repetition of the plans of the German Committee for the Liberation of Russian Jews, who in 1914 called for the creation on the lands of the Russian partition a satellite state of Germany, so-called Judeopolonia. What do you think about all this?
This is either a bad or uninformed man. It is possible that he is uninformed and bad! This is absurd. Jews live in America, Australia and Canada. They live all over the world. They also have Israel. They don’t need to colonize anyone! Jews have never colonized anyone! For over two thousand years, they haven’t been proselytizing at all!
I think that he voiced fears and fears of many Poles, who, having in mind the partitions, and thus more than century of slavery, they look with great distrust at all moves on the part of national minorities. Everyone nation have the right to their fears, even if they seem to be irrational and absurd to someone. The Poles and the Jews have the right to do so. Of course, one must be careful that these fears don’t turn into phobias and become a seed of anti-Semitism or anti-Polonism. In order for this to happen, these fears have to be confronted with reality. I think that our conversation gives some opportunity.
As for the Israel mentioned by you, it is of course usual to say that if a war breaks out in Israel, the Jews don’t run away from it, but they return to it. However, the morale of Israeli soldiers is lower than it used to be and there is no such fighting spirit among them as at the beginning of Israeli statehood. In addition, Israel is unable to guarantee its citizens complete security and peace. Almost every day there are terrorist attacks on Jews. Most Jews would certainly not be willing to take advantage of Samson's supposed option if Israel's existence were threatened. Instead of fighting for the last man and the last drop of blood, many Jews would then leave Israel, seeking refuge in other safe countries. For all these reasons and because of the privileges granted to its citizens by the European Union, it has recently become very popular among Israeli Jews to have a second passport. It is always good to have plan B.
Of course, when it is dangerous in Israel, older people, women and children will leave. Most of these people, however, won’t be poor. They will include people of science, teachers, professors and outstanding specialists. Poland could only gain at their reception.
I would like to make Poles aware that what is currently happening in Poland is something completely opposite to what Mr. Braun claims. Well, Israel and the Zionists not only don’t want to colonize Poland, they even strive hard to forget about their almost thousand-year heritage. They want to completely bury Jewish life in Poland. Instead of securing and restoring Jewish real estates taken over from the Polish state, they sell them out and change their purpose. From the most important and the largest yeshivah in the world in Lublin, they made a hotel. A little more and in Poland there will be no more trace of the Jews except for concentration camps, in which the only thing that will be seen is the memorabilia after the Germans murdered them. Only Jewish Marches of the Living will survive Jewish culture and its living people, which symbolize the fact that there is no longer Jewish life in Poland and that it will never exist again.
Every year, new material evidence of the existence of Jews in Poland is being liquidated. The infrastructure that could be used to raise the Jewish world from rubble is being destroyed. A little more and Jewish life will only be seen in museums. Only a great, terrifying emptiness will remain, which no scientific conferences or festivals of Jewish culture can fill. Poland won’t even be an open-air museum of Jewish culture, because there will no longer be any material tissue on which the past Jewish world could be shown to Poles. However, all this isn’t happening at all. This has been carefully planned and this plan has been systematically implemented for decades. In the 1990s, an agreement between the Israeli authorities and the authorities of Poland took place in this matter. Besides, what Israeli Jews are doing today is extremely sad for me. They are trying to make Polish Jews a guests in Poland. During one of the visits of President Szimon Peres in Poland, he thanked - in his speech he gave at the Marriot Hotel in Warsaw - for over seven hundred years of hospitality. He confirmed that the Jews were and are still only temporary guests in Poland. He acknowledged the Polish anti-Semites who always claimed, both in the interwar period and after the war and now, that the Jews, who for several dozen generations have been living in Polish lands, have never been and will never be co-hosts of Poland. It was a humiliating speech for Polish Jews who always felt part of Poland and treated it as their only homeland. Today, the opposite tendency takes place. All these Jewish culture festivals are just a veil to indicate that Jewish life is good in Poland. However, the reality is much more sad than the picture that is trying to present to the Poles. The arrival of Jews to Poland could change everything. It would have thwarted Zionist plans and restored in Poland the wonderful tradition of a common, peaceful existence of Poles and Jews.
Even the most bitter anti-Semite should think about what Poland would look like today if the Jews were to be welcomed in it. After all, if it weren’t for the war, Łódź could be Hollywood today, Sopot Silicon Valley, Warsaw one of the five most important business centers in the world, and the minimum wage could amount to PLN 60 per hour. However, everything isn’t lost. Today, Poland has a chance to become a safe haven for European Jews.
If Poland had already declared that it would grant Jews whose grandparents come from Poland, Polish citizenship, Warsaw could soon become the center of European business and the headquarters of the Jewish financial elite. Poland could also have universities and academic staff at the highest world level. Thanks to this, Poland would become a richer country and, above all, it would be better for all Poles. Adoption of the Jews is also acceptance of their money. Before the war, Jews who accounted for 10 percent of the Polish population paid over 30 percent of taxes. It seems to me that also many Polish intellectuals would like to rebuild a Jewish community in Poland.
Recently a text was published in "Atlantic", in which they wonder whether Jews should leave Europe because they aren’t welcome in it. It doesn’t surprise me. To be part of society, you have to feel it first of all. If the Jews don’t feel it, then they should leave Europe and go to New Zealand and cut the lambs there. If we want to have our place in society, then we must be super in order. Our biblical task wasn’t to be chosen because we are better. We were chosen to work to show to other people and to the world, what is honesty, justice and humanity. If not, what place do we have in this world?
You said that Poland could only gain at the Jewish reception. On the other hand, you also said that the Jews must start to feel part of society, and if they don’t, then they should go to New Zealand and cut the lambs there. If Jews don’t feel part of societies in other European countries, why should it be different in Poland?
By accepting Jews, Poland could continue the wonderful tradition of our common coexistence. This is a company. It currently exists in the United States, Canada, Australia and other countries. It's about giving society everything that's best. If you go to Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Houston, San Francisco, Chicago, Toronto or Melbourne, you would see that only 2% of Jews is also about half of the staff of all major museums, universities, hospitals and foundations. Jews are welcome because they give themselves to society, initiate and work. They are the salt of every society. The same should be in Poland. Meanwhile, they have been wasted or stolen over three billion zlotys that have been recovered so far thanks to the return of property belonging to the pre-war Jewish communities. If it was ensured that this money would be honestly located, then many Polish organizations could go to Jews and Jewish communities, saying: "Listen, we would like to build a new hospital. Will you do it? "And the Jews would surely contribute and would give it a lot of money, as they give it everywhere.