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Obiektywnie o sprawie Mashy Gessen

Jestem normalnym facetem urodzonym w Polsce, wnuczkiem dziadka członka Bruderferajn....

Masha nie jest w moim typie, ale to szczegół. Polska to wolny kraj i każdy ma prawo wyboru. To co Ona/On napisała woła o pomstę do nieba.

Dobrze, że inni widzą to inaczej..

Why are Jews, Poles still arguing about the Holocaust? 

A misleading article about historians and Polish complicity has exacerbated a controversy that distracts us from the need to fight contemporary anti-Semitism rather than relitigate old battles.

 By Jonathan S. Tobin Published on 04-07-2021 12:59 Last modified: 04-07-2021 08:36

It's a controversy in which there are no heroes, as well as one that in a more rational world no one would bother with. That's the only way to describe the increasingly complicated brawl that is going on over what some Poles did during the Holocaust that has been revived just in time for this year's commemoration of Yom Hashoah.

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The most recent chapter of this ongoing historical debate started with a court case centering on the actions of a man named Edward Malinowski in a small town called Malinow in Eastern Poland. According to a book published in 2018 that relied upon recently discovered testimony, Malinowski, who had been mayor of the town before the Germans conquered Poland in 1939, led the Nazi occupiers to a forest where 22 Jews were hiding. According to the account, that resulted in 22 of the Jews being slaughtered by the Germans.

A descendant of Malinowski who had previously been thought of as someone who had helped Jews escape the Germans sued the two historians and book authors – Jan Grabowski and Barbara Engelking – for defaming him. A Polish court ruled against the writers and mandated an apology though denying the plaintiffs the damages they wanted. The authors are appealing the court's unjust order.

The context for this case is an ongoing battle inside Poland in which that country's government has passed legislation that said public claims that either the "Polish Nation" or the "Republic of Poland" was responsible for Nazi crimes were punishable by fines or imprisonment.

The law was motivated by resentment on the part of Poles against efforts to treat them as perpetrators of the Holocaust rather than fellow victims of a murderous German occupation. But it was also an attempt to whitewash the historical record of Polish anti-Semitism before, during and after World War II, coupled with the fact that there were numerous instances of Poles collaborating with the occupiers of their country and assisting in the murder of the Jews. As such, efforts like those to punish the historians who told Malinowski's story are historical revisionism intended to repress the truth about the past.

The law has complicated the country's relationship with Israel, as well as being an odd contrast to the Polish efforts to honor the legacy of its murdered Jewish population. The nearly 300,000 participants, most of them young Jews from around the world, who have visited Auschwitz (prior to the coronavirus pandemic) as part of the annual March of the Living – literally walking along the 3.2-kilometer path from Auschwitz to Birkenau – also shows that Poland is open to educational tourism that commemorates Jewish life.

The Polish defense of the past sometimes seems to devolve into anti-Semitic inferences. At the same time, some of the critics of this revisionist effort have lapsed into broad generalizations about Polish anti-Semitism that are not unreasonably resented by the Poles.

In 2019, Israel and Poland were embroiled in a series of diplomatic incidents around this issue in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had to partially walk back a statement about Polish complicity in the Holocaust. Following that, Foreign Minister Israel Katz quoted the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, whose family had been murdered by their Polish neighbors and later said that Poles imbibed anti-Semitism with "their mother's milk," which set off another bitter exchange.

Yet the latest incident in this ongoing battle over the Polish law also illustrated the perils of broad generalizations when describing the events of the past.

Last month, The New Yorker magazine published an article by staff writer Masha Gessen about the Malinowski case whose original headline: "The Historians Under Attack for Poland's Role in the Holocaust: To exonerate the nation of the murders of Three Million Jews, the Polish government will go so far as to prosecute scholars for defamation."

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