Do Jews have the right to judge Poles historically?
There is a profoundly disturbing and continuously recurring Jewish moral double standard behind Jewish efforts nowadays to impugn the Poles, in order to shirk their own responsibility for Polish “anti-Semitism” and the terrible Jewish situation under the Germans.
Jewish propagandists/scholars regularly charge that Poles were immorally complacent during the German extermination of European Jewry (as Poles themselves were being slaughtered). They are still looking, a half-century later, for scapegoats for the shame of their own people. Few can face the extremely sensitive issue of Jewish complacency and even active participation in their own liquidation.
In my opinion as a historian and as a human, this is a shame on the Jews that feel this way and push this agenda especially when they themselves would not lift a finger to help a Pole (as far as I know) and in fact were often participants in crimes against Poles.
Holocaust survivor Marcus David Leuchter recalls that “the brutality of the Jewish police force was unexpected; in the number of people they caught, they even exceeded the demands of the Germans.”
Of course, times have changed and things are recontextualized. Such stories are a grotesque embarrassment to the myths of the Holocaust, they are only rarely addressed in obscure academic corners, and few people today are aware of them. And while angry Jewish scholarship fingers Polish, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, and other German collaborators as moral beasts to be hunted down still today throughout the world, parallel Jewish criminals are never even mentioned.
Popular Jewish convention demands collective Jewish innocence and a correspondingly collective Gentile evil. Period. In this context, Wladyslaw Bartoszewski addresses today’s chronic double standard held for Jews and Poles in the World War II situation: "While the Polish masses are criticized or condemned for their reluctance to help the Jews … a double standard is applied towards those members of the Jewish community who worked in Jewish Councils … [They] are excused, on the grounds that they had little choice, much more willingly than those Gentiles whose caution or fear prevented them from offering help to Jews … Most Poles particularly resent this application of a double standard to those Jewish individuals who were active in, and high-ranking members of the Communist Party, and especially the security police … No one … can claim that he or (very often) she had to be a member of the Stalinist political force or judiciary and, for one reason or another, had no choice but to torture and kill their innocent political opponents.”
Few Jews don’t want to hear about Christians who saved Jewish lives. Rabbi Harold Schulweiss, who has lectured on the subject to many Jewish audiences, notes that: “By and large, in most audiences, I found resistance to my message. What was my obsession with ‘them’ [Poles] they seemed to ask.”] (Even Liwa Gomulka, a Jew, and eventual wife of post-World War II Polish communist head Wladyslaw Gomulka, “refused to see an old Polish woman who had hidden her during the German occupation and had come to her for some small favor.”)
As for Jews saving non-Jews lives, there should be no judgment. The Israeli social critic Israel Shahak — who spent his own childhood in a Nazi concentration camp — notes with cynical irony the fact that so many Jews today express outrage that, as they see it, “the whole world stood by” as the Jews sunk into the Holocaust. Shahak severely points out that according to the double standard moral dictates of Orthodox Judaism, Jews are, incredibly, themselves forbidden from saving non-Jewish lives.
Citing Talmudic references, current rabbinical writings in modern Israel, and the great Jewish religious philosopher Maimonides, Shahak writes that “the basic Talmudic principle is that (non-Jewish) lives must not be saved.”, “As for Gentiles,” wrote Maimonides, “with whom we are not at war … their death must not be caused, but it is forbidden to save them if they are at the point of death; for example, one of them is seen falling into the sea, he should not be rescued.”
Here you will see a core difference between Jews and Poles, although not politically correct to address this, it must be addressed to contextualize history and understand why people acted the way they did. As you can see from what is written in Jewish doctrine it was obvious about the way the act in the face of danger in regards to the Polish. Poles were Christian and Jews were not. Christians believe and act differently.
The Christian New Testament states. "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
The problem we see is that this is Christian doctrine and Jews apparently have no regard for this standard of judgment.
Still, today in Poland, paid by the Polish government as a leading Holocaust expert, Jew, Barbara Engelking can openly proclaim “This Jewish death was the result of the absolute impossibility to reach an agreement. For Poles it was simply a biological, natural question–just death, nothing more, whereas for Jews was a tragedy, a dramatic experience, metaphysics, the encounter with the highest.”
It seems having the belief the lives of Jews are somehow more important than Poles is just common knowledge and should not even be addressed. Can you imagine if a Pole said this about a Jew?
As for Poles hiding Jews, there are many stories of Jews turning Poles over the Germans. The ones the Poles were hiding them from. The Home Army issued an order to stop hiding Jews because the death rate of Poles was so high in one area because of the Jewish betrayal. It went above and beyond. They were betraying people not even connected to those assisting them.
It seems to be a story of doing what is necessary for self-preservation whereas in Polish cases it was laying down your life for others. A sacrifice and this happened thousands of times over for people they didn’t even know.
So sadly today, these people are the accusers and the shamers of the Poles.
“One of the most important historians of the Warsaw ghetto,” says Haim Breseeth, “[was] Emmanuel Ringelblum. Writing about the Warsaw ghetto Judenrat, he criticized the co-opted leadership with the seminal words: ‘We are going like lambs to the slaughter.” Most Jewish leaders kept the horrible truth of what was in store for their people hidden from them, either for “humanitarian” reasons or fear of resultant panic and chaos. Arendt notes that Leo Baeck, for instance, the head rabbi of Berlin, “believed Jewish policemen would be ‘more gentle and helpful’ and would ‘make the ordeal easier’ (whereas in fact they were, of course, more brutal and corruptible, since so much more was at stake for them.”)
Which is to say, their own skins. “Everywhere,” notes Anthony Heilbut, “Amsterdam, Warsaw, Berlin, Budapest — it was the same. Jewish leaders compiled lists of persons and property, ‘secured money from the deportees to defray the expenses of their deportation and extermination,’ and organized the efficient evacuation of whole communities. On occasion the leaders even selected a few people to be saved — and those tended to be ‘prominent Jews’ and functionaries.”
Earlier, complained Chaim Kaplan in 1939, “the Joint’s [a Jewish help organization] official representatives have all left us. The leaders of Polish Jewry pushed themselves to the fore in peaceful days when a monthly salary of 1200 zloty, equivalent to that of a senator or a deputy, attracted them; but in time of danger to us — and to them as well, if the truth be told — they fled for their lives. Will their sin be remembered on the Day of Reckoning? I doubt it.”
Yes, their day of reckoning has never come. It has been conveniently hidden away while all of the focus is on co-victims, the Poles.
Among the most notorious so-called “elders” of the Jewish community, appointed by the Nazis, was Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, who was a child molester at a Jewish orphanage before the war. Despite his allegiance to Nazi directors, he too met his end in a concentration camp. Some Jewish Council members, notes Simon Wiesenthal, “did the only thing they could, under the circumstances, by following German regulations to the letter. Others were corrupted. They accepted favors, juggled names, hoping against hope that they might save their own skins. Other Jews collaborated with the Nazis of bartered others’ lives for their own. Some Jews were concentration camp trustees. Sometimes they helped their fellow inmates; sometimes they didn’t.”
Besides Rumkowsi, there were also people like Symcha Spira, a sadistic psychopath chief of 200 strong Kraków ghetto Jewish Police – Ordnungdienst (OD). OD were extremely unpopular under Spira’s leadership. In part because of Spira’s psychopathic qualities, the Kraków OD collaborated with German officials and police to a greater degree than other ghettos. The Civil Division of the OD in particular worked closely with Gestapo.
Spira spoke German and Polish poorly. Before the war, he worked as a glazier, making very little money. He was chosen for the position for his extreme loyalty to the Germans, as well as for his derision of his fellow Jews. Spira was known to wear outlandish, tailored uniforms while patrolling the ghetto. He beat and extorted the ghetto’s inhabitants, becoming very wealthy under German occupation.
Symcha Spira sought to convince Gestapo agents of his superior power and influence over fellow Jews. This included carrying out orders the Judenrat would not. He and other OD men passed bribes to the Gestapo, winning favors and privileges in return.During ghetto liquidation OD were initially exempted from deportation. After the liquidation of the ghetto , the Jewish Police assisted in cleanup and the processing of items left behind by those deported.
They also assisted in moving bodies of those murdered in the ghetto. Many, including Spira, believed Germans promises that they would be given their freedom and would be allowed to travel to America or another country after the war. Not long after the liquidation of the ghetto, the OD and all remaining Jews were deported to KL Plaszow and murdered by Germans.
As long as such people in the Jewish leadership, its sycophants, and Jewish prisoners were cooperative with the Nazis in helping to exploit and kill other Jews, there was always hope — rarely realized — that the betrayers might come out of it all alive. But just on this count alone — that the Nazi might kill anyone for as little as a sidewise glance, why should Poles — who had been in competitive conflict with Jews for centuries (while Jews maintained themselves as essentially a separate country in Poland), and who were actively fighting the Germans while the Jews did virtually nothing — be held to a higher moral standard than Jews about Jews, when some Jews themselves sold off their own people with little or no moral compulsion at all, and despised Poles?!
And why on earth should Poles have been expected to rescue Jews at every corner when their own life situations were also in doubt, when Jews themselves were even turning in their own kind, in huge numbers, primally straining for personal survival?
Jewish author Norman Salsitz noted three well-known Jewish betrayers to the Nazis in his small hometown, Kolubuszowa (total population 4,000; half Jewish), in Poland:
“Enemies there were among our own ranks — not many, mind you, but with nearly everyone else against us betrayal by fellow Jews was all the more devastating … When we saw [one] speaking to German police and going in and out of military headquarters, we understood that he enjoyed a privileged position … When bribes had to be given to German officials he served willingly as an intermediary, taking a portion of the money as his ‘share.’ He warned of upcoming raids on our houses and seizures of property and persons, but suggested how, for a sum of money, all might be averted. We paid him, suspecting that most of the time no such raids were planned, that such talk was merely a device to line his own pockets. But who could be sure? … Regarding a second informer in town, Shmul Czolik, no one was likely to be surprised by his actions … Money put into Czolik’s hands usually meant an end to that [Nazi] ‘threat’ … That he terrorized the town for a time is certainly no understatement … Then there was Pearlman, a thoroughly contemptible creature who also joined in the ranks of the informers in town … Though Jewish, he identified his fortunes with the Germans.”
By the beginning of 1942, the Gestapo-directed Zagiew alone had about 15,000 Jewish agents. “Former inmates of the Nazi concentration camps,” adds Norman Finkelstein, “typically testify that the Kapos were, in the words of Auschwitz survivor Dr. Viktor E. Frankl, ‘harder on the prisoners than were the guards, and beat them more cruelly than the SS men did.” (For what it’s worth, although of enormously less gravity, this harsh treatment in some ways echoes that afforded fellow Jews by Jewish overseers in an immigration barracks in America in 1882: “The Father, or manager and taskmaster over the immigrants, was an American Jew who looked down upon the earthly beings, as the immigrants were called and not in a friendly tone. His assistant, the Hungarian Jew, was a brazen scoundrel and treated the immigrants like cattle. The other Russian Jews, who through flattery managed to secure soft jobs, imitated them in behavior … [Leading to a an eventual riot of Jewish immigrants that was quelled by 100 policemen], the Father‘s assistant slapped a weak woman who had implored him [to give her] several drops of a certain medicine. He also threatened her lady friends with a revolver when they reprimanded him. After breakfast, a delegation went to see the Father with complaints against his assistant, but the latter gave them a rude reception.”)
Emmanuel Ringelbaum wrote with disdain about the Jewish police who suffocated his people under Nazi rule:
“Jewish policemen also distinguished themselves with their fearful corruption and immorality. But they reached the height of viciousness during the resettlement [transfer of Jews to concentration camps]. They said not a single word of protest against this revolting assignment to lead their own brothers to the slaughter. The police were psychologically prepared for the dirty work and executed it thoroughly. And now people are wracking their brains to understand how Jews, most of them men of culture, former lawyers (most of the police officers were lawyers before the war), could have done away with their brothers with their own hands … Very often, the cruelty of the Jewish police exceeded that pf the Germans, Ukrainians, and Letts… Victims who succeeded in escaping the German eye were picked by the Jewish police … Those who didn’t have the money to pay off the police were dragged to the wagons … For the most part, the Jewish police showed an incomprehensible brutality … Merciless and violent, they beat those who tried to resist … Every Warsaw Jew, every woman and child, can cite thousands of cases of the inhuman cruelty and violence of the Jewish police. Those cases will never be forgotten by the survivors, and they must shall be paid for.”
Holocaust survivor Marcus David Leuchter recalls that “the brutality of the Jewish police force was unexpected; in the number of people they caught, they even exceeded the demands of the Germans.”
Another Jewish organization, “Group 13” was employed by the Gestapo to purposefully hunt down Poles that were saving Jews. Imagine this kind of betrayal. Hunting those that were trying to save your people so they can be executed.
“Every Polish Jew who survived in occupied Poland,” notes Eva Hoffman, “(rather than in the Soviet Union), did so with the help of individual Poles and of organizations set up for the purpose of aiding Jews. This was help offered at enormous risk, since sheltering Jews carried with it the penalty of death.” But few Jews don’t want to hear about Christians who saved Jewish lives. Rabbi Harold Schulweiss, who has lectured on the subject to many Jewish audiences, notes that: “By and large, in most audiences, I found a resistance to my message. What was my obsession with ‘them’ [Poles] they seemed to ask.” (Even Liwa Gomulka, a Jew, and eventual wife of post-World War II Polish communist head Wladyslaw Gomulka, “refused to see an old Polish woman who had hidden her during the German occupation and had come to her for some small favor.”)
This was not unusual either, tens of thousands stories of Poles that saved Jews will go unknown because Jews would not report them. They simply left Poland and never looked back. The Poles that risked their lives and the lives of their families never heard another word.
Some Jews even murdered the Poles that saved them as they joined the ranks of the Communists. Abraum Tauber, one those guilty received help from the Home Army (AK) soldiers who were commanded by Major Hieronim Dekutowski (“Zapora”).
Many times he could count on a refuge in locations controlled by the “Zaporczyków” [AK soldiers who never accepted soviet occupation after 1945]. In the second half of 1944, when the Soviet soldiers took over the area of the Lublin region, Tauber decided to go to their side. He decided that the threat to his life would be much smaller when he got to the areas from which the Germans were driven out.
Already at the beginning of 1945, Tauber was appointed as commander of the MO [communist police] station and the head of the UB in Chodel. As the head of this communist unit, he contacted four Home Army (AK ) soldiers whom he knew from the period of hiding from the Germans (one of them was the one who saved him directly). The soldiers went to meet Tauber completely voluntarily and without weapons.
It is not out of the question that they were convinced that Tauber, who had been saved earlier by them, would like to repay them, set the vodka or give some good advice for a new reality. What turned out in reality? The meeting with Tauber was a classic UB trap. Tauber had them first bound with barbed wire, and then he shot everyone in person.
As for the mass amount of Jewish collaboration, it began very early, after World War II, writes Richard Lucas, “Jews in [Polish] cities and towns displayed Red flags to welcome Soviet troops, helped to disarm Polish soldiers, and filled administrative positions in Soviet-occupied Poland. One report estimated that seventy-five percent of all the top administrative posts in the cities of Lwow, Bialystok, and Luck were in Jewish hands during Soviet occupation … The entire character of the University of Lwow changed during the Soviet occupation. Prior to the war, the percentage of students broke down as follows: Poles, 70 percent; Ukrainians 15 per cent; Jews 15 per cent. After the Soviets, the percentage changed to 3 percent, 12 percent, and 85 percent, respectively.”
“The evidence, “observed Jewish commentator Aleksander Smolar, “is overwhelming: large numbers of Jews welcomed the Soviet invasion, implanting in Polish memory the image of Jewish crowds greeting the invading Red Army as their liberator.” “Thousands of Polish survivors’ testimonies, memoirs, and works of history,” notes Polish scholar Tadeusz Piotrowski, “tell of Jewish celebrations, of Jewish harassment of Poles, of Jewish collaboration (denunciations, manhunts, and roundups of Poles for deportation), of Jewish brutality and cold-blooded executions, of Jewish pro-Soviet citizens’ committees and militias, and of the high rates of Jews in the Soviet organs of oppression after the Soviet invasion of 1939.”
Testimony to the Jewish Polish response to the Soviet invasion of Poland includes the following Jewish accounts, from the archives of the Yad Vashim Holocaust organization in Israel:
“When the Bolsheviks entered the Polish territories they displayed a great distrust of the Polish people, but with complete faith in the Jews … they filled all the administrative offices with Jews and also entrusted them with top level positions.” [from the town of Grodno] “I must note that, from the very first, the majority of positions in the Soviet agencies were taken by Jews.” [from the town of Lwow] “The Russians rely mainly on the Jewish element in filling positions, segregating, naturally, the bourgeois from the proletariat.” [from the town of Zolkwia]
“A Jewish doctor recalled how local Jewish youths, having formed themselves into a ‘komsomol,’ toured the countryside, smashing Catholic shrines.” [near the town of Jaworow]
“Whenever a [pro-Soviet] political march, or protest meeting, or some other sort of joyful event took place, the visual effect was always the same — Jews.” [from the town of Lwow]
As Piotrowski notes, these comments have been edited out of an English translation of the source volume, originally published in Polish]
Today there is also the shaming of Jedwabne, a crime blaming Poles for burning Jews in a barn and the crime has not been proven. The words of Poles from that town remain though and go unheard, “Jews who had put up an archway greeted the Red Army. They changed the old town government and proposed a new one drawn from the local population (Jews and communists). They arrested the police, the teachers . . . They led the NKVD to apartments and houses and denounced Polish patriots.” The description of the tortures inflicted upon Polish conspirators by the NKVD in Jedwabne is shocking. The following is an account by Corporal Antoni B., a member of the anti-Soviet underground who was turned in to the NKVD by Jews: “they took me for interrogation, the investigating judge and the NKVD commander and one torturer came, and they sat me on a stool next to a brick wall, then I look over and one in civilian clothes took a stick from behind the stove like the kind in the walls of our tents, that long and thick, and suddenly they threw me on the floor and stuffed my cap in my mouth and started to beat me, I couldn’t cry out because the judge sat on my legs and the second one held me by the head and held the cap in my mouth, and I fought back until I tore the cap to bits, and the third torturer beat me the whole time, I got that stick more or less 30 times, and they stopped beating me and sat me on the stool by the wall. I had long hair, and the senior lieutenant grabbed me by the hair and started to beat my head against the wall, I thought that nothing would be left of my head, he tore the whole clump of hair from my head. they threw me on the ground and started to beat me with a hazel stick, they turned me from side to side and beat me, and in addition two of them were still sitting on me and suffocating me and said that they would finish me off. They kept beating me until they probably knew that I couldn’t take anymore, so at last they let me go. They beat me like a cat in a sack, and at the end they sat me on the stool and beat me with the stick on the arms.”
Jedwabne Jews, as in the entire territory occupied by the Soviets, constituted the nuts and bolts of the machinery of repression. Up to the last moment, they were delivering Polish patriots into the hands of the NKVD and preparing the next deportation transports to Siberia.
Polish Jews Were Ecstatic When Russians Occupied Poland
The Targeting of Polish Officials and Civilians Numerous testimonies attest to the prominent role played by Jews in the militias and “revolutionary committees” that sprung up both spontaneously and at Soviet urging. These entities often played a decisive part in getting the new regime and its machinery of repression off the ground. Their activities were buttressed by large numbers of individual collaborators acting on their own initiative in furtherance of the Soviet cause.
The Bandits Took Charge Throughout Eastern Poland, local Jewish, Belorussian and Ukrainian communists formed militias and “revolutionary committees”. With the blessing of the Soviet invaders, they apprehended, robbed, and even murdered Polish officials, policemen, teachers, politicians, community leaders, landowners, and “colonists” (i.e. interwar settlers) – the so-called enemies of the people. They also plundered and set fire to Polish property and destroyed Polish national and religious monuments. Scores of murders of individuals and groups have been recorded. Robbery of Polish property took on massive proportions with the spoils enriching the collaborators’ families and their communities.
One of the earliest and most hideous crimes was the murder of almost as many as fifty Poles in the village of Brzostowica Mala, near Grodno around September 20, before the Soviets were installed in the area.
Vicious Jews Killed A Polish Countess
A pro-communist band with red armbands and armed with blades and axes, led by a Jewish trader by the name of Ajzik, entered the village, dragged people out of their houses screaming, and cruelly massacred the entire Polish population. The victims included Count Antoni Wolkowicki and his wife Ludwika, his brother-in-law Zygmunt Woynicz-Sianozecki, the county reeve and his secretary, the accountant, the mailman, and the local teacher. The victims of this orgy of violence were tortured, tied with barbed wire, pummelled with sticks, forced to swallow quicklime, thrown into a ditch and buried alive.
The paralyzed Countess Ludwika Wolkowicka was dragged to the execution site by her hair. The murder was ordered by Zak Motyl, a Jew who headed the “revolutionary committee” – composed of Jews and Belorussians – in Brzostowica Wielka. Typically, the culprits were never punished. On the contrary, the NKVD officers praised them for their “class-conscious” actions, and Ajzik was made the president of the local cooperative. The racist aspect of the crime, however, is undeniable – only members of the Polish minority perished at the hands of their non-Polish neighbours.
Janusz Brochowicz-Lewinski, an officer cadet who attained the rank of corporal in 1939, was captured by the Soviets near Stolpce. He was one of fifteen Poles, among them a judge, a pastor, a chaplain, a teacher, and several civil servants, taken before an NKVD tribunal in groups of five and sentenced to death. Fortunately, his group managed to escape while being transported to their unknown execution site. The other ten condemned Poles were executed by firing squad.
Judges, Policemen, Teachers Were All Killed While Brochowicz-Lewinski was imprisoned in Stolpce, an NKVD officer made the rounds in the company of his aide, a local Jew who identified the members of the Polish educated class, now the so-called enemies of the people, among whom he had lived for years, by their occupation: judge, teacher, policeman, civil servant, forest-ranger, landowner.
Killed Catholic Priests Equally despicable were the murders of Catholic clergymen carried out by roving gangs of Jews and Belorussians such as that of Rev. Bronislaw Fedorowicz, the pastor of Skrundzie near Slonim, and those of Rev. Antoni Twardowski, pastor of Juraciszki, near Wolozyn, and the latter’s cleric, the Jesuit Stanislaw Zuziak.
A rabble of pro-Soviet Jews and Belorussians came to apprehend Rev. Jozef Bajko, the pastor of Naliboki near Stolpce, intending either to hand him over to the Soviet authorities or to possibly lynch him (as had been done in other localities). A large gathering of parishioners foiled these plans, allowing Rev. Bajko to escape before the arrival of the NKVD. Henryk Poszwinski, the prewar mayor of Zdzieciol, a town near Nowogrodek, described the new order in his town:
In Zdzieciol, a Jewish woman by the name of Josielewicz stood at the head of the revolutionary committee which was organized even before the arrival of the Soviet army.
Jews Executed Polish Police The local police left town just after the Red Army had crossed the border. On the evening of September 17, I was informed that a band of criminals released from jail was getting ready to rob some stores. I called a meeting of the fire brigade and civilian guard and these two organizations began to provide security in our town. The stores were spared but the [criminal] bands attacked the defenceless civilians, who were escaping eastward from the Germans. The culprits stripped them of their clothes, shoes and anything else they had on them. Those, who resisted, were cruelly killed on the spot. Outside the town, roadside ditches were strewn with dead people.
… The revolutionary committee, which soon disarmed the fire brigade and civilian guard, stood by idly while all this was taking place. In the morning hours of September 18, a small detachment of the Polish army still traversed Zdzieciol. It was a field hospital team transported in a dozen or so horse-drawn carriages. The convoy consisted of thirty soldiers led by a sergeant. The revolutionary committee attempted to stop and disarm them. The soldiers discharged a volley of gunfire into the air. The revolutionary committee ran out of town in a stampede and hid in the thickets of the municipal cemetery. … In the afternoon hours of September 18, the Soviet army entered Nowogrodek. That evening the first three Soviet tanks arrived in Zdzieciol. The entire revolutionary committee, headed by Josielewicz, came out to greet the invaders shouting: ‘Long live the great Stalin!’ After a short stop the tanks moved toward Slonim. The revolutionary committee ordered owners to display red flags from their houses. The Poles cried like children as they tore the white portion off the [white and red] Polish flags. … In the morning hours of September 19, a Jew from the revolutionary committee came to the town hall and advised me that I was being summoned by the committee to attend a meeting concerning an epidemic of foot-and-mouth disease which had broken out among some cattle that had been brought to Zdzieciol. Believing what I had been told to be true, I immediately got up from my desk and accompanied that man to the headquarters of the committee located at the other end of town. I had to wait about an hour before I was taken to the chairwoman’s office. During that time I observed the true picture of the “revolution”. Hundreds of people surrounded the committee premises; most of them were women who had broken out in tears and were wailing. ‘Return our stolen property!’ they cried. ‘Release our husbands and fathers of our children!’ … People who had been badly beaten occupied the corners of the room; most of them were refugees fleeing the Germans. The committee members, who were dressed in civilian clothes with red armbands and had Soviet stars on their hats, carried rifles or revolvers in their hands and competed with each other in brutally mistreating these people. It was a sight that I had difficulty countenancing. After about an hour’s wait the door was thrown open and I was summoned into the chairwoman’s office. When I entered I noticed three rifle barrels pointed at me. One of the bandits yelled, ‘Hands up!’ I raised my hands and turned to the chairwoman. ‘What have I done wrong? Why are you treating me like this?’ Although she knew Polish well, Josielewicz replied in Russian, ‘You will find out in due course’. After being searched [and stripped of all my personal effects] I was instructed to move toward the table occupied by Josielewicz, the chairwoman, and by a Soviet NKVD officer. The officer removed a form from his bag and started to complete it. … The last portion of the form asked for the reason for my arrest and imprisonment. Before filling it out, the NKVD officer turned to the chairwoman and asked what to enter. The chairwoman replied, ‘He’s a Polish officer, a Polish patriot, the former mayor of the town. That’s probably reason enough’. The NKVD officer wrote in this portion: ‘Dangerous element’. After filling out this form, three committee members escorted me to police detention. In a small detention room built to hold no more than four people for a short period, there were twenty-three people who had been arrested. Unable to sit down in that crowded place, we had to stand one next to another the whole time. People fainted from lack of air and had to relieve themselves on the spot. Among those arrested were school principals, county reeves, village administrators, officials and various other people who had escaped eastward from the Germans, as well as a priest who often repeated under his breath, ‘Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do’. We spent almost an entire day in this place of detention. Finally, on September 20, we were put in a truck and taken to the jail in Nowogrodek. During the entire journey, which lasted more than an hour, we were lying on the floor of the truck used to transport coal while four Jews from the revolutionary committee watched over us with rifles in their hands. Every now and then one of them would warn us, ‘Don’t lift your heads, or you’ll get a bullet in your skull’. Along the road over which the truck moved slowly we encountered in many places Soviet artillery going in the opposite direction. Soviet soldiers would approach our vehicle during the stops and ask, ‘Who are you carrying and where are you going?’ ‘We’re taking Poles to the jail’, the guards would answer. ‘What have they done wrong?’ ‘They haven’t done anything. It’s enough that they’re Poles!’
From Clerk To Head Of The Militia In Baranowicze, Jews filled the ranks of the “red militia” and denounced Polish officers, policemen, teachers, and government officials to the NKVD. At night black box-like carriages arrived at the homes of these people. They were loaded on, taken to the railway station, and deported to the Gulag – never to be heard from again. Among those arrested with the assistance of local Jews, was the sister of Boguslaw J. Jedrzejec and eight members of her family. Her husband and father were murdered by the NKVD in Baranowicze; the rest of the family was deported to the Soviet interior in the winter of 1939–1940
According to Nachum Alpert, in Slonim,
… A provisional city administration was organized in Slonim, headed by Matvei Kolotov, a Jew from Minsk. … Kolotov immediately began organizing a “Workers Guard” (a temporary militia), whose function was to maintain order in the city. Heading this Guard was Chaim Chomsky, a veteran communist. … And no sooner did the NKVD arrive than it made itself felt everywhere. First they deported merchants, manufacturers, Polish officers and police; then Bundists, Zionists, Trotskyites and Polish “colonists” and “kulaks” from the villages. Many inncocent people were caught in this dragnet.
According to Polish sources, Chaim Chomsky (Chomski), who took charge of the “revolutionary committee”, issued a direction to have the Polish mayor Bienskiewicz arrested when he reported to work on September 18; afterwards, all traces of the mayor disappeared. A Jew, soldier in the Polish army, who found himself in Slonim for a brief period in September 1939 claims that the only Jews, who collaborated with the Soviet invaders were long-time communists: … I don’t deny that there were Jews – old-time communists – who disarmed Polish detachments, but adds, quite correctly, … but can one blame this on all the Jews?
In Dunilowicze, a small town near Postawy, a Jewish woman by the name of Chana, led Soviet soldiers to the home of her neighbor, Jozef Obuchowski, a sergeant of the Frontier Defence Corps. Pointing to his wife she said, … This is a Polish ‘Pani’ [‘lady’ – the feminine of ‘Pan’], her husband is in the military.’ The soldiers tore apart the house looking in vain for her husband, the sergeant. The Polish woman was taken away instead. During her interrogation, which lasted twenty-four hours, she was forced to keep her hands raised and was drenched with water until she passed out.
Another Polish “Pani”, Mrs. Kwiatkowska, was arrested by the Jewish Committee on her estate near the towns of Wolozyn and Wiszniew, soon after the Soviet army passed through. The de facto local authority rested with such groups which had sprung up like mushrooms. It was they, who led the Soviet officials to their prey. Mrs. Kwiatkowska endured Soviet prisons until the end of 1949.
Witold Rozwadowski and his father were arrested on their estate near Kucewicze. The former was held interned in Oszmiana, where he was murdered by a Jewish colleague, who had joined the Soviet militia.
In Oszmiana, They Became Kings
… The temporary authorities consisted of Jews and communists … who proclaimed themselves the commissars of the town. Power was exercised with the help of the militia consisting for the most part of Jews and communists. The Jews and communists served the Bolsheviks through denunciations out of spite and by betraying soldiers and police out of uniform. … The militia was the terror of the population because individual militiamen competed with each other in their servility.
In Nowa Wilejka,
… The positions of authority were filled solely by Jews and Soviet citizens, who were very well provided for in every respect by the Soviet authorities. The latter also oversaw the agitators, who had at their disposal Jews and local riff-raff. The Soviet authorities issued the following directives: agitation centres were established, the so-called agitpunkts, and a large number of agitators, mostly Jews, were brought in from Soviet Russia. They were ordered to hold meetings of the local riff-raff with communist leanings, former prisoners and Jews in order to prepare them to help out. They were ordered to hold meetings at which all things Polish, the Polish system, and the Polish government were criticized and condemned and Polish patriots were mocked. The public was called on to denounce such people because they were dangerous for the Soviets, to arrest them, and to deport them. The [Polish] public was not receptive and even replied with a furor: ‘what for?’ All of these insults and demands came from the mouths of Soviet agitators and Jews. These meetings were generally compulsory and those who did not attend faced repercussions. Mass searches were carried out at the homes of former military men, policemen and civil servants, and those people who were thought to be harmful to the Soviet Union were arrested. The searches and arrests all took place only at night; they were carried out by the police which was always overseen by the NKVD. Hardly anyone came out of such a search whole; someone from the entire family inevitably fell victim to it. Very often during the searches they seized documents, money, valuables, photographs of former military men and policemen, and important papers, all of which simply disappeared. The searches were entirely pro forma because these people were already judged (found guilty) in advance, for the most part by the Jewish communists. After these people were arrested examinations and investigations followed, and the most incredible confessions were extracted from them as a result of all sorts of repressions and torture. That was their sole and favorite goal – the destruction and wreaking rage upon the Poles. In order to extract additional information about those Poles who still enjoyed their freedom, apart from formal investigations, Jewish communists were planted in prison cells to investigate and to extract such information from their victims. For example, one night a group of Poles was arrested by local Jews overseen by the NKVD. The victims were then examined and investigated using “light torture” methods such as hitting on the head, while it was covered with cardboard, with the spine of a book or a heavy book or a rubber club. After such investigations, people walked around half-dazed, lost consciousness briefly, or even lost their minds. Many of my friends fell into this category, for example, Krawczyk, the headman of the Polish state in Nowa Wilejka, Second Lieutenant Zygmunt Pioko, in the active service of the Third Combat Battalion Wilno, also from Nowa Wilejka, and many others. The former could not endure it and died; Piorko latter suffered a nervous disorder of the brain and went insane. … At this time they ordered the compulsory registration of the population and the issuance of temporary identity documents or attestations for which the population was afraid to go and show themselves to the Soviet authorities, at whose side local Jews sat as clerks and provided an opinion about every Pole, who came to register. Many Poles resided there or hid without registering, which also increased the number of those arrested and the new victims of torture.
Vicious Little Demigods After fulfilling all of the orders of the Soviet authorities and packing part of the Polish population into jail as a hostile element for the Soviets, they quickly embarked on their next task, pre-election agitation, which took place on a wide scale. A large number of agitators were sent from Soviet Russia, and these gathered the local riff-raff to help out, such as Jews and former prisoners, not only political ones but also others. They started to convoke all sorts of meetings, which were compulsory under threat.
… On the scheduled meeting days agitators were dispatched to workplaces. They called a break in the work or an earlier quitting time and led everyone to the place, where the meeting was to take place, advising them in advance that no one was to be missing. … Meetings held on days off work … or those announced by written notices were doomed. … only Jews and some poorly educated children came.
From Store Clerk To Local Commissar
.. Every meeting was graced by a large cordon of uniformed and undercover police, as well as by the local Jewish population. … the agitators kept repeating that they would take care of the resisters. … The agitators and Jews frequently raised all sorts of nonsense about General Sikorski [the leader of Poland’s government-in-exile] and the former Polish government. They said that one should get out of one’s head the notion that liberation would come from General Sikorski or from England or from anyone else. At this the Jews, agitators and militia replied with applause. The [Polish] population sat there silently without giving any signs of life. A committee was set up to draw up electoral lists. For the most part Jews were assigned to the committee; they went from house to house and registered everyone eighteen and over. For example, to my wife’s parents came two Jewish women, accompanied by an agitator, a young Jew from Wilno, to register them.
Jews Killed And Then took Estates
… In order to win more people over to their side, they ordered the redistribution of land seized from [Polish] settlers and wealthy landholders to labourers, poor farmers and Jews … Only the Jews willingly took the land given to them …
Premises were designated, the city was divided up into regions and an electoral committee was struck. The electoral committee consisted mainly of Jews, some members of the local riff-raff and Soviet agitators, many of whom were Jews too.
From Students To Election Supervisors
The polling stations were manned by Jews, the families of Soviet agitators, and others. The elections got underway. The mood of the [Polish] population was gloomy. The polling stations were full of Soviet agitators, politruks [political commissars], uniformed and undercover police, as well as Jews and NKVD. A large number of Soviet soldiers and automobiles were assigned to help out. [Because many Poles were evading] … late in the evening the agitators, Soviet soldiers, NKVD and Jews set out in automobiles to collect eligible voters from their homes and drive them to cast their votes.
… … Up until the last moment they did not inform us officially of the fact that there was a plebiscite and the actual purpose of the voting [namely, to sanction the incorporation of seized Polish territory into the Soviet Union – M.P.], thus everyone [i.e. the Poles] considered this to be a big joke, because voting for unknown people and unknown purposes was absurd. Even though it was forbidden to cross things off or to make changes on the ballots, there was a lot of crossing out. Any voter who made some inappropriate gesture with his ballot was observed and noted by the agitators. … A few weeks after the elections, searches, arrests, repressions and torture recommenced again on a large scale, as well as the deportation of the Polish population to the so-called polar bear country.
A Polish woman recalls how the shopkeeper Rumkowa’s son, her Jewish neighbours who knew the townspeople well, helped the Soviets round up and arrest targeted Poles in Nowa Wilejka. When the Germans arrived in 1941 and the Lithuanian police started to harass the Jews, this same Jewish shopkeeper bemoaned what was happening to the Jews. The Polish woman then reminded the shopkeeper of how her own son had behaved when the Bolsheviks arrived. Embarrassed, the Jewish woman hung her head in silence.
In Bialystok, the NKVD utilized the members of the largely Jewish “citizens’ committee”, which was formed before the entry of the Red Army, to create a “workers’ militia” armed with weapons confiscated from Polish soldiers. The militia carried out huge numbers of searches in Polish homes. As one witness reports: … They looked for weapons in every nook and cranny. If they found anything made of gold, such as rings and bracelets, they took it for their own use, and if one offered resistance, they were threatened with death.
A pro-communist committee made of Jews, which was led by Awraam Laznik, seized control of the town of Sokolka, north of Bialystok. The “red militia”, composed of local Jews (many of them Bund members, and an aggressive cobbler by the name of Goldacki) and headed by Szymon Aszkiewicz, a reserve officer of the Polish army, arrested many Polish officials and prominent local Poles and executed three Polish policemen. They conducted numerous raids, looking for arms and seizing radio receivers and photo cameras. A Jewish blacksmith named Abel Labedych shot a Polish policeman in the nearby village of Bogusze, on September 24.
A head forester named Labecki was summoned to a Soviet post established in the town of Sokolka. He was kicked and beaten by armed Jews wearing red armbands. Devastated by this brutal treatment he took his life by throwing himself under a train. His wife and six-year-old son were deported to Irkutsk in the winter in 1940.
Stefan Kurowski had better luck when he was stopped on his bicycle on a highway on the outskirts of Lapy, west of Bialystok, by a Jewish militiaman. Fanatically consumed by his new role, this young Jew burst into a long tirade against the “Pan’s” Poland, whose “oppression” of the Jews he was now avenging as an enforcer of Soviet authority. Having nearly fallen into a trance as a result of his political agitation, this militiaman, less aggressive and brutal than most, seemed to have forgotten why he had stopped Kurowski in the first place and allowed him to continue on his way.
Yesterday He Worked As A Clerk At A Butcher Shop Today he is a party official filling out deportation orders on his Polish neighbors. While their military incompetence was also commented on by others, the local Jewish militia later proved to be an extremely useful tool for the Soviet occupiers in carrying out tasks such as stealing the church bell and preparing lists of Poles for deportation.
Aleksander Gawrychowski, the former township administrator (wojt), was seized from his home in the small town of Wizna, near Lomza, by Jewish militiamen at the beginning of October 1939 on charges of being an armed supporter of the Polish authorities. More arrests and interrogations of alleged Polish conspirators took place the next day: Jerzy Blum, Stanislaw Drozdowski, Jan Kadlubowski, Piotr Nitkiewicz and Stanislaw Gawrychowski. Among the interrogators were the brothers Chaim and Avigdor Czapnicki, prewar Zionists. Other Jewish militiamen from this small locality included: Abraham Birger, Lejzor Kiwajko, Kalmaniewicz, and Chaim Wegierko.
In Suprasl, according to a Jewish source,
… Some of the Jews, including Toleh Kagan, Baruch Gamzu and even Arke Rabinowitz, the Rabbi’s son received permission to carry arms. … One day, Issar, the decorator’s son Itzik, burst into the priest’s house with a gun and stole a radio.
In Polesia, Count Henryk Skirmunt and his sister left their manor house in Molodow near Drohiczyn Poleski on September 17, hoping to escape the Soviets. When passing through the nearby Jewish hamlet of Motol, their automobile was stopped and they were detained by a group of Jewish communist sympathizers. Not only did their Jewish neighbors fail to come to their assistance, but they prevented their escape. Shortly thereafter both of them were executed.
A Polish high school student from Brzesc nad Bugiem (Brest Litovsk) recalled:
Jews Formed Militias The Germans first occupied Brzesc on September 15, 1939, but already by the end of the month the Red Army entered, greeted enthusiastically by the Jewish community with bread and salt and flowers … From that time we Poles often heard slurs and threats directed against us … I will never forget the sight of a Polish policeman, led in handcuffs by policemen along Jagiellonska Street, who was surrounded by Jews howling and spitting at him, throwing rubbish and stones at him, and disparaging him cruelly.
The Jewish militia seized the brother of Feliks Starosielec from his high school in Brzesc. He was arrested, charged and promptly executed. A Polish woman and her young daughter were shot and robbed by a mixed Jewish-Ukrainian patrol in the village of Wolynka, near the railway line to Wlodawa. In Janow Poleski, Stanislaw Doliwa-Falkowski, a landowner, was sheltered by friendly Jews only to be apprehended and executed by the local “red militia”, composed largely of Jews.
…According to a Jewish source, in Pinsk, Basey Giler, a Jewish member of the Communist Party, recognized the Polish Minister of Justice, Czeslaw Michalowski, and pointed him out to the “workers’ guard”, who promptly arrested him.
The reaction of the Jewish population to the fate of Polish officials is described by Julius Margolin:
… First, the officials of the original Polish government disappeared before our eyes. Nobody was concerned, however, and I doubt if a second thought was given to their fate. Yet the method at work, typically Bolshevik, required not merely their dismissal, but their liquidation in toto. Thus they disappeared without leaving a trace.
Jews Killed Town Officials In Sarny (Volhynia), local Jews armed with handguns, accompanied by a few Soviet soldiers, marched Polish town officials in groups of five to their place of execution in a nearby forest. During the ordeal the Jews spat at the policemen and called them derogatory names.
A Jew by the name of Herszko from Jagodzin, near Luboml, warned a Pole, he knew: ‘You, Poles, are already all in a sack; all that remains to be done is to tie it up’. At the beginning of October 1939, a telegram was dispatched to Stalin, signed by 70 Jews from Luboml, thanking the Soviet dictator for “liberating” Volhynia and beseeching him to hold them close to his heart.
In Jaroslawicze near Luck,
… It started with individual cases — arrests and disappearances, especially of Poles. Great help and great zeal in making all sorts of denunciations to the NKVD was shown by the Jews.
The predominantly Jewish communist militia seized control of the town of Luck on September 18th and killed a Polish policeman. A Polish officer who had taken refuge in that city was fortunate enough to escape from the clutches of the Jewish militiaman who had attempted to arrest him on the street.
Other Polish soldiers were not so lucky. As Herman Kruk recalls:
… The day after the entry of the Bolsheviks, groups of the new militia disarmed Polish soldiers. A Jewish fellow stopped a high profile Polish officer and challenged him to give him his weapon. The officer gave his revolver, which he carried on his belt. Finally, the young militiaman began removing the medals from the officer. The officer complained that he couldn’t take them from him. The fellow threatened him with the rifle. The officer then took another revolver out of a holster and shot the militiaman on the spot. The officer was arrested.
The officer in question was doubtless executed summarily by the Soviets, as was their practice. There is no question, however, except perhaps for a die-hard communist or an ardent Jewish nationalist, as to who was the hero and who was the traitor in this black-and-white scenario. Once the Soviets were installed, Polish officials were brought before a field court-martial at which a
College Students Become Judge And Jury Jewish law student by the name of Ettinger, the commander of the Workers’ Guard, acted as the local adviser. Proffering opinions about those marked for execution, Ettinger in effect sealed their fate
… The many Ukrainians and members of the Jewish poorer classes who spontaneously greeted the Red Army soldiers started to show their enmity toward the Poles, who were in the minority. They searched for Polish officials and civil servants and for escapees from the western and central regions who had sought refuge from the Germans, and pointed them out to the NKVD. Massive arrests of those fingered and deportations followed.
In Dubno, on September 17, local Jews spontaneously formed a militia which apprehended the reeve, Bartlomiej Poliszczuk, a Ukrainian who loyally fulfilled his duties to the Polish State. He was eventually handed over to the Soviets – never to be heard from again (his name has appeared on a list of executed Polish officials released by the Russian authorities).
The Hidden Fifth Column Not realizing how efficient their Jewish fifth column was, a few days later the NKVD came looking for Poliszczuk at his home; his name had been put on a list, prepared by local communists, of Polish officials earmarked for arrest.
In Krzemieniec, a self-styled Jewish militia disarmed the citizens’ guard formed by students from the lyceum. A Pole from Krzemieniec recalled:
… When I went out on the streets that day, numerous patrol units, militiamen composed of Jews, were circling the streets. They walked about with red armbands and guns, searching whoever they encountered. There were few Soviet troops. Only in the days that followed did the Soviet divisions march through the city.
The events and mood in Krzemieniec were vividly captured in the memoirs of Janina Sulkowska, the daughter of the county secretary, Jan Sulkowski, whose ultimate fate is described later on.
Militias Use Students .. The Poles watched the Soviet invaders with a mixture of revulsion and fear. Not a few of us cried. But as disconcerting was the emergence of a local Jewish militia which was friendly to the Red Army and had made its appearance even before the enemy had marched in. Armed and organized its first task was to arrest the students and Boy Scouts who had been posted as guards and who carried old carbines in some cases taller than them. The Jews roughed up the shocked youngsters who had considered their captors as friends and classmates, before turning them over to the Soviets from whom they had prior directions. What was the fate of those young Poles? In many cases torture and death. This Jewish militia would help carry out the Soviet’s dirty work during their occupation. My family would fall victim to them.
Children Turned In Their Teachers In town, Jews and Ukrainians were cheering and ingratiating themselves with the Soviets. I recognized many neighbors and acquaintances among those who were now jostling Poles and eyeing their property for future theft. Jewish men offered gifts to the Russians while their wives and daughters kissed their tanks.
Among this rabble were criminals released from jail by the Soviets to create mayhem. They were all emboldened by posters that had suddenly appeared urging various groups to attack Poles with axes and scythes. And the Soviet officers indicated they would not stand in the way of slaughter which was already turning the countryside red with the blood of the Polish minority outnumbered by Ukrainians and Jews. On that day I had my first encounter with a swaggering group of traitors attired in leather jackets, red armbands or sashes, stolen pistols, and hatred in their eyes. I beheld a number of classmates among them, including girlfriends. These mostly young Jews, often well-educated and from rich or religious families, now addressed everyone as “comrade”. One of them gestured a slash across the throat at me. Their love for communism and Joseph Stalin would know no bounds—especially human sacrifice. ‘ They were much worse than the blackmailers and denouncers, who emerged in great numbers among the Jews and who were interested in the goods and jobs of their Polish victims.
From Jews To Kings
Starting as communist sympathizers who flocked to the militia or acted as informers, these political types would soon graduate into “agitators”, administrators and even sadistic interrogators for the Soviets as they filled positions in the new order. A knowledge of the language and the local scene, combined with their fanaticism, would be essential to the NKVD’s reign of terror; they eagerly compiled lists and arrested Poles—and Jews, whom they considered to be enemies of the state. They were the ones who on horseback would chase my father down the main street like an animal, to act as interpreter for their torture victims.
A sizable minority of Polish Jews from all levels collaborated, usually passively but often actively, with the Soviet occupiers in their liquidation of Poles in eastern Poland in 1939–1941. For many, including my kin, the last sight they had of Poland or of their loved ones, was a cattle train bound for Siberia – and a Jew or a Ukrainian, or both, with a rifle on every wagon.
The Jewish militia from the Jewish village of Osowa and the Ukrainian militia from Mydzk, the harbingers of the new Soviet order, wasted no time descending on the Polish settlement of Ozgowo and others near Huta Stepanska to carry out arrests of targeted Poles. The attitude of the Jewish population changed overnight in Katy near Krzemieniec. The better goods were hidden away in their shops and they became “vulgar and insulting” toward Poles. They openly ridiculed the Polish government and social institutions, and made life difficult for the Poles.
… Young Jews entered the militia and in that capacity came to our village and beat up some officer trainees (Romek Kucharski and others) for their alleged crimes (as former members of the Officers’ Training Corps “Strzelec”).
… In the newly formed militia, which engaged members of the local population, there were very many Jews. Undoubtedly the auxiliary apparatus of the NKVD, and thus agents of all kinds, also took in many of them. The local population – Jews and Ukrainians – helped the Soviets a great deal … They chased down Polish patriots and handed them over to the NKVD.
According to a Jewish witness,
… The day after the entry of the Soviet army into Rowne, … enraged mobs recruited from those elements, who were always ready to loot … began to demand that the “exploiters”, bourgeoisie and local “Pans” be punished. Armed with weapons and sticks they started to drag the guilty out of offices, stores and private houses. The first victims were employees of the courts, the public prosecutor’s office and the police. They were led down the middle of the street under the barrel of rifles, surrounded from all sides and accompanied by a shower of profanities. Apparently this was supposed to be the revolutionary element of the oppressed national minorities of the Ukraine. On the sidewalks one could see functionaries discretely maintaining order. The following day, the revolutionary element of armed civilians vanished imperceptibly from the streets of the city, and in their place appeared the organs of order … Thus began the systematic and precisely planned process of plucking out from society those people who were recognized as enemies of the Soviet regime.
Among the many Polish officials arrested in Rowne were: Dezydery Smoczkiewicz, a deputy to the Seym (Poland’s Parliament), murdered in the Spring of 1940 by the Soviets in Kharkov; Tadeusz Dworakowski, a former senator; five judges of the District Court; and the deputy prosecutor. All of them were later murdered. Two assistant prosecutors were also arrested. One of the principal denouncers was an articling student, the son of a well-to-do local Jewish family. These harsh measures did not dampen the enthusiasm of young Jews for the Soviet regime: whenever a picture of Stalin appeared on the screen in the local cinema they stood and howled ecstatically.
In Aleksandria, near Rowne, Jews and Ukrainians formed a militia and disarmed the Polish police in anticipation of the arrival of the Soviets. The militia also invaded the estate of Prince Lubomirski, who was executed. In Wlodzimierz Wolynski, local communists and Jews were quick to denounce local officials, who soon disappeared without a trace.
A young Pole, who was apprehended in Rozyszcze on September 24, when he tried to obtain a pass to Kowel described his encounter with his interrogator as follows:
… The whole thing became complicated when we were taken before the commissar himself. He was a young Jew with a red star in his lapel. He started a regular interrogation … that I was surely a student, I surely belonged to the ONR [National-Radical Camp], had beaten Jews, etc.
In Huta Pieniacka near Zborow, a self-styled militia consisting of four Ukrainians and two Jews took over the police station and post office. They donned red armbands and carried out arrests in anticipation of the arrival of the Soviets.
Hangings In The Town Square A militia, consisting mostly of Jews, soon appeared on the streets of Tarnopol. Dressed in Polish military coats and armed with Polish rifles, they entered homes searching for those who were now wanted by the new “authorities”. The jails were filled and executions abounded:
… While descending to the first-floor level, we saw five Polish officers being led by Soviet soldiers out of an unrented, unfurnished apartment, where the officers had slept the night before. We followed them to the street. … A few moments later, we saw the five officers lined up against the wall of a small white house under the bridge and shot dead by an impromptu firing squad. … Two Polish uniformed railroad men escorted by the Soviets passed us, followed by two escorted mail carriers. Seconds later, we heard a volley of shots. All were executed on the same spot where the five officers had been executed.
A Polish official (a former mayor of Lodz), a socialist, who had found temporary refuge in the home of a local Jewish doctor, recalled:
… At that time the communists fulfilled the most shameful role. They not only formed a “fifth column”, but also were the veritable right hand of the NKVD in their war against the socialists and Polish political activists. They especially denounced members of the Polish Socialist Party and Bund. Alarmed by the arrests that had begun in town, after about a week our hosts advised us to go to some smaller county town, where it would be easier to hide out for a time.
When pro-Soviet Jews spread rumours that Polish officers shot at Soviet soldiers from the bell tower of the Dominican church in Tarnopol, the Soviets opened fire and set the church ablaze causing serious damage to the building and its contents. Clergy from the monastery were arrested and almost shot as a result of this false denunciation. Upon examination, however, the tower was found to be locked shut and there was no trace of any activity there. The Soviets, nevertheless, encouraged townspeople to plunder the monastery.
They Emerged Like Dormant Locust On the eve of the Soviet invasion, armed Jews attacked the railway workers in Stanislawow in order to seize control of the train station. When the Soviets arrived in the city, Jewish houses were decorated with red flags and banners bearing slogans like “Long Live Wise Stalin”. A militia, made up mostly of Jews and Ukrainians, patrolled the town. Leon Rosenthal, the chief of the “red militia”, was particularly active in carrying out arrests of Poles. Local Jews staged a mobile show with effigies mocking prewar Polish leaders. The spectacle attracted a large Jewish rabble which chanted anti-Polish slogans.
In nearby Dolina, the NKVD, accompanied by two local Jews known to the Poles, descended on a home to arrest young Polish, men who belonged to Polish patriotic organizations. One of the young Poles was killed in the local jail; the others were deported to Siberia.
Tadeusz Hajda, a teacher of Polish at the King Kazimierz Jagiellonczyk High School in Kolomyja, was arrested by Jewish collaborators and handed over to the NKVD shortly after the entry of the Soviets. Luck was with him – he was freed from prison because of a petition signed by Poles, Ukrainians and German colonists, though banished to a remote village school.
In Przemysl, Poles – employees – came to the assistance of their Jewish employer. His daughter recalled:
… They [the Soviets] considered us to be “bourgeoisie” and therefore bad. … They had taken everything we had. Everything the Germans left the Russians took. … They arrested my father and then they released him. They emptied our house. We had three Polish employees at the store. They wrote the Russians that my father was a good employer and wanted to continue to work for him. My father wrote that he would give the store to the government if he could stay on as manager. … And the Russians did not want a bourgeois running the store.
Not infrequent acts of solidarity such as this belie the much repeated and exaggerated claim of open hostility among these various groups in interwar Poland.
In Kalusz, the invading Soviet army was greeted boisterously
Entire throngs of the Jewish community, who called out [in Russian], ‘Our people are coming’. They bore red armbands on their sleeves and bountiful bouquets of flowers which they threw on the vehicles; they embraced the tanks with their bodies. And these were Jews, who we knew had property and shops …
Polish children began to be discriminated against by Jewish children, who yelled: ‘Oy vey, where’s your Poland?’ The sons of our Jewish neighbors, Itzek and Munio Haber, called to us: ‘Look, look. Sigit, sigit. A Polish officer is riding on his white horse’. And thus immediately began the cleansing of the Polish population. Jews with red armbands, as representatives of the authorities, started to liquidate the Polish police, post offices, and above all took care of the military officers and soldiers. The officers were deported; those who defended themselves were shot. Polish soldiers, who tried to escape to Romania over the Carpathians were killed.
… Jews and Ukrainians decorated the bridge to the town to greet the Red Army. They flocked to meetings organized by the Soviets to slander the Poles and flooded the Soviet authorities with denunciations of all sorts. Communist fighting squads composed of Jews and Ukrainians roamed the streets terrorizing the Polish population and entered the Catholic church to search for arms.
A Jewish mob set upon and beat a Polish woman as she left church and screamed at her: ‘… Your time is over; ours is just beginning. Stop praying here’. A few days later, at night, a group of masked Poles met up with the Jewish hoodlums in some dark alleys and gave them a good thrashing. Jewish harassment subsided somewhat after that.
When three Soviet tanks from Kolomyja descended on a company of Polish State Police and border guards in Delatyn, local Jews and some Ukrainians helped to disarm the Poles. In Sambor, the Jews who entered the Red militia roamed the town searching for Polish officials. Many of them were arrested and executed. Those who managed to hide out for a time, like police commissioner Wojciech Bryl (murdered by the Soviets in the Spring of 1940 in Tver/Kalinin) from Horodenka, were denounced by local Jews and Ukrainian nationalists. Jewish and Ukrainian communists hunted down Polish policemen and civil servants in Bobrka and handed them over to the NKVD. Szklanny, department commander of the Polish State Police, was murdered near the brickyard by the NKVD and two Jewish communists, Kahane from Podhorodyszcze and Rod Majorek from Bobrka.
In Drohobycz, the local militia, made up mostly of Jews, carried out inspections and drew up lists of those to be arrested and deported. Together with the NKVD they arrested Bronislaw Naja (murdered by the Soviets in the Spring of 1940 in Tver/Kalinin), the commander of the Polish State Police in the nearby village of Schodnica.
Abraham Sterzer, a Jewish doctor from Lwow, recalled:
… When the Red Army marched into [Eastern Galicia], the Jews behaved as if Messiah had arrived. They flocked to sign up for various communist-front organizations, joined the NKVD secret police.
On September 26, Leon Kozlowski, a former minister in the Polish government, was taken by Soviet officers from the museum on Plac Mariacki, where he was installed temporarily, to the NKVD premises on Sapieha Street.
… The officers, who arrested me, engaged me in a conversation, a sort of interrogation, and stated that people like me, enemies of the people, the Soviet system destroys and puts out of action. One of them pointed out that he was a Jew and that I should remember well that it was a Jew, who had arrested me and that he, a Jew, would be the cause of my eventual destruction which would inevitably occur. … My cell became overcrowded by the next day. Twelve people were placed in it on a bare wooden floor. … The vast majority of prisoners were, of course, Poles. There was an army officer, a police inspector, a uniformed lieutenant from the reserves who was a lawyer by profession from Lodz, a judge of the district court, a railway worker, a student from the Polytechnic University, and a student from the Higher School of Foreign Trade. A similar make-up of people, as I later learned, was found in the other cells: judges, policemen, captured army officers, social activists, workers, students. All of them, like I, had been arrested based on denunciations by communists, for the most part Jews.
Toward the end of September 1939, Zygmunt Winter, a Jewish colleague from high school days, brought the NKVD to apprehend Zdzislaw Zakrzewski, an activist in the All-Poland Youth (Mlodziez Wszechpolska) organization at the Lwow Polytechnic University. Not finding him at home, the NKVD arrested Zakrzewski’s father, Wilhelm, an officer of the Polish State Police, who was soon executed. Zakrzewski’s mother and sister were later deported to Kazakhstan, where his mother perished. Zdzislaw Zakrzewski, together with a group of colleagues who made their way to the Polish army in France, had several run-ins with armed “revolutionary committees”, composed of Jews and Ukrainians in Jagielnica and a village near Sniatyn, from which they managed to extricate themselves.
Edward Trznadel, a Polish official, who had taken refuge in Lwow, was apprehended by some Jewish communists from Olkusz. They took him to the commissariat and denounced him as their persecutor. Fortunately for Trznadel, after being interrogated, he was released. Ironically, Trznadel had been on good terms with the Jewish community in Olkusz, where he served as deputy county supervisor (starosta) and was even called on to mediate disputes within that community.
There are numerous similar examples from Lwow, where Poles continued to be arrested throughout the Soviet occupation. A Polish woman saw her husband, a doctor of gentry origin, killed in their home by Jews. In the fall of 1940, Stanislaw Schultz, a 40-year-old Pole, who had been excused from active military service for health reasons, was denounced as a Polish officer by a Jewish neighbor. He was exiled to hard labor in eastern Siberia and was not heard of again. Michal Byczyszyn was arrested on the street in 1941 by Jewish communists. Jewish students of Prof. Zdzislaw Zygulski advised him that he had been spared in their denunciation of their fellow Polish students, alleged “anti-Semites”. Zygulski thereby escaped arrest by the NKVD.
Many accounts also identify local Jews acting as jailers and interrogators throughout Eastern Poland already during these early days of the occupation, in towns like Rowne, Wlodzimierz Wolynski, Hrubieszow, Grodno, Lwow, Augustow, and others.
In Kolomyja, a Polish prisoner recalls:
… In a cell for six people, they packed thirty-six people. By a strange coincidence Wladek [Wladyslaw Traczuk] found himself in the company of policemen from his town of Gwozdziec. Among them were Zalewski, Wolno, Gosztyla and Klincza. Seeing the emaciated Wladek, one of them gave him a little bread and another a spoonful of soup. They were thus able to nourish him somewhat. These policemen were interrogated every night. After their ordeal they returned to their cell staggering on their feet, all mangled and bloody.
Jews and Ukrainians whom we recognized often passed down the corridors. They would stop in front of the cell, point at someone with their finger, and tell the NKVD officer who accompanied them: ‘That’s the one’. After such a visit the fingered victim was treated especially badly. Zalewski and Klincza were beaten the most.
… Few of them managed to leave that prison alive.
Witold Sagajllo, an officer in the Polish Navy, who was caught by the Soviet invasion of Eastern Poland, recalled that “nearly every commissar” he had the misfortune to meet, was a Jew.
The crimes of collaboration led to the deaths and tens of thousands of innocent Poles. 1.7 million were deported to Siberia where only 1/4th were to survive. The Polish have vivid memories of who was behind that, but is right to call them anti-Semites for saying it?
The victims of the reign of terror imposed by Stalin and carried out by his Jewish subordinates,” says Stephan Korbanski, “during the first ten years of the war numbered tens of thousands. Most of them were Poles who had fought against the Germans in the resistance movement. The communists judged, quite correctly, that such Poles were the people most likely to oppose the Soviet rule and were, therefore, to be exterminated. The task was assigned to the Jews because they were thought to be free of Polish patriotism, which was the real enemy.”
Korbanski then goes on to name and detail 29 more Jewish officials (beyond the ones earlier mentioned) of the communist elite that held positions in suppressing Polish nationalism. But political winds in the communist world shifted drastically. Between 1967 and 1968 over 900 Jewish communist officials were purged from Kremlin ranks; Korbanski sees a direct link to Israel’s 1967 military victory over the Arabs. Russia had backed the Arabs and Jewish Russian loyalties — per Israel — were put into question.
“In places like Gleibwitz,” writes John Sack, “the Poles stood against the prison walls as Implementation tied them to big iron rings, said, ‘Ready! Aim! Fire!,’ shot them, and told the Polish guards, ‘Don’t talk about this.’ The guards, being Poles, weren’t pleased, but the Jacobs, Josefs, and Pinteks, the office’s brass [of the Office of State Security] stayed loyal to Stalin, for they thought of themselves as Jews, not as Polish patriots … Stalin … had hired all the Jews on Christmas Eve, 1943, and packed them into his Office of State Security, his instrument in the People’s Republic of Poland. And now, 1945, the Poles went to war with the Office, shooting at Jews in Intelligence, Interrogation, and Imprisonment.”
All this, of course, including the Poles own struggle for survival under German rule, the role of Jews in the brutal communist oppression of Polish nationalism, traditional self-imposed Jewish estrangement from Polish society, and Jewish docile acquiescence to German rule is part of the unscholarly “gutter literature” that the likes of David Engel and mainstream Jewry speak.
Another Jewish criminal that is Solomon Morel – A murderer, never held accountable for crimes against humanity.
The Zgoda (or Swietochlowice) camp was opened in February 1945 for enemies of the Soviet Union in the formerly German province of Silesia in Poland. It was set up at the location of a former Auschwitz subcamp, where prisoners had been forced to work for the German war effort.
On March 15, 1945, the 26-year-old Colonel Salomon Morel, with no relevant training, became the commander of the camp. About 6,000 persons were imprisoned at the Zgoda camp, 1/3 of them were Germans and the rest were Poles and other nationalities. Some families had children with them to the camp. Statistics and witness statements speak of about 2 mothers with children between 1 to 5 years of age and perhaps 2 or 3 children 6 or 7 years old, that we know of. Most camp inmates were over 40 years old and there was a large group of people above 60 years old.
The inmates were systematically maltreated and tortured by the guards, including by Morel himself. They liked to make pyramids of beaten prisoners up to six layers high, causing suffocation.
At night the guards went to the women’s barracks, chose half a dozen women, took them to their quarters outside the barbed wire, and gang-raped them.
One of the cruelest punishments involved a bunker where inmates had to stand in cold water higher than their heads. A typhus epidemic broke soon out in the camp, but no medical help was offered to prisoners and no action was taken until the epidemic spread across the entire camp. Some estimates of the body count during the typhus epidemic were sixty to eighty, eighty to one hundred, and more than one hundred people per day.
The bodies of the dead were being piled up on carts at night and taken outside the camp to hastily dug mass graves. Morel did not inform his superiors about the typhus epidemic until the news of the situation was reported by the local newspapers.
There are only 1,583 prisoners’ death certificates at Morel’s camp, but the Jewish commander did not report every death. The crimes at the camp are recognized by international law as crimes against humanity. When the Polish authorities started to investigate after the fall of communism in 1992, Morel took the first plane that he could to Tel Aviv. He is pictured again on the right.
He was subsequently wanted by the Polish authorities for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Poland requested his extradition twice, but this was denied. Morel died in Tel Aviv on February 14, 2007. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salomon_MorelSalomon Morel aged 86 came from the small Polish town of Grabowo.
Morel claims to be an Auschwitz ‘survivor’. However new evidence documenting his life reveals that he was never interned by the Germans. In fact, by 1943 he was employed peeling potatoes for Jewish partisans before moving to Bolshevik held Russia. Here he trained in the gruesome interrogation methods of the NKVD, the Bolshevik political police, before returning to Poland in 1945.
Communists then put him in charge of a camp containing thousands of German prisoners including SS men, soldiers, and civilians. Jewish author of “An Eye for an Eye”, John Sack says Morel’s “favorite method of killing prisoners was hacking the skull of his victims with a wooden leg of a chair,” according to the book. “It is quite possible that in Swietochlowice several thousand persons were murdered by Morel and his men.” Survivor Dorota Boriczek said “I knew Morel in the camp. He was a very brutal man… He would come in at night. We could hear the cries of the men then. They would beat them and throw the bodies out of the window.”
In 1989, a Polish reporter found Morel living in a part of Katowice assigned for former uniformed functionaries of the Communist terror. In the early 1990s, the Main Commission for the Investigations of Crimes against the Polish Nation started an official investigation of Morel’s activities in the Swietochlowice Camp after witness articles appeared in the press.
In 1994, Mr. Morel sought political asylum in Sweden. This was refused. He then successfully sought sanctuary in Israel. Poland tried to extradite him in 1998 on torture charges. Israel refused. So prosecutors began preparing a genocide case, for which there is no statute of limitations.
In July of 2005, they received a blank refusal from Israel saying “there was no basis whatsoever” to extradite Morel. Yet a Polish prosecutor has testimony from former inmates documenting Morel’s torture of prisoners.
In 1984, a Polish journalist, Teresa Toranska, had this interchange with Jacob Berman, the despised Jewish former “Minister of State Security” in post-war communist Poland:
Berman: “I was against too large a concentration of Jews in certain institutions … it wasn’t the right thing to do and it was a necessary evil that we’d been forced into when we
[communists] took power when the Polish intelligentsia was boycotting us…
Q: In 1948-49 you arrested members of the [Polish] Home Army Council of Aid to Jews, the ‘Zegota’ … Mr. Berman!
The security services who were all or nearly all Jews arrested Poles because they had saved Jews during the [Nazi]occupation, and you say the Poles are anti-Semites. That’s
Here is just some more information about the Jewish feeling of non-Jews, especially Poles. Moshe Rozdial reflects the usual Jewish polemic and apologetic about Jewish racism and hatred of those around them:
“If I could be really honest, growing up around Holocaust survivors, especially grandparents who had been part of village life in Poland, my clearest memory of anything that relates to churches was the way my grandmother would spit three times, you know, tu! tu! tu!, like in Fiddler on the Roof, to ward off evil spirits, every time she would walk past a church steeple. The cross has really been more a burden to Jews, than for Christians to bear. For my Bubbe, my grandmother, it represented the wrath of Satan, swooping down on a helpless people when they were not vigilant to warding off the evil eye. She saw Nazism as just another version of Christianity, hoardes of Aryan barbarians, swooping down with their broken cross, to do the work that the church had laid the foundation for, for a thousand years. I remember walking down the street with my hand in hers, feeling that tug and knowing, almost instinctively that if I look up I’d see a cross atop a roof, as she reflexively crossed the street to avoid walking directly in front of the church. Muttering, Nevelah! Nevelah! Do you know what that means? The impurity of the dead. Any dead thing. Any dead thing, that by Jewish law, could not be touched in any way, so as not to be defiled by spiritual purity. That’s what Bubbe thought of the crucifix and ultimately, the church … She’d spit three times, more if she was in a dark mood, and walk out of her way to avoid the site. The dead Jew on the cross was a Nevelah to her, a presence that has always defiled her life, Jewish life. A symbol of death and human corruptness, to to my people. I know it’s not politically correct to say these things to you. We Jews are always watching our tongues, when it comes to Christianity.”
A yeshiva student, Rachmiel Frydeland, notes how it was growing up Jewish in the pre-war town of Chelm: “I had no contacts with Christianity at all. On the way to school we passed a Roman Catholic church and a Russian Orthodox church, and we spat, pronouncing the words found in Deuteronomy 7:26, ‘ … though shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing … Why should we say such horrible words? The [Christian] people looked so pious. They came from surrounding villages to worship, and they never bothered us”
Abraham Sterzer grew up within a Jewish life in Eastern Galicia. “Our rabbi,” he says, “insisted that we Jewish children spit on the ground and utter curses while passing near a cross, or whenever we encountered a Christian priest or religious procession. Our shopkeepers used to say that ‘it was a Mitzveh (blessed deed) to cheat a Goy (gentile).'” Lanota recalled that her Jewish community in Poland “had a somewhat unfavorable attitude toward other nations — maybe even contemptuous. There prevailed the feeling that we were the chosen people.”]
The first prime minister of modern Israel, David Ben-Gurion, once recalled his childhood among non-Jewish children in Poland:
“Somebody would perhaps throw a stone, or start an argument, and very often it was the Jews who started first. We used to get the upper hand.”
Jewish commentator Elias Tcherikower notes the nature of Jewish shtetl (Jewish community) culture in Eastern Europe:
Jews were not regarded, nor did they regard themselves, as Russians or Poles who differed in religion and occupational concentrations from the majority population … Jews constituted an autonomous, isolated, self-enclosed, and collectively responsible social entity. The goings-on in the outside world certainly impinged upon the Jewish community, but were regarded as being as the same order as natural events; most often, as natural catastrophes. There was, relatively speaking, little social interaction that mattered between Jew and non-Jew. What was of significance was what went on in the Jewish world, in the world of the shtetl… Above all, the shtetl was a community of rigid religious orthodoxy… the shtetl’s frame of reference was the Jewish community. Outside was the world of the goy, the alien … Loyalty to this hostile, alien world was nonexistent.”
As Jewish Holocaust survivor Nechama Tec notes about traditional Jewish separatism, self-imposed estrangement from non-Jews, and resistance to assimilate into Polish culture (which had virtually insurmountable consequences when any Christian Pole sought, at constant risk of his or her life, to hide Jews from the Nazis):
“In 1939, of all the European countries, Poland had the highest concentration of Jews. They made up 10 percent of the country’s population. As the largest community of Jews in Europe, Polish Jews were also the least assimilated. They looked, dressed, and behaved differently from Polish Christians … In prewar Poland, more than half the Jewish children attended special Jewish schools. Enrollment in religious school, in turn, discouraged mastery of the Polish language. Thus, in answer to a 1931 census inquiry, the overwhelming majority of Jews mentioned Yiddish as their native tongue (79 percent) and only 12 percent gave Polish as their first language. The rest chose Hebrew.
Jews and Poles lived in separate and different worlds, and their diverse experiences made for easy identification. It has been estimated that more than 80 percent of the Polish Jews were easily recognizable, while less than 10 percent could be considered assimilated.”
Despite all of this it is estimated that up to a million Poles aided Jews in some way and tens of thousands were murdered. We will never know the full amount because many died with those they were saving.
Poland also had a group dedicated to saving Jews. No other German-occupied country had that. The name was Zegota.
The main activities of Zegota dealt with forging documents for Jewish refugees. On any given day, Zegota produced on average 100 forgeries. By the end of two years, they had secretly issued over 50,000 fake documents. Because of Zegota, 40,000 to 50,000 Jews were saved. Many were tortured and even murdered by the Gestapo, but never gave up any Jews.
This is just some of the hypocritical deception and betrayal the Poles faced and are now shamed and humiliated today.
It is also interesting to note that on November 12th, 1918 on Józef Piłsudski’s return, the Marshal, a Jew, I. Grunbaum (later a deputy to the Sejm of the Second Polish Republic), who, on behalf of the Jews, demanded from Poland half of its area to create Jewish autonomy.
Do the Jews or anyone else have any right to judge the Polish? No! I will say no many times after what they have gone through at the hands of the Jews and concerning the criminal Jewish behavior.