I have been engaged, among other things these past two weeks or so, responding at Twitter to a small band of persistent Poles who favor - and vociferously defend - their government's new law.

I agree: there were no "Polish concentration camps" and Poles did not further a Holocaust campaign.  And many thousands of Jews were saved by Poles.

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But I also found it amazing that these Poles managed to offset any criticism of Polish anti-Jewish behavior, before, during and after the Holocaust with borderline ridiculous reasons. Reasons that are out of context, out of proportion and, to my mind, reveal an oddity: why are they in need of the law for their characterizations of the Jews, they seem to be Poles who would have lent a hand to the Germans had they been living during 1939-1945.

For example, when I pointed out that in the 1920s Poland officially promoted a policy of anti-Jewish economic restrictions, someone responded that why shouldn't the government advantage the Poles, as if Jews weren't citizens of Poland.

If I mentioned the statistics of Jews handed over to the Germans, the retort was that Jews handed over Jews.  But, so what?

They brought up Jewish Communists who were anti-Polish nationalists.  But then why did Hassidim have to get beaten up in the streets of the shtetls? They were Communists?

I mentioned the 1935 incident at Przystyk, they, correctly, point out that it was the Jews that first opened fire but ignore the boycott campaign and that it was the Poles who began violently shutting down Jews' stalls at the town.

I note the pogroms of the 1930s: the most notorious of these were in Grodno (7 June 1935), Przytyk (9 March 1936), and Brześć nad Bugiem (Brest; 13 May 1937).

Those of 1919-1921. At Kielce in 1946 - after the war!. I wouldn't dare bring up the Zawadka Morochowska massacres of Polish Ukrainians. The “ghetto benches” at universities,  the deterioration of relations between Jews and Poles in interwar Poland, complicated by the aggressive anti-Jewish policies of the National Democrats (Endecja).

All this was not connected to the Holocaust directly.  But all of it pre-1939 prepared Poles either not to help or to convince them to assist in different ways the German effort to eradicate the Jews.

If the new law interferes in preserving, researching and publishing this history, it's a bad law.

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