February 19, 2018: A Polish prime minister's claim

Polish-Jewish relations and illegal migrants in Israel, our readers have their say.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A Polish prime minister’s claim
With regard to “Polish PM: There were Polish perpetrators of the Holocaust just like there were Jewish ones” (February 18), where is Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s evidence? Where and when did Jews carry out pogroms against innocent Polish citizens or fellow Polish Jews?
Many Poles today, including the leaders of the country, are upset that the infamous Auschwitz death camp and other Holocaust-era camps on Polish soil are often labeled as being “Polish” rather than “Nazi.” Indeed, recent Polish legislation makes it a crime to describe Auschwitz and other such camps as “Polish.”
Yet anti-Jewish barbarity has been going on for many centuries in Poland. What was preached by the parish priests was practiced by the parishioners with great zeal. Christians were taught that the Jews killed their god, Jesus, and that the Jews must suffer. The Jews were taunted by their Christian neighbors with “Zhid, Palestina!” (Jew, go back to Palestine!).
The Poles continued to do the Nazis’ bidding enthusiastically even after the Germans left.
I agree with the Polish government that the concentration camps for Jews in Poland were German camps. The main reason was that the Poles themselves were incapable of organizing Jewish murder on an industrial scale. The Poles were essentially cowards, attacking and massacring defenseless Jews, often their neighbors, on an individual and group basis.
Recently, I edited a book narrative by Eddie Bielawski titled Invisible Jews: Surviving the Holocaust in Poland. His family of 10 survived for three years in hiding. They were resourceful and brave.
He wrote: “We were in a totally hostile environment. No one could be trusted. There were Poles who would kill us, would steal all that we had, or turn us over to the Germans for a reward and to see us dead.... There was the occasional Pole who showed human feelings toward us, who fed us and risked his life and that of his family. But they were few and far between.”
I think this sums up the true situation regarding the Poles and the Holocaust.
Melanie Philips, in “Poland unleashes its own inner demons” (As I See It, February 16), writes that Emanuel Ringelblum was a historian and survivor. Unfortunately, Ringelblum did not survive the Holocaust.
According to Wikipedia: “Together with numerous other Jewish writers, scientists and ordinary people, Ringelblum collected diaries, documents, commissioned papers and preserved the posters and decrees that comprised the memory of the doomed community. Among approximately 25,000 sheets preserved, there are also detailed descriptions of the destruction of ghettos in other parts of occupied Poland.... On the eve of the ghetto’s destruction in the spring of 1943, when all seemed lost, the archive was placed in three milk cans and metal boxes. Parts were buried in the cellars of Warsaw buildings....
“Shortly before the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Ringelblum and his family escaped from the ghetto and found refuge on the ‘Aryan’ side of Warsaw. However, on 7 March 1944, their hiding place was discovered by the Gestapo. Soon after, Ringelblum and his family were executed....”
Ma’aleh Adumim
Polish perpetrators, Jewish perpetrators. It will all draw fire.
Let us think of tomorrow, not yesterday. Let us think of what the Almighty gave us all: the present.
Those UNRWA textbooks
I just read Marcus Sheff’s thorough discussion of the curriculum that UNRWA allows into the Palestinian schools it supports and funds (“Time for UNRWA to face the truth about its textbooks,” Comment & Features, February 18). Please allow me to make a simple suggestion to inject reality into the subject.
I recommend that a set of translated textbooks currently used in these schools be sent to each member of the European Parliament, with a list of all the schools using this curriculum accompanied by a form inquiring as to which texts each member would recommend for his or her own country’s schools. We have excellent translators who have probably done this already.
Perhaps this would grab the attention of some of those in the European Parliament.
Suicidal ruling...
Regarding “Court finds that flight from Eritrean Army service is basis for refugee status” (February 16), when a person breaks the law in countries where law prevails, he is prosecuted. It is also considered a crime to help a person wanted by law enforcement. Why are we making Eritrean problems our own problems? Do we not have enough? The recent appeals court decision to allow “refugee status” for thousands of Eritrean men fleeing army service (or deserting?) is not covered as “persecution” under the Refugee Convention. They are little more than law breakers fleeing prosecution. In most countries they are called “draft dodgers.” Do we not have our own? For Israel to give aid and comfort to people who sneak into our nation from the failed state they come from is not aiding “refugees.” Such a description is insulting to anyone with common sense. They come “here” to get away from “there.” That does not make them refugees.
Now that Israel’s enablers have been feeding and giving legal advice to these infiltrators, helping them write their placards, teaching them what to say (“We will be persecuted/killed if we return, etc.”), helping them fill out their forms and speaking in their behalf, we can see more clearly who they are. More than 75% are working-age males without families. Do not refugees normally leave as families to get away from harm? From some of the police reports coming from south Tel Aviv, the crimes they are committing and the fear they are instilling in the local residents are a horror story. They attack citizens, the police and even an MK visiting to view the situation.
The appeals court ruling is suicidal. It is creating an underclass of foreigners who have no love for Israel, its people or its religion, and will be a drain on our economy and a blight wherever they accumulate. Helping those who are truly in need is one thing, but aiding and abetting foreign criminals who are plying their trade in Israel is quite another. Use the money wasted on trying to help them and spend it on Israelis in south Tel Aviv.
We need to get these infiltrators out of our country as fast as possible. We do not need another headache. Wake up!
...but it makes him sick
It is sad to know that the government plans to deport people who finally found a safe haven in the Land of Israel.
What has happened to Jewish humanity? Have we forgotten the wartime St. Louis and its Jews yearning to breathe free, but turned back by the US and every other country? Is this what 70 years has brought to the Jewish people? Tikkun olam, the notion of repairing the world, is a hallmark for Jews. It begins as people to people! It is incomprehensible that a Jewish government could be so heartless. It makes me sick!
Jupiter, Florida
CORRECTION The United Nations voted to partition Palestine on November 29, 1947, and not as stated in the caption to the photo accompanying “Executive director of Queens Museum resigns after shuttering Israel event” (February 19).