100 Falsehoods of J.T. Gross (1 - 3)
dr. Jerzy Robert Nowak
translated by: Mark Lech Jaworski
Notes of Lech Marek Jaworski who translated
Based on the recent book PRZEMILCZANE ZBRODNIE = [UNSPOKEN CRIMES] (about Jewish collaborators with a Soviet invaders of Poland in 1939) - published by WYDAWNICTWO VON BOROVIECKI Warsaw in 1999 and a personal conversations of the translator with the Author in Warsaw in January and March of 2001 . Dr. Nowak, a Polish historian, University Professor, scientist, writer and essayist is a bright spot on the horizon of renewal of Polish patriotism. His books are sold on the streets of Polish cities, often ignored by big chain booksellers and politically correct but biased mass media in Poland, like GAZETA WYBORCZA = [ELECTION'S GAZETTE] which are written in Polish, but have no Polish soul. Professor J.R. Nowak is at times invited to take part in panel discussions on Polish TV, but hosts or other panelists interrupt his daring statements. Dr. J.R. Nowak specializes in examining controversial subjects. He has given the world tremendous contributions by breaking a taboo surrounding Jews in Poland. His 47 articles in the Polish Christian daily SLOWO = [WORD] under the title "PRZEMILCZANE SWIADECTWA" = [UNSPOKEN TESTIMONIES] were very popular. Essay "WHAT JEWS SHOULD APOLOGIZE TO POLES FOR" published by the paper NASZA POLSKA = [OUR POLAND] uncovered the truth hidden by communist tyrants and their Jewish collaborators.
As an all-round historian, dr. Nowak published 24 books and over 700 papers. Subjected to scrupulous reviews by his peers as well as ignorant detractors, was never proven wrong and his integrity has never been shaken. He published book about Hungarian Uprising "HUNGARY - SO CLOSE BUT UNKNOWN," history of 20th century Hungarian literature, "THOUGHTS ABOUT POLAND AND POLES," two volumes on "THREATS TO POLAND AND POLES," which became in 1998 a national bestsellers in Poland. Again in 1999 his book "BLACK LEXICON" was another bestseller unmasking 'elites' of contemporary Poland. "CHURCH AND THE FRENCH REVOLUTION," exposed this dramatic event in a true light.
A series of essays "100 FALSEHOODS OF J.T. GROSS" is being published in a Polish Christian weekly NIEDZIELA [Sunday], (circulation over 300,000) as an answer of the learned man to the vicious attack on Polish nation by a hate monger writer J.T. Gross. Gross is part of the worldwide conspiracy against Poland, to extort billions of dollars for not numerous but rich, self-appointed 'friends of the victims' of the Holocaust. When US or German taxpayers and Swiss bankers refused to continually finance Israeli wars, to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, shadowy charitable foundations and defenders of inhuman rights from Manhattan started concerted attack on whatever is left of Poland. After over 100 years of Russian and German occupation in 19-th century, Second World War invasion by Nazis and Soviets and almost 50 years of Soviet colonial exploitation, Poland is struggling for survival. Unreasonable claims against this troubled nation with over 15% unemployment and over 50 billion US dollars of foreign debt could bankrupt the state; but maybe this is what some shadowy figures want, destroy infrastructure, pauperize and buy Poland at the discount, colonize her again.
Dr. Nowak's essay is suitable only for a reader with an open mind, not easily influenced by half-truths and demagoguery. Scientific accuracy applied to a historical research by dr. Nowak, compels the reader to search for truth. It is much more difficult to seek the truth than fantasize to suit the evil hidden agenda. Search for the truth is always swimming upstream; only garbage spills with a flow. By the way; dr. Nowak's weekly column in NIEDZIELA is called just that "POD PRAD" = UPSTREAM."
On a personal note, I do this translation on my own time, it has not been ordered by anyone (like a book of Mr. Gross) or financed by some generous benefactors. I thank my wife Barbara for help and encouragement.
100 FALSEHOODS OF J.T. GROSS
[Entries in square brackets and distincly different font, are translator's additions, some page numbers relate to the Polish language editions]
Professor Pogonowski precisely exposed intentions of J.T. Gross in an excellent review of a GHASTLY DECADE 1939 - 1948, published by ARKANA of Krakow (Number 5, 1998). In 1998 already Professor Pogonowski pointed out that the real goal of Gross is "to create myths about participation of the Polish nation in the annihilation of the Jewry. It is easier to collect compensation from the guilty than from the fellow victim. (…) Gross's propaganda helps extreme Jewish groups to exhort a squeeze on the Polish government to pay up for a crimes committed in Poland by Germans, Soviets and common criminals."
In his works Gross spins an extremely libelous generalizations about Poland and Poles. Relying on the not very trustworthy report of Szmul Wasserstein, he accuses Poles of "genocide" of Jews in Jedwabne, omitting completely or belittling role of the Germans in this murder. He says for example that during the murder in Jedwabne there were only eight German military policemen, ignoring the report of an earlier investigating prosecutor W. Minkiewicz that there were 232 German police officers in Jedwabne. Not an unimportant discrepancy! Gross presents extremely falsified and deformed picture of the Jewish history in Poland as an unending chain of suffering at the hands of "anti-Semitic" Poles, from whom the only solution to avoid pogroms, was to bribe them. He does not explain why such an anti-Semitic Poland was called "Jewish Paradise" (Paradise Judeorum) by 18th century? Why did (according to Norman Davies) the four fifths of the world's Jewry live in this "anti-Semitic" Poland of the 19th century? Gross writes about a "basic theme of participation of ethnic Polish population in annihilation of Polish Jews"(NEIGHBORS page 95), that allegedly "during Hitler's occupation a great majority of the Polish society felt lack of sympathy to Jews" (GHASTLY pages 41-42). Particularly heavy accusations of Polish "anti-Semitism" Gross launches against the Polish clergy, quoting the worst, the dirtiest libels as stated with pleasure by the extremely biased statements of Menachem Finkelsztain: "Polish murderers (…) are driven by animalistic instinct, by blood and theft instilled in them over the centuries by the black clergy, which built its existence on racial hate" (NEIGHBORS page 46, book style by Gross).
Gross unleashed libelous hue and cry against Poland and Poles, undoubtedly knowing the anti-Polish climate in some Jewish circles in America. It is a surprise though, to find intellectuals living in Poland, who with such a fervor would pick up and carry all accusations of Gross against Poles, disregarding the fact that they were not verified by historians, and without even waiting for a result of an investigation conducted by a public prosecutor in the matter. Curiously, among persons of that sort, there are authors who have not the slightest idea about history of Poland during the WW2, like world-renowned science fiction writer Stanislaw Lem, philologist Maria Janion, sociolologist Jacek Kuczewski etc. How right was Maciej Letowski in TYGODNIK SOLIDARNOSC = [Solidarity Weekly] on 9th of February 2001, about those who immediately and uncritically supported Gross, challenging Poles to repent for alleged crimes: "I wakes up in me a feeling of resistance against the behavior of 'national self-flagellators,' who on every occasion, bang their chest so vividly in front of the camera, that I start wondering about their sanity (…) Let's not accuse some of our compatriots of building a… PENANCE ENTERPRISE."
Let criminal investigation expose who committed the crime in Jedwabne and publicly condemn the perpetrators, regardless of their nationality. It is reprehensible, however, that Gross uses extreme generalizations about the whole Polish nation; paired with constant falsifications of true meaning of materials he is quoting. In this series of articles written for the NIEDZIELA = [SUNDAY], titled "100 FALSEHOODS OF J.T. GROSS," I intend to prove by specific examples that masochistic 'national self-flagellators' simply made fools of themselves, uncritically praising Gross -an author, who commits numerous cynical manipulations and intellectual fraud. I will prove that Gross on many occasions shamelessly lied in his texts, falsified pictures of the whole periods of history, twisted and falsified true meaning of the books he quoted. It gives a very bad impression about people who aspire to belong to the intellectual elite, that they did not notice false conclusions from books such as TEN JEST Z OJCZYZNY MOJEJ = [HE IS MY BROTHER], by W. Bartoszewski and Z. Lewinowna. Starting from the text presented below, I will enumerate point-by-point falsehoods of J.T. Gross.
The lie #1 about freedom for Poles under Nazi occupation
Few people know that in 1981 some of Gross's lies were unmasked by Stefan Korbonski himself, one of the leaders of Polish Resistance against Nazis, former Delegate to the occupied country, deputy Premier of the underground government. In an article published in = ZESZYTY HISTORYCZNE [HISTORICAL CHRONICLES OF KULTURA] in Paris (No. 58, pages 158-184), Korbonski strongly condemned anti-Polish lies of Gross contained in a published 1979 book POLISH SOCIETY UNDER GERMAN OCCUPATION. Gross has written this book for Anglo-Saxon readers, unfamiliar with Polish realities. Without scruples he served them nonsense, which he would not dare to present to the Polish readers. His mannerism of exaggerating martyrology of Jews and belittling Polish martyrology and heroism has shown up already. To this end he was leading the Anglo-Saxon readers to believe that the activities of the Polish Resistance were not particularly risky, to the contrary, they have been undertaken in the amazing freedom of action. Korbonski in his text laughs at the particularly embarrassing to Gross nonsensical statement (page 240 of his book) "Yes, paradoxically Poles enjoyed bigger freedom during the period 1939 to 1944, than during the whole century… I think that one can assume that multiplicity of underground resistance organizations and abundance of conspiratorial initiatives is a proof of the political freedom in Poland under Nazi occupation. It is hard to imagine that all this underground organizations could rise and in such a number if it was other way around."
That means, according to Gross, that the Greatness of the Polish Underground Statehood and the Polish conspiracy was not a merit to Poles, because we were so free during the German occupation! Of course, Poles had, thanks to the Germans, unlimited freedom in one aspect - freedom to die: on the gallows, by the executioner's hatchet, with gypsum in one's mouth, from exhaustion in a concentration camp…
Let's ask, how the man, who writes such hogwash, could be treated as a credible author in Polish matters?
Gross goes all the way to present Polish nation as blood thirsty and fanatical, always against Jews. Therefore, he is falsifying history of Jewry from the ancient times until after WW2.
Lie #2. False picture of history of Jews in Poland centuries ago.
One could enumerate a multitude of honest Jewish authors, praising Poland as symbol of exceptional tolerance and refuge for Jews. Famous Jewish thinker, rabbi of Krakow Moses Isserles. Wrote in 16th century: "If God would not have given us this country (Poland that is - J.R.N.), as a refuge, the fate of Israel would have become unbearable." Modern Jewish historian Barrett Litvinoff in a monumental work THE BURNING BUSH (London 1988) appreciated that "most likely Poland protected Jews from total annihilation." In a picture of Polish - Jewish relations presented by Gross there is no trace of exceptional role of Poland as a refuge for Jews. On the contrary, in NEIGHBORS (2000, Polish edition page 83) we learn that since Chmielnicki - the time noted by mythologized Jewish memory as Khurban, catastrophe spreading fear archetype Shoah - readiness to destroy everything strange, Jews at first, not only survived in a Polish village but was also repeatedly manifested in a paroxysms of violence." Chmielnicki in fact committed slaughter of Jews, but as a leader of Cossacks and Ukrainian peasants, killing Jews as well as Polish gentry. Saying this that in a context of Polish farmers and weave generalizations about repeated appearances of "paroxysms of violence" on Polish soil, could only be done by completely illiterate ignorant (and this is not a case of Gross) or a willful cynical charlatan.
Lie #3. Accusing Poles of participation in a genocide of Jews.
In NEIGHBORS (pages 94-95) Gross expresses regrets that a Polish historiography is incomplete without "works on basic subject of participation of ethnic Polish population in annihilation of Polish Jews." In his earlier book GHASTLY DECADE (1998 page 117) Gross has written: "Poles (…) very often, in many ways, participated in a process of extermination of Jews." I am amazed that slanderous calumnies of Gross, in a spirit of the worst Poles eaters, were not countered by emphatic reply of prominent representatives of Polish public life, witnesses of the war time. Let us recall that even Jerzy Kosinski, author of infamous PAINTED BIRD afforded, at the end of his life, to accentuate the need to deny "such phenomenon like a mean stereotype of Pole - anti-Semite, collaborating with Nazis and responsible for Holocaust. When I hear that I think of the best of Goebbels time." (During the Interview to PRZEGLAD TYGODNIOWY No 15 1988). It is also appropriate to remind Gross the slanderer, the statement made by the President of the Jewish Combatant Association - Arnold Mostowicz: "No nation put on the altar of help to Jews, such a hecatomb of sacrifices as Poles, because in many occupied countries such a help was not threatened with such a risk" (Quoted from AC, WARSAW'S RIGHTEOUS ZYCIE: 25TH of February 1998)
Lie #4. About small handful of Poles who helped the Jews.
Calumnies about Poles participating in extermination of Jews, are accompanied by slanders belittling to the extreme, extend of Polish help to Jews. According to Gross: Only small handful of Poles who helped Jews" (GHASTLY DECADE page 36), and "Poles principally were not willing to help the Jews" (ditto page 41). Let me recall in this context evaluation of Marek Edelman: "I want you to imagine that 12,000 Jews survived in Warsaw until the Warsaw Uprising (1944)… To keep 12,000 alive, at least 100,000 people must have been involved. Population of Warsaw was 700,000 then, that is one out of seven Poles involved. This is very large percentage. (…) I think that there is no other city like that in the whole Europe. Especially that here the punishment was much more severe." (Quote from the interview with Marek Edelman in TYGODNIK POWSZECHNY 18th of April 1993). Jewish author Klara Mirska, who emigrated from Poland after incidents in March 1968, wrote in a book published in Paris in 1980, IN THE SHADOW OF TERRIBLE FEAR: "I collected many testimonials about Poles saving Jews and think sometimes: 'Poles are extraordinary. They could be impulsive and unjust, but I do not know whether in any nation one could find so many people full of romanticism, so many people without the flaws, so many angels, who with such a sacrifice, disregarding their own life were saving others." Saved by the Poles Jewess Janka Altman wrote to Marek Arczynski about Poles, who were risking their own life to protect Jews during the war: "I do not know, whether we the Jews, seeing tragedy of another nation, would be able to such a sacrifice" (Quoted from M. Arczynski and W. Balcerak: CRYPTONYM ZEGOTA. History of helping Jews in Poland 1939-1945, Warsaw 1983, page 364). [I wonder how many war torn Palestinian children are raised by the Israeli families?]
Lie #5. False conclusions from the book: TEN JEST Z OJCZYZNY MOJEJ = [HE IS MY BROTHER]
To slander Poles as a nation presented totally in black, Gross uses with a great chutzpah false conclusions from the books he quotes from. On page 48 of the GHASTLY DECADE, Gross says: "Reading Bartoszewski's and Lewinowna TEN JEST Z OJCZYZNY MOJEJ = [HE IS MY BROTHER], does not allow for any doubts as to where the threats to the hiding Jew were coming from." As a proof, Gross gives short fragment of published in 1969 book, describing an example of anti-Jewish behavior of three country boys. I reiterate, the book of Bartoszewski and Lewinowna on 1034 pages, describes hundreds of examples of Poles helping Jews, risking their own life. Few fragments mention anti-Jewish incidents. It does not stop the Gross from using such a book to lie with impudence about "generally felt animosity to Jews."
Lie #6. Falshood about anti-Semitism of a Polish press.
In a GHASTLY DECADE (Page 44) Gross says: "In very important book GERMAN-JEWISH WAR (Aneks 1989) Pawel Szapiro presents full set of texts on Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. As it could be seen from that selection, anti-Semitism was a rule of the public opinion of the Polish society, with a notable exception of very honorable and influential exemptions. (…)." It is worthwhile to notice chutzpah of Gross in perverting the true sense of Szapiro's book. Historian associated with Jewish Historical Institute of Warsaw. His selections prove without any doubt, that most of the Polish conspiratorial publications sympathized with a Jewish fight in Ghetto [against Nazis] and very rare exceptions were anti-Jewish texts. Let's add that Ludwik Landau, renowned Jewish author of CHRONICLES OF THE YEARS OF WAR AND OCCUPATION (1962, volume 2, December 1942 - 30 of April 1943, page 377), noted that on 11-th day of fighting, on 30-th of April 1943: "Fighting was appreciated everywhere, evoked sympathy, even in a circles not very accessible to the Jews, especially because of unequivocal stance of the underground press."
Lie #7. Ignoring results of the investigation of a Prosecutor W. Monkiewicz
In his attempts to blame Poles exclusively for murder of Jews in Jedwabne, Gross relied on not very trustworthy (published in two different versions) testimonies if Szmul Wasersztain. Prof. Tomasz Strzembosz uncovered in GLOS (3 March 2001) that Wasersztain was an agent of [communist] Secret Police (UB), acting as an interrogator having a rank of the lieutenant. Wasersztain completely ignored part played by German policemen in Jedwabne, writing that there were only eight of them. Gross relying on Wasersztain, at the same time did not say a word in his book about brought in 1989 conclusions of investigation of Jedwabne murder by Prosecutor Waldemar Monkiewicz. He reported that decisive role was played not by the Poles but 232 troopers of German military police, (not 8, according to Gross). Willful withholding of those conclusions by Gross in NEIBORS, was pointed out by me in May of 2000 and later by professor Tomasz Szarota.
Lie #8. Generalizations painting picture of Catholic Church in black.
In his attempts to blame Poles exclusively for murder of Jews in Jedwabne, and denying any German crimes there, Gross completely forgets any motives for resentment to Jews, such as their support of soviets conducting ethnic cleansing of Poles in an area they invaded in 1939-41 ( I wrote about it in details in a book PRZEMILCZANE ZBRODNIE = [UNSPOKEN CRIMES] (1999). The only factors that - according to Gross - may have inspired a murder was "wild" anti-Semitic, Christian fanaticism of Poles and intent to rob. In a book NEIGHBORS he spreads slanders about Bishop of Lomza and two other Polish clergymen and extreme generalizations about attitude of Catholic Church to Jews. On pages 45-46 of NEIGHBORS, Gross explains inspiration to commit murder in Jedwabne: "(…) propaganda started to spread to the crowd from opinion creating circles, the time has come to get even for a death of Christ on the cross, with those who use blood for matzos and who are a source of all evil in the world - the Jews (…). The seed of hate fell on a fertile ground, well cultivated for many years by the clergy. Wild and bloodthirsty crowd accepted that as a holy challenge of a mission, given to them by the history - to liquidate the Jews (…) Who killed them? Polish murderers, dirty hands from underground world of blind people, driven by animalistic instinct after blood and robbery thought and raised over dozens of years by black clergy, which on the grounds of racial hate built their own existence." (The weird style is a total responsibility of Gross and his publisher). Gross writes about "regularly repeating themselves threatening moments - such as Easter, when priests evoked in sermons a picture of Jew God killer."
Taking chances with such a twisted "black generalizations" about Catholic Church in Poland, which in April may reach readers in USA and Germany, Gross willfully omits any information about people of the Church which does not fit his biased thesis. No reader of his book will learn that Catholic Church in Poland had such a Hierarchy like Bishop Antoni Szostkiewicz, who was made famous for strong objection to the inspired by the Tsar anti-Jewish sentiments in Warsaw, after Russian pogroms in 1881. (Among other acts, he ordered to hang in all the churches pastoral letters condemning all attempts to ignite anti-Jewish atmosphere). Such as Polish Bishop of Vilnius Edward von Ropp, whose intervention effectively prevented Tsarist's attempts to start a pogrom of Jews in 1905. Such as Bishop of Tarnów Franciszek Janowski, who in 1931 effectively stopped attacks on Jewish stores in Lvov. (French historian E. Tollet writes about in a HISTORY OF POLISH JEWS). When Polish Primate August Cardinal Hlond, who in 1936 condemned imported from abroad hate of Jews and using violence against them.
Lie #9. Willful omission of the role of Bishop T. Kubina.
One must admit that Gross is very consistent in painting very black picture of a Catholic Church. In a GHASTLY DECADE 1939 - 1948 takes page and half to describe black fate of Jews in Czestochowa during 1945-46 and a threat of pogrom. Testimonies about it are identical. In a book written by Stanislaw Meducki ANTI-JEWISH INCIDENTS IN KIELCE 4TH OF JULY 1946 (Kielce 1994, volume 2, page 115), we read: "After incidents in Kielce, situation was tense, even threatening. (…) Proclamations were issued, signed by a Bishop Kubina from Czestochowa Dioceses, which pacified public opinion."
Lie #10 Character assassination against Bishop S. Lukomski.
[Note of the translator to provide historical background for the readers not familiar with a details of a complex situation of Eastern part of Poland during the WW2.
Gross throws abominable slander against Bishop of Lomza Stanislaw Lukomski, accusing him of taking silver candle holders from the Jewish delegation and in spite of that, not protecting them from pogrom of Jews in Jedwabne. According to Gross: "Jewish leaders sent a delegation to the Bishop of Lomza, which brought beautiful silver candle holders, with a request for protection, for an intervention with a Germans and prevention of pogrom in Jedwabne." Indeed , "Bishop for some time kept his word. But Jews trusted too much in his promises and did not listen to the warnings of friendly Polish neighbors." Facts refute such an accusation. Bishop was absent in Lomza for an extended period of time, hiding from the Soviet invaders, mainly in Tykocin and Kulesze Koscielne, he came back to Lomza on 9th of July, that is one day before murder of Jews from Jedwabne. It is very proper question of the Editors of KAI: B. Lozinski and A. Pietrowa-Wasilewicz in, which devastates Gross'es lies, in a text published on 26th of February 2001: "The question arises. How could delegation, which was suppose to deliver silver candle holders to the bishop, know that he will be in Lomza? Murder occurred on 10th of July, bishop conducted written negotiations with a German military authorities, before he returned to the capital of his dioceses. Were those negotiations with a German military so well known that everybody in the area knew that Lomza bishop is coming back to his exile? It questions reliability of the whole report. Bishop Lukomski mentions that separate suite in the palace, occupied only since August, and from that time sat in his office. (…) how to explain the testimony of the witness that "Bishop of Lomza for some time kept his word"? Pogrom in Jedwabne occurred next day, no more than two days, if we consider entry in the Chronicle of Benedictine nuns" (they give a date of return of Bishop Lukomski as 8th of July -J.R.N.). Authors of the KAI text remind us that: "In his memoirs Bishop Lukomski writes about extermination of Jews. Those are not notes of the unfeeling man, but a person terrified by bestiality of the Hitler's troopers. True picture of the stand of Bishop Lukomski on the matters of extermination of Jews, comes from the priests who were in his dioceses and are still living. Reverend Kazimierz Lupinski remembers that, circulated verbal recommendation of Bishop Lukomski, was circulated among priests "not to dispense absolution to the confessing Poles who took part in a killing of the Jews by Germans." Let us recall information related to Bishop Lukomski in his biography written by Reverend Professor Zygmunt Zieminski in the Polish Biographical Dictionary (volume 18. page 560) "He intervened with a German authorities against violence directed against Polish and Jewish population. During the retreat of the German Army he frustrated efforts of blowing up Cathedral in Lomza."
To be continued...
Copyright to the Polish Translation Lech M. Jaworski © 2001, [email protected]