Powered by WebAds

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Obama enrages Poles by referring to 'Polish death camps'

The One put his foot in his mouth again yesterday. While presenting a posthumous Medal of Freedom to Polish resistance fighter Jan Karski, Obama referred to 'Polish death camps.'

Let's go to the videotape.

There's a summary of the reaction here. Here's some of it:
UPDATE: National Security Council Spokesman Tommy Vietor tells BuzzFeed: “The President was referring to Nazi death camps operated in Poland. The President has demonstrated in word and deed his rock-solid commitment to our close alliance with Poland."

UPDATE: In a second comment, Vietor said: "The President misspoke - he was referring to Nazi death camps in Poland. We regret this misstatement, which should not detract from the clear intention to honor Mr. Karski and those brave citizens who stood on the side of human dignity in the face of tyranny."
On the one hand, this probably wasn't a smart way to put it, although I understood from the video that Obama was referring to Nazi death camps. But there's something else to be pointed out here.

I think that what's behind the vehement reaction is that many Poles see themselves as victims of the Nazis rather than collaborators - as is the case with the Austrians. Many Poles deem themselves blameless for what happened. But that's not entirely correct. Read some of the accounts of Jews who tried to return to Poland after the war, and you realize that many Poles hated Jews as much as the Germans and the Austrians did. The lady doth protest too much.

Three of my children have been to Poland (not on the March of the Living, but at another time when it's not so crowded). I recall one of them telling me "We flew the Polish airline [LOT] on the way there and El Al on the way back, because once we saw what the Poles did to the Jews, none of us would have agreed to fly a Polish airline on the way back."

Labels: , ,


At 4:17 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

6339 Polish righteous among the Nations including Irena Sendler - Polish social worker who served in the Polish Underground and the Żegota resistance organization in German-occupied Warsaw during World War II. She saved 2,500 Jewish children.
Leopold "Poldek" Socha, a sewer inspector, hid a group of Jews in a remote corner of the Lvov sewers. He began doing this for money but as the Nazi atrocities increased and he became more and more attached to his charges, the money became unimportant. His incredible story is told in the film In Darkness, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture of 2012. In the film, Socha is played by the renowned Polish stage actor Robert Wieckiewicz.
In German-occupied Poland, all household members were punished by death if a Jew was found concealed in their home or property. Death was a punishment for providing any aid to a Jew, including giving bread or water to passing Jews. This was the most severe law enforced by the German Nazis in occupied Europe.(wiki)

And choosing El Al? What about Jüdische Ghetto-Polizei? And what Poles did to Jews may I ask? And how come suddenly we are not victims? Oh I know how...the only victims of the war are Jews and the whole war is all about You. And you ask why people dislike you? How can you be so egocentric?

Of course I know this comment won't be posted. But at least you'll read it. My family members were Polish and they were murdered during the war by Germans, Soviets (with whom you Jews colaborated) and Ukrainians. Polish are victims of this was as much as you are. And there are things you're guilty for as well. If you blame Polish for crimes commited by promile of polish society during war than I can as well blame Jewish nation for Jewish people colaborating with Soviet Union (regime even more deadly than Nazi Germany).

At 4:25 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Oh, it's me again. I got it. So your kids went to Polish Nazi camp Auschwitz-Birkenau with famous Polish quote "Arbeit Macht Frei" at the gates and that's where they saw what Poles did to the Jews! Now I get that! Poles were so cruel that they also killed 100 thousads Poles in that camp. They were probably taken for Jews by Polish Nazis.

Of course this comment won't be posted as well. Who cares about the truth nowadays?

At 4:27 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I see my comment was posted. My apologies for then.

At 4:43 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Unknown (and the person who sent me a lengthy email about this post, who is perhaps the same person),

First, I don't know whether you have ever been on this blog before, but if I allow 'Chayma' to publish her threatening drivel here, there is no reason I should not publish your comments.

Second, I did not say all Poles tormented Jews, I do not deny the dangers that were faced by Poles who wished to do the right thing during the Holocaust, and I most certainly do not deny the existence of righteous Poles. http://israelmatzav.blogspot.com/2009/03/good-night-irena.html

But third, what you have to acknowledge (in my opinion) is that those Jews who did try to return to Poland after World War II were not exactly greeted warmly in many instances. See, for example http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/07/AR2010060702583.html and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Jewish_violence_in_Poland,_1944%E2%80%931946

That's what I was trying to point out.

And yes, of course, Obama should have said 'Nazi death camps' and not 'Polish death camps.'

At 5:05 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

No it's not me who wrote the long email. Well I can't say that there wasn't some anti-jewish violence after the war because there was but never to the extent that's sometimes suggested. Not to mention some of these murders may have simply been the act of revenge or punishment for colaboration with new goverment (Polish after-war resistance were targeting those people and these weren't only Jews).

And I guess some of these targets may have been people like Salomon Morel - (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salomon_Morel) who was protected by Israeli goverment and never faced trial for his crimes. Of course some of them were just crimes and I'm not justifying anything. But if you want to blame us and suggest we were collaborating with Germans as whole then well I can say the same about your people - Judische Getto Polizei and collaborating with Soviet Union. That is all. I just want you to see it in perspective. Every act of Pole helping Jew during the war was act of heroism. Your kid's remark about LOT Polish Airlines isn't suprising. I recommend watching this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu6t9YmHvT4

This is nothing else than anti-polish propaganda. Moment when some polish elderly ask about their nationality and the interpreter lies that they're calling kids names. Not to mention that this is all and excuse me bullshit - no one would ever attack their group. It's all manipulation and histeria.

At 8:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


but if I allow 'Chayma' to publish her threatening drivel here, there is no reason I should not publish your comments.

Thank you for being openminded Carl :)

However, I must object to the 'threatening drivel' bit. As a Muslim hater, prize Islamophobe, history reviser, you get what you deserve. I didn't even mention your total lack of emphathy, cold heartedness, towards Israel current refugees who are from a Christian ally country (South Sudan), leave alone the millions of Palestinians whom you pretend you don exist.

With all these endearing personality traits, you cannot complain if I don't hug and kiss you.

Not only that, since you chose this route, you cannot expect Muslims to lie down and take it quietly, you made your bed, now you shut up and lay in it.

Stop whining. Other than being open minded and not censoring you have no other redeeming quality.

At 9:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


yes even Winston Churchill remarked upon the role of the Jews in WW2. He said the Holocaust in WW2 was the response to that. More Jews killed Christians than did Christians kill Jews in World War 2 Holocaust.

Unknown just said:
No it's not me who wrote the long email.

You mean to say there are others aside from me sending you threatening emails?

I can't have that..I'm getting jealous.

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Please, do not compare Austria and Poland. Austrians welcomed the Nazis when the German soldiers entered Austria in 1938. They were more of friends than enemy.
Poland on the other hand was invaded. Our country fought against the Nazis. They were our enemy who declared a war on our nation.
One of your daughters who refused to fly LOT on her way back obviously did not understand anything. So let me explain it to her,as it is a fact so obvious that only a total ignorant could not comprehend: Germans invaded Poland, killed Polish people and set up death camps on Polish annexed territory where they imprisoned and killed Jews, Poles, Russians, Hungarians and other nations". Her words are even more offensive than those of Obama. After the war it was the Russian communist regime that ruled in Poland and our nation is not responsible for anti-jewish policy of the Soviet Union. Our country was not independent and Poland as a free country did not really exist. Since the communism collapsed and Poland regained independence Jews are free to come back and reclaim their property.


Post a Comment

<< Home