How to get Jewish Property back in Poland, for those who want it

The association of former Poles in Israel has launched a public campaign against a bill to return private property to its owners that is now being discussed by the Polish parliament, charging that it grants de facto recognition to the Nazi regime’s Nuremberg laws

The Polish Sejm is discussing a law, finally, to reach a compensation deal with thsoe who lost property in WWII and afterwards by the communists. The situatin is very hard for Poland to deal with in part because everyone lost property. Either to Nazis or to the Communists after the war.

The Polish Jews in Israel are very upset about the new laws because it defacto recognizes that the Jewish property taken by the Nazis will never be returned.

The fight for justice here is very hard. First you have the problem that the Germans, who really should be paying for this, are already paying larges sums to the victims and other insitutions, in the form of war reparations. They feel they are doign enough. The Poles have no strong leadership that can overcome the great prejudice against Jews in Poland still today. You can’t be a Polish Politician and seem to “bow” to the Polish Jewish Association in Israel. Its a political deathwish.

The issue of property should now go straight to the EU parliment and the Jewish claims should be addressed in the courts of the EU. This is the only hope for justice.

Jewish losses are perhaps 30billion, and no Polish Sejm, nor the Poep himself, are able to restore that to the Jewish people.

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Posted on July 18, 2005, in Judaism. Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. Here are some links that I believe will be interested

  2. mordechai pelta

    I think the bigger problem is that Poles refuse to return personal possessions. In fact, I cannot get ANYONE to help me get back our personal possessions. They Poles claim they should not have to return or pay for stolen property, then what entitles me to take back our personal possessions that are in the building my grandfather STILL OWNS?! Ths chutzpah demonstrated by the majority (not all) of Poles is overwhelming. I cannot imagine living there for one day, much less the 130 years my family did.

  3. The Pogrom of Kielce On 4th of July of 2006 the catholic people of Kielce in central Poland were again intimidated by the alliance of Jews, liberals and postcommunist. They were humiliated because of the unvailling of a monument which falsely accused their ancestors of having acted as an “infuriated mob” and commited hideous crimes on the same day sixty years on some 40 Jewish victims. Ten years ago on the same day on the 50th anniversary of the “pogrom of Kielce,” the town had to listen in presence of a postcommunistr prime minister Cimoszewicz, to verbal abuse by Elie Wisely, the resident clown of the Holocaust Industry, as Norman Finkelstein appropriately nicknamed him. Now another supporter of the Holocaust Industry, named Jan Tomasz Gross , published a book “Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz” (Random House), which is a part of the offensive by the Jewish World Congress to make Poland pay 65 billion dollars in damages to the Jews through JWC. The tactics of JWC were stated by Izrael Singer in Buenos Aires in Argentina on April 19, 1996 according to Reuter (14.50.17 PDT). Thus according to a false mitolgy the Poles are accused of being partners of German Nazis in the killing of Jews. Gross, the Polish-born American academic who’s books were never reviewed by the scientific community became successful when he joined the Hocaust Industry and made the Jedwabne massacre a notoriety in Poland and abroad with his book earlier book “Neighbors.” He then recycled a Nazi propaganda scheme and now he recycled a Soviet scheme designed to justify Soviet postwar pacification of Poland in the book “Fear.” In both his books, Gross, more a sociologist than historian, attributes guilt for the crime not only to the perpetrators, but the Polish nation generally. Gross falsely claims that “it was widespread collusion in the Nazi-driven plunder, spoliation, and eventual murder of the Jews that generated Polish anti-Semitism after the war.” Gross claims that Poles feared the return of Jews from Nazi camps, hiding or exile, and wanted to eliminate them because they had witnessed “Polish betrayal of Jews” and could expose the “pure, unregenerate evil” that according to Gross separates the Poloes from civilization. The Jewis reviewers then exhort Poland to face up to its history and come to terms with its past and pay $65 billion damages to Jews. Gross offers little historical data to support his theory on the source of postwar anti-Semitism in Poland. Gross ignores a recent scholarly work on the same subject, “After the Holocaust: Polish-Jewish Conflict in the Wake of World War II,” by Marek Jan Chodakiewicz (East European Monographs, 2003). Gross neglected to mention Poland’s dire state in 1946. The brutal Soviet pacification of Poland at a cost of 25,000 to 50,000 lives and deportation in excess of 100,000, while at thet time the Jewish losses are estimated at 800 to 1500, some victims of common criminals and some killed as Soviet collaborators. Some Jewish reviewers of “Fear” assert that simply observing the genocide of the Jews made one guilty of “passive complicity.” Wartime destruction of the Polish nation is not mentioned by Gross. In Reality “Pogrom of Kielce” of 4th of July, 1946 was one of some 16 pogroms staged by the NKVD in the satellite states in 1945-47 as a result of Stalin’s decision do use Zionists in establishing the state of Israel after the Second World War, which would serve as a “bone of contention in the oil rich Middle East. Thanks to the Soviet support for the Zionists 711,000 Jews crossed the Iron Courting, in 1945-1947 supposedly in order to emigrate to Palestine. Given a chance ,vast majority of Jews preferred to go to the United States or stay in France, and only 232,000 Jewish refugees actually arrived to Palestine to be armed by the Soviets with Czech weapons for the conquest of Arab land. Zionists alone organized pogroms in the Arab states and caused exit of 547,000 Jews from Bagdad, Damscus, etc. in 1950-1951. In sum some 1,250,000 Jews were brutally chased from coutries of their residence in Soviet satellite states and from Arab countries. Some 779,000 Jews actually arrived in Palestine. In actual well-documented fact, Polish gentiles helped Jewish people in Poland extensively during World War II. This assistance included the hiding of tens of thousands of Jewish people in the homes of Polish gentiles, which put the gentiles’ entire families at risk of death. Several thousand Polish Christians, including men, women, and children, were burned alive or otherwise summarily executed for the crime of hiding or assisting Jews. In no other country during the war were people subjected to death in this way for providing assistance to Jewish people. Three million Polish Christian deaths during the occupation constitute a part of the Polish aspect of the Holocaust. An exhibit in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., falsely presents events that occurred in Kielce, Poland, in 1946 as part of the Holocaust. It refers to the clearly Soviet-staged violence in Kielce as a “Polish pogrom.” To many visitors of the Holocaust Museum, the exhibit by its very inclusion seems to suggest that after the end of World War II, a liberated Polish populace chose to continue Hitler’s work of exterminating Jewish people. The suggestions of a Polish-led extension of the Holocaust are patently false. The Kielce Pogrom had nothing to do with the Nazi German-engineered Holocaust. It had everything to do with the Soviet-engineered strangulation of the Polish nation. Like all effective myths, those related to World War II have some elements of truth underlying them. In conjunction with the construction of these myths, though, actual facts and events have been distorted or misrepresented, and certainly the contexts within which they occurred have been falsely stated. Sadly, the distortions, misrepresentations and falsehoods are sometimes purposely and systematically advanced by those who feel a need to humiliate the Polish nation and members of the Polish ethnic group from around the world. On the flip side of the coin bearing the image of anti-Semitism is the image of anti-Polonism. The coin of anti-Semitism cannot be melted down and destroyed without also melting down and destroying anti-Polonism. I will state up front that I have a vested interest in the truth about World War II and its aftermath being clearly illuminated. I am a veteran of 64 months of imprisonment in Gestapo prisons, concentration camps, and death marches. My own ordeal, and the suffering and death of many of my Polish and Jewish friends and prison-mates, not to mention the sacrifices made by the young men who fought and died as soldiers, will have been rendered meaningless if the hatred of Jewish people by the Nazi leadership is simply replaced by hatred of Polish people by Jewish people, or vice versa. Those who even today perpetuate myths and misconceptions about animosities associated with World War II and its aftermath are not merely bearing false witness—they are willing accomplices to the spirit of hatred of World War II. I have seen, first hand, the disgusting, murderous results of ethnic hatred. I have devoted the latter part of my life to writing about the long-term coexistence of Polish Jews and gentiles within Poland, and am committed to trying to help diffuse animosities stemming from World War II. In this spirit of friendship and respect, I wrote and had published earlier this decade a documentary history entitled Jews in Poland: The Rise of Jews as a Nation From Congressus Judaicus in Poland to the Knesset in Israel. If World War II presented any lessons to the people of the world, it showed what can eventually happen if ethnic animosities are allowed to fester and grow. I will take the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Kielce Pogrom to discuss this event in detail and use it as a basis for discussion of the larger geopolitical situation. This study deals primarily with the results of Soviet-institutionalized hatred and the Soviet crime of provoking situations purposely designed to sour Polish-Jewish relations and was used make Poland a Soviet satellite state. For this study, the book Poland: Communism, Nationalism, Anti-Semitism by Michael Checinski (New York: Karz-Cohl Publishing, 1982) is an important source of information for the Cold War period. I will use Checinski’s book as a resource to help illuminate the events and situations in the aftermath of World War II that relate to Polish-Jewish relations. Checinski’s book details the relations between Poles and Jews in the postwar “People’s” Republic of Poland and the damage done to these relations under the conditions created by the Soviets. Checinski was an insider of the Soviet-controlled terror apparatus. As a Jew who survived the Łódź Ghetto, Checinski (Chciński) was naturally very sensitive to Soviet policies which fomented and used anti-Semitic excesses in the satellite empire to serve Soviet purposes of the time. Checinski’s book shows Soviet methods used to bring the destruction of law and morality to Poland and other satellite states. I also draw heavily on material from a book by Krystyna Kersten, Polacy Żydzi-komunizm: anatomia półprawd 1939–68 [Poles, Jews, Communism: The Anatomy of Half-Truths 1939–68] (Warszawa: Niezależna Oficyna Wydawnicza, 1992) and also from Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach 4 lipca 1946 [Pogrom of Jews in Kielce, July 4, 1946] by Bożena Szaynok, (Warszawa: Bellona, 1992). Along the way, I will include some necessary background information relating to World War II. The Kielce Pogrom in a Nutshell A “pogrom”, a Russian word that translates to “devastation,” is defined as “an organized massacre, especially of Jews in Russia, such as 1881, 1903, and 1905.” (The New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language, 1989.) Anti-Jewish violence in Russia was usually started with a false accusation that a ritual murder had been perpetrated on Christian children by local Jews. Violence directed against the Jews that occurred on July 4, 1946, in the town of Kielce, referred to as the Kielce Pogrom, is aptly named for several reasons. For one, it was indeed organized. And as it will be explained in detail, it was organized by the Soviet-controlled terror apparatus in Poland, a captured country which was under Soviet occupation at the time. This pogrom, although not on Russian soil, was arranged by a totalitarian leadership centered in Russia and it was started with the same technique of planting a false accusation that a ritual murder had been perpetrated on Christian children. And as even the common dictionary definition shows, this is not the first time Russians have instigated this type of activity. In the Kielce Pogrom, an uprising occurred over the span of eight hours that resulted first in the death of 41 Polish citizens: 39 Jews, and two gentiles and then I ashow trial and execution of nine Poles, who were not present at the site of the pobrom. It was a horrible crime, and regrettably, there was some complicity among a very small number of gentile Poles in this inexcusable violence. Some of these Polish criminals, as will be pointed out, were tried and convicted for their crimes. The reports, however, of the involvement of a mob of 15,000 cheering Polish citizens are completely untrue. Also, the idea that the uprising was of a spontaneous nature is also untrue. As it will be shown in this study, this event was carefully provoked and staged by the Soviet occupiers at that time. This event was staged to achieve specific political purposes dictated by Moscow’s global strategy including Europe and the Middle East. The Soviet-Nazi Partnership Why would Soviets want to stage an uprising that would embarrass Poland? After all, didn’t both Poland and the Soviets fight alongside of Britain and the other allies in World War II? Didn’t Hitler’s German army invade both Poland and the Soviet Union, and isn’t “the enemy of my enemy my friend?” There is general public awareness that the United States and the Soviet Union were World War II partners in the Allied fight against Nazi Germany. Many fewer, however, are aware of the nearly two-year Nazi-Soviet partnership embodied in the German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty, which was signed on September 28, 1939. It divided all of Poland between Germany and the Soviet Union and contained secret provisions for the mutual extermination of potential Polish opponents of both Germany and the USSR. Both Germany and the USSR agreed to control their respective parts of Poland. This meant taking all necessary measures to contain and prevent the emergence of any potential Polish actions toward either Germany or the USSR, and then communicating with each other on the progress made toward the goals of the treaty. The treaty lasted until Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. Soviet hostility toward Poland and the desire of the USSR to control as much Polish territory as it could continued beyond the German invasion of Poland. The Soviets implemented their part of the German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty by executing 21,857 members of the Polish leadership community including a number of Jewish people. Katyn contained the graves of 4,443 such men and became a symbol of the mass execution of members of the upper echelon of Polish society in the Spring of 1940. At the same time Nazi Germany ran a parallel operation with the code name Aktion AB (Außerordentliche Befriedungsaktion, which translates to “extraordinary pacification”), culminating in the execution of about 20,000 Polish professionals. Because of the German-Soviet Treaty to divide Poland among themselves, the Eastern half of Poland was under Soviet, not German, rule from September, 1939 to mid-1941. During that time, there were many Jewish people who collaborated with the Soviet terror apparatus against the conquered Polish state. Among the many eyewitnesses to those events is the famed Polish courier Jan Karski, who was made an honorary citizen of Israel for his efforts to warn an unresponsive West about the fate of Poland and Polish Jewry. In February 1940, Karski reported: “Jews are denouncing Poles to the secret police and are directing the work of the communist militia from behind the scenes… Unfortunately, one must say that these incidents are very frequent.” (Report to the Polish Government-in-Exile in London.) Hundreds of published accounts, including Jewish ones, confirm that Jews were involved in the roundups of Polish soldiers and officials (e.g., at Rożyszcze, Kowel, and Brześć), the jailing and executions of Poles (e.g., at Lwów, Tarnopol and Czortków), and in policing the deportation of Poles, by cattle car, to the Gulag (e.g., from Gwoździec and Jedwabne). By the time the Germans attacked their erstwhile Soviet ally in mid-1941, over one million Poles had been deported to distant and probable death from towns like Brańsk. All of this occurred before the Jewish Holocaust got underway. Naturally, these events had a significant impact on Polish attitudes, though that was not the only factor influencing them. Conditions in Brańsk under Soviet occupation were detailed in a recent study by Zbigniew Romaniuk, titled “21 miesięy władzy sowieckiej w Brańsku”, in Ziemia Brańka, volume 6 (1995)—it does not make pleasant reading. German Occupation of Poland and Control of Jews By mid-1941, Nazi Germany gained control of all of Poland and the Nazis continued the establishment of Jewish ghettos that they had started in 1939. German Nazis formed the Jewish ghettos by evicting hundreds of thousands of gentiles from their homes and then crowding many more Jewish families there than the space could reasonably accommodate. There were no Jewish ghettos in Poland before Germany started creating them in 1939. It is ironic that some people not well acquainted with the history of the ghettos have mistakenly thought that the ghettos were formed by a bigoted Polish population who spitefully wanted to segregate the Jewish population to selected areas. Instead, the real truth is that Polish people were unwillingly removed from their homes by the German Nazis to form the ghettos, and then the Polish people illegally aided the Jews by bringing them substantial amounts of food and other supplies. The Polish Armed Resistance reported that 500,000 Jews were crowded into the Warsaw Ghetto: 600 people per acre. Hunger, and unspeakably poor hygienic and sanitary conditions resulted in the spreading of tuberculosis and other contagious diseases. The Polish Underground reported: “The isolated ghetto is restricted to internal trade, consisting of people’s private property, clothing, and household goods which are sold at low prices for extremely expensive food…. There is no heating fuel in the ghetto…. The health and sanitary conditions are beyond description—there is a monstrous hunger and poverty…. Overcrowded streets are full of aimless, pale, and starving people…. People die in the streets…. An orphanage is being overcrowded with daily arrivals of newborn babies…. The plunder of once-affluent Jews continues…as well as the treatment of Jews in an exceptionally brutal manner…” Each ghetto had its own Jewish Council (Judenrat) which oversaw day-to-day affairs and a Jewish police force which carried out German-Nazi orders to supply laborers and, as pointed out by Jewish historians such as Isaiah Trunk and Hannah Arendt, to round up Jews for deportation to death camps. Thus, relatively few German soldiers were needed for such “Aktions,” or official actions by the German government against the Jewish people. Nor did their success involve any type of cooperation from Polish gentiles. Because the system set up by the German Nazis did not rely on Polish police, even the opportunity for the Polish police to aid the roundup of the Jews was marginal or non-existent, as pointed out by Raul Hilberg, the foremost Holocaust historian, in his important work, Perpetrators, Victims, Bystanders: The Jewish Catastrophe 1933-1945 (New York: Aaron Asher/Harper Collins, 1992). Conditions in the Brańsk ghetto have been described in Isaiah Trunk’s Judenrat: The Jewish Councils in Eastern Europe Under Nazi Occupation (New York: Macmillan, 1972), pp. 380, 502; in Brainsk: Book of Memories (New York: Shoulson Press, 1948); and in a recent study by Zbigniew Romaniuk, titled “Brask i okolice w latach 1939–1953: reminiscencje zdarzń”, in Ziemia Brańka, volume 6 (1995), pp. 3-32. Brańsk also had its corrupt Judenrat and ghetto police, and the liquidation of the ghetto was carried out by German SS divisions and non-Polish auxiliaries (Ukrainians and Lithuanians). A death penalty was imposed on any Pole who dared to assist a Jew (though many did in fact do so notwithstanding.) Polish gentiles certainly were not the masterminds who formed the ghettos nor collaborators with the Germans in the brutal treatment of the Jews. To the contrary, Polish gentiles sabotaged German plans for the starvation of ghetto inmates. The Polish gentiles made illegal deliveries of food to the ghettos— including about 25 tons of flour per day in Warsaw alone. Many Poles were shot by the German soldiers for making such deliveries. When the daily food ration in Warsaw fell to 184 calories for a Jew, 669 for a Polish gentile, and 2,613 for a German, 80 percent of the food consumed in the ghetto was smuggled in by Polish gentiles. The supply of raw materials into the ghetto was forty times greater than that officially permitted, according to the records of the Jewish Council of the Warsaw Ghetto. (Pogonowski, Jews in Poland, pp. 106–107.) After Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union and especially after the defeat at Moscow, Hitler verbally ordered the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question,” namely the extermination of eleven million European Jews. To work out and communicate the details of implementing the “Final Solution,” the Wannsee Conference was held in Berlin on January 20, 1942. At the conference the Polish leadership community was replaced by Jews as the main target of the Nazi extermination. Then, the leaders of the German civil service established the specific means by which the genocide was to be conducted. As a direct result of the conference, the Nazi government announced an invitation for bids from German industry to purchase equipment for an industrial process to exterminate eleven million European Jews. According to plans developed at the conference, terrorized Jewish personnel were to be used in the extermination process. Also, the plans further directed that the extermination camps were to be isolated from the Polish population for maximum secrecy. For this reason, the camp guards were recruited from Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine. Despite German terror and German attempts to keep Poles in the dark about the Germans’ actions, radio broadcasts made by the Polish resistance regularly informed the West of German atrocities in Poland. (Pogonowski, Jews in Poland, pp. 110, 119, 120, 121, 124, 125). Massive deportations from the Warsaw ghetto in the Summer of 1942 (to the Treblinka death camp) were not carried out with the assistance of any Polish agency. Indeed, in German-occupied Poland, there was not even a vestige of a Polish government at that time. Instead, the deportations were organized by the Jewish police in coordination with the Judenrat and the occupying German forces. Horrifying descriptions of this Aktion are found in the diaries of Emanuel Ringelblum, the chronicler of the Warsaw ghetto, and elsewhere. These sad events are only a part, but a significant part, of the eventual roundup and execution by the Germans of a large proportion of Poland’s Jews in what later came to be referred to as the Holocaust. On April 19, 1943, a Jewish uprising began in the Warsaw Ghetto as Germans started the final liquidation of the Jews there. The massacre ended on May 8, 1943. Professor Marian Fuks later wrote: “It is absolutely certain fact that without help and even active participation of the Polish resistance movement it would have not been possible at all to bring about the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto.” (Biuletyn Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego w Polsce/Bulletin of the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland, January-March 1989, p. 44.) Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the revolt, shares this view: “We didn’t get adequate help from the Poles, but without their help we couldn’t have started the uprising…. You have to remember that the Poles themselves were short of arms. The guilty party is Nazism, fascism—not the Poles.” (The Canadian Jewish News, November 9, 1989.) It should go without saying that the German-Nazi occupation and brutal control of Poland was not welcomed by the Polish people. Unfortunately, neither could the Polish people find solace in the eventual Soviet re-entry into Poland and their consequent program of brutal control. Upon Soviet re-entry into Poland in 1944, the Soviet terror apparatus was systematically liquidating the remnants of the Polish Home Army and any perceived Polish opponents of a Soviet takeover and control of Poland. It is an undeniable fact that many Jews, usually communist functionaries, were collaborating with the Soviets in denouncing, jailing, and executing Poles. (See for example, Wanda Lisowska’s 1946 account on conditions in Ejszyszki, another town in Eastern Poland featured in Shtetl, found in Zeszyty Historyczne, no. 36 (1976), and reproduced at page 29 of this book.)1 Poles suspected of having either collaborated with the Germans or of being anti-Semitic could be, and were, executed with impunity. For example, in Drohiczyn, not far from Brańsk, nine Polish gentiles were murdered by local Jews because they were falsely suspected of killing a Jew, a crime in fact perpetrated by the Soviets [Archiwum Polski Podziemnej: Dokumenty i materiay, 1939–1956 (Warszawa, April 1994), volume 2, p. 80.] Tens of thousands of Polish gentiles were executed in repressions that affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent Polish gentiles. The foregoing are not invented facts: both Simon Wiesenthal (see below) and Stanisław Krajewski, vice-chairperson of the Polish Council of Christians and Jews, among others, have publicly admitted their shame on this account. Under these types of wartime circumstances, where Jews were successfully encouraged to betray Polish gentiles to the Soviet authorities, animosities toward Jews in the general population were not a matter of anti-Semitism, but simply a matter of survival. Active Jewish collaboration and popular support for Soviet forces invading Poland occurred from the beginning of the War. In the book Poles, Jews, Socialists: The Failure of an Ideal, edited by Antony Polonsky et al. (London: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1996)—Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, volume 9, Dov Levin writes: “The Red Army entered Vilna [Wilno, Poland] early on the morning of Tuesday, 19 September 1939, to an enthusiastic welcome by Vilna’s Jewish residents, in sharp contrast to the Polish population’s reserve and even hostility. Particular ardor was displayed by leftist groups and their youthful members, who converged on the Red Army tank columns bearing sincere greetings and flowers.” Despite these enormous obstacles, and the fact that Polish gentiles also were undergoing their own Holocaust which consumed several million victims, hundreds of thousands of Polish Christians risked their lives to help Jews. In Warsaw alone, before the uprising of 1944 which resulted in its total destruction, some 15,000 Jews were being sheltered. Emanuel Ringelblum estimated that as many as 60,000 out of the city’s 900,000 Christian residents were involved in the rescue efforts. Assistance has been documented at more than 600 Catholic churches, monasteries, convents, and church-run orphanages throughout Poland. Poles form the largest group recognized by Yad Vashem as “Righteous Gentiles,” as many as 40 percent of all those recognized. Yad Vashem is an official Israeli institution devoted to honoring those who saved Jews from the Holocaust. Just as there were some Jewish collaborators during World War II, small numbers of Polish gentiles also collaborated with the Germans. There is no justification or excuse for their actions, and neither was this conduct condoned or tolerated. With the active support of Polish public opinion, the Polish Underground passed and carried out many death sentences against anyone found collaborating with the Nazis. It is regrettably true that collaborators, whether with the Nazis or the Soviets, whether Polish Christians or Jews, were an effective force to contend with. But at the same time, they were tiny, marginal and unrepresentative groups in their respective communities. Simon Wiesenthal has advocated the following wise and balanced assessment of that tragic period which consumed millions of Jewish and Polish lives: “Then the war came. It is at times like these that the lower elements in society surface—the blackmailers who would betray Jews… On the other hand, the 30,000 or 40,000 Jews who survived, survived thanks to the help of the Poles. This I know.” During the five years of German occupation many of the efforts to shelter Jews ended tragically for the Jewish victims and their Christian friends. Most instances of sporadic assistance are seldom remembered and taken into account. What do the leading Holocaust historians have to say about alleged Polish complicity in the Holocaust? Yisrael Gutman, director of research at the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem and editor in chief of The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (1990), has stated authoritatively: “All accusations against the Poles that they were responsible for the ‘Final Solution’ are not even worth mentioning. Secondly, there is no validity at all in the contention that Polish attitudes were the reason for the siting of the death camps in Poland.” And again: “I want to be unequivocal about this. When it is said that Poles supposedly took part in the extermination of the Jews on the side of the Germans, that is not true. It has no foundation in fact. There was no such thing as Poles taking part in the extermination of the Jewish population.” Professor Gutman stated that the percentage of Poles who collaborated with the Germans was “infinitesimally small.” Richard Pipes, of Harvard University, wrote in the introduction to Pogonowski’s book, Jews in Poland, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: “It must never be mistakenly believed that the Holocaust was perpetrated by the Poles. Nor must it be ignored that three million Poles perished at German hands.” Szymon Datner, longtime director of Warsaw’s Jewish Historical Institute, has been equally blunt: “Poles are not responsible for the crimes of the Holocaust.” Events Following World War II Only Soviet-trained intelligence agents were trusted by the Soviet government among Polish prewar Communists. Among those “the Jews…were…considered less susceptible to the lures of Polish nationalism, to which even impeccable Polish communists were not thought immune.” (Checinski, op. cit., p. 71.) During 1945, the Soviets recruited to the Office of State Security a very large number of Jews. Mostly Jews, including Holocaust survivors, were assigned to carry out the Soviet policy of de-Nazification in the former German territories which Poland was to annex on the basis of the Potsdam Agreement in compensation for her Eastern Provinces lost to the Soviet Union in 1939. After the War, over 1,200 former Nazi camps were used to hold German nationals, 99 percent of whom were noncombatants. Under the guise of de-Nazification, members of the pro-Western Polish resistance and their families were processed together with the Germans. In a brief period of time between 60,000 and 80,000 people died in the de-Nazification camps. Starvation diets, typhoid fever, and mistreatment caused the high death rate. Torture was commonplace. Jewish officers of the UB (Urzad Bezpieczeństwa—Office of State Security), including those who themselves survived unimaginable suffering at German hands, were now used by the Soviets to inflict the same on others. Again, to quote Simon Wiesenthal, “I always say that I know what kind of role Jewish communists played in Poland after the war. And just as I, as a Jew, do not want to shoulder responsibility for the Jewish communists, I cannot blame 36 million Poles for those thousands of blackmailers.” Polish gentiles bore the brunt of the killing force unleashed by the Soviets while they established their totalitarian hold on Poland and the Polish people. Checinski cites a study based on party and security archives that estimates 80,000 to 200,000 Polish gentiles were killed by the Soviets during their takeover, while approximately 1,600 Jews were killed at the same time. (Checinski, op. cit., p. 64.) John Sack, a former CBS News bureau chief in Spain and a journalist for 48 years, spent seven years doing research and conducting interviews in Poland, Germany, Israel, and the United States to document the story of Jewish actions taken directly after the end of World War II in response to the wartime atrocities. On November 21, 1993, the CBS program 60 Minutes presented an interview with Mr. Sack and footage of interviews with the survivors who testified to torture and killings in those camps. A Polish woman, Dr. Dorota Boreczek, former inmate of the Świętochowice camp, testified that she was arrested (at age 14) and tortured together with her mother. Her father, a member of the Polish Home Army, was executed. [See John Sack, An Eye For An Eye (New York: Basic Books/Harper Collins, 1993), pp. 163–165.] The Sovietization of Poland It is important to remember that the end of World War II did not mean the liberation of the Polish people or of Poland, in any sense of the word. After World War II, Poland did not have self-determination. Its government, police, and military were under the complete and absolute control of the Soviet Union. Poland was forcibly made to be a communist state that was not formally a part of the Soviet Union, but a “satellite state” that was tightly ruled as part of the Soviet empire. Several months before the July 1946 events took place in Kielce, Winston Churchill eloquently articulated the realities for the Soviet Union’s satellite states. On March 5, 1946, Churchill made his famous “Sinews of Peace” speech in which he popularized the term “Iron Curtain” originally coined by a Yugoslav writer: “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in…the Soviet sphere…. I do not believe that…Russia desires war [but] the fruits of war and the indefinite expansion of their power and their doctrines…. There is nothing they admire so much as strength and there is nothing for which they have less respect than weakness, especially military weakness.” The Soviet strategists who were in control of Poland saw significant advantage in fostering an animosity between Jewish and gentile Poles. This animosity was used as a tool to aid in the subjugation of Poland early in its capture into the Soviet empire in 1944. After World War II, Soviet machinations in this regard succeeded in converting the image of Jewish victims of German-Nazi genocide into the image of Jewish oppressors. (Kersten, op. cit., p. 130.) This was purposely done to put the Polish gentile population between “a rock and a hard place.” Polish gentiles were left with two options: either don’t respond to the Soviet oppression, or respond to the Soviet oppression and thus appear to be anti-Semitic. Although the image of Jews as oppressors was spread beyond Poland, this phenomenon was very noticeable in Poland, where there was a steady flow of news and often well-substantiated (if sometimes exaggerated) rumors of executions of anti-communist Poles by Jewish executioners serving in the Soviet-controlled terror apparatus. Kersten describes this unfortunate development when Soviet policies created the conditions that Jews played the main role in the subjugation of Poland and other satellite countries to the communist system. At the same time, the communist propaganda machine equated opposition to the “socialist” regimes with anti-Semitism. So, if a Polish person opposed the socialist Sovietization of Poland, that person was branded as an anti-Semite. This smoke screen was used successfully to obscure the reality of the Soviet subjugation of Poland by the Soviet Union. The Soviet terror apparatus in Poland included the so-called Polish military counterintelligence. It was initially integrated with the Soviet Smersh (Death to Spies) organization directed against German spying and subversion. However, when the front crossed the prewar Polish territory, Smersh was used increasingly against the significant Polish resistance to Soviet domination. In November 1944, the Polish section of Smersh became renamed Informacja, in which many Jews like Col. Chęciński served for 10 years. Informacja remained under the close supervision of Smersh and was at first headed by Soviet Maj. Pyotr Kozhushko. Soviet officers assigned to the Polish army were considered vulnerable to Polish influence and were under close surveillance by a special Informacja department. Informacja was clearly a Soviet-led force, with Jewish officers disloyal to Poland. At the time of the most intensive terror, between 1944 and 1955, Smersh used its Informacja branch to have agents pose as members of the military prosecutor’s office. They used this apparatus to conduct political trials in military courts in Poland. Tortured witnesses were “prepared” for these trials and later were secretly executed “to remove any trace of the provocation.” (Checinski, op. cit., p. 57.) In that period, of the 120 officers serving in Informacja, only about 18 were Polish-born. Most of these 18 were Polish Jews and the rest were Soviet citizens, many of them Jews. The Soviets were creative in inventing their own opportunities to manufacture conflict between Polish Jews and gentiles. For example, it was Soviet policy in Poland to change Yiddish names of Jews into Slavic-Polish names. This practice was resented by both Jewish and gentile Poles. An American journalist, Samuel Loeb Shneiderman, who visited Warsaw in 1946, wrote in his book Between Fear and Hope (New York: Arco, 1947) that under the cover of Polish names Jews were continuing their ethnic identity and must have felt like their ancestors forced into conversion to Christianity during their persecution in Spain. (Kersten, op. cit., pp. 77, 108.) The name-changing became widespread. It served to deprive the Jews of their cultural heritage in order to form a “progressive Jewish nation,” to use Stalin’s expression. Checinski describes how Stalin ordered the NKVD to prepare a civilian network of police terror and repression, called the UB, to work in parallel with the Informacja in Poland. The “Polish intelligentsia boycotted the security service, which was treated with universal contempt as an instrument of foreign domination.” (Checinski, op. cit., p. 61.) Thus, the NKVD, despite its deep-rooted anti-Semitism, “could not do without Jews. Jewish officials were often placed in the most conspicuous posts; hence they could easily be blamed for all of the regime’s crimes.” (Checinski, op. cit., p. 62.) The Soviet strategy of using people with striking Semitic features as the most visible executioners of Soviet policy in Poland was also aimed at presenting understandable anti-communist feelings within Poland as anti-Semitism. In 1945, the upper echelons of the terror apparatus were staffed with Jews. Many Jews in Poland were members of the Soviet-controlled terror apparatus. A public proclamation, made at a convention of Jewish members of the ruling communist party (Polska Partia Robotnicza—PPR) on October 7–9, 1945, stated that in postwar Poland, conditions were created for the Jews to find an outlet for their political, social, and national ambitions. Needless to say, neither Poles nor Jews trusted this official statement. The Zionists openly advocated a massive emigration to Palestine (Kersten, op. cit., p. 80), which for the purpose of creating conflict in the Middle East was also desired by the Soviet leadership. Soviet Aims in the Middle East In Soviet Cold War policy, the Middle East was very important because of its vital oil reserves. It is well known that after World War II the Soviets systematically used to their advantage the desire of Jews to fight for the establishment of the state of Israel. Bernard Lewis of Columbia University (Semites and Anti-Semites, New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1986) as well as other Jewish historians state that, until the creation of the State of Israel, the only source of weapons for the Jews fighting for their independence was the Soviet Union and its Czechoslovak satellite. Early in 1996, Ezer Weizman, the President of Israel, officially thanked Prague for these weapons, while on a state visit to the Czech Republic. In 1946, the United States government was in possession of “a number of official and semi-official indications provided by the [Soviet-controlled] Warsaw government that it is encouraging the migration of [a major] part of its Jewish population.” [George Lenczowski, The Middle East in World Affairs, Second Edition (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1956), p. 330.] The Soviet postwar aim was to get rid of the British mandate in Palestine and play a more active role in the strategically vital Middle East while consolidating their grip on the newly acquired satellite empire. Toward this end the Soviets committed numerous acts of terror to pressure Jews to emigrate out of the satellite states to be able to join the struggle for Israel. However, once they were out of Soviet control, only about one third of Jewish emigrants were willing to go to Palestine. About two thirds preferred to remain in the West and go to the United States, France, or other Western countries. This high attrition rate from what the Soviets hoped would be a large Jewish exodus to the Middle East resulted in Soviet efforts to intensify Jewish emigration. They did it by staging pogroms in all of the satellite states in order to deliver the largest possible number of able-bodied men, many of them trained soldiers, to the Palestinian battlefield where the Jews were short of manpower. The year 1946 was one of intensification of Soviet-sponsored anti-Jewish violence throughout the region. The Soviets staged several anti-Jewish riots in Poland, including the one in Kielce. In nearby Czechoslovakia, a two-day anti-Jewish riot was staged in Bratislava and simultaneously in Żilina. The Soviet-provoked riots at these localities occurred on August 2 and 3, 1946, during a convention of the Slovak association of former guerrillas controlled by the Soviets. Scores of Jews were injured and Jewish apartments were ransacked. In Żilina alone 15 Jews were severely wounded. So the occurrence of Soviet-provoked anti-Jewish riots was not unique to Poland. What was unique to Poland was the additional necessity felt by the Soviets to severely embarrass Poland, primarily because of the significant Polish resistance the Soviets encountered during and after the War. The Bratislava riot served its purpose to frighten the Czechoslovak Jews so that they would depart. Since Czechoslovakia was permeated with communist influences predating World War II, there was no significant Czech resistance to the communist takeover by the Soviets like there had been in Poland. Soviet news releases of the pogroms in Hungary followed a policy similar to that used in Czechoslovakia. There were four pogroms were staged in Budapest but they received relatively low or non-existent amounts of promotion in the Western press. Actually the 1946 wave of anti-Jewish riots under Soviet occupation was preceded with an earlier similar wave in 1945 in all areas that the Soviets had occupied and converted into their satellite empire. The earliest was on May 2, 1945 in Košice, Czechoslovakia, which was followed on September 24, 1945 in Velké Topolany in eastern Czechoslovakia, where a riot was perpetrated by uniformed police and military under the Soviet control. It lasted 6 hours and wounded 49 Jews. The riot engulfed neighboring villages. Anti-Jewish riots followed in the Czechoslovakian towns of Chynorany, Krásno on the Nitra River, Nedanovce, etc. [Kersten, op. cit., pp. 134–135; see also Martin Gilbert, Atlas of the Holocaust (London: Michael Joseph, 1982), p. 241.] No show trials were staged after all the pogroms in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Ukraine. An exception was made of the riot of the July 4, 1946 in Kielce which was advertised as much as possible in the media because the Soviets wanted to accomplish more in Poland than simply to press Jews to emigrate. The Soviets wanted to present Polish people to the world as anti-Semites in order to strengthen the Soviet totalitarian hold on Poland without arousing pro-Polish sympathies in the West. The Eruption of Violence in Kielce The Kielce Pogrom was an event provoked by the Soviets in conjunction with their attempt to Sovietize Poland that started in 1944. They were successful, but not flawless, in making it look as if there was just a random uprising of Polish gentiles against Jewish citizens. Although the Soviets took pains to destroy much specific evidence relating to this event, they made a number of mistakes that clearly reveal that this was a staged event, one that could only be provoked and carried out by the Soviet authorities in charge. To this day, the Soviet Union (and now Russian) authorities have refused to release their official files containing information relating to these events, files that would corroborate other indications that this was a Soviet-provoked event. Some of the Soviet mistakes in staging the Kielce Pogrom will be discussed. In particular: (1) Twelve of the victims were found to be killed by gunshot wounds, though the general Polish citizenry alleged to have randomly conducted the violence did not have guns, as was admitted in the show trial which followed. (2) Soviet authorities had firm control of the populace; there was no right of free assembly, including the formation of crowds in the streets, in Soviet-occupied Poland. (3) Soviet security leaders thwarted efforts by the local district attorney, who wanted to take actions to stop the violence and officers of Informacja stage managed the pogrom. (4) After the initial violence by soldiers of the “blocking company” was ended, it was re-ignited by secret police agents who apparently attempted to pose as steel mill workers. (5) Normally stern and brutal security police turned temporarily friendly as they spread false rumors of ritual killing of Christian children by Jews. (6) A selected group of people were permitted to cross a perimeter of sentries that surrounded riot area in Kielce; Catholic priests attempting to break up the violence were not allowed to pass. (7) A clumsy Soviet-style show trial was hastily held five days after the event that purported to show the complicity of the general Polish population in this event; the inconsistencies in the conduct of the trial itself provided ample evidence of the Soviet plot to institute the violence in Kielce. The focal point of the Kielce Pogrom was a residential compound at 7 Planty Street. Most of the occupants were Jewish, and many were members of the communist party. Among the residents were members of an armed “kibbutz” composed mainly of people who had recently arrived from the Soviet Union. Some were former German prisoners, and others had escaped captivity by hiding in forests or in homes of Polish Christians. The kibbutz members were undergoing military training and thus had permission from the Soviet-led authorities to own and use firearms. This fact was well-known in Kielce, because the kibbutz members would occasionally parade through town with their firearms. The only other Jedwish residents who had permission to be armed worked for the Soviet terror apparatus in Kielce. Ordinary residents of Poland, people who did not work for the Soviet terror apparatus, were not allowed to be armed. There was a death penalty for the illegal possession of firearms. On July 3, 1946, a cobbler and secret police informer, Walenty Błaszczyk, whose UB code name was “Przelot,” reported to the local police that his eight-year-old son Henryk was missing. The boy had been given a ride out of town on July 1, 1946, and upon his return was abducted by Antoni Pasowski, a Jewish agent of the Office of State Security, the UB. Henryk was taught by Pasowski to say falsely that he was kidnapped and held at 7 Planty Street. Further, he was coached to say that he saw dead bodies of recently missing children at that location. (Kersten, op. cit., p. 129.) On the day of the 4th of July, the boy was released by Pasowski and returned home. He went with his father to the police station to cancel the missing child report and to tell the false story of his abduction, the story that was edited by Pasowski. Next, the boy was manipulated by Pasowski to falsely identify a passing Jew as his abductor who, the boy was made to say, held him in the basement of the compound at 7 Planty Street. There was one critical problem with this completely false accusation: 7 Planty Street in actuality did not have a basement! Meanwhile, a crowd was permitted to gather and a rumor was planted about the attempt of “another” ritual murder of a Christian child in addition to the supposed murders of previously missing children. A small crowd was allowed to form in the streets. Later communist propaganda expanded the number to 15,000 people. A few people in the crowd were allowed to move toward the compound at 7 Planty Street. The staged riot in downtown Kielce was under tight control at all times by the Soviet-led police force. At 10 a.m. on July 4, before the crowd members reached Planty Street, 15 to 20 police officers, including five or six officers of the Informacja arrived at the compound. The officers of the Informacja were men unknown in Kielce. Once there, they were in control of who could and could not approach, enter, or leave the compound in which Henryk Baszczyk claimed to have been imprisoned. The uniformed police were ordered to enter the building but were met with automatic gunfire from the Jewish occupants. One officer and one patrolman were killed, and several uniformed men were wounded. After the gunfire from the compound, the security officers and policemen attacked and began shooting the trapped Jews and expelling them out of windows into the street. In Soviet-controlled Poland, of course, the uniformed military, the secret police, and the local police officers were Soviet-controlled forces, not independent Polish forces. An interesting thing happened at about 11 a.m., one hour after the start of the riot. The local district attorney, Jan Wrzeszcz made a plea to those in charge of the security forces to allow Wrzeszcz to work with the local police force to put an immediate end to the violence. (Szaynok, op. cit., p. 37.) Those in charge of the security forces rejected his plea. The plea was made to NKVD supervisor Col. Nathan Shpilevoi a Jew and to Maj. Sobczyński-Spychaj, head of the local security forces. Shortly after the plea was received, telephone calls were made to key security leaders in Warsaw. The office log of Sobczyński-Spychaj contains notes of his telephone conversations with Stanisław Radkiewicz, who was the Minister of Public Security, and with Jakub Berman, a Jew who was at the time the main Soviet agent in the ruling Polish Politburo in charge of all security matters. Clearly, the Soviet agents wanted the provocation to continue, and wanted to thwart all efforts to stop the violence. Despite the best efforts of the Soviet agents to keep the riot going, the violence stopped on its own before noon. The riot was restarted at noon when a hit squad of secret police agents disguised as workers arrived from a local steel mill. Many of them were hired shortly before the pogrom and of course, since they were not real steel mill workers, did not report to work after the 4th of July pogrom. They came to the site of the violence armed with pieces of scrap steel, which they were ordered to leave at the murder site as tangible evidence that steel workers were involved in the violence. Before departing the hit squad was addressed by Antoni Błaszczyk, an older brother of Henryk (who was used to provoke the riot). The departure of the storming party from work was organized by the personnel manager in the steel mill who at the same time served as the district head of the voluntary riot police, the “ORMO” and was an agent of the UB. [Krzysztof Kewski, Umarly cmentarz: Wstęp do studiów nad wyjasnieniem przyczyn i przebiegu morderstwa na Żyydach w Kielcach dnia 4 lipca 1946 roku (Warszawa: von borowiecky, 1996), pp. 96, 142–143.] The riot was allowed to spread in the form of sporadic killings and robberies. Shortly after 2 p.m. a train was attacked at a station, Piekarzowa, near Kielce. Several Jewish passengers were killed by secret police agents provocateurs who controlled the railroad personnel during the attack. In the meantime, a crowd of onlookers was allowed to gather in the streets. The security men were repeatedly spreading a rumor that a “Jewish ritual murder of another Christian child” might be in progress. Police and military men spoke to the crowd in an unusually friendly fashion and abandoned their usual stern and authoritarian demeanor. (Szaynok, op. cit., p. 62.) The rumor that the Jews were murdering Polish Christian children was connected with earlier reports about missing children who were allegedly kidnapped to be used for blood transfusions and then murdered. These rumors were spread by agents provocateurs, who thus kept attracting people to the scene of the riot. After 6 p.m., the pogrom came to an end as security forces arrested 62 rioters. In all, throughout the city of Kielce and its outskirts, thirty-nine Jews and two gentiles were killed. Other deaths followed among the wounded. Some of those wounded but not killed by the security officers were killed by the mob of the bogus steel workers. The question is, who was permitted to cross the perimeter of sentries around downtown Kielce at that time? Krzysztof Kąkolewski, an investigative reporter and writer, determined that it was a hit squad of secret police agents in civilian clothes. These people pretended to be a mob while in reality they were agents acting under strict orders. The few bystanders who joined the fake mob of disguised secret police agents were marked with chalk on their backs by two secret policewomen. Those marked bystanders were later put on trial along with others including uniformed men who were not a part of the UB operation. Secret police agents disguised as civilians were exempt from any charges in exchange for strict secrecy about their mission and were permitted to keep the items stolen from Jewish victims. Obviously, if they broke their silence, they would incriminate themselves in the murders and robberies of Jewish victims. (Kąkolewski, op. cit., pp. 92–94, 143–144, 149–150, 159.) Some of the murders in the Kielce violence were committed by common criminals who robbed and murdered their victims as the riot was permitted to spread. However, many of the murders could only have been committed by members of the security forces. In particular, bullet wounds were discovered in twelve of the murdered Jewish victims. Bullets could originate only from the uniformed police, soldiers, and functionaries of the security forces as the mob members did not have any guns (as was admitted in the show trial). Dr. Seweryn Kahane, the head of the local Jewish association, the “kibbutz,” was murdered by an Informacja officer who shot him in the back of the skull. He was executed because he became an inconvenient witness to the provocation. A few days later, another inconvenient witness died under unexplained circumstances after he testified about the violence staged in Kielce. He was Albert Grynbaum, a Jewish officer in charge of a county office of the UB, who helped to organize the defense of the kibbutz and testified about the provocation. Early in his book, Checinski identifies a highly-ranked Soviet intelligence agent, Mikhail Aleksandrovich Dyomin or Demin (Checinski, op. cit., pp. 25–26), who was assigned in 1946 to Kielce, a relatively unimportant town in central Poland. This apparently inconsequential location was hardly consistent with his rank and qualifications. From all indications, Dyomin’s assignment was to bolster the Soviet pressure on the Jews to emigrate and at the same time to create a dramatic diversion to draw attention from the Soviet falsification of a crucial Polish election referendum, which was to “legitimize” the communist government in Poland. Why was it necessary for the Soviets to draw attention away from the election? The Soviets considered the conquest and control of Poland to be one of the most important Soviet gains of World War II. The Yalta Accord made by the Allies was a cornerstone of the post-war Soviet empire, an accord that the Soviets liked very much because it gave them the biggest empire in Russian history. However, the Soviets were concerned that the United States could back out of the agreement at any time, since the Yalta Accord’s status in the United States was only as an executive agreement and not as a Congressionally-ratified treaty. The Yalta Accord gave the Soviets a number of rights, including the right to control Poland and other so-called “satellite states” in the form of a Soviet “zone of influence” that was accepted and recognized by the Western Allies. The same Yalta Accord demanded that the Soviets guarantee free elections in Poland. The Soviets desired to illegally control the elections in Poland, confirm a previously-installed Soviet-controlled communist puppet regime, and thus solidify their political strangulation of Poland, while simultaneously not provoking the sympathy of the American public. The Dyomin assignment was therefore crucial: to engineer a series of situations in which the Poles could appear to be persecuting Jews, Nazi-style, so that a fed-up American public would welcome or ignore Soviet attempts to clamp down on Poland and stop the apparent persecution of Jews by the Polish gentile population. The Soviets realized they had an enormous amount to gain by prominently portraying Polish people as anti-Semitic to the American and West European public. It is speculated by many, including American Ambassador to Poland at that time, Authur Bliss Lane, that the Soviets purposely chose the exact date of the United States Independence Day holiday to stage the provocation. This choice would serve to maximize press exposure and associated public attention on what otherwise would be a slow news day. Also, it was a day when people did not go to work and could react fully to the dramatic news of the bloody riot. Bliss Lane was among those aware that the 4th of July pogrom was staged to overshadow the Soviet election-tampering in Poland and to serve Soviet schemes in the Middle East. The American Ambassador also noted that its purpose was to discredit Polish opposition to Sovietization “especially among Jewish circles in the United States.” Both communist and non-communist sources, in Ambassador Lane’s words “admitted that it was not spontaneous, but a carefully organized plot.” [Arthur Bliss Lane, I Saw Poland Betrayed (Indianapolis: Bobbs Merrill, 1948), p. 249.] In spite of U.S. Embassy reports that were cognizant of the realities of the situation, the Soviet aims were achieved because American public opinion was swayed against the Polish people, which was the aim of the Soviets. The Kielce riot was not the first time that the method of provocation used in Kielce was employed by the Soviets. A year earlier, in June 1945, Sobczyński-Spychaj was in charge of the UB in Rzeszów where the Soviets attempted to provoke violence by alleging that a ritual murder had been committed by the Jews. A police patrol falsely reported an arrest of a rabbi wearing a bloody apron and standing next to what was alleged to be the body of a girl hanging on a butcher’s hook. The false story maintained that behind the rabbi, on the floor, were the dead bodies of 16 children. The provocation did not work because the few Jews in town were forewarned and left Rzeszów. Since the provocation didn’t work and those who had bungled the scheme were potentially embarrassing witnesses, the members of the police patrol who reported the allegation against the rabbi were arrested and never seen again. (Kersten, op. cit., p. 110.) A year later, the same man in charge of the security force that attempted to provoke an incident in Rzeszów, SobczynskiSpychaj, was in the identical position of being in charge of the security office in Kielce in time for the occurrence of the Kielce riots. Sobczynski-Spychaj reported to the Soviet authority Dyomin during the time of the Kielce riots. In Kielce, the agents who staged the violence on July 4 were paid to do so. According to the deposition of the widow of Col. Wiktor Kuznicki chief police,Kielce a man fitting the description of Dyomin delivered to Kuznicki’s apartment the money (in foreign currency) for paying off the agents provocateurs needed for the eruption of violence in Kielce. Kuznicki died on December 26, 1946 under unexplained circumstances. He was most likely killed on NKVD orders as he became inconvenient because he knew too much about the Soviet provocation in Kielce. This style of eliminating inconvenient people was a familiar pattern in the Soviet terror apparatus. To make sure that the traces of Soviet provocation were eliminated the files of the Informacja attached to the 2nd Infantry Division in Kielce were recently destroyed by fire in November 1989 (it was near the end of communist rule in Poland.) (Szaynok, op. cit., p. 93.) Some of the specifics of Dyomin’s intelligence career are well-documented. Dyomin was the key Soviet agent in the 1946 Kielce provocation, and stayed in Kielce only long enough to accomplish his assigned task. He arrived three months before the outbreak of the riot. He stayed through the riot, interrogated witnesses of the riot, and then two weeks later he left Kielce. Later in his career, Dyomin was stationed in the Soviet Embassy in Tel Aviv in 1964–67 as a specialist in Jewish matters and in 1969 was assigned to the Soviet Embassy in West Germany. In the American literature he was described as a high-ranking officer of Soviet military intelligence, the G.R.U. [John Barron, KGB: The Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents (New York: Macmillan, 1974), p. 385.] Military Trials Following the Pogrom The murders and other crimes committed by the non-Soviet participants during the pogrom were within the jurisdiction of the local civilian court. Instead, the Supreme Military Court, closely supervised by the Soviet Smersh, was selected to try civilians designated as perpetrators of the pogrom. The show trial was preceded by Soviet-style investigations, during which tortures were often used to extract confessions. The role of uniformed men and armed security agents who inflicted bullet wounds in Jewish victims was excluded from the investigations and the show trial of the rioters. The show trial was conducted from July 9 to July 11, 1946. Though they acknowledged that an organized provocation had occurred (Checinski, op. cit., p. 23), the military court did not reveal who was responsible. Of the mob, 12 men were tried of which nine were sentenced to death. These included seven were described as onlookers who joined in the murders conducted by agents of the terror apparatus, and two as uniformed men who were not a part of the UB operation. Those who did most of the killing were never tried. The prosecutor, Kazimierz Golczewski, a Polish Jew known as an old NKVD hand, consistently violated all normal legal procedures during the trial. He did this with full approval of the three military judges, namely, Marian Barton, Stanisław Baraniak, and Antoni Łukasik. [Antoni Czubiński, Dzieje najnowsze Polski: Polska Ludowa (1944–1989) (Poznań: Wielkopolska Agencja Wydawnicza, 1992), p. 113.] At one point during the trial, Golczewski went as far as to threaten a defendant with additional bodily harm when the man was complaining about tortures inflicted upon him during the interrogation. The entire show trial was a mockery of the law. It was a Soviet-style show trial conducted in Poland to fulfill political and propaganda purposes. The very conduct of the show trial was proof of the complete Soviet domination of life in Poland. It was absolutely impossible for anyone other than the Soviets to provoke and stage a pogrom in which security forces either directly participated in the riot or stood by and let the pogrom go on under their noses for eight hours. The sentries who were posted around the riot area did prevent Catholic priests Roman Zelek and Jan Danilewicz from reaching the places of the violence, because it was their intention to try to pacify the mob. [Kersten, op. cit., p. 128; also Stanislaw Meducki and Zenon Wrona, eds., Antyzydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie 4 lipca 1946 roku: Dokumenty i materialy (Kielce: Urzad Miasta Kielce and Kieleckie Towarzystwo Naukowe, 1992), volume 1, p. 94.] Because of Moscow’s control over the Polish communist government, the global Soviet policies determined the events in Poland. This explains why a high-ranking intelligence officer like Dyomin, who was also a Jewish specialist, was sent to Kielce and stayed there only long enough to supervise the staging of the riots, then to interrogate witnesses, and then departed immediately as soon as his short assignment was completed. The weaknesses of the show trial created a need to announce the arrest of the officers who “did not show enough resolve during the riot.” Military and police officers associated with the pogrom were arrested and were given very light sentences by the Military Regional Court in Warsaw on D
  4. I know a few poles, here in Sweden and must say there is a racist attitude towards Jews-
    Moreover some even admit that “their” village or town in Poland ( implying the houses there) use to be Jewish.
    Surely these properties must be returned? or compensation paid

  5. what kind of compensation did Poland get from the war? absolutely shit fucking all.

    its actually really funny that Jews constantly cry antisemitism when they themselves have never been fond of Poles. You have Israel now, isn’t that enough?

  6. Rabbani,

    You “know a few Poles in Sweden” which leads you to the conclusion that there is a general racist attitude towards jews among Poles (in Sweden or everywhere?). That’s quite a bold claim. Basically the kind of thinking that spurred antisemitism back in the day. Maybe someone knew a few jews who were members of the communist party….which lead them to believe that communism was a worldwide jewish conspiracy. Cool, huh?

  7. Please stay away from Radio Maryja.

    Lech Alex Bajan Polish American from Washington DC USA. We are 4 Million strong and we love our country Poland our history and our roots and we will not let Liberal Atheists try to divide our people.

    Radio Maryja with community for over 4 million people in Poland and all over the world.
    15 years ago you began your work in humble conditions. Today Radio Maryja and your other enterprises have assumed large dimensions and are very important to the Church in Poland. The Radio is a sign of opposition. The media you have created proclaim the message, which is today important to the lives of millions.

    But there are also opponents. Where do they come from?

    – I think that they do not agree with what they hear. At the same time, they feel some threat to the present day monopoly to form public opinion according to their directions. We have played a different tune, different from the orchestras in which all people speak the same. Media were restricted to promote certain system of values in order to control people and to rule more easily. That was the case under the communist regime and the same can be applied to the liberal one. Media form people’s opinions and thinking the way their opponents want and this is done for money. In turn, those who have money can have media and power. This is some closed triangle. But out of a sudden, a radio station has appeared and it courageously opposes the opinions, and hence it is a treat to them.

    There are almost 40 million people in Poland and perhaps some 20 million Polish immigrants all over the world. We face a great task: to strengthen all people in faith and love for their Homeland.
    Radio Maryja is the biggest Catholic station in Poland. About 12 % of Poles listen to Radio Maryja (CBOS opinion poll in 2003), which means four million listeners. More people listen to it from time to time. One must notice that the polls do not embrace listeners abroad; via the satellite Radio Maryja reaches almost every corner of the world where Polish immigrants live. Radio Maryja is also one of the most opinion-forming stations in the country; it is quoted by other media.

  8. I find the comments posted by Lech Alex Bajan to be shameful. My grandfather told us how he was treated in Konskie after the war. In fact, I have friends in Konskie who remember exactly what the current squatting family tried to do to my grandfather. The problem with anti-Semites in Poland — and I am not qualified to say how many exist in Poland but I know many people there who like Jews too — is that this is not a matter of money at all. It is about denying Jews humanity. For instance, Jews can often trace themselves — like I can with my family to 1800 in Poland (and beyond). How many Poles can do that? Yet we were often considered “not really Polish”. Our possessions, no matter how insignificant, are not returned. Religious objects were destroyed by the squatters in our building. O young man whose family co-owned the building with us was chased away too. Then the building was totally looted. Germans did not do this. Communists did not do this. And when I offered to pay way more than anyone in the world would for some of our things, the self-described “poor” people who stole our building, our home and possessions (and continue to hold onto many of them) refuse to return them for money I bet they need. Hatred distorts a person’s thinking. The problem with people like Pan Bajan is that he thinks all of the Jews from Poland before the war are dead and never spoke with their children and grandchildren or did not provide video testimony to what NON COMMUNISTS DID TO FELLOW POLISH PEOPLE who were Jewish and Polish for a long time. So if some people think they can steal because “everyone did it at the time”, “the Communists did it too”, “the Germans did it”, then you are just a coward who does not want to acknowledge that many Polish people collaborated in stealing from Jews after the war because we were defenseless. The Kielce pogrom was not organized by Communists. Many trains full of Jews were attacked and train tracks blown up by Polish rebels. When only 10% of Polish Jews returned, still they were treated like scum. So Poland will not truly escape its past til this is addressed and I know that slowly the new generation in Poland is trying to do the right think. Sadly, people like Bajan and others I know can lecture a corpse ad infinitum because they cannot be proud of their true agenda. I want nothing from Poles except friendship and the return of our possessions to my family’s representative who is not me. Facing the past after denying it for 60 years is practically impossible to do, so Bajan can write all he wants. I have facts on my side. Bajan makes them up.

  9. Why Poland should be paying for this ? who will pay to Poles for WWII, Jalta and 50 years of communism? France for doing absolutly nothing while Germans were invading Poland, even though they were allies. England, US for throwing Poland into Soviets arms in Jalta for 50 years!? How much would that be…?
    I think Jews should rather knock to the doors of Swiss banks.

  10. Irena Sendler Polish Catholic – safe 2500 jewish lifes during the World War II

    In 2001, Uniontown, KS students first met Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker who saved 2500 Jewish children from the Nazis during the holocaust. Few in the world knew about Sendler’s work until the Kansas students wrote the play “Life in a Jar”. Sendler died on May 12, 2008 at the age of 98.
    Irena Sendler (aka Irena Sendlerowa) was a member of Zegota, the clandestine Polish Rescue Organization, who, at great risk, rescued 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto and placed them with Christian families.

    She buried jars containing their real and assumed names in the garden, so that they could be one day learn the names of their biological families after the war.

    Several Uniontown, Kansas [USA] students researched the story of Irena Sendler and decided that they would like to find Sendler’s grave. To their surprise the students discovered that Sendler was still alive and that was living in a nursing home in Warsaw, confined to a wheelchair. The brutal torture by the Gestapo had taken its toll, but never once did she reveal the names.

    And so they started corresponding, with a Polish ornithologist at the university in Kansas City as their translator. The students decided to write a play about Sendlerowa.

    The play “Life in a Jar” debuted last February during their history class, followed by performances in rural churches, schools and nursing homes in Kansas and Missouri. Many in the audience were touched by the story, including a Jewish history teacher. He invited the student actors out to a restaurant, and asked them if they had a wish.

    Yes — they wanted to meet Sendlerowa in person. Several days later, he sent a check to the Uniontown school for six and a half thousand dollars he had collected from his Jewish friends, with only two conditions: that they give Sendlerowa a big hug from him, and after they return, to tell him everything that happened in Warsaw.

    At a synagogue in the suburbs of Kansas City, on April 25 of this year, the Jewish teacher addressed a gathering of 250 people.

    “How many people did Oscar Schindler save? A thousand. Irena Sendlerowa rescued two and a half thousand. Did you see a film about her?” he asked the audience, introducing the play. “Life in a jar” is only ten minutes long, as required for the student history olympics.

    There are four roles. Sendlerowa tries to convince a reluctant Jewish mother in the ghetto to trust her with her child. Afterwards, she writes the child’s name on a card and places it in a jar, burying it in the garden. The play won the history olympics in Kansas, but did not qualify for the national finals in Washington, DC. However, the four students presented their play in New York, it was filmed for a local channel, and C-Span and NPR showed interest. Their own lives and perspectives were changed by the play.
    A real hero – Witold Pilecki – A Volunteer for Auschwitz

    Ochotnik do Auschwitz/Volunteer for Auschwitz – W. Pilecki

    Witold Pilecki was born in Poland in 1901. When the German Army invaded the country in September, 1939, Pilecki joined the Tajna Armia Polska, the Secret Polish Army.

    When Pilecki discovered the existence of Auschwitz, he suggested a plan to his senior officers. Pilecki argued he should get himself arrested and sent to the concentration camp. He would then send out reports of what was happening in the camp. Pilecki would also explore the possibility of organizing a mass break-out.

    Pilecki’s colonel eventually agreed and after securing a false identity as Tomasz Serafinski, he arranged to be arrested in September, 1940. As expected he was sent to Auschwitz where he became prisoner 4,859. His work consisted of building more huts to hold the increased numbers of prisoners.

    Pilecki soon discovered the brutality of the Schutz Staffeinel (SS) guards. When one man managed to escape on 28th October 1940, all the prisoners were forced to stand at attention on the parade-ground from noon till nine in the evening. Anyone who moved was shot and over 200 prisoners died of exposure. Pilecki was able to send reports back to the Tajna Armia Polska explaining how the Germans were treating their prisoners. This information was then sent to the foreign office in London.

    In 1942 Pilecki discovered that new windowless concrete huts were being built with nozzles in their ceilings. Soon afterwards he heard that that prisoners were being herded into these huts and that the nozzles were being used to feed cyanide gas into the building. Afterwards the bodies were taken to the building next door where they were cremated.

    Pilecki got this information to the Tajna Armia Polska who passed it onto the British foreign office. This information was then passed on to the governments of other Allied countries. However, most people who saw the reports refused to believe them and dismissed the stories as attempts by the Poles to manipulate the military strategy of the Allies.

    In the autumn of 1942, Jozef Cyrankiewicz, a member of the Polish Communist Party, was sent to Auschwitz. Pilecki and Cyrankiewicz worked closely together in organizing a mass breakout. By the end of 1942 they had a group of 500 ready to try and overthrow their guards.

    Four of the inmates escaped on their own on 29th December, 1942. One of these men, a dentist called Kuczbara, was caught and interrogated by the Gestapo. Kuczbara was one of the leaders of Pilecki’s group and so when he heard the news he realized that it would be only a matter of time before the SS realized that he had been organizing these escape attempts.

    Pilecki had already arranged his escape route and after feigning typhus, he escaped from the hospital on 24th April, 1943. After hiding in the local forest, Pilecki reached his unit of the Tajna Armia Polska on 2nd May. He returned to normal duties and fought during the Warsaw Uprising in the summer of 1944. Although captured by the German Army he was eventually released by Allied troops in April, 1945.

    After the Second World War Pilecki went to live in Poland.The Polish Secret Police had him executed in 1948. It is believed that this was a result of his anti-communist activities

  11. TO EVERYONE WHO HAS EVER BEEN FORCIBLY DEPORTED:
    Hi,
    My grandmother and her entire Polish family were forcibly deported from Kowel, (Poland) Ukraine. Does anyone know about Polish descendants rights to former property in Ukraine?
    -Rick

    • Rick,
      My Polish (catholic) grandmother was also deported from Kowel. What was your family’s name, what street did they live on? My grandmother lived on Ulica Pierackiego.
      -Martin

  12. Dear Polish American Congress:

    We seek your urgent assistance in getting this information to your branches and to Polonia in the USA.

    At stake are justice and respect for the property rights of your members whose families lost property in eastern Poland during the war.

    They have only one month in which to register their interest in receiving compensation for this land, and after 31 December 2008 it will be too late.

    Information is found below and attached. Please contact me urgently if you have any questions or concerns.

    STEFAN WIŚNIOWSKI

    CHAIRMAN, KRESY-SIBERIA GROUP
    3 Castle Circuit Close
    Seaforth NSW 2092 Australia
    Telephone +61 411 864 873
    Stefan.Wisniowski@Kresy-Siberia.org
    http://www.Kresy-Siberia.org

    PRZEWODNICZĄCY, GRUPA KRESY-SYBERIA
    ul. Wiśniowa 40B lokal nr 6
    02-516 Warszawa, Polska
    Telefon +48 22 5424090 fax +48 22 5424089
    Kom. +48 517 206 491
    Stefan.Wisniowski@Kresy-Syberia.org
    http://www.Kresy-Syberia.org

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Polish text follows)
    Eastern Poland property compensation deadline approaches

    WARSAW POLAND, Thursday, Nov 6, 2008 – – Although it has not been widely publicized outside Poland, the deadline is looming for the Polish government’s offer of compensation for property left outside its present borders in connection with the Second World War.

    This is in not related to restitution for property confiscated in Poland by the German Nazi and post-war Communist regimes. Rather, it is compensation offered for property left behind when Poland’s borders were shifted west after the war. Poland’s eastern territories were taken over by the Soviet Union in exchange for new western territories taken from a vanquished Germany.

    Romuald Lipinski, a soldier in the Polish Army that helped drive the Germans out of Italy and who is now living in Virginia, says “it broke our hearts when our land was lost to the Soviets – we felt totally betrayed by our own Allies. We helped win the war against Hitler but lost our homeland to Stalin. But even though we could never return home after the war, we never forgot our Polish homeland. Now after all these years, we rejoice that Poland is free again and that it has not forgotten us either.”

    Almost 70 years after the war started, partial justice may finally be restored with the Polish government’s compensation offer of twenty percent of the current value of the lost land and buildings. The compensation is funded by the sale of government property. Already nearly $100 million has been awarded to former residents of the Eastern Borderlands (“Kresy” in Polish) and their families for their lost land and homes.

    Deportation survivor and current Florida resident, Marie Gaffney, recalls “The Soviet troopers came with guns drawn in the dead of night and dragged us out into minus 40 degree temperatures, with only a few small bundles of our belongings in my father’s hands and me in my mother’s arms. They deported us to harsh labour camps in Siberia and seized all our property. Our homes are gone forever, but at least this is a symbolic recognition of the injustice we suffered.”

    The 8 July 2005 Polish law provides for compensation on an equal basis for all pre-war Polish citizens leaving land outside the present borders of Poland due to circumstances surrounding the 1939-1945 war. This includes the deported families, the soldiers who served in the Polish Forces in the West, and their families who spent the war in refugee camps around the world.

    Australian second-generation survivor Louise Blazejowska says: “The story of the Soviet war-time persecution of eastern Poland’s residents is a little known episode in the history of World War 2, including mass deportations to “Siberia” that resulted in starvation and death, the seizure of property and the cover-up of the Katyn massacre. But the survivors of those tragic events and their heirs now scattered across the world are to this day in the dark about their rights to justice and compensation for their seized property. They must act now before it is too late.”

    Applications will be accepted only until the end of 2008. Mandatory preconditions include: owners of the property had to be Polish citizens in 1939 and had to have been living in Poland at that time; owners or their heirs must be Polish citizens now (citizenship can be confirmed if parents were Polish citizens); and inheritance rights have to be proven. Some description of the property must also be provided to determine its value.

    Although the initial claim must be lodged in one of Poland’s provincial offices by 31 December 2008, any additional supporting evidence can be submitted after the claim is registered, including documents obtained from various archives in Poland, Britain, the US and the former Soviet republics. The Kresy-Siberia Group has organized Polish and English-speaking volunteers to help applicants fill out and lodge their forms as well as with research, translations and navigating through administrative requirements. For more information, or to obtain claim registration forms, potential claimants can e-mail info@kresy-claims.org or visit http://www.kresy-claims.org.

    Kresy-Siberia Group founder Stefan Wisniowski, Canadian-born and now living in Sydney, Australia, says: “For years, many Polish survivors were reluctant to claim money from their homeland as a matter of honor. However, many now understand that things have changed and that as a member of the European Union, Poland is a dynamic western economy that looks after all of its citizens’ human rights, including their property rights. Others, who do not feel the need for financial compensation, may chose to donate their compensation payments to a worthy cause, such as the Kresy-Siberia Foundation which is developing a virtual museum on the internet to preserve their history for future generations.”

    The Kresy-Siberia Group is the international special interest group of over 750 survivors of the Soviet persecutions and their 2nd and 3rd-generation descendants. Its objectives are to research, remember and recognize the persecution of Polish citizens of all ethnic and religious backgrounds by the Soviet Union during the Second World War. As well as supporting property claimants with information and assistance, one of its current projects is developing a state-of-the-art “virtual museum” on the internet to commemorate this little-known chapter of the Second World War.

    ——————————————————————————–
    Media contacts

    Australia & New Zealand:

    Stefan Wisniowski

    61-4-1186-4873 cell

    Stefan.Wisniowski@Kresy-Siberia.org

    UK:

    George Neisser

    44-12572-79145 or 44-77379-98123 cell

    Jerzy.Neisser@Kresy-Siberia.org

    USA & Canada:

    Lynda Kraar

    1-201-947-2516 or 1-551-486-3772 cell

    Lynda.Kraar@Kresy-Siberia.org

    Poland:

    Aneta Hoffmann

    48-502-870-596 cell

    Aneta.Hoffmann@Kresy-Siberia.org

    ——————————————————————————–

    Ed. Note:

    The “Kresy-Siberia Group” brings into contact people from countries around the world with a special interest in the tragedy of over one million Polish citizens of various faiths and ethnicities (Polish, Ukrainian, Belorussian, Catholic, Orthodox, Jewish, etc.) either deported from eastern Poland (Kresy) in 1940-41 or otherwise arrested and sent to special Soviet labor camps in Siberia, Kazakhstan and eastern Asia. Some 115,000 of these were evacuated through Iran in 1942 as soldiers of Anders Army and their families – and eventually made their way to the West.

    The circumstances of their odyssey and the tragic history of the Polish citizens under Soviet Russian occupation during the war were hushed up by the Allies during the war to protect the reputation of the Soviet Union, an important ally in the war against Nazi Germany. Almost seventy years later the survivors have aged and many have died. The group brings together surviving deportees and their descendants to remember, learn, discover and spread the word of their ordeal to the world and to future generations. We can also provide you with “local” interviews.

    ——————————————————————————–

    DO PILNEGO UPOWSZECHNIENIA

    Zbliża się końcowy termin skladania wniosków o odszkodowania

    za utracone mienie na d. Kresach Wschodnich

    WARSZAWA, 6 listopada 2008 r. – – Mimo, iż fakt ten nie był szeroko omawiany poza Polską, jednakże zbliża się ostateczny termin składania wniosków w odpowiedzi na ofertę rządu polskiego dotyczącą wypłaty odszkodowań za mienie utracone w wyniku II wojny światowej, a leżące obecnie poza granicami Polski.

    Sprawa ta nie dotyczy zwrotu mienia skonfiskowanego na terenie Polski przez nazistowskie Niemcy czy powojenny reżim komunistyczny. Jest to odszkodowanie zaproponowane za nieruchomości utracone z powodu przesunięcia granic polskich po wojnie na zachód. Tereny byłych Kresów Wschodnich zostały włączone w 1945 r. do ZSRR, w zamian za zachodnie tereny zabrane pokonanej Rzeszy Niemieckiej.

    Pan Romuald Lipinski, ze stanu Wirginia, USA, żołnierz II Korpusu Armii Polskiej, która pokonała Niemców we Włoszech, powiedział “byliśmy zrozpaczeni, gdy nasza ziemia została utracona na rzecz Sowietów – czuliśmy się całkowicie zdradzeni przez naszych sojuszników. Pomogliśmy zwyciężyć Hitlera, ale nasza ojczyzna dostała się pod władanie Stalina. I mimo, iż nie mogliśmy powrócić do naszych domów po wojnie, nigdy nie zapomnieliśmy naszej ojczyzny – Polski. Teraz po tych wszystkich latach, cieszymy się, że Polska jest znów wolna i że ona także o nas nie zapomniała”.

    Po prawie 70 latach, jakie minęły od czasów II wojny światowej, propozycja polskiego rządu dotycząca wypłaty odszkodowań w wysokości 20% wartości utraconej ziemi i nieruchomości może stanowić w końcu częściowe zadośćuczynienie ich właścicielom. Odszkodowania są finansowane ze sprzedaży nieruchomości należących do Skarbu Państwa. Do chwili obecnej prawie 100 milionów dolarów zostało wypłaconych dawnym mieszkańcom Kresów Wschodnich i ich rodzinom.

    Sybiraczka Bożena Marie Gaffney, mieszkająca obecnie na Florydzie, wspomina “Żołnierze sowieccy wtargnęli z karabinami w środku nocy i wygnali nas z domu przy temperaturze -40 C jedynie z kilkoma węzełkami naszych rzeczy osobistych niesionych przez mojego ojca i mnie tulonej w ramionach mojej mamy. Zostaliśmy deportowani do ciężkich obozów pracy na Syberii, a cały nasz majątek został skonfiskowany. Już nigdy nie odzyskamy naszych domów, więc chociaż to odszkodowanie jest symbolicznym zadośćuczynieniem niesprawiedliwości, jakiej byliśmy ofiarami”.

    Na mocy polskiej Ustawy z dnia 8 lipca 2005 r. odszkodowania należą się w równej mierze wszystkim przedwojennym obywatelom polskim, którzy w wyniku II wojny światowej zmuszeni byli opuścić ówczesne terytorium Rzeczypospolitej. Dotyczy to deportowanych rodzin, żołnierzy, którzy służyli w Polskich Siłach Zbrojnych na Zachodzie oraz ich rodzin, które wojnę spędziły w obozach dla uchodźców rozsianych po całym świecie.

    Przedstawicielka drugiego pokolenia Sybiraków – Pani Louise Blażejowska, mieszkająca w Australii, powiedziała : “Tragiczne losy mieszkańców d. Kresów Wschodnich w czasie okupacji sowieckiej są mało znanym epizodem w historii II wojny światowej. Dotyczy to masowych deportacji na Syberię, których konsekwencją był głód i śmierć, odbierania mienia czy ukrywania zbrodni w Katyniu. Cudownie ocaleni uczestnicy tych tragicznych wydarzeń oraz ich potomkowie do dnia dzisiejszego nie wierzą, iż kiedykolwiek spotka ich należna im sprawiedliwość i odszkodowanie za utracone mienie. Muszą oni teraz przystąpić do działania, póki nie jest jeszcze za późno”.

    Wnioski będą przyjmowane jedynie do końca 2008 r. Podstawowe wymogi uprawniające do złożenia wniosku to : wlaściciele nieruchomości byli obywatelami polskimi w 1939 r. i mieszkali w tym czasie na terenie Polski; wlaściciele lub ich potomkowie muszą posiadać obecnie obywatelstwo polskie (obywatelstwo może zostać potwierdzone, jeśli rodzice byli obywatelami polskimi); prawa do spadku są potwierdzone. Do wniosku powinien być dołączony opis nieruchomości – jest to niezbędne do późniejszego określenia wartości nieruchomości.

    Chociaż wstępny wniosek o odszkodowanie musi zostać złożony w jednym z urzędów wojewódzkich w Polsce do dnia 31 grudnia 2008 r., to dokumenty stanowiące załącznik do wniosku mogą być dostarczone później, po rejestracji wniosku. Dotyczy to dokumentów odszukanych w różnych archiwach w Polsce, Wielkiej Brytanii, USA czy w byłych republikach ZSRR.

    Grupa Kresy-Syberia stworzyła grupę wolontariuszy mówiących po polsku i po angielsku, którzy będą pomagać osobom zainteresowanym wypełnić i złożyć wniosek czy tez będą służyć pomocą przy tłumaczeniach. W celu uzyskania dalszych informacji lub niezbędnych formularzy, potencjalni wnioskodawcy mogą się kontaktować z nami drogą emailową : info@kresy-mienie.org lub odwiedzając stronę http://www.kresy-mienie.org.

    Założyciel Grupy Kresy-Syberia – Pan Stefan Wiśniowski, Australijczyk urodzony w Kanadzie – stwierdził: “Przez lata wielu byłych polskich wysiedleńców było przeciwnych występowaniu do swojej ojczyzny o jakiekolwiek pieniądze, traktując tę sprawę w kategoriach honoru. Jednakże wielu spośród nich jest dziś świadomych, że sytuacja się zmieniła. Obecnie polska gospodarka dynamicznie się rozwija, a Polska jako członek Unii Europejskiej troszczy się o przestrzeganie praw swych obywateli, także ich praw własności. Inni, którzy nie odczuwają potrzeby finansowego odszkodowania, mogą ofiarować uzyskane pieniądze na cel charytatywny, na przykład Fundację Kresy-Syberia, która tworzy obecnie muzeum wirtualne poświęcone upamiętnieniu ich losów dla przyszłych pokoleń”.

    Grupa Kresy-Syberia jest międzynarodową grupą skupiającą ponad 750 byłych Sybiraków i ich potomków z drugiego i trzeciego pokolenia. Jej celem jest badanie, upamiętnianie i upowszechnianie tragicznych losów obywateli polskich różnych narodowości i wyznań pod okupacją sowiecką w trakcie II wojny światowej. Poza wspieraniem osób pragnących złożyć wnioski o odszkodowanie, jednym z jej bieżących projektów jest stworzenie “wirtualnego muzeum” w Internecie mającego za zadanie upamiętnić ten mało znany fragment historii II wojny światowej.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Kontakty dla prasy :

    Australia & New Zelandia :

    Stefan Wiśniowski

    tel. kom.+61-4-1186-4873

    Stefan.Wisniowski@Kresy-Syberia.org

    Wielka Brytania :

    Jerzy Neisser

    tel. kom. 44-77379-98123 oraz +44-12572-79145

    Jerzy.Neisser@Kresy-Syberia.org

    USA & Kanada :

    Lynda Kraar

    tel. kom. 1-551-486-3772 oraz +1-201-947-2516

    Lynda.Kraar@Kresy-Syberia.org

    Polska :

    Aneta Hoffmann

    tel. kom. +48-502-870-596

    Aneta.Hoffmann@Kresy-Syberia.org

    ——————————————————————————–

    Przypis: “Grupa Kresy-Syberia” łączy ludzi z różnych krajów, dla których ważny jest temat tragedii ponad miliona obywateli polskich różnych wyznań i narodowości (Polaków, Ukraińców, Białorusinów, katolików, prawosławnych, żydów itp.), którzy zostali aresztowani lub deportowani z b. Kresów Wschodnich II RP w latach 1940-41 do specjalnych obozów pracy na Syberii, w Kazachstanie i na tereny azjatyckich republik ZSRR. 115.000 spośród nich zostało ewakuowanych do Iranu w 1942 r. jako żołnierze Armii Andersa i ich rodziny. Ostatecznie znaleźli się oni na Zachodzie. Okoliczności ich odysei i tragicznych losów obywateli polskich pod okupacją sowiecką w czasie II wojny światowej były przemilczane przez aliantów w czasie wojny, aby chronić imię ZSRR – ważnego sojusznika w walce z III Rzeszą. Prawie siedemdziesiąt lat później Sybiracy zestarzeli się, wielu spośród z nich już nie żyje. Nasza grupa łączy Sybiraków i ich potomków, aby upamiętniać, nauczać, odkrywać i upowszechniać wiedzę nt. ich tragicznych losów – na całym świecie i kolejnym pokoleniom. Możemy udzielić Państwu także lokalnych wywiadów.

  13. You CAN Get Your Polish Property Back

    Many individuals are quietly regaining their ancestor’s property in Poland. This is not done through various Jewish organizations, rather by filing civil claims in court. Hashava has been helping people retrieve properties throughout Poland for the past few years. If you or your ancestors have claims to property, contact Hashava at http://www.hashava.com . The more information and documents you have, the better, although they can start traces with just a name and an address and sometimes even less.

  14. Jews lived in Poland for nearly 1000 years, and at times up to 80% of world’s Jews population lived in Poland. Why did they end up living in Poland if Poland was so bad for them?

    Here couple of questions.

    Is the Israel government planning to pay out compensations to their neighbors for their loss of land, lives and freedom?

    Is the Israel goverment or you seeing resemblance of e.g. Warsaw Ghetto with occupied Palestine?

    Is the Israel government interested in ever resolving Palestinian issues?

    Who provided intelligence to the US government about Iraq developing WMD?

    Who pushed for war in Iraq, Syria and Iran?

    If any of you wanting compensations from Poland, (which first have been demolished by Nazis, later occupied by Soviets with help of Jews particularly with initial installation of communist government after war ended and its almost 100% presence in security units) you should answer above questions first.

    Review some of this material if you still have doubts about your contribution to the world’s insecurity in recent years.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Israel_Lobby_and_U.S._Foreign_Policy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Poland

    Before bringing others to their responsibilities, think about your own first.
    As you see it is much easier to criticize.

  15. Hello,
    I am trying to get my fathers property back from Croatia (taken in ww2) any suggestions to help me?
    Kind regards
    Amanda Danicic

  16. I’m not claiming anything, but it looks this would be the only place where I could find any relatives of my mother, Malka Szymkowicz, born in Poland in Klobuko, Province of Kielce on 4th of August 1904.
    She died on the 21st of June 1945 and since then I was never able to retrace any member of her family.
    Could you let me know where and how I could do this,

  17. You should start looking on different websites, namely Yad Vashem and Bad Arolsen

  18. To all the Zionist and all The Holocaust Industry:
    Just to make it firm find another suckers!!!
    You will get $0.00 from Poland
    You have to pay to Poland not the other way.

  19. Hi everyone
    As a Pole I will support the Jewish striving for justice in Poland. During the war Jewish were not our enemy like Germans. It is hard to call them the traitors of Polish raison de’etat too, although some may say it and be right. Using the pogroms and other pressure to dispossess them from Poland was not fair. Even if these were communists who did it. Jewish had legal properties in our country and these properties must be given back to descendants if they are still alive, or the money should be repaid. According to the European Law – to descendants not to any organizations!
    Fortunately it is possible now in Poland and EU.
    To all my Polish compatriots;
    It is not important for this case what Israeli do in Palestine now. The double morality if exists is their problem, not us. We as the Poles need to stand clear with our own sins against Jews, and satisfy them.
    The next step is eventually to help Palestinians in their fate and expose the ‘Holocaust Industry’ if hypocritical.
    Peace for everyone!

  20. Hitler o wypadku Kaczyńskich (oryginał) Po której jesteś stronie?

  21. US Departament of State Discrimination of the Polish Nationals People’s of Poland.

    The only possibility to make an appointment with the US consular officer in Poland is to call the info line 0 701 77 44 00 or *740 94 00 from the cell phones. The call costs 4.00 PLN plus 22% VAT for one minute. It takes about 10 minutes to make an appointment over the phone. So it costs about 48.80 PLN to arrange the appointment. In English version there is no information about possibility to pay 22 PLN with Visa or MasterCard by calling to the Embassy number +48 22 523 2000

    http://poland.usembassy.gov/poland/how_to_apply.html

    BARACK OBAMA

    Parade of West Point Cadets and remembrance ceremony during the 262nd Anniversary of the Birth of Tadeusz Kosciuszko, which took place in West Point at April 26, 2008.
    This video was created by Piotr Kajstura.


    Norman Davies on Polish history

    Casimir Pulaski was born in Podalia, Poland, on March 4, 1747. He had five sisters and two brothers. His father gave him a pony when he was five years old and a horse when he was eight years old. As a child, Casimir learned how to shoot a bulls-eye while riding a horse. His father sent him to Warsaw to go to school. Then his father sent him to the Court of Courtland to be a page for the Duke of Courtland. While Pulaski was there, the Russians took over Courtland, so Casimir had to return to Warsaw.

    Pulaski’s father organized a group called The Knights of the Holy Cross. The Knights fought against the Russians, because the Russians were trying to take over Poland. Pulaski recruited men to be in the Knights, and he fought with the Knights. They fought bravely against the Russians, but they lost. Casimir and the rest of the Knights were captured and sent to prison. Then he was banished from Poland. He went to Turkey. He and his father and his brothers trained men to fight against Russia. The Russians tried to capture them, but Pulaski escaped back to Poland, even though he had been banished from there.

    When he got to Cracow, Poland, Pulaski joined the Polish Revolutionary Confederates who were trying to fight against the Russians. He fought bravely and he helped the Confederates win the Battle of Kukielki, which forced the Russians to leave Poland. He was a hero to the Polish people, but later, the king of Poland, King Stanislaus, turned against him, and he had to flee Poland again.
    Image courtesy of ArtToday.

    Pulaski decided to go to America to help the colonists fight against the British. He got in touch with Benjamin Franklin, who was in Paris. Franklin gave him money to get to America and told the American Congress and George Washington about Casimir Pulaski.

    After he got to America, Pulaski found General Washington in Philadelphia. Washington got the Congress to put Casimir Pulaski in charge of the American Cavalry. Near Brandywine, he saw the British planning a trap around the Americans. He led a charge against the British and defeated the trap. He was a hero to the Americans for saving them from the trap.

    Pulaski trained men for the American Cavalry and the infantry. He wanted to start a special legion. The Congress gave him permission. He trained them to be experts on horseback. He led them to battle in New York City. On the way to New York, they had to pass through New Jersey. At Little Egg Harbor, they burned twenty British ships and took all their ammunition. Unfortunately, some of Pulaski ‘s friends died in the battle.
    Casimir Pulaski and his Legion rode south to Charleston to help the people there fight against the British. They went after the British as they tried to escape to sea. Casimir and his men won again, capturing many British troops and supplies. Then Pulaski and his troops went to Savannah to try to capture the city from the British. As they were planning, an American soldier named James Curry informed the British of their plans, so the British were ready for the attack. Because of this, the Americans lost the battle and Casimir Pulaski got shot during the battle. He was badly wounded. The wounds became infected, and he became sick and died. He died on October 11, 1779. He was only 32 years old.

    It was a very important thing that the hero Casimir Pulaski came to defend the colonies in the fight against Great Britain, and that is why children in Illinois get a holiday off from school on the first Monday of March. We honor the memory of Casimir Pulaski.

    Casimir Pulaski (1745?-1779) is a hero of two countries, Poland and the United States. Pulaski (in Polish: Kazimierz Pulawski) was born in a small town near Warsaw, Poland during the mid-1740s. In 1768, Pulaski and his father Jozef founded the Confederation of the Bar to defend Poland against the aggressive Russian forces, which later arrested and killed Casimir’s father. Unable to prevent the partition of Poland, Pulaski left Poland and lived in exile in Turkey and the Balkans between 1772 and 1775, and then to Paris where he met Benjamin Franklin. Franklin convinced him to support the colonies against England in the American Revolution.

    Pulaski impressed with the ideals of a new nation struggling to be free, volunteered his services. In 1777, Pulaski arrived in Philadelphia where he met General Washington, Commander-in -Chief of the Continental Army. Later at Brandywine, he came to the aid of Washington’s forces and distinguished himself as a brilliant military tactician. For his efforts, Congress appointed him Brigadier-General in charge of Four Horse Brigades. Then again, at the battles of Germantown and Valley Forge, Pulaski’s knowledge of warfare assisted Washington and his men.

    Later in 1778, through Washington’s intervention, Congress approved the establishment of the Cavalry and put Pulaski at its head. The Father of the American Cavalry demanded much of his men and trained them in tested cavalry tactics. He used his own personal finances, when money from Congress was scarce, in order to assure his forces of the finest equipment and personal safety.

    Pulaski and his legion were then ordered to defend Little Egg Harbor in New Jersey and Minisink on the Delaware and then south to Charleston, South Carolina. However, it was at the battle of Savannah in 1779 that General Pulaski, riding forth into battle on his horse, fell to the ground mortally wounded by the blast of cannon.

  22. In regards to the former notes about Pilecki.
    Cavalry master Witold Pilecki was terribly tortured by a Jewish communist(member of NKVD), solicitor and clearly sadist-Józef Różański (real name Joseph Goldberg). Pilecki while seeing his wife for the very last time said: Auschwitz was a child’s play in comparison to THAT. Różański with thousands of other Jews joined NKVD and made (dubitable in his case)career in the soviet apparatus in Poland. In fact key members of Polish and Hungarian communist parties in fifties were Jews.

    Hatred between SOME of the Poles and Jews existed during the WWII but there were good reasons for that sadly:

    When soviet red army invaded city Lwow(then Polish) exactly on 22/09/1939, Jewish residents did cut the polish white and red standarts in two(to fly the red flag) and greeted communists with flowers and flower-gates! Germans packed hundreds of thousands of Poles they regarded as dangerous to a soviet rule on trucks. They were then transported by trains to Siberia gulags. During that process Germans were accompanied by (oh yes-armed)Jews. That was German divide et impera. It is a fact noone dares to deny. IT WAS BEFORE THE HOLOCAUST(Wansee conference, 1941), before the Germans invaded that part of Poland in 1941, also before Jedwabne.

    Kielce pogrom was prepared by GZI and NKVD and perpetrated by military. Can anyone argue with Kakolewski’s(eyewitness) book? Anatol Fejgin, the commander of the Stalinist political police at the Ministry of Public Security of Poland, did admit that such actions(staged pogroms) were practiced.

    If anyone would like to deny or argue with the above-I have got arguments and historical sources ready.

    Also:

    How could Poles be responsible for stealing Jewish property during the German or soviet occupation? Was not Poland under the occupation then? In fact Germans and Soviets were first to steal weren’t they? Why noone in the West does not want to recognize that Soviet Union was a criminal state which occupied Poland and other countries for the main part of XX century? Why are Jews seen as the only victims??? Does anyone dare to accuse Russia? Who will pay my grandparents for the property they lost in Eastern Poland when they fled Russians in 1939?

    At the end I would like to pay the tribute to the true Jewish hero – Mr Marek Edelman, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising fighter and after the war, a noted cardiologist in Poland. Thank you for the lives you saved Marek. Thank you for your support for the fighting communism Poland after the war. You were high above whole of the shit. R.I.P. Respect!

  23. Correction to my previous notes:

    When soviet red army invaded city Lwow(then Polish) exactly on 22/09/1939, Jewish residents did cut the polish white and red standarts in two(to fly the red flag) and greeted communists with flowers and flower-gates! SHOULD BE: Soviets packed hundreds of thousands of Poles they regarded as dangerous to a soviet rule on trucks. They were then transported by trains to Siberia gulags. During that process SHOULD BE: Soviets were accompanied by (oh yes-armed)Jews. That was SHOULD BE: Soviet divide et impera. It is a fact noone dares to deny. IT WAS BEFORE THE HOLOCAUST(Wansee conference, 1941), before the Germans invaded that part of Poland in 1941, also before Jedwabne.

  24. Barbara Meilstein- Parker

    Any update as of 2013 on getting our property back in Poland ? Barb Meilstien-Parker

  25. I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and interesting, and let me tell you,
    you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is something which too few people are speaking intelligently about.
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  26. Wonderful web site. A lot of useful info here. I am
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  27. even polish jews are extriemly against claims like that coz they know history if they want to know sad truth only foreign jews were riping apart fatherland to the west second thank God polish gov will change soon for those who learn from history third read about ”judeopolonia” before u will make such a claim and feeling safe about it. We jews will never undersund what Poland always gave us when rest of world was killing us and what we did to them when they were weak is just afwull not acusing polish jews not from soviet union or those from germany learn why there were so many jews in this region! im feel shame but thank to God praise Poland and praise its people for having something we dont have clue about HONOR, FATHERLAND if u are POLISH JEW think what poles lost do u think they claim anything no they not retarded and actually went through war THINK ABOUT IT dont listen find out ur self !

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