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The following posting was sent on June 4, 2004


Calendar of Polish events in Northern California
Medal of Freedom for His Holiness Pope John Paul II
Warsaw upraising on CNN - REMINDER and links
"Polish concentration camps" again - is it accidental?
Interesting reading

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Medal of Freedom for His Holiness Pope John Paul II

The Vatican, Italy, June 4, 2004, 12:58 p.m. (local)

"A devoted servant of God, His Holiness Pope John Paul II has championed the cause of the poor, the weak, the hungry, and the outcast. He has defended the unique dignity of every life, and the goodness of all life. Through his faith and moral conviction, he has given courage to others to be not afraid in overcoming injustice and oppression.

His principled stand for peace and freedom has inspired millions and helped to topple communism and tyranny.

The United States honors this son of Poland who became the Bishop of Rome and a hero of our time."

What a wonderful inspiration! What can WE do? - OURSELVES. Yes, around us, there is plenty to do, in our Polish American community. Please volunteer, join Polish American organization of your choice.

Warsaw upraising on CNN - REMINDER and links

A special documentary, reported by David Ensor, will air on CNN on Sunday, June 6, 2004, at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., and again on Saturday, June 12, 2004, at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. (E.T.).
See CNN's press release here:

Historical consultation by one of the best Polish historians Marek Chodakiewicz. By his personal experience in the production this might be the best piece ever produced about Warsaw Uprising.
The historian gave full details of this important Polish historic event which was frequently overlooked, particularly in America.
Lets hope that the producer took full advantage of such high professional help. This might be the most important for those of us who try to straighten up the historical record about Poland in World War II.
Tadeusz Mirecki contributed to this note.

On the same subject: This is a must web site for Polish Americans to show to your American friends when talking about Polish history:

"Polish concentration camps" again - is it accidental?

First, here is good description of death camp Auschwitz which can be used as a reference where phrase "German occupiers" or other reference to W.W.II reality are not being used:

In 1998 I wrote a piece in Polish for Rzeczpospolita where I presented, among others, results of my interviews with several high school students from Santa Clara County about "Who was Nazi?" The question was asked after showing to the student a short note about capture of death camp guard, who was hiding in USA. The newspaper note used phrase "Polish concentration camp" and word Nazi. There was no word Germany to be found anywhere, nor "occupied Poland". Shocking result was that they all said that Nazis were Poles.

Polish American Congress addressed the issue to several news agencies and news networks and all seemed to get better. For a moment. This kind of incidents are repeating again. Media are again "sloppy" or using "short cuts" as they were explaining before. Well, not all of them. In the name of overcoming injustice, please read editorial notes under this article and react as you might see fit. I know that Polish American Congress is working hard to combat such injustice, but your voice is very important. Please let them know how unjust they are to the Polish nation:

Here are fragments of my correspondence to them (pdf document):


Do we really know what was preventing the idea of a National Holocaust Memorial in Poland? I do not know. Your idea that Poles do not want one might not be correct. Yes, you are for one in each country. This is your right to think so. If someone does not get excited about the idea, does not necessarily mean that is against it. Other people might have less enthusiastic approach to this particular idea for many reasons. Have you ever thought about it from different angle? There are Jews who do not want to have Memorial together with Christians. Wasn't this the case with problem of crosses at Auschwitz? What about Carmelites? Jews were protesting their presence in Auschwitz until they were relocated. From what I see my impression is that the Jews would not want to have the same memorial with Catholics. Have it crossed your mind that maybe Przemek was talking about this? To me is also incomprehensible why some Jews object to a common memorial.


Do you know that Poland was the only country where people were shot on the spot for giving even glass of water to Jewish person, or for any other help given to Jews. Do you realize how many people were shot and never given the place at Yad Vashem? If someone was shot, usually the whole family was shot with them, who is to claim their deeds. Are you aware of a book by Zajaczkowski - "Martyrs of charity" -- thousands of people died for helping Jews. Are you aware of Zegota? This was an organized help, very sophisticated. Including making false documents, relocating hiding Jews etc. I remember as a young boy living in very small town in Poland in 1960s I heard numerous accounts of Poles who helped Jews. None of them is recognized at Yad Vashem. They do not want/need recognition, they did what was right thing to do. I have never heard negative things about Jews from my parents nor from anyone in the community. It was a tremendous shock to me when someone in America called me anti-Semite -- just because I am from Poland. My father spent war at a labor camp after being shot almost to dead in September of 1939 while defending Warsaw from Germans. My mother spent war on a village where she helped to take care of hiding Jews. She said that many people were shot for helping Jews. She never cared to describe publicly what she had done. Many times she talked to us, me and my brother, about details of delivering food, being afraid of Germans catching them and the obligation to help other human beings. I remember specifically, she said that these hiding people were targeted to be killed, so it was even greater obligation to help them. Both my parents were already teachers in 1939.

Do you know exactly what was going on in Jedwabne? Terrible tragedy, but what scope and why? I am ashamed of Poles who helped to carry out the killings. Please see the attached documents at the end of this entire reply. There is no doubt that Germans were the driving force. After all they controlled territory. But since when? Are you aware of the fact that this territory was occupied first by Russians? Are you aware of the fact that many Polish families vanished deported to Siberia? How did this happened? It is documented that Jews were welcoming Russian occupying forces in 1939. There are documents to that effect at Hoover Institute at Stanford University. Then they the ones who pointed out to Russians who should go to Siberia. Again I have seen documents describing what was happening. Do you know that the Jedwabne investigation uncovered Lenin's statue being thrown into the grave on the top of the bodies? This speaks volumes, to use your language. Remember it was a war, these people were fighting. First Jews sent many families to death in Siberia and than some people got revenge. Off course I am not saying this makes it right, but gives you understanding why my parents were so good to Jews (no former Soviet occupation) and why Jedwabne happened. It was wrong to kill, but that was how these people felt. Poles were sent to death by communists, but when they killed communists it turned out they killed first of all Jews. Same in Ejszyszki. Jaffa Elliach claims it was because Poles are anti-Semites. The truth is that her parents housed Soviet NKVD and it was an attack on the enemy in a war. What about Koniuchy? Have you heard anything about it?

So I respectfully do not agree with this collective responsibility and the scope of Polish hatred toward Jews. I am far from denying that there are no Poles who hate Jews, but I am not willing to carry the responsibility for them. Your web site has so much information regarded by Poles to be objective, for which you deserve great applause. The main is including Polish non Jewish victims as part of the Holocaust. Believe it or not, there was a conference of a Jewish Polish reconciliation group on the use of the word Holocaust, whether it can be used to refer to non Jewish victims.

One can think: what are the motives behind painting such unjust picture of Poles by Mr. Brattman?

Edmund Lewandowski

Interesting reading

By Tadeusz Mirecki

An op-ed piece about the Warsaw Uprising and the lessons the West needs to draw from it. In Warsaw, a 'Good War' Wasn't -- By Anne Applebaum Wednesday, June 2, 2004; Page A25

A brief but brilliant piece in the current issues of Newsweek, tying in to the anniversary commemorations of D-day and its aftermath.
Bridge between Cultures -- By Radek Sikorski Newsweek, Publication Date: May 31, 2004

English language translation of the appeal published in Rzeczpospolita on May 28 can be found here:
A list of signatories is included.
And it appears they were right about the political situation worsening -- today, the Polish media are reporting motions in Parliament to impeach Pres. Kwasniewski and Premier Miller for their alleged involvement in Rywingate.

Washington Post on Sunday, May 30 devoted its Book World section to review of books about WW2.

Monte Cassino by Matthew Parker Reviewed by Jonathan Yardley.

The only mention of Poles is in a catch-all listing "... Poles and many others..."
"The end came on May 18, 1944, when a tattered white flag..." No word about the red-and-white flag, at least not in the review.

Four books revisit key sites and battle operations of WW2 Reviewed by Mark Kewis

2nd section: "Red army Rising"
Review of "Rising 44 - The Battle for Warsaw" by Norman Davies
The review talks more about the Soviet offensive out of Belarus than about Warsaw. But it does mention the betrayal by the Soviets, Americans and British.



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