Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:34 am

BRoI wrote:The first part of that report is about Auschwitz, yet Fleming [2014:135] wrote:

Jan Karski, almost certainly had knowledge of the camp and it is likely that he carried information about the camp. However, there is no documentary record of Karski speaking of the mass slaughter of Jews at Auschwitz when he reached London (26 November 1942).

BTW, not that Fleming not knowing something would have been a good argument in the first place, but Karski, mentioning Auschwitz in the Dec. '42 report, does not, indeed, speak of the mass slaughter of *Jews* there. Indeed, all one has to do is read the first sentence of the report.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:02 pm

To the question of whether Karski acknowledged Izbica, he did in a Voice of America interview between 1995 and 1997:

http://www.polskieradio.pl/218

The excerpt is called "OBRAZ NIE Z TEGO ŚWIATA", 9:45 he tells how he thought he was at Belzec but in 1982 Arad told him it could not have been Belzec, then mentions Wood who reached conclusion that the camp was called Izbica Lubelska.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Balsamo » Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:46 am

Sergey_Romanov wrote:To the question of whether Karski acknowledged Izbica, he did in a Voice of America interview between 1995 and 1997:

http://www.polskieradio.pl/218

The excerpt is called "OBRAZ NIE Z TEGO ŚWIATA", 9:45 he tells how he thought he was at Belzec but in 1982 Arad told him it could not have been Belzec, then mentions Wood who reached conclusion that the camp was called Izbica Lubelska.


Yes, that was one of the conclusions. But then his testimony does not fit with what he should have seen at Izbica...

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Tue Apr 25, 2017 6:13 am

I know.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby BRoI » Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:23 pm

Sergey_Romanov wrote:To the question of whether Karski acknowledged Izbica, he did in a Voice of America interview between 1995 and 1997:

http://www.polskieradio.pl/218

The excerpt is called "OBRAZ NIE Z TEGO ŚWIATA", 9:45 he tells how he thought he was at Belzec but in 1982 Arad told him it could not have been Belzec, then mentions Wood who reached conclusion that the camp was called Izbica Lubelska.


In this interview, does Karski admit he didn't visit the Belzec death camp, that he was mistaken to ever claim he did, and concede that he had actually visited Izbica instead?

That's what required, not just an "acknowledgement" that some people thought he went to Izbica.

If Arad told Karski in 1982 that he couldn't have been at Belzec, it didn't stop Karski from claiming he had, as this interview with Karski by the Polish journalist Maciej Kozlowski published in the July 1987 edition of Dissent magazine proves.

“M.K. How did you get into the Belzec camp?

J.K. A guide contacted me. He appeared to be a Jew, but of course I cannot say for sure. We did not introduce ourselves and we did not talk. We went together to Lublin, changed trains, and arrived in Belzec. It was the middle of October. The guide took me to a hardware shop. Several hours later a man arrived. He spoke perfect Polish and was very matter-of-fact. He had an Estonian guard’s uniform for me. I knew that the Germans never used Poles in the death camps. The extermination was to be kept secret. The man gave me precise instructions: “You will follow me. You must not speak to anyone. You speak neither Polish nor German. I will take you into the camp, but once inside you will be on your own. As far as I know, you want to see the camp. After a while, I will give you a sign, and we will leave together.”

We entered the camp without any trouble. My guide was well known there, and after showing some documents, we were allowed in. The camp was enclosed, partly with barbed wire, partly by the wall. On the right side I saw a railway sidetrack. I was standing close to the main gate through which the Jews were being taken out. For many years I could not understand it. I thought that Belzec was a transit camp. It was after the war that I learned that it was a death camp. During the trials of the German war criminals in the late 1940’s, some Polish railwaymen who co-operated with the underground were cross-examined as witnesses. They explained the scene I saw.

By German standards, Belzec was run very inefficiently. In fact at that time its commander, SS Captain Gottlieb Hering, was on trial before an SS court. The extermination in Belzec was done by exhaust gases from engines salvaged from Soviet tanks. It was a very ineffective way of killing. The engines over-heated, and, and the whole process of killing lasted for a long time. Sometimes one transport had not been completed by the time a new one arrived. In such cases the new transport was directed to Sobibor, where the death machine was running much better. I witnessed such a scene. The Jews were being transported from Belzec to Sobibor. I could not see the gas chambers; they were, as I learned later, deeper inside the camp, on the other side of the mass of people being directed into the cars.

I would like now to mention some events that were taking place at the same time but were fully revealed only after the war. In August 1942 a certain German officer, Kurt Gerstein, arrived in Belzec. He was to put things in order, that is, to instruct the inefficient commander as to the virtues of Cyklon B gas compared with exhaust gas. He fulfilled his duty, but he must have had some conscience still alive within him. Returning, he met a Swedish diplomat on the train and told him the whole story. He told about the exhaust gases, the collapsing tank engines, the whole story about the extermination of Jews in the Belzec camp. The Swede made a report and sent it to Stockholm. But the Swedish authorities, in an effort not to antagonize the still powerful Germans, kept this report secret. An entire year passed before the report reached London. It didn’t mention Gerstein, of course. The Polish government learned about the report and made an uproar. But by now it was 1944. The ‘Jewish question’ in occupied Poland was solved. After the war Gerstein was caught by the French. He made a detailed report, and committed suicide.

M.K. That means that the information you transmitted to the West was not complete, but even so it was horrible enough the people could not believe you?

J.K. I saw terrible things in Belzec. I wrote about them in my book, Story of a Secret State, (Boston, 1944). I broke down right there. My guide noticed that I was not behaving normally and he shouted over the Jewish crowd, ‘Folge mir, folge mir!’ We both left by the same route. I spent less than an hour in the camp. I was sick, vomiting blood. I saw terrible things. Unbelievable. You would not believe what I saw either! Even today, although over forty years have passed, I cannot forget the scenes I witnessed there.

https://search.opinionarchives.com/Summary/Dissent/V34I3P326-1.htm
Last edited by BRoI on Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby BRoI » Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:37 pm

Sergey_Romanov wrote:BTW, not that Fleming not knowing something would have been a good argument in the first place, but Karski, mentioning Auschwitz in the Dec. '42 report, does not, indeed, speak of the mass slaughter of *Jews* there. Indeed, all one has to do is read the first sentence of the report.


This report is found in the file PRM 76/1, a pdf version of which I posted upthread.

Fleming cites this file numerous times in his 2014 study, he even cites it when specifically discussing Karski. That's why I find it surprising that he should have missed something as big as this.

It does sound like it might be by or about Karski, but I think far more details need to be known that the scant few you've posted on this thread.
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:28 pm

Well in the short report the author mentions not only the quicklime gassing but also an episode with a young girl whom he knew and who was arrested by Gestapo and beaten on the genitals as Karski described in his book. So the connection between the reports is not a coincidence. Which means that either Karski was the author or he plagiarized the report. The latter explanation is significantly less parsimonious in light of the lack of positive evidence of a plagiarism (not to mention it leaves loose ends hanging).

As for Izbica, if Karski still believed in the Belzec version during the interview, why didn't he simply day "I was in Belzec"? I'll give you that at that time he may not have accepted it wholeheartedly, but I think it is fair to say that he accepted it provisionally (something he didn't do as as a result of Arad's criticism but did as a result of Wood's research).

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:32 pm

I agree that Fleming's silence is weird because he had to address the report regardless of whether he accepted Karski's authorship.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:36 pm

And one more point - the report fits Karski's style, many have pointed out the similarity of the 1944 account with the 1940 report and I think there is the same similarity in the 1942 report. And Fleming points out that Karski presented Auschwitz as the place of Polish suffering - and that also fits the 1942 report.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeff_36 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:52 am

BRoI wrote:
Sergey_Romanov wrote:To the question of whether Karski acknowledged Izbica, he did in a Voice of America interview between 1995 and 1997:

http://www.polskieradio.pl/218

The excerpt is called "OBRAZ NIE Z TEGO ŚWIATA", 9:45 he tells how he thought he was at Belzec but in 1982 Arad told him it could not have been Belzec, then mentions Wood who reached conclusion that the camp was called Izbica Lubelska.


In this interview, does Karski admit he didn't visit the Belzec death camp, that he was mistaken to ever claim he did, and concede that he had actually visited Izbica instead?

That's what required, not just an "acknowledgement" that some people thought he went to Izbica.

If Arad told Karski in 1982 that he couldn't have been at Belzec, it didn't stop Karski from claiming he had, as this interview with Karski by the Polish journalist Maciej Kozlowski published in the July 1987 edition of Dissent magazine proves.



It has been proven here, by myself and others, that Karski cannot have been to Belzec. His account changed every time he gave it and is basically a carbon copy of the account he gave of his actual visit to Belzec in 1940. It is much more likely that he visited Izbica and used some details of what he saw there along with his 1940 Belzec account to compile an new one that was rather untruthful.

The fact that he eventually reversed his stance, as shown by myself several months ago, proves that he did not go to Belzec. Had he seen the camp in 1942 he would have clung rigidly to the original iteration of his tale, not budging even a little bit until his death. As we have seen that was not the case.

Karski comes across as something of a fame seeker with a intermittent and tenuous connection with the truth. The fact that you cling to the absurd premise that he visited Belzec in 1942 makes me question your assertion that you are no longer a denier.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeff_36 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:53 am

BRoI wrote:
Sergey_Romanov wrote:Karski's Dec. '42 London report:

http://szukajwarchiwach.pl/800/42/0/-/7 ... CgjAaXisyA


How do you know Karski wrote that?

btw, it's also available [with a lot of other docs] on pdf page 232f:
http://polishinstitute.com/prm/prm76a.pdf

The first part of that report is about Auschwitz, yet Fleming [2014:135] wrote:

Jan Karski, almost certainly had knowledge of the camp and it is likely that he carried information about the camp. However, there is no documentary record of Karski speaking of the mass slaughter of Jews at Auschwitz when he reached London (26 November 1942).


It reads very much like Karski`s 1940 and 1943 reports. He does not describe the atrocities at Auschwitz in the context of Jewish suffering at all, but rather in the context of the German crimes against Poles.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:30 am

If anyone could post what Andrzej Zbikowski has to say on the Belzec-Izbica issue in his Polish bio of Karski... I don't have an access.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby BRoI » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:30 am

Sergey_Romanov wrote:If anyone could post what Andrzej Zbikowski has to say on the Belzec-Izbica issue in his Polish bio of Karski... I don't have an access.


The British Library has it, so I could but it won't be for a few weeks.

Jeff-36 might be able to track it down and post it. Only kidding! He'll lie about having seen it, and then, in desperation and confusion, will buy a ebook version of a completely different book!

There's a Hungarian translation on GB.

Marta Kijowska quotes Zbikowski as having written/said [can't see her citation]:

Karski war sich dessen bewusst, dass er nicht in Bełżec gewesen war. Ich habe einen Bericht gefunden, in dem er darüber schreibt. Bełżec war aber für die ganze Welt ein Symbol der Judenvernichtung, während Izbica völlig unbekannt war. Es ist also verständlich, dass er auf dem Namen Bełżec bestand.
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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeff_36 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:41 am

BRoI wrote:Jeff-36 might be able to track it down and post it. Only kidding! He'll lie about having seen it, and then, in desperation and confusion, will buy a ebook version of a completely different book!


I simply confused the two books. The liar is you. I must say that I have proven to be a superior researcher to you, overall. I will remind you that you are the only one who continues to discredit himself with the absurd lie that Karski never changed his tale.

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby BRoI » Wed Apr 26, 2017 6:51 am

Jeff_36 wrote:
BRoI wrote:Jeff-36 might be able to track it down and post it. Only kidding! He'll lie about having seen it, and then, in desperation and confusion, will buy a ebook version of a completely different book!


I simply confused the two books. The liar is you. I must say that I have proven to be a superior researcher to you, overall. I will remind you that you are the only one who continues to discredit himself with the absurd lie that Karski never changed his tale.


http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=568965#p568965
"... these witnesses would swear to anything if it gets the Germans killed."
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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Jeff_36 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:58 pm

BRoI wrote:
Jeff_36 wrote:
BRoI wrote:Jeff-36 might be able to track it down and post it. Only kidding! He'll lie about having seen it, and then, in desperation and confusion, will buy a ebook version of a completely different book!


I simply confused the two books. The liar is you. I must say that I have proven to be a superior researcher to you, overall. I will remind you that you are the only one who continues to discredit himself with the absurd lie that Karski never changed his tale.


http://www.skepticforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=568965#p568965


Keep spamming links monstrous :lol:

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Sergey_Romanov » Tue May 09, 2017 7:36 pm

There's been some interesting progress re: sources in the parallel AHF discussion, particularly interesting is the correspondence of the Dec.'42 report to the report in the Black Book of the Polish Jewry.

https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic ... 3#p2077773

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue May 09, 2017 9:54 pm

thanks,interesting discussion from p 4 to the end
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: Jan Karski's visit to Belzec/Izbica

Postby Denying-History » Fri May 19, 2017 2:30 pm

Thought this might be interesting, although it proved a bit useful. Alan sums up a rather interesting story:

Furthermore given the conditions at the time and the fact that Karski may well have come close to having a nervous breakdown on entering the camp, he could have got some details wrong. As far as I am aware there are no claims that Karski entered the death camp.

Karski described a transit camp which is obviously not Belzec, the camp he saw may have been at Izbica some 60km or so to the north. A forced labour camp existed at Belzec then on the border between Nazi occupied Poland from late 1939, the death camp was built close by in the spring of 1942....Belzec was an extermination camp for the greater part of 1942. The camp that Karski visited, according to his words, "was located near the town of Belzec" (The Story of a Secret State (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, p. 344)...If Mr O'Keefe seeks historical evidence as trying to be clever with semantics then I think he is on the somewhat thin ice. Alternatively he could try reading a little more closely pages 128 -- 130 in Wood and Jankowski's book which I think back my version.


http://www.fpp.co.uk/Letters/History/Heath160700.html

http://www.fpp.co.uk/Letters/History/Heath210700.html

Though this might be interesting
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