Polish Law thread.

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Aaron Richards
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Aaron Richards » Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:27 pm

What I do find surprising/worrying is the insane amount of comments in each video, and even each newspaper article about this matter. Where are so many ultranationalists and jew-haters coming from?

One way I could rationally explain it is that virtually every Polish newspaper, big or small, is talking about these videos/articles and so almost every internet-savvy Pole with an account gets upset and rushes to the defense of his holy nation being smeared.

Another theory is a lot of these accounts are bots / organized raids by several right wing forums. The fact that virtually every comment is getting dozens of likes can't be the product of a normal and average youtube comment section that usually only has a handful or so top comments with lots of likes, most of them having long comment chains where a DISCUSSION is happening. Nothing of the sort here.
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by BRoI » Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:11 pm

Rabbi Menachem Levine wrote:Nearly all of the death camps in occupied Europe were built in Poland. There were no crematoria or gas chambers in occupied France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Greece, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark, Czechoslovakia or any other nation invaded by Nazi troops. Auschwitz, Birkenau, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor, Treblinka and others were built in Poland. Why? The answer is that the Nazis knew that Poland had been anti-Semitic for centuries and the Germans were convinced that the Poles would not protest against death camps for Jews on their soil. As history shows, they were correct.
Silly man.

The Polish government can be documented as continually forwarding reports about the Nazi programme of extermination at the [Auschwitz] camp, including the use of gas chambers, to the Allies from March 1943. It is likely that such information was handed over earlier — in late 1942. There is powerful circumstantial evidence that information was not concealed from British intelligence, propaganda and FO officials during November and December 1942.

[...] the high degree of co-operation between Polish and British intelligence (Bureau VI and SOE especially) including the passing over of aneks - the Polish Underground reports that specifically focused on the Nazi terror campaign in Poland and repeatedly reported on the mass murder of Jews at Auschwitz from September 1942 — suggests that information was shared with the British immediately. [...]

The reports that the Polish government received from the Polish Underground in Poland about the fate of Jews at the camp were routinely forwarded to allies and, through intermediaries, to the press; [...]

A further function of the myth [that the West considered Polish Intelligence reports on mass killings to be unreliable] is to imply that the Polish government was not doing enough to aid Jews in peril. The suggestion is that, if only the government could have provided ‘reliable’ information, then the news of the mass killing of Jews at Auschwitz would have become public and action would have been taken. This is pure fantasy. The reports that the Polish government received from the Polish Underground were no less reliable than any other pieces of intelligence that, on non-Jewish or non-atrocity issues, were widely accepted within the British military and intelligence establishments. And while the contention that the Polish government could have done more (as could have all Allied governments) is difficult to reject, it is, in the most part, unfair and untrue to contend that the circulation of information about Auschwitz in the West was limited by the Polish government. In this respect, the rejection of the myth of the unreliability of Polish intelligence reports has the possibility to reconstruct Polish-Jewish relations, as the recognition that the Polish government did in fact gather and pass on reliable information about the camp to the British and the Americans could contribute to improving present-day Polish-Jewish communication and reorient current debates over historical memory.

- Michael Fleming, Auschwitz, the Allies and Censorship of the Holocaust, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2014, p.258-264.
"I believe that when the history of the [Great] war comes to be impartially written, the two greatest results will be the establishment of the national Jewish home and the creation of the League of Nations. The two are not really disconnected. They represent the two great ideas for which we fought and by which we conquered—the ideas of nationalism and internationalism."
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sat Feb 24, 2018 12:13 am

Good point, Joshua Zimmerman, The Polish Underground and the Jews, 1939-1945, discusses many such reports from the Polish Underground on camps besides Auschwitz (sampling of reports on Treblinka here) as well as different factions on the Polish side, giving in the end a mixed picture. Fleming's book shows where the Auschwitz reports went and how the British in particular handled them, as in the quoted material above.
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Balsamo » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:12 pm

Statmec:
My concerns with the law are interrelated:
1) potentially chilling effect on speech, research, dialogue, given the background, e.g., the Gross episode
2) the framing of this IMO (and it's a judgment based on - admittedly - not much knowledge of Poland's government but also conversations I've had with close friends who emigrated from Poland as adults and have strong views against this law) has to do with the new law's small part in promotion of a mythical Poland in service of a right-wing (is this, in context, a redundancy?) nationalism - you can see the impact of this as the anti-Semites come out of the woodwork
Legitimate concerns indeed.
1./ Sadly a "modern tendency". But one wonder why there were no more public and international outrage when France - you know, country of the Human rights - passed its FOURTH memorial law, the last one (2012?) which extend the sentences contained in the Gayssot Law to all crimes against humanity and genocides officially recognized by the State...this would have included slavery, armenian genocide, etc... Now this law is suspended for the time being, but it shows the tendency.
To me, it seems that the outrage is highly selective when it comes to defend "academic liberties".

2./Your second point covers a more complex issue:
I think it is a short cut to always assimilate Nationalism with a far right party. This observation is only valid for "post-national State" like most Western States, including the USA. (The far right movement success within those States being a "reaction" to it)
On a purely theoretical level, Nationalism can and should also be seen as a natural step in the development of a Nation-State, that is the process to make coincide the perceived "Nation" with the "State". Actually, EVERY NATION STATES went through this process at some point in time.
Of course, given the very bad reputation that NATIONALISM has in "post-national countries", this natural process is most of the time misunderstood, and provoked critics that can be qualified as illegitimate. ( and this includes some of the critics expressed for example toward Israel which is also a very young Nation-State)
It is a bit like a adult criticizing a teenager for...well, being a teen, forgetting that he once was a teenager himself.

The cases of those eastern European "Nation" is even more complex as they were part for centuries to huge multinational Empires (The Balkans) or saw their own State destroyed by the Great Powers (Poland, the Baltic States) which makes them, to go back to my analogy, very troubled teenagers.

This was the topic of a lengthy paper i wrote ages ago, that is the pros and cons to integrate those States who just recovered their freedom into new multinational structures like the EU and NATO. But then, let leave that behind.

To address this law, one has to acknowledge that it is - even if a bit of an anachronistic one - a reaction to real past abuses. One all remembers Barak Obama allusion to the "Polish death camp" back in 2012, but according to the Polish government, its embassies had to protest 267 times against this formulation in 2017 only.
And what one reads in the media about this topic, as well as some of the public reaction (like the last youtube videos) clearly shows there is a problem. History as presented in the media is almost always kind of stupid, but a real low point in stupidity has been reach within this "crisis" (aka the last Washington post article).

Can one imagine the fuss that would have been created if a president of the USA had talked of " the death toll within the Jewish Ghettos in Poland"? or if some scholars, not the smartest ones, would have assimilate cases like Chaim Rumkowski to the "Jewish people" or "the Jewish Nation"?

This last sentence being a bridge to one of the the misunderstood issue, which is what should be understood as "Polish Nation"?
In the cases of those people who existed as a Nation without being represented as a State, its definition is always the widest possible. Its mean a community sharing the same language, culture, etc. A Whole! and therefore it would be of course stupid to even suspect the Polish Community or the Polish State to be linked whatsoever with the crimes perpetrated by the Nazis in Poland.
A scholar who would suggest such a thing would actually not be a scholar.
This is why this law will not sentenced anyone, and i don't even think it is meant to sentence anyone.
What happened at Jedwabne cannot be attributed to the whole Polish community - aka the Polish Nation - even less to the Polish State.

Actually, Poland is just trying to introduce its past martyrdom to its national identity, and that is not a novelty neither. I am not supportive of such initiatives in general, but then sometimes, it is better to ignore them and wait for a "real abuse" to take place before making a scandal out of it.

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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sat Feb 24, 2018 4:18 pm

Balsamo wrote:2./Your second point covers a more complex issue: . . . Actually, Poland is just trying to introduce its past martyrdom to its national identity, and that is not a novelty neither. I am not supportive of such initiatives in general, but then sometimes, it is better to ignore them and wait for a "real abuse" to take place before making a scandal out of it.
As I said, I am not deeply versed in Polish politics. My Polish friends would disagree with much of what you have written here. They are pretty unhappy about this and see it as part of the wrong course Law & Justice is on - and I would guess that their viewpoint is minority among Poles at this time, but they're my friends, so I credit them :). As to this last point, agreeing with my friends (who have no difficulty explaining their love for their country and acknowledging its blemishes), I will say that this law goes beyond what you say: "introducing past martyrdom," well, I think "introducing" is the wrong verb for something not so new, to begin with. Also as I've already posted, both/and is a better place to be, and wouldn't send the chill nor, sadly I guess for some, send the right-wing's messages.

Overall, I would guess that this action is a little more fraught to more people than some others because of its possible targets (scholars not antisemitic cranks, right or wrong) and because of the place of Polish Jews in the genocide.

As to waiting, perhaps it is better to speak out now and help make sure that those who might commit real abuses are on notice.
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:58 pm

Aaron Richards wrote:
One way I could rationally explain it is that virtually every Polish newspaper, big or small, is talking about these videos/articles and so almost every internet-savvy Pole with an account gets upset and rushes to the defense of his holy nation being smeared.

Another theory is a lot of these accounts are bots / organized raids by several right wing forums. The fact that virtually every comment is getting dozens of likes can't be the product of a normal and average youtube comment section that usually only has a handful or so top comments with lots of likes, most of them having long comment chains where a DISCUSSION is happening. Nothing of the sort here.
Aaron, I suspect both is the case.

The sad thing is, antisemitism has a long, worrisome past in Eastern Europe. Poland between WW I and WW II became heavily antisemitic, especially after Józef Piłsudski passed away. Pilsudski was a nationalist but not particularly antisemitic, I suspect his background as a former socialist helped alleviate that. But the group of colonels who took over once he died were both nationalist and antisemitic, in fact, Polish/Nazi antisemitism mirrored each other.

I see this crap as more of the shift to the right that is dredging up old prejudices.
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:08 pm

>> more of the shift to the right that is dredging up old prejudices.

Exactly how my friends express their concerns.
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Kleon_I XYZ Contagion » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:44 pm

Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Aaron Richards wrote:If you thought the Polish law proposal is troublesome, just take a look at this Jewish "response" (Ruderman Family Foundation) which is so hare-brained I don't know whether to laugh or to cry (21k views and counting; the dislike bar speaks for itself tho :lol: ) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Chzwlm79a-Y

Were the actors even properly briefed about the law they were actually supposed to get so upset about? Nope.
That’s as bad as trying to watch an Eric Hunt shlockfest. The only benefit is it’s relatively short.
Very ugly. I've noticed the re-uploader tagged this video in the 'Comedy' category.



It's the first time I saw that one out of every four visitors dislike a video so much to take the time to flag it down-thumb (14.000 of 53.000 viewers against 72 likes). It doesn't happen often, and thinking that this case must have mobilized a lot of Polish-nationalist friendly trolls and fake accounts, it seems a bigger case, people really get annoyed, and fairly.
According to experts and scholars, the 10 stages of every genocide are
Classification Symbolization Discrimination Dehumanization Organization Polarization Preparation Persecution Extermination
... and finally the 10th stage:
Denial
http://www.genocidewatch.org/genocide/t ... ocide.html
XYZ Contagion (‘Because the truth is contagious‘), an investigative/research political and historical website, deals also with the Srebrenica Genocide
https://xyzcontagion.wordpress.com/about/#English

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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Balsamo » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:13 pm

Kleon_I XYZ Contagion wrote:
Jeffk 1970 wrote:
Aaron Richards wrote:If you thought the Polish law proposal is troublesome, just take a look at this Jewish "response" (Ruderman Family Foundation) which is so hare-brained I don't know whether to laugh or to cry (21k views and counting; the dislike bar speaks for itself tho :lol: ) :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Chzwlm79a-Y

Were the actors even properly briefed about the law they were actually supposed to get so upset about? Nope.
That’s as bad as trying to watch an Eric Hunt shlockfest. The only benefit is it’s relatively short.
Very ugly. I've noticed the re-uploader tagged this video in the 'Comedy' category.



It's the first time I saw that one out of every four visitors dislike a video so much to take the time to flag it down-thumb (14.000 of 53.000 viewers against 72 likes). It doesn't happen often, and thinking that this case must have mobilized a lot of Polish-nationalist friendly trolls and fake accounts, it seems a bigger case, people really get annoyed, and fairly.
It is a comedy indeed...Do these brainless really think they could go to jail by mentioning "Polish Holocaust"? Maybe my english is too bad, but doesn't it refer to the Holocaust of the Poles?
I don't know, there is a Jewish Holocaust Center...so...Is this also an insult?

The Irony is that among those who still used the expression "Polish death camps" is...The German press.
Just read an article mentioning that the ZDF had agree to apologize for having designated the camps of Auschwitz and Majdanek as "polnischen Vernichtungslagern" in december 2016.
I maintain that it is at least understandable that a country which lost about 20% of its population because of the Germans is getting tired of it, especially since the Germans seem to be the first to use this expression.

Again, i cannot imagine the fuss that would have followed, had the ZDF described Theresienstadt as a "Jewish city" or even a "Jewish ghetto" before describing the terrible condition of life in there.

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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:46 pm

such occasional outbursts of ignorance are definitely worth legislating against
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Kleon_I XYZ Contagion » Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:28 am

- Poland suspends Holocaust law until decision of constitutional court - Israel News - Haaretz.com, 24/02/2018
https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/pol ... -1.5846469

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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Balsamo » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:53 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:such occasional outbursts of ignorance are definitely worth legislating against
If you mean the ZDF, well it accepted to publically apologize which is a good thing.
Actually, as i said i am against all those legislation, but then, there exist all over the places. The main excuse/reason given to justify those laws are respect for the victims and their family. Arno Klarsfeld (the son of Serge) once declared that the Gayssot law would have no longer reason to be once the last survivors would have passed away...Well i doubt it will follow this course.

There are nevertheless some truth in this argument, i admit. I mean it surely should be unpleasant (to say the least) to hear someone boasting about Jews manipulating history when all your family members were killed.
But if we accept this reason, i don't see why it should not be valid for the Poles and Poland. The irony being that those who feel offended today are the same who defend the legislation that protects their sensibilities.

I would not have defended Hungary or most of the other countries the way i do in the case of Poland.
Poland is probably the country which suffered the most, after the Jews, and half the Jewish victims were Polish. Half the Polish victims were Jews, the other half were Poles. Poland had 20% of its population (Jews and non-Jews) killed by Nazi Germany, and another bunch by the Soviets

Again, i do not support any of those legal initiatives. But Poland has criminalized Holocaust denial since 1998 or so, and nobody screamed back then. I do not see why anyone could be offended by a State tired to be assimilated to Nazi criminals when it comes to extermination camps, the Holocaust, and others Nazi atrocities.

I have already spoken about the book "the end of the Holocaust" which shows that the vast majority of the US population has no idea of what Treblinka is... The vast majority of the people have strangely a very poor knowledge about the Holocaust, and such misinformation like "Polish death camp" can certainly produce nasty side effects.
Given that the European societies have accepted the idea of memorial laws, i don't see why Poland should be condemned by issuing one that concerns it.

Kleon just mentioned that the law has been suspended.
Maybe we should all pray that the Counclil of Europe reverse its former resolutions and places once again "freedom of speech" before any particular sensibilities...

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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:44 pm

You've lost me - Americans not knowing about Treblinka is beside the point. With the Polish government backtracking a bit, it means that they've either had second thoughts or are receptive to pressure on this.

Balsamo, I do think OTOH that we know you're against such laws by now LOL; so, too, IIRC is everyone else posting here except maybe Jeff_36. So it's a bit much now to be informed that no one cares if Poland outlaws HD: the most likely reason no one posted about a 1998 decision of Poland to do so is that it's not been in the news lately, and this thread focused on a recent development, as I read the OP. It is strange that you, who've been nearly absolutist on this issue, now find reasons in Poland's suffering during WWII or potentially false statements about the Polish state (nation? people? what?) to "defend" this as merely a memorialization.

For you, given your prior statements on this, to suddenly develop a concern about a state being "assimilated" to what it is not is, well, odd.
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Denying-History » Thu Mar 01, 2018 7:40 am

Just as an odd subject from everyone else type of post.

I heard somewhere the new law actually doesn't contain a specific ban on "polish death camps". This is rather shocking, though the "polocaust" does sound rather appealing I guess. Honestly it's really hard to determine which side is right on the matter, sure poland save the most Jews some 150k, but they also housed almost 1/3 of the Jewish population at the time. Sure, Poland had no official state program of collaboration, and that a low level of the population played a role in active collaboration via - acts of violence, etc. this still doesn't change that probably thousands of survivors from Poland remember those who turned them over vs the single person that helped. The whole issue seems overblown...

P.S. Balsamos comments are also confusing me, is he doing one of those aimless posting sprees again?
« The Terror here is a horrifying fact. There is a fear that reaches down and haunts all sections of the community. No household, however humble, apparently but what lives in constant fear of nocturnal raid by the secret police. . .This particular purge is undoubtedly political. . . It is deliberately projected by the party leaders, who themselves regretted the necessity for it. »
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:11 pm

The law does not mention such specifics. Here's the relevant portion:
Article 55a. 1. Whoever claims, publicly and contrary to the facts, that the Polish Nation or the Republic of Poland is responsible or co-responsible for Nazi crimes committed by the Third Reich, as specified in Article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal enclosed to the International agreement for the prosecution and punishment of the major war criminals of the European Axis, signed in London on 8 August 1945 (Polish Journal of Laws of 1947, item 367), or for other felonies that constitute crimes against peace, crimes against humanity or war crimes, or whoever otherwise grossly diminishes the responsibility of the true perpetrators of said crimes – shall be liable to a fine or imprisonment for up to 3 years. The sentence shall be made public.
Section 3 goes on to exempt "artistic or academic activity."

Article 1, as I understand it, defines the scope as "Nazi crimes, communist crimes, crimes committed by Ukrainian nationalists and members of Ukrainian units collaborating with the Third Reich, and other felonies that constitute crimes against peace, crimes against humanity or war crimes, committed against persons of Polish nationality or Polish citizens of other nationalities between 8 November 1917 and 31 July 1990."

All this is in keeping with Sergey Romanov's previous post above.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/full-text ... gislation/
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:20 pm

appeal of Polish Righteous of Nations to governments of Poland and Israel: https://cdn.jankarski.net/files/appeal- ... ations.pdf:

Image
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Balsamo » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:39 pm

Statmec:
You've lost me
Nothing new ;)
For you, given your prior statements on this, to suddenly develop a concern about a state being "assimilated" to what it is not is, well, odd.

LOL, :lol:

Kind of true.

But i hate massive and global stupidity expressed so loudly...That is my contrarian character speaking out!
And above all, what i hate the most are "double standards" which are at their heights in this case.

Yes, i know very well that we are all against those laws, here on this forum at least, and more generally, among those who have a above average knowledge about the concerned matters.

But, actually, the issue i have with this case is that i find the "response", "outburst" or other reactions more frightening that the law itself. Again, of course we are all against it, but it seems that all the intellectuals of the world could cry against it, it would not change the course of things. At our small level, it is like spitting in the wind. So basically, we all have to live with it.
It was quite naive to think that memorial laws, intrusive laws in human sciences, would be contained and restricted to the sole Holocaust.
All in all, it is a sad path we are following.

I left Europe more than 10 years ago, going back from time to time, let's say every 3 or 4 years.
I am just back from my last visit which was quite busy. I was lucky to meet many interesting people and had a lot of serious debates with them.
Well, maybe i am just an old jerk, but i could not recognize the society i used to belong to.
Everyone seems limited to expressed themselves through statements - if you know what i mean - blunt certainties expressed without the expectation that what was just stated could even be subject to discussion. "What is obvious should not be discussed, right?"
It is like everyone cherish their certainties to ensure some peace of mind and would not stand any threat to this comfort, of course i do not mean anyone, and at there are various levels. But, everyone seems to consider this situation as just normal. Well, I miss the "universality", the open mind that once was the rule, what we called in french "l'esprit critique" - the critical spirit? - the thirst of debates
All this to say, that such a case twenty years ago would have sparked real debates which would have been "treated" in endless discussions, with all points of views expressed and taken in consideration, etc.
I remember very clearly the debates surrounding the adoption - 94 or 95? - by Belgium of its own memorial laws. It was quite a fuss, but arguments were exchanged in a normal and respectful way.

BUT WHAT DO WE HAVE HERE 20 years later?
emotional rants, anger, hatred, global denial and rejection of the "others" points of view. Insults, calls for international sanctions against Poland - nothing less - accusation of "revisionism", of "holocaust denial" from the most extremists. Most of all, clear expression of poor knowledge of history mixed with obvious attempt to use this poor knowledge politically.
Poor political analysis associating this law with the sole Polish far right...The eternal good excuse for not digging deeper.

Among the worst - by only digging into the French press (the Irony being that France is the champion when it comes to memorial laws): So all traductions are mine, of course.

BIBI: " We have no tolerance for false truths, rewriting of History and Holocaust denial" (what the hell he is addressing ?)
President RIVLIN: " We cannot pretend with History, it cannot be re-written, Truth cannot be hidden" ( This almost brought me back to my times at codoh" WTF!!!)
Yad Vashem:
" To blur the historical truth regarding the assistance the German received from the Polish population"
The World Jewish Congress feels free to add " it is threat to democracy".
And bloody president Macron, as if it was relevant, to recall France's deep attachment to the memory of the Shoah, to its preservation, to its transmission, and to its respect everywhere in the world".

All those made the headlines from the main french press ( Le figaro, le Monde, le Point, l'Express, etc), they all shared the same news the same way.

But the worst, and a personal disappointment for me, came from Yair Lapid who i kind of supported on the Israeli political scene, mostly because he was the son of his father, but also because he represents a moderate face of Israeli's politicians. He just went wild - Why? i don't know - and ridiculed himself to a point hard to believe.

Not only did he played the "survivor" card, but he lied about it.

Well a quick google search will show that he had no grandma in Poland during the war, and that only her great grand ma had been arrested in Serbia and sent to Birkenau where she was killed. No Poles involved, as far as i know. One part of his family comes from Yugoslavia the other from Transylvania (well that what i understood anyway).
So i thought, it could have been a Journalist's trick (those bastards). But he wrote a whole article on the Times of Israel, which is pure insanity. I mean i don't know, i let your all make your opinion, here is the link:

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-city-of-the-dead/

And try to read it from a Polish stand of view.
It happened that i also have a very dear Polish friend, a former count, who lost his whole family but his mother and father - both family above (grandma, uncles, aunts, cousins) most had been arrested by the Soviets, none came back, another parts were arrested and sent to KZ in Germany, most died, but mother and fathers were among them and survived. As i said before, this is the situation that makes me think of a genocide. I often gave my Jewish Italian friend example to deniers as he is the ONLY survivor of an extended family of 56 people.
Both examples are illustrative of what both people went through under Nazi domination (and Soviet).

So how would i react, if i were in my friend shows, reading this article? Well i will only post a few extracts to outline how deep is the education problem somewhere and somehow:

Lapid to the Figaro:
Je condamne fermement cette nouvelle loi qui tente de nier la complicité polonaise dans l'Holocauste. Celui-ci a été conçu en Allemagne mais des centaines de milliers de Juifs y ont été tués sans avoir jamais rencontré un soldat allemand», a-t-il dénoncé, avant d'affirmer: «Il y a eu des camps de la mort polonais et aucune loi ne peut rien y changer.
my translation:
" I strongly condemn this new law which attempts to deny the Polish complicity in the Holocaust. (The Holocaust) has been conceived in Germany but many hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed there (in Poland) without having ever met a German Soldier. There were Polish death camps and no law can change that."
Here is more explicit in the article i just linked to:
"Why were most of the camps set up in Poland? The Germans knew that at least some of the local population would cooperate."
Is worth a comment?
But he thinks he has good proves to support:
Hundreds of Jewish residents of the town of Jedwabne were murdered by Poles. In June 1941, they were caught by their Polish neighbors, locked in a barn and burned alive. After the war, the Poles tried to claim that the Germans had carried out the massacre, but the Jews who had managed to survive the massacre bore witness to the truth
While it is true that hundreds of Jews had been cruelly killed by Poles, and that the Poles like basically all the Soviet block, tried to attribute this massacre to the Germans, the truth has emerged since then and the Polish president made public apologies for those massacre more than 15 years ago. So what? Was the Poles under the Soviet occupation representing Poland all of a sudden? And we are talking about the tragic death of like 350 people.
The new law that the Polish government is trying to pass denies all this
Really, aften having recognized the crime 15 years ago?
So that we’ll know that “fake news” has reached Poland, they spun the law with a false headline. “There is no such thing,” they said, “as Polish extermination camps. The camps were German.” It’s an absurd statement. No one ever says the death camps were built by the Poles. The Germans built them. But they built them on Polish land, with Polish help, in the face of Polish silence.
Fake news! Just love this. The Conspiracy theorist accusation needed a revival. Now it is fake news to state that there were no Polish Extermination camps during ww2. And we all know that Birkenau and its crematoria were built by the Polish population!!!
In the face of Polish silence!! The more absurd accusation of all, but everyone here knows that.
The Germans managed the extermination and bear ultimate responsibility but they could not have done it alone.

That is THE THING, right?
Isn't mister Lapid flirting dangerously with the Israeli's memorial law of 1953, here? Doesn't he minimizing the guilt of the Nazis?
According to him, without the global complicity of whole occupied Europe, there would not have been a Holocaust.
Isn't such statement close to making you hallucinating?
The Kielce pogrom of 1946, carried out by Polish soldiers, police officers and civilians, is proof that it didn’t disappear with the fall of Nazism.
So some Polish soldiers, police officers and civilians kills 45 Jews and its should be a proof that the Polish State and the Polish Nation was part of the Holocaust which killed millions?

And after having accused the Poles of being complicit of genocide - based on his own stupidity - he dares to complain that:
The response on social media to the criticism of the law these past few days has been laced with vile anti-Semitism, showing that it has yet to disappear today.
So you don't agree with this massive piece of BS, you are Antisemitic. Be warned.

I have chosen to ignore the comments of all the articles i have read, that was just too much.
But here, we are dealing with a prominent politician who was minister, and might (or maybe not) become prime minister one day .

Well the only voice of reason i have found came from Israel. Reading it, i realized that it says all the arguments i might have written here. So it was a relieve for me. I really urge you all to read it. So here it is:
http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/cha ... 1517575668

And more surprisingly, and it is all to his honor, and a good slap to all real Anti semite out there, a piece from a member of the Likoud.
(there is a pay-wall, so if Kleon could recall us all (well not me i am a subscriber) how to get over it:

https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premiu ... -1.5788474

A last word about the whose {!#%@}.
Antisemitism is more and more used, to a point where no one dares to give it a clear definition.
My humble opinion view has always been that Antisemitism implies the element of "collective guilt: Religious: The kind and priest of Judea killed the christ, ALL Jews should bear the blame; Some Jews hold high position in finance and in the banking system, ALL Jews are criminal capitalist and responsible of all the consequences of Capitalism; Some smart Jews invested in the Media, some founded Hollywood, its to allow ALL Jews to control people's thoughts and tastes, etc.
I am not learning anything to anyone here, of course.

But if we agree that this "collectivization" of guilt is the roots of Antisemitism, racism, and all kind of prejudice, well there are two stances possible: Let the idiots spread their BS and fight them, or at least prevent them from being left uncontested or
forbid them once and for all through laws.

Now, as Statmec and most of you know, i favor the first proposition.
What i cannot stand is that such a law - which in fine will basically sentenced no one but the ultimate world's idiot - being criticized by the very same who feel totally normal to send some in jail for 6 months for having said that the Anne Frank's diary might have been heavily edited.
What i cannot stand is the focus on how "fascist" Poland has become when the world is silent about the legislations all around the most respectable countries of Western Europe regarding the "fight against the Migrants".
My own Belgium has passed a law allowing the Police forces to "search" any private properties without any mandates from any judge to seek for illegal immigrants.
This is right the kind of legislation that allowed the "raffles" to take place...
I was literally outraged when i have learned this while in my country...But i felt i was quite alone in imagining all the possible consequences if such measures are tolerated only once. Whose next? i asked.
But again, on political map, Belgium still appears in white - that is no "nationalist" or "far-right" issues - while of course Poland is getting closer to the darkest shade.

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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:58 pm

Balsamo wrote:But i hate massive and global stupidity expressed so loudly. . . . But, actually, the issue i have with this case is that i find the "response", "outburst" or other reactions . . .

Please, give us some credit.
Balsamo wrote:i could not recognize the society i used to belong to.
You were in Poland? "Austin's changed it's true, show me what hasn't . . ."

[bbvideo=560,315]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4TKQLQYJt0[/bbvideo]
Balsamo wrote:if you know what i mean - blunt certainties
I don't know what you mean, people posting here have not done this but discussed tendencies, risks, context - and overreactions.
Balsamo wrote:emotional rants, anger, hatred, global denial and rejection of the "others" points of view.
Balsamo, honestly, the emotional rants in this thread are yours. I don't recall a single post in this thread advocating international sanctions against Poland. Nor branding Polish officials as deniers.
Balsamo wrote:my translation:
" I strongly condemn this new law which attempts to deny the Polish complicity in the Holocaust. (The Holocaust) has been conceived in Germany but many hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed there (in Poland) without having ever met a German Soldier. There were Polish death camps and no law can change that."
Here is more explicit in the article i just linked to:
"Why were most of the camps set up in Poland? The Germans knew that at least some of the local population would cooperate."
Is worth a comment?
For sure, but not legislation.
Balsamo wrote:While it is true that hundreds of Jews had been cruelly killed by Poles, and that the Poles like basically all the Soviet block, tried to attribute this massacre to the Germans, the truth has emerged since then and the Polish president made public apologies for those massacre more than 15 years ago. So what? Was the Poles under the Soviet occupation representing Poland all of a sudden? And we are talking about the tragic death of like 350 people.
You seem to want to ignore the voluminous literature on Neighbors and the various political and other reactions to the "scandal."
Balsamo wrote:What i cannot stand is the focus on how "fascist" Poland has become when the world is silent about the legislations all around the most respectable countries of Western Europe regarding the "fight against the Migrants".
That's well and good, but others may want to explore aspects of this development, rather more coolly and rationally.
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Balsamo » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:20 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:appeal of Polish Righteous of Nations to governments of Poland and Israel: https://cdn.jankarski.net/files/appeal- ... ations.pdf:

Image
Thanks to them, and thanks to you for having posted it.

I take this opportunity, as i have seen you already replied to my last post, that none of what i wrote was targeting anyone on this forum.
True i reacted to Aaron's first post, but after having read his further posts, i realized that he takes some distance and criticism regarding this issue.
I basically used this forum to express my "bad mood" on this and other things...

I did not give you any credit other by thanking you for your good posts.


Actually, after having read it, it is obvious that the Poles drafted their law very carefully, almost copy/pasting the french or belgian laws...

With one exception that stroke me: The date of 1917 as the beginning of the period covered by the law - this then included the Polish-Soviet war...smart but quite dishonest...But nobody even mention this element...almost funny.

PS:
To reply your last post which kind of avoid the issues raised:
You were in Poland? "Austin's changed it's true, show me what hasn't . .
.

Nope, but in Belgium and Italy...in quite official contexts
I would have chosen another song though:

I don't know what you mean, people posting here have not done this but discussed tendencies, risks, context - and overreactions.
Had you taken more time to read my personal "rant", you would have understood that i was speaking about people in Europe.
Balsamo, honestly, the emotional rants in this thread are yours. I don't recall a single post in this thread advocating international sanctions against Poland. Nor branding Polish officials as deniers.
Same as above...I was explicitly mentioning the reactions i have read in the French Media, not on this forum.
Unfortunately, nothing written on this forum reach anyone else but...us, :lol:
For sure, but not legislation.
LOL...
For Christ sake, the legislation process is now over 30 years old!
It is not about the opportunity to legislate as a principle...this battle has been lost. ç
The issue is the fact that i don't remember Lapid as a defenser of Academic freedom or freedom of speech when it comes to crimes against the Jewish people.
I was asking if the stupidity of his own statement was worse a comment? Is it worse a legislation? No in my point of view, but surely in his if the topic was "the Holocaust would not have been possible without the collaboration of the Jews". This last affirmation would fall under the full penalty of law in most Europe, Poland included.

Here i was pòinting out the low level of actual well thought arguments against Poland's last memorial law.
You seem to want to ignore the voluminous literature on Neighbors and the various political and other reactions to the "scandal."


Not sure i understand this...You might have responded line after line, before reading the whole i wrote...Given the speed of your answer.
Now if you mean by neighbors, the fact that some Poles denounced, hunted and killed some Jews, it might surprise you, but i have read Zimmerman, if it is that what you mean.
That's well and good, but others may want to explore aspects of this development, rather more coolly and rationally.
Free to you to not wanting to see the big picture, and considering the "more coolly and hum...rationally...way not to look at what actually are the arguments promoting the international sanction against a whole country - remember the collective guilt? - and to consider that from Boston, this will not end up with nasty consequences.

Any thoughts on Uri Avnery article?
Or is it not worth it?
Last edited by Balsamo on Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:26 am

>> date of 1917 as the beginning of the period covered by the law

good catch, I missed that
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:03 pm

from theory to practice?:
A right-wing Polish group sued a newspaper in Argentina under the country’s new Holocaust law for using a photo of Polish partisans to illustrate an article about the Jedwabne pogrom of 1941.

The lawsuit was filed on Friday by the Polish League Against Defamation, or the Reduta Dobrego Imienia (RDI), hours after the controversial new law took effect. It is the first lawsuit filed that invokes the new law. . . .

According to RDI, the Argentinean news outlet accompanied the story with an image of Polish resistance fighters who had nothing to do with the massacre. The article was trying to “confirm Polish anti-Semitism to its readers,” showing a “huge ignorance about history, for which it should officially apologize to all Poles,” Radio Poland reported.
The action complains that the paper and journalist "intended to harm the Polish nation and the good reputation of Polish soldiers."

reprint of the article in question: https://www.pagina12.com.ar/99300-rostros-familiares

also, here is Yad Vashem's statement, via Twitter, on the collapsed Ruderman family campaign:
The campaign geared to recruit USA Jewry against the Polish Holocaust law contains a number of historical inaccuracies as well as statements such as "Polish Holocaust" deemed unacceptable by Yad Vashem. We are pleased that the initiators of the campaign have taken the film down.
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:14 pm

NYRB piece on memory struggles in Poland: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/03 ... ds-ghosts/
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:22 pm

Przemyslaw Wielgosz in The Grauniad: "Poland’s nationalists are burying their antisemitic past – this is dangerous: What is at stake in the row over links to the Holocaust is not Poland’s reputation, but Polish nationalist rightwing tradition":
What is truly at stake is not Poland’s reputation, but Polish nationalist rightwing tradition. The ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) makes no secret of the fact that it is part of this tradition. The language and ideas of PiS leaders, as well as their policies towards refugees, minorities and political opposition, draw directly from the rhetoric and strategy of Polish nationalism in the first half of the 20th century. . . . Polish antisemitism still has a very specific political face. It is the work and the tool of the nationalist right. . . . The more effectively Poland’s rulers can create a collective amnesia, the easier it will be for them to turn this heritage into a present-day reality – by organising a campaign of suspicion towards strangers, spreading hatred towards refugees and feminists, and turning a blind eye to fascists from ONR and All-Polish Youth and the increasing attacks on migrants.
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:33 pm

It’s amazing to me how shortsided this is, this nationalist experiment really worked out the last time they tried it.
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:58 pm

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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Balsamo » Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:50 am

Did you have a look at the comments section?

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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:52 pm

No, what struck you there?
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Nessie » Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:33 pm

Statistical Mechanic wrote:appeal of Polish Righteous of Nations to governments of Poland and Israel: https://cdn.jankarski.net/files/appeal- ... ations.pdf:

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Polish Government response?

https://www.timesofisrael.com/poland-se ... criminals/

"Poland seeks to prosecute 1,600 potential Nazi war criminals
Prosecutors are enlisting the aid of the Interpol in push to locate individuals suspected of committing crimes on Polish soil"

The Poles were victims as well.
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Jeffk 1970 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:16 am

Hhhhhmmmm, this is interesting. David Irving might find himself in trouble...yet again.

https://www.algemeiner.com/2018/03/20/v ... islation/#
“I noticed this morning that a group of our Landsberg friends have been given their freedom this morning. These include...Schubert, Jost and Nosske. Schubert confessed to...supervising the execution of about 800 Jews...(referring to the order to clean up Simferopol)...Schubert managed to kill all the Jews (by Christmas 1941). Nosske was the one the other defendants called the biggest bloodhound....
Noel, Noel, what the hell.”
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Mon May 07, 2018 12:42 pm

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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Wed Jun 27, 2018 12:24 pm

update on Poland’s Holocaust law:
After the country's right-wing governing party submitted a new draft, the lower house of parliament voted to remove criminal provisions Wednesday morning. 
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Thu Jul 05, 2018 1:33 pm

This post is on the context in which the Polish law situation has developed, going back to reaction to Gross's Neighbors and even earlier in time.

In 2014 at a Holocaust conference I saw a panel, chaired by Jan Grabowski, "Jewish Survival Strategies in Rural Poland 194-1945.” The panel presented a portion of a collective work on 9 counties in Poland during the Holocaust and the fate of the Jewish population in each. The collective project involved historians we've discussed here and others: Barbara Engelking, Tomasz Frydel, Jan Grabowski, Dariusz Libionka, Karolina Panz, Alina Skibińska, Jean-Charles Szurek, Dagmara Swałtek-Niewińska, and Anna Zapalec. Each historian worked on a single county, exploring its WWII history in depth (counties included were: Bielsko, Biłgoraj, Węgrów, Łuków, Złoczów, Miechów, Nowy Targ, Dębica and Bochnia). The panel which I saw included just Engelking, Skibinski, Libionka, Grabowski, and Szurek. The panelists, based on extensive use of sources, found that Jews in 9 counties in rural Poland made up about 5-10% of the population; they estimated a survival rate of 1-2% across the counties.

According to the the researchers,
In all the districts which we examined, Jews sought help not in small towns, but in nearby villages - in the homes of their neighbours. In large measure, the possibility of survival depended upon the willingness of those neighbours to help, Christians, who were able to overcome their fear that hiding Jews would pose a threat to their community. Negative factors were the binding group norms, the presence everywhere of antisemitism and the mechanisms of social conformity. All the more admirable are those who were able go against, not only the German legal regulations, but also the written and unwritten rules of group life. The numbers are inexorable - two out every three Jews who sought help, died. The volumes contain evidence that there was a significant scale of Poles' participation, more than that thought until now, in the demise of their Jewish fellow-citizens.
A two-volume study (1,700 pages) comprising the work on these 9 counties was published at the beginning of 2018 under the title „Dalej jest noc. Losy Żydów w wybranych powiatach okupowanej Polski” (Beyond is the night. The fate of Jews in selected poviats of occupied Poland). The work was published by the Centre for Holocaust Research IFIS PAN. Here are a short Polish-language note on the publication of „Dalej jest noc” and a link with the table of contents.

Here's an article in Polish (Google Translate version is readable) on a public session in Poland on the work.

The conclusions reached by the authors, much in the manner of the Gross controversy, have provoked backlash in Poland. As a result, the Law & Justice headed government of Poland did not fund the Centre for Holocaust Research or the journal “Holocaust” this year In an interview in February one of the project's co-authors, Dariusz Libionka, gives his views on the controversy over the findings and their publication.
It seems to me that it is first and foremost about the fuss around the Center for Holocaust Research, provoked by the publication of the two volumes “Beyond Is the Night”. This book has been presented in a certain way that is in no way pertinent to its content. This book was bound to give rise to disputes, and that is a good thing. I have nothing against historical debates, but the fact is that we have been promoted overnight to…

… enemies of the homeland?

Mortal enemies. If a major historian writes on Twitter that the Polish state has only itself to blame because it finances its own enemies, it is saddening. I hope that it is because he misspoke on that occasion. It is sad that such a serious figure can position himself and us in such a way. It may vary, but such labelling is a problem.

Some of the Law and Justice electorate or party establishement wanted to oppose our actions. But after all, they promoted the book “Beyond is the Night” themselves. If it was said that it contains nothing but slander, ‘anti-Polish’ lies and manipulations, it is no wonder that people wanted to read it.

Then, observing the actions of Minister Gliński, it was probably his independent decision not to give us that grant. He decided to obstruct a journal published in his own faculty.
This saga puts into context, for me, who it is who actually wishes for research into difficult Holocaust-related issues to be done and the findings debated - and who are willing to suppress research and conclusions that do not fit with their political agendas and ideological biases.

thanks to the colleague who alerted me to the eventual publication of the research discussed at the 2014 conference and the ensuing "kerfuffle"
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:38 pm

from yet another angle - concerning issues overlapping with the above:

"Israeli historian [Yad Vashem] accuses Benjamin Netanyahu of whitewashing Polish complicity in the Holocaust."

"Yad Vashem Rebukes Netanyahu: Israel-Poland Holocaust Declaration Contains 'Grave Errors and Deceptions': Israeli team behind declaration says in defense: Yad Vashem's chief historian was involved every step of the way. Poland's deputy FM: Netanyahu's statement is binding, not Yad Vashem" - statement from YV's historians Silberklang, Michman, and Dreifuss,
A thorough review by Yad Vashem historians shows that the historical assertions, presented as unchallenged facts, in the joint statement contain grave errors and deceptions, and that the essence of the statute remains unchanged even after the repeal of the aforementioned sections, including the possibility of real harm to researchers, unimpeded research, and the historical memory of the Holocaust.
Yad Vashem on the controversy

(I'd been expecting bobbo and/or Facttwister to flock to this thread to lead us through this morass. But no. Again, thanks to a colleague who alerted me to this fresh controversy.)
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:39 am

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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Balmoral95 » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:52 am

Bibi is a putz...well beyond his sell-by date.

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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:23 pm

Memory wars in Spain where today's fascists claim Franco as theirs:
[in] 2007 . . . the Spanish government passed the “Historical Memory Law” that formally condemned the Franco regime and recognized those who suffered under his rule. The bill called for the removal of all Francoist symbols, but it excepted the Valle de los Caídos on the premise that it was a historical and religious site.
Another case, not related to the Holocaust, or on account of fear of Truth, of official memory legislation in a European country.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wor ... 5b3d4e929f
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Re: Polish Law thread.

Post by Statistical Mechanic » Sun Dec 09, 2018 2:34 pm

related: "What Happens When a Holocaust Memorial Plays Host to Autocrats: Yad Vashem is both a memorial of a genocide, and a tool of Israeli realpolitik."

as a footnote, when I saw Jan Gross speak recently, despite his having a case in Poland open against him, he expressed concern about the new, watered-down Polish law for its impact, not on established scholars, but on younger scholars, teachers, and particularly journalists.
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