From Dr. Frager’s Desk: The Surge in Holocaust Revisionism
2/8/2022, 12:00:00 AM
The Holocaust is back in the news but not in a good way. Whoopi Goldberg made sure of that. By wrongfully declaring that “the Holocaust isn’t about race” she revealed the total lack of understanding that many seem to carry around with them.
She apologized but the damage was done. Misinformation was the result of her bereft analysis. The Holocaust targeted the Jewish people. The Nazis sought the extermination of the Jewish race. They not only wanted to make Germany Judenrein but the entire planet.
Holocaust revisionism has been surging of late and unless the Jews stand up and correct the problem it will only get worse.
The leader of Holocaust revisionism today is not Whoopi Goldberg but the current Polish government. An article by Professor of history at the University of Ottawa, Jan Grabowski (1/30/22) makes this patently clear. He writes, “Poland’s efforts to reframe history reflect a trend proliferating in other European countries to obfuscate the history of the Holocaust. In France the far right has made efforts to whitewash the record of the Vichy government, which collaborated with the Nazis.”
The Poles have taken it to a whole new level in an attempt to defend the “historical innocence of the nation.” According to a Polish poll from 2020, almost half of Poles think that Auschwitz is most of all a place of Polish suffering despite the fact that that a million Jews were murdered there.
Professor Grabowski points out the method of distortion employed by the Polish government. Monuments are unveiled honoring Polish citizens murdered by the Nazis for giving water to the Jews as they waited in locked cattle cars outside Death Camps like Treblinka where 900,000 Jews were slaughtered. Survivors of Treblinka testified that Polish railway workers and Polish youths stood close to cattle cars ready to hand over water- in exchange for gold or cash. Most did this out of greed, not out of compassion. In any case, the false equivalence of victimization is a hallmark of the new Polish revisionism. This is not to downplay the fact that the Poles suffered greatly at the hands of the Nazis.
It is the placement of monuments that make the murder of one Pole equivalent to the industrial genocide of 900,000 at Treblinka, for example, that is the problem. To give equal space on the monuments to one Pole vs. 900,000 is their method of distortion. As Professor Grabowski says, “Polish national pride is being built at the expense of Jewish memory.”
The lack of acknowledgement of the Polish involvement in the killing of Jews is also completely removed from the historical record.
Professor Grabowski describes the testimony of Adam Starkopf who escaped the Warsaw ghetto. In his memoir, “Will to Live” he writes about a time when he was living among the Poles because he looked “Aryan” and a group of Poles invited him into their plan to hunt down, rob, and then turn over a group of Jews to the Gestapo who had escaped from a cattle car. The Poles took delight in the fact that this was a “windfall”. Mr. Starkopf declined the offer to participate.
I described in a recent article how the Poles burnt members of my family alive in the Jedwabne Pogrom of July 10, 1941. The Polish education Minister refused to recognize the complicity of the Poles in this atrocity. Poland outlawed anyone blaming Poles for Nazi atrocities including the Jedwabne massacre. This is historical revisionism in living color.
With Poland’s concerted effort to change the historical narrative, it is only up to the Jewish People to declare and uphold the truth. This has been our legacy for 5000 years. It should not have to be this way but I am afraid it is.