Looking forward to reading this. Most people don’t know Poland actually maintained a government in exile during the Nazi occupation. My Ex’s grandfather was in the Polish Home Army - which I believe is a sister group.
He was captured and either escaped or was let go 3 times by the Nazis. He was gone from his family for months at a time. He was an engineer by trade and did fun things like blow up bridges. They have a picture of him getting the Polish equivalent to the National Medal of Honor from Lech Walesa.
When Poland got fucked over by the allies and given to the Soviets, he spent a few years in prison because he wouldn’t sign papers claiming loyalty to the Communist Party.
My MiL is extremely proud of him. I wish I had met him.
Resistance to Nazis is great but unfortunately the enemy of my enemy is not always my friend. Some Polish guerrillas carried out a secondary goal of persecuting any unarmed Jews they were able to find, even after the German surrender they perpetrated many murderous attacks against the returning human skeletons to prevent them from returning to their homes that Poles wanted to keep.
The quick research I did shows that Witold Pilecki was the first one to expose Aushwitz, he was a good guy when the allies could not care less about stopping the death machine to divert a single bomber on a single day to damage the rail lines.
Some Polish guerrillas killed Jews but numerous Poles helped Jews by hiding them in the cellars, barns and other secret places. And they paid great price for this: when discovered by Nazis whole families (sometimes whole villages) were shot, burned or hanged.
BTW. if you want to see how soviets killed Rotmistrz Pilecki using some made-up excuses during a show trial you can watch this film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2elOo6jii4. Unfortunately it’s only in Polish.
Yes. Remember too the reason so many Jews were in Poland was because they were the only country in Europe that allowed them in.
The Poles hate the Soviets as much if not more so than the Nazis. At one point the Home Army fought the Soviets and the Nazis. They were killing Poles in 1940.
There is a really good film on the Katyn massacre on youtube. I have only watched a clip of it, and it was pretty hard to watch. Schindlers List hard.
Thanks to my MiL I read a lot on Polish history. I think their perseverance and love of freedom is inspiring. Their people are probably the biggest supporter in Europe of the US, and we basically ignore them. I have a friend who was in Iraq and hooked up with a GROM unit. They flipped out when they saw a polish flag on his ruck sack, and adopted him as their own. They got a real raw deal after WWII. The American ambassador wrote a book on it titled, “I saw Poland Betrayed”.
All I know is that after I saw my first dozen swastikas decorating the walls of Warsaw, I decided never to visit Poland again. Freaked me completely out. Maybe this man isn’t venerated enough by his own people.
You are too subtle, Mister44.
Western betrayal it is.
Britain and the US cynically gave Poland to Stalin, in exchange for Russian cannon fodder.
Mr. Lewis reduces operations of a whole “state in exile” with all the planning and coordination - to amateurish “underground band of freedom fighters”.
Nobody has proven yet that Mr. Churchill’s people were not behind the 1943 mysterious air-crash which killed General Sikorsky and his team – which decapitated the Polish government in exile… and temporarily stopped the Katyn scandal.
Why am I so bitter?
Because the best guys in our family were wiped out
and we are still dealing with consequences of their untimely deaths and decades of oblivion.
A few issues with this. The Polish underground numbered in the hundreds of thousands and it was the largest in German occupied Europe, and the non Communist underground far outnumbered the Communist underground. In most other countries the Communist underground outnumbered the non Communist. Pilecki did not try to get into a concentration camp to break out with other inmates and thereby recruit new members of the underground. That is a pretty amateurish theory.
That is, of course, what Soviet propaganda proclaimed. One should note that in the Soviet occupied territories many Jews collaborated with the Soviets in the persecution, murders, roundups, arrests of ethnic Poles and pro-Polish or Bourgeouis Jews. Jewish collaborators then took on positions vacated by Poles who were removed and arrested by the Soviets. Please know that pro-Soviet Jewish partisans attacked Polish villages during the war. After the war, the Communist Secret Police and Communist party did have a high percentage of Jewish members, and most high level positions were taken by Jews until 1968, when the Soviets directed an anti-Jewish purge due to the fact that Israel beat the Soviet backed Arabs and most Jews, including Communists, in Eastern Europe supported Israel. Polish Jewish relations are a complicated business, and making simplistic and one sided accusations do not help. Other than the gratuitous negativity brought into this conversation by Dobby, and my response which needed to be introduced to provide much needed balance, most Poles and Jews treated one another with tolerance for centuries, and Poland was a safe haven for Jews persecuted and kicked out of most other European countries. That ended when Poland was occupied by surrounding empires and Poland ceased being a safe for Poles AND Jews. Still, one hears accusations against “Poland” from the times when Poland did not exist, with no mention of the suffering of the Poles which occurred at the same time.
The man is extremely venerated by Poles all over the world, now that Poles were able to find out about him. There is now a day dedicated solely to those who defied and were murdered by the Soviets and their Communist henchmen and these heroes and martyrs are known now as “The Doomed Soldiers”. You clearly never lived under totalitarianism - Nazi German, Soviet Russian, or any other, to grasp the power of extreme censorship. Not only did the the Soviets kill this man, but they dumped his body without telling anyone where, something that was done with thousands of members of the Polish underground, for no reason other than they were considered threats to the Soviet occupation of Poland. No mention of these heroes was allowed. Polish authorities are now searching and finding the bodies of these Polish heroes who were smeared by the Soviets and their paid agents or sympathizers in Hollywood and the US media. Now we repeatedly read posts like the one by Dobby, which probably are sincere, but the result of 70 years of Soviet and post-Soviet anti-Polish propaganda.
Like most European countries there was a substantial percentage of people who after millennia of persuasion by the church either stood by or actively participated in helping to shovel their indigenous Jews and sometimes other minorities into the convenient Nazi death machine. There is no doubt that there was a period of tolerance and there is ample examples of a small percentage who took an active part in saving innocent people, fought desperately and disproportionately for the freedom of Europe from Nazis and Soviets, crack the vital Enigma encryption, and for it all seem to have been backstabbed by the Allies. Unfortunately like most of Christendom, Poles also took part in the unofficial violence even after the war ended. The Poles of today are not their grandparents, and some of those grandparents were absolute heroes in any light, but some were villains as dark as their invaders. Despite saving Jews as a matter of policy during the war the USSR except for defeating the Nazis and Fascism as a matter of official policy fell pretty easily into the traditional national villain role especially after the war when they were ‘pacifying’ their newly acquired imperial buffer zone in eastern Europe. Stalin, who once allied himself with Hitler, was himself an anti-semite abusing his own ‘saved’ Jewish population until the time of this death.
Unfortunately, due to the taint of unbridled Soviet propaganda which cynically cast the Soviets as the saviours of the Jews, and the Poles as Nazis, coupled with the complicity, and active collaboration and participation of Western intellectuals and governments who were trying to put a good face on their pact with the Soviet devil, as well as their betrayal of Eastern Europe, and specifically, their Polish allies, a lot about Jewish Polish relations needs to be revisited. There have been several instances misrepresented as acts of anti-semitism, that were then found to be acts of resistance to Soviet domination. One notable case was where a woman claimed her baby sister was killed by the Polish underground due to anti-Semitism. It turns out all accounts regarding that incident described a gun battle between the NKVD, the Soviet secret police, and the Polish underground where her sister was accidentally killed. It was also revealed that the parents of this woman were collaborating with the NKVD. What, you, of course, failed to mention was that many ethnic Poles died after the war as a result of the low level civil war taking place behind the Iron curtain, where Jewish Communists played a significant role in murdering non Communist Poles. These Jewish Communists then used their status as “survivors” to convince others that Poles targeted them because they were Jews, when they were targeted because they were Communist and were targeted just as ethnically Polish Communists were targeted also by the underground. Naturally, the Polish narrative was censored in the American media and Hollywood. I am still going to insist thatthere was way more positive in Polish Jewish relations than what is portrayed and just like the fact that the facts about Witold Pilecki only came out AFTER Soviet Communism crumbled, there is a lot more that was positive that is only now coming out. A large percentage of the acknowledgements of Polish righteous were granted towards the end and after the fall of Communism. Why, because many of those people were part of the non-Communist underground and they were persecuted after the war, with many murdered. The Soviets couldn’t allow people they arrested and killed to be honored, could they? Of course not. I don’t blame you for your offensive and ignorant but pseudo-intellectual statements, because you were fed with misinformation for decades … I do expect you to open your mind and suspend your anti Polish feelings in order to realize the full extent of the power of extreme censorship and propaganda, especially SOVIET propaganda, and how it was clearly used to divide and conquer.
Citation desperately needed.
Remember that the Berlin Wall was officially named the “Anti-Fascist Protection Wall”. One supposedly was supposed to forget that the Soviets were loyal allies of the Nazis until Hitler double-crossed them and only remember that they fought against them afterwards.
That’s fine, and well in line with the Soviet mythology of the time. Where I call bullshit is the supposed self-positioning of the Soviets as saviours of the Jews, at a time when anti-semitism was rampant in the USSR.
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