The Question of Poland and Reparations for WWII

Poland's Supreme Court recently refused to rewrite its current laws to make it easy for Holocaust victims and their descendants to make claims for lost property.  Naturally, Jewish groups are furious – but is this a wise fight?

Let's start off with some given basics.  Hitler was human pig.  He and his Nazis were some of the most despicable men in history.  No one is minimizing the savagery of the Holocaust.  However, neither should we forget that Jews were not Hitler's only victims.  The Poles suffered savagely under the Nazis.

When I was growing up, my Jewish friends would talk about the Poles as if Poland had been an Axis nation.  I was astounded.  I knew history well enough to know that Poland certainly was not an Axis nation.

Poland was the first nation at war with Hitler.

Unlike other nations occupied by Hitler, the ethnic Poles did not volunteer to join SS units.  The French, the Belgians, the Norwegians, the Dutch, et al. would all raise volunteer Waffen SS units.  The Poles did not.  True, Galician Waffen SS units were raised from ethnic separatist Galicians from what was then eastern Poland, but those were ethnic Galicians who hated the Poles and sought geographic reunion with Ukraine – a reunion effected at the end of the war.  The Galicians were not Poles.

It was a Polish Catholic officer, Witold Pilecki, who volunteered to sneak into Auschwitz and brought out news of the Holocaust to warn the world.

The Polish Blue Police rarely cooperated with the German genocidal plans, lest they be looked upon as traitors by their own people.  The Blue Police were just civil police kept on to control civil laws.

A good portion of the Polish Blue Police – who were the pre-war police kept on after 1939 – were double agents passing information to the Polish Resistance to work against the Nazis.

The first commander of the Blue Police was killed in Auschwitz.  The second commander was killed by a leftist, even though he was funneling information to the Allies.  Some estimate that half of the Blue Police were secretly part of the Polish Resistance.  Even if a high estimate, it is clear that the Poles were not collaborators.

The Poles spontaneously rose up against the Nazis in 1944.  The Allies and Russians left them out to die, refusing to adequately help them, but during the uprising, and using a captured German Panzer tank, the Poles broke into the Gesiówka concentration tank to liberate 348 Jews.  Fifty thousand Poles rose up.  A quarter-million Poles died during the Warsaw Uprising; 700,000 were expelled from the area.  This is not the hallmark of a people who collaborated with Nazis.  A few bad apples are not representative.

Yet, when I talk to my Jewish friends, many seem to think disparagingly of the Poles, as if they were the instigators of the Holocaust.  I have to remind them that the Holocaust was a German policy, not Polish.

Yes, there were non-German collaborators who worked as concentration camp guards.  But these were Baltic, Ukrainian, or astoundingly fellow Jews (Capos).  Poland had no official collaboration with the Germans.  There was no Polish Vichy.  No Tizo or Quisling.  The Polish government in exile refused to collaborate, and there was a shadow Polish Underground that ruthlessly killed collaborators.

Then there were the millions of Polish deaths at the hands of the Nazis.  Even the Holocaust Museum has this to say:

The German occupation of Poland was exceptionally brutal. The Nazis considered Poles to be racially inferior.

That racial hatred alone was astounding, as, anthropologically speaking, the Poles were every bit as Aryan/Nordic in phenotype as the Germans, if not more.  Hitler just had an irrational hatred for the Poles.  The Holocaust Museum goes on to write:

It is estimated that the Germans killed at least 1.9 million non-Jewish Polish civilians during World War II.

The Holocaust Museum figure is lower than the average accepted answer, which usually ranks at 3 million non-Jewish Polish deaths – more than Belgian, Dutch, Danish, French (not including Indochinese sector), Norwegian, Canadian, American, and British Gentile deaths.  Polish Gentiles suffered worse than all the Western Allied Gentile military and civilians combined.  Only the Russians and the Jews themselves suffered more casualties than the Poles.

I find it astounding that the Poles are often considered co-conspirators.  Probably no other people did as much to save Jewish lives.  Poles form the largest group at Yad Vashem.

Ironically, Auschwitz is also probably the largest Polish Gentile cemetery in the world.  Seventy-four thousand Poles died in Auschwitz alone.  Those Poles deserve to be remembered, and since Auschwitz is on Polish soil, I think it is up for the Poles to decide.  The Holocaust may have been a primarily Jewish experience, but it is not an exclusively Jewish experience.  Poles and Gypsies were slaughtered en masse.

Hitler sought to kill all the Polish leadership, enslave the rest, and remove them eastward.

There wasn't much of Poland left after WWII: "80 percent of the left riverside Warsaw ceased to exist, with such major districts as the Old Town, the New Town and Downtown."

That figure is probably low.  Other sites give figures as high as 90%. 

It was only to be expected that after the war, brutalized survivors would fight over what was left.

I am not going to deny the horror of the Kielce pogrom after the war.  It was terrible, but despite the recent Zeitgeist opinion to blame it all on Polish anti-Semitism, there is still a counter-current of thought that the pogrom was planned by Stalin's agents to disgrace the Poles.  Soviet records were suspiciously destroyed.  The latter view is now discredited but not totally disproven.

So what we have left are two real victims of Nazism – the Poles and the Jews – fighting over what was left

I am sure there are Jewish victims in this dance of death, just as there are Polish victims, but whom do the Poles go to for compensation?

What is clear is that soon after WWII and the Kielce massacre, there were transport lines set up to secret surviving Jews out of Poland to Palestine/Israel.  Thank God!  But the Poles had no such transit lines, and they were stuck under another foreign totalitarian tyranny for 40 more years.

Poland saved the West in 1683, when Jan Sobieski halted the  Ottoman advance into Austria.  Again Poland saved the West in 1920 at the Battle of Warsaw, when the Poles stopped Trotsky's invading Red Army from marching west, joining up with German Soviets and disgruntled German veterans, and marching to Paris.  During WWII, when other occupied countries collaborated with the Germans and raised SS units, the Poles did not.

Today, Poland seems to be the only Western nation that stands up to the politically correct, gay marriage, transgender, pro-Muslim idiocy that is debilitating our civilization.  Poland refuses to accept Muslim refugees.  Poland will not recognize gay marriage.

Poland has paid for its freedom dearly in blood – too much to allow it to fall to suicidal leftist atrocities.Poland is too fine a nation – too important to Western history – to run it through the wringer on reparations.  Everybody lost in Poland.  

Most people, Jew and Gentile, were not compensated.  This is one area where the world Jewish community should probably reconsider its complaint.  It seems to be blaming Poland for the crimes of others.

Finally, there is the danger of a precedent.  Do not doubt that Palestinians will be quick to use any precedent for return of Polish property as a cudgel to demand a similar right of return to property in Jaffa, Haifa, etc.  It will be hard to argue that property taken in 1939 by the Nazis and again in 1946, by Russian lackeys, does not set a precedent for property confiscated by Israel from 1948-52.

No one is denying that Jews suffered.  They did.  So did the Poles, and most of them quite honorably. 

Poland is the kind of nation that Israel should be trying to make friends with, rather than opening old wounds.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who is neither Latin, nor Arab. He runs a website, http://latinarabia.com, where he discusses the subculture of Arabs in Latin America. He wishes his Spanish were better.

Poland's Supreme Court recently refused to rewrite its current laws to make it easy for Holocaust victims and their descendants to make claims for lost property.  Naturally, Jewish groups are furious – but is this a wise fight?

Let's start off with some given basics.  Hitler was human pig.  He and his Nazis were some of the most despicable men in history.  No one is minimizing the savagery of the Holocaust.  However, neither should we forget that Jews were not Hitler's only victims.  The Poles suffered savagely under the Nazis.

When I was growing up, my Jewish friends would talk about the Poles as if Poland had been an Axis nation.  I was astounded.  I knew history well enough to know that Poland certainly was not an Axis nation.

Poland was the first nation at war with Hitler.

Unlike other nations occupied by Hitler, the ethnic Poles did not volunteer to join SS units.  The French, the Belgians, the Norwegians, the Dutch, et al. would all raise volunteer Waffen SS units.  The Poles did not.  True, Galician Waffen SS units were raised from ethnic separatist Galicians from what was then eastern Poland, but those were ethnic Galicians who hated the Poles and sought geographic reunion with Ukraine – a reunion effected at the end of the war.  The Galicians were not Poles.

It was a Polish Catholic officer, Witold Pilecki, who volunteered to sneak into Auschwitz and brought out news of the Holocaust to warn the world.

The Polish Blue Police rarely cooperated with the German genocidal plans, lest they be looked upon as traitors by their own people.  The Blue Police were just civil police kept on to control civil laws.

A good portion of the Polish Blue Police – who were the pre-war police kept on after 1939 – were double agents passing information to the Polish Resistance to work against the Nazis.

The first commander of the Blue Police was killed in Auschwitz.  The second commander was killed by a leftist, even though he was funneling information to the Allies.  Some estimate that half of the Blue Police were secretly part of the Polish Resistance.  Even if a high estimate, it is clear that the Poles were not collaborators.

The Poles spontaneously rose up against the Nazis in 1944.  The Allies and Russians left them out to die, refusing to adequately help them, but during the uprising, and using a captured German Panzer tank, the Poles broke into the Gesiówka concentration tank to liberate 348 Jews.  Fifty thousand Poles rose up.  A quarter-million Poles died during the Warsaw Uprising; 700,000 were expelled from the area.  This is not the hallmark of a people who collaborated with Nazis.  A few bad apples are not representative.

Yet, when I talk to my Jewish friends, many seem to think disparagingly of the Poles, as if they were the instigators of the Holocaust.  I have to remind them that the Holocaust was a German policy, not Polish.

Yes, there were non-German collaborators who worked as concentration camp guards.  But these were Baltic, Ukrainian, or astoundingly fellow Jews (Capos).  Poland had no official collaboration with the Germans.  There was no Polish Vichy.  No Tizo or Quisling.  The Polish government in exile refused to collaborate, and there was a shadow Polish Underground that ruthlessly killed collaborators.

Then there were the millions of Polish deaths at the hands of the Nazis.  Even the Holocaust Museum has this to say:

The German occupation of Poland was exceptionally brutal. The Nazis considered Poles to be racially inferior.

That racial hatred alone was astounding, as, anthropologically speaking, the Poles were every bit as Aryan/Nordic in phenotype as the Germans, if not more.  Hitler just had an irrational hatred for the Poles.  The Holocaust Museum goes on to write:

It is estimated that the Germans killed at least 1.9 million non-Jewish Polish civilians during World War II.

The Holocaust Museum figure is lower than the average accepted answer, which usually ranks at 3 million non-Jewish Polish deaths – more than Belgian, Dutch, Danish, French (not including Indochinese sector), Norwegian, Canadian, American, and British Gentile deaths.  Polish Gentiles suffered worse than all the Western Allied Gentile military and civilians combined.  Only the Russians and the Jews themselves suffered more casualties than the Poles.

I find it astounding that the Poles are often considered co-conspirators.  Probably no other people did as much to save Jewish lives.  Poles form the largest group at Yad Vashem.

Ironically, Auschwitz is also probably the largest Polish Gentile cemetery in the world.  Seventy-four thousand Poles died in Auschwitz alone.  Those Poles deserve to be remembered, and since Auschwitz is on Polish soil, I think it is up for the Poles to decide.  The Holocaust may have been a primarily Jewish experience, but it is not an exclusively Jewish experience.  Poles and Gypsies were slaughtered en masse.

Hitler sought to kill all the Polish leadership, enslave the rest, and remove them eastward.

There wasn't much of Poland left after WWII: "80 percent of the left riverside Warsaw ceased to exist, with such major districts as the Old Town, the New Town and Downtown."

That figure is probably low.  Other sites give figures as high as 90%. 

It was only to be expected that after the war, brutalized survivors would fight over what was left.

I am not going to deny the horror of the Kielce pogrom after the war.  It was terrible, but despite the recent Zeitgeist opinion to blame it all on Polish anti-Semitism, there is still a counter-current of thought that the pogrom was planned by Stalin's agents to disgrace the Poles.  Soviet records were suspiciously destroyed.  The latter view is now discredited but not totally disproven.

So what we have left are two real victims of Nazism – the Poles and the Jews – fighting over what was left

I am sure there are Jewish victims in this dance of death, just as there are Polish victims, but whom do the Poles go to for compensation?

What is clear is that soon after WWII and the Kielce massacre, there were transport lines set up to secret surviving Jews out of Poland to Palestine/Israel.  Thank God!  But the Poles had no such transit lines, and they were stuck under another foreign totalitarian tyranny for 40 more years.

Poland saved the West in 1683, when Jan Sobieski halted the  Ottoman advance into Austria.  Again Poland saved the West in 1920 at the Battle of Warsaw, when the Poles stopped Trotsky's invading Red Army from marching west, joining up with German Soviets and disgruntled German veterans, and marching to Paris.  During WWII, when other occupied countries collaborated with the Germans and raised SS units, the Poles did not.

Today, Poland seems to be the only Western nation that stands up to the politically correct, gay marriage, transgender, pro-Muslim idiocy that is debilitating our civilization.  Poland refuses to accept Muslim refugees.  Poland will not recognize gay marriage.

Poland has paid for its freedom dearly in blood – too much to allow it to fall to suicidal leftist atrocities.Poland is too fine a nation – too important to Western history – to run it through the wringer on reparations.  Everybody lost in Poland.  

Most people, Jew and Gentile, were not compensated.  This is one area where the world Jewish community should probably reconsider its complaint.  It seems to be blaming Poland for the crimes of others.

Finally, there is the danger of a precedent.  Do not doubt that Palestinians will be quick to use any precedent for return of Polish property as a cudgel to demand a similar right of return to property in Jaffa, Haifa, etc.  It will be hard to argue that property taken in 1939 by the Nazis and again in 1946, by Russian lackeys, does not set a precedent for property confiscated by Israel from 1948-52.

No one is denying that Jews suffered.  They did.  So did the Poles, and most of them quite honorably. 

Poland is the kind of nation that Israel should be trying to make friends with, rather than opening old wounds.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who is neither Latin, nor Arab. He runs a website, http://latinarabia.com, where he discusses the subculture of Arabs in Latin America. He wishes his Spanish were better.