Oto tekst listu przesłanego do uczestników Międzynarodowej Konferencji “Holocaust in Poland – New Findings and New Interpretations,” Princeton University, New Jersey, October 29-30, 2010.
Zobacz także dyskusję na http://www.holocaustresearch.pl/index.php?show=467&strona=472 (mój komentarz na samym dole)
In the wake of the seminar, I would like to address the apparent dichotomy between some questioners from the floor and scholarly responses.
Two major misunderstandings/deficiencies were obvious. On one hand, some of the “Polish side” questioners were emotional, not particularly articulate, and likely unaware of the context of the Conference and the research presented there. Specifically the Conference addressed only some newly documented crimes committed by the ethnic Poles, particularly in the countryside, while not necessarily questioning the bigger picture of Poles and Polish State being primarily the victim and not a culprit during WW II. It is also clear that for many Poles acceptance of many documented facts of crimes committed on the Jews during the war is difficult and painful.
On the other hand, the presenters were apparently not attuned to some disturbing circumstances surrounding the discussion of these topics. One of the questioners attempted to bring the attention of the panelists to the fact that their comments and writings are frequently used out of context by the mainstream
It was also disappointing to hear in the voices of some of the participants what I perceived by anti-Polish sentiments, apparent in disparaging comments of Dr. Barbara Engelking regarding the letter from the Polish Consul General sent to the participants and through Dr. Gross’s statements about Polish crimes and guilt repeated more than few times throughout the Conference. Dr Gross’s efforts to control the mike and run down the clock of the discussion time without acknowledging the voices from the floor and his contempt for the “unscholarly” voices were quite telling.
I have the following questions to the Panelists and suggestions for consideration:
1. As you know, a comparable number of the ethnic Poles and ethnic Jews (about 2.5 – 3 million in each group) died during the war in
2. In regards to the rampant Polish anti-Semitism in the pre-war
3. As those who rely for their information on the mainstream, “independent” US media may not know, Israel (that’s mostly Holocaust survivors and their descendants), in our times, attacked all of its neighbors in order to annex territory and command land and water resources (and I am an environmental and water resources engineer by profession) for its benefit - and that of the mostly Russian-speaking new émigrés. My question is what, if any, lessons from the past (like the past researched by You) would benefit the situation in the
4. Several authors discussed greed and fear as likely motifs for the crimes committed against the Jews by the Poles in the German-occupied
On a final note, The Kosciuszko Foundation in New York has initiated in recent days a petition drive to protest the use of the phrase “Polish concentration camps” prevalent in the US media.
Would you consider signing it?
Dr. Jerzy (Jurek) Patoczka
Basking Ridge, NJ