Poles outraged at NYT’s misrepresentation of historical truth re. Holocaust

Below is a letter my organization has sent to the Editor of the NYT in response to Mr. Craig Smith’s offensive Jan. 27 article.

To the Editor:

Dear Sir,

I am writing on behalf of myself and the organization I represent to express our utmost outrage as members of the Polish nation, at the depiction of Polish-Jewish relations by Mr. Craig Smith in his article, “World Leaders Gather for Auschwitz Ceremony,” published in your January 27th, 2005 edition.

We feel deeply offended by the harmful and untrue ideas expressed in the following statement: “for Russia it is a commemoration of its often-overlooked role as liberator, while for Poland and other Central European countries it is both part of a gradual recognition of their complicity in the killing and an opportunity to draw closer to Europe.”

Please, be informed that Poland is not recognizing its complicity in the killing, as there was no such complicity on the part of our Nation. The author’s statement to the contrary belies either his objectivity and/or basic knowledge of the facts of world’s history.

We also fear that such depiction of Polish – Jewish relations as the author seems to imply, can only prove harmful to the so far positive image of Jews in the Polish nation, which is an issue of great concern especially to those within our organization who are proud to be of Jewish origin.

To refresh the author’s memory, it was the Germans who invaded Poland in 1939 and shortly after built concentration camps to slaughter people of many nations, mainly Jews and Poles. Polish authorities never collaborated with the Nazi occupants.

On the contrary, Poles constitute the majority of those awarded the honorary title “Righteous Among the Nations” by the Yad Vashem Institute, a title awarded for heroic conduct in saving the lives of Jews during the times of the Nazi genocide. To deny the heroic role of Poles as the nation who saved most Jews, often at the expense of their own lives, is at best evidence of ignorance of basic historical facts.

As to the “Russia’s often-overlooked role as liberator”, we advise you to reflect over the reasons for this state of affairs. Wartime acts of genocide were committed by both Germans and Russians, who invaded Poland in September 1939 and shortly after started slaughtering thousands of Polish troops in Katyn. In the meantime, they built their own concentration camps at Kolyma and in Siberia, some of which lasted for much longer than the German ones and were witness to just as much pain and suffering.

Moreover, the victims of Communism vastly outnumber the victims of Nazism, which is not to excuse the latter in any way, but rather to point out that it is only natural that Soviets were considered more of a new occupying force, than liberators of the Nazi concentration camps in Poland. After all, following the Soviet “liberation” of Poland, we have been subject to nearly half a century of brutal Communist rule – dark times in the history of Poland not easily forgotten.

For all the reasons mentioned and also for the sake of the credibility and good name of your world-wide respected newspaper, we urge you to issue an apology and a correction of those false, harmful and ultimately offensive words of Mr. Smith, written, hopefully, out of lack of knowledge rather than on purpose.

Yours faithfully,

Joanna Ewa Najfeld
Spokesman, The KoLiber Association, Poland

on behalf of:
Paweł Podsiedlik
Chairman, The KoLiber Association, Poland

A copy of this letter is available at our websites:

11 thoughts on “Poles outraged at NYT’s misrepresentation of historical truth re. Holocaust”

  1. It’s good you’re pursuing thi
    It’s good you’re pursuing this. The Times (even more than Dan Rather) thinks whatever they say becomes a serious and even authoritative position simply because they say it. That only works as long as people accept it and dissent can be kept out of sight.

    Rem tene, verba sequentur.

    • It’s a shame
      The sad part, however, is that abuses like this should be dealt with on the official (national) level and yet our authorities, together with virtually all the mainstream media, consistently keep their mouths shut on the subject. It is us, individual citizens, sometimes organizations, especially immigrants to the US, who seem to be doing most in this respect. What a shame.

  2. Polish Outrage Justified
    First, “you know who” cannot be considered legitimate; so any utterance by it is prima facie worthless. It is the burden of “you know who” to establish the facts it proposes. Its repeated untruths, inaccuracies and leftist pronunciations destroyed its credibility as a fact finder decades earlier.

    Second, “you know who” exists because many people opposed to its behavior actually pay it attention and speak to it. It should be treated as a nonperson, a nonentity; serious commentators should not even mention it. Why did anyone pay any attention to the Soviet Union’s newspapers or Goebbel’s rants? God only knows. “You know who” has little redeeming value unless gossip, cartoons, and the classifieds would redeem Stalin or Hitler. If someone quotes it, I immediately disregard it as unworthy of comment. I recommend Poles and other people not even mention “you know who” when responding to its nonsense. It therefore would become a nonperson.

  3. One thing that annoys me is t
    One thing that annoys me is that we constantly hear about the Holocaust yet as the author stated we hear nothing about the victims of Communism. Im of Ukrainian decent, and Im upset that hear next to nothing about the tragic famine that happened to my people under Stalin during the early 1930’s. Estimates of the number of dead in the famine run almost as high if not a little higher than those killed in the holocaust. Something is definately not right here!

    • A further annoyance, of cours
      A further annoyance, of course, is that until quite recently the NYT presented Walter Duranty, who ran journalistic interference for Stalin in the Ukraine and elsewhere, without caveat as an exemplary Pulitzer Prize-winning employee.

      Rem tene, verba sequentur.

      • That’s the answer!
        Jim’s mention of the NYT’s cover-up of the Ukraine Holocaust is actually the answer for Perun’s previous comment. The reason why so few know about it is because of the ‘filtered’ view of history that comes through our schools, programs, newspapers, etc. The US left loved ‘Uncle Joe,’ and so of course they would smooth over the truth of his crimes. It works the other way, too. They hated the Nazis, so they go on and on about their evils. The average public-school-educated Joe in New Jersey just sits there watching CBS and CNN all day, becoming easy prey to these scoundrels.

  4. Joanna on Point
    Joanna is right on point. People don’t know the first class of victims for the Nazis were Catholics. Thousands of Catholic clergy went to concentration camps in Catholic Poland and the rest of Europe. The same people that ignore this also ignore that Iraqi “insurgents” are actually Islamic fascists. Mr. Lawrence Auster (at View From the Right) has pointed out the nature of the “insurgents.”

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