Did Hitler kill any Germans?




PARTIAL DOCUMENT:






For decades, historiography has tended to refer to the Holocaust as one one-dimensional relationship between Perpetrators and sacrifice to represent. Some viewed the topic primarily from the perspective of the decision-making and execution processes of the perpetrators, others from the perspective of the suffering and fate of the victims, or both. One extremely important factor was almost completely ignored in the general presentation: namely the social environment of the Holocaust.

The holocaust has did not take place in a social vacuum. In each of the affected countries there was a very specific political, economic and moral environment that gave the Holocaust a different shape in each individual country. One has made the victims selected from a particular society. And the fate of the victims as well as the behavior of the perpetrators depended on this environment. The differences were shown in summary in the percentage of Jewish victims compared with the total number of Jews in the respective country concerned.

Occupied Poland and Lithuania represent the highest percentage of victims (almost 98% of the Jews who found themselves under German violence in this area).

One could point here to the stark differences in the fate of the Jews in Denmark or Bulgaria, also Italy (where "only" 17.3% of the Jews were killed) and the rest of occupied Europe. Of course, the miracle of Denmark, where only 7,000 Jews lived in occupied Poland, with its almost 3.5 million Jews who were under the control of the German occupier, could not be imitated. The Poles could not save all "their" Jews with the best will in the world, not even the majority. With a different attitude of the average Poles, however, slightly more Jews could probably have been saved than was the case in reality.

According to realistic estimates, around 40,000 Jews were rescued from Poles, mainly in Warsaw and in Southeastern

Poland. The results of my own quantitative analysis of eyewitness accounts (I mean Holocaust survivors) show that around 35% of those rescued paid their rescuers money, and not just for their maintenance; 50% were rescued without payment, but mostly paid for their maintenance, 15% were able to save themselves on their own with only occasional help (such as obtaining false papers, an overnight stay, etc.).

In order to be able to save a Jew, an average of 5-6 people had to be initiated. That means a whole army of around 250,000 rescuers. That is an enormous number of committed, death-defying people! We have documented sources of more than 660 Poles who were shot along with the Jews who tried to save them.

In every Polish textbook about the time of the Second World War you can find a sentence that stands in the rank of dogma: The Poles could no longer do anything for the Jews, since any help for the Jews was threatened with the death penalty. That is also true. But... If you compare the numbers, the result is that the successful 250,000 Polish rescuers (more than 1% of the ethnically Polish population of the country) are compared to around 660 Poles who were killed for this aid. This means nothing more than the clear statement that 99.7% of Poles who dared to undertake a rescue operation actually succeeded in this intention. So far nobody in Poland has tried to put these figures together and to draw clear conclusions from them. Incidentally, the death penalty was also applied to other forms of behavior, such as participating in the resistance movement, which was nevertheless carried out with courage and commitment in the utmost solidarity by all or a large part of the Polish population ... Only in the matter of saving the Jews suffered from solidarity deficits.

And only in Jewish memoirs, just now again at Reich-Ranicki, do you find a remark about the fact that the rescuers after the war did not wish to let their rescue deeds be known .... The majority of the rescuers only came to Poland known about her deeds a few decades after World War II and reported about her experiences. Many keep their secret to this day.

Not only was it dangerous, it was also very unpopular, to save the Jews.

I recently read an eyewitness report from the Sobibor extermination camp. The author describes how the death transports arrived in Sobibor: the Polish Jews in cattle wagons, very often half of the "cargo" had already died on the transport Transports from the west, on the other hand, usually came in normal passenger train wagons. On arrival, the Western European Jews were treated differently for a very short time, although a few minutes later everyone felt the same: off to the gas chambers : camouflageIn Poland it was as good as impossible because, due to the high percentage of Jews among the population of Poland (10% in total, 40% in the cities), the murders took place in front of the eyes of the Polish population. All extermination camps were installed here, within sight, hearing and smell distance of the rest of the population; every Pole knew exactly where and for what purpose the Jews were being transported. It was different in the West.

Can the thing with the passenger cars be reduced to just a disguise, an intention to deceive? There is also a certain amount of consideration given to the social environment.

It is generally noticeable that it is only now, almost two generations after the end of the war, in some European countries (France, Holland, Slovakia, Hungary, Switzerland - others are still missing !!) that people are slowly starting to think about the actual behavior of the ownnen Population and sometimes the own Governments or administrations against the Nazi program of extermination of the Jews. Some time ago I found a nice sentence in a specialist journal about the long-standing French "internal self-imposed Holocaust blackout". [Eric Epstein, Fit to Be Tried: Maurice Papon and the Vichy Syndrome. Defeat and Collaboration. In: Journal of Genocide Research 1999, No. 1, p. 119.]
But that doesn't just apply to France. The same phenomena existed on both sides of the iron curtain. And paradoxically - for the same reasons ...

In many countries that were once occupied by the Nazis, only a small minority is willing to admit how devastating the German policy towards the Jews has had on the behavior and moral constitution of the respective nations. One often admits that one was intimidated by Nazi terror, but rarely that the unpunished murder of the Jews had in itself a destructive, demoralizing effect on the witnesses to the murder. Most - including many Poles - are convinced that they were immune to anti-Semitic propaganda by the Nazis. Because this would also shake the myth of undivided resistance against the Germans, i.e. one's own self-image. However, I would like to add - at a time when the calls for the "final line" have become louder in Germany! Some want to stop, others have not even started!

As you know better than I, it took a while in Germany to fully confront the Holocaust problem.

It's also no coincidence that only now Large international comparative projects arise which deal with the influence of the German occupation and the Nazi murder of the Jews on the moral condition of the peoples of the occupied countries. I mean the big European Science Foundation Project. Only now, two generations after the war, do historians feel ready to undertake such a research project. However, this is not an indictment, just a statement.

In November 1998, Saul Friedlaender published an article on this question in "Zeit", which many of you are probably familiar with ("The Metaphor of Evil. About Martin Walser's Peace Prize Speech and the Task of Remembrance").

The author mentions, among other things, the myth prevailing in France from right to left, from Gaullists to Communists, that in occupied France the number of heroes was very large, the number of cowards was very small, and on the edge of this and other similar back projections and especially on the fringes of the Martin-Walser controversy, he notes the following:

“A national myth is difficult to shake when collective self-esteem is at stake or collective shame can be evoked. Myth and Displacement

were the most effective sedatives in all western countries after the Second World War. But strangely and paradoxically, despite the resistance to demystification, the bitter truth about this past is increasingly coming to the fore. This past is more present than ever. It is a paradoxical phenomenon that deserves deeper reflection ". ['Die Zeit ", November 26, 1998, No. 49, p. 50.]

He comes to the conclusion that a perfectly normal society cannot be without memory.

It is strange that despite that until 1989 different working conditions the historian on both sides of the Iron Curtain what he says for east and west equally applies.

In some countries of the former Eastern Bloc (the Baltic States, Belarus, Ukraine) there is still little willingness to deal with these issues outside of the Jewish milieu, of course. In Poland there have been the first and lonely attempts since 1987 at least to question some of the myths connected with the war (I am thinking of the article by Jan B³oñski in the independent Catholic weekly "Tygodnik Powszechny" "Poor Poles are looking at the ghetto"). The title says it all. But we have not come very far in this direction. In the West, too, this willingness does not seem to be exaggerated.

It is well known that the results of historical research only become a public fact when they are either integrated into the educational system or disseminated through the media. By the way, sociological studies have shown that the media are more effective than the education system in this regard. Unfortunately in the matter of Holocaust education in Central and Eastern Europe until now both fails.

Resistance from those who defend the myths is still very fierce. Only a relatively small, committed minority has dealt seriously with this problem. This applies to Poland and elsewhere. Above all, I would like to draw on the example of Poland.

A rather innocent example: For a long time next to my house there was a graffito that read: "RTS Jude". RTS is a Polish and non-Jewish sports club, a soccer team, and the graffito was obviously written by a fan of a competing sports club . "Jew" was used as a swear word. That is clear. The unusual lies in the fact that in Polish a Jew is called "¯yd" and not a Jew. The adolescent graffiti writer doesn't have the Polish word, but that German Word "Jew" used. Half a century after the war!

The matter recently took on a whole new dimension: Last week the largest Polish daily newspaper - "Gazeta Wyborcza" - published a double-page report on the second largest city in Poland, £ ódŸ, dedicated to a very specific matter: the whole of £ ódŸ is smeared and painted with anti-Semitic graffiti. The compatriot of Jews from £ ódŸ, who now live in Israel, has made a public appeal to the population of the city and asked for this graffiti to be removed. On every second house you can use slogans such as "Jews out" (again in German and not in Polish), swastikas, etc. It has been shown that the whole anti-Semitic graffiti epidemic, all these thousands of anti-Semitic symbols and slogans, were not directed directly against the Jews, but rather the lapwing, the fans of two competing sports clubs: £ KS and Widzew, fought a graffiti fight . Both have the floor "Jew" used as a swear word. You can probably imagine why German and non-Polish words were used here and the historical context in which these German words were incorporated into Polish colloquial language. Another two generations after the Holocaust!

I use examples from Poland for many reasons. Not only because I know my way around the historical region of my country better, but also because Poland is particularly important for research into this topic for objective reasons. Why?

Nowhere else in the world was there such a large, closed Jewish population until 1942 as in Poland before World War II, where the highest percentage of the world's Jewish population lived at 10% of the total and 40% of the urban population, almost 3 , 5 million people.

The second is closely related to this first point: in order to be able to exterminate such a large number of people, it was necessary for logistical reasons to set up the extermination camps in Poland.

But in occupied Poland - as is known - all Nazi extermination camps set up, including those intended for all of European Jewry.

The reasons are clear: they wanted the camps as far away as possible from the Western European centers. Not because they feared major protests in the respective countries, but because they did not dare to make clear to all of Europe what "deportation" actually meant, neitherthe German people.

As for Western Europe, for the reason that the occupation policy and war aims in the case of most of the non-Slavic countries in Europe were different from those of the Eastern European countries. They did not want to expose Western Europe to the direct effects of the physical extermination of the Jews, and only certain nations were to witness the direct execution of the Holocaust: namely those who were later either destined for selective extermination (like the Poles) themselves or of whom one could Complicity could expect and indeed has partly found complicity (like the Baltic, the Lithuanians, the Ukrainians or the Belarusians).

The Polish case is interesting in other ways too:

1) Both, Poland and Jews, were victims of the German occupation. But they were unequal Victims, unequal in the existential sense, in which the two groups of the population were treated by the occupant. These inequality can be reduced to one problem: the unequal chances of survival. A Jew tried to pretend to be a Pole in the concentration camp - never vice versa! And that is exactly what is so often overlooked or concealed. The Jews were destined for total annihilation, the Poles, on the other hand, should "only" be exterminated selectively - above all the intellectual elites, including the resistance fighters. This can also be seen in the proportion of the victims: the Poles as a whole were in the war and through The terror of the occupant lost about 7% of the population, the Jews 98-99%, and that applies to the Jews who came under the control of the German occupation.

2) The Poles, of whom about 1.5% were actively involved in saving the Jews, despite the high wave of anti-Semitism before 1939, are - at least as a group - closed no direct Accomplices in the Nazi murder of Jews. There were such cases, sometimes very serious ones, e.g. in Jedwabno, a Polish city that was under Soviet occupation between September 17, 1939 and June 22, 1941. After the German troops marched in there in June 1941, around 1000 Jews were burned alive in a barn by Polish residents on their own initiative (the German officers watched with satisfaction), just because a few Jewish communists from the town were with the Soviet authorities had collaborated during the time of the Soviet occupation of Eastern Poland. The Polish communists were just as active in the town under Soviet occupation, but only the Jews were burned in the barn. Individual cases of complicity with the Nazi murder of Jews were never institutionalized. The Poles have Not guarding the extermination camps or the ghettos, like the Ukrainians or the Balts; they were Not involved in the mass executions of Jews, such as the Latvian, Lithuanian, Belarusian and Ukrainian militia and police or the Iron Guard in Romania and the Arrow Crossers in Hungary; they were too Not, with a few exceptions (the Polish order police), directly involved in the deportations. But the fact that in occupied Poland the annihilation of Polish and European Jewry took place in the presence of the Polish population has the greatest impact on the Poles moral Exposed to the consequences of the Holocaust. In this sense, the Poles belong objectively - I would even say something that sounds like a paradox - unconsciously to the moral Victims of the holocaust while the Jews are his physical Victims were.

How This shows that these moral post-war consequences were destructive Example of the Kielce pogrom in July 1946. The bloody (42 fatalities!) Kielc pogrom would have been simply unthinkable in Poland between 1920 and 1939. I am consciously not saying 1918-1939, rather 1920-1939, because in the years 1918-1919, i.e. in the first year after the rebirth of Poland, in the first year of the Second Republic, there were about 130 pogroms and anti-Jewish riots, including the bloodiest Jewish pogrom of the time

between the two world wars: the pogrom in Lvov (Lemberg) in November 1918, which killed well over 100 people. But since then there has been one in Poland relative Quiet.

The Kielc pogrom and a whole series (there are hundreds of victims) of murders of Jews on trains (so-called train action) and small towns, when the few Jews who had survived tried to return to their homes, can only go through explain the brutalization of conditions as a result of the Nazi occupation and the war. A very decisive experience of the German tyranny during the occupation was that a Jew could be killed without punishing the perpetrator, that the killing of a Jew did not belong to the category of ordinary murder or a crime at all. In such directlyafter World War II noticeable forms, on this violent scale, Anti-Semitism played out in Poland not from before 1939.

That has not only shown in the Kielc pogrom, but also in other manifestations:

1) First there is the lack of solidarity with the Jews who survived the Holocaust, and in not infrequent cases even an ex post approval of the Holocaust (in the latter case it is certainly not about the majority of Poles, but also not just about a marginal phenomenon); Such a formulated or merely perceived approval already existed back then (i.e. during the war). This is confirmed by many contemporary witness reports, memoirs and diaries, not only by Jewish but also by Polish authors. Of course, that doesn't apply to them either most Poland, however, was not just a marginal phenomenon either. Before the war, consent to the physical extermination of the in many ways "undesirable" and unloved Jewish part of the population in Poland would have been simply unthinkable. During the Holocaust and in the post-war period, however, it has become a political and moral fact that is not talked about. but that still exists.

2) There is also the nowadays relatively widespread opinion that the Jews decide on the guidelines of Polish politics. This is of course a variant of the well-known, over a century old theory of the Jewish world conspiracy. This opinion is represented, for example, by such important institutions as the large private Catholic one

Station "Radio Maria" (with around 4 million listeners and a by no means small group of around 30 members of parliament) or the large Catholic daily newspaper "Nasz Dziennik", as well as a number of other press organs. Both institutions do not have the official legitimacy of the Catholic hierarchy, but at least the Pope thanked the broadcaster "Radio Maria" for his achievements in the last parliamentary elections.

Before the war - with 3.5 million Jews - it would never have occurred to anyone that the Jews would decide Polish politics. At most it was said that the so-called World Jewry from outside tries to put pressure on Poland, such as For example, in the case of the Versailles Treaty of 1919 and the protection of national minorities in Poland which it demanded, which was viewed by the Polish nationalist parties as a violation of Polish sovereignty. And now that there are only about 8,000-10,000 Jews, mostly old and poor people, such a nonsensical claim is being made. But you don't have to be a Jew at all to be called a Jew in Poland.

A Polish sociologist, Prof. Hanna Œwida-Ziemba, sees a direct connection between attitudes towards the Holocaust and current forms of anti-Semitism. In 1998 she made the following comment about the indifference of most Poles then and now to the Holocaust: “If the Poles really understood the cruelty of the Holocaust and had experienced it internally, they would be painfully sensitive to all manifestations of anti-Semitism. Immediately and energetically. "But she believes that this is not the case. [Hanna wida-Ziemba, Ha ba oboj tno ci ", in: Gazeta Wyborcza 17.8.1998.]
The Polish historians Wùadysùaw Bartoszewski and Andrzej Bryk describe this phenomenon independently of one another as the lack of a collective shock ’that caused the Polish consciousness to not address the Holocaust after the war.

A Polish theologian, Father Stanisław Musia³ from the Jesuit order, sees the same connections, this time using the example of the anti-Semitic agitation that, triggered and controlled by a small group, took place over a year under the pretext of the alleged

Defense of the crosses erected in Auschwitz by the same group. This dispute is also rooted in the Holocaust period. "Where from" - writes Father Musia³ - "do this hatred and these evil emotions come from? They arise because we in Poland have not asked ourselves any uncomfortable questions to this day. About our attitude towards the Jews in the past, during the war and after the war." All of this is waiting for an answer, and historians do not work on these topics [...] We are still taboo: we are constantly fighting back, we want to be a nation that has suffered and that has not wronged anyone else ... It is a sin that weighs on our conscience. I would go further and say that if there is a crisis of Christianity and European culture today, it is a consequence of the fact that Christianity did not fulfill the hopes of the people during the time of the Shoah. Of course, many Christians helped the Jews, but we intuitively feel that we were not up to the task. That influences our attitude today We react so emotionally. But one way or another we have to sort this thing out someday. " [Stanis aw Musia , Kadysz za ksi dza, in: 'Gazeta Wyborcza', 9.-10.1.1999.]
It must be added, however, that Father Musia³ is very lonely with his views among the Polish clergy.

I did a major essay last year that came out recently [ wiadkowie Shoah. Zag ada yd w w polskich pami tnikach i wspomnieniach (The Witnesses of the Shoah. The Extermination of the Jews in Polish Memoirs and Memories), in: Feliks Tych, D ugi cie Zag ady. Szkice historyczne, Warszawa 1999, pp. 9-54. ] is, no less than 400 mostly unpublished polish Diaries and memoirs from the war and Holocaust period analyzed.

Most of them have the Holocaust phenomenon, the fate of 10% of their fellow citizens, a whole large ethnic group of Polish society, so to speak completely overlooked. Obviously, this wasn't an issue at all that deserved their attention. The other group, the second largest in number, noticed the Holocaust, but without any pity for the victims. Only a small proportion (about 10%) of the authors write depressed, with compassion, even with pity, about the fate of the Jews. But there is

also texts that can even see positive aspects in what happened - in the sense that Hitler did an important thing for us! We got rid of the Jews and didn't have to do it with our own hands.

A small example of the painful question of Ex post approval for the Holocaust:

In January 1998 a Polish provincial newspaper, "Gazeta Lubuska", decided to carry out a small sociological experiment in Zielona Góra (in the German Empire the city was called: Grünberg). It sent its reporters to a village called ¯ydowo, which is in German For example, it would be called "Judendorf" in order to ask the local residents about their attitude towards the Jews. Simply a journalistic idea that emerged from the play on words "Judendorf" - "Jews". The results of this journalistic joke were by no means funny.

Almost all of the residents of the village have admitted that they have never seen a Jew in their life. Nonetheless, almost everyone in the village was a proponent of a drastically negative stereotype of the Jews. When asked about their attitude towards the extermination of the Jews in World War II, - with the exception of two people - none the inhabitant condemns the murder of the Jews. The reporters recorded the following statement from one of the residents: “Hitler did well in killing the Jews, because otherwise the Jews would have killed Poles and attacked the whole world. Only Hitler really saw through them. " [ Tylko Hitler pozna ", in:" Gazeta Lubuska "3.-4.1.1998, No. 2.]
Again an echo of the Nazi propaganda. The statement did not provoke any protests from the others. The local press reported on a similar case in June 1999 from the area of ​​Krotoszyn (central Poland): At a meeting of farmers in the village of Razdra¿ewo with the chairman of the populist, chauvinist and anti-European peasant party "Samoobrona" (self-protection) Andrzej Lepper said on June 16, 1999, one of the participants: "God alone sent you, Mr. Andrzej, to the rescue, just as he once sent Hitler to exterminate the Jews." [In the original it says: Ja wierz Panie Andrzeju, i Pana pos a B g do tej misji. Tak samo jak B g pos a Hitlera, eby wyt pi wszystkich
The words

received huge applause and were not commented on by Lepper, who is standing as a candidate for the next presidential election.

I don't mean to say that statements like those in Razdra¿ewo dominate Polish political life, but they keep cropping up somewhere. In other words: the legitimate question arises: is the village of ¯ydowo or the village near Krotoszyn, with its affirmation of the Holocaust, an exception in the Polish landscape?

A sociologist, who was asked by the editors of Gazeta Lubuska to comment on the results of the survey in the village of ¯ydowo, accepted the testimony of the farmers in ¯ydowo as nothing unusual characterized. He noted that those questioned were unable to say “what is their moral superiority over the Jews. A clear sense of one's own worth is based on the negative stereotype of the <other>. A more abstract A Jew thus becomes the bearer of everything that has a negative value, not a single positive trait was ascribed to him. Noteworthy: none of the interviewees in the report tried to confront their views with their own experiences. [A statement from Dr. Jerzy Leszkowicz-Baczy ski from the Institute for Sociology at the College of Education in Zielona G ra, ibid.]
So much for the sociologist's comment.

I believe that the sociologist from Zielona Góra will put us on the right track.

The tabooing of the Holocaust in the times of People's Poland, which has continued for two generations (the Jewish victims of the Holocaust were summarily included in the total number of Polish victims of the occupation without naming them), has contributed to the fact that the majority of Poles living today do not get a chance has to see the Holocaust as an experience that can be experienced. It was only a few years ago that Polish textbooks began to deal with the Holocaust. The 45-year absence of the Jewish component in the representation of Poland's history in the media (this refers to the entire educational system, school books, popular scientific editions, newspaper articles, travel guides, television and

Any form of historical representation) in the times of "actually existing socialism" had fatal consequences. For decades, Poles had absolutely no way of finding out more about the Holocaust, about the events of their recent past. And not because they were Germans but wanted to avoid the Jewish issues. In Poland, the Holocaust is still seen as one by most of the people jewish and not as one human, civilizational Matter considered.

As various surveys show, the majority of Poles still do not know that 90% of the victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau were Jews, and they regard the place as a symbol predominantly of Polish martyrdom. Jewish appeals to accept Auschwitz as a place with no denominational symbols that offend the feelings of religious Jews in this largest Jewish cemetery in the world are viewed by most Poles as a kind of usurpation. As you can see, here too, in the current controversy with anti-Semitism in the background, the thread leads directly to times of war.

The consequences of the Holocaust are not only noticeable in the behavior of Poles towards Jews and vice versa. You can also see it clearly in the behavior of the Jews in their own affairs. Especially when it comes to the question of Jewish identity, the belief in Judaism. Only about 8,000 to 10,000 Jews currently live in Poland (compared to 3.5 million before the war). According to some estimates, however, there are at least 20,000 Jews, Holocaust survivors and their children who, after the traumatic experiences of the Holocaust and the post-war pogroms, simply do not dare to appear as Jews among their friends and acquaintances. Sometimes even the husband does not know that he has married a Jewish woman, and the children or grandchildren do not know that they have a Jewish mother or grandmother. For example, we came across the following case in our institute: A 67-year-old woman comes to us and, based on our files, asks for confirmation that she is Jewish. She was a Jewish child rescued by a Catholic monastery and immediately after the war she was admitted to a Jewish orphanage. But she left the orphanage a year after the Kielc pogrom, and every trace of her has been lost. She is out to her false identity

returned from war and started a family, but neither her husband nor her children knew she was Jewish. We found her files from the orphanage in our institute archive and issued her with a corresponding confirmation. She didn't say anything to justify her behavior, and we didn't ask for it. Everything was clear to both sides.

But were there prerequisites in Polish-Jewish relations that enabled or at least made it easier for the Nazis to keep the majority of the Polish population quiet in the face of the total annihilation of Polish Jews that began in 1941/42?

The answer is yes. Such prerequisites existed. Historically speaking, we are dealing here with a very unfortunate temporal coincidence: in the second half of the 1930s, after the death of Pilsudski in 1935, i.e. a few years before the German attack on Poland, the Pilsudskists also had the earlier ones had a rather moderate attitude towards the Jews, began to drift in the name of the nation-state idea in the direction of vehement anti-Semitism and have moved closer to right-wing nationalist parties. In this way - just a few years before the German attack on Poland - anti-Semitism in Poland has become more vehement than ever. Apart from the difficult transition period of 1918-1919, the second half of the 1930s was the worst period in Polish-Jewish relations. And it was precisely this fact that contributed significantly to the indifference of the majority of the Polish population in the face of the extermination of the Jews by the Nazis.

Finally, I would like to present two recent surveys in Poland that are directly related to our topic.

The first survey, conducted in August 1999, concerns Poles' attitudes towards the country's national minorities and neighboring nations. [Gazeta Wyborcza, 9/14/1999.]
35% of those questioned declared a negative to hostile attitude towards the Jews (5 years earlier it was 37%). The "joke" is that of the respondents in a country with 39 million inhabitants, in which there is only a tiny minority of currently only around 8,000-10,000 Jews, hardly any of the respondents have ever had the chance, even statistically, to

actually to meet a real Jew. So practically no one has ever had a personal experience in this regard. This shows how deeply anti-Semitic stereotypes are anchored in a country with practically no Jews and in the collective subconscious.

The second survey, carried out by a good, experienced institute, addressed the political and economic elites as well as representatives of the liberal professions on behalf of the daily newspaper "Rzeczpospolita" on December 8, 1999. One of the questions was: "The Which politician of our century did Poland most harm? " Josef Stalin came first with 31 points, followed by Bolesùaw Bierut, the first communist president of Poland, with 29 points third first Adolf Hitler - with 17 points. [Elity o XX wieku, in: Rzeczpospolita, December 31, 1999, No. 305, p. A10.]
Apart from the fact that of the three politicians, only Hitler is one existential A threat to the national substance of the Poles as a people and the others "only" a political one - such an answer shows that the Holocaust, which Hitler was responsible for, was not of great importance for those questioned, that is to say here for the Polish elites Despite the fact that he killed 10% of Polish citizens and that by far the largest number of Holocaust victims came from Poland.

How can this be explained? Perhaps the now active generation has had stronger experiences with the times of communism, while the Holocaust never really came to them - for reasons explained earlier, such as taboos in the communist era, etc. -.

This negative attitude towards communism is also likely to lie the cause the negative Jewish stereotype without Jews. The strong and also very old connection between Jews and communism, which is constantly emphasized by the national side and the Church, plays a particularly important role here. You often hear it to this day: Communism - it wasn't the Poles - it was the Jews !! ... The Jews were also the scapegoats of the communist regime in Poland since 1956. Everything accumulates here - communism and the anti

communism. And with these bitter remarks on the sidelines of a survey, I would like to end my reflections.



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