Poland is the Problem (continued)

Baroness Deech

As I explained in my earlier posting on this – http://lordsoftheblog.net/2016/01/23/poland-is-the-problem/ – the rule of law is regarded by the EU as under threat in Poland.  A further new law announced by Poland this week compounds the problem.  The government of Poland plans to introduce a law making it a crime to imply the country bears any responsibility for atrocities carried out on Polish soil by Nazi Germany. People could face up to five years in prison if found guilty.

The bill was drafted in part as a response to the phrase “Polish death camps” which often appears in the media as a shortcut term. In such cases, the state could pursue civil action and claim compensation. The bill would make it illegal to say that Poland “took part, organised or was co-responsible for the crimes of the Third Reich”. So I am hastening to write this blog before they take action against me . . .
Poland was a country under Nazi occupation, and the many concentration camps on its soil were built and run by the Germans. But there is more to it than that. Yes, the Poles were victims of the Nazis. Yes, there were some Polish heroes who resisted the occupation and rescued Jews.  There was a dark side as well.  In the 1930s there was a Polish boycott of Jewish business and discrimination against Jews.  Restrictions were applied to Jewish students at universities. During the War some Jews were betrayed or killed by their Polish neighbours and their vacant properties taken over (see the film Ida). The Polish historian Jan Gross has written books describing what happened, specifically the Jedwabne pogrom, which the Polish Institute of National Remembrance accepts was carried out by Poles. Now it is reported that Jan Gross may be stripped of his Polish Order of Merit for claiming that Poles were complicit in some war crimes of the period.  There was also the matter of the Kielce pogrom in 1946, when a gathering of 200 returning Jewish refugees was attacked, and 42 killed by Polish people.
So much for free speech then.  Rather than allow debate on the issues outlined above, they are to be made criminal statements.
Legislation, however, will not make the issue go away. If Poland really wants to distance itself from the Nazi era, which is quite understandable, the one remedial action the government could take is to pass a law to arrange partial restitution to the survivors of the hundreds of thousands of Poles whose property was seized during the Nazi era (and also in the Communist era). The Holocaust was not only genocide, it was also the greatest theft in history.  Not only were the victims killed, but their legacy – cultural, professional, religious and territorial – was stolen from them.   Holocaust restitution is not only about the victims. It is also about those who victimized. It is about satisfying the need for a moral accounting regarding the horrific events of the second world war and some of the communist depradations thereafter.
Time for Poland to make restitution, as many other Eastern European countries have done. Only then will the ghosts of the past be laid to rest.

7 comments for “Poland is the Problem (continued)

  1. MilesJSD
    18/02/2016 at 12:38 pm

    As I pointed out in my previous submission [which it appears you suppressed]

    Poland is not the Problem, The United Nations, EU and UK-Powers
    are the root-problem

    in that they perpetuate Competitive ‘win-lose’ Militancy
    even throughout “diplomacy”;

    when what has long been needed, and is available but ignored, is the Methodology III ‘No-Lose’ Problem Solving ability-&-willingness.

  2. maude elwes
    18/02/2016 at 6:16 pm

    Baroness Deech, how is Israel going to lay to rest the ghosts of the past? Those terrorists that bombed and killed its way across Palestine? The founders of that State killed the British in the King David Hotel and kept going from there. And yet these same British were the ones who lost their lives to save the Jews from the Nazi war machine, most of them on the ground not aware of who or what was in the killing camps.

    Nazi’s did not simply kill 6 million jews they also killed 6 millions others, who somehow are ignored in the figures, yet suffered equally. Now why is that? Poland lost lives fighting the Nazi war machine but remember, there were the Zionists who massacred the Palestinians, after they bombed the British who were there. When are those Zionists going to be branded and brought to trial and forced to pay reparations? Many of them are still alive and boast openly of their participation.


    Here is old footage of how Poland was taken.


    Maybe you are barking up the wrong tree.

    World War II is over, and was won by us all. Including the Poles. Time to move on and let the past die with its suffering people. The problems of war and the killing machines of today are what need to be addressed.

  3. Baroness Deech
    Baroness Deech
    26/02/2016 at 2:04 pm

    Are you suggesting that all peoples (and their successors) who ever rose up against British colonial rule should be deprived of the right to compensation for stolen property? ie the Indians, the Iraqis, the Americans, the S Africans. Or only Jews?

    • tizres
      26/02/2016 at 4:45 pm

      Visceral attitudes aside, what was the legal situation on removal of artefacts (rather than, say, slavery) by the British in the C19, and how far back should one go before it becomes a matter of history only?

  4. tizres
    29/02/2016 at 3:13 pm

    The comment I posted on Friday has disappeared today. It’s ghostly presence, ie the comment with “waiting to be moderated”, appeared over the weekend. This is not the first time, and there is no obvious way of communicating to those who may be of help.

    Does anybody care?

    • MilesJSD
      09/03/2016 at 11:57 am

      Yes, ‘suppression’ and ‘delay’ have sometimes ‘hit’ my submissions
      (usually I believe by the Hansard moderator ‘unilaterally’,
      but much more frequently by the Baroness Deech posts than by other peers) –

      their main ‘reason’ is usually a ‘win-lose cornered-agenda’ one, pre-emptively excluding anything that is “off-topic” –
      regardless of the greater Democratic-Scrutiny Necessity for up-front visibilty and clarification-timeframing of Scope, Relevancy, and discussion within the Principles-of-Good Communication & Honest Argumentation.

      Overall, ‘though,
      this e-site is “way above and ahead” of all other “Democratic” e-sites, worldwide too as far as can be readily seen and joined-in-with,
      and groundbreakingly is potentially leaderful in ‘participatory-democratising’,
      being steadfastly since 2008 direct-with-the-public
      & all submissions verbatimly-published, sic-mistakes and all.

      {Thinks, however: one wonders why so democraticly-proportionately few comments ever appear ? }

      • maude elwes
        15/03/2016 at 2:02 pm

        @ Tizres and Miles JSD:

        And here I thought I was the only one in the ‘shut your mouth’ club.

        Equality appears to be working after all. Perhaps we should pay a club fee!

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