Friday, April 20, 2018

Maria Kwasniewska, Olympic Medalist and Underground Fighter, Refuses to make Nazi Salute in 1936 Berlin




Maria Kwasniewska was a Polish Olympian who refused to give the Nazi Salute during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Hitler called her a "little Pole." She said "I am not less than you." She later used the photo to aid her underground work. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Hans Asperger Aided Nazi Euthanasia Program

New research indicates that Hans Asperger, the pioneer of autism research, aided Nazi "euthanasia" of handicapped persons. See New York Times article here, Daily Mail article here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Polish Kids, Polish Flags, Israeli Flags, Waving. Auschwitz

Jaroslaw Fiedor on Facebook here
Jaroslaw Fiedor is a fine photographer. Go "like" his page on Facebook. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Bieganski the Brute Polak YouTube wideo w polskim tłumaczeniu


Very, very, very, very grateful to the wonderful Łukasz Klimek for the Polish language translation on the Bieganski video. Lukasz Bravo! 

Bieganski and Our Conversation

Stanisław Wyspiański, self portrait with wife

Bieganski the Blog exists to further explore the themes of the book Bieganski the Brute Polak Stereotype, Its Role in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture

These themes include the false and damaging stereotype of Poles as brutes who are uniquely hateful and responsible for atrocity, and this stereotype's use in distorting WW II history and all accounts of atrocity. 

This blog welcomes comments from readers that address those themes. Off-topic and anti-Semitic posts are likely to be deleted. 

As in the past, the following guidelines apply:
Your comment is more likely to be posted if: 
Your comment includes a real first and last name.
Your comment uses Standard English spelling, grammar, and punctuation. 
Your comment uses I-statements rather than You-statements. 
Your comment states a position based on facts, rather than on ad hominem material. 
Your comment includes readily verifiable factual material, rather than speculation that veers wildly away from established facts. 
The full meaning of your comment is clear to the comment moderator the first time he or she glances over it. 
You comment is less likely to be posted if:
You do not include a real first and last name.
Your comment is not in Standard English, with enough errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar to make the comment's meaning difficult to discern.
Your comment includes ad hominem statements, or You-statements. 
You have previously posted, or attempted to post, in an inappropriate manner. 
You keep repeating the same things over and over and over again.
Your comment consists only of a link or reference to outside material. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

My Friend's Great Grandmother on Holocaust Remembrance Day and Polish-Jewish Relations



On April 12, 2018, the New York Times ran a story headlined, “Holocaust Is Fading From Memory, Survey Finds.” The article is chock full of statistics that could depress any concerned citizen. Young people in the US, in spite of widespread, required Holocaust education, are woefully ignorant about even basic facts, like how many Jews the Nazis murdered, how Hitler came to power (through an election), and what Auschwitz was.

Around the same time, I confronted other reasons to despair. This blog is dedicated to negative and false stereotypes of Poles in media, academia, and the wider culture. This blog urges concerned people, including Poles and Polonians (people of Polish descent living outside of Poland), to take action. Suggestions for action can be found here, in a blog post entitled “There's Hope! What You Can Do about The Crisis in Polonian Leadership, Organization and Vision.”

Sadly, few Poles and Polonians act on the suggestions in that blog post. And, sadly, negative and false stereotyping of Poles continues.

I read the comments that come through this blog. In recent days, one rejected comment said that Poles have a “kosher adversary.” Other comments have insisted that Jews have all the power, and Poles have no power.

Poland is a rising nation and there are millions of people of Polish descent in the US, the UK, Germany, France, and Australia. They include the star and director of America’s # 1 film, John Krasinski, prominent journalists Mika Brzezinski, Curtis Sliwa, Rita Cosby, Andrew Nagorski, and Jim Miklaszewski, and politicians Lisa Murkowski and Tim Pawlenty. Poles and Polonians have power. Poles have money, and Poles have microphones.

The problem is not that Poles and Polonians do not have power. The problem is that Poles and Polonians have not chosen to use their considerable power effectively to correct historical wrongs.

Hating Jews does not serve Poles, Poland, or Polonia.

I felt this sadness, and wanted to do something about it, when, the other day, I stumbled across a photograph in my Facebook feed.

The photo is black and white, and obviously antique. It is of a mature woman, who gazes at the photographer with calm. Her abundant hair is upswept; her mouth is set. She is dressed modestly. The caption identifies this woman. She is my Facebook friend’s great grandmother.

Fancia M. lived in a village named Maksimowka, near Tarnopol. Both are now in Ukraine, not Poland, and both are renamed. Her son had left Poland for Canada. He went back to get Fancia. Neither was ever able to escape from Nazi-occupied Poland. My Facebook friend reports that, “When they came for her, she gave her good coat to a bystander, saying that she wouldn’t be needing it.” Apparently she understood the Nazi intention.

She was murdered in the Holocaust. My Facebook friend posted this photo in honor of Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day.

That day, one of the blog readers here sent in a message mocking Holocaust Remembrance Day, and suggesting that it be renamed, in the manner of Columbus Day being renamed to “Indigenous People’s Day.” I found that suggestion repellent. I do not want to change the name of Columbus Day, but I do recognize that the arrival of Columbus meant a genocide, often unintended, through disease, of Native Americans. Jews committed no genocide. They were the victims of a genocide.

If the anti-Semitic myth that “Jews have all the power” were true, the Nazis would not have been able to murder six million Jews. American synagogues would not need police protection from regular phoned-in threats, and Israel would not survive on a knife-edge. If Jews had all the power, this kind-eyed woman would have died at home in bed.

Fancia M, thank you for being alive, thank you for your eyes, thank you for being great grandmother to my friend.

Thank you for any hearts your photo is able to open.