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  #41  
Old 09 February 2018, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by erwins View Post
I think it can be pretty complicated to talk about what happened in Nazi occupied countries, which makes laws like this even more stifling. I think there were almost certainly victims, collaborators, and people who were complicit in all Nazi occupied countries.
Yes. And (expanding on what erwins said, not meaning it as a contradiction): there were also people who risked their lives, and sometimes were tortured and died themselves, saving or trying to save Jews from the Nazis in all the Nazi occupied countries, Poland included: as well as within Germany itself.

Pointing out the existence of antisemitism within a country is not an attack on every individual citizen of that country.


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Originally Posted by erwins View Post
It may be significant if a country had a collaborator government, but that may not say much about whether the populace generally embraced or aided in the Nazi ideology or policies and practices, and the lack of official collaboration also does not mean that a country was not deeply antiSemitic, or sympathetic to the Nazis.

And, unfortunately, being unsympathetic to the Nazis, and even being specifically attacked by them as indeed the Poles among others were, does not mean that there wasn't antisemitism, either. The enemy of one's enemy is not necessarily one's friend.
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  #42  
Old 09 February 2018, 09:39 PM
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Yes, that last part is, in part, what I was trying to get at in the part you quoted, only you said it more clearly. In reading about Poland before WWII, and the history of Jews in Poland, I learned that during the period between the world wars, Poland was somewhat of a haven for Jews, and the Jewish population increased dramatically. Toward the end of that period, the Polish government was speaking openly about what to do about its "Jewish problem."

There were violent attacks on Jews and Jewish communities during that time as well, that had nothing to do with the Nazis.

And, as has been pointed out, Poland also had an enormous number of people who took great personal risks to save Jews (and I imagine, others) from the Nazis. (Thanks for adding that category to the list above -- I meant to include it, but I guess it's not what my fingers typed.)
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  #43  
Old 10 February 2018, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Pointing out the existence of antisemitism within a country is not an attack on every individual citizen of that country.
Yes. I hope this has been very clear throughout this thread, but with such a painful topic for so many, it may not have been. No one here has argued for the uninformed position that the Nazi death camps should be called “Polish.” This has all been about whether the current law restricting free speech is a good idea, and whether it has anti-semetic undertones.

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And, unfortunately, being unsympathetic to the Nazis, and even being specifically attacked by them as indeed the Poles among others were, does not mean that there wasn't antisemitism, either.
Russia’s pogroms, which had been going on for 100 years before the Nazi’s rose in Germany, are a good example of that.
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  #44  
Old 10 February 2018, 03:22 AM
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Russia’s pogroms, which had been going on for 100 years before the Nazi’s rose in Germany, are a good example of that.
Poland also had pogroms, starting long before the Nazis. That's part of what my father and his parents were running away from.
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  #45  
Old 10 February 2018, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by erwins View Post
There were violent attacks on Jews and Jewish communities during that time as well, that had nothing to do with the Nazis.
And they didn't stop after the Nazis were gone. The Kielce pogrom killed 42 Jews in 1946.
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  #46  
Old 10 February 2018, 08:06 PM
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It's also sort of like tone policing on steroids: When discussing the slaughter of your family, be careful which words you use, lest people mistakenly think you're blaming their family.
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  #47  
Old 12 February 2018, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by lord_feldon View Post
And they didn't stop after the Nazis were gone. The Kielce pogrom killed 42 Jews in 1946.
Official antisemitism (under the not-much-nicer guise of "anti-Zionism") also came up throughout the Soviet-influenced Communist era, even if Jews were permitted full rights of citizenship. When I spent an educational summer in Krakow, one of the history lecturers told us that after WWII Jews were several times "offered the opportunity to emigrate."
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  #48  
Old 12 February 2018, 02:58 PM
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The law may have said they Jewish people had full rights of citizenship, but how well did that actually work out in practice? I mean, black men had full rights of citizenship since the 1860's but that was almost never the case, especially in the South.
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  #49  
Old 12 February 2018, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
The law may have said they Jewish people had full rights of citizenship, but how well did that actually work out in practice?
Not well.

My mother's parents fled Russia, some years before my father's got out of Poland. For a while there were letters back and forth between my mother's mother and her family; but eventually contact was lost. My mother said that they'd asked her mother to stop writing as it was endangering them to get mail from her. We don't know what happened to them (among other possibilities they may have left the area and tried passing as non-Jewish); but it was clear from what was coming through the letters while there were letters that the situation wasn't good. My grandmother had been trying to send food etc. packages, but the contents were getting stolen en route.
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  #50  
Old 13 February 2018, 04:10 PM
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In what I can't in any way believe is a coincidence, this ad from something called the Polish National Foundation popped up recently on YouTube.

For anyone who doesn't want want to add to their viewership numbers: it's a 30 second long video, entirely animated except for a black and white photo of Auschwitz shown briefly at the very end; in fact, the animation is such that I thought it was an ad for a video game at first. The text within the video opens by stating "Germany put Poland through Hell on Earth," continues on to say that "Jews and Poles" suffered together under the occupation, and that, "We did much to save Jews - as a state, as citizens, as friends," before saying, "Today, we are still on the side of truth," and closing with a "German death camps" hashtag over the aforementioned Auschwitz photo.
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  #51  
Old 20 February 2018, 12:58 PM
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In laws, rhetoric and acts of violence, Europe is rewriting dark chapters of its past
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  #52  
Old 20 February 2018, 01:53 PM
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From the article Lainie linked:

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“You don’t just have freedom. You have to win it and fight for it every day,” said Nachama, a historian and a rabbi. “You have to speak problems out loud, and don’t take anything for granted.”
Very much that.

People want to think that these are battles that can be safely relegated to the past. That's not going to happen until and unless we evolve into a different species. It's ongoing. It's always ongoing, though the exact names and groups involved may change, and the lines supposedly separating different groups move around, and sometimes disappear between what were previously considered different groups but then pop up in different places.

And everybody is threatened, including those who at the moment are in power and those who are at the moment making threats: because those lines do move, and those who take power by fomenting fear and hatred can only keep it by doing more of the same. So if group X gets tossed out, group Y will have to be attacked: and so on until temporary sanity returns, or until there's nothing left of the country but shards and shreds.

Anyone who wants safety and respect for themselves needs to fight for the same for everybody. And keep on doing so. It's not a battle we can ever fully win; but it's certainly one we can lose.
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  #53  
Old 10 April 2018, 12:17 PM
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Senior Polish politician in anti-semitic rant: "The Jews are not human, they are animals"
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  #54  
Old 27 June 2018, 02:45 PM
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Poland Holocaust law: Government U-turn on jail threat

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Five months later, the right-wing prime minister has moved to change the law to decriminalise the offence, describing it as a "correction".

An amendment to the Holocaust law was quickly backed by the lower house of parliament and now moves to the Senate.

The law had been intended to "defend the good name of Poland" but from now on it would be a civil, not a criminal offence, the head of prime minister's office, Michal Dworczyk, told public radio.
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