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Thread: "Poles killed more Jews than Germans during war".

  1. #1
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    Default "Poles killed more Jews than Germans during war".

    An article from The Guardian : http://api.viglink.com/api/click?for...The%20Guardian

    Polish prosecutors opened a libel probe against a US historian after he claimed Poles killed more Jews than Germans during the second world war.

    “The Poles, for example, were indeed rightfully proud of their society’s resistance against the Nazis, but in fact did kill more Jews than Germans during the war,” wrote the 68-year-old Jewish historian.

    Any thoughts?

    It seems the real role of some nations in the WW2 is slightly different from the generally accepted clichés.

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    Default Re: "Poles killed more Jews than Germans during war".

    Well, yes, I have a thought. He's an idiot.

    He's not having a good time right now, apparently because the idea of blaming Poles for all the evil is not selling well. He used to be a polish government's favourite historian, allways in a spotlight, but since the change of power the flood of money ended and he seems to be more and more frustrated. Widely criticised by other historians, accused of making up stories, he's trying to get some attention. And obviously, he's getting some abroad, as Westeners are willing to believe some even the most absurd theories. Hollywood kind of historian. No need to waste more time on him.

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    Default Re: "Poles killed more Jews than Germans during war".

    I have read the "Guardian" article, but have not yet accessed the Professor Gross (Grosz) article. The assertion related in Uncle J's post is, at first reading, perplexing, and a full reading of the "Guardian" article does little to dispel this perplexity. Could the whole business be based on a misquote by the paper, and a consequent misunderstanding on the part of the Polish authorities ?

    I refer particularly to a comment on the article left by a "Guardian" reader -

    "James Wald

    October 18, 2015
    2:27 am

    Your report is solid enough, but the first sentence is ambiguous or misleading.

    Grosz’s work is both important and controversial, and that is why language and grammatical precision are so important when complex scholarly issues are simplified in brief journalistic reports intended for a general public.

    Your second sentence/paragraph should resolve this ambiguity, but just to be clear: Grosz did not say that Poles killed more Jews than the Germans killed. That would be patently ridiculous: there is no disputing that the Germans were primarily responsible for destroying some 90% of Polish Jewry. Among other things, this is why both the State of Israel and US Jewish organizations supported the Polish objection to casual references to “Polish” death camps (even if only as a geographical descriptor) and supported the Polish request to have UNESCO officially call Auschwitz the “former Nazi German concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau”so as to remove any possible ambiguity.

    Rather, Grosz claims: Poles killed more Jews than they killed Germans in the course of the hostilities between 1939 and 1945. That is a serious charge, and therefore one that demands the most precise and scrupulous journalistic coverage, lest an already controversial issue become distorted by otherwise utterly avoidable misunderstanding."

    This makes sense. Poland in 1939 had a Jewish population numbering in millions, and a long previous history of anti-Semitism. This anti-Semitism seems mainly to have been based on "religious hatred", of the sort espoused historically in Germany by the likes of Martin Luther, but substantially different from the "racially" based, eugenics-fuelled anti-Semitism of the Nazis. In the initial period of their occupation of western Poland, the Nazis appear to have been anxious to forward the elimination of Jews from a territory high on their priority for "Germanisation". This is shown by the activities of certain elements of the German invasion forces, of which the 1st SS Motorised Division, "Leibstandarte-SS Adolf Hitler" and of the SS Cavalry Brigade (attached to the nascent 3rd SS Motorised Division, "Totenkopf". However, they faced a huge problem which, initially, they lacked the resources to address. In fact there were two huge problems - that of dealing with Jews in large and medium-sized urban areas, and the different problem of dealing with the widely-distributed Jewish population in rural areas, often living in all-Jewish segregated villages.

    There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that anti-Jewish pogroms were conducted by Polish civilians, especially in the 1939-'40 period. It was standard practice of SS and Police Leaders in newly-occupied areas to take advantage of local adverse sentiment against Jewish neighbours in this way. However, it is virtually impossible to estimate the number of Jews killed in these local pogroms with any accuracy at all. A fair guess, however, would be that the numbers were considerable. By 1941, the position had changed substantially. By now, the SS and Police Leaders had full, effective control of the Polish Police, along with substantial numbers of armed German Policemen in Special Police/Reserve Police Battalions, along with a number of SD Security Police. They were now well capable of organizing a systematic massacre of rural Polish Jews themselves in which, of course Polish Police played a part, but within which the German Police and SS played the leading role. Again, the nature of this massacre made the numbers involved very hazy, and the allocation of particular numbers of killings to Polish Police quite unrealistic. The great massacre of urban Jews through the mechanism of ghettos and death camps was, on all evidence, a German "adventure".

    The question of how many Germans were "killed by Poles" during the occupation is also fraught with difficulties. It is quite clear that the numbers killed by the Polish Resistance was relatively small; it could not be otherwise, given the crushing weight of German occupation in Poland. It is quite possible that this number was fewer than numbers of Jews killed in early-war rural pogroms. But, again, numbers are hazy, even before the contribution made to killing Germans by the western and eastern (pro-Soviet) Polish forces with the Allied armies; again, such numbers cannot reasonably be attributed within the overall "kill" of the Allied armies.

    Given the cultural and political sensitivity of the matter, Professor Grosz's views are bound to remain so. This is not least because of the statistical fog into which one goes when trying to verify even the more modest assertions made by Grosz, as compared with the apparently unreliable second-hand report published by the "Guardian". No doubt a great deal of heat, and little light, will be generated by this "controversy". In any event, I am not sure how one could reasonably ground any defamation action against the good Professor. Best regards, JR.
    Last edited by JR*; 02-26-2016 at 05:51 AM.

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    Default Re: "Poles killed more Jews than Germans during war".

    Quote Originally Posted by JR* View Post
    I have read the "Guardian" article, but have not yet accessed the Professor Gross (Grosz) article. The assertion related in Uncle J's post is, at first reading, perplexing, and a full reading of the "Guardian" article does little to dispel this perplexity. Could the whole business be based on a misquote by the paper, and a consequent misunderstanding on the part of the Polish authorities ?

    I refer particularly to a comment on the article left by a "Guardian" reader -

    "James Wald

    October 18, 2015
    2:27 am

    .....

    There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that anti-Jewish pogroms were conducted by Polish civilians, especially in the 1939-'40 period. It was standard practice of SS and Police Leaders in newly-occupied areas to take advantage of local adverse sentiment against Jewish neighbours in this way. However, it is virtually impossible to estimate the number of Jews killed in these local pogroms with any accuracy at all. A fair guess, however, would be that the numbers were considerable. By 1941, the position had changed substantially. By now, the SS and Police Leaders had full, effective control of the Polish Police, along with substantial numbers of armed German Policemen in Special Police/Reserve Police Battalions, along with a number of SD Security Police. They were now well capable of organizing a systematic massacre of rural Polish Jews themselves in which, of course Polish Police played a part, but within which the German Police and SS played the leading role. Again, the nature of this massacre made the numbers involved very hazy, and the allocation of particular numbers of killings to Polish Police quite unrealistic. The great massacre of urban Jews through the mechanism of ghettos and death camps was, on all evidence, a German "adventure".
    That is perhaps even less than half the picture.

    Hitler and Stalin carved Poland up so that for the period 1939-41 the Soviets controlled about half of Poland.

    Given well established Soviet atrocities such as the Katyn Massacre and the reign of terror the Soviets exercised in Poland 1939-41, it is curious that Professor Grosz's assertions and James Wald's comment completely ignore, first, the extent to which Soviet conduct contributed to the deaths of Jews (and ethnic Poles and sundry others in Poland) and, second, the impossibility of roughly half the population of Poland in Soviet occupied areas being able to kill Germans.

    Simplistic assertions such as "Poles killed more Jews than Germans in WWII" are utterly meaningless unless carefully analysed against the Soviet / Nazi division of Poland and then against the various non-Polish ethnic groups under German and Soviet occupation.

    Anyway, how many opportunities were there for a defeated people to kill Germans after Poland was conquered?

    If the higher ratio of Jews killed (and this requires careful definition to distinguish between murders by civilians and officialdom, whether local officialdom or in conjunction with Nazi or Soviet officialdom) by citizens of a nation defeated by Germany in WWII to the number of Germans killed by the defeated nationals following defeat is the yardstick, I'd take a punt that France, among others, would be subject to the same allegation.
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    Default Re: "Poles killed more Jews than Germans during war".

    Good points, RS*. I had thought of going into the Soviet "contribution" - but I would have been going on forever. Perhaps this explains the particular focus of James Wald, who was commenting on the alleged misrepresentation of the good Professor's text, which in turn referred specifically to the German/Polish position. Overall, even with the close analysis you suggest (and I agree in principle with your suggestion) the dearth of reliable statistics would still bedevil any such analysis. There was, anecdotally, considerable "conflict" between Poles and Jews in "Galicia" following the German invasion of 1941 often, at least directly, having little to do with the Germans, but caused by hostility between Polish/Ukrainian and Jewish partisan groups acting largely on their own initiative. This business draws in even questions such as who was a "Pole". Not sure whether I agree with Wald's assertion that Grosz is making a "serious charge", implicitly capable of a coherent answer. Looks to me more like an historical "dead end". In the absence of meaningful evidence, the composition of History is not possible - beyond the point at which the question can be seriously analyzed evidentially. Very best regards, JR.

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    Default Re: "Poles killed more Jews than Germans during war".

    I just heard an interesting version that Jewish workers were so poor conditions because the Allies cut off the supply routes both east and west
    The Jews always referred to as a death camp in concentration camps, however, it is certainly not true if you wanted to Hitler in 1933 had wiped out all the Jews in one year
    The concentration camps were labor camps not killings camps
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    Default Re: "Poles killed more Jews than Germans during war".

    Quote Originally Posted by JR* View Post
    I have read the "Guardian" article, but have not yet accessed the Professor Gross (Grosz) article. The assertion related in Uncle J's post is, at first reading, perplexing, and a full reading of the "Guardian" article does little to dispel this perplexity. Could the whole business be based on a misquote by the paper, and a consequent misunderstanding on the part of the Polish authorities ?

    ...
    Yeah, I'm trying to figure out the logic or numbers. A massacre of 1,500 Jews is mentioned, but hardly a heavy day, for say, the Einsatzgruppen...

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    Default Re: "Poles killed more Jews than Germans during war".

    Quote Originally Posted by imi View Post
    I just heard an interesting version that Jewish workers were so poor conditions because the Allies cut off the supply routes both east and west
    The Jews always referred to as a death camp in concentration camps, however, it is certainly not true if you wanted to Hitler in 1933 had wiped out all the Jews in one year
    The concentration camps were labor camps not killings camps
    There were both labor AND killing camps. Those unfit for labor (women and children, old men, etc.) were sent to the murder showers almost immediately.

    But more specifically, why bother with "labor camps" at all? Many skilled Jews were sent to factories to be essentially worked-to-death. But it turned out that there was a paradox - when one tries to work someone to death by starving them and trying to maximize their productivity, neither can be effectively accomplished as the workers would often just pass out from exhaustion making them useless (if not worse than useless) forcing the Nazis to feed them at least a minimum starvation diet. But this diet drew away from other paid workers, even German ones, so the slave labor ethos can actually be more expensive than paid labor to an extent. Because they have unproductive, starving and weak slave laborers as well as overworked German workers whose productivity and moral declined with their rations being cut and having to witness the brutality of their regime.....

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    Default Re: "Poles killed more Jews than Germans during war".

    Quote Originally Posted by imi View Post
    I just heard an interesting version that Jewish workers were so poor conditions because the Allies cut off the supply routes both east and west
    This opinion doesn't survive the most basic analysis by anyone even moderately informed on relevant history.

    1. Consistent with the stated “version” as an apparent and farcical attempt to shift guilt from the Nazis to the Allies, the term “Jewish workers” seems like an intentionally deceptive term to avoid the reality that Jews and others were people arbitrarily imprisoned and killed in pursuit of Nazi racial and other nasty policies. Calling Jewish prisoners in Nazi (as distinct from German, as the camps weren’t part of the German state apparatus) labour camps “Jewish workers” is as absurd and as repugnant as calling Jews gassed when they got off the train at the death camps “Jewish death volunteers”.

    2. Depending upon how one wants to split hairs, the first version of "the Allies" (principally France, Poland, Belgium, British Commonwealth) ceased to exist with the surrender of France in mid-1940.

    3. After that the only belligerent fighting Germany was the British Commonwealth, which was not allied with any other nation. It had no ability to control supply routes to labour or death camps from any point of the compass in continental Europe.

    4. After the fall of Poland in September 1939, the only nation which controlled supply routes from the west was Germany and from the east the USSR.

    5. This did not change until Barbarossa in mid-1941 when the Soviets were driven out of eastern Poland and replaced by the Germans, who then controlled all supply routes into Poland, which is where some of the worst Nazi labour and death camps were located.

    6.The USSR switched sides and ultimately became a major Ally with China, the British Commonwealth, and the USA after Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and the subsequent German and Italian declarations of war on the USA brought the USA into the European war.

    7. The post-Pearl Harbor Allies were not in a position to control any supply routes to Nazi labour and death camps until the Soviets re-entered Poland in 1944 and could influence supplies from the east, except for the obvious fact that the Soviets were not running supply lines to the Germans from anywhere.

    8. The English speaking Allies were not in a position to do anything about western supply routes to Nazi labour and death camps until they took the camps very late in the war, when they supplied them generously with food, sanitation, medical care, clothing and everything else denied the prisoners by the Nazis.

    9. The Nazis were still transporting prisoners to Auschwitz late in 1944, and no doubt to some of their other camps around the same time. For example, the last major train transportation of Jews from the Netherlands to Auschwitz was in September 1944.

    10. As the Nazis could still transport Jews the vast distance from the Netherlands to Poland late in 1944 when they were on the ropes on the eastern and western fronts, clearly they still controlled the supply routes to the labour and death camps and could send what they wanted to those camps.

    11. The only reason the Nazis didn’t send food and other requirements for reasonable life of prisoners to the labour and death camps was because they knew that the Jews and others they sent there were to be worked to death or killed on or shortly after arrival.

    Whoever expressed the opinion you quoted is either a spectacularly ill-informed idiot or, more likely, a Nazi apologist or revisionist (which doesn’t preclude it being the opinion of a spectacularly ill-informed idiot).
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    Default Re: "Poles killed more Jews than Germans during war".

    Well,it was interesting to know some new things,for example,that it is Soviet's fault that Polles killed Jewes during the German occupation - very original inference,indeed!

    Another interesting inference is that this US historian is an idiot because he said something negative about Poles.

    But the problem is that the "idiot" is not alone.A quote from the book by Norman Davies, "Rising '44: The Battle for Warsaw" :

    Ignatius B, a director of Phillips in Lodz, his wife Esther, eleven-year-old daughter Noemi, his sister, and her daughter hid with others in the few weeks before the [Rising] in a bunker at 4 Straight Street. In the third or fourth week of the Uprising a few insurgents came into the bunker and ordered the six men there to accompany them to Headquarters. They led them only as far as the gateway and the insurgents' lieutenant told them, "Gentlemen, you are Jews, waiting for the Bolsheviks. The Bolsheviks will come but you will not see them", and he gave his people the order to shoot all six of them. The bodies were thrown into a shallow grave, hollowed out by a missile close to the house. Then they went into the bunker and shot the remaining women on the spot.

    Abram, brother of the murdered Ignatius, usually stayed with the family in the bunker, but by chance had got out. When he went down into the cellar and heard murmuring, he retreated and hid. He reported a blow-by-blow account of the events, but then discovered that insurgents from the Valiant Group had carried out the murders.
    And one more quote from "Interrogation record of “Oleg”, front headquarter reconnaissanceman, which was released on the night of 02.10.1944 in the central district of Warsaw" ( Ivan Andreevich Kolos (codename: "Oleg") on September 19, 1944 had received instructions from the Command and jumped with a parachute and landed in the center of Warsaw under fire, where he established contact with the command of the Polish insurgents.) :

    "...Reactionary elements, and especially fighting underground organization AK, the so-called PKB, conducted pronounced nationalist policies.All Ukrainian population, remaining in the city were massacred or shot. PKB forces also destroyed the remaining Jews who have not been destroyed by the Germans..."

    Source : (Военно-Исторический журнал, № 4, 1993)
    On September 15, 1943 the new commander of the AK General T. Komorowski gave the order № 116 where in fact he ordered to act against Jewish guerrilla units.

    "...In certain areas the AK posed a greater threat to Jewish partisans than the Nazis..."

    http://global.britannica.com/topic/Jewish-partisan
    That's the way it goes.

    In view of the above the one must admit that there is no different between German nazis and Polish nationalist AK ,they are both Nazis,both fascists.

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    Default Re: "Poles killed more Jews than Germans during war".

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle J View Post
    ...

    In view of the above the one must admit that there is no different between German nazis and Polish nationalist AK ,they are both Nazis,both fascists.
    Um...

    Really?

    We could just as easily say there is no difference between Nazism and Stalinism, since both were ruthless ideologies that murdered political rivals and caused untold misery on the scale of millions. And that both have apologists with fanboi agenda posting to this day...

    Such a statement is completely ill thought out and not supported by any actual evidence and seems rather tainted by current political musings.

    Consider this a warning my friend, and a very mild informal one. But a warning from a Mod nevertheless. Bizarre apologia and unsourced, blanket statements are not really tolerated here...

    And BTW, your selectively quoted sophistry does not count as a 'source'...
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 02-27-2016 at 08:44 AM.

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    Default Re: "Poles killed more Jews than Germans during war".

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    There were both labor AND killing camps. Those unfit for labor (women and children, old men, etc.) were sent to the murder showers almost immediately.

    But more specifically, why bother with "labor camps" at all? Many skilled Jews were sent to factories to be essentially worked-to-death. But it turned out that there was a paradox - when one tries to work someone to death by starving them and trying to maximize their productivity, neither can be effectively accomplished as the workers would often just pass out from exhaustion making them useless (if not worse than useless) forcing the Nazis to feed them at least a minimum starvation diet.
    a) If Hitler want to kill all the Jews, he made est about under one year
    b) Cutting the supply lines theory is beliavable for me
    c) I know Jews who are childrens in 1944, deported to concentration camps and survive the camp
    "The consciousness that I am alive, makes me wild dreams every day"
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    Default Re: "Poles killed more Jews than Germans during war".

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    We could just as easily say there is no difference between Nazism and Stalinism
    ie there is no difference between communism and anti-communism - what a flight of thought,indeed!And of course this great idea is supported by actual evidence and absolutely not tainted by current political musings. " Bizarre apologia and unsourced, blanket statements are not really tolerated here..." ...yes,I see...

    Thank you for a warning,sir, but there is no need in it, I'm leaving your half dead forum

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    Default Re: "Poles killed more Jews than Germans during war".

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle J View Post
    ie there is no difference between communism and anti-communism - what a flight of thought,indeed!And of course this great idea is supported by actual evidence and absolutely not tainted by current political musings. " Bizarre apologia and unsourced, blanket statements are not really tolerated here..." ...yes,I see...

    Thank you for a warning,sir, but there is no need in it, I'm leaving your half dead forum
    .....
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    Default Re: "Poles killed more Jews than Germans during war".

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle J View Post
    Well,it was interesting to know some new things,for example,that it is Soviet's fault that Polles killed Jewes during the German occupation - very original inference,indeed!

    Another interesting inference is that this US historian is an idiot because he said something negative about Poles.
    I don't recall anyone saying that it was the USSR's fault that Poles killed Jews, during the German occupation or otherwise, nor do I recall anyone saying that Grosz was an idiot.

    Pity you've left the forum as I'd have liked you to point to the posts which support your statements.
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