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Calling BS: Film Reveals Secret Mass Murder of Jews by Catholics in 1941

'Aftermath' Dares to Unearth Terrible Secrets of Poland's Lost Jews

Let's proactively immunize ourselves and friends to this propaganda groundswell that seems to be bubbling with this latest rewrite of history sans facts.

For one, the film reveals nothing that hasn't long been known, and likely adds much that never was and never happened.

Second, the articles and film reviews refer to this as a "Catholic" massacre of Jews. Well, Poland is a Catholic country. That's really the same as calling an Israeli army massacre of Palestinians a "Jewish massacre of Arabs" -- a gratuitous implication to a religion of responsibility for the actions of individual people, whatever their motivations.

And what were the motivations for the crime? Why did Poles enthusiastically massacre Jews after the Soviet occupation of eastern Poland (1939-1941) was dislodged by Germany's attack on the Soviet Union? The reviews and articles give no hint. We are to believe it was an event like spontaneous combustion or quantum uncertainty, perhaps an outburst of gentile original sin.

Well, not so fast.


Jedwabne was [. . .] transferred to the Soviets in accordance with the September 28, 1939, German–Soviet Boundary Treaty. As soon as the Soviets entered Jedwabne, the local Polish government was dismantled. [Wikipedia understatement: The entire upper strata of Polish society, including 22,000 Polish army officers, were liquidated by the Red army commissars on orders of Laventry Beria and dumped in mass graves.]

At first, many Polish Jews were relieved to learn that the Soviets, rather than the Nazis, were to occupy their town, and unlike gentile Poles, publicly welcomed the Red Army as their protector.[9][17]

[. . .]Administrative jobs were offered to Jews who declared Soviet allegiance. Some Jews joined a Soviet militia overseeing deportations organized by the NKVD. At least one witness testimony says that during round-ups, armed Jewish militiamen were seen to be guarding those prepared for deportation to Siberia.

A total of 22,353 Poles (entire families) were deported from the vicinity.[18][19] Red Army troops requisitioned food and other goods, undercutting nearly everyone's material needs.[9] The Soviet secret police accompanying the Red Army routinely arrested and deported Polish citizens - both gentile and Jewish - spreading terror throughout the region.[7][20] Waves of arrests, expulsions and prison executions continued until June 20–21, 1941.[9]

I suppose the DailyPaul is not the place for going into certain facts about the composition of Soviet government and secret police in the 1930s and 1940s, so I'll let that be. I will just defend the Poles and Catholics from slander and collective guilt. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Small tidbit on Katyn,

After the Germans invaded Poland, they brought in forensic teams from twelve countries to establish the circumstances of these massacres,. Have no doubt, it was this kind of thing which the Polish locals witnessed and did not forget, which helped inflame their passions to retaliate against what they perceived as Jewish collaborators, aided by Nazi propaganda.

The interested researcher might read up on the Hungarian Uprising (1956) for a parallel to Jedwabne, writ large. This too was presumably an event of quantum uncertainty without any prior causal circumstances. Maybe we can be brought up to speed with a film about it, sure beats reading. The problem with reading is books are old and include facts which are relative to place and time. Facts which were true then just can't be true anymore.

I think the Polish leader summed it all up well.

In July 2001, on the 60th anniversary of the pogrom, Polish president Aleksander Kwaśniewski attended a ceremony at Jedwabne where he made a speech stating the murderers were Poles whose crime was both against the Jewish nation and against Poland. He said the murderers had been incited by German occupiers, but they alone carried the burden of guilt for their crimes. While ruling out the notion of collective responsibility, he also sought forgiveness "In the name of those who believe that one cannot be proud of the glory of Polish history without feeling, at the same time, pain and shame for the evil done by Poles to others."[62] The ceremony was attended by Catholic and Jewish religious leaders and survivors of the pogrom. Most of the locals of Jedwabne boycotted the ceremony.[63][64]

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What film are you referring to?

no mention of, or link to the film. Title?

Added, thnx. It was hastily

Added, thnx. It was hastily written, I was just disgusted after reading from Drudge link, given my prior knowledge of the event.