Anti-Polish hatred should have no place in American media
WARSAW, Poland, February 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) ― I woke up this morning to discover that MSNBC reporter Andrea Mitchell who at 72 is surely old enough to know better, stated on television last night that the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was against the "Polish and Nazi regime" during World War II.
This is outrageous. This is blood libel. There was no "Polish regime" in Poland by the end of September 1939: Polish government officials had fled to Romania, where they were promptly imprisoned. The Free Polish government, led by General Wladyslaw Sikorski, was located in France and then, when France fell to the Germans, in London, England.
Less than a day later, Mitchell tweeted an apology. "I misspoke on the show yesterday when I discussed the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. To be clear, the Polish government was not involved in these horrific acts. I apologize for the unfortunate inaccuracy."
Nonetheless, I dare you all to try reading a history of Poland during the war. Frankly, I was so horrified and depressed by the last one I attempted, The Eagle Unbowed by Halik Kochanski, I simply could not finish. We all know what happened to Poland's Jewish citizens, but we don't all know what happened to Polish Christians, and I assure you it was horrible.
Not only did approximately three million Polish Christians die during the Nazi and Soviet occupations, Poles were used as slave labor, and Polish prisoners were sometimes used for medical experiments. Those who remained free lived in poverty. Zbigniew Herbert, one of Poland's greatest 20 century poets, survived the war by working in a vaccine lab as a "feeder-of-lice."
The Nazis, amateur geneticists, had decided that the role of Poles in the Third Reich was to be farmhands and domestic servants, so their intelligentsia was liquidated and Poles were not allowed more than basic education. That's why the seminary attended by Karol Wojtyła, better known now as St. Pope John Paul II, was underground. The Nazis told Germans that all Slavic peoples were "subhuman," and that’s how they treated the Poles.
Meanwhile, the Poles fought back under positively gruesome circumstances in several ways. One underground endeavor was Zegota, which somehow provided aid to tens of thousands of Jews. Other Poles, who fled abroad or were released from Soviet prison camps when Hitler turned on Stalin, joined the Polish generals fighting for the Allies. Polish airmen famously participated in the Battle of Britain.
The 90-something Pole who still goes to work at his Edinburgh leather shop told me and B.A. that when he was 10 years old the Gestapo took him from his home and sent him to Germany. Slave labor. He must have escaped, for he is a veteran of the Polish victory for the Allies at Monte Cassino. His wife made my handbag, which I wouldn’t trade for a Hermés.
Most Poles are Catholics, Poland is socially conservative, and Poles have been a Christian nation, with sovereignty over their lands or without sovereignty over their lands, since 966. All these attributes are decidedly out of fashion with the liberal American media, which I am more familiar than I have ever been, thanks to my job.
Therefore, it is not a huge surprise that nasty attempts to make the American public think that Poles were Nazi stooges occur from time to time. Some speechwriter got Barack Obama to refer to "Polish death camps:" that was headline news in Poland for days. Needless to say, there was nothing "Polish" about the Nazi concentration camps set up in occupied Poland except the millions of Polish citizens, Jewish, Christian and Communist who died in them.
There are also attempts to make Americans believe that contemporary Poles are Nazis at heart, most recently through fake news about Poland’s annual independence day celebrations.There’s a word for all this: anti-Polonism.
Anti-Polonism is not new. If you’re my age or older, you’ll remember the “Polish jokes” of the playground and the workshop. They date to 19th century German migration to the United States and Canada. Back then, Germans, under whose control western Poland was, resented the Poles as a rival tribe, as it were. Today, we are rightly horrified by humor meant to portray certain ethnic groups as evil or stupid or, indeed, subhuman. We correct our children when they make such jokes, and we ask migrants to leave their ethnic hatreds behind when they arrive in North America.
The same should be asked of the liberal American media. Anti-Semitism is not OK, and neither is anti-Polonism. Left-wing media, cut it out.
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