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Last Word on Story

November 06, 1994

On Oct. 9, Robert Aronoff and Gerda Seifer wrote letters responding to my letter of Sept. 11 on the Schindler's List Tour. My letter responded to the assertion in the original article (Aug. 21) that Poland was practicing anti-Semitism without Jews. My response was that there were hundreds of thousands of Jews in Poland and that they were in the mainstream of Polish life.

It is a mystery to me how Poles turned over 3.1 million Jews to the Germans, as Aronoff says, since they also seemed to have turned over 3 million of themselves to the Nazi Germans for execution. As many Polish Christians as Polish Jews were murdered by the Nazis. The occupation of Poland was the most brutal in Europe and the very idea that the Poles collaborated with the Nazis is a lie. No people in Europe fought the Nazi German war machine as long and as heroically as the Poles.



Both of these letters have a common denominator. They are distorting the history and emanating the anti-Polish sentiment, and hate.

The Germans killed 3 million Polish Gentiles (in addition to) 3.1 million Polish Jews, many in concentration camps. Poland was the only country in which Nazis made aiding a Jew a capital offense. Often the helping Pole's entire family or village was executed as well. Despite the enormous obstacles, the Polish record in rescuing Jews is one of the best in Europe.

About 100,000 Jews who survived the war in Poland were helped by Poles and the clandestine Polish organization ZEGOTA.

The revisionists would like to keep this part of history as a well-preserved secret and the media are helping them by committing Poles to the "psychological holocaust." This disregard for a balanced and fair representation of Polish history cannot and should not be tolerated by the media.


Polish American Congress,

Polish American Defense

Committee, Los Angeles

Over 3 million Christian Poles died during this period, many thousands of them for assisting Jews. For Mr. Aronoff to say that Poles collaborated with the Nazis and for The Times to print it is beyond comprehension.


Los Angeles

I question The Times' motive for publishing those anti-Polish letters in its Travel section. Would it possibly be to discourage tourism to Poland? I spent World War II in Warsaw. As a young girl, I participated in my family's efforts to help the Jews. . . . Several Jews were temporarily sheltered in our home, then taken to other locations. Five lived with us until the Warsaw uprising in August, 1944. When the uprising was crushed, we all went into hiding, anticipating the arrival of the Soviet Army.

In November, 1944, one of the Jewish women we saved argued with a group of Jews and brought the Germans who then killed 18 people, including her nephew and her elderly sister. One man survived. He came at night to the place where I and 10 others were hiding, informed us of the tragedy and warned us of our own imminent danger, probably saving our lives.

For us, and the Jews who passed through our home, the greatest fear was that someone from the ghetto would betray. The names of Jewish traitors are a record in history books authored by Jews. The photos of Jews being pulled out of their hidings in the ruins of the Warsaw ghetto are testimonials to such betrayals. No other people but their own Jewish acquaintances knew of those hidings.


Santa Monica

I am appalled at the two letters. The Poles harbored thousands of Jews in churches, homes, on farms, and protected them at great risk to themselves. Does Aronoff know of whole towns that were executed because one Jew was harbored in a house in the town? Aronoff should get the facts before condemning the Poles. Nowhere in his letter does he condemn the Germans, who were the culprits. I am of Polish descent and I served in World War II in Europe (including Poland).



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