On April 15, 2015, FBI director James B. Comey delivered a speech at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s 2015 National Tribute Dinner entitled “Why I require FBI agents to visit the Holocaust Museum”.
While he accurately cited Nazi allied Hungary as Holocaust accomplice, he erroneously included Poland an accomplice.
In response to Director Comey’s error the American ambassador to Poland was summoned for a meeting with the Polish Foreign Ministry and the Polish ambassador to the U.S. has asked for an apology.
I suggest that Director Comey join his agents on their training visits the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and spend time in the library to develop an accurate knowledge of the Holocaust.
Director Comey would then learn that rather than being an accomplice, Poland was the major victim of the Holocaust.
Among the reasons that Director Comey’s error is so painful to Poland and Poles is Poland will never fully recover from the damage done by the Holocaust.
Poland will never again be a Slavic-Jewish nation.
Prior to the Holocaust, the population of Poland was about 10% Jewish and Poland was the world center of Jewish life, learning, language, culture, literature, religion, and politics.
Almost the entire Polish Jewish population of about 3 million was exterminated. After the war, the Soviet occupiers and their Polish Communist puppet government failed to provide security for the returning survivors so most fled.
Almost 3 million other Poles were also killed, many as part of a concurrent Nazi extermination campaign against Slavs.
Almost six million Poles of all ethnicities and religions were killed by the Nazis.
Director Comey’s error is a Cold War remnant of the Soviet Union’s successful anti-Polish propaganda campaigns. The Soviet allied Communist Party USA and their supporters and sympathizers embedded that false Polish history in popular culture and public consciousness.
Among the goals of that campaign was to divert attention from the Soviet Union’s major responsibility for the Holocaust as a Nazi ally for about the first two years of WWII.
That Soviet complicity is rarely mentioned while erroneous statements about Poland are almost routine are a lingering effect of that very successful propaganda campaign.
Repeating that error continues the pain of ½ century of Soviet oppression of Poland.
In previous posts I have detailed both the Soviet’s and Hungarian’s complicity in the Holocust:
- Historian Anthony Beevor: After Stalin helped Nazis defeat France, Stalin blamed France for surrendering
- Putin, the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Soviet Complicity in the Holocaust
Holocaust History and the Unofficial Archive of the Signal Corps in Northwest Europe in WWII
I occasionally post about Holocaust history on the Unofficial Archive of the Signal Corps in Northwest Europe in WWII blog to honor the members of the Signal Corps who provided direct communications support for the liberation of some of the Nazi concentration camps.
Among them was my late father Felix A. Cizewski who served in 45th Signal Company which provided support to the 45th Infantry Division’s combat units who liberated Dachau.
After liberation he was stationed near Dachau for about 2½ months on occupation duty. He may have shared in the care of the liberated survivors. He was fluent in Polish and almost 9,000 Polish speakers were among the liberated survivors.
Revised: April 21, 2015