By Prof. Pogonowski
Holocaust Profiteering by Literary Hoax
Holocaust profiteering by literary hoax is widespread. “Holocaust profiteers” is the term originally coined on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal. The anatomy of “Holocaust profiteering” was made clear by the Reuters Agency when it reported from Buenos Aires, Argentina on Friday, 19, April 1996 (14:50:17 PDT) on a meeting of the World Jewish Congres Rabbi Israel Singer, General Secretary of the World Jewish Congress stated that “More than three million Jews died in Poland and the Polish people are not going to be the heirs of the Polish Jews. We are never going to allow this. (…) They’re gonna hear from us until Poland freezes over again. If Poland does not satisfy Jewish claims it will be “publicly attacked and humiliated” in the international forum.
The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, February 5, 2002, p. A16, “Bookshelf” published a review accurately entitled “Real Horrors, Phony Claims” It was a review of “A Life In Pieces,” by Blacke Eskin, ( Norton, 251pages $25.95) written by Tom Gross, no relation to J.T. Gross. The title “Real Horrors, Phony Claims” summarizes the essence of Holocaust profiteering by literary hoax which has been practiced by J. T. Gross in his last four books.
On Friday January 5, 2011 J. Tomasz Gross together with his wife took part in a discussion which took place before television cameras of the TVP station in Poland. Tomasz Lis conducting the interview did not hide his distaste and asked penetrating questions of the Grosses. Lis made clear his disapproval of Gross’s recent literary activities, especially his new book “Golden Harvest.” According to Lis the book is full of ugly and false accusations against the Polish nation. This includes alleged massive crimes committed such as mass killing of Jews and stealing their property during and after World War Two.
During the televised conference the Grosses acted as joint authors of the “Golden Harvest.” They agreed to a very significant reduction of the number of Polish perpetrators to “probably a few thousands.” J. T. Gross was stuttering and had a hard time finding proper words for his cynical Holocaust support for Jewish claims movement. At times he repeated the same nonsense, which he had used in his last four books starting with his “Ghastly Decade.”
It appears that Gross, the New York sociologist turned historian, frustrated by his obscurity, became a full-fledged Holocaust profiteer. In the process Gross demonstrated an extraordinary hatred for the Polish people and his own greed to finally make money using the formula of Rabbi Singer quoted above from the Reuters Agency. Gross documented his hatred and greed in four propaganda books: “Upiorna Dekada – The Ghastly Decade” (Universitas, Kraków 1994) and “Sasiedzi – Neighbors” (Princeton University Press, 2001), “Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz” (Random House, New York, 2006, ISBN 978-0-8129-3) and now “Golden Harvest,” which according to Google the book published by Znak met with mounting rage of informed readers. Jan Tomas Gross describes dubious examples such as finding jewelry on the grounds of the cemetery in Treblinka.
As a former political prisoner for five years in Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp near Berlin I witnessed of many transactions in the macabre trade with golden teeth by the Jews who were assigned to work in the cremation of dead prisoners. I do not think that those Jews behaved in any other way than would people of any other national group had they been inspecting the dead bodies for golden teeth and using pliers to break out the gold teeth. Others likely would also have been trading with the guards and with the German criminals mafia composed of he “beruf Verbrecher” in English professional criminals marked with small green triangles on the left side of their chest and on the right side of their pants.
I found out details of these from my friend a German Jew Paul Kaufman, as I remember his last name. Paul was personally acquainted with some Jews from the Crematorium Commando, who helped him with food. Paul was a victim of a medical experiment, which resulted in a drop foot and lame walk. He had to report periodically for examination and was in Sachsenchausen when most of the Jews were ominously shipped east. The fact that prisoner’s numbers were not tattooed on hands of the inmates, the way it was done in Auschwitz, allowed me to offer to Paul prisoner’s number of a Pole so that he could get rid of the star of David on is clothes and survive. Paul did not speak Polish and did not take advantage of my offer because he was afraid that if found out he would be tortured.
In late April 1945 the “Death March of Brandenburg” took place. Of some 38,000 prisoners from Sachsenhausen of these about 6,000 had been shot dead by May 3 and when the march ended and the guards ran away after shooting several hundred prisoners in last few moments. I did not see a single Jew marked with the Star of David among the marchers. Nevertheless the “Death March of Brandenburg” is now included as a part of the Jewish Holocaust.
It appears that Gross, the New York sociologist now historian, frustrated by his obscurity, became a full-fledged Holocaust profiteer. In the process Gross demonstrated an extraordinary hatred for the Polish people and greed to succeed financially as an author.
From the beginning his well edited books were full of lies. Thus for example already on the page 41 of the “Ghastly Decade” or in Polish “Upiorna Dekada” Gross gives the following illogical title to one of his chapters: “On the fact that the prevailing Polish anti-Semitism also was the reason why the Poles who helped Jews were brutally and totally murdered by the Germans.” Then on page 60 Gross writes “how was it that the people who sheltered Jews during the war, did not like to admit it after the war. (…) It was believed that anyone helping Jews got rich” and therefore could presumably be “robbed or repressed” for “breaking the local code of behavior.” I know of no such “local code.”
Gross does not mention the fact, that often it was difficult to admit to one’s neighbor, that by sheltering a Jew, one was risking one’s neighbor’s life, without his knowledge; therefore, it was easier not to tell one’s neighbor about the risk. For this reason many people did not celebrate the fact and the happy occasion when their hidden Jews have survived to the end of the war. The neighbors, who did not know about the presence of these Jews near them, would immediately have realized that their life had been put at risk by the decision of their neighbor without their knowledge and consent.
The fact is that in Poland Poles and Jews were separated by a cultural barrier is well described by Bashevis Singer, the Nobel Price winner for his writings in Yiddish.. Generally, it is true that at every turn most of the Jews could have been noticed because of their faulty use of the Polish language. The tragic truth is that for each Jew in the midst horrors who was saved, at least several Poles risked their own lives. Most Polish gentiles could not save Jews any more than they could save their own people. They could not prevent the killing of millions of Polish Christians and the Polish Nation itself faced genocide from the Nazi government planning the “1000 Yr. Reich” of ethnically pure German population from the River Rhine to the River Dnepr. It is difficult to find a Polish gentile family, which did not lose several family members and close relatives under the Nazi and Soviet occupations.
In his four books Gross ignores the fact that the death penalty for helping Jews was unique to wartime Poland and that the essence of the policies of the Nazi government at all times was the implementation of the doctrine of the Lebensraum, or German “living space.” The aim of the Nazis was to seize Slavic lands and replace the Slavic population with what they considered “racial Germans.” Thus, Poland was to be colonized by Germans and the Polish nation eradicated. For this reason the Nazis used every opportunity to kill Poles. One of the examples of this policy was the death penalty and summary execution of entire Polish families and immediate neighborhoods for helping and hiding Jews. At the same time, for example, in Denmark, which the Nazis did not intend to colonize, no one was executed for helping any of the few Jews, who lived there.
Gross falsifies quotations in order to make his points. On page 56 of “Upiorna Dekada” he changes the meaning of a quote in the diary of dr. Zygmunt Klukowski (Dziennik z lat okupacji Zamojszczyzny – A diary of the years of occupation of Zamojszczyzna). Gross insinuates that in October 1942 Poles murdered some 2300 Jews while the Nazis deported for execution 934 other victims from the same locality. His deception is achieved by omission of quotation marks (“nasi”); this changed the meaning of a crucial statement of the original diary, in which reference was made to locally stationed German gendarmes.
Gross hides the fact that the ethnic Poles considered German and Soviet invaders as equally dangerous, whereas many Jews were trying to find security on the side of the Soviets. The ethnic Poles were naturally preoccupied with saving their nation, which was exposed to massive executions starting two years before the genocide of the Jews begun.
From the beginning of the war, the Nazis were committing mass murders on the Polish civilian population, especially throughout western Poland, newly annexed by Germany. Nazis brought with them lists prepared long before the invasion of Poland of people to be executed. The Soviet NKVD prepared a list of 22,000 people of the Polish leadership community all of whom were executed during the Spring of 1940. Mass execution of the Jews in Nazi gas chambers began two years later.
The Polish resistance movement was the largest in occupied Europe. In order to break the Polish resistance Nazi terror apparatus (1939-1945) and the communist security forces (1939- 1956) tortured more gentile Poles than any other European ethnic group. Jewish tragedy consisted of mass executions but did not involve massive hunt and tortures related to resistance activities, as was the case with Polish Catholic population.
Gross does not recognize the fact that helping Jews was also a part of the resistance against the Nazis. Illogically he makes an accusation out of the fact that more Poles were engaged in the armed resistance against occupation than in saving of individual Jews. Gross cites this fact as a proof of Polish anti-Semitism.
Under the Soviet occupation there was a policy to nominate Jews to the most visible posts in the Communist terror apparatus. It happened on one hand because plenty of Jews volunteered for these positions and on the other because the Soviet government was shifting the blame to the Jews for Soviet crimes. The Soviet deliberately aggravated the intra-ethnic relations by their policy of “divide and rule.”
This perfidious Soviet policy did not facilitate a postwar admission that one risked one’s and others’ lives while sheltering the Jews who after the war became Soviet executioners in Poland. The widespread complicity of the Jews in the Soviet terror apparatus installed in Poland was considered to be a proof of Jewish lack of concern for the existence of a sovereign Polish nation.
The collaboration between the “Jewish committees” and the NKVD in the Soviet occupied Poland is well documented. Then, the last memory of Poland of many a Polish citizens before the door was slammed shut on a boxcar bound for Siberia was that of a Jewish militiaman slamming the door. (There was no similar collaboration between Polish Catholics and the Nazis for example.) However, the problem of Jewish collaboration with enemies is more complicated. Let us remember the fact that the last experience of Jewish victims in Poland, packed into boxcars bound for the gas chambers, was that of a Jewish ghetto policeman slamming shut the death car door. The film “Pianist” made recently by Polanski vividly shows these horrible scenes. It is a matter of record that an average Jewish policeman in the Warsaw Ghetto sent to gas chambers about twenty two hundred victims.
Recently, Jan Moor Jankowski MD, for 30 years a professor of forensic medicine of the New York University School of Medicine, stunned Gross on Feb. 6, 2003 with an attack on the credibility of “Neighbors.” Professor Jankowski made a striking comparison of Gross’s book with another Holocaust bestseller reviewed only a day before in the Wall Street Journal. The reviewed book, “Fragments” was written by Benjamin Wilkomirski who was an imposter. He claimed to be a Jewish “Holocaust survivor” when, in fact, he was not. The Wall Street Journal reviewer called the book a “coldly planned fraud” or a work of “a deranged man who actually believes the myths he has constructed for himself.”
Dr. Moor Jankowski said that he has “the same opinion of Dr. Gross and his books. It was obvious that since J. T. Gross does not seem deranged “therefore each of his last four books is a fraud.” Gross did not even attempt to rebut Dr. Moor Jankowski’s statement in Gross’s presence during a lecture and discussion at New York University. (It should be noted that Dr. Moor Jankowski was hailed in American and Polish media for helping Jews during WWII in Poland. He was decorated by the President of France for his Resistance activities and also received a medal from Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir for helping to organize the teaching of medicine in Israel. He is the only American member of the French Academy of Medicine.)
Like Gross’s “documentary” bestseller, the book entitled “Fragments” (of Recovered Memories) by a Jewish orphan using the name of “Benjamin Wilkomirski” turned out to be fraudulent. For a time it was a widely acclaimed book. It was written by a Swiss Protestant, Bruno Doessekker, who pretended to be a Jewish orphan abused by Christians. Doessekker took advantage of the then fashionable in the United States court claims based on (mostly fraudulent) “recovered memories.” However, the most important characteristic of the “documentaries” written by Gross, Doessekker, and Kosinski is their cynical and fraudulent exploitation of human suffering during WWII, including the genocide of the Jews.
Sa mentioned b eforeThe Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, February 5, 2002, p. A16, “Bookshelf” published a review properly entitled “Real Horrors, Phony Claims” It was a review of “A Life In Pieces,” by Blacke Eskin, Norton, 251pages $25.95) written by Tom Gross, no relation to J.T. Gross.
The story of the man who called himself Binjamin Wilkomirski is as extraordinary as it is outrageous. It began with his memoir called “Fragments,” in which he claimed to be a Jewish Holocust survivor who had suffered Dr. Josef Mengele’s horrendous medical experiments as a child. Wilkomirski also described his terrible experiences at Majdanek, a concentration camp in German occupied Poland, and at Auschwitz, where he saw his father beaten to death.
“Fragments,” published in Switzerland in 1995, was acclaimed a masterpiece, and soon became an international bestseller. Wilkomirski won the National Jewish Book Award for auto- biography, the Prix Memoire de la Shoah in France and the Jewish Quarterly Literary Prize in Britain. He also was given a cash award from the American Orthopsychiatric Association. His fame grew, and Wilkomirski received standing ovations throughout America, at public lectures organized by the U.S. Holocaust Museum. He was cited in newspapers as an authority on the Holocaust. Some compared him to Primo Levi. Professors of history assigned “Fragments” as obligatory reading to their students.
Suddenly he was exposed. The harrowing Holocaust memoir turned out to be written by an impostor – a gentile who had spent the war in a comfortable Protestant home in Switzerland.
Blake Eskin’s “A Life in Pieces” is a thorough account of the “Fragments” swindle. By analyzing the story in detail, Mr. Eskin has given us a chance to revisit this episode of Holocaust profiteering and to understand how and why it happened not that the stories are easily understandable or pleasant any more than those in “Gross’s Golden Harvest.”
The public doubts about “Fragments” (of March 1998) came from a reader who posted his review on Amazon.com. He is Michael Mills, a junior Australian government bureaucrat living in Canberra. He found dates in “Fragments” to be wrong and realized that some of Wilkomirski’s “memories” of Majdanek appeared very similar to a fake testimony already published by child “survivor” of Buchenwald.
Daniel Ganzfried, an Israeli born Swiss writer, whose own father was in Auschwitz, looked into Wilkomirski’s past, his school records, and even found his family photographs of the “Holocaust survivor” from as far back as 1946, taken in Switzerland, when Wilkomirski’s “Fragments” placed him in Poland.
Wilkomirski wasn’t his name at all: He was Bruno Grosjean, born to a single mother, a Christian, and adopted by his wealthy new family, the Doessekkers, near Zurich. Bruno Doessekker or “Wilkomirski” before he published “Fragments,” was a clarinet player from Zurich, born on Feb. 12, 1941 (not in 1939), in Biel, Switzerland. Doessekker was aware of his real childhood and fought for and won a share of his birth mother’s estate in 1981.
“Wilkomirski” dismissed Mr. Ganzfried’s accusations and presented himself as a victim of an “anti Semitic plot” involving Swiss government officials. But other evidence of the fraud surfaced. Mr. Doessekker now faces criminal charges in Switzerland.
Mr. Doessekker’s motives were similar to those of J. T. Gross. Was he guilty of a “coldly planned fraud,” or more charitably, is he simply a deranged man who actually believes his own myths? Why those who believed him came to be so easily fooled or were some of them also members of what Norman Finkelstein called the “Holocaust Industry.” Were they “Holocaust profiteers” to use the term coined on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal? Thus, Holocaust historian Daniel Goldhagen, highly praised the book and the director of the U.S. Holocaust Museum made “Wilkomirski” a guest of honor at a $150 per plate luncheon at New York’s Carlyle Hotel.
The demand to debase the Polish people and to prepare them for a shake down by the Jewish restitution movement goes on because, besides of the Holocaust profiteers, honest people suspecting a fraud are afraid to speak up for fear of being accused of anti-Semitism.
Long forgotten are the large Polish contributions and sacrifices for the Allieds’ victory, Poland was betrayed by Roosevelt and Churchill at Teheran and Jalta; it was handed over to become a Soviet satellite state, after ruthless pacification of Poland by communist terror apparatus disproportionally staffed with Jews.
During half a century of Soviet occupation the puppet communist regime made mockery of historical truth and justice, while following Moscow’s order to enslave and degrade the Polish people. Now the Polish people are told to forget the communist crimes and honor Holocaust profiteers as was done with J.T. Gross in connection with his “Neighbors” by the Polish authorities and state controlled media staffed largely by former communist officials, the people who long ago developed instincts and habits of knowing “whom to lick and whom to kick.”
Disgusting lies in Grosses “Fear” contain accusations that Polsh Catholics took part in killing Jewish survivors of the Holocaust. The book “Golden Harvest” (“Złote Żniwa”) written by a Polish-Jewish couple is exploiting economic relations in post-war Poland and is accusing Poles of regularly enriching themselves by taking over post-Jewish properties. Now many Poles are realizing that the literary hoax produced by the Holocaust profiteering by using a literary hoax by Gross and his likes who change the image of Poland from a heroic and tragic victim of war of aggression into a vicious partner of the Nazis.
Jan Gross is an impecable and reputable historian. Just because it hurts to hear about Polish Anti-Semitism, doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Having studied the era for over a decade, I concur with Gross and his non-partisan approach to Polish Jewish relations. He has no bone to pick – he wants to tell the world what happened, and let them judge. Clearly, YOU have an agenda.
Jan Gross is an NOT historian by profession. His story is fiction
Fiction? Jedwabne happened. I was there at the mass grave. During excavation. It’s not fiction, it’s fact. The poles killed Jews in the whole area. Polish historians know it too.
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