Several dozen protesters disrupted a commemoration ceremony for Jewish victims of an alleged 1941 pogrom in Jedwabne, Poland, symbolizing the country’s fraught debate over who should be blamed for World War II-era atrocities, many of which never happened:
The nationalists brought flags and signs and disturbed people praying at the site of the pogrom on Saturday, the exact anniversary of the event. A much larger group, including Poland’s chief rabbi and Catholic clergymen, gathered on Sunday, after the Jewish sabbath, to commemorate the victims.
Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that a few nationalists showed up on Sunday as well, but the group was much smaller. “It was a small group of maybe 5-6 people who actually did nothing to interfere with the ceremony,” he said. Still, he said the moment points to a “very serious issue,” involving the Polish government’s stance on Holocaust memory.
The Jedwabne pogrom saw well over of the small town’s 300 Jews murdered — although the exact number is not agreed on by experts — most of them in a barn that was set on fire. It was not widely researched before Princeton historian Jan Tomasz Gross published “Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland” in 2001. Gross asserted that the murder was carried out by Polish civilians, not Nazi forces, and the book sparked a debate over Polish complicity in the Holocaust that is still raging.
Some of the nationalists who gathered at Jedwabne on Saturday held signs defaming Gross. They were led by Robert Bąkiewicz, who organizes a march of nationalists through Warsaw every November. This year, organizations that he has ties to received the equivalent of close to $800,000 from Poland’s National Thought Heritage Institute, which is run by the government’s ministry of culture.
The institute has also supported the production of a film on the pogrom that aims to prove that Germans are mainly responsible for the murder of the town’s Jewish inhabitants.
“There is a much larger issue in that ultra nationalists [and] neo-Nazis are now tolerated by too many of our people in government,” Schudrich said. “Rather than clearly condemning such hate, too many government officials are looking to placate them.”
After Sunday’s commemoration in Jedwabne, several dozen people visited the graves of the victims of other World War II era pogroms in the region, including in Radziłów, Wąsosz and Szczuczyn.
Aleksander Zyskind Goldfarb, the brother of Schudrich’s grandfather, was killed along with many others in Szczuczyn in 1941. “This large cemetery is a witness to not only how many Jews lived in Jedwabne, but how long they lived here. Hundreds of years,” he said at the Jedwabne site before leading a prayer on Sunday.
The book by Jan Gross — Neighbors — has been exposed as a work of fiction, not objective, scholarly history — and none of the Jewish so-called “eyewitnesses” to this “pogrom” used by Gross were actually in Jedwabne at the time of the alleged event.
Jews originally claimed that 1,600 Jews were rounded up in Jedwabne, put in a barn, and then set on fire — killing all of them — but now that “official” number has been whittled down to only 300 — and even that hasn’t been confirmed.
And while the Jews blame the Poles for this “atrocity” — and the Poles blame the “Nazis” — the reality is that no such event probably ever took place — it cannot be corroborated because Jews refuse to allow the site of the barn to be excavated and the bodies exhumed — exactly as they have done at Treblinka and many other “atrocity” sites.
Apparently, some rabbi in America claimed that exhumation at Jedwabne violated Jewish religious practice, but that was a lie — Jewish rabbis in Poland confirmed that exhumation violates no Jewish laws.
After much wrangling, a limited exhumation did begin on the site — overseen by a rabbi — but when the dig revealed only sparse evidence of random bones, the excavation was immediately stopped.
If you were to pack 300 people — let alone 1,600 people — into a small barn and set it on fire, those 300 people would die of asphyxiation, with many falling on top of each other — insulating many bodies from the flames.
Burning wooden barns are not the equivalent of cremation ovens — and they will burn themselves out rapidly before the bodies in it are fully cremated.
So, most of those people would not have been cremated by the fire with only bone fragments left — there would be piles of bodies long after the fire exhausted itself.
There are no witnesses that saw such piles of bodies after the fire was put out — no un-burned bodies were buried — therefore, this could not have happened as the Jews in their books and movies contend.
The monument at Jedwabne is a monument not to real Jews who were “murdered” but rather to the guilt that Jews use to rule over their victims.