Polish Americans subject to misunderstanding over the Holocaust

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Your article on the Kupferberg Foundation in your Oct. 8 issue (“Kupferberg Center opens at Queensborough Community College,” Little Neck Ledger) contains historical errors which need to be corrected.

Polish Americans are being barraged by historical revisionists who manipulate the news to alter the Polish image and create doubt in readers’ minds. It is troubling TimesLedger Newspapers would be guilty of misidentifying the location of a German death camp where hundreds of thousands of innocent victims were murdered.

Your newspaper identified the camp where this horror was perpetrated as “Poland’s Treblinka death camp.” It is no wonder when some people I meet believe Poles are anti-Semitic and that Poland, under German occupation during World War II, built death camps to murder its own Jewish and Christian citizens.

It is unfortunate this smear was included in the same article that informed readers of the opening of the Kupferberg Holocaust Center. Members of the Polish American Congress have attended numerous meetings at the Holocaust Resource Center and participated in its programs.

At one of these meetings years ago, I brought to the group’s attention that holocausts have occurred in other parts of the world and that their victims should be recognized by the Holocaust Center. Subsequently, I was gratified to note that a member of the gay civil rights movement and a member of the Sikh community were included in the Kupferberg’s Foundation Advisory Board.

But the glaring and shameful omission in the membership of the Advisory Board of the Kupferberg Holocaust Center of a representative of the Polish Christians murdered in German death camps is considered by many American Poles as an act of discrimination and prejudice.

Americans believe historical verity should always prevail so the world will be reminded how a mind can be poisoned and a people seduced into accepting a mania that could cause such a devastating impact on the sanctity of life.

The members of the Polish American Congress trust the TimesLedger editorial board would be more professional and exacting in reviewing the nature and content of its news before subjecting it to the public. Its credibility can be further challenged by its undocumented charge that Eddie Weinstein was recaptured numerous times by members of the Nazi Party. It stretches the imagination that German occupying forces in Poland were all members of this party when credible sources prove the Nazi Party had, at its highest point, some 10 million members. Media sources during World War II identified the German invasion forces as being German, not Nazi, armies.

It is also pertinent to note that thousands of Polish citizens and their families lost their lives saving Jewish victims of German genocide during World War II. Paul Wos, a member of the Polish American Congress, and his family was one of the many who have been declared “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem.

Several years ago, when asked by a Jewish radio host on a popular New Jersey radio show why he and his family would risk their lives in saving their Jewish comrades, Wos simply responded, “Because I am a Christian.” Israel honored more than a thousand of these verified Polish heroes at Yad Vashem. Poland was the only nation controlled by the Germans where saving or attempting to save a Jewish person was punishable by death to the rescuer and his family.

We also request that the Kupferberg Holocaust Center add to its advisory board members representing the Poles murdered by the Germans during the war so those martyred Polish Christians shall never be forgotten.

Chet Szarejko

Little Neck

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