It pains me to see that Rabbi Menachem Levine perpetuates what renowned Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt calls balderdash and “the enduring myth” that Poles were worse than Nazis (“Why Poland’s new Holocaust law is a mockery,” Web, Feb. 20).
In 2007 Ms. Lipstadt wrote, “it is wrong to depict Poland as a place of unending anti-Semitism or to fall prey to the absurd but, nonetheless, oft-heard comment made by Jews who visit the place, ‘The Poles were worse than the Nazis.’”
Rabbi Levine, however, claims, “Nearly all of the death camps in occupied Europe were built in Poland Why? The answer is that the Nazis knew that Poland had been anti-Semitic for centuries and the Germans were convinced that the Poles would not protest against death camps for Jews on their soil.”
Ms. Lipstadt explains, “many people, Jews primarily among them, believe the balderdash that the Germans put the death camps in Poland because the Poles would be happy to see the Jews killed. They ignore the fact that to the Germans Auschwitz was German.”
Rabbi Levine writes that “History demands truth and not tricks.” We fully agree, which is why Poland continues to stand on the side of truth. We need to ensure a full, accurate portal of history so that the facts of the Holocaust are never glazed over. We need to ensure that the “enduring myth” does not become fact, and that Poland is not blamed for Nazi German crimes which it did not commit.
One’s support or opposition to Poland’s anti-defamation legislation is not permission to spread falsehoods or hate.
The illustration created to accompany this text is vulgar and unacceptable. Poland endured five years under Nazi German occupation, and during those years the Polish government — in-exile and underground state never ceased to resist Nazi Germany’s evil policies. This illustration misleads readers and propagates the “enduring myth.”
AMBASSADOR PIOTR WILCZEK
Embassy of the Republic of Poland