Unfair Connection to Genocide

Article excerpt

Jacob Heilbrunn, in his March 17 review ("Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust") provides another interesting illustration of misery and terror that can never be given too much attention. In presenting the author's view that the Germans were peculiarly anti-Semitic, Mr. Heilbrunn however volunteers the outrageous and false opinion that, along with the Russians and Austrians, the Poles "gleefully" killed Jews. With regard to the people in occupied Poland, Mr. Heilbrunn with a clever twist of his pen lumps the Poles with the murderous Nazi legions that slaughtered helpless Jews by the tens of thousands. Such malicious and distorted reporting cannot be ignored.

Consider: The official policy of the Third Reich was to implement conditions that would virtually wipe Poland and its people off the face of the Earth. The gentile Poles, of whom 3 million or roughly one-tenth of Poland's pre-war population were to die before the war years of 1939-1945 ended, were in no position to save significant numbers of Polish Jews at the risk of their own lives, yet the survival of 200,000 Jews was predominantly due to the extraordinary heroism and sacrifice of Christian Poles, of whom more than 3,000 were executed by the Germans for sheltering Jews. …