I am unaware of any organized Jewish efforts to save Polish lives at the time when Jews were in disproportionally favored position within the Stalin's
I am unaware of any organized Jewish efforts to save Polish lives at the time when Jews were in disproportionally favored position within the Stalin's terror
Mr. James Hoge, Jr., Editor September 14, 2002
58 East 69th street
N. Y. C., NY 10021
Dear Mr. Hoge:
In your letter of September 9, 2002, to Mr. Moskal, you refer to me by name, therefore, please, allow me to answer some of your basic contentions.
You treat the massacre of Jedwabne of 1941 as a Polish national crime - a serious misrepresentation of the history of Poland. It is a tremendous disappointment to see the editor of a prestigious publication having taken such a dubious and unsupportable position. It is a well-established historical fact that the Germans were in charge and controlled the commission of their atrocities at gun point. The Brumberg-Gross contention that the secondary roles in German crimes by people who were held at gun point, represent Polish national responsibility is absurd.
You apparently share with Abraham Brumberg his contention of Poland's "discredited heritage" (quoted in your letter). Abraham Brumberg denigrates and belittles the fact that more Poles than members of any other nationality sacrificed their lives in saving Jews from the Nazis. About 100,000 Poles were executed by Germans for helping Jews. Ironically many thousands of Poles were imprisoned and sent to the Gulag under the false accusation that they had collaborated with the Nazis. In reality their real crime was that they were a threat to Stalin's complete domination of the Polish state. The fact is that during the war and its aftermath a greater number of Polish Christians were killed than Polish Jews. Poland apparently lost the great majority of her pre-war patriotic Jewish intelligentsia which would now be speaking up in defense of Poland's good name.
I am unaware of any organized Jewish efforts to save Polish lives at the time when Jews were in disproportionally favored position within the Stalin's terror apparatus as members of Polish government. Poles, who know their history, are outraged by having the crimes of Nazi invaders attributed to them.
Until the site of the atrocity in Jedwabne is fully exhumed and thoroughly examined by forensic scientists, you are not justified in accepting a Brumberg-Gross version of events. These authors as well as self serving opportunistic politicians in the Polish government and their supporters have their reasons for propagating their version of events, which is largely contradicted by reliable eyewitness accounts and lacking in scientific evidence. The size and nature of the two graves at Jedwabne make impossible the assertions of J. T. Gross and Abraham Brumberg
The long term friendship of two peoples can not be based on Voltaire's notion that history is a lie agreed upon.
Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski, a survivor of 64 months of Gestapo prisons and Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin (number 28865), is the author of "Poland, an Illustrated History" (Hippocrene Books, New York, 2000), "Jews in Poland, a Documented History" (Hippocrene Books, New York, 1993), "Poland, a Historical Atlas" (Hippocrene Books, 1987).
Blacksburg, P. O. Box 10037, VA 24062
cc: Hon. Peter G. Peterson
cc: Hon. Edward J. Moskal
Who is to express regrets for the collaboration between the "Jewish committees" and the NKVD in Soviet occupied Poland? Then, the last memory of Poland by 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 an apology by the Jews for collaboration is more complicated.
Practically all of the over three million Jewish victims gassed in German gas chambers were arrested by Jewish ghetto policemen who brutally escorted them to the rail terminal. The last experience of Jewish victims in Poland packed into boxcars, bound for the gas chambers, was that of a Jewish ghetto polic slamming shut the death car door. It is a matter of record that an average Jewish policeman in the Warsaw Ghetto sent to gas chambers about twenty two hundred victims. In this tragedy what kind of an act of contrition is due and by whom?
So far Polish Catholics do not seek reparations, moral or financial, from Jews. They hope that mutual respect can replace the rather counterproductive charge and countercharge pattern which the propaganda pamphlet The Neighbors, by J. T. Gross, engenders. Enough is definitely enough.
More difficult problem to discuss is that of the architects of the holocaust who were of Jewish background themselves like Reinhold Heydrich who designed the final solution so that it would be performed by the Jews themselves. The motivation of these architects of the holocaust was prove themselves faithful to the Third Reich as well as acting out their own Jewish self-hatred so well known among decedents of mixed Jewish-Christian marriages. Heydrich's, and possibly Hitler's, hatred of their own Jewish blood was a product of the racist German society in which they grew up. To deal with the Jewish problem and eventually enforce the "Final Solution," Heydrich selected others, whom he believed to have this "pathological Jewish self-hate," such as Globocnik, Eichmann, Knochen, Dannecker, etc. as described by Gerald Reitlinger in SS - Alibi of a Nation 1922-1945 (1956). Hitler was very sensitive to matters of Jewish ancestry because his own father, Alois Schiklgruber born out of wedlock, allegedly had a Jewish father.
Chronology of Hitler's Efforts to Persuade Poland to Join the Anti-Comintern Pact. (from Józef Lipski's Diplomat in Berlin 1933-39)
Aug. 5, 1935 Hitler declared good Polish German relations are of primary importance. German proposals included: military cooperation, alliance against Russia, an air pact, etc.
Aug. 31, 1936 German gold payments to Poland for transit through Pomerania between Germany and East Prussia settled and declared by Hitler as a financial and not political matter.
Nov. 25, 1936 the Anti Comintern Pact signed by Germany and Japan.
Aug. 13, 1937 German Japanese consultations on their pressure on Poland to join the Anti Comintern Pact (their analysis of Polish politics). Japanese Gen. Sawada suggested a carrot and stick approach. The Nazis were to order ethnic Germans in Poland to cease anti-Polish hostilities and concentrate the German army on Poland's borders and occupy Klajpeda Memel in Lithuania (the latter happened in March 1939). Herman Goering used his "hunting trips to Poland to persuade the Poles to join the Anti-Comintern Pact.
Nov. 6, 1937 Italy Joined the German Japanese Anti Comintern Pact the need for Poland's participation in the pact stressed.
Nov. 9, 1937 Minister Beck comments evasively on the participation of Poland in the Anti Comintern Pact.
Nov. 10, 1937 German and Polish Ambassadors to the Quirinal discuss the pact in Vatican.
Jan. 12, 1938 Italian proposals of membership in the Anti Comintern Pact by Poland, Spain, and Brasil.
Feb. 4, 1938 Minister von Ribbentrop' s intensified campaign to get Poland into the Anti Cominten Pact.
March 31, 1938 German pressure on Poland to sign the Anti Comintern Pact in a direct conference.
Sept. 27, 1 938 during Czech crisis Germany asked about Poland's attitude towards the pact.
Oct. 24, 1938 Germany offered a general settlement of Polish German problems within the pact.
Jan. 26, 1939 Ribbentrop told in Warsaw that Poland will not join the Anti Comintern Pact.
March 31, 1939 Poland, Gr. Britain and France exchanged common defense guarantees.
Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski
Born Sept. 3, 1921
in Dec 1939 left Warsaw. Dec 30, 1939 arrested by Ukrainians serving the Gestapo in Dukla, then transferred to Barwinek, Krosno, Jaslo, Tarnów, Oswiecim, arrived in Oranienburg-Sachsenhausen on Aug. 10, 1940.
April 19, 1945 started on the Death March of Brandenburg from Sachsenhausen; escaped gunfire of SS-guards and arrived to Schwerin and freedom on May 2, 1945.
September 1945 arrived in Brussels, Belgium; obtained admission as a regular student at the Catholic University: Institute Superieur de Commerce, St. Ignace in Antwerp.
in 1954 graduated in Civil Engineering at the top of his class. Was invited to join honorary societies: Tau Beta Pi (general engineering honorary society), Phi Kappa Phi (academic honorary society equivalent to Phi Beta Kappa), Pi Mu (mechanical engineering honorary society), and Chi Epsilon (civil engineering honorary society). Taught descriptive geometry at the University of Tennessee;
in 1955 graduated with M.S. degree in Industrial Engineering.
in 1955 started working for Shell Oil Company in New Orleans. After one year of managerial training was assigned to design of marine structures for drilling and production of petroleum.
in 1960 started working for Texaco Research and Development in Houston, Texas as a Project Engineer. Authored total of 50 American and foreign patents on marine structures for the petroleum industry;
wrote an article: The Rise and Fall of the Polish Commonwealth - A Quest for a Representative Government in Central and Eastern Europe in the 14th to 18th Centuries. Started to work on a Tabular History of Poland.
in 1972 moved to Blacksburg, Virginia. During the following years worked as Consulting Engineer for Texaco, also taught in Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University as Adjunct Professor in the College of Civil Engineering teaching courses on marine structures of the petroleum industry. Designed and supervised the construction of a hill top home for his family, also bought 500 acre ranch (near Thomas Jefferson National Forest) where he restored 200 years old mill house on a mountain stream.
in 1978 prepared Polish-English, English-Polish Dictionary with complete phonetics, published by Hippocrene Books Inc. The dictionary included a Tabular History of Poland, Polish Language, People, and Culture as well as Pogonowski's phonetic symbols for phonetic transcriptions in English and Polish at each dictionary entry; the phonetic explanations were illustrated with cross-sections of speech (organs used to pronounce the sounds unfamiliar to the users). It was the first dictionary with phonetic transcription at each Polish entry for use by English speakers
in 1981 prepared Practical Polish-English Dictionary with complete phonetics, published by Hippocrene Books Inc.
in 1983 prepared Concise Polish-English Dictionary with complete phonetics, published by Hippocrene Books Inc. Wrote an analysis of Michael Ch ci ski's Poland, Communism, Nationalism, Anti-Semitism. Also selected crucial quotations from Norman Davies' God's Playground - A History of Poland on the subject of the Polish indigenous democratic process.
in 1985 prepared Polish-English Standard Dictionary with complete phonetics, published by Hippocrene Books Inc. Also prepared a revised and expanded edition of the Concise Polish-English Dictionary with complete phonetics, also published by Hippocrene Books Inc.
in 1987 prepared Poland: A Historical Atlas on Polish History and Prehistory including 200 maps and graphs as well as Chronology of Poland's Constitutional and Political Development, and the Evolution of Polish Identity - The Milestones. An introductory chapter was entitled Poland the Middle Ground. Aloysius A. Mazewski President of Polish-American Congress wrote an introduction. The Atlas was published by Hippocrene Books Inc. and later by Dorset Press of the Barnes and Noble Co. Inc. which sends some 30 million catalogues to American homes including color reproduction of book covers. Thus, many Americans were exposed to the cover of Pogonowski's Atlas showing the range of borders of Poland during the history - many found out for the firsttime that Poland was an important power in the past. Total of about 30,000 atlases were printed so far.
In 1988 the publication of Poland: A Historical Atlas resulted in a number of invitations extended by several Polonian organizations to Iwo Pogonowski to present Television Programs on Polish History. Pogonowski responded and produced over two year period 220 half-hour video programs in his studio at home (and at his own expense.) These programs formed a serial entitled: Poland, A History of One Thousand Years. Total of over 1000 broadcasts of these programs were transmitted by cable television in Chicago, Detroit-Hamtramck, Cleveland, and Blacksburg.
in 1990-1991 translated from the Russian the Catechism of a Revolutionary of 1869 in which crime has been treated as a normal part of the revolutionary program. Started preparation of the Killing the Best and the Brightest: A Chronology of the USSR-German Attempt to Behead the Polish Nation showing how the USSR became a prototype of modern totalitarian state, how this prototype was adapted in Germany by the Nazis.
in 1991 prepared Polish Phrasebook, Polish Conversations for Americans including picture code for gender and familiarity, published by Hippocrene Books Inc.
in 1991 prepared English Conversations for Poles with Concise Dictionary published by Hippocrene Books Inc. By then a total of over 100,000 Polish-English, English-Polish Dictionaries written by Pogonowski were sold in the United States and abroad.
in 1992 prepared a Dictionary of Polish, Latin, Hebrew, and Yiddish Terms used in Contacts between Poles and Jews. It was prepared for the history of Jews in Poland as well as 115 maps and graphs and 172 illustrations, paintings, drawings, and documents, etc. of Jewish life in Poland. This material was accompanied by proper annotations.
in 1993 prepared Jews in Poland, Rise of the Jews as a Nation from Congressus Judaicus in Poland to the Knesset in Israel, published by Hippocrene Books Inc. in 3000 copies. Foreword was written by Richard Pipes, professor of history at Harvard University, and Pogonowski's school mate in the Keczmar school in Warsaw. Part I included: a Synopsis of 1000 Year History of Jews in Poland; the 1264 Statute of Jewish Liberties in Poland in Latin and English translation; Jewish Autonomy in Poland 1264-1795; German Annihilation of the Jews. In appendixes are documents and illustrations. An Atlas is in the Part III. It is divided as follows: Early Jewish Settlements 966-1264; The Crucial 500 Years, 1264-1795; Competition (between Poles and Jews) Under Foreign Rule, 1795-1918; The Last Blossoming of Jewish Culture in Poland, 1918-1939; German Genocide of the Jews, 1940-1944; Jewish Escape from Europe 1945-1947 - The End of European (Polish) Phase of Jewish History (when most of world's Jewry lived in Europe). Pogonowski began to write a new book starting with the Chronology of the Martyrdom of Polish Intelligentsia during World War II and the Stalinist Terror; the book in preparation was entitled Killing the Best and the Brightest.
in 1995 prepared Dictionary of Polish Business, Legal and Associated Terms for use with the new edition of the Practical Polish-English, English-Polish Dictionary and later to be published as a separate book.
in 1996 Pogonowski's Poland: A Historical Atlas; was translated into Polish; some 130 of the original 200 maps printed in color; the Chronology of Poland was also translated into Polish. The Atlas was published by Wydawnictwo Suszczy ski I Baran in Kraków in 3000 copies; additional publications are expected. Prepared Polish-English, Eglish-Polish Compact Dictionary with complete phonetics, published by Hippocrene Books Inc.
in 1997 finished preparation of the Unabridged Polish-English Dictionary with complete phonetics including over 200,000 entries, in three volumes on total of 4000 pages; it is published by Hippocrene Books Inc; the Polish title is: Uniwesalny S ownik Polsko-Angielski. Besides years of work Pogonowski spent over $50,000 on computers, computer services, typing, and proof reading in order to make the 4000 page dictionary camera ready; assisted in the preparation of second edition of Jews in Poland, Rise of the Jews from Congressus Judaicus in Poland to the Knesset in Israel published in fall of 1997. Prepared computer programs for English-Polish Dictionary to serve as a companion to the Unabridged Polish-English Dictionary printed by the end of May 1997.
in 1998 Pogonowski organized preparation of CD ROM for the Unabridged Polish-English Dictionary, Practical English-Polish Dictionary, Polish Phrasebook for Tourists and Travelers to Poland, all published earlier by Iwo C. Pogonowski. The Phrasebook includes 280 minutes of bilingual audio read by actors. Started preparation for a new edition of Poland: A Historical Atlas. New Appendices are being prepared on such subjects as: Polish contribution to Allied's wartime intelligence: the breaking of the Enigma Codes, Pune Munde rocket production; Poland's contribution to the international law since 1415; Poland's early development of rocket technology such as Polish Rocketry Handbook published in 1650 in which Poles introduced for the first time into the world's literature concepts of multiple warheads, multistage rockets, new controls in rocket flight, etc. Poland's Chronology is being enlarged to reflect the mechanisms of subjugation of Polish people by the Soviet terror apparatus. Continued preparation of the Killing the Best and the Brightest: A Chronology of the USSR-German Attempt to Behead the Polish Nation, including the 1992 revelations from Soviet archives as well as the current research in Poland. Continued preparation of two-volume English Polish Dictionary, a companion to the Unabridged Polish-English Dictionary published in 1997. Reviewed Upiorna Dekada by J. T. Gross.
in 1999 Pogonowski continued writing Poland - An Illustrated History and preparing for it 21 maps and diagrams and 89 illustrations.
in 2000 Pogonowski prepared, in a camera ready form, Poland - An Illustrated History; it was published by Hippocrene Books Inc. NY 2000 and recommended by Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor under President Carter, as "An important contribution to the better understanding of Polish history, which demonstrates in a vivid fashion the historical vicissitudes of that major European nation."