Jewish problem, PR, Freud, Edward Bernays, era of a big lie and human nature

I must confess that almost every day I start with reading American Magazine “The Atlantic“. Since I am not native English, American, Australian or Canadian speaker, I still improve my English by reading American or English magazines and books.

And today I came across an article by Jeffrey Goldberg – “Glenn Beck’s Jewish Problem“, in which the Author writes about a serious TV commentator who “has something of a Jewish problem”, and later on:

“This is a post about Beck’s recent naming of nine people – eight of them Jews – as enemies of America and humanity. He calls these people prime contributors to the – wait for it – “era of the big lie”.

Among those eight he enumerates “Edward Bernays, the founder of public realtions, and a nephew of Freud’s”.

I myself am not a big fun of PR, and may even agree that we live in an era of a big lie, but consideration of the more or less important political, social or economic matters through the prism of nationhood, in categories of the nations, does not make sense. We – as human beings – still do not learn from history, we are permanently incapble of drawing conclusions from mistakes made by our ancestors. But the truth is simple and trivial – the human nature in its deepest dimension, in its deepest core, is still the same for all individuals in all nations, taking of course into account all superficial differences and nuances being the results of our diverse cultural and religious background.

Blaming Jews for PR and contribution to creating “era of a big like” does make the same sense as blaming Jews for October Revolution in Russia, or Georgians for Joseph Stalin. It is a road to nowhere.

Let us also take into consideration that PR is used with great pleasure not only by Jews, but all other nations, I mean not also governments and politics. We may know, we may feel that PR is not always honest, but still see that our governments, our politics, our coprporations, our firms resort to it. I am not happy with that, but when I take the deeper insight into me, I realize that sometimes in my private, daily life I also resrot to my “small, private PR” in interpersonal relations, but in any case I do not blame Jews for it.

Of course, I do not want to say, that it is OK, but human beings are still fragile and weak. They will always fall and stand up, without the end.

And let’s try to answer following question: are there really any persons who do not use some “private PR” in thier daily lives? And whose the gulity?

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One of the most reliable Israel’s allies

It is still difficult to understand anti – Israeli and anti – American stance of many European politicians. Comparing the present situation of Israeli Arabs to situation of Jews during Holocaust is the most nonsense thing, which one could imagine. It means that persons who aplly such a comparision do not understand meaning of the term “holocaust” and appear to be ignoramus.

Arab – Israeli conflic is not black and white one, there is not one party which is absolutely good and the second one – absolutely bad, as many European leftists see that, they perceive Israelis as a bad guys and Arabs as an exclusively persecuted victims.

Israelis have a right to possess their own state, and so do Palestinians. But it is absolutely unimaginable to tolerate such a situation when some groups of raidcal Palestinians demand destruction of Israel or in their fight for statehood resort to terrorism and attack innocent civilians.

It┬ápleases me much that Polish government, especially president Lech Kaczynski so unambiguously supports politics of Israeli government. In an interview which he gaved last Saturday to the one of the mot important Polish dailies (“Rzeczpospolita”) he stated that Poles because of its historic and cultural ties whit Jews are lively interested in good relations between these two nations.

I belong to these people who – maybe naivly and sentimentally – believe in brotherhood between nations. I myself live in a town (Bialystok, north eastern Poland), where still live many nations – Poles, Belarussians, Tatars, Russians, descendants of Germans, where coexist different cultures and religions – Catholics, Orthodox faithful, Muslims, Protestants, and traces of the past are visible – former Jewish synagogues, houses, cemetaries.

When I have more free time I will translate that interview with president Lech Kaczynski, in which he spoke so much about Polish – Jewish common history, common national heros, poets, writers. Jewish presence in Poland counts about 800 years, so it is no wonder that these two nations are so close to each other. There is no other possibility than true, deep and sincere reconciliation of Poles and Jews. And it is a good news that Poland appears to be one of the most reliable Israel’s allies.

Irena Sendler – The Righteous Among the Nations

Yesterday Irena Sendler died in Warsaw. She was a real hero, exceptional person, who appears rarely in all societies or nations. During the World War II she together with her friends and many other unknown people saved about 2.500 Jewish children from Warsaw ghetto.

Irena Sendler worked at that time as a social worker in a municipal office in Warsaw and also as a nurse. Many times as a nurse she visited Warsaw ghetto and “smuggled” little Jewish children hidden in packs, cartons, bags to the Aryan side of the city. Later on those children were taken and looked after by Polish families and nuns in convents. Members of Polish Resistance forged documents for those small survivers to hide their Jewish descent; according to those false documents they were Polish children.

All those people who were involved in helping Jews during the World War II in Poland were exposed to capital punishment. It was not necessary to save or hide Jews to be killed by German Nazis, it was enough to give food, slice of bread, a mug of water, clothing for fugitive from ghetto or from train going to the extermination camp, or for hiding Jews.

In October 1942 Irena Sendler was apprehended by Gestapo and sentenced to death, but her friends bribed a German warder, and even though she was in the list of executed people, she stayed alive.

For many years she was an unknown person, especially in communist Poland. As she was a member of anticommunist Polish Resistance, it was forbidden to talk about such persons in communist country, even if they were real heros.

Only in 1965 Irena Sendler was given the honourable title – the Righteous Among the Nations – title granted by Yad Vashem for people who helped and saved Jews during the horrific period of the war. Israel Institute as a first appreciated greatness, bravery and heroism of that fragile, modest and humble woman.

Irena Sendler was compared to Oskar Schindler, but it was not right. Schindler was a German entrepreneur and as a German he was not exposed to death penalty for his activities on behalf of the Jews, he did not risk his life helping Jews as Irena Sendler did.

She is an excellent example of a quiet, peacful hero, who does not search for a fame and publicity. She has been always smiled, modest, humble and good to all people, who were in need, who were poor and weak.

Irena Sendler was born and raised in Polish intelligentsia family. Her parents taught her that people deserve help regardless of their descent, nationality, material or social status, sex, race, religion. Her father was a doctor in a small town near Warsaw – in Otwock – were he treated mainly the Jewish poor and died when he caught typhus from his patients. It was her first lesson of the sacrifice on behalf of the other and she grasped that lesson very well.

Multicultural town – part 1

Situated on the borderland of a few cultures and religions Bialystok still bears the traces of its past multicultural identity.

Town rights (statutes) Bialystok gained in 1749; its rapid growth as an improtant trade and cultural centre it owed to Jan Klemens Branicki – representative of Polish nobility, who became the owner of the town in the first half of the 18th century. In that period Bialystok and surrounding region was inhabited by Poles, Rutheninans, Jews and Tatars; Catholic, Greek Catholic, Orthodox, Judaism and Muslim belivers. All these ethnic and religious groups lived in relative peace and tolerance. Later on, in the first half of the 19th century newcomers from German states also appeared here.

Below there are presented a few pictures depicting old sacred bulidings related to a few religious and national groups inhabiting this town.

It is the oldest Orthodox chuch in Bialystok, founded by Jan Klemens Branicki in 1758, originally as a Greek Catholic church.

Saint Roch’s church – one of the most modern Catholic churches in the interwar period in Europe, designed by outstanding Polish architect – Oskar Sosnowski.

To be continued…

Remnants of Bialystok ghetto – part 1

I have always been amazed by the contrasts included in beautiful places. How is it possible that place that witnessed most cruel events in the world history may at the same time include so much beauty? I mean contrast between internal appearance of a place and history it contains.

The most beautiful gardens in my native town are on the areas of the former ghetto. Bialystok’s history has not witnessed more cruel period than time of the II World War, when about 50.000 Jews were gatherd in interior part of the town, where German Nazis organizied ghetto. Those beuatiful gardens, wooden small houses, old bulidings, old trees, lush green of the gardens, many colurs of flowers, picturesque paved streets, red brick factories were witnesses of unimaginable cruelties in human kind’s history – murders of hundreds of innocent children, women, men; later on uprising in Bialystok ghetto and deaths of further hundreds of persons.

Now spring has just come nad those places start again to be the most beautiful places in the town. They are still grey, but in a short time they will explode with lush green and many other bright colurs of the Bialystok gardens.

Is it possible to understand such an indifference of nature to human kind suffering?

On the left – part of the synagogue in Warynskiego street, on the right – old building, both from the begining of the XX century, on the area of former ghetto.

Small wooden house in Czysta 5 street, where Samuel Pisar – surviver of Bialystok ghetto, later on adviser of John Fitzgerald Kennedy – lived in inferno of Bialystok ghetto.

Wooden remnant of the ghetto gate between stones in Czysta street.

View of the Czysta street from the place were ghetto gate stood.

Houses in Czysta street, on the left – Czysta 5 – wooden house where Samuel Pisar lived.

Ulm – Polish family, the Righteous Among the Nations

Markowa – big villaege near Lancut, presently southern Poland. Befere the Second World War happy and loving Ulm familiy lives in this picteresque place, almost paradise – hilly landscape, idyllic countryside.

Jozef was born in 1900, his beautiful wife – Wiktoria – in 1912, they have six children. Jozef is passionate about photography, gardening, breeding bees; he is also catholic social activist, obatins many rewards for his inventions in the field of agriculture.

In 1931 Markowa has 4.442 inhabitants, among them 120 Jews.

The Second World War begins. Paradise and idyll are gone. German occupational government starts “Endlossung” (“Final Solution”), in other words – the extermination of Jews. Jozef and Wiktoria Ulm give shelter to two Jewish families. Shall family from Lancut, 5 men who manged to escape from their native town and reach Ulm’s house in Markowa. And Ulm’s neighbours – Golda and Layka Goldman with her little daughter.

21th March 1944, war is coming to the end; quiet day, evening, four carts with officials of German Gandarmerie approach the Ulm’s house. They burst into it, in the attic the kill the three Jews, the Ulm family and other Jews take outside. First they shoot two Jewish sisters and daughter one of them, after a while kill Jozef and Wiktoria, their children start crying and screaming, the policemen think what to do with small children. The German officer – Eilert Dieken – resolves to shoot them too. Stasia, Basia, Wladziu, Franus, Antos, Marysia share their parents’ fate. Later on it turns out that Wiktoria Ulm was pregnant, unborn child was also killed together with her.

Beyond a reasonable doubt someone must have denounced them to German Gandarmerie.

During one eveining and night German policemen killed 17 persons.

Poland was the only country in Europe during the Second World War where giving the shelter or any help to Jews was punished wiht death penalty. In spite of such severe punishment many Poles dared to help Jews who were sentenced to death by the German Nazis. The medals the Righteous Among the Nations awarded by Yad Vashem obtained 19 706 persons, among them 5 733 were Poles.