The Pogrom of Kielce
On 4th of July of 2006 the catholic people of Kielce in central Poland were again intimidated by the alliance of Jews, liberals and postcommunist. They were humiliated because of the unvailling of a monument which falsely accused their ancestors of having acted as an “infuriated mob” and commited hideous crimes on the same day sixty years on some 40 Jewish victims. Ten years ago on the same day on the 50th anniversary of the “pogrom of Kielce,” the town had to listen in presence of a postcommunistr prime minister Cimoszewicz, to verbal abuse by Elie Wisely, the resident clown of the Holocaust Industry, as Norman Finkelstein appropriately nicknamed him.
Now another supporter of the Holocaust Industry, named Jan Tomasz Gross , published a book “Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz” (Random House), which is a part of the offensive by the Jewish World Congress to make Poland pay 65 billion dollars in damages to the Jews through JWC. The tactics of JWC were stated by Izrael Singer in Buenos Aires in Argentina on April 19, 1996 according to Reuter (14.50.17 PDT). Thus according to a false mitolgy the Poles are accused of being partners of German Nazis in the killing of Jews.
Gross, the Polish-born American academic who’s books were never reviewed by the scientific community became successful when he joined the Hocaust Industry and made the Jedwabne massacre a notoriety in Poland and abroad with his book earlier book “Neighbors.” He then recycled a Nazi propaganda scheme and now he recycled a Soviet scheme designed to justify Soviet postwar pacification of Poland in the book “Fear.” In both his books, Gross, more a sociologist than historian, attributes guilt for the crime not only to the perpetrators, but the Polish nation generally. Gross falsely claims that "it was widespread collusion in the Nazi-driven plunder, spoliation, and eventual murder of the Jews that generated Polish anti-Semitism after the war."
Gross claims that Poles feared the return of Jews from Nazi camps, hiding or exile, and wanted to eliminate them because they had witnessed “Polish betrayal of Jews” and could expose the "pure, unregenerate evil" that according to Gross separates the Poles from civilization. The Jewis reviewers then exhort Poland to face up to its history and come to terms with its past and pay $65 billion damages to Jews. Gross offers little historical data to support his theory on the source of postwar anti-Semitism in Poland. Gross ignores a recent scholarly work on the same subject, “After the Holocaust: Polish-Jewish Conflict in the Wake of World War II,” by Marek Jan Chodakiewicz (East European Monographs, 2003). Gross neglected to mention Poland's dire state in 1946. The brutal Soviet pacification of Poland at a cost of 25,000 to 50,000 lives and deportation in excess of 100,000, while at that time the Jewish losses are estimated at 800 to 1500, some victims of common criminals and some killed as Soviet collaborators.
Some Jewish reviewers of “Fear” assert that simply observing the genocide of the Jews made one guilty of "passive complicity." Wartime destruction of the Polish nation is not mentioned by Gross.
In Reality “Pogrom of Kielce” of 4th of July, 1946 was one of some 16 pogroms staged by the NKVD in the satellite states in 1945-47 as a result of Stalin’s decision do use Zionists in establishing the state of Israel after the Second World War, which would serve as a “bone of contention in the oil rich Middle East. Thanks to the Soviet support for the Zionists, 711,000 Jews crossed the Iron Courtain, in 1945-1947 supposedly in order to emmigrate to Palestine. Given a chance, vast majority of Jews preferred to go to the United States or stay in France, and only 232,000 Jewish refugees actually arrived to Palestine to be armed by the Soviets with Czech weapons for the conquest of Arab land. Zionists alone organized pogroms in the Arab states and caused exit of 547,000 Jews from Bagdad, Damscus, etc. in 1950-1951. In sum some 1,250,000 Jews were brutally chased from countries of their residence in Soviet satellite states and from Arab countries. Some 779,000 Jews actually arrived in Palestine.
In actual well-documented fact, Polish gentiles helped Jewish people in Poland extensively during World War II. This assistance included the hiding of tens of thousands of Jewish people in the homes of Polish gentiles, which put the gentiles' entire families at risk of death. Several thousand Polish Christians, including men, women, and children, were burned alive or otherwise summarily executed for the crime of hiding or assisting Jews. In no other country during the war were people subjected to death in this way for providing assistance to Jewish people. Three million Polish Christian deaths during the occupation constitute a part of the Polish aspect of the Holocaust. An exhibit in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., falsely presents events that occurred in Kielce, Poland, in 1946 as part of the Holocaust. It refers to the clearly Soviet-staged violence in Kielce as a "Polish pogrom." To many visitors of the Holocaust Museum, the exhibit by its very inclusion seems to suggest that after the end of World War II, a liberated Polish populace chose to continue Hitler’s work of exterminating Jewish people. The suggestions of a Polish-led extension of the Holocaust are patently false. The Kielce Pogrom had nothing to do with the Nazi German-engineered Holocaust. It had everything to do with the Soviet-engineered strangulation of the Polish nation.
Like all effective myths, those related to World War II have some elements of truth underlying them. In conjunction with the construction of these myths, though, actual facts and events have been distorted or misrepresented, and certainly the contexts within which they occurred have been falsely stated. Sadly, the distortions, misrepresentations and falsehoods are sometimes purposely and systematically advanced by those who feel a need to humiliate the Polish nation and members of the Polish ethnic group from around the world. On the flip side of the coin bearing the image of anti-Semitism is the image of anti-Polonism. The coin of anti-Semitism cannot be melted down and destroyed without also melting down and destroying anti-Polonism.
I will state up front that I have a vested interest in the truth about World War II and its aftermath being clearly illuminated. I am a veteran of 64 months of imprisonment in Gestapo prisons, concentration camps, and death marches. My own ordeal, and the suffering and death of many of my Polish and Jewish friends and prison-mates, not to mention the sacrifices made by the young men who fought and died as soldiers, will have been rendered meaningless if the hatred of Jewish people by the Nazi leadership is simply replaced by hatred of Polish people by Jewish people, or vice versa. Those who even today perpetuate myths and misconceptions about animosities associated with World War II and its aftermath are not merely bearing false witness—they are willing accomplices to the spirit of hatred of World War II.
I have seen, first hand, the disgusting, murderous results of ethnic hatred. I have devoted the latter part of my life to writing about the long-term coexistence of Polish Jews and gentiles within Poland, and am committed to trying to help diffuse animosities stemming from World War II. In this spirit of friendship and respect, I wrote and had published earlier this decade a documentary history entitled Jews in Poland: The Rise of Jews as a Nation From Congressus Judaicus in Poland to the Knesset in Israel. If World War II presented any lessons to the people of the world, it showed what can eventually happen if ethnic animosities are allowed to fester and grow.
I will take the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the Kielce Pogrom to discuss this event in detail and use it as a basis for discussion of the larger geopolitical situation. This study deals primarily with the results of Soviet-institutionalized hatred and the Soviet crime of provoking situations purposely designed to sour Polish-Jewish relations and was used make Poland a Soviet satellite state. For this study, the book Poland: Communism, Nationalism, Anti-Semitism by Michael Checinski (New York: Karz-Cohl Publishing, 1982) is an important source of information for the Cold War period. I will use Checinski's book as a resource to help illuminate the events and situations in the aftermath of World War II that relate to Polish-Jewish relations. Checinski's book details the relations between Poles and Jews in the postwar "People's" Republic of Poland and the damage done to these relations under the conditions created by the Soviets. Checinski was an insider of the Soviet-controlled terror apparatus. As a Jew who survived the Łód? Ghetto, Checinski (Chciński) was naturally very sensitive to Soviet policies which fomented and used anti-Semitic excesses in the satellite empire to serve Soviet purposes of the time. Checinski's book shows Soviet methods used to bring the destruction of law and morality to Poland and other satellite states. I also draw heavily on material from a book by Krystyna Kersten, Polacy Żydzi-komunizm: anatomia półprawd 1939–68 [Poles, Jews, Communism: The Anatomy of Half-Truths 1939–68] (Warszawa: Niezależna Oficyna Wydawnicza, 1992) and also from Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach 4 lipca 1946 [Pogrom of Jews in Kielce, July 4, 1946] by Bożena Szaynok, (Warszawa: Bellona, 1992). Along the way, I will include some necessary background information relating to World War II.
The Kielce Pogrom in a Nutshell
A "pogrom", a Russian word that translates to "devastation," is defined as "an organized massacre, especially of Jews in Russia, such as 1881, 1903, and 1905." (The New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language, 1989.) Anti-Jewish violence in Russia was usually started with a false accusation that a ritual murder had been perpetrated on Christian children by local Jews. Violence directed against the Jews that occurred on July 4, 1946, in the town of Kielce, referred to as the Kielce Pogrom, is aptly named for several reasons. For one, it was indeed organized. And as it will be explained in detail, it was organized by the Soviet-controlled terror apparatus in Poland, a captured country which was under Soviet occupation at the time. This pogrom, although not on Russian soil, was arranged by a totalitarian leadership centered in Russia and it was started with the same technique of planting a false accusation that a ritual murder had been perpetrated on Christian children. And as even the common dictionary definition shows, this is not the first time Russians have instigated this type of activity.
In the Kielce Pogrom, an uprising occurred over the span of eight hours that resulted first in the death of 41 Polish citizens: 39 Jews, and two gentiles and then I ashow trial and execution of nine Poles, who were not present at the site of the pobrom. It was a horrible crime, and regrettably, there was some complicity among a very small number of gentile Poles in this inexcusable violence. Some of these Polish criminals, as will be pointed out, were tried and convicted for their crimes. The reports, however, of the involvement of a mob of 15,000 cheering Polish citizens are completely untrue. Also, the idea that the uprising was of a spontaneous nature is also untrue. As it will be shown in this study, this event was carefully provoked and staged by the Soviet occupiers at that time. This event was staged to achieve specific political purposes dictated by Moscow's global strategy including Europe and the Middle East.
The Soviet-Nazi Partnership
Why would Soviets want to stage an uprising that would embarrass Poland? After all, didn't both Poland and the Soviets fight alongside of Britain and the other allies in World War II? Didn't Hitler's German army invade both Poland and the Soviet Union, and isn't "the enemy of my enemy my friend?"
There is general public awareness that the United States and the Soviet Union were World War II partners in the Allied fight against Nazi Germany. Many fewer, however, are aware of the nearly two-year Nazi-Soviet partnership embodied in the German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty, which was signed on September 28, 1939. It divided all of Poland between Germany and the Soviet Union and contained secret provisions for the mutual extermination of potential Polish opponents of both Germany and the USSR. Both Germany and the USSR agreed to control their respective parts of Poland. This meant taking all necessary measures to contain and prevent the emergence of any potential Polish actions toward either Germany or the USSR, and then communicating with each other on the progress made toward the goals of the treaty. The treaty lasted until Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941. Soviet hostility toward Poland and the desire of the USSR to control as much Polish territory as it could continued beyond the German invasion of Poland. The Soviets implemented their part of the German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty by executing 21,857 members of the Polish leadership community including a number of Jewish people. Katyn contained the graves of 4,443 such men and became a symbol of the mass execution of members of the upper echelon of Polish society in the Spring of 1940. At the same time Nazi Germany ran a parallel operation with the code name Aktion AB (Außerordentliche Befriedungsaktion, which translates to “extraordinary pacification”), culminating in the execution of about 20,000 Polish professionals.
Because of the German-Soviet Treaty to divide Poland among themselves, the Eastern half of Poland was under Soviet, not German, rule from September, 1939 to mid-1941. During that time, there were many Jewish people who collaborated with the Soviet terror apparatus against the conquered Polish state. Among the many eyewitnesses to those events is the famed Polish courier Jan Karski, who was made an honorary citizen of Israel for his efforts to warn an unresponsive West about the fate of Poland and Polish Jewry. In February 1940, Karski reported: "Jews are denouncing Poles to the secret police and are directing the work of the communist militia from behind the scenes... Unfortunately, one must say that these incidents are very frequent." (Report to the Polish Government-in-Exile in London.)
Hundreds of published accounts, including Jewish ones, confirm that Jews were involved in the roundups of Polish soldiers and officials (e.g., at Rożyszcze, Kowel, and Brześć), the jailing and executions of Poles (e.g., at Lwów, Tarnopol and Czortków), and in policing the deportation of Poles, by cattle car, to the Gulag (e.g., from Gwo?dziec and Jedwabne). By the time the Germans attacked their erstwhile Soviet ally in mid-1941, over one million Poles had been deported to distant and probable death from towns like Brańsk. All of this occurred before the Jewish Holocaust got underway. Naturally, these events had a significant impact on Polish attitudes, though that was not the only factor influencing them. Conditions in Brańsk under Soviet occupation were detailed in a recent study by Zbigniew Romaniuk, titled "21 miesięy władzy sowieckiej w Brańsku", in Ziemia Brańka, volume 6 (1995)—it does not make pleasant reading.
German Occupation of Poland and Control of Jews
By mid-1941, Nazi Germany gained control of all of Poland and the Nazis continued the establishment of Jewish ghettos that they had started in 1939. German Nazis formed the Jewish ghettos by evicting hundreds of thousands of gentiles from their homes and then crowding many more Jewish families there than the space could reasonably accommodate. There were no Jewish ghettos in Poland before Germany started creating them in 1939. It is ironic that some people not well acquainted with the history of the ghettos have mistakenly thought that the ghettos were formed by a bigoted Polish population who spitefully wanted to segregate the Jewish population to selected areas. Instead, the real truth is that Polish people were unwillingly removed from their homes by the German Nazis to form the ghettos, and then the Polish people illegally aided the Jews by bringing them substantial amounts of food and other supplies.
The Polish Armed Resistance reported that 500,000 Jews were crowded into the Warsaw Ghetto: 600 people per acre. Hunger, and unspeakably poor hygienic and sanitary conditions resulted in the spreading of tuberculosis and other contagious diseases. The Polish Underground reported: "The isolated ghetto is restricted to internal trade, consisting of people's private property, clothing, and household goods which are sold at low prices for extremely expensive food.... There is no heating fuel in the ghetto.... The health and sanitary conditions are beyond description—there is a monstrous hunger and poverty.... Overcrowded streets are full of aimless, pale, and starving people.... People die in the streets.... An orphanage is being overcrowded with daily arrivals of newborn babies.... The plunder of once-affluent Jews continues...as well as the treatment of Jews in an exceptionally brutal manner..."
Each ghetto had its own Jewish Council (Judenrat) which oversaw day-to-day affairs and a Jewish police force which carried out German-Nazi orders to supply laborers and, as pointed out by Jewish historians such as Isaiah Trunk and Hannah Arendt, to round up Jews for deportation to death camps. Thus, relatively few German soldiers were needed for such "Aktions," or official actions by the German government against the Jewish people. Nor did their success involve any type of cooperation from Polish gentiles. Because the system set up by the German Nazis did not rely on Polish police, even the opportunity for the Polish police to aid the roundup of the Jews was marginal or non-existent, as pointed out by Raul Hilberg, the foremost Holocaust historian, in his important work, Perpetrators, Victims, Bystanders: The Jewish Catastrophe 1933-1945 (New York: Aaron Asher/Harper Collins, 1992). Conditions in the Brańsk ghetto have been described in Isaiah Trunk's Judenrat: The Jewish Councils in Eastern Europe Under Nazi Occupation (New York: Macmillan, 1972), pp. 380, 502; in Brainsk: Book of Memories (New York: Shoulson Press, 1948); and in a recent study by sk i okolice w latachZbigniew Romaniuk, titled "Bra 1939–1953: reminiscencje zdarzń", in Ziemia Brańka, volume 6 (1995), pp. 3-32. Brańsk also had its corrupt Judenrat and ghetto police, and the liquidation of the ghetto was carried out by German SS divisions and non-Polish auxiliaries (Ukrainians and Lithuanians). A death penalty was imposed on any Pole who dared to assist a Jew (though many did in fact do so notwithstanding.)
Polish gentiles certainly were not the masterminds who formed the ghettos nor collaborators with the Germans in the brutal treatment of the Jews. To the contrary, Polish gentiles sabotaged German plans for the starvation of ghetto inmates. The Polish gentiles made illegal deliveries of food to the ghettos— including about 25 tons of flour per day in Warsaw alone. Many Poles were shot by the German soldiers for making such deliveries. When the daily food ration in Warsaw fell to 184 calories for a Jew, 669 for a Polish gentile, and 2,613 for a German, 80 percent of the food consumed in the ghetto was smuggled in by Polish gentiles. The supply of raw materials into the ghetto was forty times greater than that officially permitted, according to the records of the Jewish Council of the Warsaw Ghetto. (Pogonowski, Jews in Poland, pp. 106–107.)
After Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union and especially after the defeat at Moscow, Hitler verbally ordered the "Final Solution of the Jewish Question," namely the extermination of eleven million European Jews. To work out and communicate the details of implementing the "Final Solution," the Wannsee Conference was held in Berlin on January 20, 1942. At the conference the Polish leadership community was replaced by Jews as the main target of the Nazi extermination. Then, the leaders of the German civil service established the specific means by which the genocide was to be conducted. As a direct result of the conference, the Nazi government announced an invitation for bids from German industry to purchase equipment for an industrial process to exterminate eleven million European Jews. According to plans developed at the conference, terrorized Jewish personnel were to be used in the extermination process. Also, the plans further directed that the extermination camps were to be isolated from the Polish population for maximum secrecy. For this reason, the camp guards were recruited from Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine. Despite German terror and German attempts to keep Poles in the dark about the Germans' actions, radio broadcasts made by the Polish resistance regularly informed the West of German atrocities in Poland. (Pogonowski, Jews in Poland, pp. 110, 119, 120, 121, 124, 125).
Massive deportations from the Warsaw ghetto in the Summer of 1942 (to the Treblinka death camp) were not carried out with the assistance of any Polish agency. Indeed, in German-occupied Poland, there was not even a vestige of a Polish government at that time. Instead, the deportations were organized by the Jewish police in coordination with the Judenrat and the occupying German forces. Horrifying descriptions of this Aktion are found in the diaries of Emanuel Ringelblum, the chronicler of the Warsaw ghetto, and elsewhere. These sad events are only a part, but a significant part, of the eventual roundup and execution by the Germans of a large proportion of Poland's Jews in what later came to be referred to as the Holocaust.
On April 19, 1943, a Jewish uprising began in the Warsaw Ghetto as Germans started the final liquidation of the Jews there. The massacre ended on May 8, 1943. Professor Marian Fuks later wrote: "It is absolutely certain fact that without help and even active participation of the Polish resistance movement it would have not been possible at all to bring about the uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto." (Biuletyn Żydowskiego Instytutu Historycznego w Polsce/Bulletin of the Jewish Historical Institute in Poland, January-March 1989, p. 44.) Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of the revolt, shares this view: "We didn't get adequate help from the Poles, but without their help we couldn't have started the uprising.... You have to remember that the Poles themselves were short of arms. The guilty party is Nazism, fascism—not the Poles." (The Canadian Jewish News, November 9, 1989.)
It should go without saying that the German-Nazi occupation and brutal control of Poland was not welcomed by the Polish people. Unfortunately, neither could the Polish people find solace in the eventual Soviet re-entry into Poland and their consequent program of brutal control. Upon Soviet re-entry into Poland in 1944, the Soviet terror apparatus was systematically liquidating the remnants of the Polish Home Army and any perceived Polish opponents of a Soviet takeover and control of Poland. It is an undeniable fact that many Jews, usually communist functionaries, were collaborating with the Soviets in denouncing, jailing, and executing Poles. (See for example, Wanda Lisowska's 1946 account on conditions in Ejszyszki, another town in Eastern Poland featured in Shtetl, found in Zeszyty Historyczne, no. 36 (1976), and reproduced at page 29 of this book.)1 Poles suspected of having either collaborated with the Germans or of being anti-Semitic could be, and were, executed with impunity. For example, in Drohiczyn, not far from Brańsk, nine Polish gentiles were murdered by local Jews because they were falsely suspected of killing a Jew, a crime in fact perpetrated by the Soviets [Archiwum Polski Podziemnej: Dokumenty i y, 1939–1956 (Warszawa, April 1994), volume 2, p. 80.]materia Tens of thousands of Polish gentiles were executed in repressions that affected the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent Polish gentiles. The foregoing are not invented facts: both Simon Wiesenthal (see below) and Stanisław Krajewski, vice-chairperson of the Polish Council of Christians and Jews, among others, have publicly admitted their shame on this account. Under these types of wartime circumstances, where Jews were successfully encouraged to betray Polish gentiles to the Soviet authorities, animosities toward Jews in the general population were not a matter of anti-Semitism, but simply a matter of survival. Active Jewish collaboration and popular support for Soviet forces invading Poland occurred from the beginning of the War. In the book Poles, Jews, Socialists: The Failure of an Ideal, edited by Antony Polonsky et al. (London: The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1996)—Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, volume 9, Dov Levin writes: "The Red Army entered Vilna [Wilno, Poland] early on the morning of Tuesday, 19 September 1939, to an enthusiastic welcome by Vilna's Jewish residents, in sharp contrast to the Polish population's reserve and even hostility. Particular ardor was displayed by leftist groups and their youthful members, who converged on the Red Army tank columns bearing sincere greetings and flowers."
Despite these enormous obstacles, and the fact that Polish gentiles also were undergoing their own Holocaust which consumed several million victims, hundreds of thousands of Polish Christians risked their lives to help Jews. In Warsaw alone, before the uprising of 1944 which resulted in its total destruction, some 15,000 Jews were being sheltered. Emanuel Ringelblum estimated that as many as 60,000 out of the city's 900,000 Christian residents were involved in the rescue efforts. Assistance has been documented at more than 600 Catholic churches, monasteries, convents, and church-run orphanages throughout Poland. Poles form the largest group recognized by Yad Vashem as "Righteous Gentiles," as many as 40 percent of all those recognized. Yad Vashem is an official Israeli institution devoted to honoring those who saved Jews from the Holocaust.
Just as there were some Jewish collaborators during World War II, small numbers of Polish gentiles also collaborated with the Germans. There is no justification or excuse for their actions, and neither was this conduct condoned or tolerated. With the active support of Polish public opinion, the Polish Underground passed and carried out many death sentences against anyone found collaborating with the Nazis. It is regrettably true that collaborators, whether with the Nazis or the Soviets, whether Polish Christians or Jews, were an effective force to contend with. But at the same time, they were tiny, marginal and unrepresentative groups in their respective communities. Simon Wiesenthal has advocated the following wise and balanced assessment of that tragic period which consumed millions of Jewish and Polish lives: "Then the war came. It is at times like these that the lower elements in society surface—the blackmailers who would betray Jews... On the other hand, the 30,000 or 40,000 Jews who survived, survived thanks to the help of the Poles. This I know." During the five years of German occupation many of the efforts to shelter Jews ended tragically for the Jewish victims and their Christian friends. Most instances of sporadic assistance are seldom remembered and taken into account.
What do the leading Holocaust historians have to say about alleged Polish complicity in the Holocaust? Yisrael Gutman, director of research at the Yad Vashem Institute in Jerusalem and editor in chief of The Encyclopedia of the Holocaust (1990), has stated authoritatively: "All accusations against the Poles that they were responsible for the 'Final Solution' are not even worth mentioning. Secondly, there is no validity at all in the contention that Polish attitudes were the reason for the siting of the death camps in Poland." And again: "I want to be unequivocal about this. When it is said that Poles supposedly took part in the extermination of the Jews on the side of the Germans, that is not true. It has no foundation in fact. There was no such thing as Poles taking part in the extermination of the Jewish population." Professor Gutman stated that the percentage of Poles who collaborated with the Germans was "infinitesimally small." Richard Pipes, of Harvard University, wrote in the introduction to Pogonowski's book, Jews in Poland, published on the fiftieth anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: "It must never be mistakenly believed that the Holocaust was perpetrated by the Poles. Nor must it be ignored that three million Poles perished at German hands." Szymon Datner, longtime director of Warsaw's Jewish Historical Institute, has been equally blunt: "Poles are not responsible for the crimes of the Holocaust."
Events Following World War II
Only Soviet-trained intelligence agents were trusted by the Soviet government among Polish prewar Communists. Among those "the Jews...were...considered less susceptible to the lures of Polish nationalism, to which even impeccable Polish communists were not thought immune." (Checinski, op. cit., p. 71.) During 1945, the Soviets recruited to the Office of State Security a very large number of Jews. Mostly Jews, including Holocaust survivors, were assigned to carry out the Soviet policy of de-Nazification in the former German territories which Poland was to annex on the basis of the Potsdam Agreement in compensation for her Eastern Provinces lost to the Soviet Union in 1939. After the War, over 1,200 former Nazi camps were used to hold German nationals, 99 percent of whom were noncombatants. Under the guise of de-Nazification, members of the pro-Western Polish resistance and their families were processed together with the Germans. In a brief period of time between 60,000 and 80,000 people died in the de-Nazification camps. Starvation diets, typhoid fever, and mistreatment caused the high death rate. Torture was commonplace. Jewish officers of the UB (Urzad Bezpieczeństwa—Office of State Security), including those who themselves survived unimaginable suffering at German hands, were now used by the Soviets to inflict the same on others. Again, to quote Simon Wiesenthal, "I always say that I know what kind of role Jewish communists played in Poland after the war. And just as I, as a Jew, do not want to shoulder responsibility for the Jewish communists, I cannot blame 36 million Poles for those thousands of blackmailers." Polish gentiles bore the brunt of the killing force unleashed by the Soviets while they established their totalitarian hold on Poland and the Polish people. Checinski cites a study based on party and security archives that estimates 80,000 to 200,000 Polish gentiles were killed by the Soviets during their takeover, while approximately 1,600 Jews were killed at the same time. (Checinski, op. cit., p. 64.) John Sack, a former CBS News bureau chief in Spain and a journalist for 48 years, spent seven years doing research and conducting interviews in Poland, Germany, Israel, and the United States to document the story of Jewish actions taken directly after the end of World War II in response to the wartime atrocities. On November 21, 1993, the CBS program 60 Minutes presented an interview with Mr. Sack and footage of interviews with the survivors who testified to torture and killings in those camps. A Polish woman, Dr. Dorota Boreczek, former inmate of the Świętochowice camp, testified that she was arrested (at age 14) and tortured together with her mother. Her father, a member of the Polish Home Army, was executed. [See John Sack, An Eye For An Eye (New York: Basic Books/Harper Collins, 1993), pp. 163–165.] The Sovietization of Poland It is important to remember that the end of World War II did not mean the liberation of the Polish people or of Poland, in any sense of the word. After World War II, Poland did not have self-determination. Its government, police, and military were under the complete and absolute control of the Soviet Union. Poland was forcibly made to be a communist state that was not formally a part of the Soviet Union, but a "satellite state" that was tightly ruled as part of the Soviet empire. Several months before the July 1946 events took place in Kielce, Winston Churchill eloquently articulated the realities for the Soviet Union's satellite states. On March 5, 1946, Churchill made his famous "Sinews of Peace" speech in which he popularized the term "Iron Curtain" originally coined by a Yugoslav writer: "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in...the Soviet sphere.... I do not believe that...Russia desires war [but] the fruits of war and the indefinite expansion of their power and their doctrines.... There is nothing they admire so much as strength and there is nothing for which they have less respect than weakness, especially military weakness." The Soviet strategists who were in control of Poland saw significant advantage in fostering an animosity between Jewish and gentile Poles. This animosity was used as a tool to aid in the subjugation of Poland early in its capture into the Soviet empire in 1944. After World War II, Soviet machinations in this regard succeeded in converting the image of Jewish victims of German-Nazi genocide into the image of Jewish oppressors. (Kersten, op. cit., p. 130.) This was purposely done to put the Polish gentile population between "a rock and a hard place." Polish gentiles were left with two options: either don't respond to the Soviet oppression, or respond to the Soviet oppression and thus appear to be anti-Semitic.
Although the image of Jews as oppressors was spread beyond Poland, this phenomenon was very noticeable in Poland, where there was a steady flow of news and often well-substantiated (if sometimes exaggerated) rumors of executions of anti-communist Poles by Jewish executioners serving in the Soviet-controlled terror apparatus. Kersten describes this unfortunate development when Soviet policies created the conditions that Jews played the main role in the subjugation of Poland and other satellite countries to the communist system. At the same time, the communist propaganda machine equated opposition to the "socialist" regimes with anti-Semitism. So, if a Polish person opposed the socialist Sovietization of Poland, that person was branded as an anti-Semite. This smoke screen was used successfully to obscure the reality of the Soviet subjugation of Poland by the Soviet Union.
The Soviet terror apparatus in Poland included the so-called Polish military counterintelligence. It was initially integrated with the Soviet Smersh (Death to Spies) organization directed against German spying and subversion. However, when the front crossed the prewar Polish territory, Smersh was used increasingly against the significant Polish resistance to Soviet domination. In November 1944, the Polish section of Smersh became renamed Informacja, in which many Jews like Col. Chęciński served for 10 years. Informacja remained under the close supervision of Smersh and was at first headed by Soviet Maj. Pyotr Kozhushko. Soviet officers assigned to the Polish army were considered vulnerable to Polish influence and were under close surveillance by a special Informacja department. Informacja was clearly a Soviet-led force, with Jewish officers disloyal to Poland.
At the time of the most intensive terror, between 1944 and 1955, Smersh used its Informacja branch to have agents pose as members of the military prosecutor's office. They used this apparatus to conduct political trials in military courts in Poland. Tortured witnesses were "prepared" for these trials and later were secretly executed "to remove any trace of the provocation." (Checinski, op. cit., p. 57.) In that period, of the 120 officers serving in Informacja, only about 18 were Polish-born. Most of these 18 were Polish Jews and the rest were Soviet citizens, many of them Jews.
The Soviets were creative in inventing their own opportunities to manufacture conflict between Polish Jews and gentiles. For example, it was Soviet policy in Poland to change Yiddish names of Jews into Slavic-Polish names. This practice was resented by both Jewish and gentile Poles. An American journalist, Samuel Loeb Shneiderman, who visited Warsaw in 1946, wrote in his book Between Fear and Hope (New York: Arco, 1947) that under the cover of Polish names Jews were continuing their ethnic identity and must have felt like their ancestors forced into conversion to Christianity during their persecution in Spain. (Kersten, op. cit., pp. 77, 108.) The name-changing became widespread. It served to deprive the Jews of their cultural heritage in order to form a "progressive Jewish nation," to use Stalin's expression. Checinski describes how Stalin ordered the NKVD to prepare a civilian network of police terror and repression, called the UB, to work in parallel with the Informacja in Poland. The "Polish intelligentsia boycotted the security service, which was treated with universal contempt as an instrument of foreign domination." (Checinski, op. cit., p. 61.) Thus, the NKVD, despite its deep-rooted anti-Semitism, "could not do without Jews. Jewish officials were often placed in the most conspicuous posts; hence they could easily be blamed for all of the regime's crimes." (Checinski, op. cit., p. 62.) The Soviet strategy of using people with striking Semitic features as the most visible executioners of Soviet policy in Poland was also aimed at presenting understandable anti-communist feelings within Poland as anti-Semitism. In 1945, the upper echelons of the terror apparatus were staffed with Jews. Many Jews in Poland were members of the Soviet-controlled terror apparatus. A public proclamation, made at a convention of Jewish members of the ruling communist party (Polska Partia Robotnicza—PPR) on October 7–9, 1945, stated that in postwar Poland, conditions were created for the Jews to find an outlet for their political, social, and national ambitions. Needless to say, neither Poles nor Jews trusted this official statement. The Zionists openly advocated a massive emigration to Palestine (Kersten, op. cit., p. 80), which for the purpose of creating conflict in the Middle East was also desired by the Soviet leadership.
Soviet Aims in the Middle East In Soviet Cold War policy, the Middle East was very important because of its vital oil reserves. It is well known that after World War II the Soviets systematically used to their advantage the desire of Jews to fight for the establishment of the state of Israel. Bernard Lewis of Columbia University (Semites and Anti-Semites, New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1986) as well as other Jewish historians state that, until the creation of the State of Israel, the only source of weapons for the Jews fighting for their independence was the Soviet Union and its Czechoslovak satellite. Early in 1996, Ezer Weizman, the President of Israel, officially thanked Prague for these weapons, while on a state visit to the Czech Republic. In 1946, the United States government was in possession of "a number of official and semi-official indications provided by the [Soviet-controlled] Warsaw government that it is encouraging the migration of [a major] part of its Jewish population." [George Lenczowski, The Middle East in World Affairs, Second Edition (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1956), p. 330.] The Soviet postwar aim was to get rid of the British mandate in Palestine and play a more active role in the strategically vital Middle East while consolidating their grip on the newly acquired satellite empire. Toward this end the Soviets committed numerous acts of terror to pressure Jews to emigrate out of the satellite states to be able to join the struggle for Israel. However, once they were out of Soviet control, only about one third of Jewish emigrants were willing to go to Palestine. About two thirds preferred to remain in the West and go to the United States, France, or other Western countries. This high attrition rate from what the Soviets hoped would be a large Jewish exodus to the Middle East resulted in Soviet efforts to intensify Jewish emigration. They did it by staging pogroms in all of the satellite states in order to deliver the largest possible number of able-bodied men, many of them trained soldiers, to the Palestinian battlefield where the Jews were short of manpower.
The year 1946 was one of intensification of Soviet-sponsored anti-Jewish violence throughout the region. The Soviets staged several anti-Jewish riots in Poland, including the one in Kielce. In nearby Czechoslovakia, a two-day anti-Jewish riot was staged in Bratislava and simultaneously in Żilina. The Soviet-provoked riots at these localities occurred on August 2 and 3, 1946, during a convention of the Slovak association of former guerrillas controlled by the Soviets. Scores of Jews were injured and Jewish apartments were ransacked. In Żilina alone 15 Jews were severely wounded. So the occurrence of Soviet-provoked anti-Jewish riots was not unique to Poland. What was unique to Poland was the additional necessity felt by the Soviets to severely embarrass Poland, primarily because of the significant Polish resistance the Soviets encountered during and after the War. The Bratislava riot served its purpose to frighten the Czechoslovak Jews so that they would depart. Since Czechoslovakia was permeated with communist influences predating World War II, there was no significant Czech resistance to the communist takeover by the Soviets like there had been in Poland. Soviet news releases of the pogroms in Hungary followed a policy similar to that used in Czechoslovakia. There were four pogroms were staged in Budapest but they received relatively low or non-existent amounts of promotion in the Western press.
Actually the 1946 wave of anti-Jewish riots under Soviet occupation was preceded with an earlier similar wave in 1945 in all areas that the Soviets had occupied and converted into their satellite empire. The earliest was on May 2, 1945 in Koąice, Czechoslovakia, which was followed on September 24, 1945 in Velké Topolany in eastern Czechoslovakia, where a riot was perpetrated by uniformed police and military under the Soviet control. It lasted 6 hours and wounded 49 Jews. The riot engulfed neighboring villages. Anti-Jewish riots followed in the Czechoslovakian towns of Chynorany, Krásno on the Nitra River, Nedanovce, etc. [Kersten, op. cit., pp. 134–135; see also Martin Gilbert, Atlas of the Holocaust (London: Michael Joseph, 1982), p. 241.] No show trials were staged after all the pogroms in Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Ukraine. An exception was made of the riot of the July 4, 1946 in Kielce which was advertised as much as possible in the media because the Soviets wanted to accomplish more in Poland than simply to press Jews to emigrate. The Soviets wanted to present Polish people to the world as anti-Semites in order to strengthen the Soviet totalitarian hold on Poland without arousing pro-Polish sympathies in the West.
The Eruption of Violence in Kielce The Kielce Pogrom was an event provoked by the Soviets in conjunction with their attempt to Sovietize Poland that started in 1944. They were successful, but not flawless, in making it look as if there was just a random uprising of Polish gentiles against Jewish citizens. Although the Soviets took pains to destroy much specific evidence relating to this event, they made a number of mistakes that clearly reveal that this was a staged event, one that could only be provoked and carried out by the Soviet authorities in charge. To this day, the Soviet Union (and now Russian) authorities have refused to release their official files containing information relating to these events, files that would corroborate other indications that this was a Soviet-provoked event.
Some of the Soviet mistakes in staging the Kielce Pogrom will be discussed. In particular: (1) Twelve of the victims were found to be killed by gunshot wounds, though the general Polish citizenry alleged to have randomly conducted the violence did not have guns, as was admitted in the show trial which followed. (2) Soviet authorities had firm control of the populace; there was no right of free assembly, including the formation of crowds in the streets, in Soviet-occupied Poland. (3) Soviet security leaders thwarted efforts by the local district attorney, who wanted to take actions to stop the violence and officers of Informacja stage managed the pogrom. (4) After the initial violence by soldiers of the “blocking company” was ended, it was re-ignited by secret police agents who apparently attempted to pose as steel mill workers. (5) Normally stern and brutal security police turned temporarily friendly as they spread false rumors of ritual killing of Christian children by Jews. (6) A selected group of people were permitted to cross a perimeter of sentries that surrounded riot area in Kielce; Catholic priests attempting to break up the violence were not allowed to pass. (7) A clumsy Soviet-style show trial was hastily held five days after the event that purported to show the complicity of the general Polish population in this event; the inconsistencies in the conduct of the trial itself provided ample evidence of the Soviet plot to institute the violence in Kielce.
The focal point of the Kielce Pogrom was a residential compound at 7 Planty Street. Most of the occupants were Jewish, and many were members of the communist party. Among the residents were members of an armed "kibbutz" composed mainly of people who had recently arrived from the Soviet Union. Some were former German prisoners, and others had escaped captivity by hiding in forests or in homes of Polish Christians. The kibbutz members were undergoing military training and thus had permission from the Soviet-led authorities to own and use firearms. This fact was well-known in Kielce, because the kibbutz members would occasionally parade through town with their firearms. The only other Jedwish residents who had permission to be armed worked for the Soviet terror apparatus in Kielce. Ordinary residents of Poland, people who did not work for the Soviet terror apparatus, were not allowed to be armed. There was a death penalty for the illegal possession of firearms. On July 3, 1946, a cobbler and secret police informer, Walenty Błaszczyk, whose UB code name was "Przelot," reported to the local police that his eight-year-old son Henryk was missing. The boy had been given a ride out of town on July 1, 1946, and upon his return was abducted by Antoni Pasowski, a Jewish agent of the Office of State Security, the UB. Henryk was taught by Pasowski to say falsely that he was kidnapped and held at 7 Planty Street. Further, he was coached to say that he saw dead bodies of recently missing children at that location. (Kersten, op. cit., p. 129.) On the day of the 4th of July, the boy was released by Pasowski and returned home. He went with his father to the police station to cancel the missing child report and to tell the false story of his abduction, the story that was edited by Pasowski.
Next, the boy was manipulated by Pasowski to falsely identify a passing Jew as his abductor who, the boy was made to say, held him in the basement of the compound at 7 Planty Street. There was one critical problem with this completely false accusation: 7 Planty Street in actuality did not have a basement! Meanwhile, a crowd was permitted to gather and a rumor was planted about the attempt of "another" ritual murder of a Christian child in addition to the supposed murders of previously missing children. A small crowd was allowed to form in the streets. Later communist propaganda expanded the number to 15,000 people. A few people in the crowd were allowed to move toward the compound at 7 Planty Street. The staged riot in downtown Kielce was under tight control at all times by the Soviet-led police force. At 10 a.m. on July 4, before the crowd members reached Planty Street, 15 to 20 police officers, including five or six officers of the Informacja arrived at the compound. The officers of the Informacja were men unknown in Kielce. Once there, they were in control of who could and could not approach, enter, or leave the compound in which Henryk aszczyk claimed to have beenB imprisoned. The uniformed police were ordered to enter the building but were met with automatic gunfire from the Jewish occupants. One officer and one patrolman were killed, and several uniformed men were wounded. After the gunfire from the compound, the security officers and policemen attacked and began shooting the trapped Jews and expelling them out of windows into the street. In Soviet-controlled Poland, of course, the uniformed military, the secret police, and the local police officers were Soviet-controlled forces, not independent Polish forces.
An interesting thing happened at about 11 a.m., one hour after the start of the riot. The local district attorney, Jan Wrzeszcz made a plea to those in charge of the security forces to allow Wrzeszcz to work with the local police force to put an immediate end to the violence. (Szaynok, op. cit., p. 37.) Those in charge of the security forces rejected his plea. The plea was made to NKVD supervisor Col. Nathan Shpilevoi a Jew and to Maj. Sobczyński-Spychaj, head of the local security forces. Shortly after the plea was received, telephone calls were made to key security leaders in Warsaw. The office log of Sobczyński-Spychaj contains notes of his telephone conversations with Stanisław Radkiewicz, who was the Minister of Public Security, and with Jakub Berman, a Jew who was at the time the main Soviet agent in the ruling Polish Politburo in charge of all security matters. Clearly, the Soviet agents wanted the provocation to continue, and wanted to thwart all efforts to stop the violence.
Despite the best efforts of the Soviet agents to keep the riot going, the violence stopped on its own before noon. The riot was restarted at noon when a hit squad of secret police agents disguised as workers arrived from a local steel mill. Many of them were hired shortly before the pogrom and of course, since they were not real steel mill workers, did not report to work after the 4th of July pogrom. They came to the site of the violence armed with pieces of scrap steel, which they were ordered to leave at the murder site as tangible evidence that steel workers were involved in the violence. Before departing the hit squad was addressed by Antoni Błaszczyk, an older brother of Henryk (who was used to provoke the riot). The departure of the storming party from work was organized by the personnel manager in the steel mill who at the same time served as the district head of the voluntary riot police, the ewski,"ORMO" and was an agent of the UB. [Krzysztof K Umarly cmentarz: Wstęp do studiów nad wyjasnieniem przyczyn i przebiegu morderstwa na Żyydach w Kielcach dnia 4 lipca 1946 roku (Warszawa: von borowiecky, 1996), pp. 96, 142–143.] The riot was allowed to spread in the form of sporadic killings and robberies. Shortly after 2 p.m. a train was attacked at a station, Piekarzowa, near Kielce. Several Jewish passengers were killed by secret police agents provocateurs who controlled the railroad personnel during the attack.
In the meantime, a crowd of onlookers was allowed to gather in the streets. The security men were repeatedly spreading a rumor that a "Jewish ritual murder of another Christian child" might be in progress. Police and military men spoke to the crowd in an unusually friendly fashion and abandoned their usual stern and authoritarian demeanor. (Szaynok, op. cit., p. 62.) The rumor that the Jews were murdering Polish Christian children was connected with earlier reports about missing children who were allegedly kidnapped to be used for blood transfusions and then murdered. These rumors were spread by agents provocateurs, who thus kept attracting people to the scene of the riot. After 6 p.m., the pogrom came to an end as security forces arrested 62 rioters. In all, throughout the city of Kielce and its outskirts, thirty-nine Jews and two gentiles were killed. Other deaths followed among the wounded.
Some of those wounded but not killed by the security officers were killed by the mob of the bogus steel workers. The question is, who was permitted to cross the perimeter of sentries around downtown Kielce at that time? Krzysztof Kąkolewski, an investigative reporter and writer, determined that it was a hit squad of secret police agents in civilian clothes. These people pretended to be a mob while in reality they were agents acting under strict orders. The few bystanders who joined the fake mob of disguised secret police agents were marked with chalk on their backs by two secret policewomen. Those marked bystanders were later put on trial along with others including uniformed men who were not a part of the UB operation. Secret police agents disguised as civilians were exempt from any charges in exchange for strict secrecy about their mission and were permitted to keep the items stolen from Jewish victims. Obviously, if they broke their silence, they would incriminate themselves in the murders and robberies of Jewish victims. (Kąkolewski, op. cit., pp. 92–94, 143–144, 149–150, 159.) Some of the murders in the Kielce violence were committed by common criminals who robbed and murdered their victims as the riot was permitted to spread. However, many of the murders could only have been committed by members of the security forces. In particular, bullet wounds were discovered in twelve of the murdered Jewish victims. Bullets could originate only from the uniformed police, soldiers, and functionaries of the security forces as the mob members did not have any guns (as was admitted in the show trial).
Dr. Seweryn Kahane, the head of the local Jewish association, the "kibbutz," was murdered by an Informacja officer who shot him in the back of the skull. He was executed because he became an inconvenient witness to the provocation. A few days later, another inconvenient witness died under unexplained circumstances after he testified about the violence staged in Kielce. He was Albert Grynbaum, a Jewish officer in charge of a county office of the UB, who helped to organize the defense of the kibbutz and testified about the provocation. Early in his book, Checinski identifies a highly-ranked Soviet intelligence agent, Mikhail Aleksandrovich Dyomin or Demin (Checinski, op. cit., pp. 25–26), who was assigned in 1946 to Kielce, a relatively unimportant town in central Poland. This apparently inconsequential location was hardly consistent with his rank and qualifications. From all indications, Dyomin's assignment was to bolster the Soviet pressure on the Jews to emigrate and at the same time to create a dramatic diversion to draw attention from the Soviet falsification of a crucial Polish election referendum, which was to "legitimize" the communist government in Poland.
Why was it necessary for the Soviets to draw attention away from the election? The Soviets considered the conquest and control of Poland to be one of the most important Soviet gains of World War II. The Yalta Accord made by the Allies was a cornerstone of the post-war Soviet empire, an accord that the Soviets liked very much because it gave them the biggest empire in Russian history. However, the Soviets were concerned that the United States could back out of the agreement at any time, since the Yalta Accord's status in the United States was only as an executive agreement and not as a Congressionally-ratified treaty. The Yalta Accord gave the Soviets a number of rights, including the right to control Poland and other so-called "satellite states" in the form of a Soviet "zone of influence" that was accepted and recognized by the Western Allies. The same Yalta Accord demanded that the Soviets guarantee free elections in Poland. The Soviets desired to illegally control the elections in Poland, confirm a previously-installed Soviet-controlled communist puppet regime, and thus solidify their political strangulation of Poland, while simultaneously not provoking the sympathy of the American public. The Dyomin assignment was therefore crucial: to engineer a series of situations in which the Poles could appear to be persecuting Jews, Nazi-style, so that a fed-up American public would welcome or ignore Soviet attempts to clamp down on Poland and stop the apparent persecution of Jews by the Polish gentile population. The Soviets realized they had an enormous amount to gain by prominently portraying Polish people as anti-Semitic to the American and West European public.
It is speculated by many, including American Ambassador to Poland at that time, Authur Bliss Lane, that the Soviets purposely chose the exact date of the United States Independence Day holiday to stage the provocation. This choice would serve to maximize press exposure and associated public attention on what otherwise would be a slow news day. Also, it was a day when people did not go to work and could react fully to the dramatic news of the bloody riot. Bliss Lane was among those aware that the 4th of July pogrom was staged to overshadow the Soviet election-tampering in Poland and to serve Soviet schemes in the Middle East. The American Ambassador also noted that its purpose was to discredit Polish opposition to Sovietization "especially among Jewish circles in the United States." Both communist and non-communist sources, in Ambassador Lane's words "admitted that it was not spontaneous, but a carefully organized plot." [Arthur Bliss Lane, I Saw Poland Betrayed (Indianapolis: Bobbs Merrill, 1948), p. 249.] In spite of U.S. Embassy reports that were cognizant of the realities of the situation, the Soviet aims were achieved because American public opinion was swayed against the Polish people, which was the aim of the Soviets. The Kielce riot was not the first time that the method of provocation used in Kielce was employed by the Soviets. A year earlier, in June 1945, Sobczyński-Spychaj was in charge of the UB in Rzeszów where the Soviets attempted to provoke violence by alleging that a ritual murder had been committed by the Jews. A police patrol falsely reported an arrest of a rabbi wearing a bloody apron and standing next to what was alleged to be the body of a girl hanging on a butcher's hook. The false story maintained that behind the rabbi, on the floor, were the dead bodies of 16 children. The provocation did not work because the few Jews in town were forewarned and left Rzeszów. Since the provocation didn't work and those who had bungled the scheme were potentially embarrassing witnesses, the members of the police patrol who reported the allegation against the rabbi were arrested and never seen again. (Kersten, op. cit., p. 110.) A year later, the same man in charge of the security force that attempted to provoke an incident in Rzeszów, SobczynskiSpychaj, was in the identical position of being in charge of the security office in Kielce in time for the occurrence of the Kielce riots. Sobczynski-Spychaj reported to the Soviet authority Dyomin during the time of the Kielce riots.
In Kielce, the agents who staged the violence on July 4 were paid to do so. According to the deposition of the widow of Col. Wiktor Kuznicki chief police,Kielce a man fitting the description of Dyomin delivered to Kuznicki's apartment the money (in foreign currency) for paying off the agents provocateurs needed for the eruption of violence in Kielce. Kuznicki died on December 26, 1946 under unexplained circumstances. He was most likely killed on NKVD orders as he became inconvenient because he knew too much about the Soviet provocation in Kielce. This style of eliminating inconvenient people was a familiar pattern in the Soviet terror apparatus. To make sure that the traces of Soviet provocation were eliminated the files of the Informacja attached to the 2nd Infantry Division in Kielce were recently destroyed by fire in November 1989 (it was near the end of communist rule in Poland.) (Szaynok, op. cit., p. 93.)
Some of the specifics of Dyomin's intelligence career are well-documented. Dyomin was the key Soviet agent in the 1946 Kielce provocation, and stayed in Kielce only long enough to accomplish his assigned task. He arrived three months before the outbreak of the riot. He stayed through the riot, interrogated witnesses of the riot, and then two weeks later he left Kielce. Later in his career, Dyomin was stationed in the Soviet Embassy in Tel Aviv in 1964–67 as a specialist in Jewish matters and in 1969 was assigned to the Soviet Embassy in West Germany. In the American literature he was described as a high-ranking officer of Soviet military intelligence, the G.R.U. [John Barron, KGB: The Secret Work of Soviet Secret Agents (New York: Macmillan, 1974), p. 385.]
Military Trials Following the Pogrom The murders and other crimes committed by the non-Soviet participants during the pogrom were within the jurisdiction of the local civilian court. Instead, the Supreme Military Court, closely supervised by the Soviet Smersh, was selected to try civilians designated as perpetrators of the pogrom. The show trial was preceded by Soviet-style investigations, during which tortures were often used to extract confessions. The role of uniformed men and armed security agents who inflicted bullet wounds in Jewish victims was excluded from the investigations and the show trial of the rioters.
The show trial was conducted from July 9 to July 11, 1946. Though they acknowledged that an organized provocation had occurred (Checinski, op. cit., p. 23), the military court did not reveal who was responsible. Of the mob, 12 men were tried of which nine were sentenced to death. These included seven were described as onlookers who joined in the murders conducted by agents of the terror apparatus, and two as uniformed men who were not a part of the UB operation. Those who did most of the killing were never tried. The prosecutor, Kazimierz Golczewski, a Polish Jew known as an old NKVD hand, consistently violated all normal legal procedures during the trial. He did this with full approval of the three military judges, namely, Marian Barton, Stanisław Baraniak, and Antoni Łukasik. [Antoni Czubiński, Dzieje najnowsze Polski: Polska Ludowa (1944–1989) (Poznań: Wielkopolska Agencja Wydawnicza, 1992), p. 113.] At one point during the trial, Golczewski went as far as to threaten a defendant with additional bodily harm when the man was complaining about tortures inflicted upon him during the interrogation.
The entire show trial was a mockery of the law. It was a Soviet-style show trial conducted in Poland to fulfill political and propaganda purposes. The very conduct of the show trial was proof of the complete Soviet domination of life in Poland. It was absolutely impossible for anyone other than the Soviets to provoke and stage a pogrom in which security forces either directly participated in the riot or stood by and let the pogrom go on under their noses for eight hours. The sentries who were posted around the riot area did prevent Catholic priests Roman Zelek and Jan Danilewicz from reaching the places of the violence, because it was their intention to try to pacify the mob. [Kersten, op. cit., p. 128; also Stanislaw Meducki and Zenon Wrona, eds., Antyzydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie 4 lipca 1946 roku: Dokumenty i materialy (Kielce: Urzad Miasta Kielce and Kieleckie Towarzystwo Naukowe, 1992), volume 1, p. 94.] Because of Moscow's control over the Polish communist government, the global Soviet policies determined the events in Poland. This explains why a high-ranking intelligence officer like Dyomin, who was also a Jewish specialist, was sent to Kielce and stayed there only long enough to supervise the staging of the riots, then to interrogate witnesses, and then departed immediately as soon as his short assignment was completed.
The weaknesses of the show trial created a need to announce the arrest of the officers who "did not show enough resolve during the riot." Military and police officers associated with the pogrom were arrested and were given very light sentences by the Military Regional Court in Warsaw on December 16, 1946. (Kersten, op. cit., p. 128.) The most immediate instigator of the Kielce violence, Antoni Pasowski, a Jewish member of the Public Security Agency, was never tried. Henryk Blaszczyk was not asked to testify. Other less-advertised trials were held in Kielce on September 24, October 10, December 3, 1946 and March 1947. (Szaynok, op. cit., pp. 74–93.)
Maj. Sobczynski-Spychaj, the head of the Kielce State Security Forces, was promoted to head the regional Informacja soon after the Kielce event. This promotion was typical, for he was in the middle of a long career of being used by the Soviets to betray Poland. According to testimony of Józef Swiatlo (former NKVD and UB agent who defected to the West), Sobczynski-Spychaj was the Soviet agent who was parachuted to Poland during the war and brought with him instructions for the communist underground to collaborate with the Gestapo in betraying to the Germans the organization of the Polish Home Army controlled by the Polish Government-in-Exile in London. While in Poland, Sobczyński-Spychaj worked as radio-code operator for communication with Smersh under the command of Gen. Ivan Serov. Sobczyński-Spychaj was flown to the USSR in 1944 by a special NKVD plane. (Kersten, op. cit., pp. 96, 129.) Later in his career, in the Summer of 1950, he was appointed to head the passport office in Warsaw. As the head of the passport office Sobczyński-Spychaj persecuted Jewish applicants for passports. He was reported to have used foul language and threw a number of persons down the stairs. At the request of the Soviets, Sobczynski-Spychaj was promoted to the rank of colonel and was elevated to the head of personnel office of the Ministry of Defense. He was kept in sensitive posts as a useful agent of the NKVD. In June 1958 he earned his high school diploma. He died in 1988 in Warsaw. (Szaynok, op. cit., p. 92.)
Widespread awareness of the Soviet provocation of the riot caused protests against the death sentences. Demands were made for a full investigation into the affair. Catholic clergy, including then absent Bishop Kaczmarek of Kielce, the opposition parties as well as General Wladyslaw Anders and other leaders of Polish political emigration were named during the show trial as anti-communist conspirators behind the Kielce violence. The show trial could not substantiate any of these charges. The hurriedly-organized show trial did not give any chance for the defense lawyers to prepare themselves. There was, however, plenty of effort made to bring a large crowd of Polish and foreign news correspondents. The communists counted on the ignorance of foreign reporters of Soviet show-trial techniques and they assumed that Polish newsmen would be too intimidated to report on the abuse of the law. It was clear that for the Soviets, anti-Semitism was a convenient political and propaganda tool used to disrupt Polish society. It also served to identify anyone smeared with anti-Semitism as a "fascist" guilty of collaboration with the Nazis during the war. Disbelief, Pain, Shame
In Poland, the news of the details of murders in Kielce caused first disbelief, then pain and shame that a Polish mob could be capable of such horrible atrocities and brutal killing frenzy no matter whether the crimes were provoked by the Soviets or not. Throughout Poland meetings were held condemning the pogrom of Kielce as a horrible atrocity. Stanisław Mikołajczyk, the leader of the opposition Polish Peasants' Party, immediately condemned the pogrom. However, reports of his condemnation in the media were censored. The demand for a parliamentary investigation of the pogrom was rejected by the communist government. The Soviet-led government promised the formation of an investigative commission composed of all political parties. It never materialized.
Since one of the aims of the Soviets was to cause an exodus of Jews from Poland, the Soviet authorities took actions to make the exit from Poland as easy as possible. A few days after the funeral of the victims of violence staged by the Soviets in Kielce, Soviet General Gvidon Chervinsky, the chief of border guards, called his Jewish assistant, Michal Rudawski, and ordered him to establish two more "illegal" crossing points for Jews on the Czechoslovakian border. (Kakolewski, op. cit., p. 191.) These crossing points were supposedly illegal, but in reality they were purposely established by the Soviets and allowed free egress for Jews but not for anyone else. The new crossings were added to those existing already in Szczecin (Jewish code name Khyzar, or bristle in Hebrew, because Szczecin in Polish means bristle market) and in Kłodzko (Jewish code name Dorom). The southern crossings were to serve Jewish emigrants going through Austria to Palestine and the northern crossing at Szczecin served those Jews who travelled to West German displaced persons' camps and from there south through Austria or Italy to Palestine. As stated before, about two-thirds of the Jewish emigrants preferred to go to the United States, France, or other western country. As a result of Jewish emigration, by the end of 1946, there were 100,000 Jews left in Poland of the quarter of a million that were there at the beginning of the year. At the same time, over 200,000 Polish Jews were in West Germany and Austria waiting for further migration. The Anglo-American Commission promised admission of 100,000 Jews to Palestine. In the West German D.P. camps, Jewish socialists advocated returning to Poland while Zionists insisted on immigration to Palestine. (Pogonowski, Jews in Poland, p. 349.) A Polish documentary, The Witnesses [swiadkowie], illustrates the feelings of pain and shame inflicted on the Polish society by the Kielce Pogrom. Many realized that the Soviet provocation succeeded in damaging the good name of the Polish people by cynically staging the vicious pogrom and playing up the card of anti-Semitism. The Soviet occupation and policies conditioned a limited number of people in Kielce to respond to the provocation. Also, no one familiar with the Kielce Pogrom claimed that it was a spontaneous violence. (Kersten, op. cit., pp. 96, 130.) The Catholic Church clearly stated that the provocateurs and perpetrators of the murder in Kielce must be absolutely and without any reservations condemned in the light of God's and human laws and that all rumors about Jewish ritual murders are lies. (July 7, 1946, Bishop Teodor Kubina). Cardinal Hlond, the Catholic Primate of Poland, stated on July 11, 1946: "The Catholic Church always and everywhere condemns all murders. It also condemns those that take place in Poland regardless of who commits them and regardless of whether they are committed against Poles or Jews, whether in Kielce or elsewhere in the country. The way the unfortunate and deplorable events unfolded in Kielce demonstrates that they were not spurred by racism. Their basis was entirely different, and both painful and tragic. These events are a hideous calamity which fill me with sadness and sorrow." Czeslaw Milosz, Nobel Prize laureate for Polish literature, called these tactics "socialist terrorism." Among victims of the Soviet or socialist terrorism were many Polish democratic leaders who were neither anti-Semitic nor reactionary. Unfortunately, the Moscow files on the Kielce violence have never been opened. These perhaps contain the reports of NKVD/KGB Col. Nathan Shpilevoi and G.R.U. high ranking officer Mikhail Dyomin, who apparently was in charge of choosing the site and staging the provocation in Kielce. Thus, in the absence of direct evidence from Moscow, the Soviet provocation remains the most likely hypothesis, one that is corroborated by all of the available evidence. Clearly, the presence and activities of these two Soviet officers preclude any possibility that the violence in Kielce erupted spontaneously, and exactly on the 4th of July, American Independence Day, when many people have a day off and can pay more attention to the news than during work days, as was stated by the American Ambassador to Poland Bliss Lane.
Conclusion, the 4th of July “Pogrom of Kielce” The tragic events known as the Pogrom of Kielce of 1946 are demonstrably a part of Soviet postwar global strategy. The Soviets ruthlessly exploited Jews for Soviet political purposes. The pogroms staged behind the lines of the Red Army were provoked or condoned in order to generate an exodus of Jews who otherwise would not emigrate. The migration of Jews to Palestine was needed by the Soviets to abolish the British mandate there and profit from Arab-Israeli conflict in order to interfere with oil supplies to the West. Meanwhile, a minority of the Jewish population was used by the Soviets to establish communist regimes in the satellite states, while some sixteen pogroms in satellite states resulted in exit of 711,000 Jews of whom 230,000 went to Palestine and fought there with weapons provided by the Soviets through Czechoslovakia. Struggle between Jews and Arabs for the possession of land was exploited by the Soviets against the USA in the strategic oil rich Middle East. In March 1947 Andrei Gromyko of Soviet Union moved in the United Nations to recognize Jewish state in a part of Palestine. In 1950-51 Zionist pogroms and provocations in Arab countries brought additional 550,000 Jewish refugees to Israel (see: Naeim Giladi, “Ben-Gurion’s Scandals: How The Haganah and the Mossad Eliminated Iews” Dandelion Books Publiction, www.dandelionbooks.net ,2003) The Pogrom of Kielce was ignited by the Soviet introduction of an organized provocation based on planting false reports of ritual murders, a method of provoking violence originally started by the czarist governments. As was detailed, a very similar provocation was staged a year earlier in Rzeszów by the same NKVD agents. The Pogrom of Kielce was timed for anti-Polish propaganda purposes to persuade the Western powers that Poland should remain a colony of the Soviets, rather than being allowed to return to freedom as did other Allied nations. For that reason it was singled out for extensive news coverage which was to convince Western politicians that "Polish anti-Semitism" could only be tamed by the Soviets and that allowing Poland to become free would cause another wave of anti-Semitism and murders of Jews.
The Kielce Pogrom, perhaps more than any other historical occurrence, has been used to falsely show evidence of Polish actions to exterminate Jews. This view, clearly put forward by a 1940's Soviet establishment keen to subjugate Poland, has been allowed to become the commonly accepted "conventional wisdom." In this case, the conventional wisdom is wrong: it does not square with the historical facts. Those who can examine the historical record but then choose to ignore it and purposely libel an entire nation and ethnic group are on the wrong side of history: they are using the methods of Hitler and Stalin. It is sometimes said that throughout history people and their nations are inclined to gear up to fight the last war. So it may be with attempts at ethnic destruction. In the Information Age, new Holocausts may be possible not so much by gas chambers, the technology of genocide for World War II, but by printing presses and their modern-day electronic equivalents. Is hatred for a person simply because of his ethnicity more acceptable today, as long as the object of the hatred is a Pole rather than a Jew? And once it is decided that it is important to instill hatred against members of a given ethnic group, can there be any limit to the perpetration of lies, myths, and mischaracterizations to drive the hatred home? And once ethnic hatred is started and nurtured in a people, where will it end? The Holocaust itself unfortunately provides one answer, one such ending point.
Clear and reprehensible evidence of anti-Polonism can be seen by inclusion of the events at Kielce, horrible though they were, as a Polish continuation of Hitler's evil work of the Holocaust. This defamation of Polish people can be seen in downtown Washington, D.C., at the Holocaust Museum. This type of anti-Polonism can be read in occasional press accounts that slur the Polish people and sometimes can even be heard in informal discussions. Despite these open sores, it is not too far-fetched, I think, to imagine that Jews and Poles, two peoples who survived a twin Holocaust perpetrated by the same country, could develop a new relationship based on friendship and goodwill. It may well be time, fifty years after this tragic event took place, to put the Kielce Pogrom in its proper perspective as an event unconnected with the Holocaust and an event not conducted by a free and willing Polish population, a population that in actual fact abhorred this violence. The Soviet design to falsely discredit the Polish people through this staged event has amazingly outlived even the Soviet Union itself. The spirit of hatred of World War II and the associated Holocaust, and the habit of hate against Poles promoted by the former "evil empire" of the Soviet Union will still exist among the Holocaust profiteers of the Holocaust Industry.
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