Report: Polish Anti-Semitism Widely Pervasive During Holocaust
A largely unknown document reveals that anti-Semitism among Poles during World War II was on the same level as Nazi anti-Semitism.
According to the Jerusalem Post, a 1946 report from the State Department concluded that even before the war started, anti-Semitism was pervasive in Poland from “a continuation of activities by right-wing groups,” thus making them more receptive to Nazi ideology.
“In the jockeying for political preference in Poland after 1919, most of the major political parties – with the exception of leftist groups – followed an anti-Semitic line,” the report states. “Catholic Church leaders, from Cardinal Hlond down, preached antisemitism and favored an economic boycott of the Jews.”
During the war, anti-Semitism under the Polish Army caused Jewish soldiers to flee the Army and seek refuge in other Allied armies.
The anti-Semitism continued even after the collapse of the Third Reich, as Poles conducted waves of violence against Jews, resulting in Jews leaving the country for West Germany.
“There is not much that is essentially new or different in the current anti-Semitic agitation,” the document stated.
The report comes as Poland is under fire for passing a new law that punishes those who claim that Poland is in any way responsible for the atrocities committed by the Nazis during the Holocaust. The report would seem to undermine proponents of the law who seek to absolve Poland of blame from the Holocaust.
Additionally, Poland has since sought to outlaw kosher meat slaughter and halted efforts to return property to Holocaust survivors.
Israel and Poland’s diplomatic relations have been icy since the passage of law, with Israel ardently criticizing the bill.