May 10, 2009 - Toronto Star – response to article

Re: Dov Marmur, Eternal Message of liberation (April 20)

Rabbi Dov Marmur's obsessive references to alleged Polish complicity in the Holocaust, without naming any other nation except for Germany, is sending out the wrong message, especially since most Canadians know very little about that period.

Poland was Nazi Germany's first and foremost victim. Unlike other occupied countries, Poland produced no Quisling regime and provided no military formations. The Poles fought against Nazi Germany on every front and Poland's population suffered like no other under the Nazi yoke. Some 3 million Christian Poles were killed, in addition to 3 million Jews.

Szymon Datner, former director of Warsaw's Jewish Historical Institute, has made it clear that the Germans did not rely on the Poles to carry out the Holocaust. More than 90% of the destruction was carried out without any Polish participation whatsoever. The rest involved mostly marginal participation on the part of a fraction of one percent of the population. This was in stark contrast to what occurred in most other countries, including Western European ones, where German personnel was extremely thin. There the Germans had to rely almost entirely on local collaborators to round up the Jews and send them to the death camps.

The Germans had large numbers of forces stationed in Poland. They also brought in collaborators of various other nationalities to liquidate the ghettos and to staff the death camps. Sadly, the Jewish councils and Jewish police played a pivotal role in policing and liquidating the ghetto in Warsaw, and many others. 

Poland was the only occupied country where the Germans routinely punished by death anyone who assisted a Jew. More than 1,000 Christian Poles were summarily executed, burned alive or perished in concentration camps for helping Jews. Why does Rabbi Marmur remain silent about this sacrifice?

Canadian Polish Congress, Toronto District