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Polish survivors correct another holocaust misrepresentation

June 07, 2007

NEW YORK, N.Y. – NJ101.5’s talk show hosts Carton & Rossi aired what was, for them, a very different type of show from what they usually give their audience.

It was an interview with two Polish Catholic survivors of the Holocaust who are members of the Polish American Congress.

An agreement to do the interview was reached only minutes before air time with a delegation from the Anti-Bigotry Committee of the Polish American Congress in New York.

The group had come to the station’s Trenton studios to meet with management and the radio personalities to correct a false statement previously made about the Polish people in World War II.

It was bad enough when Carton & Rossi went after New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak and called him a “Polack.”

Politicians may be fair game for the media but most Polish Americans feel the word “Polack” is just as offensive as “nigger,” “kike” or
“spic” would be to someone else.

Then, Carton really lost his cool when a listener called in to object to the duo’s bashing of Lesniak with that word and reminded them that Hitler and the Nazis also denigrated the people of Poland as they occupied that country in World War II.

Carton interrupted the caller and asked him if he was Jewish. “No, Catholic,” he answered. Carton shot back: “and you’re going to tell  a Jew (Carton is Jewish) about the Holocaust? Half the Polacks joined the Nazi Party – to do what – kill Jews” and disconnected the caller.

The incident created a furor in the Polish American community, even beyond the local area. Senator Lesniak was upset. So were countless Polish Christians whose families the Germans tortured or murdered the same way they tortured and murdered the Jews of Poland.

Also upset was Michael Preisler who personally got to know how the Germans tortured and murdered their victims because he spent more than three years as one of their prisoners in Auschwitz. So was Paul Wos who survived the Flossenburg concentration camp. But before the Germans sent Wos there, he and his parents rescued twelve Jews from the clutches of the Nazis and saved their lives.

Mr. Preisler and Mr.Wos are spending their latter years speaking and educating the public about “the anti-Christian, the anti-Catholic
prejudice which has now become so evident among some so-called Holocaust historians and is destroying the reliability of that history.”

Both of them felt the statement Carton blurted out was so absurd that he must have done it more from ignorance than from malice.

But they also thought the accusation, preposterous as it was, badly needed a correction. Despite their age and physical constrictions, they wanted to go and personally confront Carton about his false accusation.

So they asked Frank Milewski who heads the Anti-Bigotry Committee to arrange a meeting with the Millennium Radio Group which
employs Carton & Rossi.

“We are deeply grieved by such an outright lie you allowed on your station,” Milewski advised Millennium. “ Mr. Carton should not be permitted to mislead your audience by making such malicious and fraudulent charges. It is distressing that you have not yet rebuked him for it and directed him to correct this falsehood.” Millennium agreed to a meeting.

In a two-hour session prior to show time, Preisler and Wos gave Millennium and their talk show hosts a Polish perspective on Holocaust history which often has been “deliberately suppressed.” Over the years, Preisler noted “only Gypsies, Jehovah’s Witnesses
and homosexuals are usually recognized as the ‘other’ victims besides the Jews. Rarely the Christians.”

When Paul Wos and his parents were honored at the Israeli Consulate in New York with the Yad Vashem Medal as “Righteous Among the Nations,” the Consul General played an audiotape recorded by one of the Jews the Wos family had rescued. In it, he thanked them for risking their lives to do it. Mr. Wos brought the tape with him and asked Carton & Rossi to listen to it and learn from it.

When Preisler and Wos took their seats at the microphones of NJ101.5, they were able to tell listeners in New Jersey and parts of
Pennsylvania and New York facts about the Holocaust which most of them, undoubtedly, never heard before.

They emphasized that the magnitude of the Holocaust was even greater than what has thus far been revealed. It was not limited simply to Jews and some small minority groups but also included millions of Christians like Preisler and Wos.

Preisler recalled how he was told when he first arrived in Auschwitz that the only way out of there was up the chimney of the crematorium. These days, when people notice his Auschwitz number engraved on his arm, they usually express their sympathy and respect for the Jewish people.

When Preisler tells them he is Christian and not Jewish, the most common response from them is “we didn’t know there were Christians in Auschwitz.”

When a puzzled Carton asked Wos why he and his parents were willing to risk the possibility of being killed for trying to rescue
someone else, Wos told him “because I am a Christian.”

In its official statement issued after the Polish survivors appeared on the station, Program Director Eric Johnson said “New Jersey 101.5 was happy to extend an invitation to the Polish American Congress and work in cooperation with them to resolve this issue.”

Contact: Frank Milewski
(718) 263-2700 Ext. 105

Note to Editor: The attachment with this release is the photo shown below.

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