Jewish paper still refuses Polish Chrisian survivor's appeals to print truth about auschwitz
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The Jewish World of Great Neck, N.Y. continues to ignore repeated attempts of the Polish American Congress Holocaust Documentation Committee to get a retraction of an outrageous misstatement the newspaper printed about the death camp the Nazi SS operated at Auschwitz. Instead of identifying SS guards as German, it said they were Polish.
Preisler presently serves as co-chair of the Holocaust Documentation Committee which devotes much of its time confronting and
correcting what he describes as “a constant flow of misinformation and false accusations against Poland and the Polish people. It's
become so obscene that the media often refer to a concentration camp like Auschwitz as a 'Polish' death camp instead of Nazi or
Even the efforts of an Auschwitz survivor like Michael Preisler were unable to budge the paper from its stubborn refusal “to tell
the truth and stop blaming the Polish people for the crimes the Germans committed.”
The problem arose when The Jewish World misquoted an article which previously appeared in a British publication and made it
sound like the SS guards in Auschwitz had been mostly Polish instead of German. Preisler’s committee brought this to the
editor’s attention and asked that a retraction be made but there was no response.
Preisler then thought it best that he step in with a personal request for the correction. He felt the paper would not reject the appeal
of an Auschwitz survivor especially if this had been an unintentional misprint. He even tried to arrange a personal meeting with The
Jewish World to ask it to set the record straight but this was also unsuccessful.
“The matter at issue,” he had written the editor, “is an article you published by David Horovitz, OUR OWN WORST ENEMIES.
Mr. Horovitz made reference to another article by Laurence Rees which previously appeared in the UK Guardian. In it, Mr. Rees
noted, ‘Of the 6500 members of the SS who worked at Auschwitz between 1940 and 1945 and are thought to have survived the war,
only about 750 were prosecuted, the vast majority by the Poles.’
“Mr. Rees clearly stated that it was the Poles who conducted most of the prosecutions against the Nazi guards. But in The Jewish
World, Mr. Horovitz twists these words and reverses everything by declaring, ‘Of the 6500 SS members . . . just 750 were ever put
on trial, and most of them were Poles.’ ”
As someone who frequently speaks to school children about his experience in Auschwitz, Preisler is careful to be honest and
objective with the facts. He clearly tells them that Jews were the largest group the Nazis murdered there and Polish Christians
were the second largest. Yet there are some individuals who claim the Holocaust never took place.
He warned The Jewish World its false accusation gives the Holocaust deniers a good excuse “to claim that Holocaust testimony is given by liars. I hope you can realize how much aid and comfort you give the deniers when you permit such Holocaust dishonesty on your pages.”
Preisler also considers fraudulent statements like The Jewish World’s to be inflammatory and can create a destructive anti-Polish prejudice among some in the Jewish community, particularly the youth.
Among his concerns are the March of Living tours Jewish youth take to Poland to visit former German concentration camps like Auschwitz. The media often interview these young people after they return home to the United States or Canada to get their impression of their trip.
In many instances, Preisler observed, their comments about Poland were bizarre. They disclosed a disturbing lack of basic understanding about what happened there in World War II and that Polish Christians were victims of the Nazis along with the
Jews. Altogether, six million Polish citizens perished during that time – three million Polish Jews and three million Polish Christians.
“The animosity and hostility they voiced against the Polish people were totally unjustified. Many times they spoke with misdirected anger as if we were the ones guilty of the atrocities in the camps instead of the Germans. Their opinions sounded very close to the nonsense The Jewish World wrote about Auschwitz and Polish survivors like me," he said.
In view of so much misinformation like this, Preisler would advise parents whose children are being taught about the Holocaust in school to examine the material they bring home for any anti-Christian bias.