From: "Charles Chotkowski"
To: email@example.com Subject: Submission for Nizkor Project Content-Type: text/plain Date: Sun, 22 Feb 1998 18:48:04 EST Sender: kmcvay Status: RO Dear Mr. McVay: The following letters to the editor are submitted for posting at the location: FTP: orgs/american/polish-historical-society/press Thank you. Letters published in the New Haven (Conn.) Register, Jan. 5, 1992: Holocaust denial not supported by Poles, Polish-Americans To the Editor: As a Polish-American, I was distressed to read the letter from Zbigniew Zielinski in support of those college newspaper editors who published advertisements placed by Bradley Smith to deny the Holocaust. Zielinski is president of the Polish Historical Society, a small group not to be confused with the Polish-American Historical Association, a nationwide organization of scholars. Certainly the historical literature on the Holocaust -- like the history of any other event -- is subject to verification, correction and reinterpretation. I might add that this applies especially to the treatment of Poland and the Poles in Holocaust literature. But this is not what the Smith advertisements are about. Zielinski must know that those advertisements, against all historical evidence, promote the revisionist claim that the Holocaust never happened. As such, they are an insult to all the victims of Nazi mass murders: Jews, Poles, Gypsies and others. Bradley Smith does not belong in the same category as Jewish scholars like Yehuda Bauer or Shmuel Krakowski, or the Polish-American scholar Richard C. Lukas, whose authoritative book "The Forgotten Holocaust" documents Nazi persecution of Poles. We ought to oppose revisionists of every kind: those who deny the Holocaust in its entirety, and those who would restrict commemoration of the victims to members of particular ethnic, political or religious groups. By coincidence, on the day Zielinski's letter was published, I was at the United Nations for the opening of a documentary photographic exhibition, "Auschwitz: A Crime Against Humanity," sponsored by the Polish government, and created by the Auschwitz State Museum in Poland in cooperation with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. These photographs of a Nazi death camp fully refute the revisionist propaganda in the Smith advertisements. Polish Ambassador Kazimierz Dziewanowski, opening the exhibition, remarked that the Poles, also persecuted by the Nazis, do know something about the tragedy of the Holocaust, and thus are better able to understand the pain of the Jews. This exhibition and the words of the ambassador -- and not Bradley Smith --represent the attitude of the government and people of Poland and of Polish-Americans. Zielinski should have recognized the difference, and not written a disingenuous letter so hurtful to both Jews and Poles. Charles Chotkowski Fairfield Readers beware To the Editor: I have just become acquainted with the letter of Zbigniew Zielinski concerning the Holocaust and the responses which followed his utterances. I have taught Polish history in this country for over 30 years and I know well the historical milieu as former chairman of the History Section of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences, as member of the advisory council of the Polish-American Historical Association, as a member of the Pilsudski Institute and so forth. I have never heard either of Zielinski or of his Polish Historical Society. Readers must not be misled into supposing that his letter represents any reputable Polish historical organization in this country or the views of anyone but Zielinski whoever he may be. Piotr S. Wandycz New Haven Editor's note: Piotr S. Wandycz is Bradford Durfee professor of history at Yale University. Revisionism lacks scholarly foundation To the Editor: As a person professionally involved in the field of Polish history, I was surprised to find yet another revisionist interpretation of the Holocaust, this time among the letters to the editor of the Register. Zbigniew Zielinski, the president of the so-called Polish Historical Society in Stamford, involved himself in what he calls a "healthy reinterpretation of the acquired data" on the Holocaust. I cannot help but notice that Zielinski's "scholarly" interests have more in common with the latest revisionist trends in Germany than they have with actual work of Polish historians in this country or in Poland. Zielinski's society is not among a dozen, or so, nationally recognized associations of Polish scholars in the United States, and it cannot, therefore, represent the views of anyone, except Zielinski himself. Since the creation of Nazi concentration camps during World War II, Polish and Jewish witnesses, survivors, scholars and statesmen, carried on a relentless campaign to inform the world of the horrors of Hitler's rule. And now, with the resurgence of extremist groups worldwide, one individual has the audacity to voice his twisted opinions on matters as sensitive as the Holocaust, as if it were the voice of some important professional organization. Aside from the fact that Zielinski's data are flawed, the tone of his letter is insulting to Jews and Poles alike. Mieczyslaw Rozbicki New Haven Editor's note: Mieczyslaw Rozbicki is a candidate for a doctorate in history at Yale University. ______________________________________________________ Get Your Private, Free Email at http://www.hotmail.com
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