More Poles Died Rescuing Jews
From The Nazis Than Anyone Else
Brooklyn N.Y… There is good reason why the Polish American Congress chose Henryk Cioczek, M.D. Ph.D. (above) as one of its honorees when it holds its Annual Awards Banquet at the Polish & Slavic Center in Greenpoint, Brooklyn on October 26th.
Dr. Cioczek’s family is an outstanding example of Polish people who personally cared enough to risk being killed by the Nazis for trying to rescue Jews during the German occupation of Poland in World War II.
In photo: Dr. Henryk Cioczek
At last year’s observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day at New York City’s Queens College, the Brooklyn oncologist presented a copy of the most recent book he published, “The Polish Jerusalem – A History of Endurance.” Dr. Cioczek described how both of his parents and both of his grandparents were awarded Israel’s Yad Vashem Medal of Honor as “Righteous Among the Nations” for their heroic achievements in saving the lives of Jews.
Dr. Cioczek is now in possession of the medal and displayed it to the Queens College audience.
Despite the fact Poland was the only country in all German-occupied Europe where an official death penalty was ordered for anyone who dared give any kind of help to a Jew, more Poles are honored at Yad Vashem than anyone else. Many Poles who helped Jews were overlooked and never counted in this number because they were killed along with the Jews they were trying to rescue, according to Dr. Cioczek.
He also cited the gruesome statistic that six million Polish citizens perished during the cruel years of the Holocaust – three million Polish Jews and three million Polish Christians. “Among these were ten members from my own family,” he said.
As an example of Holocaust misrepresentations about Poland, Dr. Cioczek deplored the disturbing habit of some American media which identify concentration camps the Germans operated during World War II as “Polish camps” instead of “German camps.”
Such allegations became so misleading that even the United Nations stepped in several years ago to declare that the only correct way to describe the Auschwitz death camp was “Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi German Concentration and Death Camp.”
Misstatements like these may simply be a deplorable display of journalistic incompetence. Skeptics may be inclined to suspect something more sinister intended to imply that the Polish people are to be blamed for the Holocaust and bear the guilt for it, rather than the Germans.
“The effort to blame the Poles for what the Germans did is a continuing campaign. When reporting recently on the prosecution of elderly Germans who once had been Auschwitz guards, ABC-TV ignored the United Nations declaration and protests of the Polish American Congress and called Auschwitz a Polish camp,” the Holocaust Documentation Committee of the Polish American Congress stated. Dr. Cioczek is a member of the Downstate New York Division of the Polish American Congress and adviser to the Holocaust Documentation Committee.
– Frank Milewski