JEDRZEJ GIERTYCH: LIBEL AGAINST A SAINT

Jędrzej Giertych 
LIBEL AGAINST A SAINT 

LIBEL AGAINST A SAINT

 

by JEDRZEJ GIERTYCH

 

The truth about St. Maximilian Kolbe

Knight of the immaculate, and Implacable enemy

of Freemasonry.

 

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MISREPRESENTATION BY SILENCE

As Jedrzej Giertych points out certain ‘pro­gressives’ have smeared St. Maximilian Kolbe as an anti-Semite.     Within the official Church, how­ever, he has been subject to a more insidious form of misrepresentation.  For Jedrzej Giertych tells us that throughout the entire Canonization ceremony there was no reference whatever to the Saint’s life-long dedication to the combating of Freemasonry.

This omission no doubt derives from a desire on the part of certain Churchmen to appease Free­masonry and also perhaps from the desire of certain others simply to avoid whatever concern­ing the Saint was ‘controversial’.     The fact remains, however,   that as a consequence of official silence concerning one of the most important aspects of Maximilian Kolbe´s  sanctity,  it was not possible for anyone attending the canonization without prior knowledge of the Saint to appreciate what kind of man he really was.     While those who did know that he regarded Freemasonry as evil    might infer that whereas Heaven approved the sacrifice of his life,   it does not follow that divine approval also extended to his life’s work.

Significantly, there was an echo of this in the BBC ‘Sunday’ broadcast on October 10, 1982. One contributor said that St. Maximilian’s type of piety rather repelled the somewhat more sophis­ticated, and yet another spoke of the difficulty of reconciling the pre-war ardent Franciscan publi­cist with the silent hero of Auschwitz.

It is precisely because of this kind of mis­representation that it is so imperative to make known the whole truth concerning this outstand­ing modern saint.

The essential fact however is that despite everything John Paul 2 has raised the most dis­tinguished of all combatants of Freemasonry to the altars of Mother Church.

 

LIBEL AGAINST A SAINT

by JEDRZEJ GIERTYCH

The Polish Conventual’s Franciscan Friar Maxi­milian Kolbe, canonized in October of this year had already been accused, even before being canonized, of being a ‘rabid, racist anti-semite’.    Indeed, his canonization was said to ‘leave a bitter taste’ even before it had taken place.

This libel is by no means surprising, Indeed, because St, Maximilian Kolbe had been a vociferous opponent of Freemasonry throughout the whole of his priestly life, it would have been surprising if representatives of Freemasonry had made no effort to smear him in order to try to discredit him in the eyes of the world precisely because of the signif­icance of his being raised to the altars of Mother Church.  Nor is it surprising that he should be alleged to have been ‘anti-Semitic’, for this is the dirtiest of all dirty words in the lexicon of Free­masonry.    Once an enemy is labeled a ‘racist’, a ‘fascist’ – and especially a ‘rabid, racist, anti-Semite’ – there is no longer any need to be concerned with facts.    The smear itself suffices to rule out further discussion.

However since St. Maximilian is likely to be smeared even more viciously after canonization than before, it is necessary that the essential facts concern­ing the heroic sanctity of this outstanding 20th Century Saint should be made known.

 

 

THE BASIC FACTS

The final chapter in Father Kolbe’s life began on a day in July 1941 when Fr. Kolbe was already in the well-known German concentration camp at Oswiecim , better known by its German name Auschwitz.

Because during roll-call it was found that an in­mate had escaped, the Camp Commandant, Colonel Fritzsch, announced that in reprisal 10 inmates would suffer death by starvation, by being placed in a cell with neither food nor water.    Colonel Fritzsch then proceeded to select the victims condemned to suffer this cruel death.

One of those selected, a Polish Army Sergeant named Franciszek Gajowniczek, father of a large family, when called out from the ranks, started to cry and exclaim:    ‘My poor wife and children, they will be orphans’.    Father Kolbe, who stood beside him and heard his words, stepped out from the ranks and asked Colonel Fritzsch for permission to take Gajowniczek’s place, Fritzsch agreed, and the 10 victims, among them Father Kolbe, were placed in the death cell.

Some time afterwards, the other inmates of the camp could hear their voices coming from the cell.    Led by Father Kolbe, during the entire duration of their ordeal they prayed in unison, reciting the Rosary and singing pious hymns.    From time to time, German watchmen opened the door of the cell and removed the bodies of those already dead.    After three weeks, four victims in the cell were still alive, among them Father Kolbe, and as the Germans needed the cell for other purposes they killed these four, by injecting carbolic acid into the bloodstream.

It was itself a minor miracle that Fr. Kolbe was able to stand up to the suffering so well for while his com­panions  were dying, lying on the ground, completely ex­hausted, he continued either to kneel,    stand, or sit , erect, and all the time kept loudly praying.   Yet when he first came to the camp he was already very weak. Indeed all his life he had suffered illness: tuberculosis evidenced by spitting blood.

HIS BEATIFICATION

Father Kolbe was beatified on October 17, 1971 by Pope Paul VI in the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome, in the presence of 150,000 pilgrims and 350 bishops, includ­ing 45 cardinals.    He was beatified as a Confessor, not as a Martyr, because it was considered that his death had been not in defence of the faith, but rather an expression of Christian charity towards a neighbour. It was also agreed that he had been sent to Auschwitz not for religious but for patriotic reasons.

More recently, however, German and Polish Bish­ops together petitioned the Pope requesting his canon­ization not as a Confessor but as a Martyr, pointing out that he had been sent to the concentration camp not because of any political or patriotic activity but because of purely religious activity, and that his death derived from purely Christian motives:    a profession of faith and of fidelity to Christian prin­ciples of love and charity.    Pope John Paul 2, a Polish compatriot of Father Kolbe, who has great devotion to him and who had shown this by praying in Auschwitz in Father Kolbe’s death-cell, brought forward the date of his canonization and also agreed to his being classified as a Martyr, without however omitting his role as Confessor.

 

FATHER KOLBE’S LIFE AS CONFESSOR

It is necessary to give here a brief account of Father Kolbe’s life from the point of view of his im­portance as a Confessor.    Born in 1894 in Zdunska Wola, near Lodz in Poland, in a very pious working-class family, he went to school in    Pabianice and from 1907 he attended a Minor Seminary of Franciscan Fathers in Lwów.    In 1910 he became a Franciscan novice and in 1912 he was sent to Rome to the Fran­ciscan Seraphic College.    He also studied philosophy and theology in Roman universities.    In 1914 he made his perpetual vows and in 1918 he was ordained priest. After obtaining a doctor’s degree he returned to Poland in 1919.    In the same year he became professor of philosophy and Church history in the Franciscan Priests’ Seminary in Kraków.

 

TURNING POINT IN HIS LIFE

However, one of the main turning points in his life was the year 1917, when massive anti-Catholic demonstrations were organized in Rome to mark two famous anniversaries:

the proclamation of the ’95 theses’ by Luther in 1517, and also the foundation of the first Freemasonic Lodge in the world, the Grand Lodge of London in 1717.

Freemasonry was then very powerful in Italy, so much so that it was able to dominate the streets of Rome. In Masonic demonstrations celebrating Freemasonry’s bicentenary, flags bearing an effigy of Lucifer were carried in the streets of Rome by demonstrators shouting: ‘The Devil shall rule in the Vatican’.    The mob committed all kinds of excesses, acts of destruction and vandalism, breaking windows etc •, and a former Mayor of Rome was promoted Grand Master of a Freemasonic lodge.

All this made a tremendous impression on the young Franciscan, who realized for the first time the tremendous power exercised by Freemasonry and the anti-Christian movement.    Yet while he realised the danger which Freemasonry presented for the Catholic Church, at the same time he pitied the souls of the Freemasons who were personally   in danger of eternal damnation.

 

FOUNDATION OF THE MILITIA

In the same year he made the great historical decis­ion which was to shape the rest of his life by founding the Militia of the Immaculate, the organization of the ‘Knights of the Immaculate’, who vowed to dedicate themselves to the service of the Holy Virgin and to con­verting the world to the Catholic faith.    The foundation of the ‘Militia’ took place in Rome on October 16,  1917, at an inauguration session which not only created the organization   but also set out its program. Father Kolbe, while only a sub-deacon had already obtained permission from his superiors and about two years later, in 1919, the Militia obtained the blessing of Pope Bene­dict XV.

 

 

OBLIGATIONS OF THE “MILITIA”

The members of the Militia have three obligations:

1. To seek to co-operate in the conversion and sanctification

of all under the protection and through the  media­tion of the

Immaculate Virgin.

2. To offer themselves entirely to the Immaculate Virgin as

instruments in Her hands.

3.Always to carry the Miraculous Medal of the Holy Virgin which had been established

in 1830 in-France by the Sister of Charity Blessed  Catherine Laboure (at rue du Bac)

and which contains the in­scription:

‘O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee’.     

         Every member of the Militia must begin each day by an ejaculation, which is in effect

an elaboration of the inscription on the Miraculous Medal.

It is:

‘O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have  recourse to Thee, and also for  

         all those who do not have recourse to Thee, an  especially for Freemasons’.   

         On page 816 of the Beatification Records of Father Kolbe it is stated  that his aim in

establishing the Militia of the Immaculate in 1917 was ‘to seek the conversion of  

         sinners, heretics, schismatic, Jews etc., and  especially Freemasons, and the 

         sanctification of all under the patronage and through the mediation of the Immaculate 

        Blessed Virgin Mary’.

 

THE MILITIA TODAY

In 1939, the Militia of the Immaculate had already about one million members all over the world.    By 1975 it numbered three million, achieving its greatest expansion in Italy, Poland and Argentine.

When Father Kolbe returned to Poland in 1919, he immediately started to organize the Militia in his native country.    At the same time he conceived the idea of associating the activities of the Militia with an effort to increase Catholic influence in the sphere of the then principal means of communication:    the press. In this, he was immensely successful.

 

NEED FOR A CATHOLIC PRESS

In a manuscript written in 1919 in Kraków, pre­served in the archives of Niepokalanów and reproduced in Vol. VI. of his ‘Works’ he quoted the words of Napoleon that ‘the press is the fifth great power of the world ‘and pointed out that ‘this had been immediate­ly understood (…) let me say it clearly:  by the MASONS, who work with an iron determination towards the accomplishment of the motto already formulated in 1717:    TO DESTROY ALL RELIGION, AND ESPECIALLY THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION”.    He also said in this manu­script, that ‘in Catholic Austria, already at the beginn­ing of this century, 360   German language periodicals were hostile to the Church, 83 of them daily newspapers. This anti-Christian press had a circulation of some 2 million, and a daily circulation of 1,200,000′. He there­fore decided to create a popular Catholic press in Poland.

In January 1922 he started the publication of a monthly ‘ Rycerz Niepokalanej’ (‘The Knight of the Immaculate’) and collected enough money for the publica­tion of a first issue of 5000 copies.    These he distributed free of charge, asking for voluntary donations. These donations allowed him to print the next issue.    The success of the publication was tremendous.    Thirteen years later, in 1935, the ‘Rycerz’ had achieved a regular circulation of 700,000 copies and became the periodical with the largest circulation in Poland.      It was printed first in Kraków, later in Grodno, and finally in Niepokalanow.

 

NIEPOKALANOW

This became possible because in 1927 Prince Jan Drucki-Lubecki donated a plot of 2 and a half hectares (about 6 acres) of land from his estate not far from War­saw for the publication of the ‘Rycerz’ and later increased the area to 28 hectares.    There Father Kolbe erected a statue   of Mary Immaculate and immediately afterwards a chapel, a modest monastery and a printing workshop. Franciscans and peasant-volunteers from the neighbour­hood worked free of charge, erecting the buildings and by December 8   – the Feast of the Immaculate Con­ception – 1927, the establishment in its modest original form was ready to start working.    Donations and sub­scriptions to the periodical soon enabled him to extend the accommodation and to purchase better, more up-to-date machinery.    The ensemble was given the name Niepokalanow – ‘The Village or Township of the Immacu­late’.   In 1939 it already housed one of the largest monasteries in the world, counting 772 inhabitants, among them 13 fathers,  622 brothers and novices,  15 clerical students and 122 students at the Minor Semin­ary.    A splendid church building for Niepokalanow was planned and work on it began in 1939.    However it was not completed until after the   war.

 

A DAILY NEWSPAPER

Father Kolbe soon realized that it was not enough to publish a monthly journal and decided to create a Franciscan daily.    He therefore started to publish a popular Catholic daily paper under the title ‘Mały Dziennik’ (‘The Little Daily’).    Edited and printed by his friars it could be produced very cheaply. Indeed it was the lowest priced paper in Poland,  being sold for 5 ‘grosz’ per copy when other Polish daily papers cost 10 to 25 ‘grosz’.    It eventually had a circulation of 175,000 on weekdays    and 275,000 on Sundays, which for Poland was a very large circulation.    By 1939 the total circulation of all publications produced in   Niepokalanow   was 1.5 million.    This included two publications for children and a quarterly in Latin.

 

THE IRON CURTAIN DESCENDS

Needless to say, during the war all printing in Niepokalanow had to cease.    The ‘Rycerz’ started to appear again in July 1945 and by December 1947 it again had some 700,000 subscribers.    But in May 1948 the Communist authorities limited the permitted circulation to 30,000 and in May 1949 all the machin­ery at Niepokalanow was confiscated by the state. It took four days and nights for a team of nearly 100 mechanics working in three’ shifts to dismantle the equipment which was removed by a convoy of 65 five-ton lorries.    The ‘Rycerz‘ began to appear from other printing houses but in November 1952 it was closed completely,  and since 1971 it has app­eared in a much more limited Polish-language edition in Rome.    It appears also in some other languages.

 

THE PRESS APOSTOLATE ABROAD

Father Kolbe also attached great importance to extending press activities under the sign of Mary Immaculate to other countries.    His great dream was to develop publications for circulation in Japan, China and India, but while he began certain initiatives in India and China, it was only in Japan that he achieved sub­stantial success.

 

FATHER KOLBE IN JAPAN

When Niepokalanow with its printing house and its monthly ‘Rycerz’ and daily ‘Maty Dziennik’ were already well established in Poland, Father Kolbe went to Japan in 1930, and by May of that year he succeeded in pub­lishing a Japanese ‘Knight of the Immaculate’ (Seibo-no-Kishi’).    A year later in Nagasaki he created the Japanese Niepokalanow (‘Mugenzai-no-Sono’) or ‘Garden of the Immaculate’) – a monastery and a printing house in the Hongochi suburb.    This development was financed by Niepokalanow from Poland.

The Japanese Niepokalanow establishment miraculous­ly survived the explosion of the atom bomb over Nagasaki in 1945 – and it still exists today.    The Japanese ‘Rycerz1 has a circulation of 35,000 copies -as against 65,000 copies in 1939.    The seminary in Mugenzai-no-Sono has 100 seminarians;    60 Japanese priests and 25 brothers are the fruit of this seminary and of the novitiate.   A Japanese congregation of nuns, Franciscans of the Militia of the Immaculate, now has 130 sisters.    About 10 daughter establishments of the Monastery were created and in 1969 a separate province of Japanese Franciscans was established.

 

MIRACULOUS FORESIGHT

An interesting fact should be noted in connection with the Japanese Niepokalanow.    Originally it was to have been located in the centre of the city of Nagasaki. But Father Kolbe decided to place it in a suburb, on a slope of a mountain, a site which other people considered most unsuitable.    To a newly arrived missionary who criticized the site chosen by Father Kolbe the latter observed:    ‘You will see.    The Immaculate has chosen this particular place as the best one and it is from here She wants to reign’.    In fact, whereas this site escaped   the destruction caused by the atom   bomb, the center of the city was annihilated.

 

Father Kolbe had obviously the gift of prophecy. Already as a child he had a vision of the Holy Virgin in the church of Pabianice;    where She handed him two crowns, one white, the other red (a sign of martyrdom), which he seized.     He recounted this experience to his mother who survived him.

He also foresaw the coming of a terrible disaster: the Second World War.    Several times before the war and at the beginning of it, using a map he indicated the Oder-Neisse line as the future Western frontier of Poland.    On the day he was arrested, February 17,1941, he suddenly interrupted the work in which he was engaged, knelt down and started to pray. At that very moment, Gestapo agents, coming for him, had entered the monastery.

 

AGAIN IN POLAND

He spent 6 years in Japan, from 1930 till 1936, with a brief interval during 1933,  when he visited Poland, Rome,  China and India.    During his sojourn in Japan he had continued to direct      the develop­ment of Niepokalanow in Poland from afar by writing many letters.    However, in 1936 his superiors ordered him to return to Niepokalanow for good because the development of that establishment needed his perm­anent presence.    From 1936 till 1939 and later   during the first year and a half of the war he was again personally in charge of Niepokalanow.

 

THE DANGER OF FREEMASONRY

During the whole of his priestly life he was constantly aware of the great danger for the Church constituted by Freemasonry. In his writings, also in his letters, there are continual references to Freemas­onry.

In his manuscript ‘The enemies of the Church today’ (Archives of Niepokalanow. Volume 6 of his ‘Writings’) he enumerates a list of 12 Freemasonic lodges which existed at the beginning of the XIX century in Warsaw, Kraków, Poznan, Płock, Lublin, Bydgoszcz and Radom, quoting the names of a number of Polish Free­masons.

In it he says:

‘The head (of Freemasonry) is unknown and always operates from concealment so as to make action against it more difficult.    It is from the workshop of Freemasonry that the French Revolution was initiated, and also the series of revolutions between 1789 and 1815…. also the world war. 

Voltaire,d’Alembert, Rousseau, Diderot, Choiseul, Pombal, Aranda, Tanucci, Haugwitz, Byron, Mazzini, Palmerston, Garibaldi and others all acted under the influence of Freemasonry.  We do not know the names of its present members, but in our country it is certain that Pilsudski belongs to Freemasonry.  The proof of this is that ten days before the overthrow of the government of Ponik-owski a rumour circulated in Rome that this government would fall because Freemasonry had ordered Pilsudski to take over.’

In Summer 1926, in an article in ‘Rycerz Niepokalanej’ (‘Works’, Vol.6, page 258-262) Fr Kolbe wrote:

‘Free­masonry plays a particularly important role in Poland where many members of the present government belong to a Freemasonic lodge.’

In a letter of July 12,  1935 from Nagasaki to Father M. Wojcik, editor of the ‘Mały Dziennik’ in Niepokalan6w he wrote:    ‘Love towards every soul whatever, including Jews, Freemasons and heretics is thus the only way.’ (‘Works’, vol. II, No. 63, pp. 181-186).

 

ORIGIN OF THE SMEAR

The anti-Semitic smear directed against Father Kolbe began in Vienna   with the publication of an article ‘Ein antisemitischer Heiliger’ (‘An anti-Semitic saint’) in the April 1982 issue of the monthly ‘Wiener Tage-buch’.    The article was accompanied by a cartoon, representing a kneeling friar in Franciscan habit with a crozier next to a horned devil with a pitchfork, hugging the friar with his tail.

The article referred to the news, published in the Vienna paper ‘Die Presse’ about the forthcoming canonization of Father Kolbe and said that this canonization was intended to be a source of encour­agement for Polish Catholics and as Die Presse had written,   ‘the canonization is also meant to exalt the entire life of Father Kolbe including his modern journalistic activity. Modern journalistic activity? Hm!’.    The final derisory exclamation was in deni­gration of Fr. Kolbe’s merits qua ‘modern journalist’.

 

THE ACCUSATION

The article then proceeded to enumerate various accusations against him.    These accusations can be summed up in the following points:

1.It is true that Kolbe founded and edited two papers, the ‘Maty Dziennik’ and the ‘Rycerz Niepokalanej’ which exercised considerable influence and enjoyed a large readership.    But they were ‘modern’ only in so far as they stood for rabid racist antisemitism (wutendem rassischen Antisemitis-mus )   and included ‘endless tirades’ against ‘Judeo-Communists’ and ‘the moral subversion of radiant Polish youth by a corrupt Jewish community’. The Viennese paper proceeded to give an ‘appetizing sample’ of Father Kolbe’s writings:    ‘A special plague occurs during the summer months when men and women frequent the same beaches.   In many instances Jews frolic about in indecent and even shameless costumes and the beaches assume the appearance of a house of ill repute’.    (‘Rycerz Niepokalanej’, No. 7 of 1934).

2.The antisemitism of the Polish clergy – such as Father Kolbe – took such forms that in August 1938 even the Polish Government felt compelled to address itself to the Vatican, complaining about the ‘beastly
anti-Semitism’ (‘zoologischen Antisemitismus’) of the Polish clergy including Father Kolbe (quoted here by name) .

3. The Catholic anti-Semites called for the total elimination of the Jews from society.  This was tanta­-mount to the establishment of modern ghettos.  In 1936
the priest Jan Rostworowski wrote:

‘We have to do everything to establish separate confessional schools for the Jews.’   ‘The Jews must be eliminated from Polish social, sportive and especially family
Jew
ish literature and the Jewish press should be ignored.

4.The journal Maty Dziennik also thundered against comprehensive schools for both Catholics and Jews, and against the teaching of Catholic children by unbelievers. (‘Unglaubige’ – which does not necessarily mean Jews).

5.The result of this was the introduction of so-called bench-ghettos in Polish universities against which many Polish professors protested vigorously.    ‘The members of the clergy who were sensible and inclined towards moderation – there were some – were not able to prevail against Father Kolbe and his followers.’

The article ended with the conclusion that the canon­ization of Father Kolbe ‘leaves a bitter taste’   (‘einen bitteren Ceschmack’).    ‘It is not our business to ques­tion the justification of his being thus honored but at the very least the Vatican could do without the reference to Kolbe’s contribution   to “modern Journalism”.    It may be that most of the dignitaries in Rome have no idea at all as to what Kolbe’s journalism consisted of in reality.  But one hears that a few Poles are indeed to be found there.’

 

THE ACCUSATION EXAMINED

The reply to this attack should be made under three headings.

First,    some of the accusations are unjustly directed against Father Kolbe because they should be directed against others.

Secondly, some of the accusations are simply untrue.

Thirdly, some charges pertain to views and act­ivities which were not intrinsically wrong and can be defended.

 

FR. KOLBE NOT ANTI-JEWISH

But before answering the accusations of the Viennese periodical I wish to emphasize the most important fact that Father Kolbe was certainly not an enemy of the Jews as such, and in particular was anything but a ‘racial’ or ‘zoological’ anti-Semite.    He saw in the Jews souls created by God, for which he prayed continually and whom he sought to help when they were in need.    His attitude was best shown at the beginning of the war when Niepokalanów, at that time under his personal administration, was flooded with refugees, expelled from Poznania and the other provinces, which Hitler had annexed and made part of the German Reich.    3500 refugees found shelter in Niepokalanow and were for some time housed and fed there.    Among them were 1500 Jews who were treated in precisely the same way as Poles and Catholics.    But also in 1944, when Father Kolbe was no longer alive, by which time giving shelter to Jews had become punishable by death, several Jews lived in Niepokalanow, pretending to be gentiles under the protection of the Friars.    They continued to live there till the withdrawal of the German troops from that part of Poland.

It is not true to say that Father Kolbe was at any time an enemy of the Jews.    He made relatively few pronouncements about the Jews. In the 938 pages of testimony gathered for his Beatification process, the Jewish question played only a very minor role.  Of his 1006 existing letters,  only 4 refer to Jews:    of 396 existing articles,  lectures, notes,  radio sermons,  etc.,  only 9 refer to Jews.

In a letter from Japan of August 23, 1934, to Brother Łukasz Kuzma (‘Works’ Vol.  3) he wrote: ‘Concerning the Jews, i consider that one should ser­iously aim at their conversion, but prudently, indeed very prudently.   Not necessarily, by discussing this in the pages of the “Rycerz”, and generally with prudence. Perhaps in due time a “Rycerz” in Yiddish will accomplish this mission.’

In a letter of June 22,   1937 to Father Anzelm Kubik he wrote:    ‘Concerning Mgr.   Trzeciak…,..heissuch an anti-Semite, bordering on chauvinism, that the “Mały Dziennik” cannot follow his line and therefore not all of the articles (which he sends) are being printed in the “Mały Dziennik”.’   (‘Works’, vol. 4).

In the May 1924 issue of ‘Rycerz Niepokalanej’ (‘Works’, vol.3, No.   1057, pages 121-123) .Father Kolbe published his translation of Alfonse Ratisbon’s account of his conversion from Judaism to Catholicism in the 19th century.    Fr. Kolbe said his first Mass at the altar of the church of S. Andrea delle Fratte in Rome where Ratisbon had a miraculous vision of the Virgin which prompted his conversion.(1*)  He retained special interest in Ratisbon, and also mentions him in some of his other works.

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THE VIENNA ACCUSATIONS ANSWERED

Now I shall reply to the accusations of the Viennese periodical.

FALSELY DIRECTED

First, some of these accusations, no matter how just or unjust, are wrongly directed against Father Kolbe:    they should have been directed at others.    From 1930 until 1936 he was in Japan (with a brief interval in 1933)  and cannot be made responsible for an article published in the ‘Rycerz Niepokalanej’ in Poland in July 1934.    Even from Japan he influenced this paper in a general way but he was not its editor and did not take part in day-by-day editorial work.

The briefly quoted article by Father Rostwor-owski has nothing to do with Father Kolbe, or with the Niepokalan6w press.    It was printed in the Jesuit periodical ‘Przeglad Powszechny’.  

 

(1*) c.f.  item ‘The verv stones cry out’ in Approaches

 Father Kolbe and the papers printed in Niepokalanow can­not be made responsible for what was said by Polish priests who had no connection with Niepokalanow.

MYSTERIOUS MEMO

Secondly, no memorandum of the Polish govern­ment addressed to the Vatican accusing the Polish clergy in general and Father Kolbe in particular can be traced.    Most probably, therefore, it never existed

THE BENCH-GHETTOS

The so-called ‘bench-ghettos’ in Polish univer­sities were never introduced.    It was true they had been planned by nationalist groups of Polish students who demanded the introduction of a ‘numerus clausus’ – i.e. a limitation of the number of Jews in universities, a limitation proportional to the number of Jews in the population of Poland as a whole.    In the faculties of some Polish universities the Jewish students constituted 80 per cent of the student population.      According to the Jewish author R. Mahler in 1931 in Poland 46 per cent of all doctors and 49-50 per cent of all lawyers   in Poland were Jews.    (This was not so before 1914).    This was caused by the fact that the rural population in Poland, overwhelmingly Polish,  could not compete with the much richer, mostly urban Jewish popula­tion.    It was for this reason that so many Poles were denied access to universities.    The above  mentioned student groups wanted to secure a greater number of places in universities for Polish students, especially from the poorer classes, and for this reason they demand-ded an official limitation of places for Jews.   As a first step towards this they demanded the introduction of special benches for Jews in the lecture rooms to show how many there were.    But this was only a project and a propagandist device.    Contrary to what the Viennese periodical says, these benches were never introduced.

And it is an outright libel to make the Catholic clergy, and Father Kolbe in particular, responsible for proposing let alone introducing these benches.

 

THE JEWISH PROBLEM IN POLAND

Thirdly, some of the accusations are unjust because they attack activities or pronouncements which were not anti-Semitic and which some Poles – not necessarily Father Kolbe – made because they had a right to make them.    This compels me to make here a brief presentation of the Jewish problem in Poland in general.

This problem had several aspects.

First of all it constituted a great political problem.

‘Mały Dziennik’ was a daily paper, and as such could not avoid giving information – indeed its duty was to inform – concerning national political problems. Neither could it avoid taking a stand in relation to such problems.    ‘Mały Dziennik’, the paper which was founded by Father Kolbe, but which most of the time was not edited by him, could not avoid writing from time to time about the Jewish problem in Poland.    And being a Polish paper and not a Jewish one, in controversial matters it quite naturally took the Polish rather than the Jewish side.    This was not anti-Semitism.

Polish-Jewish ethnical confrontation in Poland was analogous to French-Flemish confrontation in Belgium, to the French-English confrontation in Quebec or Greek-Turkish confrontation in Cyprus.    If in controversial matters a French language paper in Brussels takes the side of the French-speaking community, not of the Flemish-speaking community, if an English-language paper in Montreal opposes some French-Canadian demands or activities, or if a Greek paper in Nicosia takes an anti-Turkish stance, all this is in no sense analogous to real anti-Semitism.   It is simply a matter of taking sides in ethnical contro­versies and of showing ethnical solidarity.    In particular situations, injustices or exaggerations may sometimes happen in such controversies but, generally, such controversies are unavoidable and cannot be considered to be something reprehensible by their very nature.

 

POLISH HOSPITALITY

As a community, the Jewish population in Poland derived from many centuries of Polish tolerance and hospitality.    When the Jews were persecuted in other countries,  Poland, animated in all her policies by the principle of tolerance, allowed them to come to Poland and to settle there. In Poland, they enjoyed complete religious, social and economic liberty.    Indeed, Poland at that time was known as a ‘paradisus Judaeorum’ – a paradise for Jews.    In the 18th century, at the time of Poland’s weakness and economic ruin, caused by nearly a century of almost incessant war, when Poland was surrounded by Muslim (Turkish and Tartar), orthodox (Muscovite and Cossack) and Protestant (Swedish and Prussian) neighbours, the Jews suddenly became a great burden for Poland by monopolizing a great part of Poland’s commerce and finance and also by co-operating economically with Poland’s enemies (especially with Prussia) .    Indeed, in 1751, Pope Benedict XIV found it necessary    to address a special encyclical ‘A quo primum’ to the Polish episcopate, warning Poland against the excessive freedoms and privil­eges accorded to Polish Jews.

After the partitions of Poland at the end of the 18th century the Jews became supporters of the occupying powers against the interests of the partitioned Polish nation.

 

DISPROPORTIONATE GROWTH OF JEWISH POPULATION

Moreover, the occupying powers tried to weaken the Polish nation by helping to create strong agglomerations of Jewish population especially in the larger Polish cities.

Warsaw, Poland’s capital and largest city,  had only   4.5 per cent of Jews in 1781, in the penultimate decade of Poland’s independence.   But by 1897, under Russian rule, and after a century of foreign domination, they constituted no less than 33.9 per cent of the pop­ulation.    In 1931, again in an independent Poland, they still constituted 30.0 per cent.    In Lodz, the second largest Polish city, they were 5.7 per cent in 1793 in independent Poland, but 31.8 per cent in 1897 and even 40.7 per cent in 1910 under Russian rule and still 35.0 per cent in 1931 in a Poland once against independent.

 

In 1912, in the elections to the Russian parliament (Duma), with the help of a small number of Poles the Jews managed to elect a Jewish Liberal, Dr Bomasz in Lodz. And in Warsaw, by casting all their votes (rich and poor, religious and atheist, Communists and Zionists alike in complete Jewish solidarity) for a Polish Communist, a certain Jagiello, they contrived to defeat the two other Polish candidates and to enable   Jagiełło to win the election.    In consequence, the two largest Polish cities, one of them the capital of Poland, were represented in the Russian parliament in and after 1912 by deputies, who were not members of the ‘Polish Block’ (Polish Kolo), but members of Russian parties:    Dr. Bomasz representing the Russian Constitutional Democrats (‘Kadets’) and Jagiełło the United Club of Mensheviks and Bolsheviks.

This demonstration of Polish weakness in their own country, coupled with an enormous increase of Jewish power in Polish industry and commerce, thanks to the support of the Russian, Prussian and Austrian govern­ments, caused the Polish nationalist leader, Roman Dmowski, to proclaim an economic boycott of the Jews in  1912 so as to diminish their economic in­fluence in large sectors of the  Polish    economy and also to lessen the quite disproportionate political in­fluence exercised by Jews.

In   independent Poland,  between the wars,  the Jews formed about  10 per cent of the total populat­ion of Poland.  According to the 1931 census these were 3,136,000 (9.7 per cent)  who followed the Hebrew religion and 2,753,000 (8.5 per cent)  who spoke Yiddish or Hebrew.     The 1939 estimate was 3,351,000 (9.5 per cent) practicing Jews and 2,916,000 (8.2 per cent)   Yiddish or Hebrew speakers.

 

JEWISH  HOSTILITY TO POLAND

For a long time the future Israeli politician Itzhok Gruenbaum was a leader not only of the Jewish block in the Polish parliament,  but also of a union of ‘National Minorities’,  including not only Jews,  but also Germans  (among them some future Nazis), Ukrainians and Byelorussia’s.   Mr. Gruenbaum’s attitude towards Poland was animated by open hostility.

In the years  1919-1920 Poland was at war with Bolshevik Russia.    In this war a very substantial part of the Jewish population in Poland sympathized with Russia.     Some groups of Jewish Communists actively supported the Russian army in certain oper­ations.     Poland had indeed no option but to regard the Jewish population as a Bolshevik-Russian  ‘fifth column’ in its rear.

On the other hand,   600,000 Russian Jews,  who were not Communists,  but were members of the rich­er classes,   were allowed at that time to enter Poland as refugees.     As they could not obtain entrance visas from the United States or other countries in  1926, the Pilsudski regime gave them Polish nationality and the right to stay in Poland for good.

 

 

THE POLISH ATTITUDE…

The Polish people considered Poland as a continu­ation of the thousand years old Poland which was   de­stroyed in the partitions of 1772,   1793 and 1795 and was resurrected in  1918/19,  but had never ceased to exist as a nation and had always been animated by fervent patriotism and a will to preserve its cultural,  religious and linguistical identity.

 

THE  JEWISH   ATTITUDE

However, the majority of the Jews in Poland were opposed to such an idea of Poland and were inclined to see in Poland a ‘country of nationalities’ in which they would play a role of co-partners on equal footing,  in spite of the fact that there were more than seven times as many Poles and nine times as many Christians in Poland as Jews,   and despite the fact that the Poles were the natives of the country and bearers of Poland’s thousand-years-old historical traditions whereas the Jews were alien immigrants.     The Poles certainly opposed the Jews concerning a number of problems.  But this was a political opposition and not anti-Semitism.   It may have happened sometimes that the ‘Maty Dziennik’ took a Polish position in interpreting some controversial matters – but to consider this as anti-Semitism is a blatant distortion of truth.

 

THE RELIGIOUS AND MORAL QUESTION

Another aspect of the Jewish problem in Poland was the religious and moral one.    The Jews were a population of a different religion.   Moreover,  many of them were without religion,   members of an atheist Communist movement or identified with an anti-Christian Liberal,  Masonic ideology.   Whereas Polish society was animated by traditionalist Catholic views on morality as nothing whatever wrong in itand culture.  The ‘Maty Dziennik’ championed that attitude, and there ws doing so. If it proclaimed the idea that Polish Catholic children should be taught in Catholic schools by Catholic teachers,  this was not anti-Semitism.

At present I often pass a large Jewish school in North London. No gentile children and no gentile teachers can be found in that school.     This school has been founded with the aim of giving Jewish children exactly what the ‘Maty Dziennik’ wanted to give the Polish Roman-Catholic children:     an education in the spirit of their religion and their culture. If ‘Maty Dziennik’ is denounced as ‘anti-semitic’ because of its  ‘thundering’ against the scandal of Polish Catholic children being taught by ‘unbeliev­ers’,   what of London Jews who object to their children being taught by ‘unbelievers’ in the UK?

 

Nor is there anything improper in the fact that a Catholic paper,  published and edited by a group of friars,   should protest against indecent dress and behavior on the beaches.     Nor was it their fault that it was mainly members of the Jewish community who gave bad example in this respect.     Similarly,  in Muslim countries it is the members of non-Muslim communities  (Chinese in Indonesia and Malaysia,  often nominal Christians in Persia,  Egypt,  or Morocco)  who give cause for complaints.     Muslim appeals not to follow ‘unbeliev­ers’ in this respect are no more an act of religious intolerance than was the article in  ‘Maty Dziennik’ cited by the Viennese periodical  (which article, incidentally,  had not been written by Fr.  Kolbe).

FR.  KOLBE’S POSITIVE STANCE

If in ‘Rycerz Niepokalanej’ No.   2 in 1923 (probably January 1923)   Fr.Kolbe wrote an article stating that many leaders of Bolshevism,  Freemason­ry and Theosophy in Poland and elsewhere were Jews,  this was not a profession of anti-Semitism, but simply an objective observation concerning the then existing political situation.

Father Kolbe did not campaign against the preponderance of Jews in some branches of the Polish economy.     He favored a much more positive attitude:  a program for developing and strength­ening  the economic life of the ethnically Polish community.  In a letter from Japan of December 18, 1934 to the editors of ‘Maty Dziennik1 (‘Works’, vol.  3) he wrote:  ‘It is better not to speak of ex­cluding Jews but rather of developing Polish enter­prises.’    In a letter from Japan to Father Wojcik at Niepokalanow of July 12,   1935 (‘Works’,  vol. II,  No, 631)  he wrote:

‘Speaking of the Jews,  I would be at great pains to avoid stirring up hostility against them,  and to avoid intensifying, however unintentionally,  the hatred against them of readers who are sometimes ill-disposed or even openly hostile towards them.     In general,   I would place greater emphasis on the development of Polish commerce and industry rather than on criticism of the Jews.

‘Evidently,  if in certain cases they are acting in bad faith,  it will be necessary to react appropriately, but without ever forgetting that our primary goal is always the conversion and sanctification of souls –that is to win them for the Immaculate.     Love towards every soul whatever,  including Jews,  Freemasons and heretics is thus the only way.’

 

Are pronouncements such as these characteristic of anti-Semitism?

PRELUDE TO THE VIENNA LIBEL

The attack against Father Kolbe by the Viennese ‘Wiener Tagebuch’ was the beginning of a press dis­cussion on a much wider scale.

But before speaking about it I have to mention something that preceded the Viennese attack and yet resembled it in many ways.    I refer to the book ‘Maksymilian M.  Kolbe.  Fur andere leben und sterben’ by Sister Kinga Strzelecka,   a Polish Ursuline nun, published by the well known German publishing house of Herder  (in Freiburg-Basel-Vienna)  in  1981,   a year before the publication of the Vienna article.    One can therefore say that the real beginning of the campaign presenting Father Kolbe as an anti-Semite was not the article in Vienna,   but the book,  published about a year earlier in Freiburg.

Sister Strzelecka says that although  ‘Father Maximilian was an opponent of anti-Semitism, his directives were not always followed by “Maty Dziennik”.’ (Page  158). She also says:

‘At another time Father Maximilian expressed his opinion about the problem of the Jews in a letter of December  1935.     He declared his solidarity with the views of Father Julian Unszlicht which had been formulated in the periodical “Ateneum Kapłańskie”, namely that  “there is no question of ethnical assimilation and also of conversion of the Jews” and that “only individuals are inclined towards Polishness and Catholicism. The solution is:  a defense against Jewish preponderance but no anti-Semitism”.  This solution was eagerly accepted by the editors (of “Maty Dziennik”) but contrary to the intentions of Maximilian, though not indeed without his knowledge; it took on anti-Semitic character and created the same climate which reigned in many Polish circles. The Jewish question was the neurological point of Polish society which endeavored to defend its rights. The reproaches against particular issues or articles of the  “Maty Dziennik” pertain to Maximilian only in so far that he could acquaint himself with their text only after the paper had already been printed.     But was he not after all morally responsible in some degree for the anti-Semitic accents in the publications which he signed with his name,  especially during his sojourn in Poland?’  (Page  159)

 

WHO WAS  FATHER UNSZLICHT?

So Sister Kinga Strzelecka makes Father Kolbe ‘morally responsible’ for some pronouncements made in ‘Maty Dziennik’ although not by him,  and also for the ‘climate’ which was not ‘without his know­ledge’.     But what were these pronouncements? The authoress quotes a statement about the Jewish problem, made in ‘Ateneum Kapłańskie’   (the priests’ periodical ‘Priests’ Athenaeum’) by Father Julian Unszlicht, with which ‘Maty Dziennik’ and also Father Kolbe personally expressed their solidarity.     Apparently, the views of Father Unszlicht were, according to Sister Kinga, anti-Semitic.     And accepting these views constituted   anti-Semitism.

Some light is thrown on this problem by finding out who was Father Julian Unszlicht.     He was a very prominent convert from Judaism.     Born   in 1883 in a Jewish family in the small town of   Mława in northern Poland,  he studied at the technical university in Warsaw, but later studied philosophy at the university of Kraków,  and law and mathematics at the Sorbonne in Paris,   where he graduated.     In  1912,   when 29 years of age,  he converted to Catholicism and was baptised. After the outbreak of the 1914-1918 war he volunteered to serve in a Polish battalion in the French Army and was taken prisoner by the Germans.    After the war in 1919 he entered a French seminary for late vocations and in  1924,   when  41 years old,   was ordained priest in Tours in France.     He became a well-known Polish Catholic writer,   author of a number of books and a brilliant preacher.     He worked both in Poland and among Polish immigrants in France. He died in  1953 in France.

It is quite absurd to see in such a man an anti-Semite and to treat the acceptance of his views as a proof of anti-Semitism.

Additional light on Father Unszlicht and on the background against which his views were formed is cast by the  fact that his  first cousin,   Józef Unszlicht (sometimes spelled Unschlicht) ,  born as a Polish Jew in 1879 in the same town of Mława as Father Julian, was a Communist,  a member of the ‘Social-Democratic Party of the Congress Kingdom of Poland and of Lithuania’ and later one of the leaders of the Russian Revolution and one of the rulers of Bolshevik Russia in its first years.     He was a friend of Lenin,  Trotsky and the other leading Bolsheviks,  and,  like many others,    he was executed in  1937 in one of Stalin’s purges,  and posthumously rehabilitated in  1956.

What Father Unszlicht learned,  obviously from close family contacts with revolutionary Jewish circles,   can be guessed from the titles of some of the first of his books,  published even before his conversion to Catholicism:     ‘Social-Litvakism in Poland.    About the theory and practice of the “Social-Democratic party of the Congress Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania”.’    (Kraków  1911). The title of yet another was ‘About the pogroms of Polish population.    The role of Social-Litvakism in the recent revolution.’ (Kraków 1912).    The Litvaks was the name,   given by Polish and Western Jews  (including the recent Yiddish Nobel-Prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer of New York) to the specific group of Jews from Lithuania and Russia.

It is therefore partly because of his accept­ance of some of the views of Father Julian Unszlicht that Father Kolbe is accused of being an anti-Semite.

SISTER KINGA’S U.S.  DISCIPLES

If Sister Kinga’s book probably influenced the Viennese ‘Wiener Tagebuch’,  in turn the article in the ‘Wiener Tagebuch’ soon found an echo in St. Louis in the USA.

On June 13,   1982 the ‘St.  Louis Post-Dispatch’ published an article entitled ‘Anti-Semite Charges Cloud Canonization of Polish Priest’.    The article – signed by Victor Volland – reports in full details the accusations of the Viennese periodical.    But it rejects them in part and undertakes a cautious defence of Father Kolbe.    It quotes an historical expert from St.  Louis University,  Daniel L. Schlafly Jr., who ‘called the charges probably spurious’.     He also quotes Catholic and Christian personages such as Monsignor John Tracy Ellis,

‘a noted Catholic historian  who teaches at Catholic University in Washington,  the Rev.  James McCurry, ‘a Franciscan expert on Kolbe who teaches at St. Hyacinth College in Granby,  Mass.1, Harry James Cargas, ‘a Christian scholar on the Holocaust who teaches   at Webster College here’ and Warren Green,   ‘director of the St.  Louis Holocaust Centre’; all of whom defend Father Kolbe as  ‘a true hero and martyr of the Holo­caust’ and say that all Poles,   including the Catholic clergy,  including the Primate of Poland of that time, Cardinal Hlond,   were anti-Semites and that  ‘Kolbe was not known as an anti-Semite but that against the back­ground of the general distancing between Catholics and Jews he might be construed as being so’.     ‘If you search back in the life of any saint,  you will undoubt­edly find sin’.     ‘They were,  after all,  humans like the rest of us.’    ‘Anti-Semitism has certainly never been an deterrent to canonization in  the Catholic Church.’ ‘St.  Louis was a notorious anti-Semite.    Martin Luther turned violently against the Jews later in his life.’

This rather curious sort of ‘defense’ implies that Father Kolbe was no    worse as an anti-Semite than the rest of the Poles,   and that since he atoned for the sin    of anti-Semitism by his death as a ‘martyr of the Holocaust’ his anti-Semitism should not be an obstacle to his canonization.

Soon after the publication of Victor Volland’s article in the  ‘St.   Louis Post-Dispatch’ two articles, concerning Father Kolbe’s  alleged anti-Semitism app­eared in St.  Louis in the periodical ‘St.   Louis Jewish Light’.

is publication at present, in 1982, it cannot be considered a basis of a critique or condemnation of someone upon whom it had made an impression in 1924 or 1926,  some 56 or 58 years ago.    Father Kolbe could not know what opinions about this book would be published after his death.

However,  even today,  views concerning this publication    are by no means as unanimous as Mr Schlafly and Mr Green would have us believe. Indeed only the utterly credulous and ultra-naive would insist that it is a proven fact that the ‘Protocols’    have ever been proved to be a ‘Russian forgery’.    At the most this view is only a hypothesis;     there is no documentary evidence whatever to substantiate it.

But there in The first of these articles,  signed by Robert A. Cohn,   Editor-in-Chief,  has the title ‘Anti-Semitism Charges against martyred Polish priest doubted’ (June16,1982) . The second, signed by Daniel L. Schlafly,  Jr.   (associate    professor of history at St. Louis University)   and Warren Green  (director of St. Louis Center for Holocaust Studies)  has the title: ‘The Charges and the Truth’ (June 30,   1982).

The second of these articles is accompanied by an editorial note stating that the Editor requested Schlafly and Green to prepare the article so as to elucidate the problem of Father Kolbe’s anti-Semitism.     Both articles are in some way a sort of defence of the fact of canonization of Father Kolbe.    But this ‘defence’ is in fact simply a different form of accusation.

 

THE ‘PROTOCOLS’ TO THE RESCUE

In particular,  Schlafly and Green say that ‘the specific charges of anti-Semitism in the Wiener Tagebuch. . .  are false’.     But they add: ‘Although  the Wiener Tagebuch accusations against Kolbe are false,  the authors of the article have found some of Kolbe’s writings dealing  with Jews and Judaism which do contain anti-Jewish  beliefs .such as those propagated in the notorious forgery The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion as well as having been reflected in the popular Pol­ish Catholic culture of the interwar period.’ They also say    ‘The Polish Jews became a target of widespread anti-Semitism, especially from the National Democratic Party of Roman Dmowski and other extremist groups.    Some members of the Roman Catholic clergy took an active role in various forms of anti-Semitic agitation including propagating the myth of the Jews as a danger to the new Polish state and the Catholic faith.’

‘In five references to the Jews we repeatedly learn that Father Kolbe uncritically accepted and propagated the myth of an  “international conspir­acy” in  which Jews,  Freemasons, liberals,  socialists and communists joined in plotting to undermine the existing world order by stirring up discontent and promoting world revolution,   which would ul­timately result in a world dominated by Jews. Kolbe repeatedly made reference to the Jewish-Masonic-Communist  “conspiracy” alleged in The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, a forged Russian document which  was first    published in 1905.’    ‘Another aspect of Kolbe’s naiveté concerning the Jews was his uncritical acceptance of  alleged anti-Christian remarks supposedly found in the Talmud.’

The authors however praise Father Kolbe for the help given by him in Niepokalana to.‘from several hundred to more than  2000′ Jewish refugees in  1939 and  1940.     They draw attention to the fact that ‘of 10,217 priests in Poland at the outbreak of the war, 3646 were sent to the camps and 2,647 died there. Maximilian Kolbe was one of them’.     And they say: ‘Kolbe’s writings reveal that the Jewish question played a rather insignificant role in the spiritual development, religious writings and missionary activity’ of Kolbe, and that  ‘Kolbe’s writings were overwhelmingly of a spiritual nature, revealing a man who had dedicated his life to Cod, the Roman Catholic Church and its concept of the  Virgin Mary’.

The articles are definitely intended by their authors as a defense of Father Kolbe.     However, they contain    a number of statements which are in fact accusations which have to be refuted.   Here is the answer to these accusations.

1. THE QUESTION OF THE  ‘PROTOCOLS’

The authors consider that Father Kolbe was guilty of a grave error of sin in lending credence to the so-called “Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion which they call ‘a forged Russian document’ and a ‘notorious forgery’

Father Kolbe mentioned these  ‘Protocols’ in an article printed in 1924 (‘Rycerz Niepokalanej’, April 1924)   and for the second time in an article in  1926 (‘Rycerz Niepokalanej’ 1926, probably September) .    He quotes the Polish translation of that publication, recently published by the Perzynski Publishers of Warsaw. (There were 3 editions of this publication in Poland before 1926).

Now, whatever may be thought of this another hypothesis according  to which there was an authentic manuscript by a
Jewish author,  perhaps a series of notes for lectures,  or a plan and rough copy of a larger work,  which the Russian police found and pub­
lished,  after giving it a somewhat unfortunate title and re-editing some of the first pages so as better to conceal the source from which it had been obtained.     In this case, it would certainly not be a series of ‘protocols’ of a Jewish congress or conference, but simply the political program of a particular writer or of a Jewish political group.
In a book written during the Second World War and published after the war, the Polish historian and professor Feliks Koneczny puts forward a variant of this hypothesis which suggest that the real author of these ‘Protocols’    was Asher Ginsberg, known better under his pen-name ‘Ahad-Ha-Am’, a Hebrew author,   and a leader of the B’nai-B’rith
Masonic Lodge in Odessa.     Ginsberg was one of the leaders of world Zionism,  but an opponent of Theodor Herzl.  (Cf.   Koneczny ‘s ‘Cywilizacja żydowska’,   1974,  page 202-203).

Whatever the truth,  there is nothing reprehen­sible in taking seriously, in  1924 and  1926,  the views expressed in these ‘Protocols’.    And even when reading them today,  one is struck by the prophetic element contained in them: for a striking number of    ideas contained in them have since been fulfilled. Appar­ently this was really a program of at least one Jewish author, or group. There is no need to  ascribe this program to the whole Jewish nation. But neither was there any need to reject it as untrue. Father Kolbe had a right to be impressed by the text of this publication if he read it. Nor should it be forgotten that he read it only 4 or 5 years after the end of Poland’s war with Bolshevik Russia, that his observations were made not so very far from Poland’s frontier with Russia, and also that less than 15 years previously he had seen the Jews of Warsaw – rabbis, millionaires et al-combine to ensure that Poland’s capital city would be represented in the Russian Duma by a Communist.

Incidentally, the Russian original of these ‘Protocols’ was not ‘first published in   1905’ as Mr Schlafly and Mr Green say.    Its publication had noth­ing to do with the outbreak of the Russian revolution of 1905.     It was published in 1903. I have seen this first edition in the Library of the British Museum in London. It bears a stamp of the Library, with the date 1903

 

2. NO INTERNATIONAL CONSPIRACY!

What of the ‘international conspiracy’ in which Jews,  Freemasons,   Communists and others  ‘joined in plotting to undermine the existing world order’? This referred to the order in  which  Christianity still predominated,   and promoting  ‘world revolution  which would ultimately result in a world dominated by Jews’.

Did not even Rabbi Henri I Sobel admit in his address to the National Commission of Religious Dialogue Between Jews and Catholics in Sao Paulo, Brazil early in January 1982 (1*) that Jewish messianism envisages ‘a world in which the moral and ethical values of Jewish tradition  will prevail’?    Did he not also boast:     ‘Moreover,  the commitment of Jews to so many progressive and revolutionary movements all over the world is indeed a secularized version of traditional Jewish messianism’?

One would indeed require to be both blind and deaf not to realise that the last six decades have seen the ‘progressive’ elimination of Christian values from social, political and cultural life throughout the length and breadth of the entire world, and primarily as a consequence of the concerted efforts of various ‘pressure groups’.  Nor can it be denied that this process has been largely directed and accelerated by ‘the commitment of Jews to so many progressive and revolutionary movements all over the world’.

The question is not whether an anti-Christian ‘international conspiracy’ exists.    Its existence is manifest. The only question is to determine which Jewish groups are involved and also which gentile, atheistic anti-Christian elements are also involved.

Yet because Father Kolbe referred in passing in  1924 or 1926, to this conspiracy,  he is accused of being an anti-Semite.And this notwithstanding Poland’s experience at the hands of Communism, an ‘international conspiracy’ if ever there was.  His detractors would appear deliberately to have blotted from their minds that the Old Bolsheviks – Trotsky, Zinoviev,   Unszlicht,   Stieklow,   Litvinov,   Radek,   to mention but a few – were nearly all Jewish.

(1*)This address has been reproduced in the May 1982 issue of ‘Ecumenical Trends’ published by the Gray moor Ecumenical Institute, Garrison, New York 10524.

Poles  such as Dzierzynski,  Armenians such as Mikoyan, Georgians such as Stalin,   were very much in the min­ority.     Like Fr.   Kolbe,  Winston Churchill too was very much impressed by the Jewish role in the creation of Bolshevism.   Churchill     stated:     ‘There is no need to exaggerate the part played in the creation of Bol­shevism and in the actual bringing about of the Russian Revolution by these international and for the most part atheistical Jews.     It is certainly a very great one;  it probably outweighs all others.'(1*)1

 

3. THE TALMUD

Nor does one require to be ‘naive’ or ‘uncritical’ to know that the Talmud contains many anti-Christian and even blasphemous remarks.     The Lithuanian scholar Justin  Pranajtis,  before  1914 a professor of Hebrew at the Catholic Theological Academy in St Petersburg,  proved in his publications (published in ;he Latin language so as to limit their readership)  that manuscript versions of the Talmud often contain such remarks,  expurgated,  or replaced by cryptogram letters,  in the printed editions.

 

4 .  ROMAN DMOWSKI

It was no ‘myth’ that the Jews were a ‘danger to the new Polish state’.     They opposed that state. Some of them were pro-Bolshevik and others were supporters of both Imperial and Weimar Germany.  The Jewish lobby at the Versailles conference acted against Polish interests and sought to help Germany.

Roman Dmowski’s National Democratic Party was not an ‘extremist group’,  but the leading Polish political party,   and Dmowski was the real leader of the Polish nation and also the Polish negotiator at the Versailles conference and the signatory of the Ver­sailles treaty in the name of Poland.

He had had to struggle since 1912 against the Jewish power in    Poland and in the world not because of anti-Semitism but because of the grave political reasons to which I have already referred.

I assess the role of the Jewish problem in Poland in a chapter entitled ‘The Jews in Poland’ in my large book ‘In Defence of my Country’ (London 1981).

Father Kolbe:,   being a Pole,  could not avoid participating in the defense of Poland against en­croachments by the powerful Jewish community any more than he could avoid participating in the atti­tude of the Polish opposition against Bolshevik Russia on the one hand and against Hitlerite and pre-Hitlerite Germany on the other hand.

(1*) The Illustrated Sunday Herald,  February 8,  1920

 

5. POLAND NOT  “A NEW STATE

Poland was not a ‘new state’.    It was a 1000 years old state, temporarily submerged for 123 years, by foreign conquest, but resurrected after the defeat of the three partitioning powers (Ger­many, Austria and Russia) in the First World War.

 

6. FR.  KOLBE:  NO ‘HOLOCAUST’ MARTYR

Fr. Kolbe was not a ‘Martyr of the Holocaust’‘. He would certainly have been prepared to give his life for the Jews if such a need had arisen.    But there was no Jewish Holocaust either during his life or at the time of his death, in July 1941.  The Jewish Holocaust began late in 1941 and continued during the years 1942-1943.

Father Kolbe died as a member of the Polish clergy.    According to the evidence published in my book ‘In Defense of my Country’ the German Nazis killed (i.e. murdered and executed or starved to death in their concentration camps) a total of 2512 Polish priests and 101 Polish nuns.

They also wiped out the teaching staffs of two venerable Polish universities:  Kraków (founded 1364) and Lwów (founded 1661).    They shot all the professors at Lwów University whom they were able to seize (41 of them) in a mass execution staged on the outskirts of the city on the morning of July 4, 1941.   On November 6, 1939, they arrested 155 professors of Krakow University and sent them to concentration camps where most of them

It was the aim of Hitler and his regime to destroy the Polish nation completely and especially to eliminate its cultural and moral elites.  The Nazis no less persecuted the Poles than the Jews and the persecution of the Poles started earlier.    About 3 million Poles perished at the hands of the Nazis. The Auschwitz camp was created originally for the exter­mination of Poles: it was only some time later that it became a center for the extermination of Jews.

It is quite wrong to represent the persecution of the Polish people by the German Nazis during World War 2 as though it were essentially integral yet sub­sidiary to the persecution of the Jews.

As can be seen from sustained and systematic execution of their elites, the Polish people suffered no less than the Jews and the death of Father Kolbe was in no sense integral to the Jewish Holocaust.    On the contrary it was integral to Nazi determination to destroy the Polish nation.

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