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May 27, 2012

Bob Dylan and Jan Karski to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 11:38 am

On Tuesday, May 29, 2012, President Barack Obama will give the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Bob Dylan and posthumously to Jan Karski. What do these two men have in common?  Nothing — I just wanted to get your attention.

Most Americans know who Bob Dylan is, but who was Jan Karski?

Jan Karski was a Polish resistance fighter who was among the first to tell the world, in the Summer of 1942, that the Nazis were NOT “transporting the Jews to the East,” as they claimed, but were committing mass murder in occupied Poland.  At that time, Karski was a 33-year-old diplomat in the Polish government-in-exile in London; he was preparing for a secret mission to carry information about the massacre of the Jews in occupied Poland to America. Before leaving for Washington, DC, he met with two Jewish leaders from the Warsaw Ghetto. They briefed him on “Hitler’s war against the Polish Jews.”

During a ceremony at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on April 23rd this year, President Obama spoke about Jan Karski as “a young Polish Catholic who witnessed Jews being put on cattle cars, who saw the killings, and who told the truth, all the way to President Roosevelt himself.”  Jan Karski had tried to tell the world the truth, while “so many others stood silent,” in the words of President Obama.

After coming to America in July 1943, Jan Karski got his PhD and then taught history at Georgetown University for many years.  He became an American citizen in 1954.  In the year 2000, Dr. Karski died at the age of 86.

Here is the back story on Jan Karski:

On September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland, Jan Karski (not his real name) was a young soldier in a horse-drawn artillery unit, which was hopelessly outdated compared to the well-equipped German army.  Karski deserted, running toward the East, but on September 17, 1939, the Soviet Union attacked Poland from the other side. Karski was captured by the Soviets; he barely escaped the Katyn Forest massacre which the Soviets blamed on the Germans at the Nuremberg IMT.

Karski fled into one of the many huge forests in Poland and joined the Polish Underground which continued to fight throughout World War II, although not on the battlefield.  Karski worked as a courier, carrying messages from Warsaw to the Polish government which was in exile in France at that time.  On one of his missions, he was captured by the German Gestapo and tortured.  To escape the torture, he pulled a razor blade out of the sole of his shoe and slashed his wrists.  The Germans took him to a hospital and he survived.

Karski escaped from the Germans and, posing as a Jew, wearing a yellow Star of David, he sneaked into the Warsaw Ghetto so that he could observe the horrible conditions there. He learned that the Jews were being sent from the Warsaw Ghetto to Treblinka, a death camp that was 60 miles to the East.

Next, Karski went to the Izbica Ghetto, which served as a transit camp for Jews who were being sent to the Belzec and Sobibor extermination camps.

After witnessing what was happening to the Jews in Poland, Karski went to England where he spoke to members of the British War Cabinet, but Winston Churchill refused to see him.  Then it was on to America, where Karski spoke with Secretary of State Cordell Hull, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter, and finally with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  All of these men found his story difficult to believe.

In a secret meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Karski told Roosevelt about the Auschwitz death camp and that 1.8. million Jews had already been killed in Poland. He said that commanders of the Polish Home Army (a resistance group) had estimated that, without Allied intervention, the Jews of Poland would “cease to exist” in 18 months.  Still, Roosevelt refused to bomb the Auschwitz death camp.

After failing to impress any of the Allied leaders, Jan Karski went public with his story.  He delivered around 200 lectures and wrote a best-selling book entitled The Story of a Secret State.  Still, it was several years after the war until it became universally known that Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor were death camps where the Jews were gassed.

So what did Jan Karski do to get the Presidential Medal of Freedom, if no one listened to him?  Although America did nothing to save the Jews from the gas chambers in what is now Poland, President Roosevelt did establish the War Refugee Board, a Federal agency that helped the Holocaust survivors to come to America. John Pehle, who became the head of the War Refugee Board, said that President Roosevelt decided to establish the board after his talks with Jan Karski.


  1. No nation in Europe was more steadfast in the face of oppression. Unyielding, remorseless, inspired by a holy abhorrence of all the Nazis stood for, Poland ‘fought back by every conceivable means in a naked struggle to survive’. This included a crude form of biological warfare. One of the Home Army operatives became adept at infecting German soldiers with typhoid, using germ-carrying lice which he kept in a matchbox and then tipped into their drinks. Even Karski is somewhat repelled by this. And yet, as one of his friends remarks, “What can we do? It is as if the Creator had purposely added to our woes by filling us with an ineradicable love of our country, our soil, and our freedom”.

    ‘Story of a Secret State’ Jan Jarski

    Make of that what thy will .. I gather Lice are feisty and restless .. Would one have to inquire if the poor fellow at deaths door would have a few spare Lice he was willing to part with for a greater good ?

    Comment by owainglyndwr1416 — November 11, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

  2. Interesting. Where did you get the story on Karski? From his own book or the book someone else wrote about him titled “The Man Who Tried to Stop the Holocaust” I think it is. I don’t believe much of what he says and there are different versions, naturally.
    The Allied Intelligence services knew there were not any exterminations at the camps, but they were labor camps. It was all about labor and production, nothing else.

    To wdw: his real name was Kozielewski.

    Comment by Carolyn Yeager — May 31, 2012 @ 8:24 pm

  3. What was Jan Karski’s real name if it wasn’t Jan Karski? I believe the World Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, The War Refugee Board, the Joint Distribution Committee, The Carnegie Foundation (who snuck Raphael Lemkin into the USA) along with the SOE, OSS and diplomatic functionaries in Sweden all somehow helped facilitate Karski’s promotion of the gassing legend. Polish communist and Zionist cells like CENTOS (the Berman brothers and that Auerbach woman whose first name escapes me) probably also had a hand in it. The forensics evidence is compelling that there were no gassings at Auschwitz where we’ve been told they were done, but I don’t think revisionists have really connected the dots when it comes to the bureaucratic back-up of the Holocaust story. No revisionists I’ve run across have ever written much, if anything at all, about the thousands of German Jewish refugee psyops soldiers trained at Fort Ritchie, Maryland, or the Irgun cell in Washington DC run by Hillel Kook (aka Peter Bergson). These were psychological warfare and atrocity propaganda operations specifically related to the condition of the Jews in Europe. These communiqués about reports of gassings originating from Jewish sources in Poland from the British PWE/SOE (?) agent and former ambassador to Poland Victor Cavendish-Bentinik are revealing and were brought up at the Irving vs Lipstadt libel trial only to be overlooked by everyone who was reporting on it.

    Comment by who dares wings — May 27, 2012 @ 8:19 pm

    • w+d+w you are correct on drilling past the holohoaxbollox. The whole thing is a smoke screen. Just to really tangle things up in the thought stream of those of reduced instruction set thinking. Germany, the state, never surrendered in May 1945. The gunfire and sniper was stopped on schedule.

      Comment by thestoker — May 28, 2012 @ 7:05 am

  4. Well Furtherglory–is it your opinion that people really were gassed in Treblinka, Belzec and Sobibor? And was it with diesel exhaust, gasoline exhaust, or what?

    Friedrich Paul Berg
    Learn everything at
    Nazi Gassings Never Happened! Niemand wurde vergast!

    Comment by Friedrich Paul Berg — May 27, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

    • You need to give it up. I believe that the Germans DID have homicidal gas chambers but the amount of people killed was so minimal, that it would barely register as a War Crime.

      Comment by Mic Filler — May 27, 2012 @ 6:42 pm

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