Scrapbookpages Blog

September 26, 2015

The one and only war crime that was not committed by the Germans

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust, World War II — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 9:19 am

The following quote is from a news article which you can read in full here.

It is hardly possible to exaggerate the guilt of the Nazi regime, but not all of the wartime crimes committed in eastern Europe can be laid at its door.

The above quote is a reference to a crime, in which German Waffen SS soldiers were wrongly blamed. This was the massacre that took place in the Polish town of Jedwabne on July 10, 1941 during the German invasion of the Soviet Union. Sixteen hundred Jews in the town were viciously murdered by the Polish residents, two weeks after the German soldiers had left.

Innocent men, women and children in the town were forced into a barn and then burned alive. The perpetrators claimed that they had been ordered by the Germans to commit this crime, but a trial in 1949 proved that this was a lie.

Map shows location of Jedwabne

Map shows location of Jedwabne

The news story continues with this quote:

Begin quote

The younger men [in Jedwabne] were clubbed to death. Older people, and mothers with children, were driven into a barn that was set alight, burning them to death. When the Soviet Union regained control of the area an investigation into the massacre was ordered and a memorial was erected, announcing that 1,600 Jews had been killed there by the German Gestapo.

It wasn’t until 2000 that this version of events was challenged publicly by the Polish-American historian Jan Tomasz Gross in his book Neighbours. “One day, in July 1941,” Gross wrote, “half of the population of a small east European town murdered the other half.” The killers, in other words, were not the German invaders, but the Polish inhabitants of Jedwabne.

End quote

I wrote this previous blog post about the Jews in Poland:  https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2012/05/22/the-long-road-from-the-shetetls-of-eastern-europe-to-the-good-life-in-america-and-the-uk-via-auschwitz/

Martin Zaidenstadt, who claims to be a Holocaust survivor, was born in 1911 in Jedwabne. Zaidenstadt would be 104 years old if he is still alive. I wrote about him on this page of my websiter:

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauSurvivor.html