Letter received June 13th 2005
of the Institute of National Remembrance-
Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation
on the issue of the text titled "The Hatred of Jews, Black Page of Polish History"
The article contains excerpts from various sources, which are to substantiate allegations of anti-Semitism, directed towards Poles -both before, during and after World War II.
The claims of Mr. Hans Wilhelm Steinfeld, accusing Poles from Lviv of sympathizing with Nazi ideology and aiding the Germans in their genocidal actions aimed against the Jewish population during World War II, cannot be acknowledged as serious nor as truthful.
They are not based on serious, or acknowledged by neither Polish nor foreign, scholarly works - not even those whose credibility are in doubt.
The author almost entirely disposed himself by fragments of published memoirs and only in one case by a less known doctoral dissertation from 1956 by Arild Haaland titled „Nazism in Germany”.
The selection of sources indicates that the author is not concerned with historical truth, but rather to falsify it, among other things by stating: "In Lviv the Polish population began anti-Jewish pogroms as soon as the German Nazis gave their blessing in 1941, as documented by Arild Haaland on page 65 in his doctorate from 1956, „Nazism in Germany”.
This fragment alleges Poles of participation in the pogrom against Jews in Lviv after the German take-over at the end of June 1941. In reality the pogrom was conducted by Ukrainian members of the Nachtigal battalion, which is well confirmed by numerous scholar works and also in the film „SS in Great Britain”.
In the meantime, during this time Poles were victims of Nazi crimes, to which the example of the arrest and murder of the professors of the Jan Kazimierz University in Lviv shows.
In addition, the author expresses an absence of fundamental awareness of Polish history when equaling, as he describes, the „brown” regime of Jozef Pilsudski and the red regime of Mieczyslaw Moczar in 1968, claiming that both were based on anti-Semitism.
The final proof of the existence of „Polish Nazis” in Lviv during the occupation is, according to Mr. Steinfeld, the events in Jedwabne (which he describes as „about 500 km north of Lviv”) and two programs: one television and one radio program.
In summary Mr. Steinfeld’s article is an example of lack of knowledge and basic facts regarding Polish history, as well as of dishonest historical journalism.
It is therefore worth referring to the newest monographic work, describing life of the Lviv Jewry from the war years, written by the Israeli historian Eliyahu Jones, titled „The Jews of Lviv during the Occupation 1939-1945” (Łódź 1999). In this study there is a total lack of any allusions as to the cooperation (understood as collaboration) with the Nazis within the Polish society or the existence of „Polish Nazis” in Lviv during the debated period.
This book was published by Yad Vashem Institute, Israel."