VIEWSrnPolonophobiarnby Paul GottfriedrnSince the fall of the Soviet Empire, no former Soviet captivernnation has fared as badly as Poland in the American press.rnIn the last year alone, unqualified denunciations of alleged Polishrnatrocities against Jews, most open to question, have beenrnput into the New York Times, Washington Post, InternationalrnHerald Tribune, Toronto Star, Toronto Globe and Mail, andrnsmaller newspapers scattered across North America. Almost allrnof these accounts have a similar provenance and make the samernsweeping accusations: they are, for the most part, written byrnPolish Jews or by their descendants and combine attacks againstrnthe Poles as an irredeemably anti-Semitic nation (in a referencernto the current Polish pope, Yitzhak Shamir charged that “Polesrnsuck in anti-Semitism with their mothers’ milk”) with storiesrnabout pogroms attributed to Poles.rnIn commenting on earlier attacks of this kind, Polish primaternJosef Glemp, known for his sharp tongue, urged American Jewsrnto call off their newspaper campaign, before (one might inferrnfrom his remarks) the Poles retaliated. Despite his tactlessrnphrasing, Glemp was pointing to what seems a precisely focusedrnattack on his country’s reputation. Both Canadian andrnAmerican Jewish organizations and the U.S. Holocaust Museumrnhave highlighted outbursts of Polish anti-Semitism duringrnand immediately after the Nazi occupation. Two much-discussedrnacts of “unprovoked Polish assaults on Jews” were thernkilling of 46 Jews in Kielce (a city about 75 miles south of Warsaw)rnin July 1946 and the slaying of se’eral Jewish residents ofrnEjszyszki (in Eastern Poland) in October 1944. The first incidentrnfeatured mob action and what we are told is traditionalrnPaul Gottfried is a professor of humanities at ElizabethtownrnCollege in Pennsylvania.rnPolish bigotry; the second, while ascribed to the same cause, hasrnalso been linked in the New York Times and by the televisionrndocumentary Shtetl to the rampaging Home Front. This lastrnindictment is particularly noteworthy, inasmuch as the HomernFront was the noncommunist Polish partisan force fighting thernNazi invaders. By now the Home Front has been turned into arnPolish equivalent of the Wiffen S.S., something that existed tornkill Jewish refugees from the Nazis and which contributed significantlyrnto the Jewish death toll. In an obvious attempt atrnguilt by association, Bert Raphael, president of the Jewish CivilrnRights Educational Foundation of Canada, has stated to thernToronto Star: “There has never been acknowledgment of responsibilityrnthat prewar Poland created a climate that made thernNazis feel comfortable in building many of their concentrationrncamps in Poland.”rnThe responses made to these charges by the Polish governmentrnand b’ Polish groups in North America, such as the CanadianrnPolish Congress, have been measured in view of thernprovocation. They repeat accounts of Poland’s own agoniesrnfrom 1959 onward and cite mainstream scholars, like Britishrnhistorian Norman Davies, and Jewish holocaust witnesses whornpresent a positive view of the efforts made by Poles to protectrnJews’ lives. There are facts, after all, that speak for themselves.rnThe Nazis slaughtered almost three million Poles and, with Sovietrnassistance, devastated their country. Of all countries occupiedrnby Hitler’s armies, the Poles were, next to the Russians, thernworst treated and resisted their oppressors the most fiercely.rnThough the punishment meted out in Poland for saving Jewsrnwas death (sometimes by burning), Polish Catholics, includingrnmy late mother-in-law, risked their lives on behalf of PolishrnJews, and the number of Jews saved through Polish interventionrn12/CHRONICLESrnrnrn