A large group of Polish nationalists took a big seat in downtown Manhattan on Sunday and protested against US law seeking to compensate for surviving Holocaust whose property was seized during World War II.
The marches were draped in Polish flags and carried signs opposite the bill SS47, which was passed in May 2018. The law requires the return of property "erroneously seized or transferred" or "provision of comparable compensation property or payment of fair compensation" for the surviving Holocaust and victims' families.
But spectators and anti-fascist activists reported that the protesters not only condemned S447, but also carried anti-Semitic posters and repeated Holocaust denial conspiracy theories.
Hundreds of nationalists took their seats in Foley Square, three blocks from Brooklyn Bridge and City Hall. Some of the crowds drew: "Stop anti-Polish hatred," "Stop forging Poland into the media" and "Treat antipolonism as anti-Semitism."
Other participants held posters saying that the Holocaust was a Nazi German project and that the infamous death camps built in Poland ̵
But according to the video of the event and the accounts of activists in counter-protest, some of the participants were also preserving anti-Semitic stereotypes and repeating Holocaust denial myths. A man could be seen with a sign with the words "Holocaust Industry."
The term comes from the title of a 2000 book written by Jewish scholar and author Norman Finkelstein. It claims that the American Jewish community uses the memory of the Holocaust as a way of manipulating the media and politicians for their own economic or political wins or for the state of Israel. Critics have attacked the book to use anti-Semitic stereotypes and troops, even though Finkelstein is at work.
At some point in the footage uploaded by the independent journalist Sandi Bachom, a masked counter-protest repeatedly asks what the "holocaust industry" phrase refers to, but none of the nationalists answer their question.
Author and journalist Molly Crabapple lived tweeted his conversations with the protesters along with images of the crowd and their characters. She said a protester "waved a dollar bill to withstand Jewish counter-trials," while another had a sign "accusing Jews of welcoming Nazi and Soviet invasions."
Polish nationalists had signs saying "stop the holocaust industry" and accuse Jews of inviting Nazi and Soviet invasions pic.twitter.com/pGeMCP4SmH
– Molly Crabapple (@mollycrabapple) March 31, 2019
Crabapple reported that a nationalist "denied 90% of Polish Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, saying that Jews constituted 90% of the secret police after the war," and another "told me that the Jews in Warsaw were mainly killed. by other Jews. "
Crabapple described a conversation she experienced between a nationalist and a counter-protest, where the counter-protector said her family members survived the Holocaust, but were lynched by their neighbors when they returned to Poland. Crabapple said that the "angry Polish nationalist hooted on her," perhaps "this hap pen."
A heated debate on holocausal history and anti-Semitism has evolved in Poland and culminates in a new law that criminalizes any proposal for Polish participation in the Holocaust. Use of the term "Polish death camps" to refer to Nazi concentration camps such as. Auschwitz can now be punished by up to three years in prison.
Six million Jews were among the victims of World War II – genocide assumed to have claimed more than 17 million lives. The mortality rate for Poles of all ethnic groups was particularly high. In Poland, as in all other nations during Nazi occupation, historians have found evidence of anti-Semitic cooperation between the Poles and the occupied Nazis. At the same time, Polish resistance groups are among the most famous anti-Nazi partisans of the entire war.