Polish Directors’ Guild Expresses ‘Outrage’ at Public Television Network’s Attack on Oscar-Winning Film ‘Ida’

Polish Directors' Guild Expresses 'Outrage' at
Courtesy of Sundance

LONDON — The Polish Directors’ Guild has written a letter to express its sense of “outrage” at the decision by Poland’s public broadcaster TVP to screen a program strongly critical of Pawel Pawlikowski’s Oscar-winning film “Ida” immediately before the film aired Thursday on TVP2.

The 12-minute program, titled “Around ‘Ida,’” is composed of clips from the film and monologues by two TVP commentators — film critic Krzysztof Klopotowski of TVP Kultura and historian Piotr Gursztyn of TVP Historia — and Maciej Swirski of the Polish Anti-Defamation League, which campaigns against perceived attacks on Poland’s reputation. In it they claim that the story told in “Ida” is historically inaccurate, and presents an overly negative picture of Polish people’s actions during the Nazi Occupation.

Swirski stated: “If a film is to be part of a nation’s catharsis it should have a meaning that Polish people agree with.” He added: “You should talk about horrible things in a nation’s history but you cannot do it in a way that offends the nation.” Gursztyn added: “Poles have every right to feel sensitive when they are accused of crimes they did not commit, or when they are accused of a scale of crime that is disproportionate to the actual events.”

The program also alleged that “Ida” would not have won its Oscar if it hadn’t presented events in Occupied Poland from the point of view of Jewish characters. Klopotowski said: “If this film did not contribute to the defense of Jews in the Polish-Jewish conflict then it would not get an Oscar.”

The program immediately preceded the film, without an intermission, and ended with a number of title cards that were designed in such a way that they could have been thought to be part of the film itself. These title cards stated that far from participating in the persecution of Jewish Poles during the Occupation, many non-Jewish Poles helped Jews to escape from the Nazis at great risk to themselves.

The multi-layered film follows an 18-year-old novice nun in 1960s Communist Poland, who was orphaned during the Nazi Occupation, as she embarks on a search for the truth about her past and the fate of her family. The film is a nuanced existentialist exploration of questions of faith, identity and forgiveness, and juxtaposes the young nun’s naivety with her aunt’s cynicism. (See Variety review here.)

In its protest letter, the Polish Directors’ Guild stated: “For the first time in the 25-year long history of free public media in Poland a film was accompanied by an ideological interpretation, which did not present the viewer with an analysis of the film’s subject or its artistic value, but instead it enforced ‘its one and only correct’ interpretation.”

It added: “Such actions show not only the lack of respect toward the creators but also the viewers, who lose the opportunity to interpret the film on their own. It’s a sign of the broadcaster’s lack of faith in the viewers’ sensitivity and intelligence. It’s a violation of good conduct and a clear example of manipulative propaganda practices, which do not fit the standards of media in a democratic state.”

The controversy has also provoked a letter of protest from Polish film critics and theorists in which they stated that the title cards “presented by TVP were not clearly separated from the film, and many viewers could have taken it for part of the front credits of the film,” and “instead of a debate we received a one-sided judgement of the film.”

The film’s producers are understood to be taking legal advice to determine whether TVP has violated the terms of its license.

Last week’s assault on “Ida’s” credibility follows a series of attacks by nationalists on Pawlikowski’s film over the past year, including criticism from Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party, and Prime Minister Beata Szydlo.

Pawlikowski told Variety: “They paid no attention to ‘Ida’ when it first came out. It was black and white, starless and arthouse. But when it reached a worldwide audience, started winning awards and threatened to win an Oscar, they used its growing exposure to their own advantage, as part of an election campaign based on fear, a sense of siege and crisis, saying that it’s anti-Polish and part of a sinister worldwide conspiracy by murky forces against the good image of Poland.”

Pawlikowski added: “‘Ida’ is not about an issue, it’s not about setting the record straight, it’s not a film about Polish history — God forbid! — but a layered and complicated film about complicated and ambiguous characters and universal existential questions. Which makes their never-ending attacks on it all the more absurd and self-serving.

“These nationalists don’t deal with the actual film at all. Most of them haven’t actually seen it. They use the film as a mere pretext to rouse patriotic sentiment and give vent to their neverending obsession with a supposed worldwide Jewish-German-leftwing-liberal-Russian (sic) conspiracy against Poland. It’s their outrageous xenophobic statements that do damage to our reputation abroad — not my film.”

Last week’s assault on “Ida” follows a change in Poland’s media law to allow the Law and Justice Party government to take direct control of TVP and other publicly owned media outlets. The party, which has a strongly nationalist agenda, has also taken measures to restrict the role of the constitutional court and increase surveillance of digital communications. The European Union is now investigating these changes, which Parliament president Martin Schulz has described as a “dangerous Putinization of European politics.”

On Saturday, more than 80,000 people protested against what they saw as a smear campaign by the ruling party on the reputation of former democracy leader and Polish president Lech Walesa. The government has alleged Walesa was a paid informant of the Communist secret police in the 1970s; Walesa rejects the allegations and claims documents released by the government have been forged.

Pawlikowski told Variety: “The awful thing is that Poland is a lively, democratic, varied society, and these people, who were voted in by a mere 6.5 million (out of a nation of 40 million), are ruining the image of our country for all of us and for a long time.”

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  1. “Communist Poland”
    ———————————
    In Poland, it was Communism?
    I thought only Socialism. As in the USSR ))

  2. Darek says:

    There was more movies made by the Hollywood about good Nazis than good Poles. This is very disturbing to all the Poles. I always enjoyed a good controversial work or art. After watching the movie and analyzing the controversy it is clear that the movie talks about two sides. The Jewish government treating Poles during the communist rule and the Poles treating the Jews during the war. Although it is unquestionable that the communist legal justice system was controlled by the Jews, and that they have executed many brave Poles and returning soldiers fighting for freedom, but there is no controversy in that. On the other hand, showing how a Pole took an axe and killed the Jewish family is an incident one out of a million. Therefore it is a creative interpretation of the director to question the Polish people during the war. Even if it was done with good intention, even though there was thousands of different hero stories that could have been told, he decided to pick this one. It is vary sad time and disproportionate understanding of the real situation during and after the war.

  3. Wojciech says:

    I’m Polish and yeah, I think that comments from my country are rather one-sided. I believe these people speak earnestly, that they feel outraged. They are real Polish patriots. But their love for our country is still in its infant stage, for they behave like children who can’t stand the thought that mommy might not be an absolutely perfect embodiment of pure love and virtue.
    To them I’d like to say, ask around, people. Listen to our compatriots, especially those from the smaller towns, those more conservative ones. Ask them what they think of Jews, almost 50 years after expelling the Holocaust survivors from their – our – homeland. Ask them why calling someone a Jew is still considered an insult. Ask them why so many Jews in Poland changed their surnames after the war
    Antisemitism in Poland is on the wane, but it is by no means gone, and at its peak in the 1930 there were some really ugly ideas tossed around about resettling our Jewish citizens to Madagascar or somewhere. True, when the Germans occupied our country and imprisoned Jews in the ghettos, even some fervent antisemites like Zofia Kossak-Szczucka started to protest and organize help. But reading her “Protest” (scroll down) one doesn’t really get the image of a nation united behind the effort.
    On the other hand, those who helped our Jewish compatriots often paid with their lives. And the Home Army carried out the executions of those who were sentenced to death for selling Jews to the Germans. But in the diaries of Polish Holocaust survivors I more often read of running and hiding from other people than of approaching them for help.
    Is Poland responsible for the Holocaust? Absolutely not. It was planned and carried out by Nazi Germany, even if it managed to recruit some accessories in other countries.
    Are some Poles responsible for killing Jews? It’s undisputable. Some people who remember this are still alive!
    Could we have done more? I think so. I hope I would have, but I also hope I’ll never learn.
    Would we, as a nation, do more today, were the history to repeat itself?
    There are now people knocking on our shiny European doors, begging for help, saying they’ve barely escaped with their lives. What we, as a nation, say to them, fills me with sadness and fear.

    • Stan says:

      Wojciech,
      no other nation, no other ethnic group has been looked at with a magnifying glass, analyzed and constantly evaluated for the “remnants of antisemitism”, as Poles have been. This seems to be undeserved attention, while other people: Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Russians, not to mention French or Germans are allowed to live, seventy years after the war, rarely being asked about how “antisemitic they possibly could be”.

      I do not find Poles antisemitic, or more more antisemitic than any other people. There have not been any known antisemitic events in Poland since 1968, and you must agree that again “all Poles” are blamed for unforgivable action on the side of a faction within Communist party in Poland, that was getting rid in 1968, of the remnants of Jews who stayed in Poland after 1948. Horrible chapter of communist Poland history, with last antisemitic communist excess.

      “I believe these people speak earnestly, that they feel outraged. They are real Polish patriots.” – you try to use “patriot” as a slur, as something that one should be ashamed of. Try to understand that some who know history better that others, may have simply problem with the historical bias portrayed in the film.

      “To them I’d like to say, ask around, people. Listen to our compatriots, especially those from the smaller towns, those more conservative ones” – have you had a chance to speak to French locals in small French towns and villages and try to measure their “xenophobia”; have you visited other places, Sweden, Norway and repeated the same test, checking the intolerance level; other continents too, and tried to talk to local rednecks about lack acceptance of other different people. You have some some provincial obsession with “conservative Poles”, while intolerance is common among rednecks in every location in the world.

      “Ask them what they think of Jews, almost 50 years after expelling the Holocaust survivors from their – our – homeland. ” In 1968 it was not “Poles expelling Polish Jews”, only Polish communists doing it. Why are you playing the same game as others, referring to “all Poles” when something bad happened. 1968 was a horrible last antisemitic excess implemented by communists in Poland, similarly as the postwar communist regime did everything to discourage Polish Jews who survived the war from staying in Poland. You may know that it was Stalin who did not plan to accommodate in postwar Poland non-communist, religious Jews. They were encouraged to leave, even without proper papers.

      ‘Antisemitism in Poland is on the wane, but it is by no means gone, and at its peak in the 1930 there were some really ugly ideas tossed around about resettling our Jewish citizens to Madagascar or somewhere. ” Antisemitic practices in the 1930-ties in the United States were even more restrictive for American Jews than for Jews in Poland. Prewar Polish government was working closely with Zionist Jewish organization that were interested in resettlement in Palestine. Ironically those who moved to Palestine before the war, with help of Polish government, that also provided guerrilla training, were saved from the Holocaust. Jewish community in the prewar Poland flourished. Your attempt to try to portray Poland as a fascist country, says more about your intention, than any truth.

      Are you analyzing every other society with such high standard and unforgivable assessment of any flaws. I know that you do not. You just indulge yourself in this vivisection of national dark spots. Try to be kinder to Poland and to yourself.

      “even some fervent antisemites like Zofia Kossak-Szczucka started to protest and organize help.”
      Zofia Kossak-Szczucka, co-founder of Zegota, an underground organization that was set up to assist Polish Jews to escape the Holocaust, was a war hero. Trying to de-construct intentions of her and finding a reason to declare that she was an antisemite who helped Jews, is one of the new tendencies to discredit everybody who did something heroic under occupation. I read similar comments made about another Polish hero, Jan Karski. Poles nowadays love to smear their heroes.

      ‘But in the diaries of Polish Holocaust survivors I more often read of running and hiding from other people than of approaching them for help.” – have you read diaries of non-Jewish survivors in occupied Poland, everybody was running and hiding from others, no one could be trusted, only some small circles, that often failed too. What is this masochism, of trying to see alleged inherent evil traits in each Pole, specially every one surviving hellish German occupation.

      ‘Are some Poles responsible for killing Jews? It’s undisputable. Some people who remember this are still alive!” – some marginal number of Poles under German occupation were involved in killing Jews. There are no more than ~2000 documented cased of such horrific murders. In the context of witnessing killing of 6 million citizens by Germans, and some by Soviets too, we have to put this dark, and unforgivable history in right context and in right proportions. Portraying Poles as a nation involved in the Holocaust is an alteration of history, and this must stop.

      ‘Could we have done more? I think so. I hope I would have, but I also hope I’ll never learn.” – you do think so? in an occupied country swarmed by millions of German killers involved in systematic genocide, with civilians population left unprotected fending for themselves, you do think that it is right, seventy years after the horrific war, to expect retroactively from Poles in occupied Poland that they were bigger heroes than they in fact were. Try to pay attention to history, and learn some compassion.

      • Stan says:

        Wojciech,

        Poland since 1989 has made an effort to focus on Polish-Jewish relations. Remnants of Polish Jews, some who discovered recently their Jewish roots are contributing to flourishing Jewish life. You should focus on what good is done by most instead of enumerating in contemporary Poland some unacceptable but again marginal acts of hooliganism.

        Until 1989, under totalitarian system, history was altered for 45 years, history of Holocaust was rarely mentioned, the fate of Polish Jews perished in the Holocaust was wrapped under unspecified 6 million of Polish victims of Nazi Germany, without mentioning that among the 6 million dead were 3 million Polish Jews. Demanding truth about brutal invasion of Soviets of Poland, on Sept 17th 1939, that was forbidden to mention, after the war it could mean prison, and torture. Discussing Stalinist crimes was similarly not an option under the regime.

        Poland since 1989 has been coming to terms with all the historic lies that had accumulated over 45 years. It is important to take responsibility, while discussing all the sensitive events, and the falsified periods of history that have to be retold with all the facts and the truth, that no new level of intended or premeditated falsification will not be added to already too complicated picture.

        “While it’s true that this was largely an effect of internecine warfare in the Polish communist party, ask yourself, why was its nationalist wing trying to use antisemitism as a weapon? ” –
        you are overusing the word “nationalist” in a context of explaining the actions of a special breed of postwar devoted communists, who no matter what was their original ethnic background, were betraying whatever ethnic group they came from. 1968 was an internal conflict within the elite circles of the communist party, and as it was often used by Stalin and his cronies in the past, antisemitism was one of the low “weapons” to destroy many within the party. To call the communists responsible for the scandalous actions in 1968, Polish, or as you try to go one step further, Polish nationalists, is as incorrect and unfair as some try to portray all the key Stalinists were Jewish. Similarly as the interests of non-communists Polish Jews were betrayed after the war by the communist Jews; the non-Jewish communists in the ruling party in Poland betrayed on so many levels everybody in Poland. To put blame on Polish society, not on the “ethnic-blind” devoted communists, for the crimes and ill of postwar communist regime, the communist regime that was terrorizing and molding Poles under totalitarian rules til 1989, is as uncalled for, and historically false, as blaming the remnants Polish Jews who survived the war for building Stalinism in Poland.

      • Wojciech says:

        “no other nation, no other ethnic group has been looked at with a magnifying glass, analyzed and constantly evaluated for the “remnants of antisemitism”, as Poles have been.”
        The reasons for that are complex. I’m by no means an expert, but let me give you some off the top of my head:
        – Poland has had the biggest Jewish minority in the world and was the Jewish homeland – Polin – for centuries, consequently, a lot of our history is also Jewish history.
        – that’s where the Germans perpetrated the Holocaust, so memories of survivors are linked with our country.
        – yet we had been silent about our Jewish brethren for years after the war, I wonder why? Part of was because Poland was under a totalitarian rule until 1989 and the communist regime tried to effectively erase the Jewish part of our culture and history. In school, I was taught that Germans killed 6 million of Poles during the war. There was no mention of their ethnicity. But my parents also didn’t mention their Jewish school friends who had to leave the country in 1968.
        To put it simply, Poland has an unique place in Jewish history and 27 years after regaining our independence we are still coming to terms with it. Films like Ida or Pokłosie (Aftermath) play an important role in this process.

        “I do not find Poles antisemitic, or more antisemitic than any other people.”
        While it’s true that majority of Poles do not harbor antisemitic views, the second part of your claim is rather difficult to defend: there are many countries where such views are much more uncommon.

        “There have not been any known antisemitic events in Poland since 1968”
        Perhaps if you narrowly define “antisemitic events” as “violence”.
        But what about burning the Jew effigy in Wroclaw during anti-immigrant demonstration last year? If this was a provocation, as some claimed, why was it successful? There was plenty of people there, did they protest? What about defacement of the Jedwabne monument? What about the shameful graffiti staining our walls in every town and city? What about the comments under every article critical of the ruling party, blaming the criticism on Jews and mocking the protesters as Jewish puppets? Are you going to discount these as insignificant?
        I agree that such acts are perpetrated by a small minority. But they poison the air.
        And I said that antisemitism in Poland is on the wane – although recently the trend seems to reverse, perhaps because thanks to the rise of the right wing it’s becoming fashionable again.

        “you try to use “patriot” as a slur”
        I consider myself a patriot.

        “In 1968 it was not “Poles expelling Polish Jews”, only Polish communists doing it.”
        While it’s true that this was largely an effect of internecine warfare in the Polish communist party, ask yourself, why was its nationalist wing trying to use antisemitism as a weapon? Why did it succeed? Were there any protests?
        This was one of the most hideous deeds of the communists, because not only we lost a priceless part of our culture in 1968 but also our national conscience was stained. Again.
        Or perhaps you’ll contend that people who did it were not Polish? What was their nationality? “Communist”? And what about the thousands on rallies, what about the silent millions? Were they not Polish? They weren’t threatened with death for standing up for their fellow Poles this time.

        “Are you analyzing every other society with such high standard and unforgivable assessment of any flaws. ”
        I’m Polish. I’d like to put my own house in order first.

        “Zofia Kossak-Szczucka, co-founder of Zegota, an underground organization that was set up to assist Polish Jews to escape the Holocaust, was a war hero.”
        That’s true! She was a real hero, she got sent to Auschwitz for helping Jews. She was also an antisemite. Read what she wrote in her Protest: “Our feelings toward Jews have not changed. We do not stop thinking about them as political, economic and ideological enemies of Poland.”

        ” have you read diaries of non-Jewish survivors in occupied Poland, everybody was running and hiding from others”
        I have, and this is news to me. Could you be so kind to provide a link or a quote?
        “Poles nowadays love to smear their heroes.”

        I’m afraid that’s what people do, not just Poles. But that’s not what I’m trying to do. Is wanting to know the truth about certain papers signed Lech Wałęsa “smearing our hero”? (well, it could be if I claimed to know the truth already).

        “What is this masochism, of trying to see alleged inherent evil traits in each Pole, specially every one surviving hellish German occupation.”
        And that’s also not what I’m trying to do. I wrote about the costs of helping Jews in occupied Poland, I know that a quarter of the Righteous among the Nations are Poles. I just think that trying to shut out the discussion about more shameful parts of our history we leave the task of digging through them to others. It would be better if we did it ourselves.

  4. Borys Onichimowski says:

    Poland is a democratic country and present Government was elected in free election so just give me break……. Shouldn’t remind anybody that previous “loved” by everybody Government was doing exactly the same things

  5. BTW are there any Israeli films which show Jews as a nation getting rich on property plundered from the killed Palestinians, just as Poles were depicted in “Ida” as people living off property plundered from Jews they hacked to death? Titles, please.

  6. PML says:

    Poland behaves like someone with a deep trauma. If Poles did not commit atrocities (they did btw), why would they still go on about it, and m-a-n-i-a-c-a-l-l-y? The answer is simple: guilt complex. Poles murdered Jews and others, and they are in denial about it. Some aren’t, and they are fiercely attacked whenever they dare voice the truth.

    • Stan says:

      PML,
      Poles *are* are a nation of deep trauma, traumatized by six years of WWII, with 6 million citizens murdered, including 3 million of Jewish Poles and 3 million of non-Jewish Poles, and almost 90% infrastructure destroyed. After the war instead of being rebuilt as a free country that went through hell, Poland was handed to Stalin, who followed with more atrocities, more killings, merciless, arrests, torture, killing of tens of thousands of surviving patriots. Being under Soviet occupation after the war, the version of Poland’s history that was shaped, in Poland and outside, was not written by Poles. In Poland the Stalinist murders were never officially mentioned, Poland’s Soviet occupation ended in 1989, and in the new Poland and even now this topic is pushed under the rug, since majority of current Polish elites are descendants of families that flourished and became a new elite during Stalinist era.

      The WWII history of Poland with the largest underground army that was actively fighting Germans during the war, was twisted too, because Polish underground fighters surviving the war, were the very target of Stalin, who wanted Poland to become communist, without any “enemies within”, free of everybody who Stalin labeled “enemies of the system”. The history of Poland outside of Poland was shaped by turning postwar Germany into a “new better Germany”, a member of the Western Hemisphere, with hastily written postwar German history, with only “a handful of Nazis” who were sentenced cosmetically at the Nuremberg trials, they were only a tiny fraction of millions of German war criminals who otherwise seamlessly blended back into reconstructed postwar German society, that was economically lifted by generous Marshall plan. The victims of Nazi Germany, Poles in the postwar Poland were suppressed and impoverished, while Germans, the Nazi Germans, were never properly tried after the war, because somebody had to implement Marshall plan in Germany, and make Germany a new Ally of the Allies, were rewarded. The Allies could not put in jails millions of Germans, they chose to reform them by giving a second chance and never mention their war crimes.

      The history of Holocaust that had to be remembered after the war, and for many survivors of the German Hell, Holocaust was remembers through mostly Western European Jewish survivors, who survived the camps, or who could escape Europe during the war unscathed, Auschwitz became the symbol of German atrocities, and this was as much as Germans decided to accept, as their guilt for their war crimes. There were only few survivors of the Holocaust among Eastern European Jews who were slaughtered in the East. Over 4 million of Jews in the East perished, including 3 million Polish Jews, who all were murdered outside of Auschwitz, in the systematic killings implemented by German army moving East. Starting in the Spring 1941, German army strong in millions of soldiers, followed by the killing units: sophisticated German murderers from Einsatzgruppen, SS, Gestapo, German volunteers in deadly Reserve Police battalions (as infamous 101), who believed that they are conquering Eastern territories to create fruitful German new colonies in the East, who felt obliged “clearing” the land from “undesirables”, all the Jews, all educated Poles, later, as planned Russians, and other Slavs. This moving East wave of German killers was not to leave any Jewish survivors, and also they were supposed make, at the order of Hitler, after the victorious war, the killings to look like the responsibility of the sub-human Slavs. Holocaust of the Eastern European Jews was a blank card for many years after the war. Stalin in charge of his Eastern European “colonies” handed to him by the Allies after the war, Stalin who original ally of Hitler, did not care about the fate of surviving Jews, and was not interested in preserving history of atrocities that that took place there, he was busy himself implementing his own postwar atrocities on many ethnic group, taking revenge on expelled Germans. The postwar Germany was not planning to accept on their “menu of war crimes” any more evidence of killings in the East, Germany stopped being guilty of was crime beyond Auschwitz, being guilty for killings of Easter European Jews that left no survivors had to be responsibility of somebody else. The West already rewrote German history separating bad Nazis from good Germans, and these two words Nazi and Germans never to be used publicly again.

      When after 1989, Eastern Europe, including Poland, emerged from Soviet occupation, already Poles would hear the new version of history, somebody had to be responsible for Holocaust of Jews in the East. A new “scholarship” emerged, where German murderers in the East were blended historically and linguistically, equalized with local witnesses, bystanders and perpetrators (these three words are being used now to accuse non-Germans for co-responsibility for Holocaust), and more all less everybody has been freely called “Nazi” if needed. In a country of 36 million that 6 million citizens were killed in front of them and ~2 million more were brought to German occupied Poland to to be murdered there in the camps, everybody in occupied Poland, was a witness, a bystander, and some became unfortunately perpetrators of different nature. The linguistic trick worked.

      Questions were asked decades after the war, how could they, the Poles, be such passive witnesses, bystanders, why they could allow the others to be killed in front of them? These questions have been asked from a comfortable desks of Western academics, in Western universities, aided by opportunistic new breed of academics from Eastern Europe, who have been making such questions valid. With documented marginal collaboration, during the war, from local Polish population, where some did participate of in killings of Jews, that also by comparison to active collaboration of Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian units fighting alongside Germans, Poles never collaborated with Germans in any organized way, and looking at the statistics, that each is horrific, including the most famous, the killings of Jews by Poles in Jedwabne, the horrific crime committed by ethnic Polish perpetrators, that during the war are documented in low thousands, in a country that lost 6 millions killed by Germans, and in early stage of the war by Soviets, too, these were and still should be considered marginal criminal involvement, not a massive collaboration of Poles during the war. Generalizing horrific behavior of few in a country where murders were committed by Germans in a massive way on daily basis, on the entire traumatized nation is sadistic and premeditated alteration of history, blaming a nation of war victims for the crimes of the German invaders. In how many publications now, Germans are being portrayed as absolved, in history of WWII replaced by mysterious Nazis, despite having 20 million strong German killers actively committing murders during the war, serving Hitler, and Poles, are named Poles always as a nation, and made guilty as a nation, for marginal, horrific participation in killing of Jews, but in some marginal numbers. How the world sentenced all the Poles in “new Nuremberg linguistic trails”, making them responsible for German war crimes, is astounding. The irony is that majority of German killers were not even considered officially guilty after the war.

      “Poland behaves like someone with a deep trauma.” – Poland is still in deep trauma, specially seeing its history slaughtered.

      “If Poles did not commit atrocities (they did btw), why would they still go on about it, and m-a-n-i-a-c-a-l-l-y?” – Poles are being accused of German war crimes, maniacally by historians who generalize marginal evidence of collaboration in killing of Jews, into accusing Poles for war crime. Poles wish that their history was not slaughtered, and WWII war crimes correctly and forever were linked to Nazi Germans.

      “The answer is simple: guilt complex. ” – the answer is that Poles have rights to be cleared, linguistically, of war crimes committed by Nazi Germans.

      ” Poles murdered Jews and others, and they are in denial about it.” – for this sentence you must bring hard statistics. How many Jews of all 6 million of Jews murdered by Nazi Germans during the war, were victims of ethnic Poles. How many of Jews were, by comparison, victims of Ukrainians, Latvians, Estonians, and Lithuanians. While 3 million Polish Jews perished, there are no more than 2 thousand, horrific, unacceptable, documented killings committed by ethic Poles. Nobody knowing history denies these horrific acts, that will always be part of dark Poland’s history. Everybody knowing history protests generalization on these facts on the entire nation that witnessed during the war more atrocities that any other European nation. Do you have compassion for what went in Poland during the war?

      “Some aren’t, and they are fiercely attacked whenever they dare voice the truth.” – Those who write about the acts of violence against Jews committed by ethnic Poles, in a historical context without generalization and accusation the entire nation, are never questioned.

      I hope that you will appreciate my short history lesson.

  7. laase says:

    Poles are people with issues, look all the comments below, sponsored by PIS party.

    • Antonina Podanin says:

      I was living during the war in occupied Western Poland.The story how it is represented by media about killing of 120 or close to this number Jews in Jedwabne was not possible under the German terror in occupied Poland during the WWII. If there would have been an organized group of polish men leading the Jews and then killing them, the polish men would have been executed just after the death of the Jews. In the film Ida the girl survived with the help of the polish pastor, and later the polish nuns.If their handling was discovered so the pastor as the nuns would be executed. The peasant who first was keeping the Jews in his house and later killed them except of blond Ida by chance was not killed together with his family. Given a Jew a piece of bred was a death sentence.

    • Mikolaj says:

      yes of course people cant have such opinion it has to be sponsored by ruling party :P plus its awesome that mr Pwalikowski, thinks that something is wrong with democracy system, those 6 mln were enough to set new government thats how democracy works, majority of those who give a dam’ wins, doesent matter how many people lives in particular country those who vote decide, quite simple thing.

  8. Stan says:

    It is correct, “Ida” is a beautifully filmed movie that is historically flawed, historically incorrect. Because the action was placed physically in the communist Poland, at the time when just ended deadly brutal Stalinist era, that was a postwar period, when many Polish patriots were massively arrested, tortured and killed in prisons; the Stalinist period followed 6 years of genocidal German (and Soviet too), occupation of Poland, that resulted in death of 6 million citizens, including 3 million of Polish Jews – this beautifully filmed movie, that was Oscar quality, also touched nerves of many Poles who know history, who are tired of seeing portraying Poles under German occupation as statistical perpetrators (a historical lie), and are tired too of never explaining what was Stalinist era for Poles, as if this period never happened or never mattered much (that is a perpetual amnesia).

    Somehow 70 years after the war, Poles became designated nation of perpetrators not, as they historically were, victims of WWII. It is very impressive that Pawlikowski won Oscar, but being equally intelligent and talented who perfectly knew what would be reaction of many moviegoers in Poland to the story line of “Ida” – and these are not “Polish xenophobic nationalists” who are having problem with the movie, these are descendants of German Nazi and Stalinist Soviet victims, who are the one carrying deep inside family tragedies that are blurred now by systematic alteration of Poland’s history.

    It is high time that Polan’s d WWII and post-war history was told to the world with all the facts.

  9. Andrzej Pszczółkowski says:

    “The multi-layered film follows an 18-year-old novice nun in 1960s Communist Poland, who was orphaned during the Nazi Occupation”. This only sentence illustrates the “clarity” and “reliability” of the whole text. No, Poland was not below the Nazi occupation, but the German Nazi occupation, Mr. Author, please remember this!

  10. kam says:

    During last 25 years of ‘free’ Polish medias, the films which do not go along with the political line weren’t even presented! This is an actual quality change right now, that even if the board do not agree with the message of the film, they still show it, but want to discuss. The ending cards also weren’t the idea of an individual person in the board of the public tv, but supported by thousands of Poles who felt that the film is manipulating the historical facts.

  11. jovi says:

    who wrote it? Again “Wyborcza”? The Kommie collaborant newspaper. The former government was even by far less elected selling Poland’ industry for nothing, therefore they lost elections like no other party before. 80.000? Even best special effects wouldn’t make out of 1 000 80 000 :) And you are writing about telling the truth ? Shame on you.

  12. The author of the text uses only the information of one side: GAZETA WYBORCZA and NEWSWEEK!!! Both are led by the people which hate different people because they think differently. They are been careful both newspapers in Poland for the example of lies, manipulation and slanders.

  13. Jack Dunster says:

    the set of comments displayed here by people such as Ika – demonstrate what is happening in Poland – I side with the Director’s Guild – they see what is happening – a return to a totalitarian state. I dealt with many texts dealing with the issue of betrayal of people – the Righteous who sheltered families – by neighbours. That so many did so despite the opportunism of such scum shows their merit. Many are still afraid – because their neighbours – these turds and their families – are thriving no matter the regime. Could it be that the new PISS-heads and their supporters have much to hide in regard to their ancestors’ activities? History cannot be whitewashed.

    • You write usual lies and inventions leanings about the complete lack of knowledge about Poland and about this, what it is in my country in fact. You are base about the one they write and the people who do not like the results of democratic elections speak. They have feel sorry, that they potracili influences alone, possibilities do not have any more to rule. You know that people in Poland were seated still to the prison, accusing falsely recently, because they criticized the power. Police on the recommendation of former powers in Poland made the provocation in the face of demonstrations expressing the protest in the face of the conduct of powers. Feel sorry that they do not rule these former which have now. Demonstrations are hold against the government now. Nobody sends on on them the police. Nobody nobody not areszetuje. They shout people and tell what they want. There was no this for the times of the last government, when people protesting were called cattle. He does not have in Poland no regime! The chosen line rules in democratic elections.

  14. Mario says:

    Since the conservative polish government was democratically elected late last year, Yahoo commenced to publish a lot of attacks on Poland every day. Yahoo was not so interested in Poland when the corrupt PO-PLS alliance was governing for 8 years. Strange ?

  15. Sorry, my English is lousy. It only in occupied by Germans Poland was during the war the black death for the help Jews. Whole families, for the help people groups were murdered choćby one Jew. Someone who does not know that Poland was under the German occupation is it and Germany and gave the orders of the death, they decided about life people milonów, he will not know this. There will be knowledge that Poles and murdered Jews after look round the film. This film without this shadows and OSCAR would not get money transfer. There would be no protest in Poland if it was not for this, that he is the group the people, which not the passion the results of democratic elections and appeared in this way new line. They use every thing only to attack the results of the democracy. There were no protests counting 80000 people. 20000 were not even! They are this the lie people, which the protest against contemporary rules from years 2007-2015, in which it took the part even after 250000 people, they described as people small groups after 2000 or 4000. Nobody intervened in content and the artistic values of the film at Polish Television. Information and discussion she took place before the film. Accusing about some anti-Semitic opinions is usual lies of the author of the text. The author, which also levers up the result of democratic elections, it chose the electors majority where such party which rules now. Such people use their contacts now to lie publicly.

  16. Ika says:

    Ida movie did not represent true historical facts. Wanda a true historical figure playing Ida’s aunt in fact send to death many patriotic soldiers without true case in court. Also at the time of making this movie director met with Wanda yet movie showed as unbearable drama for Wanda to carry on therefore she jumped out of the window which is total nonsense she lived happy ever after until old age in England. There are plenty of anti-Polish movies…will anyone care to ask why or research who benefits from bad opinion on Polaks?

  17. “Scarface” – yup the one with Pacino.
    Film starts with rolltext explaining the historical context of the actual event it depicts – using a gap of open borders with USA by Castro to expell lots of criminals to USA along Cubans wanting join their scattered families.

    Noone was harmed by that, some were educated, noone complained about attacking artistic freedom by that, noone complained about adding “ideological intepretation” by mere explanation of the historical situation, important for the movie.

  18. John Simmons says:

    You get comments only from one side? LOL

    • One side? We are Poles. Are you surprised? The small group of dissatisfied from the zmianu of the government, how the author of this text, he lies simply. They are bad, that their colleagues, people do not rule thanks which such the newspaper in what the author of the text works she received huge money for writing of propagandist texts praising they were the line. What was the lie which people in Poland saw. That is why the new party rules in the result of democratic elections. Such party which promised Poles that he would be caring about the businesses of own country and nation. Does this disturb you? The line takes care about Great Britain in Great Britain. And does he disturb that rzad in Poland takes care about Poland you? This does not please many people in Poland. Because thanks to this, that they were the line he did not take care about the businesses of Poland they had from this money, influences, power. He will suffice to arrive to Poland and to talk with people in street. This, that demorkacji does not have in Poland they claim only you, what they lost the power in the result of democratic elections. That is why they lie, nonsenses invent about nationalists and the lack of the democracy.

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