Friday, May 11, 2018

An Armenian Joke and What It Says about Polish-Jewish Relations

It takes one Jew to outwit ten Poles

It takes one Greek to outwit ten Jews

It takes one Armenian to outwit ten Greeks. 

I heard this joke in Poland, in Polish, from a Pole.

There are many variants to this joke. In place of "outwit," you could insert "cheat," "swindle," or "con." 

In some, the comparison is with Turks, or just undifferentiated Muslims. 

One can find variants here, here, here, here, here, here ...

There are two many versions of this joke on the internet to catalog fully here. 

Why does this joke matter to Polish-Jewish relations?

People, even otherwise friendly people, sometimes quite viciously attack my work, from my book, Bieganski: the Brute Polak Stereotype to my recent videos on the same topic. Their attacks reveal their agenda. 


I've heard this attack again, and again, and again. 

An otherwise friendly viewer of the above-linked Bieganski video insisted that I don't mention blood libel, a religion-linked false belief, in the video. I *do* mention blood libel. But this viewer was so primed for an attack on Christianity, an attack that did not arrive, that he couldn't even see what was right in front of his eyes. 

I do talk about Christianity in my work, but not as much as Christophobes would like. 

I do focus on middleman minority status, a status that is more about society and economics than about theology. 

Armenians were a middleman minority group, like Jews. Like Jews, they were victims of a genocide. In the above joke, Armenians are elevated as champion middleman minority group members, superseding Jews. Armenians were Christian. Their Christianity did not matter. It was their status as members of a middleman minority, and thus crafty cheats, that mattered to those who have disseminated versions of this international joke for centuries. 

No, my book Bieganski does not essentialize. It does not agree that middleman minority group members are crafty cheats and deserving of genocide. Rather, I am pointing to this stereotype as generative of hatred, as did Edna Bonacich. 

My work is correct. We must not focus exclusively on theology as the explanatory factor for antisemitism. We must focus on middleman minority status as well. 

I realize in posting this that I'm a voice crying into the wilderness. The dominant paradigm is to demonize Christianity. The answer to that is for Poles to tell their own story, and for Christians to do a better job of addressing antisemitism's historical realities. 


Friday, April 20, 2018

Maria Kwasniewska, Olympic Medalist and Underground Fighter, Refuses to make Nazi Salute in 1936 Berlin

Maria Kwasniewska was a Polish Olympian who refused to give the Nazi Salute during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Hitler called her a "little Pole." She said "I am not less than you." She later used the photo to aid her underground work. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Hans Asperger Aided Nazi Euthanasia Program

New research indicates that Hans Asperger, the pioneer of autism research, aided Nazi "euthanasia" of handicapped persons. See New York Times article here, Daily Mail article here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Polish Kids, Polish Flags, Israeli Flags, Waving. Auschwitz

Jaroslaw Fiedor on Facebook here
Jaroslaw Fiedor is a fine photographer. Go "like" his page on Facebook. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Bieganski the Brute Polak YouTube wideo w polskim tłumaczeniu

Very, very, very, very grateful to the wonderful Łukasz Klimek for the Polish language translation on the Bieganski video. Lukasz Bravo! 

Bieganski and Our Conversation

Stanisław Wyspiański, self portrait with wife

Bieganski the Blog exists to further explore the themes of the book Bieganski the Brute Polak Stereotype, Its Role in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture

These themes include the false and damaging stereotype of Poles as brutes who are uniquely hateful and responsible for atrocity, and this stereotype's use in distorting WW II history and all accounts of atrocity. 

This blog welcomes comments from readers that address those themes. Off-topic and anti-Semitic posts are likely to be deleted. 

As in the past, the following guidelines apply:
Your comment is more likely to be posted if: 
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The full meaning of your comment is clear to the comment moderator the first time he or she glances over it. 
You comment is less likely to be posted if:
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Your comment includes ad hominem statements, or You-statements. 
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You keep repeating the same things over and over and over again.
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