Karski and Anthony Eden

Discussions on all aspects of Poland during the Second Polish Republic and the Second World War. Hosted by Piotr Kapuscinski.
Karski
Member
Posts: 71
Joined: 15 Jun 2016 10:59
Location: Belgium

Re: Karski and Anthony Eden

Post by Karski » 08 Nov 2022 09:48

If we believe Jan Nowak, there was an evolution in Karski's statements about his meeting with Anthony Eden :

In February 1943, Karski meets with British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden. (E.T. Wood and S.M. Jankowski, ''Karski (...)'', revised edition of 2014, Texas Tech University Press and Gihon River Press, p. 150-151.) Both Eden and Karski left reports of this interview. (Eden, Anthony: Report to War Cabinet on conversations with Karski, February 17, 1943, CAB 66/34, Public Record Office, London; Karski's notes on his conversations with personalities in London, 1943, Hoover Institution Archives, Karski papers, Box 1. These references are given by E.T. Wood and S.M. Jankowski, ''Karski (...)'', revised edition of 2014 , Texas Tech University Press and Gihon River Press, p. 275.) In a book published in 1978, Jan Nowak (Jan Nowak-Jeziorański), another courier of the Polish resistance, wrote: "I knew from Jan Karski himself that he had taken advantage of an audience at Eden to speak in detail about the systematic and progressive extermination of the Jewish population. The British Secretary of State considered this meeting important enough to communicate the report to all the members of the War Cabinet. I found it in the Archives and was surprised to find that nothing Karski had said about the liquidation of the Jews was there. Why ? » (Jan Nowak, ''Courier from Warsaw''; quoted from the French translation ''Courrier de Varsovie'', Gallimard, 1983, p. 232.) In 1987, nine years after the publication of Nowak's book, Karski will give a different version: he had not spoken "in detail" to Eden about the extermination of the Jews, he had only tried to approach the subject, but Eden had interrupted him by saying that he already knew "Karski's report", which Karski later explained by assuming that Eden had read the report that the Polish government in exile had drawn up from the documents brought from Poland by Karski. (Maciej Kozlowski, "Niespelona misja (...)", Tygodnik Powszechny, n° 11, 1987; English translation “The Mission that Failed: An Interview with Jan Karski”, ''Dissent'', vol. 34, 1987, p. 326-334; English translation reproduced in Antony Polonsky (dir.), ''My Brother's Keeper (...)'', Routledge, 2002, p.81-97, spec. 91-92. Historians E.T. Wood and S.M. Jankowski, ''Karski (...)'', revised edition of 2014, Texas Tech University Press and Gihon River Press, p. 150-151, present a version close to that which Karski gave in 1987. They do not specify whether the reports written by Eden and by Karski in 1943 mention an attempt by Karski to evoke the fate of the Jews in front of Eden.)

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7597
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Karski and Anthony Eden

Post by wm » 09 Nov 2022 03:49

So the chain of events was as follows:
November 25 - the Polish Government-in-Exile hands Karski's report to A. L. Easterman,
November 26 - Richard Law, Eden's deputy, receives the report,
macho discussion ensues, including in the War Cabinet,
December 10 - the Polish Polish Government-in-Exile publishes "The Mass Extermination of Jews in German Occupied Poland" - addressed to the United Nations,
December 14 - the War Cabinet approves the Three-Power Declaration condemning German policy and threatening retribution,
December 17 - more governments accept the Declaration; Anthony Eden reads it in the House of Commons,
December 25 - the Polish Government-in-Exile asks Churchill directly for reprisals for mass expulsions, slaughter, and mass executions,

December 31 - the Polish appeal is discussed at a meeting of the British Chefs of Staff Committee,
January 2 - the appeal is rejected,
~ February 1 - Karski meets Eden,
~ February 4 - the second meeting,
February 17 - Eden writes his report and communicates it to all members of the War Cabinet, supposedly without mentioning the Jews.

So, as can be seen, there were probably two reasons Eden didn't do it.
Firstly, the information he received from Karski (or didn't receive, according to some) was worthless.
It was an executive summary of a well-known, much more detailed report.
Secondly, it was useless - it was old news, extensively discussed already; decisions had been made, declarations issued. There was no reason to repeat the process as no new information was offered.

I have doubts that Nowak could have remembered precisely what was said in an informal talk with Karski 30+ years earlier. That he even understood it correctly, considering it was a complex history (and he wasn't a historian) poorly understood then and poorly understood, by many, even today.

Adampul
Member
Posts: 9
Joined: 04 Nov 2022 10:12
Location: Poland

Re: Karski and Anthony Eden

Post by Adampul » 14 Nov 2022 13:19

"November 25 - the Polish Government-in-Exile hands Karski's report to A. L. Easterman"
The problem is that this was not Karski's report. It was summary of report received by Polish authorities on 13th of November, with was neither written by Karski nor delivered by Karski, please read Pulawski's book, contact with him and he may sent you pdf of his book, best regards

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7597
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Karski and Anthony Eden

Post by wm » 15 Nov 2022 22:45

It's from "Auschwitz and the Allies" by Martin Gibert because Karski himself used it as a source in his interview for "Emisariusz własnymi słowami."

The sole point is, in February 1943, it was all water under the bridge; what Karski said (or could have said) about the Jews was of no value and didn't deserve any reporting.
What he said about the Polish Underground was valuable, but Eden wasn't interested.

I actually have read Puławski's "W obliczu zagłady" (more or less two times) but there is no Karski there.

Adampul
Member
Posts: 9
Joined: 04 Nov 2022 10:12
Location: Poland

Re: Karski and Anthony Eden

Post by Adampul » 16 Nov 2022 14:59

"I actually have read Puławski's "W obliczu zagłady" (more or less two times) but there is no Karski there".

First Puławski's 2009 book contains facts until the begining of "Great Deportation" in Warsaw. Look at the second Puławski's 2018 book, there is a lot of Karski's mision, but not only of him, but of Napoleon Segieda, Wojciech Mańkowski as well

Adampul
Member
Posts: 9
Joined: 04 Nov 2022 10:12
Location: Poland

Re: Karski and Anthony Eden

Post by Adampul » 20 Jan 2023 11:15


Karski
Member
Posts: 71
Joined: 15 Jun 2016 10:59
Location: Belgium

Re: Karski and Anthony Eden

Post by Karski » 21 Jan 2023 10:04

Adampul, Karski claimed that he had secretly visited a Nazi camp in order to give a testimony to the West about the extermination of the Jews, but you have shown that in the first days or weeks of his stay in London, he advised against talking about the fate of the Jews. The two things seem to me to be difficult to reconcile. May I ask you if you believe that Karski visited a Nazi camp (or ghetto)?

User avatar
wm
Member
Posts: 7597
Joined: 29 Dec 2006 20:11
Location: Poland

Re: Karski and Anthony Eden

Post by wm » 21 Jan 2023 23:08

I don't know; there is something unsatisfactory about it.
What was with that last question? Did he object to Karski's proposal because (innocent) Jewish partisans and (innocent) Soviet POWs would have been killed too?
Not because it would be a pointless, major political blunder?
And anyway, were ordinary Soviet partisans guilty of anything? There were as innocent as Jews and Soviet POWs.
It was war, innocent soldiers killing innocent soldiers.

Adampul
Member
Posts: 9
Joined: 04 Nov 2022 10:12
Location: Poland

Re: Karski and Anthony Eden

Post by Adampul » 24 Jan 2023 09:06

Karski was in transit getto

Karski
Member
Posts: 71
Joined: 15 Jun 2016 10:59
Location: Belgium

Re: Karski and Anthony Eden

Post by Karski » 24 Jan 2023 12:25

Adampul wrote:
24 Jan 2023 09:06
Karski was in transit getto
Yes, Wood and Jankowski presented a theory that Karski (who, in all the wartime documents where he spoke by name, always said he had visited the Belzec camp) had actually visited the Izbica ghetto, but Steefen Hänschen, in his book "Das Transitghetto Izbica im System des Holocaust", Metropol, 2018, p. 165-167, doubts that Karski was in Izbica. To my knowledge, no other solution has been proposed. And besides, isn't it surprising that during the war, Karski was so sure that he had visited the Belzec camp? Were those who brought him there also so sure that it was Belzec?

Adampul
Member
Posts: 9
Joined: 04 Nov 2022 10:12
Location: Poland

Re: Karski and Anthony Eden

Post by Adampul » 24 Jan 2023 15:24

Read sourses about Karski's visit in ghetto transit (I did not write that it was Izbica). Those sourses were queted in Puławski' 2018 book.

Karski
Member
Posts: 71
Joined: 15 Jun 2016 10:59
Location: Belgium

Re: Karski and Anthony Eden

Post by Karski » 24 Jan 2023 15:41

Adampul wrote:
24 Jan 2023 15:24
Read sourses about Karski's visit in ghetto transit (I did not write that it was Izbica). Those sourses were queted in Puławski' 2018 book.
How can these sources be conclusive, if the ghetto is not identified and if Karski said affirmatively during the war that he had visited the Belzec extermination camp? After Wood and Jankowski offered their Izbica theory (because Raul Hilberg had spoken with contempt of Karski's testimony), Karski made statements which, in my opinion, show that he was no longer quite sure what his pilots expected from him.

Adampul
Member
Posts: 9
Joined: 04 Nov 2022 10:12
Location: Poland

Re: Karski and Anthony Eden

Post by Adampul » 24 Jan 2023 22:55

Did you read those sourses? They are most crucial, please see Puławski book and wy may back to discuss.

Karski
Member
Posts: 71
Joined: 15 Jun 2016 10:59
Location: Belgium

Re: Karski and Anthony Eden

Post by Karski » 25 Jan 2023 09:04

Adampul wrote:
24 Jan 2023 22:55
Did you read those sourses? They are most crucial, please see Puławski book and wy may back to discuss.
We are here on a forum to discuss, not to advertise our books. Besides, access to your book seems very difficult. I carefully read Wood and Jankowski's book (second edition) and saw nothing convincing in it to support the thesis that Karski actually visited a transit ghetto. There are people (Raul Hilberg, for example) who believe that Karski clumsily took inspiration from rumors and anonymous testimonies. Perhaps you could cite a crucial source?

Adampul
Member
Posts: 9
Joined: 04 Nov 2022 10:12
Location: Poland

Re: Karski and Anthony Eden

Post by Adampul » 26 Jan 2023 15:40

From Adam Puławski's book: "Dokumentacja bieżąca potwierdza też, że Jan Karski był – jak to sam nazwał – w „obozie rozdzielczym”. Zarówno w sprawozdaniu nr 6 z grudnia 1943 r., w notatce pt. „Krótkie notatki naocznego świadka”, jak i w opracowaniu będącym jego maszynopisem (bez tytułu, ale z dopiskiem odręcznym: „egzem[plarz] poprawiony przez p. Kar[skiego], oryg[inał] oddany mu 28/I/43”) pisał: „Codzienny kontyngent Żydów zapakowywany jest do pociągów towarowych i wieziony do obozów rozdzielczych […]. Jeden z takich obozów rozdzielczych widziałem” (następnie Karski opisał sceny stamtąd, porównując je do scen z „Piekła” Dantego). Wydaje się jednak, że pisząc o tym, co działo się w wagonach w trasie po opuszczeniu takiego obozu, Karski przedstawiał nabytą wiedzę, a nie naoczne doświadczenia. Podobnie też w przypadku Bełżca, o którym pisał: „Koło Bełżca są takie olbrzymie komory gazowe, gdzie dusi się Żydów partiami po kilkaset osób”. Wspominał też o paleniu ciał i wyrabianiu z nich nawozu sztucznego. Widać zatem, że w tym ostatnim przypadku powtarzał funkcjonujące wówczas, niesprawdzone pogłoski. Ma też rację Andrzej Żbikowski: po analizie zdań o Bełżcu z tego opracowania uznał, że Karski wiedział, że nie był w obozie Bełżcu, „o którym zapewne czytał w konspiratorskich raportach BIP". Późniejsze dokumenty wskazują, że ten „obóz przejściowy” znajdował się w okolicach Bełżca, dlatego też Karski dość swobodnie używał zamiennie obu tych miejsc. We wspomnianej depeszy z 5 grudnia 1942 r. Schwarzbart pisał, że ów specjalny wysłannik, z którym się spotkał, „był świadkiem masowego mordu transportu sześciu tysięcy Żydów w Bełżcu”. W 1943 r. Karski raz pisał, że widział mordy na Żydach w „obozie pod Bełżcem”. Innym razem, w relacji z 1 marca 1943 r., mówił najpierw, że był „pod koniec września w mieście Bełżec, gdzie naziści przeprowadzali swoje okropne rzezie Żydów”, by zaraz potem wspomnieć o deportacji: „widziałem w Warszawie pierwszą część tej akcji, a potem na peryferiach [„outskirts”] Bełżca drugą, ostatnią część”, i wreszcie doprecyzować, że „»sorting point« (obóz rozdzielczy)” był „położony około pięćdziesiąt kilometrów od miasta Bełżec”. W zakończeniu tego wątku powiedział: „w mundurze polskiego policjanta byłem w obozie rozdzielczym niedaleko Bełżca ” (sformułowanie „near Belzec” padło w tej relacji jeszcze dwukrotnie). W audycji radiowej w lipcu 1943 r. mówił, że był „w jednym z takich obozów w przebraniu policjanta łotewskiego” (z wcześniejszych słów wynika, że miał na myśli jeden z „obozów śmierci w Tremblince [sic!], Bełżcu i innych”)226. W innej zaś, wydanej, relacji z 1943 r. („Jewish Mass Executions. Account by an Eye-Witness”) Karski pisał, że „widział masowe egzekucje w obozie w Bełżcu”. Również w 1944 r. w „Tajnym państwie” opisywał już, że w mundurze policjanta ukraińskiego był w obozie śmierci w Bełżcu228. Widocznie świadek mordów w obozie w Bełżcu brzmiał wiarygodniej".

Return to “Poland 1919-1945”