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May 15, 2018

By John Ambrose: One reads with astonished disappointment that Mayor Steve Fulop of Jersey City hopes to stab in the back the Polish-American communities of north Jersey, the greater Metropolitan area and the entire nation of Poland. This appears to be in pursuit of his personal animus based upon the common and maliciously disseminated slander of an alleged collaboration between Nazi Germany and Poland - the first first victim of Nazism!

The Katyn monument at Exchange Place in downtown Jersey City honors 22,000 Polish prisoner-of-war officers murdered systematically and in cold blood as part of the Soviet Union’s policy of extermination. It stands as a stark reminder of the evils of Soviet Communism. Its juxtaposition across from the World trade Center helps us to be reminded of the terrible consequences of a vile and misguided zealotry in pursuit of a heartless ideology. It is sadly ironic that on this, the 200th anniversary of the birth of Karl Marx that we are asked to ignore and forget the actions of those who espoused his malignant philosophy that put into effect the murderous policies that were routinely inflicted on the innocent.

Mayor Fulop’s incontinent slander of Poland’s Senate Marshall Stanislaw Karczewski uses typically distracting insults. He labels him an “antisemite” and a “white nationalist,” for defending the monument and its place in America. These defamatory words are tossed about nowadays on the flimsiest of presumptions, as those terms have come to be used to discredit anyone and everyone with whom one disagrees.

How does Poland’s adoption of an ill-conceived anti-slander law - rendering illegal any accusations of Polish collaboration with Nazis - enter this quarrel over the monument? I hope Mayor Fulop understands that he is fortunate to live in the one and only nation on Earth that doesn’t punish accusations against the host nation. The vast majority of nations prohibit political speech against their homeland. Poland’s law doesn’t meet America’s high standard of tolerance but neither do the laws of The United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, Italy Turkey - and, in fact, the nations of the world at large.

Let us hope that this hateful trend of revisionist history - reminiscent of the mission of the fictional Ministry of Truth warned about in George Orwell’s “1984” - stops here. While most can agree that monuments honoring corrupt characters and ideas of the past should be reconsidered and reviewed, no such concerns can be raised against the mercilessly slaughtered Polish officers nor should the crimes of Communism be consigned to oblivion any more than those of Nazism.

John Ambrose, MD