Saturday, June 05, 2004

Marek Edelman Speaks

Marek Edelman is truly a remarkable man. One of the leaders of the valiant yet doomed 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, he managed to escape and then fought in the general Warsaw Uprising of 1944. He survived the war and ultimately became involved with Solidarity in the 1980's.

As a man who has spent his life combating totalitarian barbarism, it is no surprise that Edelman has some strong views on the situation in Iraq. Thanks to the excellent Australian blogger Arthur Chrenkoff, we have access to translated excerpts of a recent interview Edelman gave to Polish television. The key portion, IMO, is as follows:

Edelman: Now, now. Who started killing people? Americans didn't invade a wonderful democratic Iraq. There was a dictatorship there, torture, terror.

Interviewer: But there are people who say it's not our business.

Edelman: And whose business is it? Every war with fascism is our business. In 1939 there were also many people who said that the war in Poland was not their war, and what happened? Great nations fell because politicians listened to those who were saying that it's not worth dying for Gdansk [Danzig]. If only we'd intervened militarily after Hitler re-entered Rhineland we probably would not have had the war and the Holocaust.

Interviewer: Many people do understand that, but they don't understand why the Americans have to go to the other side of the world and fight over Iraq now.

Edelman: And why did they go to Europe then? Who defeated Hitler and saved Europe from fascism? The French? No, the Americans did. We thanked them then because they saved us. Today we criticise them because they're saving somebody else.

Read the whole thing, as they say.


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