Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Well. Well? Well! (Part II)

Our previous analysis aside, assuming himself correct (i.e., that the water pump was "dangerously close" to the mass graves), the UV asks how such a mistake in the mapping of the camp could be made. He relies on one of his favorite arguments: Urban Jews wouldn't have known. The Jews of Treblinka, we're told, were urban with likely having little formal education. Water wells being a rural phenomenon, they wouldn't know that the well would be contaminated, so they didn't bother to place it far enough away from the mass graves when they "made up the story."

The UV is, of course, making an inherently incorrect assumption, as he does in other parts of this film, i.e., that Jews from Poland were urban and had little or no knowledge about rural life. In this case, his argument follows on this point with his claim that Jewish eyewitnesses wouldn't know that a well would have contaminated groundwater because they would never have encountered a well.

There are a couple of points where the UV is wrong. First, while it's true that the majority (77 percent) of Polish Jews resided in cities and large towns on the eve of World War II, one-quarter of the Polish-Jewish population lived in rural areas of the country. Among the towns on the deportation lists in Arad are towns with Jeiwsh populations of fewer than 2,000 people. For example, Arad lists the town of Sulejów as one deportation point for Jews. At the town's Web site you can see that today Sulejów has only 6,400 residents, and that's sixty years after the war. Arad's list tells us that only 1,500 Jews were deported from the town.

You can also see pictures of the town, particularly around the town's biggest tourist attraction, the eight-hundred-year-old Cistercians Abbey. Does this look "urban" to you?

In the same sub-section in Arad, by the way, we have the town of Kamiensk, from which we are told 600 Jews were deported (the smallest number on the page); the town has 2,800 inhabitants today.

All this leads to another problem: Are wells a "rural" phenomenon? My parents used to own a house in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. The house was on the outskirts of a small town of slightly more than 5,200 people. This was not urban, nor was it even suburban. It was what is commonly called by demographers "exurban," although perhaps not "rural."

The point is this: The drinking water in my parents' house (which they had built for them) came from a well that was dug by the contractor. This was the case with every other house in the development where they had bought their plot of land. So if there were wells on the outskirts of a town of 5,200 people, can't we safely assume, particularly sixty years ago in a country (Poland) that was (then) less developed than the United States is today, that there would have been wells in towns all over Poland, including towns with largely or mostly Jewish populations?

The UV has done a particularly bad job in this section of the film. Thankfully, it's among the shortest sections of the thirty-part film.

1 comment:

  1. I live 3 miles from the center of Denver. Very Urban. My neighbors have a well. I lived in Indianapolis for 30 years. LOTS of wells there. Here's a piece on the mass graves they're building in Arizona right now...They even put a filter system under the concrete boxes:


    False flag attack or pandemic? I suppose you know who funded Hitler? They're still around, and they are very close.


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