The Holocaust Industry and The Painted Bird
The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering
Norman G. Finkelstein (Author)
When I first read “The Painted Bird” back in the late sixties, I thought the author, Jerzy Kosinski, was a scurvy profiteer trying to make a quick buck by distorting the horrors of WWII. Whatever his motives, it seemed to me, Kosinski was unfairly portraying Polish peasants as depraved, bloodthirsty, Anti-Semitic monsters universally hell bent on raping and destroying their Jewish neighbors. I was also dismayed that some of my friends accepted this scurrious portrayal of Poles as God's truth because it was purportedly autobiographical and written by a Polish Jew survivor who had lived through it all. Years later, after reading the book a second time, I read online the whole thing was a fraud.
I bring this up because I am currently reading Norman G. Finkelstein’s “The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering” in which he confirms my initial suspicions:
The first major Holocaust hoax was The Painted Bird, by Polish émigré Jerzy Kosinski. … The book was purported to be Kosinski’s autobiographical account of his wanderings as a solitary child through rural Poland throughout the war. The book’s motif is the sadistic sexual tortures perpetuated by the Polish peasantry…. In fact Kosinski conjured up almost all the pathological episodes he narrates. … In fact, Polish peasants harbored the Kosinski family even though they were aware of their Jewishness and the dire consequences they themselves faced if caught. - pp. 55, 56
In a footnote, Finkelstein adds:
To his credit, Kosinski did undergo a kind of deathbed conversion. In the few years between his exposure and his suicide, Kosinski deplored the Holocaust industry’s exclusion of non-Jewish victims, “Many North American Jews tend to perceive it as Shoah, as an exclusively Jewish disaster… But at least half of the worlds Romanies (unfairly called Gypsies), some 2.5 million Polish Catholics, millions of Soviet citizens and various nationalities were also victims of this genocide….” He also paid tribute to the “Bravery of the Poles” who “sheltered” him during the Holocaust despite his so-called Semitic “looks”….Angrily asked at a Holocaust conference what the Poles did to save Jews, Kosinski snapped back: “What did the Jews do to save Poles?” – p. 57