24 MARCH 1967, Page 28

Sources of anti-Semitism

Sir: Judging by his letter (3 March), Mr Green- berg has fallen into the common error that none but Jews were done to death in the Nazi concen- tration camps in Poland. As Sarah Gainham ex- plained in your issue of 7 May 1965, 'this is an illusion caused by the most massive, long and successful campaign in history. . . . One can read millions of words without discovering that more Catholic Poles were killed than Jewish Poles, and nearly as many Russian prisoners.' These undeniable though little-known facts fully invalidate Mr Greenberg's strictures upon the Christian Poles: these could do nothing to save their co-religionists and nothing to save their Jewish compatriots. Universal condemnation of genocide should not be lessened by implying that it was a Nazi measure aimed solely at the Jews and therefore not likely to be repeated.

It is untrue to state the Christian Poles 'allowed the Nazis to set up death camps on their soil': no permission was sought or given. The essence of armed resistance was to have widely scattered groups of up to fifty men (unfortunately and necessarily without heavy armament) who could be assembled to form regiments and divi- sions only when cooperation with regular army forces was imminent—as witness the course of events in France, Poland, Yugoslavia and in Russia. To suggest that the Polish Resistance should have launched what could be only a large- scale offensive to destroy death camps in a countryside swarming with German troops is there- fore as wide of the mark as were the premature demands for a second front during the war: there was not the remotest chance that either operation would have been successful.