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Holocaust Queens, N.Y. (2/12) ..  Nowhere else is Holocaust history as distorted and as misrepresented as it is about Poland, according to Auschwitz survivor Michael Preisler, co chair of the Holocaust  Documentation Committee of the Polish American Congress.


Henryk  Cioczek, M.D. Ph.D. (above) did much to correct some of the destructive falsehoods when he told the story of his family’s courageous efforts to help Jews survive the Holocaust.


Holding up the most recent book he published, “The Polish Jerusalem – A History of Endurance,” the Brooklyn oncologist described how both of his parents and both of his grandparents were awarded Israel’s Yad Vashem Medal of Honor as “Righteous Among the Nations” for their heroic achievements in saving the lives of Jews.


Dr. Cioczek is now in possession of the medal and displayed it to his audience at this year’s observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Queens College campus of New York’s City University (CUNY). 


Despite the fact Poland was the only country in all German-occupied Europe where an official death penalty was ordered for anyone who dared give any kind of help to a Jew, more Poles are honored at Yad Vashem than anyone else.  Many Poles who helped Jews were overlooked and never counted in this number because they were  killed along with the Jews they were trying to rescue, according to Dr. Cioczek. 


He also cited the gruesome statistic that six million Polish citizens perished during the cruel years of the Holocaust – three million Polish Jews and three million Polish Christians.  “Among these were ten members from my own family,” he said. 


As an example of Holocaust misrepresentations about Poland, Dr. Cioczek deplored the disturbing habit of some American media which identify concentration camps the Germans operated during World War II as “Polish camps” instead of “German camps.”


Holocaust commemorations like the observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day give the Polish people the opportunity —  long denied them – to clarify and dispel some of the misconceptions and ugly allegations that have burdened them for so many years, he feels.


Dr. Cioczek is a member of the Downstate New York Division of the Polish American Congress which was one of the sponsors of the event.