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The Painted Bird
“It all boils down to one thing: the obligation to see our past in truth”.
In 1939, Poland had around 35 million Polish citizens: 31 million Poles and around 3.5 million Jews. German Nazi occupation divided Poland into two groups separated by a chasm: Polish Jews and Poles-Christians, who had lived next door to one another for centuries. The extermination process on Polish soil led to the deaths of 2.9 million Polish Jews.
Violence changes interpersonal relations.
Why was hiding the Jews such an enormous danger?
Why did so many volunteer to conspire in the Underground State, also risking the death sentence, and why was it so difficult to find shelter for the Jewish compatriots?
Being a “passive observer”, in the face of mass everyday genocide, is also an action. It seems that talking about it earlier was not possible, hushed up and required the right time.
As early as 1940, Jan Karski submitted a report about the situation in Poland to General Sikorski’s government. The report was in some respects uncomfortable. The official version of the Karski Report, one accessible to the Allies, was falsified; it had been decided that the West should not be made aware of the anti-Jewish sentiments in Poland which Karski reported on in his text.
The Painted Bird is an effect of slowly liberating the mind, gripped by fear for a long time.