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Interesting information about some current issues in the Polish American community

Auschwitz Survivor: Too little known about Holocaust's Christian Victims

NEWS from THE POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS THE HOLOCAUST DOCUMENTATION COMMITTEE 177 Kent St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11222 - (718) 349-9689

A resident of Richmond Hill in New York City, Preisler came to Chicago to participate in the National Directors meeting of the Polish American Congress in Lincolnwood. He broke away from the meeting to go to St. Emily's and describe what he and other Catholics had to endure as Auschwitz inmates.

As someone who continually speaks on the subject, Preisler has serious concerns that "too many Christians" are uninformed and unaware just how much Christians suffered during the Holocaust years. "In Poland three million Christians, mostly Catholics, were killed together with three million Polish Jews" he said.

Lack of such knowledge, Preisler feels, encourages anti-Catholic bigots to take advantage of the uninformed and try to get away with statements and accusations that are maliciously false.

"I often wonder what all my fellow Catholics who were murdered in Auschwitz would say if they were still alive to hear these bigots accuse the Catholic Church as responsible for the Holocaust. What would the priests the Nazis killed in Auschwitz say if they heard that the head of their church at the time they died is now being slandered as 'Hitler's Pope'."

Not only did Preisler survive Auschwitz, he also survived the January, 1945 death march. With the Soviet Army closing in on Auschwitz in the final months of the war, the Germans decided to move out the remaining prisoners to other camps. While many died in the march, Preisler's grit and determination kept him alive until he got to the Ebensee camp in Austria where the U.S. Army liberated him in May.

In the thirty years that followed his liberation, he seldom talked about his terrible experiences. But he found it impossible to stay silent after he saw how Hollywood and the rest of the entertainment industry started to fictionalize Holocaust history and confuse the American public by giving versions of it he knew were simply not true.

Preisler felt it was his obligation to start speaking out. "Obvious misrepresentations were constantly made and the public was believing them to be factual. And rarely did those in show business ever treat Catholics fairly" he said.

Mr. Preisler is honorary president of the Downstate N.Y. Division of the Polish American Congress. He is also co-chair of the organization's Holocaust Documentation Committee and director of its Speakers Bureau. He can be reached at (718) 805-7371 or by writing to him at the Polish American Congress, 177 Kent St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11222.

Contact: Frank Milewski - (718) 263-2700

Michael Preisler (left) tells students at St. Emily's School in Mt. Prospect, Illinois about his experiences as a Polish Catholic prisoner of Hitler's SS in the dreaded Auschwitz death camp where he spent 3,5 years

2004

Expectations of Payback (2/2004)
The family gift (1/2004)
Poland America's most loyal ally (1/2004)
Auschwitz Survivor: Too little known about Holocaust's Christian Victims (1/2004)
Honorary Consul for government of Poland appointed (1/2004)
Legislative agenda of the Polish American Congress (1/2004)

2003

Drivers licences for undocumented immigrants in California (11/2003)
On the anniversary of The Warsaw Uprising (08/2003)
How to obtain a professional VISA (H-1B) (03/2003)

2002

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays + year end events (12/2002)
A Whistle-stop tour of Poland (12/2002)
Polish History at Loyola Marymount University in LA (12/2002)
Northern CA PAC on Poland and UE (11/2002)
Stan Kawczynski helping Polonia on AB2003 (07/2002)
California Holocaust Education Act 2003 (07/2002)
Przemowienie Moskala w Senacie RP (in polish) (06/2002)
Moskal speaks in The Polish Senate (06/2002)
PAC Committee Reacts to "Enigma" Movie (06/2002)
Divide and conquer (04/2002)
SF chronicle about Polish customs (04/2002)
Who is trying to divide Polonia? (02/2002)

1998

Convention to Stop Hate-Mongering

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