Those Who Murder the Dead

Bilden kan innehålla: 1 person, sitterThose Who Murder the Dead

Henryk Grynberg
Translated from the Polish by Katarzyna Jerzak and the Author

Photo credit: Dorm Room Television

Washington was the best president, and the one who invented that office. He could have been president forever, but he didn’t want to. He could have crowned himself like Napoleon, but he was thinking of the country, not of himself. In his testament he freed his slaves, which for political reasons he could not have done in his lifetime. In his will, Tadeusz Kosciuszko entrusted his American fortune to Jefferson, so that with that money he would free his slaves, buy others from their owners and equip them with land and agricultural tools. Jefferson did not accept Kościuszko’s gift – writes Henry Wiencek in the monthly “Smithsonian” – because he could not do without slaves and did not want to engage in politically incorrect emancipation of Negroes. That’s in my “Memoir 2” (November 8, 2012). But it was Jefferson who wrote the Constitution, according to which “all men are created equal,” and forty years after his death America abolished slavery. This Constitution, the best in the world, to this day ensures not only religious freedom, but the no less important freedom from religion (including the separation between church and state). Jefferson introduced that separation in Virginia even before the independence of the United States. Freedom from religion existed de facto, though not de iure, in the the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and both de facto and de iure in People’s Poland.

At least four continents enriched themselves using black Africans’ slavery. First of all Europe, then Africa and South America, and least of all North America. Black and Arab Africa enslaved and sold them, Europe transported and sold them further on, both Americas bought and exploited them. All this is enumerated and displayed at the Washington Museum of African American History and Culture. The backward slave farming of the Southern states created and sustained a landed gentry modeled on Europe, but the great power that pulled the world out of shit in 1917-18, 1944-45 and 1989-91 grew out of free agriculture and industry in the North. The America of Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln is the only guarantee of freedom, independence and approximate democracy of thirty-some countries, including Poland and Israel. Accusing her of “systemic racism” is a brazen act of demagoguery and a great lie in Goebbels style. There is no lack of racists everywhere, but if America is “systemically racist,” then why do all the colors of the world push its doors and windows to get in and fight deportation? America does have a flaw: she is so beautiful and good that she cannot believe it is hated. Hatred is ignorance, it’s enough to enlighten the dimwits and they will have to love us – think the American children of the Enlightenment. Like the Jews. And they are very surprised when this is not the case.

“Columbus was great, not because he arrived, but because he sailed and put his life on the line, because he preferred to lose it than to waste it. It is easy to sacrifice yourself when you are sure, but difficult when you are not,” I wrote in Warsaw on October 12, 1961 (see “Memoir”). Six years later – also on Columbus Day – I landed in America and stayed. It is true that she did not bring six million drowning Jews ashore in 1939-45, but she did take on board a couple of million others and thanks to that we still exist today. That’s why I take a tranquilizer when I look at the mob that denigrated Columbus, Washington, and Jefferson. They tried to knock Jackson off his horse, because he had dared shoot at the Indians allied with the British, and they would have done it, had it not been for the last-minute rescue by the White House cavalry. Why bother about Jackson, even Jesus is too white for them. The more they love the natives who are no longer there, including the cannibals, and the slaves who are not here, the more they hate America, the true haven of the persecuted. They devastated the monument to the author of her national anthem. So that there is no doubt, they burn her national flag, like in Iran. America is surprised, appalled, cannot understand it. “Ah, it’s just a statement” (explains a governor). The question is what will remain after all these statements. Fallen and desecrated marbles and bronzes still retain the beauty enchanted in them by the best hours, nights and days of the artists. The poet has long ago foreseen that those who burn books will burn people. I am afraid that those who murder the dead are capable of murdering the living.

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