Finance: The Polish Embassy gave Jim Cramer a history lesson after the CNBC host compared Macy's to the Polish Army in WWII
Polish cavalry did not, in fact, charge Nazi tanks in the early days of the war.
The Polish Embassy in the US gave Jim Cramer a history lesson on Tuesday after the CNBC host compared the department store Macy's to the Polish Army in WWII.
In a tweeted statement, the Embassy quotes Cramer as drawing the following comparison: "Macy's is like the Polish Army in WWII — it tried to field cavalry against German tanks and it did not end well."
"This statement was unnecessary, inaccurate, and insensitive," the Embassy said, adding that historical facts do not support Cramer's comparison.
"[N]ot once in 1939 did the Polish Army deploy cavalry against German tanks. This is pure Nazi and Communist propaganda that continues to weave its way into Western media reports to this day," the statement continued.
"Here are the facts: in 1939 there were a number of recorded Polish cavalry charges against the invading Nazi German forces. These charges were directed against infantry, artillery, supplies, and at times as a means of breaking out of encirclement, but never against tanks."
The Polish army did maintain cavalry squadrons in 1939. However, the story that Polish cavalry charged at tanks was a myth spread by propagandists during the war. The story possibly originated from a skirmish at the Pomeranian village Krojanty on September 1, 1939, the first day of the German invasion, according to The Guardian's Julian Borger. As he explained:
"Polish lancers, whose units had still not been motorized, did indeed charge a Wehrmacht infantry battalion but were forced to retreat under heavy machine gun fire. By the time German and Italian war correspondents got there, some tanks had arrived and they joined the dots themselves."
This myth was used by Nazi and Soviet propaganda to portray Polish officers as "absurdly careless about the lives of their troops," Borger added. It also helped "fuel the myth of the noble-yet-backward Polish cavalry," according to The Atlantic.
The full statement from the embassy is below: