[Fear Anti Semitism in Poland after Auschwitz An Essay in Historical Interpretation] Download Ù Jan Tomasz Gross
Ish property as well as Jews social roles had been assumed by Polish neighbors in tacit and often directly opportunistic complicity with Nazi instigated institutional mass murder He also suggests an explanation from experimental psychology people have a propensity to hate those whom they have injured Many Poles could not bear the Jewish presence after the war because it called forth their own feelings of guilt and shame A New York Times commentator David Margolik who reviewed the book disagrees
Instead he believes that the Germans emboldened many Poles to act he believes that the Germans emboldened many Poles to act what they had always felt Gross s concluding chapter is uite compelling but still not completely satisfying and I think Gross would agree What happened to Poland before during and after WWII is such a complex mixture of political social psychological and religious factors that a complete explanation of anti Semitism in Poland after Auschwitz may be too difficult a task to achieve Indeed one of the most accomplished historians of twentieth century Poland Dariusz Stola says For me one of the greatest mysteries of our twentieth century history is Polish attitudes toward the Jews after the Holocaust Nevertheless Gross raises very serious and interesting uestions about human action in stressful circumstances I enjoyed the book and I recommend it This is not a beautifully written book It of an academic work a hugely important one that should be read by as wide an audience as possible Readers should struggle through its painstaking prose to take on board its importance and its attempt to understand how most human beings will behave given the right circumstances in this particular case under Nazi occupation and its immediate aftermathFear by Jan Gross focuses tightly on the phenomenon of anti Semitism in Poland after the Second World War One cannot help but wonder how this phenomenon has evolved today in a nation that has not yet faced up to its own part in the murder of its Jewish population and in certain areas continues today to deny its own complicity in those murders This book is not an attack on Poland or its people as many have claimed but an attempt to understand why anti Semitism was not extinguished
rather increased Poland in the aftermath of the death camps and the brutal murder of three million Polish Jews on Polish soil and before the eyes of their ethic Polish neighborsDuring and after the nearly unthinkable pogrom of Kielce the main event in this book Holocaust survivor Jews were accused of killing Christian children to make matzo Boy scouts policemen soldiers mothers and fathers took part in the bloodshed and murder that occurred here In fact no one ever saw a Christian child murdered for their blood If Hitler himself had cited this medieval rubbish during the Nuremberg rally he would have been ridiculed Yet in Kielce indeed throughout Poland it was accepted by rational individuals Did they really believe they were protecting Christian children by murdering their Jewish neighbors Jews were also blamed for the Communism that oppressed Poland in the aftermath of WWII even though proportionally few Jews held positions of authority Communism was generally enforced by Polish thugs and Gross interesting points out that those who most compliant were those who had also collaborated with the Nazis This fact was ignored in 1946 during the pogrom in Kielce and the murders throughout the rest of Poland ust as it is probably generally ignored todayGross works his argument methodically toward the main point and revelation of the book that Polish atrocities in the aftermath of the death camps have at their root Polish complicity and Polish guilt The Roman Tacitus wrote It is human nature to hate the man whom you have injured Jews were murdered threatened and brutalised in Poland after Auchwitz Treblinka Sobibor and other hellish places not because they were a genuine threat but because of what the Poles had hellish places not because they were a genuine threat but because of what the Poles had to the Jews The Nazi murdered their neighbors and most Poles did nothing they stole and plundered their property enriching themselves in the most opportunistic fashion The Jews who returned from the flames of the Holocaust reminded Poles of their own sinsI wonder how much this is at the root of modern Polish anti Semitism A woman I met a few years ago in Warsaw said to me If you ask me all of Poland needs therapy Somehow after reading this book I have the strongest sense that Poland as a nation cannot move forward to find its rightful place in Europe and the world until it faces up to its own past and is then able to move forward Gross s work is but the first ste. Tween the Communist regime and a society filled with people who had participated in the Nazi campaign of murder and plunder people for whom Jewish survivors were a standing reproach The Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz said that Poland's Communist rulers fulfilled the dream of Polish nationalists by bringing into existence an ethnically pure stateFor than half a century what happened to Jewish Holocaust survivors in Poland has been cloaked in guilt and shame Writing with passion brilliance and fierce clarity Gross at last brings the truth to ligh.but rather increased
Summary · PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB ↠ Jan Tomasz GrossOne of the paramount underlying reasons of conflict between Poles and Jews after the war had to do with the illicit transfer of material property from Jewish ownership during the war 39The conceptual and emotional fog veiling this story lifts somewhat only after we recognize that Jewish survivors were an unbearable sore spot because they had been victimized by their Polish neighbors for centuries but especially during the Nazi occupation 164The local population enthusiastically welcomed and collaborated with the German liberators and it participated in #mass killings of Jews 185 What do you want with these #killings of Jews 185 What do you want with these Jewish pains I feel as close to the wretched victims of the rubber plantations in Putumayo and the blacks of Africa I have no special corner in my heart for the ghetto I am at home in the entire world where there are clouds and birds and human tears Rosa Luxemburg to Mathilde Wurm 195Eastern European Communists wanted to authenticate themselves as the only organizational embodiment of true national interest in the societies where they were politically active To reach this goal they did not shy away from playing on xenophobia and ethnic prejudice 239Living Jews embodied the massive failure of character and reason on the part of their Polish neighbors and constituted by mere presence both a reminder and a threat that they might need to account for themselves 248 Wow I like to think of myself as well read and not easily shocked yet this was a terrifying read describing the moral breakdown of an entire country This is a must read for people interested in the Holocaust This book angers Poles because it punctures the bubble of innocent victimhood in which Poles wrap themselves as the Christ of Nations a metaphor exploded when the would be martyr is himself exposed as a torturer and robber of HebrewsThose who one star this book and write long winded disparaging diatribes and apologia are I fear the very types who would have engaged in the pogroms discussed had they been alive at the time and possibly were The arguments against this book put forth by Poles are uite analogous to Dixie revisionists who convolutedly insist the civil war wasn t about slavery or raceThis kind of denial makes one sadly reflect that the God of the Old Testament was indeed looking on Poland in 1946 and had a sense of humor forty years of Communist atheist imprisonment is a relatively light sentence for mass murder unrepentantBitter irony too in that so many young Jews looked to Palestine for deliverance from a Polish homeland that had never been a home where displacement and dispossession were created anew and continue to do unto others as was done to them A fundamental reading Especially when we still live in times in which the Prime Minister of Poland can say that abtisemitism in Poland is a product of something said by an Israeli minister about the antisemitism in Poland Many reviewers have found Gross writing unattractive but I have to disagree I thought he did a marvellous No Way Home job writing in a balanced way about instances of inexplicable horror after WWII had ended Again and again he points out that Poland had suffered greatly during the war was let down by the Allied forces and sold into a Soviet rule that its population opposed but had no chance to escape Gross never lets the reader forget about those circumstances and you get the impression that the author isust as surprised at the horrors suffered by Polish Jews at the hands of their Polish neighbours as the reader is When he does take a stand and voices an outright condemnation then it really hurtsGross is an intelligent commentator and his conclusions are very well presented He holds back a bit in my opinion when it comes to the psychological aspects What it boils down to is an inescapable human meanness that makes people who have been hurt take their aggressions out on those who have suffered even Post war pogroms and violent anti Semitism as presented here are the results of greed hatred and a convenient world view that dehumanises those you have an opportunity to hurt After finishing this book I m inclined to adopt a world view in which people are nothing than animals that have words oh so many words to ustify their animalistic behaviour Very scholarly Lots of repetition but it is a story that needs to be told This is a long and difficult read and at times mentally draining One simply cannot fathom the following two things that pogroms and anti Semitic attacks occurred literally when the true monstrous extent of the Nazis actions was occurred literally when the true monstrous extent of the Nazis actions was being revealed to the world and that non Jewish. Poland suffered an exceedingly brutal Nazi occupation during the Second World War Close to five million Poles were killed Of these than half were Jews killed in the Holocaust Ninety percent of the world's second largest Jewish community was annihilated But despite the calamity shared by Poland's Jews and non Jews anti Semitic violence did not stop in Poland with the end of the war Jewish Holocaust survivors returning to their Polish hometowns after the war experienced widespread hostility including murder at the hands of their neighbors The. Poles who had hidden Jews during the war had to keep secret their heroic actions for fear of violence against them And to think the appalling actions the Polish government has taken recently to further remove itself from being labeled as complicit with the Nazis even though many Poles were in the annihilation of Polish Jews Excellent documentation and explanation of incredibly disturbing and upsetting events During WWII ninety percent of Poland s Jewish population disappeared exterminated by the Nazis primarily in their infamous death camps This is the story about what happened to the surviving ten percent approximately 200000 300000 when they returned to their native Poland after the war ended They were greeted by a wide range of anti Jewish practices they were threatened they were prevented from reclaiming their property and in one particularly violent episode the pogrom in Kielce July 1946 many were killed some with deliberate cruelty Whether at work or in a government office in the street on a train or in a classroom Polish Jews encountered hostility Most of these surviving Jews gripped with terror took the hint and fled to Palestine or to the westCourageous Poles who had saved Jewish children were also persecuted They became social outcasts in their own communities They were called Jew lovers Most hid their identities to protect themselves and their familiesBut this story of the returning Jews doesn t begin until Chapter 2 In protect themselves and their familiesBut this story of the returning Jews doesn t begin until Chapter 2 In 1 called Poland Abandoned Gross recounts the heartbreaking story of how Poland was torn apart by the war and then essentially abandoned first by the Russians when the Polish underground rose up to fight the Germans and then again by the US and Great Britain when Stalin refused to honor his wartime pledge to hold free and unfettered elections
In Poland As Soon AsPoland as soon as following the end of hostilities Chapter 1 alone made this book worth readingWhen the surviving Jews returned to their hometowns in Poland after the war ended leading Polish intellectuals were shocked and scandalized by the recurring postwar manifestations of popular anti Semitism They saw it not as an economic issue not as a political issue but as a moral failure which touched some core of the collective being Of course Poland was firmly in the grip of Stalinism at this time and Stalin s rising anti Semitic attitude clouds the issue Nevertheless Gross presents convincing evidence of widespread discrimination against the returning JewsThe central event of Fear is the pogrom in Kielce It s a frightening story On July 1 1946 an eight year old boy disappeared from his home It turned out that he had gone to visit a friend in a town
from which his family had recently moved When he returned he made up a story saying that he had been kidnappedwhich his family had recently moved When he returned he made up a story saying that he had been kidnapped Jews and kept in the basement of a building at 7 Planty Street where approximately 180 Jews lived The building it was discovered later had no basement On July 4 1946 a crowd gathered at 7 Planty Street Police and soldiers arrived but instead of saving the Jews they participated in the action against the Jews The authorities were concerned that the public not accuse them of safeguarding the Jews Forty two Jewish men women and children were killed shot stabbed or beaten to death Another 30 were killed on the railroad Eighty others were woundedThese were not isolated actions of deviants or socially marginal individuals As many as a uarter of the adult population of Kielce was actively involved in the assault on the Jews that day Gross says that What stands out on the gruesome occasion is the widely shared sense in Polish society that getting rid of the Jews by killing them if necessary was permissible The uestion that Gross attempts to answer in the remainder of the book is How was such virulent anti Semitism possible after the Holocaust in Poland of all places In attempting to explain anti Semitism in Poland after the war Gross rejects with well supported arguments two common explanations Jews were not killing Christian children for their blood nor were Jews responsible for bringing Communism to Poland The chapter on this latter point is longer than necessary in my opinion Gross also rejects as an explanation the historical roots of Polish anti Semitism and the argument that Nazi policies simply rubbed off onto the Poles Instead his explanation is Polish society s opportunistic wartime behavior Jews were perceived as a threat to the material status uo security and peaceful conscience of their Christian fellow citizens after the war because they had been plundered and because what remained of Jew. Bloodiest peacetime pogrom in twentieth century Europe took place in Kielce Poland a year after the war ended Jan Gross's Fear is a detailed reconstruction of this pogrom and the Polish reactions to it that attempts to answer a perplexing uestion How was anti Semitism possible in Poland after the warGross argues that postwar Polish anti Semitism cannot be understood simply as a continuation of prewar attitudes Rather it developed in the context of the Holocaust and the Communist takeover Anti Semitism eventually became a common currency be.