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Fear

Author: Jan Gross
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0307430960
Size: 19.36 MB
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Poland suffered an exceedingly brutal Nazi occupation during the Second World War. Close to five million Polish citizens lost their lives as a result. More than half the casualties were Polish Jews. Thus, the second largest Jewish community in the world–only American Jewry numbered more than the three and a half million Polish Jews at the time–was wiped out. Over 90 percent of its members were killed in the Holocaust. And yet, despite this unprecedented calamity that affected both Jews and non-Jews, Jewish Holocaust survivors returning to their hometowns in Poland after the war experienced widespread hostility, including murder, at the hands of their neighbors. The bloodiest peacetime pogrom in twentieth-century Europe took place in the Polish town of Kielce one year after the war ended, on July 4, 1946. Jan Gross’s Fear attempts to answer a perplexing question: How was anti-Semitism possible in Poland after the war? At the center of his investigation is a detailed reconstruction of the Kielce pogrom and the reactions it evoked in various milieus of Polish society. How did the Polish Catholic Church, Communist party workers, and intellectuals respond to the spectacle of Jews being murdered by their fellow citizens in a country that had just been liberated from a five-year Nazi occupation? Gross argues that the anti-Semitism displayed in Poland in the war’s aftermath 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 between the Communist regime and a society in which many had joined in the Nazi campaign of plunder and murder–and for whom the Jewish survivors were a standing reproach. Jews did not bring communism to Poland as some believe; in fact, they were finally driven out of Poland under the Communist regime as a matter of political expediency. In the words of the Nobel Prize—winning poet Czeslaw Milosz, Poland’s Communist rulers fulfilled the dream of Polish nationalists by bringing into existence an ethnically pure state. For more than half a century, what happened to the Jewish Holocaust survivors in Poland has been cloaked in guilt and shame. Writing with passion, brilliance, and fierce clarity, Jan T. Gross at last brings the truth to light.

Golden Harvest

Author: Jan Tomasz Gross
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199939314
Size: 42.71 MB
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It seems at first commonplace: a group photograph of peasants at harvest time, after hard work well done, resting contentedly with their tools behind the fruits of their labor. But when one finally notices the "crops" scattered in front of the group, what seemed innocent on first view become horrific skulls and bones. Where are we? Who are the people in the photograph, and what are they doing? The starting pointof Jan Tomasz and Irena Grudzinska Gross's Golden Harvest, this haunting photograph in fact depicts a group of peasants--"diggers"--atop a mountain of ashes at Treblinka, where some 800,000 Jews were gassed and cremated. The diggers are searching for gold and precious stones that Nazi executioners may have overlooked. The story captured in this grainy black-and-white photograph symbolizes the vast, continent-wide plunder of Jewish wealth that went hand-in-hand with the Holocaust. The seizure of Jewish assets during World War II occasionally generates widespread attention when Swiss banks are challenged to produce lists of dormant accounts, or national museums are forced to return stolen paintings. But the theft of Europe's Jewish population was not limited to conquering armies, leading banks, or museums. It was perpetrated also by local people, such as those pictured in the photograph. Lyrical and often heartbreaking, A Golden Harvest takes readers across Europe as it exposes the economic ravaging of an entire society. Beginning with a simple group shot, the authors have written a moving book that evokes the depth and range, as well as the intimacy, of the Final Solution.

The Politics Of Retribution In Europe

Author: István Deák
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400832055
Size: 26.10 MB
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The presentation of Europe's immediate historical past has quite dramatically changed. Conventional depictions of occupation and collaboration in World War II, of wartime resistance and post-war renewal, provided the familiar backdrop against which the chronicle of post-war Europe has mostly been told. Within these often ritualistic presentations, it was possible to conceal the fact that not only were the majority of people in Hitler's Europe not resistance fighters but millions actively co-operated with and many millions more rather easily accommodated to Nazi rule. Moreover, after the war, those who judged former collaborators were sometimes themselves former collaborators. Many people became innocent victims of retribution, while others--among them notorious war criminals--escaped punishment. Nonetheless, the process of retribution was not useless but rather a historically unique effort to purify the continent of the many sins Europeans had committed. This book sheds light on the collective amnesia that overtook European governments and peoples regarding their own responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity--an amnesia that has only recently begun to dissipate as a result of often painful searching across the continent. In inspiring essays, a group of internationally renowned scholars unravels the moral and political choices facing European governments in the war's aftermath: how to punish the guilty, how to decide who was guilty of what, how to convert often unspeakable and conflicted war experiences and memories into serviceable, even uplifting accounts of national history. In short, these scholars explore how the drama of the immediate past was (and was not) successfully "overcome." Through their comparative and transnational emphasis, they also illuminate the division between eastern and western Europe, locating its origins both in the war and in post-war domestic and international affairs. Here, as in their discussion of collaborators' trials, the authors lay bare the roots of the many unresolved and painful memories clouding present-day Europe. Contributors are Brad Abrams, Martin Conway, Sarah Farmer, Luc Huyse, László Karsai, Mark Mazower, and Peter Romijn, as well as the editors. Taken separately, their essays are significant contributions to the contemporary history of several European countries. Taken together, they represent an original and pathbreaking account of a formative moment in the shaping of Europe at the dawn of a new millennium.

Hunt For The Jews

Author: Jan Grabowski
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 025301087X
Size: 59.73 MB
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Judenjagd, hunt for the Jews, was the German term for the organized searches for Jews who, having survived ghetto liquidations and deportations to death camps in Poland in 1942, attempted to hide "on the Aryan side." Jan Grabowski's penetrating microhistory tells the story of the Judenjagd in Dabrowa Tarnowska, a rural county in southeastern Poland, where the majority of the Jews in hiding perished as a consequence of betrayal by their Polish neighbors. Drawing on materials from Polish, Jewish, and German sources created during and after the war, Grabowski documents the involvement of the local Polish population in the process of detecting and killing the Jews who sought their aid. Through detailed reconstruction of events, this close-up account of the fates of individual Jews casts a bright light on a little-known aspect of the Holocaust in Poland.

Rhetoric And The Cultural Trauma An Analysis Of Jan T Gross Book Fear Anti Semitism In Poland After Auschwitz

Author:
Publisher:
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This study deals with the historian Jan T Gross' book Fear, published in 2006 in the United States and in 2008 in Poland. The book deserves special attention because it became one of the most discussed historical works in post-Communist Poland. In Fear, just as in his previous book Neighbors (2000), Gross challenged the Poles' view of themselves as solely innocent victims of German Nazism and argued that anti-Semitism could and did lead them to kill Jews, both during and after the war. The author of the article seeks to answer the question as to what made the Poles react so strongly to Fear . She argues that the reasons are not only to be found in the book's message and the political context in which it appeared but also in the mode of historical representation applied by Gross. The specific rhetoric of Fear has been noted by its critics, but no one analysed it closely. This study intends to fill that gap. The present author's thesis is that in Fear, Gross uses the rhetorical design of a deliberative speech, and by so doing, anchors his narrative in the present and demands future action by his readers. This combination of telling about past events and pointing to their present relevance makes his narrative performance very different from conventional historiography. The value of Gross' work lies not primarily in his contribution to the body of existing knowledge but in its functionality and performativity.

Resurgent Antisemitism

Author: Alvin H. Rosenfeld
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253008905
Size: 64.32 MB
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Dating back millennia, antisemitism has been called "the longest hatred." Thought to be vanquished after the horrors of the Holocaust, in recent decades it has once again become a disturbing presence in many parts of the world. Resurgent Antisemitism presents original research that elucidates the social, intellectual, and ideological roots of the "new" antisemitism and the place it has come to occupy in the public sphere. By exploring the sources, goals, and consequences of today's antisemitism and its relationship to the past, the book contributes to an understanding of this phenomenon that may help diminish its appeal and mitigate its more harmful effects.

Poland S Threatening Other

Author: Joanna Beata Michlic
Publisher:
ISBN: 9780803220799
Size: 59.88 MB
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In this provocative and insightful book, Joanna Beata Michlic interrogates the myth of the Jew as Poland's foremost internal "threatening other," harmful to Poland, its people, and to all aspects of its national life. This is the first attempt to chart new theoretical directions in the study of Polish-Jewish relations in the wake of the controversy over Jan Gross's book Neighbors. Michlic analyzes the nature and impact of anti-Jewish prejudices on modern Polish society and culture, tracing the history of the concept of the Jew as the threatening other and its role in the formation and development of modern Polish national identity based on the matrix of exclusivist ethnic nationalism. In the late nineteenth century and throughout the greater part of the twentieth, exclusivist ethnic nationalism predominated over inclusive civic nationalism in Polish political culture and society. Only in the aftermath of the political transformation of 1989 has Polish civic nationalism gradually gained predominance. As civic nationalism has become more assertive, Polish scholars have begun to unearth and critically examine the legacies of Polish anti-Semitism and other anti-minority prejudices. Michlic conducted extensive research in Polish, British, and Israeli archives for this book. Poland's Threatening Other contributes to modern Jewish and Polish history, the study of nationalism, and to a new school of critical inquiry into the nature of anti-Jewish prejudices. Joanna Beata Michlic is an assistant professor in the Holocaust and Genocide Studies program at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. She was a visiting scholar in the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis University in 2003-5 and is the coeditor of The Neighbors Respond: The Controversy over the Jedwabne Massacre in Poland and the author of Coming to Terms with the "Dark Past" The Polish Debate about the Jedwabne Massacre.

The Crime And The Silence

Author: Anna Bikont
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
ISBN: 0374710325
Size: 21.36 MB
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Winner of the National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust category A monumental work of nonfiction on a wartime atrocity, its sixty-year denial, and the impact of its truth Jan Gross's hugely controversial Neighbors was a historian's disclosure of the events in the small Polish town of Jedwabne on July 10, 1941, when the citizens rounded up the Jewish population and burned them alive in a barn. The massacre was a shocking secret that had been suppressed for more than sixty years, and it provoked the most important public debate in Poland since 1989. From the outset, Anna Bikont reported on the town, combing through archives and interviewing residents who survived the war period. Her writing became a crucial part of the debate and she herself an actor in a national drama. Part history, part memoir, The Crime and the Silence is the journalist's account of these events: both the story of the massacre told through oral histories of survivors and witnesses, and a portrait of a Polish town coming to terms with its dark past. Including the perspectives of both heroes and perpetrators, Bikont chronicles the sources of the hatred that exploded against Jews and asks what myths grow on hidden memories, what destruction they cause, and what happens to a society that refuses to accept a horrific truth. A profoundly moving exploration of being Jewish in modern Poland that Julian Barnes called "one of the most chilling books," The Crime and the Silence is a vital contribution to Holocaust history and a fascinating story of a town coming to terms with its dark past.

The Crooked Mirror

Author: Louise Steinman
Publisher: Beacon Press
ISBN: 0807050563
Size: 37.67 MB
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A lyrical literary memoir that explores the exhilarating, discomforting, and ultimately healing process of Polish-Jewish reconciliation taking place in Poland today Although an estimated 80 percent of American Jews are of Polish descent, many in the postwar generation and those born later know little about their families’ connection to their ancestral home. In fact, many Jews continue to think of Poland as a bastion of anti-Semitism, since nearly the entire population of Polish Jewry was killed in the Holocaust. The reality is more complex: although German-occupied Poland was the site of great persecution towards Jews, it was also the epicenter of European Jewish life for centuries. Louise Steinman sets out to examine the burgeoning Polish-Jewish reconciliation movement through the lens of her own family's history, joining the ranks of Jews of Polish descent who are confronting both Poland’s heroism and occupation-afflicted atrocities, and who are seeking to reconnect with their families’ Polish roots

Uncivil Society

Author: Stephen Kotkin
Publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 9781588369178
Size: 37.18 MB
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Twenty years ago, the Berlin Wall fell. In one of modern history’s most miraculous occurrences, communism imploded–and not with a bang, but with a whimper. Now two of the foremost scholars of East European and Soviet affairs, Stephen Kotkin and Jan T. Gross, drawing upon two decades of reflection, revisit this crash. In a crisp, concise, unsentimental narrative, they employ three case studies–East Germany, Romania, and Poland–to illuminate what led Communist regimes to surrender, or to be swept away in political bank runs. This is less a story of dissidents, so-called civil society, than of the bankruptcy of a ruling class–communism’s establishment, or “uncivil society.” The Communists borrowed from the West like drunken sailors to buy mass consumer goods, then were unable to pay back the hard-currency debts and so borrowed even more. In Eastern Europe, communism came to resemble a Ponzi scheme, one whose implosion carries enduring lessons. From East Germany’s pseudotechnocracy to Romania’s megalomaniacal dystopia, from Communist Poland’s cult of Mary to the Kremlin’s surprise restraint, Kotkin and Gross pull back the curtain on the fraud and decadence that cashiered the would-be alternative to the market and democracy, an outcome that opened up to a deeper global integration that has proved destabilizing. From the Hardcover edition.