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Golden Harvest: Events at the Periphery of the Holocaust [Hardcover] [2012] (Author) Jan Tomasz Gross, Irena Grudzinska GrossJan T. Gross Again Tendentiously Manipulates Data in a Selectively Anti-Polish Manner

jan peczkis|Friday, August 16, 2013

Yes, I have read the book. And please spare me the irrelevant line about Jan T. Gross being half-Polish, and certain politically-correct Poles in media and academia agreeing with him.

Regardless of his motives (Holocaust Industry?), Jan T. Gross makes Poles out to be some kind of villains who were greedy for Jewish property. He also conflates Germans taking Jewish property and Poles during the same. In actuality, Germans came to Poland as greedy conquerors, and were never in desperate straits. They simply sought to enrich themselves. Poles, in stark contrast, had to eke out a life under the German occupation and the immediate postwar period. The ingrained corruption bred by the amoral Soviet-imposed Communist system later became another factor animating Polish conduct.

Golden Harvest: Events at the Periphery of the Holocaust [Hardcover] [2012] (Author) Jan Tomasz Gross, Irena Grudzinska Gross        
1.0 out of 5 stars
Do Poles have some kind of ingrained disease that predisposes them to loot from Jews? Hardly! In fact, looting of the living and the dead is virtually universal in wartime. Everyone stole from everyone--yes, Poles from Jews, but foremost Poles from Poles, Jews from Jews, Jews from Poles, and even Germans from Germans. Looting is far from rare in peacetime. An example of the latter is the looting of archeological treasures, by visitors and locals alike. For more on all this, please visit the Peczkis Listmania: LOOTING, GRAVE ROBBERY, PROPERTY RESTITUTION--NOT ONLY POLES FROM JEWS.

Without presenting any substantive evidence, Gross accuses Poles of having killed at least "a few tens of thousands" of fugitive Jews, and then having invariably done so out of greed and anti-Semitism. Actually, fugitive Jews met their deaths from many different causes. Some committed suicide, while others were killed by wartime events. The Germans proved perfectly capable of finding and killing fugitive Jews without the help of locals. Among informers serving the Germans were not only Poles, but also Polish-speaking Germans (Volksdeutsche), Polish-speaking Ukrainians, and yes, also Jews themselves. Who was responsible for how many Jewish deaths is next to impossible to determine. Finally, Poles who did denounce or kill Jews did so out of various motives. Some preferred to see Jews killed rather than risk having the Germans destroy their entire village in reprisal for actual or suspected Polish aid to Jews. Other Poles killed Jews for known or suspected banditry. Still other Jews were killed for their involvement with, or collaboration with, the murderous Communist GL-AL bands.

Gross blindly repeats many of the same fallacious arguments that he had presented in his NEIGHBORS and FEAR. Please go to, and read, the Peczkis reviews of the same. In particular, Gross again brings up and misrepresents Christopher Browning's ORDINARY MEN, and Zygmunt Klukowski's DIARY. Please look up those items and read the detailed Peczkis reviews. (I cannot provide a direct link from this review because Amazon software limits the number of links that can emanate from any single review. See below).

Jan T. Gross again brings up the accusation that Poles killed the Jews of Jedwabne and environs. Did you know that there are Jewish (never mind the Polish) sources that affirm that the Germans, and not the Poles, were actually the main killers of Jedwabne's Jews? Please click on The Warriors: My Life As A Jewish Soviet Partisan (Religion, Theology, and the Holocaust), and then also click on the book by Maik embedded in the review, and read the Peczkis review of it also.

Predictably, Gross brings up the blood libel, directed against Jews, as an indictment against Poles. However, Gross provides no evidence that this was a significantly and deeply-held belief among Poles that actually animated their conduct against Jews on a significant scale. Besides, did you know that various other peoples had comparable beliefs, and not only against Jews? For instance, Jews sometimes believed that visiting Gypsies (Sinti and Roma) habitually stole Jewish children, and turned them into slaves. See the Peczkis review of THE JANOWSKA ROAD, and then read the first comment under my review for another such example.

For further rebuttal of Gross' latest Polonophobic screed, click on, and read the detailed Peczkis review of the vastly more scholarly and objective Golden Harvest or Hearts of Gold? Studies on the Wartime Fate of Poles and Jews.
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