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Microhistories many of them of the Holocaust;Au Revoir, JUDENJAGD. The “Polish Complicity in the Holocaust” Canard Refuted. Polish Antisemitism and Jew-Killing Unconnected

jan peczkis|Saturday, December 9, 2017

My review is limited to Tomasz Frydel and his chapter: “The ‘Hunt for the Jews’ as a Social Process, 1942-1945”. Once again, Frydel’s work is refreshingly objective. It is a clear contrast to the standard narrative, especially as propounded by neo-Stalinist authors such as Jan T. Gross, Jan Grabowski (especially his JUDENJAGD), and Barbara Engelking. According to the standard narrative, Poles, apart from a handful of enlightened individuals that rescued Jews, were a terrible, primitive people steeped in Catholic-patriotic traditions, making them (what else?) anti-Semitic, and therefore prone to denounce and kill fugitive Jews. Using excellent scholarship, including the use of archival information, Frydel soundly debunks this standard Polonophobic and anti-Catholic nonsense.



A CAUTION TO READERS: JUDENJAGD IS A MISLEADING, ORWELLIAN TERM

In all my reviews, I use the word JUDENJAGD (hunt for the Jews, in German) for purpose of reference, but with reluctance, owing to its German-guilt-diluting Orwellian connotations. The reader sees the word “hunt”, and ordinarily thinks of the participants as all acting freely, and killing game animals in accordance with a common purpose. Moreover, the hunt is not just an animal-shooting operation: It is a social event that celebrates and enhances the camaraderie of the men in the hunting party.

The term JUDENJAGD, a form of Newspeak (specifically Holocaustspeak), creates a narrative of false equivalences (at multiple levels) of Nazi-German Jew-killers and Polish Jew-killers. See below. Worse yet, the Orwellian term JUDENJAGD implies that a camaraderie exists, or is being built, between German Jew-killers and Polish Jew-killers. This, too, is patently false, as shown below. JUDENJAGD thus serves to make the Jew a perpetual victim—of the Pole no less than the German—and to shift part of the blame for the Holocaust from where it belongs—the Germans—and unto the Poles.

THE GERMAN-LED POLISH BLUE POLICE (POLICJA GRANATOWA)

Various accusations against the Polish Blue Police, concerning the Jews, tacitly assume that its members were fully responsible for their actions. They most certainly were not. The meme of “choiceless choices” is customarily applied to the conduct of Jewish KAPOS in concentration camps, and, to a lesser extent, to that of the Jewish ghetto police. However, Frydel makes it clear that the POLICJA GRANATOWA [also called the PP (POLNISCHE POLIZEI), which was subordinate to the German ORDNUNGSPOLIZEI] was under very tight German supervision and control. In fact, the very leadership of the “Polish” police forces consisted largely of VOLKSDEUTSCHE (Polish-speaking Germans). Frydel writes, “The PP therefore had a degree of limited autonomy that was kept in check by a system of rotating gendarmes (USUALLY OF ETHNIC GERMAN BACKGROUND) as commandants of the PP posts to provide oversight and to build group morale by fraternizing with its members.” (p. 174; Emphasis added).

THE “POLISH COMPLICITY IN THE HOLOCAUST” CANARD

This work overlaps Frydel’s outstanding analysis of the German “pacification” of the village at Podborze (Mielec county), and how it so terrorized the Poles that they began turning-in and killing the Jews that they had heretofore been hiding—in an attempt to save the Poles’ own lives. See my review of The Holocaust and European Societies: Social Processes and Social Dynamics (The Holocaust and its Contexts).

Frydel reiterates the fact that the Polish panic spread geographically away from Podborze, “If viewed on a map, subsequent peasant violence toward Jews formed a ring around the site of repression. To ethnic Polish communities, it was likely that anything was preferable to inviting the unpredictable violence of the German police.” (p. 176).

A kill-or-be-killed “choiceless choice” situation was created by the frequent betrayals of Polish rescuers by recaptured fugitive Jews. (e. g, pp. 178-180). Frydel comments, “A second core component of this pattern was the belief that the preemptive capture or killing of fugitive Jews by local villagers would save a family or village in the event that a captured Jew denounced their former protectors.” (p. 177).

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