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Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and Rare Jewish Acknowledgement of the Communist GL-AL Killing Fugitive Jews,

jan Peczkis|Thursday, March 25, 2010

While describing the events that led up to and included the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (1943), the author frequently mentions the many forms of Polish aid to Jews. (p. 19, 21, 45, 59, 68, 80, 88, 95, 98, 136). This included help from members of the Policja Granatowa (Polish Blue Police)(p. 63, 71), which has at times been misrepresented as a mostly collaborationist force.

    Memoirs of a Warsaw Ghetto Fighter    
       
 
The author is frank about the barriers and active opposition to Jewish combat that had existed among the Jews themselves: "Some of the Jews in the Ghetto, who couldn't imagine the evil intentions of the Germans, were steeped in delusions, one of which was that they had to fight the resistance movement and its allies. Other Jews said, `This too shall pass. There have been similar things in the history of our nation.' Religious people put their faith in God. Some in the ghetto were simple cowards, paralyzed with fear. Others were collaborators." (p. 23). Editor Harshav adds that the ZOB (Z.O.B) members had no experience in warfare. (p. viii). [In view of all this, and still other matters that could be raised, is it surprising that the Polish Underground at first didn't take Jewish claims of wanting to fight the Germans too seriously?]

Another factor making Poles disinclined to fully support that ZOB was its pro-Communist leanings. This was aggravated by the (ultimately-futile) ZOB attempt to hide contacts with the Communists, a fact which Rotem admits: "He [Antek: Zuckerman] maintained contact simultaneously with the two Polish Undergrounds: The Armia Krajowa (AK) and the Armia Ludowa (AL). The AL knew about our contacts with the AK, whereas the AK was not supposed to know about our contacts with the AL." (p. 66). Later, ZOB units formally joined the Communist GL-AL. (p. 121).

Unlike some incognito Jews who had been on the Aryan side of Warsaw while the Germans burned the Ghetto, Rotem did not report seeing any Poles mocking the suffering Jews. However, he says that some Poles "seemed happy" about it (p. 62), without citing any observations in support of his assertion.

After the Uprising, some ZOB members fled to the forests. Jewish memoirs commonly accuse the Polish Underground AK (A.K.) and NSZ (N.S.Z.) of killing these and other fugitive Jews. Archival information [see the Peczkis review of Tajne oblicze GL-AL i PPR: Dokumenty (Polish Edition)] proves that the post-Uprising ZOB engaged in banditry against Poles. This, naturally, provoked liquidation by the AK. Consistent with these incidents, Rotem, describing his negotiations with the AK, reported being promised safety for his men: "In return, they asked the members of the ZOB not to pester the peasants in the area." (p. 93).

Also, it can be shown, based on archival information, that it was the Communist GL-AL that was primarily responsible for killing forest Jews: Again see the Peczkis review of the TAJNE OBLICZE link. Consistent with this fact, Rotem (p. 108) mentions Krzaczek, a GL-AL member and ZOB contact, who later killed fugitive Jews.

Rotem elaborates on his ZOB unit's participation in the Polish Warsaw Uprising (1944). After the fall of the Uprising, he was among the evacuees at Pruszkow.

Many Poles report being robbed by the entering Red Army. Rotem notes that Jews were also robbed by the Soviets. (p. 146).
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