"It's difficult to admit the obvious"
political world


Polish Collaboration and Polish Underground Justice Under the Spotlight,

Saturday, April 5, 2014
PUNITIVE POLAND 1939-1945 is approximately the title of this Polish-language book. This work is yet another refutation of the silly notion that Poles are so imbued with their "heroic narrative" of fighting the Nazis that they are unwilling to discuss "dark chapters" of Polish history. In fact, heroic behaviors and cowardly behaviors were mirror images of each other under the brutalities of the German occupation. (p. 107). The Polish Blue Police (POLICJA GRANATOWA) exemplified this divide. A significant fraction (perhaps over 10%) were involved in the Polish Underground, while another fraction collaborated with the enemy or engaged in exploitative or bandit conduct. (e. g, p. 99, 111). >>more...

The Polish Tradition : an Interpretation of a Nation

Monday, January 13, 2014
A Super Job. Considerable Insights into the Characteristics of Poles, 1930's Polish-Jewish Relations, the Kresy, and Much More >>more...

: The transformation of Jewish society in Russia, 1825-1855

Sunday, December 29, 2013
The Russification of Jews: The Maskilim in the Light of the Policies of Tsar Nicholas Tsar Nicholas I and the Jews: The transformation of Jewish society in Russia, 1825-1855 (Hardcover) When Tsar Nicholas I reigned (1825-1855), Poland had already been Partitioned decades earlier, and the erstwhile Polish Jews of eastern Poland thus had become part of the western parts of the Russian Empire. This book is less about Tsar Nicholas I and more about how the maskilim (enlightened Jews), during the early stages of the Haskalah (enlightenment), reacted to his policies. Although there was no unanimous answer, among either Jews or gentiles, as to how Jews were to "modernize", certain trends are evident, and I now focus on some of them. >>more...

Beyond the Pale: The Jewish Encounter with Late Imperial Russia (Studies on the History of Society and Culture) JEWS EFFECTIVELY A SEPARATE NATION IN POLAND

Sunday, December 29, 2013
This book includes details about Jews that lived within the Pale of Jewish Settlement. However, it notably features the Jews of St. Petersburg, which was located outside the Pale. It elaborates on Jewish social, political, educational, and other movements. In my review, I focus on Polish-Jewish relations, even though this is not a theme of this work. >>more...

Militant Messiah: Or, the Flight from the Ghetto: The Story of Jacob Frank the Frankist Movement

Saturday, November 30, 2013
This work provides a fine introduction not only to Jacob Frank and the Frankists, but also to events surrounding the man and his movement. It also describes other developments within Judaism. For instance, Mandel comments, (quote) In Hassidism the concepts of good and evil undergo a certain qualification. They no longer are determined by the deed itself, but depend on the doer. The same deed that would be evil committed by an ordinary man, committed by the tsaddik is good. (unquote). (p. 19). However, the Frankist movement went to the extreme of full-blown antinomianism. (p. 36, 37). >>more...

he Mixed Multitude: Jacob Frank and the Frankist Movement, 1755-1816 (Jewish Culture and Contexts

Saturday, November 30, 2013
This work goes deep into theology, and focuses on the interface of Christianity and Judaism in the 18th century. Owing to the breadth of the topics presented, I focus only on a few issues, notably those I consider to be of broader significance. >>more...

Russian Realities & Problems An Overview of Russia, with Roman Dmowski's Detailed English-Language Contribution on Pre-Independence Poland

Monday, October 15, 2012
This anthology not only discusses the situation in Russia just before the Russian Revolution, but also gives much information about foreign-ruled Poland in the late 19th and early 20th century. I focus mainly on the latter.

The savagery of the German occupation of northwestern Poland is recounted by Roman Dmowski, (quote) In the years just prior to the War the papers brought them occasional news about a desperate struggle for existence going on in German Poland, about the unheard-of measures employed by the Germans for the purpose of destroying the Polish nationality, about the law to expropriate Polish landed estates, about the Polish children being flogged because they insisted on praying in their mother tongue, and so on." (unquote) (pp. 83-84). >>more...

War, Jews, and the New Europe: The Diplomacy of Lucien Wolf, 1914-1919

Thursday, August 16, 2012
This book focuses on different political positions, personages, and developments concerning Jews during this pivotal time in history. Lucien Wolf was a Polonized Jew and, despite his membership in the Jewish-separatist BUND, supported Polonization among Poland's Jews. (p. 168). Wolf recognized the Jews' pivotal role in the 1905 Russian revolution. (p. 12). As late as at least 1917, Wolf supported the empires. (p. 179). >>more...

The Polish Jew, his social and economic value

Sunday, July 15, 2012
A Fascinating 1906 Analysis of Polish-Jewish Relations in Late-Tsarist Russian Ruled Poland, July 10, 2012 This review is from: The Polish Jew, his social and economic value (Paperback) The British author's understanding of Jews is quite different from that of westerners, and she points out that her conclusions are supported by eight years' residence in Russian-ruled central Poland. (Preface). She asks, (quote) Can he [the westerner] imagine the capital of Poland, the most civilized city in Russia, the link between Europe and Asia, where every third man is a Jew, where the trade and commerce are in the hands of the Jews and where Jewish organizations have openly declared their intention of converting the Imperial army to the tenets of Socialism and of gaining the greatest amount of political influence...? (unquote). >>more...

Anti-Jewish Violence: Rethinking the Pogrom in East European History

Monday, June 25, 2012
The authors support the view that the early pogroms in tsarist Russia (such as those of 1881-1882) were not, as earlier believed, incited by the government. (p. 4, 7, 138). Pogroms during tsarist rule varied in severity by region. They were rare in Belorussia, Lithuania, southern Ukraine, and Crimea. Later pogroms, as during the Russian revolution were, however, organized (in this instance, by both Reds and Whites) >>more...
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