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political world


The Jews in Poland: Official reports of the American and British investigatingcommisions

Monday, September 5, 2011
I focus on Samuel and Wright. For more, see the the Peczkis reviews of All in a life-time, and Poland and the Minority Races (Eastern Europe Collection Series).

Western press accounts spoke of thousands of Jews killed in Polish pogroms. (The Situation, p. 57). (90% of these turned out to be unfounded: ibid, p. 56). Vicious Polonophobic screeds were circulated. (reprint, p. 49). The actual death toll, a few hundred, was equated with the Turkish massacres of hundreds of thousands of Armenians. (Letter, p. 53). Kempczynski criticized what is essentially Jewish-suffering-is-special thinking, citing the ongoing hostilities between many different peoples against each other: "Yet none of these nations has raised the cry: `pogrom.' Bloodshed, licentiousness, robbery is a natural outcome of war." (p. 54). >>more...


Tuesday, February 1, 2011
TO BE A JEW: DISCUSSIONS WITH DAG HALVORSEN ABOUT JEWS AND THE ANTISEMITISM OF THE POLES. In this Polish-language book, Halvorsen asks many questions which reflect popular stereotypes about Poles, and Wroblewski, who is of Jewish background (p. 7), responds to him. >>more...

Tradycja jagiellońska a polski Obóz Narodowy w XX wieku

Saturday, July 17, 2010
Polski Obóz Narodowy był ruchem politycznym stawiającym sobie za cel
obronę stale unowocześnianej spuścizny kulturowej, społecznej i politycznej, wypracowanej
przez pokolenia Polaków. W tej wizji Polacy byli tymi, którzy identyfikowali
się z polskością objawiającą się w rozmaitych kształtach i formach (państwowych
i pozapaństwowych) na przestrzeni dziejów, choć niezmiennie opartą o wartości
transcendentalne. Odwrotnie niż wiele innych nacjonalizmów, przypadek polski
charakteryzował się uznaniem prymatu religii chrześcijańskiej nad ideą narodową.
Ograniczało to radykalizm polskiego nacjonalizmu i zapewniało więzy z tradycją
polską. Najistotniejszym jego elementem był pierwiastek duchowy, nadający mu
charakter chrześcijański. Dominacja charakteru chrześcijańskiego gwarantowała, że
rozmaite nowinki, w tym przede wszystkim rasizm, były eliminowane, albo przynajmniej
nie wychodziły poza sfery werbalne w głównym nurcie idei. Duchowość
nacjonalizmu polskiego charakteryzowała się generalnie tym, że każdy – niezależnie
od pochodzenia – mógł zostać Polakiem, czuć się nim i być za takowego uznany.
Warunkiem była identyfikacja z tradycją polską wyrażaną w chrześcijańskiej formie. >>more...

The Cigarette Sellers of Three Crosses Square (The Library of Holocaust Testimonies)

Friday, April 9, 2010
Instead of repeating other reviewers, I focus mainly on barely-mentioned and unmentioned content. The story of the Jewish boys who sold cigarettes in the Polish side of Warsaw is a moving one. The Jewish boys met Polish boys who bullied them, and other Polish boys who protected them. (p. 116). The Jewish boys obtained fake identification (pp. 125-126), probably from the Zegota, a one-of-a-kind Polish organization of aid to Jews (unmatched anywhere in all of German-occupied Europe. >>more...

Poland: eagle in the East;: A survey of modern times,

Wednesday, November 18, 2009
This British author is generally well informed about Poland's history and sufferings during WWII. Did you know that 38% of Poland's fixed assets were destroyed in the war and ensuing German occupation? (p. 110). Also, not only large numbers of Jews but also large numbers of Poles were murdered during the German conquest and occupation of Poland. While discussing the Polish aid to fugitive Jews, Woods includes mention of the hamlet of Osiny, where the Poles took turns hiding a Jewish girl so that everyone would be guilty, and the Germans would thereby not be able to play one Pole against another in terms of denunciation >>more...

Shielding the Flame: An Intimate Conversation With Dr. Marek Edelman, the Last Surviving Leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Krall's interview with Marek Edelman begins with how Poles and Jews have ignored each other's situation since WWII. However, she creates a symmetry that never existed. Polish books were never as strongly Polonocentric as Jewish books are Judeocentric. For example, history books written under Communism did individualize the Jews as victims, not merely "Polish citizens". On the other hand, Polish suffering is invisible in the vast majority of educational and popular Holocaust materials. [Perhaps the real objection is the fact that Polish books did not promote the notion that Jewish suffering was special, and above that of other peoples.

Traditional Jewish Attitudes Toward Poles

Sunday, August 2, 2009
Mutual prejudices and stereotypes have been harboured by both Poles and Jews, in relation to one another, for long centuries. However, few authors writing about this topic in the West have detected that Jews, no less than Poles, succumbed to a similar view of the other group, and fewer still have analyzed the impact of Jewish attitudes on mutual relations with Poles. A patently obvious yet much overworked theme in studies of Polish-Jewish relations is that of “Otherness,” with its exclusive focus on Polish attitudes toward Jews. >>more...
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