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political world

Outreach (Contentious Issues: War of Cultures)

Golden Harvest or Hearts of Gold?: Studies on the Wartime Fate of Poles and Jews

Monday, May 7, 2012
Superb Scholarly Work Provides an Accurate Picture of WWII and post-WWII Polish-Jewish Relations, >>more...

Jews in Polish Culture

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
his is a "meaty" book. Its vintage (1961) may be advantageous in terms of a unique perspective that preceded political correctness.

Jewish apartness did not reduce to a simple dialectic: "Anti-Semites have heaped the entire responsibility for the caste organization onto the Jews; the Jews and their non-Jewish defenders, onto the Christian environment." (p. 63). Early pro-assimilationist Polish Jews had the following opinion: "Czynski the Frankist and Hollaenderski and Lubliner, who kept their old religion, all shared the view that Polish Jews were `sunk in superstition' and were thereby alienated from Polish life, economically unproductive, and deficient in civic virtue. The source of the problem was ignorance, superstition, the Talmud, the rule of the rabbis." (p. 22). Early assimilated Polish Jews were ennobled. (p. 64). >>more...

Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America

Tuesday, January 10, 2012
There are many reviews of this book available and, instead of repeating them, I review this book in terms of deeper implications. The American who looks down judgmentally at Poles for how they once treated the Jews is in for a shock upon reading this book, whose setting is not 1930's Poland but 1980's America. >>more...

The Przytyk Pogrom in pre-WWII Poland: the Untold StoryPogrom? Zajscia polsko-zydowskie w Przytyku 9 marca 1936 r. : Mity, Fakty, Dokumenty (Polish and English Edition)

Monday, September 5, 2011
Przytyk needs re-evaluation because of the likes of Heller's ON THE EDGE OF DESTRUCTION (p. 19). The English-language title of this book is: Pogrom? The Polish-Jewish Incident at Przytyk on March 9, 1936. Myths, Facts, and Documents. It contains an English summary (pp. 369-372). >>more...

The Dialectics of Pain1 The Interrogation Methods of the Communist Secret Police in Poland

Sunday, September 4, 2011
Throughout the ages, torture has been applied to extract information needed for
a utilitarian purpose. With a few exceptions5, the objective has been to find out the truth.
According to a 3rd century legal authority, Ulpian, „By quaestio [torture] we are to
understand the torment and suffering of the body in order to elicit the truth.” Writing in
the 13th century the judicial expert Azo explained that „Torture is the inquiry after truth
by means of torment.” Four hundred years later, the lawyer Bocer defined the phenomenon
in the following way: „Torture is interrogation by torment of the body, concerning a
crime known to have occurred, legitimately ordered by a judge for the purpose of eliciting
the truth about the said crime >>more...

The Cultural and Economic Oppression of the Poles by Prussia

Saturday, December 25, 2010
In order to answer O. Mueller’s concerns about the “Historical Facts” in his letter to the editor of Culture Wars of November 2010, I would like to present facts about the Berlin’s efforts to eradicate Polish language and culture and Vienna’s exploitation of Polish provinces annexed by Austria. The Cultural and Economic Oppression of the Poles by Prussia The year1815 saw renewed efforts by the Berlin government to eradi­cate Polish lan­guage and culture in Silesia.  As a result 40 Polish villages went on strike in 1817 near Ostróda and Nidzica in Mazuria, East Prussia.  Germans arrested the strikers >>more...

Gold and Iron

Friday, November 26, 2010
Instead of repeating other reviewers, I focus mostly on unmentioned content. This book focuses on the German Jew Gerson Bleichroeder, Bismarck's chief banker, and gives much insight into the situation facing Germany's Jews. Owing to the fact that I am a student of Polish history, I slant my review in that direction. >>more...

The Case of Hotel Polski

Thursday, March 25, 2010
After the fall of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, there were still some 10,000--30,000 Warsaw Jews still alive, but now hiding among Poles in the Aryan section of the city. (p. 10). The Hotel Polski in Warsaw became a focus of promises, by Nazis and their Jewish collaborators, for fugitive Jews to come out of hiding so that they could be amnestied by being declared foreign citizens. (pp. 12-13, 111). >>more...

“2 Million German Expellee Dead in Poland” Off by a Factor of 100

Saturday, January 16, 2010
THE REVENGE OF THE VICTIMS: GERMANS IN POLISH CAMPS 1944-1950, is the title of this book, whose author is a German (p. 199) and whose own father was a German expellee. (p. 5). The title is misleading, as the perpetrators were not random Poles but Polish Communists and Jewish Communists. In fact, the Soviet-imposed Communist authorities, well aware of their own unpopularity, commonly fanned hatred of Germans for political purposes (p. 93-94). (See also the Afterword, by Andrzej Paczkowski: p. 198). >>more...

Poles and Jews: A Uniquely Thoughtful Approach

Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Whether or not one agrees with everything he says, one can feel enlightened and uplifted by Sherwin's refreshingly-different and generally-balanced analysis of Polish Jewry and Polish-Jewish relations. He writes: "Indeed, the contemporary view of Poland as a land endemically inhospitable to Jews runs sharply counter to much of historical experience." (p. 55). And, it turns out, contrary to the claims of Jan Thomas Gross, far from all Poles attempted to erase all memories of Jews: "The Jews of Makow are gone...The cemetery was destroyed by the Nazis. The tombstones were used for construction. Remnants of these tombstones still pave parts of the road near the bus depot. After the war, the Poles of Makow salvaged what they could of the shattered tombstones and built a monument to the Jews of Makow." (p. 76). >>more...
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