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Between Nazis and Soviets: Occupation Politics in Poland, 1939-1947

Jan Marek Chadakiewicz Paczkis revue|Monday, August 17, 2009

There is much scholarly material in this fact-filled book, and this review extends an earlier one.


  Between Nazis and Soviets: Occupation Politics in Poland, 1939-1947 by Marek Jan Chodakiewicz


 
   Polish Guerilla Organizations (AK and NSZ) Systematically Killing Fugitive Jews Refuted; Jan T. Gross Debunked, etc., July 11, 2009 There is much scholarly material in this fact-filled book, and this review extends an earlier one.

Slanderous accusations of the Polish Underground (AK, NSZ, and successor organizations) having a secret plan to "finish Hitler's work" by killing all remaining Polish Jews (alleged first by Communist propaganda and later by some Jewish writers, such as Oskar Pinkus and Yaffa Eliach) is refuted by such things as the acceptance of known Jews into Underground ranks (p. 179), the sparing of Jews who fell into Underground hands (p. 307), and acts of assistance to fugitive Jews by the Underground (p. 317). In no sense was even the Polish Right fascist or pro-Nazi. (p. 56, 326, 339-340).

The Polish Underground killings of Jews, contrary to the accusations of Moshe Kahanowitz, (Communist) Reuben Ainsztein, (Communist) Shmuel Krakowski, and others, seldom had anything to do with anti-Semitism. They were usually justified by such things as Jewish banditry, espionage for Nazis or Soviets, service for the Communists in the AL and GL, etc. The AK was freely accused of killing Jews even when the perpetrators were unknown, or Communists. (p. 177). Indeed, many fugitive Jews were killed by Communist guerillas (p. 155), yet very few Jewish writers complain about that.

At the time when most Polish Jews were being murdered by the Nazis, the Polish Underground was not yet appreciably deployed. (p. 154). If the Polish Underground was "stingy" with supplying arms to the Jewish Warsaw ghetto fighters, then its units were first of all "stingy" towards each other in this regard. (p. 185).

Jan T. Gross has misrepresented Polish administrators under the German occupation as collaborators. They were not. They were merely conveyors of German orders (p. 323), and functionally hostages of the Germans. (p. 78, 80).

In his much-publicized FEAR, Jan T. Gross has spun the killings of several hundred Jews (a drop in the bucket of 300,000 remaining ones) into proof of a Polish guilt complex over the acquisition of post-Jewish properties. In actuality, the vast, vast majority of Jewish property reacquisitions occurred without incident. (pp. 304-305). Occasional Polish killings of Jews must be placed squarely within the context of the rampant criminality that flourished under the brutalities of the German and then Soviet occupation. (e. g., p. 119, 154, 415-416, 431).

Most Poles never came to terms with the Soviet puppet state forced on Poland, with western acquiescence, after WWII. Although this process began on the heels of the Red Army in 1944, the last stalwart Polish independentist guerillas were not captured in their bunkers until late 1961 (p. 233), and the last active guerilla fighter was not killed until 1963. (Chodakiewicz, personal communication).


   
 
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