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On the Edge of Destruction: Jews of Poland Between the Two World Wars (Paperback)

Monday, September 5, 2011
Celia Heller combines a great deal of detail on Jewish life in prewar Poland with an over-reliance on selectively negative anecdotes, from individual Jews, archived in the YIVO Institute, and her complete avoidance of anecdotes from the Polish side. How about, for instance, some testimonies of Poles who had been driven out of business, and reduced to penury, by unfair Jewish competition? >>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...

Jedwabne Eyewitnesses Debunk the Falsehoods of Jan T. Gross,

Monday, September 5, 2011
JEDWABNE AS SEEN BY EYEWITNESSES is the title of this Polish-language book, whose author is a Polish priest.

When the Soviets invaded the area in 1939 as part of the German-Soviet conquest of Poland, eyewitness Janina Biedrzycka reports seeing many of Jedwabne's Jews collaborating with the Soviets in the identification and mass arrests of Poles. (p. 14). Eyewitness Genowefa Malczynska recounts how her home had been approached, at night, by two NKVD men and two Jews working for them. (p. 55). More on this later. >>more...

The Warriors: My Life As A Jewish Soviet Partisan (Religion, Theology, and the Holocaust)

Monday, September 5, 2011
A first-hand account that gives special attention to the author's experience among predominantly non-Jewish partisans in Soviet Russia, where he confronted anti-Semitism while facing a common enemy. >>more...

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...

Conflicts Across the Atlantic: Essays on Polish-Jewish Relations in the United States During World War I and in the Interwar Years

Monday, September 5, 2011
The informed reader of this scholarly work may be struck by the similarities that exist between post-WWII attacks on Poland, which center on Polish conduct during the Holocaust, and similar attacks around the time of WWI. They are amazing.

Since time immemorial, a profound disconnect has existed between the two communities, both in Poland and the USA. Kapiszewski cites a 1906 study by Beatrice Baskerville, who wrote: "`Which side was the more to blame at the beginning...it is difficult to say...there has been a good deal to forgive on both sides, and today, at any rate, Jews are as anti-Polish as the Poles are anti-Semitic. Jews do not want to assimilate, they do not want to blend their interests with the interests of the rest of the community. They are striving to assert their national individually, to live their own lives and attain their own ends, all three of which, are as far removed from Slavonic ideals as the twilight from dawn, as night from day.'" (p. 25). >>more...

Facing the Catastrophe: Jews and Non-Jews in Europe during World War II (Occupation in Europe)

Monday, September 5, 2011
This book covers topics as diverse as Holocaust denial, Nazi-occupied France and Poland, Lithuania,the Netherlands, etc. Owing to its breadth, my review is necessarily limited to a few topics. >>more...

Jews-Officers In The Polish Armed Forces, 1939-1945

Monday, September 5, 2011
This work is an impressive collection of information about how Poland's Jews had supported Poland in the past, especially in the armed forces. Most of the book consists of alphabetically ordered lists of thousands of names of Polish officers in the WWII Polish military forces. >>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...

I Am Alive :The horrifying eye witness account of Auschwitz & Birkenau

Sunday, August 28, 2011
An Eyewitness Auschwitz Account by a Jewish Survivor; Enjoyment and Gallows Humor in the Face of the Horrors, June 22, 2011 This review is from: I Am Alive :The horrifying eye witness account of Auschwitz & Birkenau (Hardcover) My review is based on the original (1961) edition. Kitty Hart was a Polish Jew who had lived in Bielsko (Bielitz) in then SW Poland. During the 1939 German-Soviet conquest of Poland, she observed German fifth column activity. Germans shot at Poles from rooftops, rioted in the streets, etc. (p. 14). In common with countless eyewitnesses, Hart reported Luftwaffe planes strafing columns of defenseless refugees. (p. 15). >>more...
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