Synopses & Reviews
Few issues have divided Poles and Jews more deeply than the Nazi occupation of Poland during the Second World War and the subsequent slaughter of almost ninety percent of Polish Jewry. Many Jewish historians have argued that, during the occupation, Poles at best displayed indifference to the fate of the Jews and at worst were willing accomplices of the Nazis. Many Polish scholars, however, deny any connection between the prewar culture of antisemitism and the wartime situation. They emphasized that Poles were also victims of the Nazis and, for the most part, tried their best to protect the Jews.
This collection of essays, representing three generations of Polish and Jewish scholars, is the first attempt since the fall of Communism to reassess the existing historiography of Polish-Jewish relations just before, during, and after the Second World War. In the spirit of detached scholarly inquiry, these essays fearlessly challenge commonly held views on both sides of the debates. The authors are committed to analyzing issues fairly and to reaching a mutual understanding. Contributors cover six topics:
- The prewar legacy
- The deterioration of Polish-Jewish relations during the first years of the war
- Institutional Polish responses to the Nazi Final Solution
- Poles and the Polish nation through Jewish eyes
- The destruction of European Jewry and Polish popular opinion
- Polish-Jewish relations since 1945.
Table of Contents
Introduction:Changing perceptions in the historiography of Polish-Jewish relations during the Second World War /Joshua D. Zimmerman --PART I. The prewar legacy: --Emigration versus emigrationsim: Zionism in Poland and the terrtorialist projects of the Polish authorities, 1936-1939 /Emanuel Melzer --Lwâow, 1918: the transmutation of a symbol and its legacy in the Holocaust /David Engel --PART II. The widening gap, 1939-1941: --Psychological distance between Poles and Jews in Nazi-occupied Warsaw /Barbara Engelking-Boni --Polish Jews under Soviet occupation, 1939-1941: specific strategies of survival /Andrzej çZbikowski --Facing Hitler and Stalin: on the subject of Jewish "collaboration" in Soviet-occupied Eastern Poland, 1939-1941 /Ben Cion Pinchuk --Jews and their Polish neighbors: the case of Jedwabne in the summer of 1941 /Jan T. Gross --PART III. Institutional Polish responses to the Final Solution: --Polish government-in-exile and the Final Solution: what conditioned its actions and inactions? /Dariusz Stola --Attitude of the Polish underground to the Jewish question during the Second World War /Shmuel Krakowski --Polish Catholics and the Jews during the Holocaust: heroism, timidity, and collaboration /John T. Pawlikowski --PART IV. Poles through Jewish eyes: --Poland and the Polish nation as reflected in the Jewish underground press /Daniel Blatman --Jewish and Polish perceptions of the Shoah as reflected in wartime diaries and memoirs /Feliks Tych --Polish-Jewish relations in the writings of Emmanuel Ringelblum /Samuel Kassow --Metaphysical nationality in the Warsaw Ghetto: non-Jews in the wartime writings of Rabbi Kalonimus Kalmish Shapiro /Henry Abramson --PART V. The destruction of Polish Jewry and Polish popular opinion: --Ringelblum revisited: Polish-Jewish relations in occupied Warsaw, 1940-1945 /Gunnar S. Paulsson --Hiding and passing on the Aryan side: a gendered comparison /Nechama Tec --Some issues in Jewish-Polish relations during the Second World War /Israel Gutman --PART VI. Aftermath: --Cracow Pogrom of August 1945: a narrative reconstruction /Anna Cichopek --Impact of the Holocaust on Jewish attitudes in postwar Poland /Boçzena Szaynok --Jewish responses to antisemitism in Poland, 1944-1947 /Natalia Aleksiun --Teaching about the Holocaust in Poland /Michael C. Steinlauf --Collective memory and contemporary Polish-Jewish relations /Zvi Gitelman --Impact of the Shoah on the thinking of contemporary Polish Jewry: a personal account /Stanis±aw Krajewski