Synopses & Reviews
The Holocaust in the Polish Countryside brings the incredibly moving first-hand witness testimony of Tadeusz Markiel and his recollection of life as a Polish Catholic boy in the rural town of Gniewczyna to an English-speaking audience for the first time. His narrative, supplemented with extensive academic footnotes from Alina Skibinska, recounts life in the Polish countryside prior to the Nazis, before describing in horrific detail the torture, rape, pillaging and betrayal of his Jewish neighbours. Skibinska, a founding member of the world-renowned Polish Centre for Holocaust Research, then builds on this with a sensitive historical account that serves to corroborate, enrich and contextualise Markiel's testimony.
This book, which also includes a Foreword by Neighbors and Golden Harvest author Jan T. Gross and useful transcripts from post-war trials and correspondence between residents and former residents of Gniewczyna, is of incredible significance to anyone seeking to further their understanding of the Holocaust. It provides readers with extensive source material, in English here for the first time, and delivers new insights into burgeoning Holocaust studies topics like the pillaging of the Jews, the Holocaust in rural areas, and notions concerning the witness and the role of the past in the present.
About the Author
Tadeusz Markiel (1929-2010) was a young boy during the Second World War. He grew up in Gniewczyna in South-Eastern Poland and witnessed the Holocaust as it related to his village. Markiel waited until everyone mentioned in his testimony had passed away before sharing it, having spent decades haunted by what he saw.
Alina Skibinska is a Polish historian of the Holocaust and founding member of the Centre for Holocaust Research in Warsaw, Poland.
Anna Solarska has recently completed a PhD thesis in History under the supervision of Professor Dan Stone at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.
Jan T. Gross is Norman B. Tomlinson '16 and '48 Professor of War and Society and Professor of History at Princeton University, USA. He is the author of Golden Harvest (2012) and Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland (2001).
Table of Contents
Foreword - Jan Tomasz Gross (Princeton University, USA)
Translator's Introduction - Anna Solarska (Royal Holloway, University of London, UK)
Introduction - Alina Skibinska (Centre for Holocaust Research in Warsaw, Poland)
Editorial NotePart I - Gniewczyna during the War - Tadeusz Markiel (Edited by Alina Skibinska)
1. A Word about Gniewczyna
2. Relations with Jewish Neighbours
3. A Time of War, a Time of Fear
4. The Lawlessness of Occupation
5. At the Trynczers'
6. Nuchym's Fate
7. The Murder of Leib 'the Second'
8. The Story of Abramek and his Father, Majer
9. The Tragic Fate of Golda
11. Settling Scores
12. Post-War Catharsis
13. Preserving Memory
14. Not Everyone is Guilty but Everyone is ResponsiblePart II - Gniewczyna during the War: Close-Up - Alina Skibinska
15. Gniewczyna on the Historical and Geographical Map
16. Names: The Shortest of Accounts
17. Dark Days
18. The Holocaust
19. 'God, Honour, Fatherland'
20. The Survivors
21. Criminal Trials
22. EpiloguePart III - Appendix of Sources
23. The Trial of Jan Konieczny
24. The Trial of Józef Lasek, Józef Kulpa, Józef Botwin and Jan Skitala