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The holocaust Jewish debate in Israel in 1950-tiesWhen Jewish Collaboration With the Nazis Was Recognized as a Valid Consideration. Strong Anti-Polish Innuendo

jan peczkis|Thursday, June 15, 2017

This works features the Judenrat controversy, the question of Jewish heroism, martyrdom, and "passivity". However, this stands out over everything else in this book:

My review is based on this 2007 English-language edition. The original edition had come out in 2000 in Hebrew. This book is somewhat unfocused in its presentation, so I give it three stars.


The early debates, in the first decade after the State of Israel was established, considered such things as Jewish heroism. Was a Jewish hero only someone who took up arms against the Nazis, or was any Jew who resisted the Nazis in ANY way a hero?

The same was asked about Jewish martyrdom. How could the victims of the Shoah be considered martyrs when their only choice was to die?

Questions about “Jewish passivity” also frequently came up. One cited book, by the French Jew Leon Poliakov, is very lucid in its analysis of this matter. Please click on, and read my review, of Harvest of Hate.


Jewish conduct, on behalf of the Nazis, was freely subject to examination in 1950’s Israel. Stauber comments, (quote) [Zerach] Warhaftig also spoke of Jewish collaboration during the Holocaust with the Germans. The same issue had been deliberated three years previously when the law judging the Nazis and their collaborators had come up before the Knesset. During the debates extreme language had been used, especially by Mapam and the Communists, against the behavior of the Judenraete…The problem of Jewish collaboration with the Germans was raised again during the debates on the Yad Vashem Law, when [Ben Zion] Dinur presented it. He was very critical of such collaboration, although he did not specifically mention the Judenraete or the Jewish police as organizations that worked against their own people, but reading between the lines it was obvious that he considered those who participated in the ‘self-rule’ in the ghettoes to be collaborators… (unquote) (pp. 72-73).

Yitzhak Zuckerman, ZOB leader and fighter in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, soundly rejected the nowadays-common thinking that the victimhood of the Jews vitiates any considerations of Jewish collaboration with the Nazis. He did so specifically in the context of the trial of Israel Kasztner. Zuckerman said, “There are some who say, ‘We do not have the right to judge them.’ It is a lie, a desperate falsehood! We must judge them! Those who were there do not have a monopoly on it. The period must be studied and we have a duty to judge both traitors and fighters…to judge fairly. We have to learn from our mistakes. Who knows what crossroads we have come to?” (p. 78).


The author describes some Jewish authors who strongly reacted against the supposed spirit of submissiveness that Jews had shown while in the Diaspora. For instance, he describes one such Jewish author as follows, (quote) In his book MIKAN U-MIKAN (‘From Here and From Here’) he [Yosef Haim Brenner] wrote: ‘For hundreds of years those [SEE FIRST COMMENT] have been spitting in our faces and we wiped away their spittle and sat down to write books of Talmudic interpretation and dispute, nonsense, revolting things…we waited for the Messiah, gave money to our murderers and fled from one place to another…Wherever we went we were slaughtered and we fouled the air with our spilled blood.’ (unquote). (p. 3).

Yosef Haim Brenner has forgotten elementary facts. Such ingratitude! After Jews had been thrown out of scores of nations, they were welcomed in Poland and given relative freedom and expansive economic privileges. [There are not a few Poles who think that, if anything, it is the Jews that have been [expectorating] upon Poles in the last few centuries—and continue to do so to this very day.]

On another subject, author Roni Stauber (p. 170) characterizes the Polish Underground NSZ as fascist. This canard is straight from Communist propaganda, and has found its way into far too many Jewish publications.
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