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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...

Herbert Hoover and Poland: A documentary history of a friendship (Hoover archival documentaries)

Sunday, August 28, 2011
On Polonophile Herbert Hoover. Insights into Capitalists Supporting Communists,
This work details some of the deeds Herbert Hoover did for Poland. The reader soon realizes that they included both charitable and political acts, and were part of a long-term Poland-Hoover friendship. >>more...

A Narrow Bridge to Life: Jewish Slave Labor and Survival in the Gross-Rosen Camp System, 1940-1945

Sunday, August 28, 2011
The Nazis started to use foreigners for forced labor in 1939 (p. 69), but especially from 1940. Goebbels stated that "Roma [Gypsies], Jews, and Poles will receive identical treatment" in this regard. (p. 13).

The concentration camp at Gross Rosen (now Rogoznica), like Auschwitz, was not originally built for Jews. (p. 78). As was the case with Auschwitz, Poles comprised most of its original WWII inmates. (p. 69). Later, Poles comprised 60-65% of inmates in 1942 and 45% of inmates in 1944. (p. 77). (My father, Kazimierz Peczkis, as well as my onetime dentist since I was a child, Charles Brachmanski, had been inmates of Gross Rosen.). After the fall of the Soviet-betrayed Warsaw Uprising, Poles again became a large majority of the inmates at Gross Rosen. According to Gutterman, the Poles, by their obvious spirit of defiance against the Nazis, raised the morale of the Jewish inmates. (p. 94) >>more...

Vom Generalplan Ost Zum Generalsiedlungsplan: Dokumente (Einzelveraffentlichungen der Historischen Kommission Zu Berl)

Sunday, August 28, 2011
My review is based on the article: GENERALPLAN OST, published by historian Czeslaw Madajczyk in the 1962 issue of POLISH-WESTERN AFFAIRS, Volume 3, Number 2, pp. 390-442. The entire GENERALPLAN OST is reproduced in German (pp. 401-442). The remainder of the article is an English-language analysis, by Madajczyk, of GENERALPLAN OST >>more...

Run East: FLIGHT FROM THE HOLOCAUST

Sunday, August 28, 2011
The author lived in Radzyn, Poland. Soon after his birth in 1918, his family went through pogroms, which he describes as follows: "The violence was unpredictable. Sometimes, it would move across an entire region like a storm rumbling across an open plain. Other times, it was local, contained within a city or town. Sparked by a single incident, an unkind word, a bad business transaction, a simple rumor, the violence would flare for days." (p. 5). [The American reader can see close parallels with past episodes of U.S. racial violence. It could be local or nationwide. Nearly always, it was some perceived "us vs. them" incident, such as a black harming a white, or a white harming a black, that triggered it.] >>more...
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