- Life In Transit: Jews In Postwar Lodz, 1945 1950 (Studies In Russian And Slavic Literatures, Cultures And History) by Shimon Redlich – Published October 29th 2010 by Academic Studies Press. Edition Language: English.
The author elaborates on his experiences in Lodz in the years immediately after WWII. He also recounts some of the testimonies of his colleagues, and provides invaluable clues to Jewish political life in postwar Poland. I focus on some pertinent issues.
PREWAR POLISH ANTI-SEMITISM HAS BEEN EXAGGERATED
Kuba Goldberg, born in Lodz, had been an on-and-off acquaintance of author Redlich over many years. Redlich comments, (quote) Kuba studied at the Ignacy Skorupski high school, where almost half of all students were Jewish. “There was no anti-Semitism in our school. There were friendly relations among Polish and Jewish students. These friendships, however, stopped at the school entrance. They never invited each other to their homes.” (unquote). (p. 103).
ZIONISM, AND NOT “POLISH POGROMS”, INDUCED MOST JEWS TO LEAVE POSTWAR POLAND
Redlich comments, (quote) The Lodz branch of the Bund, which consisted of 250 members in 1946, grew to 400 members in 1947…Although the Bund and the Jewish Communist Frakcja did not see eye to eye on numerous issues, they were united in their opposition to Jewish emigration from Poland. Whereas the Zionists used the Kielce events to advocate Jewish emigration, the Bund attempted to convince both its members and the Jewish population at large not to leave Poland. A national Bund convention in Wroclaw in early 1947 strongly condemned “Zionist emigrational propaganda”. Organized emigration of Jews to Palestine/Israel was at the core of the conflict between the Bund and the Zionists. The Bund accused the Zionists of deliberately causing a state of panic among Polish Jews in order to encourage their exodus from the country. (unquote). (p. 184).
THE BUND, THOUGH (SUPPOSEDLY) NON-COMMUNIST, MERGES WITH THE COMMUNISTS
Redlich continues, (quote) Following the [sham] January 1947 elections and the victory of the Communist-dominated Democratic Bloc, Bund activists, especially its representatives at the CCPJ, increasingly identified with the Communists. A joint Committee of the Bund and the Frakcja was established in the spring of 1948. These were, actually, the first steps toward a fusion with the Communists. (unquote). (p. 184).
POSTWAR POLISH VIOLENCE AGAINST JEWS IN PROPER CONTEXT
The likes of MAUS, besides ignoring the greater violence of Jews against Poles (e. g, by the Zydokomuna: Judeo-Bolshevism), portray Polish violence against Holocaust-surviving Jews as something that was typical, even though it happened to less than 1% of Poland’s Holocaust survivors.
Redlich also mentions these killings, but additionally provides the seldom-mentioned context that led to the killings:
“Approximately two million [actually over 4 million] Poles and three million Polish Jews lost their lives as a result of the War.” (p. 29).
“…the Jews, although disliked by many Poles, were relatively favored by the regime.” (p. 32). [So much for the myth, promoted by Jan T. Gross, that would have us believe that Poland’s Communist government was in some kind of a rush to put Poland’s Jewish past (as Jedwabne) behind them.]
“The Communist takeover aimed to crush any legal opposition and to destroy the illegal Home Army [ARMIA KRAJOWA] network. By the end of 1945, close to six thousand terrorist events took place, killing more than 7,000 persons.” (p. 30).
“Alongside the anti-Communist political-military opposition, there was also the common banditry that had typified wartime Poland.” (p. 30).
“Malnutrition and stress affected large parts of the population. The death rate was higher than before the war, and disease and alcoholism were widespread.” (p. 29).
NOTHING NEFARIOUS ABOUT POLES ACQUIRING POST-JEWISH PROPERTY
Jan T. Gross and his imitators have portrayed the Polish acquisition of formerly Jewish properties as some kind of remarkable, horrible deed. It was not. It is standard for the property of the dead to pass to the living. Millions of ethnic Poles had also lost their property—through wartime destruction and the subsequent Soviet-imposed change in the border. Overall, according to Redlich, “…a full quarter of the inhabitants of Poland changed their places of residence during the 1940s. Poland of the immediate postwar years was clearly a country in flux.” (p. 29).
- Source: GoodReads.com , September 3, 2018
Published with the author’s permission.
Title image: Manufaktura, Lodz, Poland. Photo Source: TripAdvisor / selected by wg.pco