NO EXCULPATIONS: JEWS ACCEPTING SOME JEWISH LIABILITY FOR THE ZYDOKOMUNA


  • Night Voices: Heard in the Shadow of Hitler and Stalin by Heather Laskey  – Published November 14th 2003 by McGill-Queen’s University Press. Edition Language: English.

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Unusual Zydokomuna Candor: Modern Jews Confront the Jewish Over-Involvement in the Bezpieka (U. B.), the Dreaded Communist Secret Police

The Jewish interviewees in this book were Jewish Communists whose lives began in pre-WWII Poland. Mention is made of the fact that, according to the numerus clausus rule, Jews were allowed to take only 10% of places in medical school (p. 27), but not the fact that Jews constituted 10% of Poland’s prewar population. So why was that supposed to be so terrible?

POLISH ANTISEMITISM WAS SPORADIC IN TIME AND SPACE

Some of the interviewees mention frequent incidents with Polish anti-Semitism, even describing anti-Semitism as something inherently Polish (p. 199, 219), and Polish benefactors as exceptions. (p. 105). In contrast, Stasia, an assimilated Polish Jew, reports that she never had been confronted by anti-Semitism. (p. 27). As for Alina: „Her family were observant Jews, and as Alina says, she would not use the word `assimilated’ because she did not think in those terms. She insisted that she had no recollection of anti-Semitism when she was growing up and stressed that her father had many Polish friends.” (p. 118).

POLISH AND JEWISH COLLABORATION WITH THE NAZIS

Now consider the German occupation. Laskey describes the Jewish ghetto police as „corrupt and hated.” (p. 47). As for the Polish Blue Police (Policja Granatowa), both collaborationist and anti-collaborationist behaviors were encountered. Stasia was denounced by one of the police, and then delivered from the clutches of the Gestapo because of the actions of another Polish policeman. (pp. 69-70). Stasia visited Maidanek (Majdanek) soon after the retreat of the Germans, noted the fact that many Poles along with Jews died there, and quoted a wide range of estimates of its Jewish victims (200,000 to 1,500,000). (p. 91).

NO EXCULPATIONS: JEWS ACCEPTING SOME JEWISH LIABILITY FOR THE ZYDOKOMUNA

Most accounts of Jews involved, to a very disproportionate degree, in Poland’s postwar Soviet-imposed Communist puppet government, and especially in the Communist terror apparatus (U.B., or Bezpieka), tend to picture the Jews as unwitting tools of Stalin, and of the Jews as scapegoats for the Polish reaction that followed. In contrast, some of the critical reflections of the Jewish Communists in this book come close to acknowledging the fact that Poland’s Jewish Communists knowingly and willingly placed themselves in a position that made them enemies of Poland, and knowingly brought discredit to the Jews in the eyes of the Poles. One of the participants noted that: „I used to argue with Mietek and Stasia about it, saying that it was foolish to have let a situation arise in which Poles could see Jews as the instruments of what they hated–Russia and Communism.” (p. 199). [Note that this coincides with Cardinal August Hlond’s much-criticized statement (pp. 154-155) in the wake of the Kielce Pogrom, in which he spoke of the animosity that Jews were bringing upon themselves by collaborating with the Soviets.]

The discussion continues as follows: „The truth is that in those first years many Jews were involved in the apparatus of oppression, and Jacek Rozanski [Goldberg] is remarkable only because we knew him. I cannot make up my mind whether I share Mietek’s or Peter’s opinion about this. Mietek thinks that Jews did it because they were true Communists and so took on themselves the jobs that Poles could not or would not do…Peter, on the contrary, feels that Jews absolutely should not have become involved in the Security forces, either in the oppression or in any part of its machinery.” (p. 219). [Note that all this points to the largely-voluntary nature of Jewish-Soviet collaboration against Poland.]

YES, VIRGINIA, JEWISH COMMUNISTS WERE REAL JEWS

The book concludes with discussion of such topics as disillusionment with Communism, the belief that Communism was something good that eventually got taken over by anti-Semites, etc. It has often been argued (e. g., by Jan T. Gross and his fans) that Jews who were Communists were not really Jews. Against this silliness, it is noteworthy that the State of Israel (along with Denmark and Sweden) were the only countries that accepted the Jewish Communists thrown out of Poland in 1968. (p. 175). A number of the family members converted to Christianity, including some that had shown no previous inclination towards religion.

 

 

Jan Peczkis

Published with the author’s permission.

 

– More reviews by Jan Peczkis on PCO  ….. .

 

  • Title image: „Night Voices: Heard in the Shadow of Hitler and Stalin”
    by Heather Laskey. Part of the cover / selected by wg.pco

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