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Were These Ordinary Poles?

Daniel Blatman

  1. Jan Tomasz Gross, Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001). The book was originally written in Polish as Sąsiedzi: Historia Zagłady żydowskiego miasteczka (Sejny: Fundacja Pogranicze, 2000).
  2. Jedwabne Book, History and Remembrance (Hebrew) (Jerusalem, New York: Committee of Jedwabne Expatriates, 1980).
  3. Christopher R. Browning, Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland (New York: Harper Collins, 1992). Browning thus defined the members of Reserve Battalion 101 of the German Police, who murdered Jews in the town of Józefów (eastern Poland) and elsewhere. Since then, this loaded expression has become a landmark in Holocaust and genocide historiography. Browning attempts to explain the transformation of ordinary men into murderers even though they lack an evident ideological motive, preparation, special training, or prior identification with murderous motivation.
  4. Szymon Datner, “Ekstreminacja Ludności Żydowskiej w Okręgu Białostockim,” Biuletyn Żydowskiego Institutu Historycznego 60 (October–December 1966), p. 22.
  5. Jedwabne Book, p. 92.
  6. Jan Tomasz Gross, Polish Society Under German Occupation. The Generalgouvernement, 1939–1944 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1979), p. 123.
  7. Tomasz Strzembosz, “Przemilczana Kolaboracja,” Rzeczpospolita, January 27, 2001; also appeared in English as “Covered-up Collaboration,” in William Brand, ed., Thou Shalt Not Kill; Poles on Jedwabne (Warsaw: Więż, 2001), pp. 163-181.
  8. Jan Tomasz Gross, “Themes for a Social History of War Experience and Collaboration,” in Istvan Deak, Jan T. Gross, Tony Judt, eds., The Politics of Retribution in Europe, World War II and Its Aftermath (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), pp. 26–27.
  9. Idem, “The Jewish Community in the Soviet Annexed Territories on the Eve of the Holocaust: A Social Scientist's View,” East European Politics and Societies, vol. 6 (Spring 1992), pp. 198–199.
  10. Jedwabne Book, p. 92.
  11. In this matter, see Jan Tomasz Gross’s excellent article, “Ja za takie wyzwolenie dziękuję i proszę ich żeby to był ostatni raz,” in idem, Upiorna Dekada: trzy eseje o stereotypach na temat Żydów, Polaków, Niemców i Komunistów 1939–1948 (Kraków: Towarzystwo Autorów i Wydawców Prac Naukowych Universitas, 1998), pp. 61-92.
  12. In this matter, see Krystyna Kersten’s important book, Polacy, Żydzi, Komunizm, Anatomia połprawd 1939-68 (Warsaw: Niezależna Oficyna Wydawnicza, 1992).
  13. Jan Tomasz Gross, Revolution from Abroad, The Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988), pp. 29-31.
  14. Andrzej Żbikowski, “Jewish Reaction to the Soviet Arrival in the Kresy in September 1939,” Polin 13 (2000), p. 65.
  15. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Żydzi i Polacy 1918–1955, Współistnienie - Zagłada - Komunizm (Warsaw: S. K. Fronda, 2000), pp. 168ff.
  16. Tomasz Szarota, “Cyz na pewno już wszystko wiemy?” Gazeta Wyborcza, December 2–3, 2000; also appeared in English as “Do We Know Everything for Certain?” in Brand, ed., Thou Shalt Not Kill, pp. 105-110.
  17. This analysis and the emphasis that Poland’s allies, for cynical reasons, had again abandoned her to powerful and pernicious political forces surfaced at the beginning of the occupation in the pages of the Polish underground press: Polska Żyje! - Biuletyn Informacyjny, no. 23, January 15, 1940.
  18. Andrzej Friszke, “Publicystika Polski podziemnej wobec zagłady żydów 1939–1944,” in Wojciech Wrzesiński, ed., Polska - Polacy - mniejszości narodowe (Wrocław: Ossolineum, 1992), pp. 210–211.
  19. In this matter, see Joanna Michlic-Coren’s important article, “Anti-Jewish Violence in Poland, 1918–1939 and 1945–1947,” Polin 13 (2000), pp. 34–61.
  20. Aleksander Smolar, “Tabu i niewinność,” Aneks, 41-42 (1986), p. 99.
  21. Remarks in this vein, reminiscent of Norman Finkelstein’s nefarious rhetoric in his book, The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering (London: Verso, 2000), were written by the British historian Norman Davies in his debate with several American researchers and authors. See Davies, “The Massacre at Jedwabne,” Times Literary Supplement, April 13, 2001, p. 17.
  22. Dawid Warszawski (Gebert’s pen name), “Odpowiedziałność i jej brak,” Gazeta Wyborcza, December 9–10, 2000; also appeared in English as “Responsibility and the Lack of Responsibility,” in Brand, ed., Thou Shalt Not Kill, pp. 131-140.
  23. Adam Michnik, “Poles and the Jews: How Deep is the Guilt?” The New York Times, March 17, 2001.
  24. Leon Wieseltier, “Righteous,” The New Republic, April 9–16, 2001, p. 62.
  25. Jan Błoński, “Poor Poles Look at the Jews,” Yad Vashem Studies (19) 1988, pp. 354-355.