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In the Shadow of the Polish Eagle: The Poles, the Holocaust by L. Cooper

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By L. Cooper

The behaviour of many Poles in the direction of the Jewish inhabitants in the course of the Nazi career of Poland has regularly been a debatable factor. even supposing the Poles are meant to not have collaborated with the invaders, there's proof to teach that during recognize of the Jewish inhabitants, the behaviour of many Poles, together with contributors of the underground, was once faraway from exemplary. Poland is usually the single eu nation the place Jews have been being murdered after the top of the warfare and the place robust anti-Semitic developments are nonetheless current. This ebook analyses this question in an historic context and makes an attempt to supply a proof for the phenomenon of Polish anti-Semitism in the course of and after the tip of the battle. The paintings relies on lately exposed files in addition to on own money owed of witnesses to the occasions through the conflict.

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Additional info for In the Shadow of the Polish Eagle: The Poles, the Holocaust and Beyond

Example text

The Jewish population did not remain indifferent. The Jews were already imbued with a spirit of patriotism and many Polish Jews actively participated in that uprising with weapons in their hands. Even the Polish anti-Semitic historian, Tadeusz Czacki, praised the Jews in the Ko´sciuszko insurrection: ‘The Jews were not afraid of death, 26 In the Shadow of the Polish Eagle thereby proving that the fate of the motherland was close to their heart’ (Orlicki, 1983, p. 21). Jewish participation in that insurrection is well known in Poland through the story of Berek Joselewicz, who organized a volunteer battalion of Jewish cavalry.

It thus attempted to mediate between Orthodoxy and radical assimilation. The movement spread rapidly to the Jews in Poland. When Jewish life had begun to undergo rapid secularisation and when secular studies had become a means for achieving social advancement, the study of other than religious subjects became increasingly accepted and some young Jews broke away from their traditional environment in search for a world outside of their confined space. They had to change not only their habits but their appearance as well.

They stood against the enemy until the morning when they were put to death cruelly. (From the chronicle Yeven Metzulah by the rabbi of Ostrov, Nathan Hannover, published in 1653) It took the Poles ten years to put down the revolt, but the events of 1648–58 and their consequences accelerated the decline of the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth and, with it, the situation of its Jewish inhabitants worsened. The Polish economy went into further decline after the wars with the Cossacks and Swedes (1660), resulting in Poland losing her access to the Baltic sea and in 1719 effectively becoming a Russian protectorate.

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