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Mark Paul - Neighbours on the Eve of the Holocaust

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Vecini in ajunul holocaustului, carte ce merge in paralel cu Saptamana Rosie de Paul Goma.Comportamentul unei minoritati din Polonia cu ocazia invaziei sovietice in 1939.
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    LAST REVISED DECEMBER 2008 NEIGHBOURS On the Eve of the Holocaust  Polish-Jewish Relationsin Soviet-OccupiedEastern Poland, 1939–1941by Mark PaulAbridged Internet Editionof a Forthcoming Publication The copious annotations in the published editionhave not been included in this abridged Internet version of   Neighbours on the Eve of the Holocaust  © Mark Paul and The Polish Educational Foundation in North America   2   Table of ContentsForeword …3  Chapter One:  Arrests, Executions and Deportations …9  Chapter Two:  Jews Greet the Soviet Invaders …19  Chapter Three: Fifth Columnists and Armed Rebellions …34  Chapter Four: The Fate of Polish Officers and Soldiers …43 Chapter Five: The Persecution and Murder of Polish Policemen,Officials, Political Figures, Landowners, Clergymen, and Settlers …54 Chapter Six:  Anti-Polish and Anti-Christian Agitation, Vandalism and Looting …70  Chapter Seven: A Few Short Weeks Was All That Was Needed to Leave a Mark …79 Chapter Eight:  A Smooth Transition …89  Chapter Nine:  Positions of Authority and Privilege …94  Chapter Ten: Collaborators and Informers …109  Chapter Eleven: Victims of Choice …136   Chapter Twelve: An Atmosphere of Fanaticism …155 Chapter Thirteen: The Civilian Deportations …165  Chapter Fourteen: Holocaust Historiography …196  Chapter Fifteen: Summation …225  Chapter Sixteen: A Belated But Reluctant Awareness …253  Select Bibliography …257      3   Foreword  On August 23, 1939, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union entered into a Non-Aggression Pact (the so-called Motov-Ribbentrop Pact) which paved the way for the imminent invasion of Poland. A SecretProtocol to that Pact provided for the partition of Poland, as well as for Soviet domination of the BalticStates and Bessarabia. Germany attacked Poland on September 1 st , while the Soviet strike was delayed untilSeptember 17 th . Polish forces continued to fight pitched battles with the Germans until early October 1939(the last large battle was fought at Kock on October 5 th ), after which the struggle went underground.After overrunning Poland, the Nazis and Soviets agreed, under the terms of a Secret SupplementaryProtocol to the German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty of September 28, 1939, to a redrawncommon border. Each side seized roughly half of Poland, thus ensuring that the country was once againwiped off the face of Europe. They also undertook a common struggle against the Polish independencemovement—the suppression “all beginnings” of “Polish agitation”—and to keep each other informed of their progress. In fact, this ushered in a period of close cooperation between the NKVD and the Gestapo.Contacts between the two organizations intensified and conferences were held to discuss how best tocombat Polish resistance and eradicate Polish national existence. A joint instructional centre for officers of the NKVD officer and the Gestapo was opened at Zakopane in December 1939. The decision to massacrePolish officers at Katyn (transliterated as Katy ń in Polish) was taken concurrently with a conference of highofficials of the Gestapo and NKVD convened in Zakopane on February 20, 1940. While the Soviets wereundertook the extermination of captured Polish officers, the Germans carried out, from March 31, a parallel“Operation AB” aimed at destroying Poland’s elites.This partnership did not remain a secret for long. On September 19 th ,  Pravda published a Soviet-Germancommuniqué confirming the joint role of Hitler’s and Stalin’s armies in the invasion of Poland. OnSeptember 30 th ,  Pravda proudly announced to millions of its readers that “German-Soviet friendship is nowestablished forever.” In a speech delivered before the Supreme Soviet on October 31 st , VyacheslavMolotov, Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars, openly applauded the destruction of Poland: A short blow at Poland from the German Army, followed by one from the Red Army was enoughto reduce to nothing this monster child of the Treaty of Versailles. … One may like or dislikeHitlerism, but every sane person will understand that that ideology cannot be destroyed by force. Itis, therefore, not only nonsensical but also criminal to pursue a war “for the destruction of Hitlerism.” The Nazi-Soviet alliance lasted for over a year and a half, until shortly before Germany turned on itserstwhile ally on June 22, 1941. During this time the Soviet Union was the principal supplier of muchneeded raw materials for the German war machine which, in the meantime, occupied Denmark, Norway,the Netherlands, Belgium, much of France, and smashed the Western Forces.   4The Soviet invaders struck a major blow not only to Polish statehood, but also to Polish institutions,cultural and religious life, state officials and military officers, as well as the civilian population. As theevidence gathered here shows, in addition to a “class” component which struck at the “enemies” of the people (i.e., the Soviet state), the assault also had a marked anti-Polish dimension. It was exacerbated by acalculated fueling of ethnic tensions which pitted Ukrainians, Belorussians, and Jews against ethnic Poles.According to historian Anna Cienciala, As in German-occupied Poland, Soviet policy was to liquidate the educated Poles. At first, Sovietauthorities called on the peasants, who were predominantly Ukrainian or Belorussian, to “settleaccounts” with Polish landlords and take what they wanted. This led to a short but brutal period of murder and robbery perpetrated by the worst elements. At the same time, Soviet NKVD (security)officers shot many Polish landowners, officers, teachers, priests, judges, administrators, policemen, border guards, etc., out of hand, according to lists prepared beforehand. …While most of the Jewish population of eastern Poland was politically passive, some Jews,especially young men and women with Communist sympathies, cooperated with the Soviets. They became prominent in the new local militia and helped Soviet authorities in hunting down Polish political leaders and administrators. Although these pro-Communist Jews made up a very smallminority of the total Jewish population, they were highly visible in oppressing the Poles.   Thousands of Poles, for the most part civilians and soldiers, perished at the hands—not of the Sovietinvaders but—of their fellow citizens in the bloody month of September 1939 alone. A particularly heinouscrime occurred in Brzostowica Ma ł a near Grodno where neighbour-on-neighbour violence, which wouldescalate dramatically during the war, was pioneered. As many fifty Poles were tortured and butchered in a paroxysm of violence by a Jewish-led band of local pro-Communist Jews and Belorussians before thearrival of the Red Army. Moreover, the tragedy that befell the Poles at the hands of their non-Polishneighbours in the Eastern Borderlands in September 1939, where crimes were not only tolerated but incited by the Soviets, and therefore carried out with impunity, was a precursor to the events that ensued when thethis area was seized by Nazi Germany in June and July 1941. Astute observers of the situation on theground, the Germans actively supported a similar policy, this time directing it against Communistcollaborators and Jews.The Soviet authorities moved to legalize the excesses committed against Poles in September and October 1939. In March the following year, the Council of People’s Commissars pronounced that Soviet law was inforce (in so-called Western Belorussia) only from November 2, 1939, that is, from the moment of theformal incorporation of seized Polish territory into the Soviet Union. Only crimes committed against the“working people” before that date were punishable. At the same time, it was forbidden to impose criminalsanctions on the “working people” for deeds “provoked by their exploiters and committed in the course of class struggle.” The roles of the victims and culprits were reversed.It is widely recognized by historians that the portrait of Polish-Jewish relations presented in Holocausthistoriography is seriously flawed. Writing in the  New York Review of Books , Columbia University

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Jan 30, 2018

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Jan 30, 2018
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