Unequal Victims: Poles and Jews During World War Two

Book by Israel Gutman and Shmuel Krakowski


Gutman and Krakowski examine in depth the story of Polish-Jewish relations during the Holocaust. The tas is vitally important because one faces, on the one hand, a united choir of historical falsification emerging, attempting to deny Polish anti-Semitism and the largely indifferent or negative wartime attitude of the Polish population toward the Jews, and, on the other hand, Jewish anti-Polish sentiment tending to dney the heroic help extended to some Jews by what one is tempted to describe as the best elements of Polish society. The authors pick their way carefully amid conflicting evidence. Tehy analyze Polish attitudes toward Jews both regionally and by social classes. Tehy avoid the pitfalls of facile generalizations by pointing out exceptions and contradictions to the general conclusions they reach. The picture that finally emerges is not a very pleasant one. There were som Poles who helped... Some paid with their lives for their identification with their Jewish neighbors; some Polish partisans cooperated with Jews and accepted them into Polish units. But the majority, and that included the official underground armed forces, were either indifferent or were actively hostile. Against that background, it must be remembered, the minority that helped stands out the more. The authors not only describe the situation, but also try to explain the reasons for it

Unequal Victims by Gutman & Krakowski