...is the latest work by Jan Gross, the historian/sociologist who scandalized Poland five years ago with his book about the Jedwabne massacre.
Well, it looks like he will ruffle a few feathers again with his new book about the Kielce pogrom of 1946.
I haven’t read FEAR yet so I can’t review it.
But here it’s reviewed by Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel for the Washington Post.
Basically, the now almost conventional view here of the Kielce pogrom was that this was a ‘provocation’ by communist secret services, etc. Much of the violence, goes this view, was done by the communist authorities themselves.
What I gather Jan Gross is saying is that the political situation in Poland made ordinary Poles believe that Jews sided with the communists – many communists were Jews, in fact.
So when a kid (Henryk) claimed that he had been abducted by Jews (he hadn’t – he had just gone to see his friends for a few days!) he was readily believed.
And that’s when the ordinary Poles went into a frenzy of killing, which ended with scores of Jews dead.
What was left of the Jewish population after the war thinned out still further, leaving only a few thousand left (and most of those left in 1968).
What is for sure is that Jan Gross (one of those who left in 1968) will again become a bit of a hate figure here for dragging up an uncomfortable past once more.
On a similar theme please see the last three comments - started by 'yulia' at the end of the post here.
Elie Wiesel Accuses Poland - commentary by Adam Michnik, gazeta.pl
Excerpt: From "Fear" - Washington Post
Remembering Kielce, Jerusalem Post, July 2
Poland marks 60th anniversary of Kielce pogrom against Jews, European Jewish Press, July 3
Poland Prepares to Mark Pogrom Anniversary, Los Angeles Times, July 3
Sunday, July 02, 2006
Posted by beatroot at 7/02/2006