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Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation, 1939-1944 Paperback – July 1, 2001


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Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles Under German Occupation, 1939-1944 + No Greater Ally: The Untold Story of Poland's Forces in World War II (General Military) + When God Looked the Other Way: An Odyssey of War, Exile, and Redemption
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Hippocrene Books; 2 Revised edition (July 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781809010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781809016
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hitler hated Poles only slightly less than Jews; exterminating Poles and other Slavs was part of the Nazi master-plan. During the German occupation, three million Gentile Poles (and as many Polish Jews) were killed by mass executions, starvation or in labor camps; there were 2000 extermination and labor camps in Poland for Jews and Gentiles alike. One million non-Jewish Poles were deported in cattle cars to Germany and elsewhere; Polish children were sent to the Reich, where it was determined whether they were suitable for "Germanization" or should be slaughtered. This eloquent, gripping account of the Nazis' systematic genocide of Poles, and of the Polish resistance movement, written by a professor at Tennessee Technological University, is exhaustively researched and fills gaps in our knowledge. Lukas disputes Holocaust historians who have portrayed Poles as anti-Semites who did little to help the Jews with evidence that Poles of all classes gave assistance to persecuted Jews. To explain the hostility between Gentiles and Jews in the Polish underground, he cites Jews' close ties to the Communist movement. His arguments will provoke debate, and his important study deserves wide attention. January
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Though many nations were forced to endure Nazi tyranny during World War II, nowhere was its fury more devastating than in Poland. Poland suffered more than six million casualities and witnessed the decimation of Europe's largest national Jewish community. Even if it does not fully convey the immense suffering experienced by Poles, Garlinski's book does represent a solid chronicle of Poland's heroic struggle against the Nazis. Drawing heavily on sources belonging to the Polish government-in-exile in London, the narrative clearly stresses key political, military, and diplomatic events in a concise, objective fashion. Though himself a London exile, Garlinski exhibits little bitterness toward the Western powers, who gradually withdrew their support for the exiles. Lukas's book, a much more specialized treatment of the Polish tragedy, never fails to convey the continual horrors inflicted on a nation under Nazi rule. Central to the work is the assertion that the Holocaust in Poland was not confined to Jews but was a systematic atrocity designed to destroy the entire Polish nation. The book is a product of exhaustive research and contains excellent analyses of the relationship of Poland's Jewish and Gentile communities, the development of the resistance, the exile leadership, and the Warsaw uprisings. Lukas is highly critical of earlier works dealing with the topic and continually rejects the claim that Polish Gentiles were rabid anti-Semites. This is a superior work which, along with Garlinski, is suitable for all academic libraries. Joseph W. Constance, Jr., Georgia State Univ. Lib., Atlanta
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This book is very well laid out and all comments are linked to sources of information.
Ed Nicol
Lukas gingerly defends Bor Komorowski against the charge of his early Underground contacts with the Jews being postwar fabrications. (p. 173).
Jan Peczkis
Recommended reading for anyone interested in the "other side" of this tragic time in history.
S. Miklas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Brandon on January 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
I read this book in college as part of one of my history papers. Being 2nd generation Polish, it was important to read the full story of the genocide in Poland, and that it was not just limited to the Jews. Lucas does a fine job of showing all aspects of life under occupation, and that ALL Poles suffered, regardless of religion, gender, occupation, etc. Poland lost 15-20% of her population during the war, the most of any country, and they came from all walks of life. I was glad to see somebody finally wrote a boook about the "forgotten" millions who were murdered simply because they were born Polish. This is a must read for anyone interested in Poland or European history.
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112 of 122 people found the following review helpful By Jan Peczkis on August 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
This second edition of the book contains new chapters. One of them contains a list of Polish gentiles, murdered by the German occupants, while attempting to assist Jews (Poland was one of the only countries where the death penalty was handed out by the Nazis to anyone who gave the slightest assistance to the Jews). Of course, this list is but a drop in the bucket: The actual number of Polish gentiles strongly assisting Polish Jews, but caught and slain by the Germans for helping Jews, is estimated to be as high as 50,000.
The second new chapter is a discussion of Zegota: A clandestine Polish underground organization for assisting Jews. At its height, it consisted of tens of thousands of Polish gentiles in German-occupied Warsaw alone--all working under the threat of death if caught.
Lukas also discusses Polish collaboration with the Nazis, but shows that, contrary to much popular Holocaust material, this level of collaboration was much smaller than those of most other German-occupied European nations, and was also dwarfed by the number of Poles who assisted the Jews.
Earlier, Lukas documents how 3 million Polish gentiles were murdered by the Germans during World War II. This is very rarely mentioned in most Holocaust materials. Also included is discussion of the cultural genocide of Poland: the systematic, barbaric German practice of systematically destroying visible traces of Polish culture (monuments, libraries, museums, etc.). If you are one raised on the belief that only Jews suffered in the hands of the Nazis, you are in for a shock when you read this excellent book.
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67 of 72 people found the following review helpful By History Buff on April 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is exactly what it advertises - a history of Poland while under German occupation. After years of hearing only about the anti-Semitism of Poles, and their willingness to coldly turn in their Jewish neighbors, it is refreshing to read of what the majority of the country took part in. The tales of Polish resistance are truly remarkable and valuable for anyone interested in the truth of WWII.
Lukas never makes an attempt to minimize the Jewish experience in this book; he only brings attention to the fact that five million non-Jews were also exterminated, and for Hitler, as soon as Europe was free of Jews, the Slavs were next. I found it a very valuable, scholarly read.
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72 of 78 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 9, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Very few people are aware of the fact that 3 million Polish gentiles were murdered by the Germans during World War II. And most of these were not involved in anti-German activity at all. Clergy and intellectuals were murdered in disproportionate numbers. Lukas documents this and many other facts in painstaking detail. The book is a must for those interested in the FULL story of the Holocaust.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Mark Johnson on October 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the best overviews of the German occupation of Poland. This book explains how it "felt" to live under the Nazis. The Underground press, Underground schools, boycotts, posters, attacks on SS officers, plays and movies, cafe life: these details paint a priceless picture. Chapters also cover efforts to assist Jews, and the Warsaw Uprising. Anyone with any interest in this story should have a copy.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This 200+ page book is certainly worth reading and having it in one's own personal library for future reference. There are not enough books written about the WWII experience of Gentile Poles under German occupation. The Polish nation was targeted for annihilation. Much is written about the Jewish people's suffering
and not enough about the suffering of the Christian Poles. Who suffered more is not the issue....... both went through terrifying experiences !!!
I highly recommend this book especially for all those who have a short attention span or are short on time particularly in today's hectic times.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on November 1, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While most people are familiar with the Nazi Holocaust perpetrated against the Jews in Europe in the Second World War, fewer people are aware that Hitler's homicidal policies extended to the Polish people, as well. Author Richard C. Lukas does an excellent job depicting the nature of the German occupation of Poland in 1939-1944, which resulted in the death of over 3 million Polish citizens who were not Jews. For example, many readers will be surprised to find that the first mass executions committed by the Nazis during the war were against Polish intellectuals and clergy in late 1939 and that the first victims gassed at Auschwitz were Polish civilians. The author also puts a great deal of effort into examining the state of Polish-Jewish relations under the German occupation, as well as the development of the Polish resistance. Overall, this book should help to ameliorate some of the erroneous historiography that has evolved over the years about the Holocaust and lead to a more nuanced view of that catastrophic event.

Forgotten Holocaust consists of seven chapters, beginning with a discussion of the German occupation of Poland. This section details German atrocities against the Poles from A to Z, including street-executions, round-ups, kidnappings, etc. The author also makes the point about how troubling it was for this deeply Catholic country to have their pleas ignored by the pro-German pope in Rome (although the author goes easy on Pope Pius XII - easier than he deserves). In the end, 22 percent of Poland's population died during the German occupation - the greatest percentage loss of any nation in the Second World War. The second chapter covers the Polish Government in Exile and the origins of the underground resistance.
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