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Golden Harvest or Hearts of Gold?: Studies on the Wartime Fate of Poles and Jews Paperback – March 1, 2012


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About the Author

Marek Jan Chodakiewicz is a Professor of History and holder of the Kosciuszko Chair in Polish Studies at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, DC. From 2005 to 2010 he was a presidential appointee on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, which advises the US Holocaust Museum in Washington on commemoration of the Holocaust. Wojciech Jerzy Muszynski holds a PhD in history is a researcher at the Institute of National memory in Warsaw, Poland. He is also editor of the scholarly historical quarterly Glaukopis. Pawel Styrna holds a Master's degree in modern European history from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is a researcher at the Institute of World Politics.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Publisher: SIS/Waller (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982488815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982488812
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,425,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jan Peczkis on April 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
For my review in Polish [POLSKOJEZYCZNA RECENZJA], see [ZOBACZ] Comment 1.

Even the knowledgeable reader will learn much from this work. The comprehensiveness and depth of this tome is head, shoulders, and chest above that of Golden Harvest: Events at the Periphery of the Holocaust. (See also the Peczkis review therein).

In the Introduction, the editors trace historical developments. Communist propaganda smeared Poland as anti-Semitic, and the West welcomed this as a palliative for Yalta pangs of conscience. The rise of identity politics in American academia meant that the moral right always belongs to the minority, and criticism of Jews was dismissed as anti-Semitism. (pp. 13-14). [Of course, minority is a relative term. Next to the vastly more populous and powerful Germans and Russians, Poles are very much a minority!]

Historian Marek Jan Chodakiewicz shows how Jan T. Gross demonizes the Poles by selective anecdotes and systematic ignoring of contrary evidence (p. 21, 25, 31, 33), and how Gross makes utterly silly comparisons of Poles with Hutus. (p. 28). Chodakiewicz concludes that: "In this sense, GOLDEN HARVEST reads as another prejudicial assault on Polishness, patriotism, Christianity, tradition, and the sense of national identity." (pp. 62-63).

Gross' frauds begin with the title-cover photograph "of Polish Treblinka grave-diggers". In actuality, the photo is of unclear origin, and even the leftist GAZETA WYBORCZA has disavowed it. (p. 24). The major exploitation of Treblinka remains was actually conducted by the Red Army--and on an industrial scale. (p. 27).
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Juliana Geran Pilon on January 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
Not all of Thucydides' academic heirs have devoted themselves to the pursuit of truth, searching every nugget of data they manage to dig out from oblivion, then revise their speculation in deference to the facts; indeed, the political correctness that currently infects public discourse is anathema to such practice.
A notable exception is this splendid anthology, GOLDEN HARVEST OR HEARTS OF GOLD? , which offers the patient reader a sterling example of history at its best. The essays included here take on the deeply divisive topic of Polish-Jewish relations during the Second World War and thoroughly succeed in presenting a far more nuanced picture than the caricatures currently en vogue.
The editors name the two contrasting versions of that tragic historical moment: "the black legend" on the one hand, and "the heroic mythology" on the other. The sinister black legend, dominant in the West, portrays the anti-Semitic Poles as collectively complicit with the Nazis in the crimes of the Holocaust, mainly for material gain; by contrast, the so-called heroic version, prevalent in Poland to this day, has the Polish population standing staunchly by their Jewish neighbors committed to the Golden Rule of brotherly love. Neither is remotely true.
Though at pains to demonstrate the flaws that plague both of the grotesquely simplistic mythologies of that tragic time, the editors go one step further to explore the origins of each. The legend of the Polish anti-Semite, for example, owes its historical and philosophical foundations to the Stalinist propaganda machine. The Pole-Fascist narrative had offered at least a modicum of moral legitimacy to the Communist take-over of that long-coveted piece of real estate and reduced Western pangs of conscience over Yalta.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By faisal muhammen o'conner on March 8, 2014
Format: Paperback
i reprint here a review i found by a Polish Catholic academic in USA, misplaced where she published it.

Recent years have seen the deployment of a Brute Polak stereotype to distort World War Two
and Holocaust history. The 2012 book,

Golden Harvest or Hearts of Gold? Studies on the Fate
of Wartime Poles and Jews,

edited
by Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Wojciech
Jerzy Muszy
ń
ski and
Pawel Styrna, published by Leopolis Press, promises to contribute to the battle against the Brute
Polak stereotype and concomitant revisionist World War Two histories. The first words of the
book:

Anyone who fosters hatred for the Poli
sh people is committing a sin! ... These people are
glorious!

The authors, obviously dedicated, have combed archives and retrieved valuable material.
Good points, too rarely emphasized, are made: in the early days of the war, Poles had as much to
fear from
Nazis and Soviets as did Jews (47); Poland cannot be compared with Denmark (198);
the Brute Polak stereotype relies for its power on diminishing the role of German Nazis (57).

Collective Rescue Efforts by Poles

by Ryszard Tyndorf is a forty
-
seven
-
page c
ompilation.
Tyndorf documents that while it took only one denouncer to kill a Jew, it took many more Poles
to keep a Jew safe, and that the Polish Catholic peasants so demonized in the Brute Polak
stereotype were quite capable of using their peasant skills
and culture to protect Jews. Teresa
Preker reports that one peasant, who refused to accept money from the Jews she helped, was sure
to ask for the return of a mug because it was the only mug she owned (108).
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