The Massacre in Jedwabne, July 10, 1941: Before, During, After

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0880335546
ISBN-10: 0880335548
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Editorial Reviews

Review

[This volume is] coherently structured and well edited.

(Philip Ther Slavic Review 1900-01-00)

About the Author

Marek Jan Chodakiewicz is research professor of history at the Institute of World Politics.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: East European Monographs (December 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880335548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880335546
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,237,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Nicodemus on May 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Chodakiewicz was appointed by President George W. Bush to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. He also works for the Polish IPN.

This definitive work on Jedwabne is invaluable reading to anyone wanting to know what happened in 1941 in more detail.

While it would be almost impossible to write exactly what occured in Jedwabne, this scholarly work picks through all the known information to construct a plausible scenario.

The work goes into great detail and does not sensationalise, but presents all the known evidence. He also reveals how Poles had their property grabbed by Soviet collaborators. The Wawernia family were threatened with arrest after a Jewish family took their apartment and possessions. The Catholic priests were thrown out of their home which was taken over the Communists. There is ample evidence of betrayal of Poles by their neighbours to the NKVD. He debunks the story about the Bishop of Lomza taking money then refusing to help Jews, pointing out that the Bishop was in hiding at the time and no one knew his location.

Every single of the 28 depositions submitted by nineteen persons before the court in 1947-49 blamed the Germans. Poles were not mentioned by any of the witnesses as instigating the crime. The depositions were given freely, one being sent from Palestine.

"...the Germans coming...from Lomza. They were the gendamerie, four or five trucks...The Germans swarmed out and chased the Poles out of their houses. When they collected over a dozen persons , they took them along...they placed Poles on both sides of the street. Every dozen meters or so there was a German with a rifle ready to shoot so no Jew could escape. And this way it turned out that the Poles were doing it. Not the Germans.."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jan Peczkis on August 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
UPDATED REVIEW: In recent years, neo-Stalinist Jan T. Gross' three books, NEIGHBORS, FEAR, and GOLDEN HARVEST, have been widely publicized despite their very shoddy character. In fact, the media didn't rush to judgment on Poland; it stampeded. To top it all off, the media has actually spun the results of a subsequent investigative IPN Polish commission as a confirmation of Gross--when it is almost the exact opposite! [Please see the first Comment below to read the detailed English-language Peczkis review of WOKOL JEDWABNEGO, the IPN Proceedings volumes.]

This long-overdue book, by historian Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, is a painstaking analysis of the Jedwabne tragedy. It exposes the falsehood of the thesis that Poles murdered defenseless local Jews while the Germans only observed and photographed the act. Ironically, Gross' thesis had already been considered and discarded by Jewish and Polish scholars decades ago (p. 7, 124)! Also: "Aware neither of most available primary sources nor the work of Datner or any other scholars, Gross considered a very limited pool of evidence through the prism of a single survivor testimony." (p. 9).

Chodakiewicz begins by focusing on the good relations between the Poles and Jews before the war. He shows that, after the Soviet invasion, Jewish-Communist collaboration against Poles was very real and substantive. Later on, it is interesting that Germans referred to Poles as "superfluous" (p. 91), something supposed to be said only of the Jews. There are surprising details about various Polish guerrilla actions, including reprisal raids against German villages in East Prussia (p. 93), as well as continued resistance for many years after the imposition of the Soviet puppet state.
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21 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Academic on August 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Why isn't this book in every library? It is incredibly researhed and logical. Highly recommended! If you really want to read what "really" happened. No ridiculous sensationalisms (like Gross' version), but black and white facts.
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