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Forgotten Survivors: Polish Christians Remember the Nazi Occupation (Modern War Studies (Hardcover)) Hardcover – November 19, 2004

4.8 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Lukas pays special attention to the sufferings of Poland's Catholic majority, presenting stories from the resistance and the risings, from Auschwitz and Mauthausen, and from the death marches and forced labor camps. . . . A wonderful testament to the survival of the human spirit in adversity."

From the Back Cover

"While the Holocaust is well known, the fate of Polish Christians in the camps is far less so. This is a much needed, important, and moving book."--Piotr S. Wandycz, president, Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences of America

"Lukas pays special attention to the sufferings of Poland's Catholic majority, presenting stories from the resistance and the risings, from Auschwitz and Mauthausen, and from the death marches and forced labor camps. . . . A wonderful testament to the survival of the human spirit in adversity."--Norman Davies, author of God's Playground: A History of Poland

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Product Details

  • Series: Modern War Studies (Hardcover)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas; 1St Edition edition (November 19, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700613501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700613502
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,470,850 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Owing to obvious misunderstandings, the very title of this book needs clarification. The concept of "forgotten", not elaborated by Lukas, goes far beyond which side has done a better job of presenting its sufferings to the American public. It goes right to the heart of (1). Which side has the power and influence to get its message out, (2). Which side is in a position to control the very language of the debate, and (3). Which side has the political clout to have its sufferings enshrined in American educational law. As for (1), American Jew Novick pointed out in his book, THE HOLOCAUST IN AMERICAN LIFE, that Poles "never had the political, cultural, or financial resources to press their case." As for (2), George Orwell noted that those who control the language control the debate. Note contemporary Newspeak, in which there is no generally-recognized term for prejudices against Poles, only Jews (anti-Semitism), no special term for a massacre of Poles, only Jews (the pogrom), and no special term in existence for the German genocide of Poles, only Jews (the Holocaust). In this review, I use the term Holocaust (sensu Universal) to include ALL victims of Germany, including Poles. As for (3), are we supposed to believe that it is by accident that American children are required, in many US states, to learn about the murder of 5-6 million Jews in appreciable detail, as if it were something higher than the sufferings of others in WWII?Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a collection of gripping accounts of what real people experienced during this horrific chapter in history. There's the story of Jan Komski, who tried to escape from a concentration camp with a friend dressed in an SS uniform but failed. . .the story of Lilka Trzcinska-Croydon, who describes in detail what it was like to be transported in a cattle car and then transformed into a camp prisoner with a number branded on her arm. . .stories of families separated, children plucked out of their daily lives and sent off into a world of terror where they were confronted with endless harsh realities, where survival was the only goal. This book brings the Holocaust to life with sometimes moving, sometimes chilling, realism and honesty. The author takes great care to let each individual voice be heard. And each story is filled with such suspense, made even greater because each story is true. Though I'd always heard about the atrocities people endured during the Holocaust, this book gives a voice to some of those people who managed to survive against incredible odds. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
One of the most neglected aspects of Nazi Germany's barbarous murder of civilians during World War II is the fate of Polish Christians. The paradox, of course, is that Auschwitz was first set up as a concentration camp for Christian Poles. This book is a collection of reminiscences of Poles who passed through the Inferno of Nazi occupation and lived to talk about it. Many of these people eventually immigrated to the United States: I had the privilege of knowing several of them. Their stories are gripping, their accounts almost unbelievable reminders of what man can do to his fellow man. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Forgotten Survivors tells the chilling, moving stories of Polish people who suffered at the hands of the Nazis, who were taking over their country. The people in these pages come to life as you learn where they were at the time they, or their family members, were seized by the SS and taken to concentration camps. You learn how some managed to stay under the Nazi radar, how others tried to escape, how they survived to tell their incredible stories. I couldn't put it down. The author has done a tremendous job compiling their stories and presenting them with each one's individual voice. It's an important contribution to the history of the Holocaust.
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Format: Hardcover
First things first: buy this book. Read it. Give it to friends. Require, before anyone talk to you about Nazism, about Polish-Jewish relations - or, for that matter, about heroism or human suffering - that they read it. Demand that lecturers, students and journalists know it before they attempt to speak with authority on World War II. If they aren't familiar with it, acquaint them. You may want to carry a copy for that purpose.

Many of us have sat around a dying fire, or an emptying bottle of vodka, while Polish loved ones recounted their WW II experiences. We've wanted others to hear these sagas before being quick to judge. We've used these narratives to inspire ourselves: "If he could survive that, I can get through this." Now such stories are available in book format. It's high time. What took us so long?

"Forgotten Survivors" presents twenty-eight, first-person accounts of Poles who lived through WW II. Now-and-then photographs illustrate each account; there are also fifteen Jan Komski drawings of concentration camp scenes. Tellers include former camp inmates, slave laborers, underground fighters, and Zegota members.

As much as I appreciate this book, and that is very much, there are aspects of it that either troubled me or will trouble others, or at least deserve comment here. First, of course, there is the title. These stories are powerful, and they are transcendent. They are valuable today, and they will be valuable as long as human beings face life-and-death challenges.

The polemical title does not best serve these accounts and their authors. The word "forgotten" implies that important audiences have ignored Polish suffering.
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