×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland
     

Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland

2.8 6
by Jan T. Gross
 

See All Formats & Editions

One summer day in 1941, half of the Polish town of Jedwabne murdered the other half, 1,600 men, women, and children, all but seven of the town's Jews. Neighbors tells their story.

This is a shocking, brutal story that has never before been told. It is the most important study of Polish-Jewish relations to be published in decades and should become a

Overview

One summer day in 1941, half of the Polish town of Jedwabne murdered the other half, 1,600 men, women, and children, all but seven of the town's Jews. Neighbors tells their story.

This is a shocking, brutal story that has never before been told. It is the most important study of Polish-Jewish relations to be published in decades and should become a classic of Holocaust literature.

Jan Gross pieces together eyewitness accounts and other evidence into an engulfing reconstruction of the horrific July day remembered well by locals but forgotten by history. His investigation reads like a detective story, and its unfolding yields wider truths about Jewish-Polish relations, the Holocaust, and human responses to occupation and totalitarianism. It is a story of surprises: The newly occupying German army did not compel the massacre, and Jedwabne's Jews and Christians had previously enjoyed cordial relations. After the war, the nearby family who saved Jedwabne's surviving Jews was derided and driven from the area. The single Jew offered mercy by the town declined it.

Most arresting is the sinking realization that Jedwabne's Jews were clubbed, drowned, gutted, and burned not by faceless Nazis, but by people whose features and names they knew well: their former schoolmates and those who sold them food, bought their milk, and chatted with them in the street. As much as such a question can ever be answered, Neighbors tells us why.

In many ways, this is a simple book. It is easy to read in a single sitting, and hard not to. But its simplicity is deceptive. Gross's new and persuasive answers to vexed questions rewrite the history of twentieth-century Poland. This book proves, finally, that the fates of Poles and Jews during World War II can be comprehended only together.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
A National Book Award nonfiction nominee, Neighbors tells the chilling story of the Polish town of Jedwabne, where, on a summer's day in 1941, half of the town's population murdered the other half. Sixteen hundred Jewish men, women, and children were killed, leaving only seven of the town's Jews alive. Jan Gross has pieced together eyewitness accounts and other evidence to paint a terrifying picture of Polish-Jewish relations, and how they went horrifyingly wrong one tragic day.
Adam Michnik
To these people, Jan Tomasz Gross's book Neighbors, which revealed the story of the murder by Poles of 1,600 Jews in Jedwabne, was a terrible shock. It is difficult to describe the extent of this shock. Mr. Gross's book has generated a heated response comparable to the Jewish community's reaction to the publication of Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem.
New York Times
Josh Margolin
Gross' work so pierced the very fabric of Polish culture that the democratic government of the new Poland opened an investigation into the massacre that even included the exhumation of 200 of the victims' bodies. Ultimately, the Polish government acknowledged publicly that Poles - "ordinary men," as Gross writes - committed the Jedwabne "pogrom" and, on the 60th anniversary, President Aleksander Kwasniewski led a controversial ceremony of mourning at the site of the barn.
Newark Star-Ledger
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Claude Lanzman's myth-shattering documentary film Shoah demonstrated that some Polish peasants were keenly aware of the Nazis' mass murder of Jews on Polish soil. This volume takes the real-life horror story a step further, documenting how nearly all of the Jews of Jedwabne, Poland, were murdered on one day most of them burned alive by their non-Jewish neighbors. Drawing on testimony that prompted and emanated from a 1949 Polish trial, Gross carefully describes how apparently normal citizens terrorized and killed approximately 1,600 Jewish villagers. Gross, a professor of politics and European studies at New York University, also attempts to place this heinous crime in historical and political context, concluding that he can explain but not fully understand. How to understand the Polish villagers, led by their mayor, exceeding the July 10, 1941, command of conquering German soldiers to annihilate the Jews but spare some tradesmen? Immediately,according to Gross, local townsmen-turned-hooligans grabbed clubs studded with nails and other weapons and chased the Jews into the street. Many tried to escape through the surrounding fields, but only seven succeeded. The thugs fatally shot many Jews after forcing them to dig mass graves. They shoved the remaining hundreds of Jews into a barn, doused it with kerosene and set it ablaze. Some on the outside played musical instruments to drown out the victims' cries. Yet Neighbors isn't as terrifying as one might expect, since Gross, a Polish migr himself, guides the reader along an analytical path. By de-emphasizing the drama, he helps readers cope with the awful incident, but his narrative occasionally bogs down in his own thoughts. Still, he asserts hopefully that young Poles are "ready to confront the unvarnished history of Polish-Jewish relations during the war." (May) Forecast: The always heated question of the role of Poles in the Holocaust comes to a head here. The book is bound to generate controversy (it has already garnered mention in the New York Times), though its sales will probably be limited. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Newsweek
Sixty years ago, on July 10, 1941, half the Polish town of Jedwabne murdered the other half. Why did the murderers do it? Prof. Jan Gross of New York University may not fully realize he has found the answer. It is in his astonishing little book. The title, Neighbors, is an ice dagger to the heart, but only after the book has been read.
— George F. Will
Financial Times
Neighbors strikes squarely at Poland's accepted historical narrative . . . One Polish critic compares the gathering controversy to the uproar with which Germans greeted Hitler's Willing Executioners, Daniel Goldhagen's 1996 study of civilian participation in the Holocaust.
— John Reed
Times Literary Supplement
Horrifying and thoughtful.
New York Times Book Review
An important contribution to the literature of human bestiality unleashed by war. Neighbors tells a story that has long been known in Poland but one that has shocked the rest of the world and even, it seems, the Poles themselves . . . [A] fine, careful book about the awful massacre in Jebwabne . . . [Gross] is cautious and fair to the facts.
— Steven Erlanger
London Review of Books
[Gross] brings much art to the enterprise.Neighbors is possessed of the key virtues: moral energy, commitment to accuracy, and the maintenance of a continuing open dialogue between historian, sources, and reader.
— Inga Clendinnen
The Observer
Nothing can make up for the horror. But if the screams of those burning alive at Jedwabne are heard at last, they may not have been completely in vain.
— George Steiner
The New Leader
[This] small book detailing the massacre of the Jews of Jedwabne raises large questions about the roles Poles and Germans played in some of the boodiest actions against Jews during World War II. . . . Neighbors tells a compelling story admirably. It should be widely read and discussed, for the complex, unsettling issues it raises still need to be fully explored. . . .
— Alvin H. Rosenfeld
Newsweek - Andrew Nagorski
Nothing could have prepared the 1,600 Jews in Jedwabne, a town in northeast Poland, for the hell of their final days in the summer of 1941. . . . It is an especially gruesome Holocaust horror story. But it is a tale that, 60 years later, has stunned Poland. For what Poles have learned recently is that the perpetrators in this case weren't Germans, though the Nazi occupiers clearly approved the slaughter. They were Poles, the Jedwabne neighbors of the Jews. And the revelation of their role has triggered a wave of agonized soul-searching since it emerged . . . in Neighbors, a slim, carefully researched book [that] has guaranteed that Poles will never see their wartime history in the same way. . . . The controversy over Neighbors is already spreading across the Atlantic.
Financial Times - John Reed
Neighbors strikes squarely at Poland's accepted historical narrative . . . One Polish critic compares the gathering controversy to the uproar with which Germans greeted Hitler's Willing Executioners, Daniel Goldhagen's 1996 study of civilian participation in the Holocaust.
Times Literary Supplement - Abraham Brumberg
The first question that leaps to mind is why the story of a massacre so monstrous, and of such historic significance, should surface only now, half a century after the fact. The answer to this question is both startling and complex. . . . A detailed account is provided by the sociologist and historian Jan T. Gross in his book. . . Gross's scrupulously documented study challenges another cherished myth: the noble attempts of most Poles to save Jews.
New York Times Book Review - Steven Erlanger
An important contribution to the literature of human bestiality unleashed by war. Neighbors tells a story that has long been known in Poland but one that has shocked the rest of the world and even, it seems, the Poles themselves . . . [A] fine, careful book about the awful massacre in Jebwabne . . . [Gross] is cautious and fair to the facts.
The Observer - George Steiner
Nothing can make up for the horror. But if the screams of those burning alive at Jedwabne are heard at last, they may not have been completely in vain.
The New Leader - Alvin H. Rosenfeld
[This] small book detailing the massacre of the Jews of Jedwabne raises large questions about the roles Poles and Germans played in some of the boodiest actions against Jews during World War II. . . . Neighbors tells a compelling story admirably. It should be widely read and discussed, for the complex, unsettling issues it raises still need to be fully explored. . . .
Newsweek - George F. Will
Sixty years ago, on July 10, 1941, half the Polish town of Jedwabne murdered the other half. Why did the murderers do it? Prof. Jan Gross of New York University may not fully realize he has found the answer. It is in his astonishing little book. The title, Neighbors, is an ice dagger to the heart, but only after the book has been read.
London Review of Books - Inga Clendinnen
[Gross] brings much art to the enterprise.Neighbors is possessed of the key virtues: moral energy, commitment to accuracy, and the maintenance of a continuing open dialogue between historian, sources, and reader.
Time Magazines Literary Supplement
Horrifying and thoughtful.
From the Publisher
"An important contribution to the literature of human bestiality unleashed by war." —The New York Times Book Review

"Like an oral tale transcribed by a folklorist, it has the ring of the eternal to it.... Hatred like this runs deep in human nature and is ever ready to erupt again. Be warned." —Los Angeles Times

"Extraordinary." —New Republic

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400843251
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
09/17/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
216
Sales rank:
202,436
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Published by Princeton University Press and copyrighted, © 2001, by Princeton University Press. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means (including photocopying, recording, or information storage and retrieval) without permission in writing from the publisher, except for reading and browsing via the World Wide Web. Users are not permitted to mount this file on any network servers.

INTRODUCTION

Twentieth-century Europe has been shaped decisively by the actions of two men. It is to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin that we owe totalitarianism—if not its invention, then certainly its most determined implementation. The loss of life for which they are jointly responsible is truly staggering. Yet it is not what happened but what has been prevented from ever taking place that gives a truer measure of totalitarianism's destructiveness: "the sum of unwritten books," as one author put it. In fact, the sum of thoughts unthought, of unfelt feelings, of works never accomplished, of lives unlived to their natural end.1

Not only the goals but also the methods of totalitarian politics crippled societies where they were deployed, and among the most gripping was the institutionalization of resentment. People subject to Stalin's or Hitler's rule were repeatedly set against each other and encouraged to act on the basest instincts of mutual dislike. Every conceivable cleavage in society was eventually exploited, every antagonism exacerbated. At one time or another city was set against thecountryside, workers against peasants, middle peasants against poor peasants, children against their parents, young against old, and ethnic groups against each other. Secret police encouraged, and thrived on, denunciations: divide et impera writ large. In addition, as social mobilization and mass participation in state-sponsored institutions and rituals were required, people became, to varying degrees, complicitous in their own subjugation.

Totalitarian rulers also imposed a novel pattern of occupation in the territories they conquered. As a result, wrote Hannah Arendt, "they who were the Nazis' first accomplices and their best aides truly did not know what they were doing nor with whom they were dealing."2 It turned out that there was no adequate word in European languages to define this relationship. The term "collaboration"—in its specific connotation of a morally objectionable association with an enemy—came into usage only in the context of the Second World War.3 Given that armed conflicts, conquests, wars, occupations, subjugations, territorial expansions, and their accompanying circumstances are as old as recorded human history, one wonders what novelty in the phenomenon of German occupation during the Second World War stimulated the emergence of a fresh concept.4 A comprehensive answer to this question would have to be sought in multiple studies of German regimes of occupation.

After the fact, public opinion all over Europe recoiled in disgust at virtually any form of engagement with the Nazis (in an arguably somewhat self-serving and not always sincere reaction). "It is nearly impossible to calculate the total number of persons targeted by postwar retribution, but, even by the most conservative estimates, they numbered several million, that is 2 or 3 percent of the population formerly under German occupation," writes Istvan Deák in a recent study. "Punishments of the guilty ranged from lynchings during the last months of the war to postwar death sentencing, imprisonment, or hard labor. Added to those harsh punishments were condemnation to national dishonor, the loss of civic rights, and/or monetary fines as well as such administrative measures as expulsions, police supervision, loss of the right to travel or to live in certain desirable places, dismissal, and the loss of pension rights."5 "This was a war," to quote Heda Kovaly's poignant memoir from Prague, "that no one had quite survived."6

While the experience of the Second World War has to a large extent shaped the political makeup and destinies of all European societies in the second half of the twentieth century, Poland has been singularly affected. It was over the territory of the pre-1939 Polish state that Hitler and Stalin first joined in a common effort (their pact of nonaggression signed in August 1939 included a secret clause dividing the country in half) and then fought a bitter war until one of them was eventually destroyed. As a result Poland suffered a demographic catastrophe without precedent; close to 20 percent of its population died of war-related causes. It lost its minorities—Jews in the Holocaust, and Ukrainians and Germans following border shifts and population movements after the war. Poland's elites in all walks of life were decimated. Over a third of its urban residents were missing at the conclusion of the war. Fifty-five percent of the country's lawyers were no more, along with 40 percent of its medical doctors and one-third of its university professors and Roman Catholic clergy.7 Poland was dubbed "God's playground" by a sympathetic British historian,8 but during that time it must have felt more like a stomping ground of the devil.

The centerpiece of the story I am about to present in this little volume falls, to my mind, utterly out of scale: one day, in July 1941, half of the population of a small East European town murdered the other half—some 1,600 men, women, and children. Consequently, in what follows, I will discuss the Jedwabne murders in the context of numerous themes invoked by the phrase "Polish-Jewish relations during the Second World War."9

First and foremost I consider this volume a challenge to standard historiography of the Second World War, which posits that there are two separate wartime histories—one pertaining to the Jews and the other to all the other citizens of a given European country subjected to Nazi rule. This is a particularly untenable position with respect to Poland's history of those years, given the size of, and social space occupied by, Polish Jewry. On the eve of the war, Poland's was the second largest agglomeration of Jews in the world, after the American Jewry. About 10 percent of prewar Polish citizens identified themselves—either by Mosaic faith or by declaring Yiddish to be their mother tongue—as Jews. Nearly one-third of the Polish urban population was Jewish. And yet the Holocaust of Polish Jews has been bracketed by historians as a distinct, separate subject that only tangentially affects the rest of Polish society. Conventional wisdom maintains that only "socially marginal" individuals in Polish society—the so-called szmalcownicy,10 or "scum," who blackmailed Jews, and the heroes who lent them a helping hand—were involved with the Jews.

This is not the place to argue in detail why such views are untenable. Perhaps it is not even necessary to dwell at length on this matter. After all, how can the wiping out of one-third of its urban population be anything other than a central issue of Poland's modern history? In any case, one certainly needs no great methodological sophistication to grasp instantly that when the Polish half of a town's population murders its Jewish half, we have on our hands an event patently invalidating the view that these two ethnic groups' histories are disengaged.

The second point that readers of this volume must keep in mind is that Polish-Jewish relations during the war are conceived in a standard analysis as mediated by outside forces—the Nazis and the Soviets. This, of course, is correct as far as it goes. The Nazis and the Soviets were indeed calling the shots in the Polish territories they occupied during the war. But one should not deny the reality of autonomous dynamics in the relationships between Poles and Jews within the constraints imposed by the occupiers. There were things people could have done at the time and refrained from doing; and there were things they did not have to do but nevertheless did. Accordingly, I will be particularly careful to identify who did what in the town of Jedwabne on July 10, 1941, and at whose behest.

In August 1939, as is well known, Hitler and Stalin concluded a pact of nonaggression. Its secret clauses demarcated the boundaries of influence spheres between the two dictators in Central Europe. One month later the territory of Poland was carved out between the Third Reich and the USSR. The town of Jedwabne first found itself in the Soviet zone of occupation and later, after Hitler attacked the Soviet Union, was taken over by the Nazis. An important issue I thus felt compelled to address concerns the standard historiographical perspective on Soviet-Jewish relations during the twenty-month-long Soviet rule over the half of Poland the Red Army occupied starting in September 1939. Again this is not the place to put the matter to rest.11 We will simply have to remember that according to the current stereotype Jews enjoyed a privileged relationship with the Soviet occupiers. Allegedly the Jews collaborated with the Soviets at the expense of the Poles, and therefore an outburst of brutal Polish antisemitism, at the time the Nazis invaded the USSR, may have come in the territories liberated from under Bolshevik rule in 1941 as a response to this experience. I therefore explore whether there were any linkages between what happened in Jedwabne under the Soviet occupation (September 1939-June 1941) and immediately thereafter.

The Jedwabne massacre touches upon yet another historiographical topos concerning this epoch—one maintaining that Jews and communism were bound by a mutually beneficial relationship. Hence, allegedly, the presence of antisemitism among broad strata of Polish society (or any other East European society, for that matter) after the war, and the special role Jews played in establishing and consolidating Stalinism in Eastern Europe. I will address this issue briefly in the discussion of my study's sources and will return to these and related matters in the concluding chapters.

As to the broader context of Holocaust studies, this book cannot be easily located on the functionalist-intentionalist spectrum. It stands askew of this distinction, already blurred in recent Holocaust historiography, and belongs instead to a genre—"only now beginning to receive appropriate scholarly attention"—that belabors the "pepetrators-victims-bystanders" axis.12 But it shows that these terms are also fuzzy and can be read as a reminder that each episode of mass killing had its own situational dynamics. This is not a trivial point, for it means—and further studies will, I think, demonstrate that Jedwabne was not unique in this respect—that in each episode many specific individual decisions were made by different actors present on the scene, who decisively influenced outcomes. And, thus, it is at least conceivable that a number of those actors could have made different choices, with the result that many more European Jews could have survived the war.

In an important respect, however, this is a rather typical book about the Holocaust. For, as is not true of historical studies we write about other topics, I do not see the possibility of attaining closure here. In other words, the reader will not emerge with a sense of satisfied yearning for knowledge at the conclusion of reading; I certainly did not do so at the conclusion of writing. I could not say to myself when I got to the last page, "Well, I understand now," and I doubt that my readers will be able to either.

Of course one must proceed with the exposition and analysis as if it were possible to understand, and address prevailing interpretive historiographical strands. But I think it is in the nature of the subject matter that we will have to pose queries at the end of the story—and how about this? and how about that? And this is just as well, since perhaps the only relief we may hope to find when confronted with the Holocaust is in the process of asking such endless follow-up questions, to which we will continue to look for answers. The Holocaust thus stands at a point of departure rather than a point of arrival in humankind's ceaseless efforts to draw lessons from its own experience. And while we will never "understand" why it happened, we must clearly understand the implications of its having taken place. In this sense it becomes a foundational event of modern sensibility, forever afterward to be an essential consideration in reflections about the human condition.

What People are Saying About This

David Engel
This tiny book reveals a shocking story buried for sixty years, and it has set of a round of soul searching in Poland. But the questions it raises are of universal significance: How do 'ordinary men' turn suddenly into 'willing executioners?' What, if anything, can be learned from history about 'national character?' Where do we draw the line between legitimately assigning present responsibility for wrongs perpetrated by previous generations and unfairly visiting the sins of the fathers on the children? The author has no facile answers to these problems, but his story asks us to think about them in new ways.
David Engel, author of "The Holocaust: The Third Reich and the Jews"
Tony Judt
Neighbors is a truly pathbreaking book, the work of a master historian. Jan Gross has a shattering tale to tell, and he tells it with consummate skill and control. The impact of his account of the massacre of the Jews of Jedwabne by their Polish neighbors is all the greater for the calm, understated narration and Gross's careful reconstruction of the terrifying circumstances in which the killing was undertaken. But this little book is much, much more than just another horror story from the Holocaust. In his imaginative reflections upon the tragedy of Jedwabne, Gross has subtly recast the history of wartime Poland and proposed an original interpretation of the origins of the postwar Communist regime. This book has already had dramatic repercussions in Poland, where it has single-handedly prised open a closed and painful chapter in that nation's recent past. But Neighbors is not only about Poland. It is a moving and provocative rumination upon the most important ethical issue of our age. No one who has studied or lived through the twentieth century can afford to ignore it.
Tony Judt, Director, Remarque Institute
Antony Polonsky
This is unquestionably one of the most important books I have read in the last decade both on the general question of the mass murder of the Jews during World War II and on the more specific problem of the reaction of Polish society to that genocide. All of the issues it raises are handled with consummate mastery. I finished this short book both appalled at the events it describes and filled with admiration for the wise and all-encompassing skill with which the painful, difficult, and complex subject has been handled.
Antony Polonsky, Brandeis University
From the Publisher

"An important contribution to the literature of human bestiality unleashed by war." —The New York Times Book Review

"Like an oral tale transcribed by a folklorist, it has the ring of the eternal to it.... Hatred like this runs deep in human nature and is ever ready to erupt again. Be warned." —Los Angeles Times

"Extraordinary." —New Republic

Meet the Author

Jan T. Gross is Professor of Politics and European Studies at New York University. He is the author of, among other books, "Revolution from Abroad: Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia" (Princeton) and a coeditor of "The Politics of Retribution in Europe: World War II and Its Aftermath" (Princeton).

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
OlgaS More than 1 year ago
In the novel Neighbors, Jan Gross brings together all of the sources and written documents regarding the murder of Jews in Jedwabne, Poland. The story is a unique one because it displays how brutal people can be to their own neighbors; people they have known for generations. The entire Jewish Community in Jedwabne was destroyed by its Polish neighbors and, only years later, the people responsible were put on trial. The trial itself, though, did no justice to the suffering and humiliation Jews went through. Gross did an amazing job doing research for his novel. It feels like he dug up every paper and interviewed every witness regarding the mass murder. It truly feels like you get the whole inside look and that everything you read is fact. The only thing I did not like about the novel was how the information was presented. I got lost several times in the large amount of foreign names and leaps from topic to topic. The plot could have been presented in a more interesting and easy to read manner but I could see the need for straightforward facts. A major theme that stuck out to me throughout the novel was the lack of human compassion. Out of the 1,600 Jews in Jedwabne, only 7 survived due to a Polish woman named Wyrzykowska. Only one woman came to her senses and had compassion on the Jews out of all of the Polish people in the town. It is amazing to see how fast a human’s beliefs and ethics can be changed with propaganda. I would suggest this book to anyone looking to broaden his/her knowledge or view of World War II. The book is exhaustingly sad but it is an emotion worth risking. The book really gave me a new insight and appreciation for my blissful life. If you liked this book, I would suggest Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Few books that I have read recently have succeeded to the same extent in evoking the feeling, the fear, the terror, the horror, the sheer egregious unreality of the Holocaust. . . as this book does.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My attention was drawn to this book by a review in Newsweek. Jan Gross is a man of courage, a true unbiased historian who seeks out the truth regardless of its consequences. He is a refreshing contrast to the contemporary 'historians' who study the first half of the twentieth century, and are unable to separate their biases from their work. Gross supports his findings with documented interviews and depositions of witnesses and the accused, which resulted from a trial held by the polish authorities in 1949, and was conveniently forgotten for fifty years. Unfortunately, the author has failed to provide any German witnesses or records that might be available in German archives of the massacre. However, he leaves no doubt that the genocide at Jedwabne was perpetrated with brutal fervor by the victim's non-jewish neighbors and other Poles from neighboring towns. Yet, according to Newsweek, the memorial marker at Jedwabne still blames the Germans for this atrocity, just like the memorial at Katyn. Up until this landmark book was published it has been all too easy for the Poles to blame their misdeeds during the war on the Germans. If nothing else, this book will force the Poles to recognize the reality of their own virulent anti-semitism that has pervaded their history for centuries.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Intrigued by 'Neighbors...,' I researched the topic and became shocked by arguments posted by several Polish historians who point to well-documented information, so different from that provided by Gross. The fact that Gross does not take it into account seriously undermines his credibility and the historic value of his book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The author in his book says that Germans did not play any role in murdering the Jews. He also forgot to make any serious research on this issue. There are many things that are not included in that book. The first the book did not include the investigation which is under way and which could solve some facts including the role of the Germans. Overall the author did a poor work on this book, and is not critical on many issues.
Guest More than 1 year ago
German archives provide information, completely ignored by Gross, which establishes that it was a German unit, and not the Poles, who herded the Jews into a barn before setting it on fire. Gross also tries, unsuccessfully, in downplaying the fact that large numbers of local Jews had earlier collaborated with the Soviet occupants in sending Poles to horrible suffering and often death in Siberia.