The Neighbors Respond: The Controversy over the Jedwabne Massacre in Poland / Edition 1

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Overview

"Jan Gross's revelations about the Jedwabne massacre have shaken Polish public opinion such as no other issue since the fall of communism. Now English-speaking readers will be able to sample the richness and complexity of that discussion."--Brian Porter, University of Michigan

"There was a wide range of responses to Jan Gross's Neighbors around the world, for the good reason that the book frankly astonished us when we learned what happened in a tiny Polish village during the Holocaust. Polish citizens murdered their innocent Jewish neighbors in the cold light of day. Reactions to the book in Poland have varied, but in addition to positive accolades, many journalists, clergy, and 'experts' disputed the book's findings and attacked its author. Until this incredibly important volume, most non-Polish speakers have not been able to follow the interesting debates that ensued. This book provides a wealth of information and translates many key Polish reviews and reactions to Neighbors. The editors' scholarship is first-class from beginning to end. There simply is no comparable book."--Robert Gellately, Earl R. Beck Professor of History, Florida State University

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Editorial Reviews

Jewish Chronicle - Adam LeBor
A meritorious, comprehensive reference book revealing a spectral episode which still haunts Poland.
Jewish Book World - Jack Fischel
The Neighbors Respond is both an important and disturbing book.
Shofar - Zev Garber
This is an interesting, highly motivated engagement of a human tragedy reflective of social prejudice that is manifested in any group that premeditatedly considers its relationship with a distinctly different group. It is a telling tale of two peoples, one land, a common tragedy, whose appeal stretches beyond a village in Poland and provides a model for similar studies of other groups in conflict.
From the Publisher

"This is a major addition to Holocaust studies for both popular and academic readers. . . . [C]omprehensive, compelling and thoughtful . . . Polonsky and Michlic have done a splendid job of collecting and arranging this material to highlight the inherent intellectual, moral and historical tensions."--Publishers Weekly

"A meritorious, comprehensive reference book revealing a spectral episode which still haunts Poland."--Adam LeBor, Jewish Chronicle

"As Polonsky and Michlic persuasively argue, the debate over Neighbors is more than an argument over the massacre of Polish Jews by their gentile countrymen. It is symptomatic of a greater debate over how Poland's history can, or should, be understood in the wake of the war and after the cultural vacuum created by decades of Communist rule."--Library Journal

"The Neighbors Respond is both an important and disturbing book."--Jack Fischel, Jewish Book World

"This is an interesting, highly motivated engagement of a human tragedy reflective of social prejudice that is manifested in any group that premeditatedly considers its relationship with a distinctly different group. It is a telling tale of two peoples, one land, a common tragedy, whose appeal stretches beyond a village in Poland and provides a model for similar studies of other groups in conflict."--Zev Garber, Shofar

Jewish Chronicle
A meritorious, comprehensive reference book revealing a spectral episode which still haunts Poland.
— Adam LeBor
Jewish Book World
The Neighbors Respond is both an important and disturbing book.
— Jack Fischel
Shofar
This is an interesting, highly motivated engagement of a human tragedy reflective of social prejudice that is manifested in any group that premeditatedly considers its relationship with a distinctly different group. It is a telling tale of two peoples, one land, a common tragedy, whose appeal stretches beyond a village in Poland and provides a model for similar studies of other groups in conflict.
— Zev Garber
Jewish Book World
The Neighbors Respond is both an important and disturbing book.
— Jack Fischel
Publishers Weekly
Jan Gross's 2001 history Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland (a National Book Award and an NBCC Award finalist) documented that the Jewish population of a small Polish town was barbarically slaughtered not by German troops but by their fellow-townspeople. Neighbors unleashed a series of popular and academic controversies not only because of his detailed narrative of the murders but because of the explicit charge that rife anti-Semitism allowed Poles to be complicit with the Holocaust. This comprehensive, compelling and thoughtful collection of articles, interviews, opinion pieces and transcripts of public discussions from Poland and elsewhere brings these controversies to a boil. Holocaust scholars Polonsky and Michlic have done a splendid job of collecting and arranging this material to highlight the inherent intellectual, moral and historical tensions. The editors lend context and clarity to a complex subject by breaking the controversy into seven sections-including the primary source material, the debate with the Polish Catholic church and responses from Jedwabne residents. Most of the disagreement here centers on three questions: Polish "collective responsibility" for the murders; the role of entrenched popular anti-Semitism in Polish culture; and what, if any, role Polish Jews' sympathy for the Soviet Union played in these events. Debating essays between Leon Wieseltier and Adam Michnik are gripping, and others are frequently shocking-as when Polish primate J zef Cardinal Glemp states, in a 2001 interview, that the Jews "knew how to take [economic] advantage of the Poles." This is a major addition to Holocaust studies for both popular and academic readers. (Jan.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The publication of Jan Gross's Neighbors, which described the 1941 massacre of Jews in the Polish town of Jedwabne by gentile countrymen, caused a firestorm of controversy in Poland. Here, Polansky (Brandeis Univ.) and Michlic (Yad Vashem, Jerusalem) have assembled and translated a selection of material from Polish sources related to the ongoing debates spawned by the book. Essays detail initial reports of the massacre during the war and take an extensive look at the Polish government's official response to Gross's revelations. Of particular interest is the material on the Catholic Church's response to the massacre, which ranges from anti-Semitic to self-reflective, and insights from some of Jedwabne's inhabitants. A final section details the significance of the book outside Poland and its impact on Holocaust historiography in general. An extensive historiographical introduction, along with section introductions, places the controversies into their Polish contexts. As Polansky and Michlic persuasively argue, the debate over Neighbors is more than an argument over the massacre of Polish Jews by their gentile countrymen. It is symptomatic of a greater debate over how Poland's history can, or should, be understood in the wake of the war and after the cultural vacuum created by decades of Communist rule. Suitable for specialized collections and advanced students.-Frederic Krome, Jacob Rader Marcus Ctr. of the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691113067
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 11/24/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 6.16 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 1
Pt. I The Initial Reporting
Burnt Offering
The Blood of Jedwabne 60
In Memory and Admonition 64
Pt. II The Moral Debate
Prophecies Are Being Fulfilled 72
Obsessed with Innocence 75
A Need for Compensation 87
The Revolution of Nihilism 93
The Shortsightedness of the 'Cultured' 103
Homo Jedvabicus 114
Pt. III Official Statements
Living in Truth: Special Statement by Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek regarding the Slaughter of Jews in Jedwabne in 1941, April 2001 125
Address Delivered by Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., 5 April 2001 126
Address by President of Poland Aleksander Kwasniewski at the Ceremonies in Jedwabne Marking the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Jedwabne Tragedy on 10 July 2001 130
Findings of Investigation S 1/00/Zn into the Murder of Polish Citizens of Jewish Origin in the Town of Jedwabne on 10 July 1941, pursuant to Article 1 Point 1 of the Decree of 31 August 1944 133
Jedwabne - Let Us Be Silent in the Face of This Crime: Piotr Lipinski Talks with Professor Andrzej Rzeplinski 137
Pt. IV The Debate in the Catholic Church
A Poor Christian Looks at Jedwabne: Adam Boniecki and Michal Okonski Talk with Archbishop Henryk Muszynski 155
Interview with the Primate of Poland, Cardinal Jozef Glemp, on the Murder of Jews in Jedwabne, 15 May 2001 166
Rev. Stanislaw Musial, "We Ask You to Help Us Be Better 173
Pt. V Voices of the Inhabitants of Jedwabne
We Are Different People: A Discussion about Jedwabne in Jedwabne 186
Marta Kurkowska-Budzan, "My Jedwabne" 200
Pt. VI Memories and Methodologies: The Historical Debate
Collaboration Passed Over in Silence 220
How to Grapple with the Perplexing Legacy 237
A Roundtable Discussion: Jedwabne - Crime and Memory 247
We of Jedwabne 267
The Pogrom in Jedwabne: Critical Remarks about Jan T. Gross's Neighbors 304
Critical Remarks Indeed 344
Jedwabne without Stereotypes: Agnieszka Sabor and Marek Zajac Talk with Professor Tomasz Szarota 371
Jedwabne: How Was It Possible? 386
Pt. VII The Discussion Outside Poland
Introduction to the Hebrew Edition of Neighbors 408
Do the Poor Poles Really Look at the Ghetto? Introduction to Hebrew Edition of Neighbors 414
Heroes and Victims 421
Jedwabne and the Selling of the Holocaust 430
Poles and the Jews: How Deep the Guilt? 434
"Washington Diarist: Righteous" and an Exchange of Letters 440
Chronology 451
Explanatory Notes 459
Index 471
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