Thursday, January 3, 2019

A book someone might like to review

See here. I know nothing about this book. Just stumbled across it.


  1. OK, here goes:

    The chapter titles in this book are rather flippant. One uses the eff word, another (“Unpronounceable Cities”) reinforces the prejudice about Poland a foreign and inscrutable place, and still another (“Church Fatigue”) implies that religion is something unimportant.

    Author Gordon Haber does not exhibit the condescending stridency, towards Poland, shown by many Jewish authors, and does occasionally say positive things about Poland. However, the standard anti-Polish messages are still there: The pogroms, ghetto benches, the crosses at Auschwitz, (allusion to) Father Jankowski, all in a contextual vacuum, and nothing about the Jewish wrongs to Poland that precipitated the Polish reprisals.

    There is even discussion/debate about whether the Poles or Nazi Germans were the worse anti-Semites. Really. As if this was even a legitimate issue.

    I classify this book as Polonophobic-lite.

    Not recommended.

  2. Jan Peczkis " the Jewish wrongs to Poland that precipitated the Polish reprisals."

    Stop. You cannot argue that pogroms or ghetto benches were justifiable by alleged Jewish wrongs against Poland.

  3. No, but actions have consequences, and that is what is not being factored in the monotonically-standard blame-everything-on Poles approach of this book and the countless others that have preceded it.

  4. Jan, I don't want to go back and forth with you on this, because I have better things to do, but there is no justifying a pogrom or the ghetto benches.

    And let's leave it at that

  5. The Polish-Jewish conflict had historical and economical roots The pre-war Poland had only 20 years, contemporary Poland is unable to solve many problems and we had 30 years.
    The government of pre-war Poland didn't support poor students, mostly childrens of peasants. It's very difficult to redress social inequaliities, compare the rich USA. Polish peasants were liberated pararelly to US slaves. Social inequalities caused social unrest. The police killed workers and peasants, it didn't kill the Jews. But the point of view of uneducated workers and peasants perished, only few of them were able to describe their experiences and such diaries are not so popular, rarely translated into English. Communist propaganda misused real social problems to legitimize Communist rules. I would prefer scholarship funds rather than ghetto benches, but who would finance such projects? The government created the army - too small, too weak, too late.
    Pogroms were illegal in pre-war Poland and its participants were punished. Pogroms had economical roots, a conflict between producers of food and merchandisers. The peasants didn't understand complicated economical processes.

    Jerzy Pankiewicz

  6. New Holocaust data

    1. Interesting article.

      The Germans are known for their efficiency, and this extends to conducting genocide.

      The fact that most of Poland's Jews were destroyed in just a few months makes it easy to see why neither Jews or Poles could adequately grasp what was going on until it was nearly over.

      In fact, Holocaust-survivor Eli Gat, in his NOT JUST ANOTHER HOLOCAUST BOOK (see my review on GoodReads) cuts the Poles some slack for their "inadequate" response, precisely because the events unfolded so rapidly.

    2. My hometown had a large Jewish population for several centuries. No pogroms during that period (even though American press claimed otherwise in 1920s).
      Germans made my hometown "judenrein" in one day.

    3. Lukasz may I ask the name of your hometown and can you support your claim of no pogroms? With a citation to a book, for example? It's okay if the answer is no

    4. Hello Dr. Goska,

      As for my hometown's name, I would rather not disclose that information.
      Unfortunately I haven't found any evidence of "no pogroms". Not in historical books. Not in the internet. There is no proof of innocence.
      There was a massacre of Jews during the Deluge. But it was commited by foreigners, not by locals. So I wouldn't call it a pogrom.

      Information about the pogrom comes from the article in New York Times. Author, M.J. Olgin, gives a long list of towns were pogroms allegedly have happened. My hometown is on that list. No dates, no names or number of victims.

      On the side note author of that article was a Communist "representing Bolshevik interests in Poland". According to Wikipedia: "Olgin escaped to USA in 1915 and began to advocate that the affairs of Poland need to be taken over by an external force."
      Ironically that wish came true in 1939.

  7. I am very sorry but unfortunately, the link no longer works. I would recommend updating it as I am interested in the book. Also I would recommend putting the title of the book in the description.

    -Jan Czajkowski


Bieganski the Blog exists to further explore the themes of the book Bieganski the Brute Polak Stereotype, Its Role in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture.
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