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Traditional Jewish Attitudes Toward Poles - старонка 34

261 Among the many words borrowed from Yiddish are: machlojka (“swindle”), melina (thieves’ “den” or “hang-out”), sitwa (“gang”), szaber (noun) and szabrować (verb) (“loot”), szacher (“swindle, cheat”), szwindel (“swindle”). See Kazimierz Ożóg, “Ślady kultury żydowskiej w języku polskim: Język polski odbija życie codzienne i kulturę Żydów polskich,” Kwartalnik Edukacyjny, no. 60 (2010), Internet: < http://www.pcen.pl/ke/rocznik-2010/kwartalnik-edukacyjny-nr-60/item/19-kazimierz-ozog-slady-kultury-zydowskiej-w-jezyku-polskim/19-kazimierz-ozog-slady-kultury-zydowskiej-w-jezyku-polskim>.


262 Goldstein, The Stars Bear Witness, 10–11.

263 Goldstein, The Stars Bear Witness, 13. Curiously, Goldstein avoided punishment for organizing violent activities, even though he was arrested once. Ibid., 16.

264 Daniel Pater, “Żydowski Akademicki Ruch Korporacyjny w Polsce w latach 1898–1939,” Dzieje Najnowsze, no. 3 (2002): 12–16.

265 Nordon, The Education of a Polish Jew, 85. For additional examples of “preventive actions,” see Chodakiewicz, Żydzi i Polacy, 1918–1955, 82–86.

266 Testimony of Józef Grynblatt cited in Anka Grupińska with Bartek Choroszewski, “O obrazie powstania w getcie, Żydowskim Związku Wojskowym i książce Mariana Apfelbauma,” Tygodnik Powszechny, June 29, 2003. A Jew who lived in Kaunas described the situation there prior to the war: “The competing fund-raising drives of the various Zionist factions were reaching their peak. … A great controversy developed. Should the funds be used to acquire more land in Palestine … or should they be used for the financing of illegal immigration … At school, the controversy took the form of fist fights resulting from the students grabbing and breaking the collection boxes, while the adults gave their support to various political groups whose conflicting aims and views were disseminated through vituperative articles published in Jewish newspapers. The heated arguments and the violent enmities that ensued often created rifts or even break-ups of family and friendships. … When my father discovered that I had become a member of the Betar, he beat me severely, after chasing me around the dinner table, and called me ‘dirty dog, Nazi!’ It was quite common in those days for Jews to call their political opponents Nazis, just as it is today in Israel when ‘the Likud accuses Labor of using Stuermer-style Nazi propaganda in its Histadrut [Workers’ Union] election campaign’.” See David Ben-Dor, The Darkest Chapter (Edinburgh: Canongate, 1996), 27–29.

267 Testimony of Baruch Borka Szub, Internet: .

268 Regina Renz, “Small Towns in Inter-War Poland,” in Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, vol. 17 (2004): 151. Also Maciągowski and Krawczyk, The Story of Jewish Chmielnik, 102.

269 Maciągowski and Krawczyk, The Story of Jewish Chmielnik, 102.

270 Shulman, The Old Country, 25–26.

271 See, for example, Chodakiewicz, Żydzi i Polacy 1918–1955, 91–92 (Częstochowa); Gontarczyk, Pogrom?, 31–32; Bechta, Narodowo radykalni, 179; Dembowski, Christians in the Warsaw Ghetto, 94 (Jewish assimilationists decried the lack of commercial ethics on the part of Jewish merchants); Wrobel, My Life My Way, 40–41 (the author, who did not have a Jewish appearance, had to provide assurances that she was Jewish before she was hired as a bakery manager).

272 The slogan “Swój do swego” (“Each to his own”) was launched by the National Democrats after the 1912 election to the Russian Duma in retaliation for Jewish support for a social democrat (of Polish origin) who won in Warsaw, and sat as Russian deputy, over the National Democratic candidate who would have represented the Polish Circle and Polish interests, thus leaving the ancient Polish capital without a Polish voice in the Duma. As Theodore Weeks points out, the boycott it ushered in did not gain broad support and economically, was not particularly successful. See Weeks, From Assimilation to Antisemitism, 166, 169. The notion that Jews were being squeezed out of the economic life of Poland has no basis in fact. In Kielce, for example, their strength in commerce increased from 45.5% in 1919 to 61.4% in 1938/39. See Leszek Bukowski, Andrzej Jankowski, and Jan Żaryn, eds., Wokół pogromu kieleckiego, vol. 2 (Warsaw: Instytut Pamięci Narodowej–Komisja Ścigania Zbrodni przeciwko Narodowi Polskiemu, 2008), 13. The slogan was again popularized by Polish nationalists during the economic crisis in the 1930s. However, it was not a novel or indigenously Polish concept. Historian Livia Rothkirchen writes about its currency in the latter part of the 19th century the Czech lands where anti-Jewish unrest continually broke out in Prague and other parts of Bohemia and in Moravia, even though Jews formed a little more than one percent of the population: “With the upsurge of nationalism the growing political pressure soon focused on economy and business: in 1892 a countryside campaign was launched against German and Jewish merchants under the slogan of “each to his own” (Svůj k svému); rioting and looting occurred in towns and villages such as Kladno and Kutná Hora. … Further disturbances occurred in the wake of the 1897 Badeni language ordinances … [The anti-Jewish disturbances were also directed against poor Jews in their traditional district of Josefov in Prague, and the Austrian government was forced to impose a state of emergency in order to restore peace and order.] … Two years later … new disturbances instigated by Czech nationalists directed against Germans and Jews broke out in many localities both in Bohemia and Moravia. … The turmoil in 1897 and subsequently in 1899 generated a popular outpouring of anti-Semitism.” See Rothkirchen, The Jews of Bohemia and Moravia, 17. Although laced with anti-Semitism, Czech nationalism, which could be as belligerent and nasty as any, had primarily an anti-German focus. See Nancy M. Wingfield, Flag Wars and Stone Saints: How the Bohemian Lands Became Czech (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2007). A ritual murder trial was held after Czech nationalist circles fingered a Jewish journeyman-shoemaker in the death of a Christian girl. The Jew was condemned to death in two trials in 1889 and 1900. In total, there were twelve such trials in the Austro-Hungarian Empire between 1867 and 1914. See Heiko Haumann, A History of East European Jews (Budapest and New York: Central European University Press, 2002), 200–1.

A sweeping charge frequently encountered in Jewish memoirs is that Jews were discriminated against in business and greatly overburdened with taxes in interwar Poland, to the point of near bankruptcy. One memoir by an educated Jew even claims that “hardly anyone paid taxes except for Jews.” See Jeohoschua Gertner and Danek Gertner, Home is No More: The Destruction of the Jews of Kosow and Zabie (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2000), 57. A Jewish historian makes a more modest claim: “taxation policies resulted in a disproportionate tax burden falling on small and medium-sized enterprises, where Jews were concentrated; in consequence, Jews paid between 35 and 40 percent of all direct taxes to the state.” See Jaff Schatz, “Jews and the Communist Movement in Interwar Poland,” in Frankel and Diner, Dark Times, Dire Decisions, 15. Needless to say, there was no differential tax rate based on criteria such as nationality or religion. In Western Poland, most such enterprises were non-Jewish. According to another source, the taxation system was heavily weighted towards the towns, where an overwhelming majority of Jews lived. See Simon Segal, The New Poland and the Jews (New York: Lee Furman, 1938), 141. A recent scholarly study of conditions in the small town of Jaśliska near Krosno is more nuanced and instructive. The author points out that it was the disparity in the Polish and Jewish occupations that affected the contributions to land and income tax paid by both groups, with Jews contributing a disproportionate share of the income tax, and Poles a disproportionate share of the land-tax. The Jewish share of municipal taxes reflected their preponderance (or Poles’ absence) in the local cash economy of the small town. Until the electoral reforms, this also meant considerable overepresentation on the town’s political scene: “Since the Jews paid the highest taxes, they obtained six of the twelve seats, in spite of their proportionally low numbers [about 26 percent]. The situation changed in 1923 when the number of seats was reduced by one-half. The political status of the Jews, however, remained unimpaired and the people took full account of their opinions.” The author demonstrates that even in the 1930s, the period of economic boycotts, the Poles’ involvement in local trade remained limited. Anti-Jewish propaganda had little effect on the activities and interactions of the Poles and Jews at the community level. On the whole, relations remained proper and many Jewish testimonies refer to them as favorable. As one Jew commented, “One hardly noticed anti-Semitism amongst the people. The relationships between Jews and non-Jews were rather good and the trading contacts were based on mutual trust. … We did not experience anything like anti-Jewish harassment. The good relationship between Jews and non-Jews gave rise to a steady material prosperity among the Jews.” See Rosa Lehmann, Symbiosis and Ambivalence: Poles and Jews in a Small Galician Town (New York and Oxford: Breghahn Books, 2001), 48–49, 75, 82, 185–87. Despite the abject poverty that many Jews lived in (as did many non-Jews), there was no significant movement on the part of Jews to occupy poorly paid positions as labourers in small industries (often owned by Jews), as caretakers in Jewish tenement buildings, or as domestics in the homes of the more prosperous Jews. Such menial jobs were usually held by Christians. In their traditional strongholds of business and trade, Jews generally maintained ethnic solidarity, which translated into a de facto monopoly that adversely affected the interests of Polish farmers and the nascent Polish merchant class. This is demonstrated in the case of Hrubieszów: “with the expansion of the [Jewish-controlled] corn trade bitter rivalries sprang up. … This state of affairs lasted for several years, until they came to realise that the only person who profited from their disputes was the [Polish] farmer. Several sensible Hrubieshov citizens epitomised the situation thus: ‘We are only pouring gold into the farmer’s bag’. The Hrubieshov merchants, the bigger and the smaller, got finally together and hit on the only logical solution: partnership in the form of a cooperative body [from which Poles were excluded]. Not all joined immediately; but as the first attempt met with almost immediate success, the movement spread. In later years, Christians, too, tried their hand; but, characteristically enough, Polish farmers remained loyal to the Jewish merchants.” See Yeheskel Ader, “Trade between the Two World Wars,” in Baruch Kaplinsky, ed., Pinkas Hrubieshov: Memorial to a Jewish Community in Poland (Tel Aviv: The Hrubieshov Associations in Israel and U.S.A., 1962), x. The notion that endemic Christian-based anti-Semitism was the overriding factor that set the tone for relations between Poles and Jews must be dismissed as an unfounded generalization—one that does not reflect day-to-day existence and omits other important components of the equation.

273 Fishman, Studies on Polish Jewry, 1919–1939, 284.

274 Maksym Hon, “Konflikt ukraińsko-żydowski na ziemiach zachodnioukraińskich w latach 1935–1939,” in Krzysztof Jasiewicz, ed., Świat niepożegnany: Żydzi na dawnych ziemiach wschodnich Rzeczypospolitej w XVIII–XX wieku (Warsaw and London: Instytut Studiów Politycznych PAN, Rytm, and Polonia Aid Foundation Trust, 2004), 245–47; Maksym Hon, Iz kryvdoiu na samoti: Ukrainsko–ievreiski vzaiemyny na zakhidnoukrainskykh zemliakh u skladi Polshchi (1935–1939) (Rivne: Volynski oberehy, 2005), 71, 77–79; Mazur, Życie polityczne polskiego Lwowa 1918–1939, 60.

275 Vladimir Jabotinsky, The Jewish War Front (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1940; Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1975), 59–60.

276 Ibid., 74.

277 Ibid., 74.

278 Browning, Remembering Survival, 21–22.

279 Salsitz, A Jewish Boyhood in Poland, 244. For information about the ineffectiveness of the boycott in Mińsk Mazowiecki, see Samuel Kassow, “The Shtetl in Interwar Poland,” in Katz, ed., The Shtetl, 137–38.

280 Schulman, A Partisan’s Memoir, 26. The author recalled that Polish military officer, a friend of the family, gave her mother 500 złoty, a small fotune in those days, so that she could pay for her daughter’s wedding.

281 Testimony of Bencjon Drutin in Marzena Baum-Gruszowska and Dominika Majuk, eds., Swiatła w ciemności: Sprawiedliwi wśród narodów świata. Relacje historii mówionej w działaniach edukacyjnych (Lublin: Ośrodek “Brama Grodzka–Teatr NN,” 2009), 56.

282 Brandsdorfer, The Bleeding Sky, Chapter 2.

283 The following are but a few examples: Teyer, The Red Forest, 24 (a successful Jewish bakery in Czerwony Bór near Łomża supplied a nearby army camp); Rubin, Against the Tide, 19 (a dentist in Nowogródek engaged by the Polish army); Testimony of Isadore Farbstein, Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, Interview Code 13378 (the family business in Parczew prospered because of orders from the Polish army); Kolpanitzky, Sentenced to Life, 6 (a meat supplier to the the Polish border police in Sienkiewicze, Polesia); Testimony of Yaakov Kaplan, Internet: 2010-07-19 18:44 Читать похожую статью
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