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Pogrom Cries – Essays on Polish-Jewish History, 1939–1946

2nd Revised Edition


Joanna Tokarska-Bakir

This book focuses on the fate of Polish Jews and Polish-Jewish relations during the Holocaust and its aftermath, in the ill-recognized era of Eastern-European pogroms after the WW2. It is based on the author’s own ethnographic research in those areas of Poland where the Holocaust machinery operated. The results comprise the anthropological interviews with the members of the generation of Holocaust witnesses and the results of her own extensive archive research in the Polish Institute for National Remembrance (IPN).

«[This book] is at times shocking; however, it grips the reader’s attention from the first to the last page. It is a remarkable work, set to become a classic among the publications in this field.»

Jerzy Jedlicki, Professor Emeritus at the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences

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Chapter 8: Communitas of Violence. The Kielce Pogrom as a Social Drama

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Chapter 8:Communitas of Violence. The Kielce Pogrom as a Social Drama

The Kielce pogrom is one of the best documented events of Polish postwar history, described not only in official documents filed in communist and ecclesiastical archives (the former have been declassified after 1989, while the latter are still largely inaccessible), but also in various personal testimonies of both Poles and Jews. Reports from Warsaw were also wired by foreign diplomats to their governments, e.g. by Ambassador Victor Cavendish-Bentinck to the British Foreign Office1 and Ambassador Arthur Bliss-Lane to the US Department of State.2 Arieh Kochavi has researched the correspondence between the latter institution and the Vatican, showing that blood libel rumors which preceded all Polish pogroms were taken seriously in the ecclesiastical state3.

The tabooization of the pogrom by Communist authorities resulted in a multitude of conspiracy theories, of which the following three were the most important:

  • The official theory, claiming that the pogrom was started by the anti-Communist underground.
  • The second theory, claiming it was a deliberate provocation by Communist security forces, which in cooperation with NKVD tried to diminish foreign sympathy for Poland, and to draw attention away from the rigged referendum.4

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  • The third theory, viewing the pogrom as a Zionist attempt to initiate a mass Jewish emigration to Palestine.5

It seemed that once the archives were declassified, the issue would instantaneously be clarified. However, it was not so. After 1989, researchers found large quantities of archival material, which was nonetheless inconclusive.6 After reviewing the documents, experts Krystyna Kersten and Andrzej Paczkowski asked in surprise why “none of the documents produced by the Polish Workers Party authorities contained at least a broad analysis of the causes of this pogrom.”7 Consequently, an official investigation intended to answer such questions was initiated in the 1990s. One decade later, the investigators produced two tomes of sources8 and concluded that they had found nothing that could confirm the provocation hypothesis.9

Historians, relieved of the weight of conspiracy theories, transferred their efforts to the field of historical sociology. Researchers started to explore the social aspect of the pogrom, analyzing connections between nationalism and Catholicism,10 and also the mythological background of the blood libel.11

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In this chapter, I continue in this line of research, inscribing the Kielce pogrom into the structure of Victor Turner’s social drama.12 The hypothetical chronology of the Kielce events presented here simultaneously constitutes an interpretation13 of the causes of the pogrom and its contextualization in time.

Social Drama – Field and Arena

Turner uses this term to describe “isolable and minutely describable units of social process,” manifesting themselves in “public episodes of tensional irruption,” when the interests and attitudes of various groups are in obvious opposition.14 Social drama is a process that undermines social paradigms;15 as Kurt Lewin puts it, this occurs in the non-harmonic phase of the social process,16 which usually involves a multitude of changes. In accordance with the Freudian principle that inversions and disorders give us a greater insight into the social reality than its direct study, social drama reveals a usually inaccessible normative foundation.

The period of the introduction of communist rule in Poland, spanning the years just after the end of the war, can be viewed as a series of social dramas playing out in different arenas17 and in different fields.18 The square in front of the Jewish shelter at 7 Planty Street in Kielce became one of these arenas. The ←275 | 276→character of the drama played out here was determined by two factors: spectacle and violence. Their combination often compels people to engage in what Clifford Geertz calls “deep play,” a situation whereby – just like in a Balinese cockfight – one plays “out of his league,” putting all the eggs in one basket.

During deep play […] one at the same time plays for something more than just material gain; it is the social esteem, honor, dignity, and respect – to sum it up […] the status.19

The full social analysis of this field needs to be postponed until the conclusion of the research into the personnel files of the militiamen based at the 45 Sienkiewicza Street station and of the State Security officers on the municipal, district, and provincial levels. However, an analysis from the political point of view is possible based on Turner, who has analyzed the Mexican Revolution in a similar manner.20 Based on Turner, the political field of this event will be defined as “an entirety of relationships between actors aspiring to identical rewards or values”. The relationships that bind the actors include values, meanings, or resources. They compel the actors of the drama to (1) compete for prizes and/ or shared resources; to (2) safeguard a particular distribution of resources; and to (3) uphold or undermine a particular normative order. Turner terms these three aspects of activity “orientation.”21

In the case of the Kielce pogrom, orientation mainly refers to a broadly conceived territoriality22 (to use a term derived from ethological discourse). It manifested itself in a confrontation between three groups with differing ideas about security and the right to defend oneself (crucial in the context of the attackers’ conviction that children were being endangered by Jews), and also about the right to punish those who pose a threat. At the beginning of the pogrom, before officers from these institutions regrouped (some of them joined the mob), the crowd was competing for this right with the representatives of the authorities, namely the Citizens’ Militia (MO), State Security (UB), and the Polish Army (WP).

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The Jews were the object of the mob’s grievances. The designation of this group (“the Jews”) should be put in quotation marks due to its extreme mythologization in the eyes of the attackers.23 The relationship between the Kielce mob and the Jews was strikingly asymmetrical (the Jews did not realize this), and at the same time illusory, as it appealed to irrational primal fears: rivalry over children, which the Jews had allegedly abducted in order to use their blood to recuperate after the sufferings endured during the Holocaust.24

Another aspect of the asymmetrical relationship was the rivalry with Jews over “scarce resources,” rooted in demographic, social, and financial status issues. This rivalry was also exacerbated by the lack of food. Jews returning from concentration camps were being subsidized by the government, UNRRA, and the Joint (American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee),25 and were therefore viewed as rich. Let me quote two contradictory descriptions, which might help the reader form an opinion about the group inhabiting the Jewish shelter at 7 Planty Street in Kielce, and about their neighbors’ perceptions of them:

It was a dreary, horribly dreary, austere house, with people dressed in dark, dressed in grey, well, very sad. Sad and shocking. I can recall to this very day that as I came out of that house I gave such a sigh of relief, as there was…. How should I explain that ambience of that house to you? The house was, kind of, as if after a funeral, you know, like when a lot of people gather together when the funeral is over. Sad ones, depressed, despondent. Well, such was, such was the impression you could get of that house. … They looked like a group that’s all the time awaiting something, that they’ll go somewhere, find someone somewhere, and later start a normal life somewhere. It was a kind of temporary shelter.26

The second opinion comes from a Kielce resident, who as a teenage girl was seeking help in the Jewish shelter for her mother, who had been arrested:

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[…] they [disgusted] me… I didn’t even go upstairs to hang the laundry to dry, but preferred to hang it in the back yard….

But why was that so repulsive?

How should I know why?

Were they so poor, then?

Poor they were not, as they had everything aplenty, as they were getting [things] from America. They were getting various parcels; they had things to eat. Various… even – you could say – gourmet ones too … such as fruit or … anything, chocolate, they had everything….27

Viewing the six-hour pogrom as a failed intervention by the security forces, the rivalry between the Citizens’ Militia and the State Security becomes very important for our understanding of how the drama unfolded. They constitute the third, sharply divided pair of actors, competing as they were for social influence, funding, and a position in the hierarchy of power.

Part 1.The Unfolding of the Pogrom

Historians have reconstructed the unfolding of the pogrom as follows:28

1. A few weeks before July 4, 1946, news about missing children started spreading in Kielce. Leaflets appeared with announcements about the search for these children29 and priests were reading them out loud at mass. Four decades later, the son of a duty officer of the Kielce fire department, who was a teenager at the time, recalls:

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Then I come to school and suddenly I learn that “And y’know, y’know … Antek Wawszczyk has been taken for matzos… Gienek Bieńkowski has been taken for matzos…. A few, several, ten [kids] have disappeared…. I think no less than ten boys. In a poor working family, postwar times, right – the boy isn’t home, so what, he’s run off somewhere, God knows where he’s gone, the usual. A day or two before the events, before this thing that happened, maybe a couple of days, they started coming back. What did they say to their Daddies, what did Gienek say to his Daddy? ‘They took me to this house and there they beat me and turned me around in a barrel studded with nails for matzos, because they were taking my blood for matzos. And then they let me go.’” […] That’s the legend of kidnapping for matzos at Passover; tell me another, in July, […] for Passover! – knuckleheads, but who would have known?30

The testimony of a priest from Kielce shows that in the 1980s, the blood libel still retained much of its former charm:

[T]here have been rumors, well, in medieval times there might have been some such attitudes somewhere, here and there, maybe really – nowadays there are blood transfusions – in the olden days it could be, right, that different nations, the weaker ones, would use that blood, right, that of another man, right. This is about children’s blood, to fill up on it a little. But it might have been some time in those mediaeval times, in more ancient history….31

2. The event that sparked the pogrom was the disappearance of nine-year old Henryk (Henio) Błaszczyk, son of a Kielce tailor. Returning home on July 3, after he had been missing for two days, he told his parents that he had been held in a cellar, from which he had managed to escape. An investigation later revealed that he had gone to the village of Pielaki, twenty-five kilometers away, in order to bring cherries offered by an acquaintance. The neighbors32 who were listening to the conversation immediately suggested that the boy had been abducted by Jews, and they convinced his father to report it to the militia. He did so at about 11 p.m., and was told to come back the following day. On July 4 at around 8 a.m., Walenty Błaszczyk and his son set out for the Citizens’ Militia station on ←279 | 280→45 Sienkiewicza Street. On their way, they passed by the house at 7 Planty Street, which in addition to housing the Jewish Committee, a religious congregation, and an Ihud Party kibbutz served as a home to the majority of the hundred or so Kielce Jews, mainly repatriates from the USSR. A neighbor that had come along with the Błaszczyks suggested to the boy that this was indeed the house where he had been held. The child identified one of the inhabitants of the house, Kalman Singer, an Orthodox Jew, as the person who had lured him in.

3. The evaluation of the situation by Edmund Zagórski,33 the commanding officer of the militia station at 45 Sienkiewicza Street, was of fundamental importance in determining the course of events. He ordered his subordinate to bring in the person identified by little Henryk. He sent a patrol of six militiamen to accompany the father, the son and their neighbor to Planty Street; on their way there, they were telling people that the Jews had kidnapped the boy. The space in front of the shelter started filling with people. Singer was arrested despite the involvement of Dr. Seweryn Kahane, chairman of the Jewish Committee, who had personally intervened at the militia station. Deputy Provincial MO Commander Kazimierz Gwiazdowicz, who had been informed about the matter, ordered Singer to be interrogated; at the militia station, Singer was beaten up.

Zagórski’s next step caused an escalation of anti-Jewish emotions and the mob started to grow. He ordered the investigating officer, Stefan Sędek, to send out another patrol in order to establish from which cellar the boy had run away, and to bring in the owner of the house and the cellar (despite Dr. Kahane’s explanation that there was no cellar in the house at 7 Planty Street, built on the banks of a small river, Sinica). The patrol of about fourteen militiamen, some uniformed and some in plain clothes, set out for Planty Street accompanied by the Błaszczyks. On their way there, the officers again announced that they were going to surround the Jewish shelter, which they intended to search for murdered children. Once there, they found out that the house indeed had no cellar. The boy started changing the details of his story, now claiming to have been held ←280 | 281→“in a shed,”34 then “in a kennel.” The building was surrounded and they started the search. By that time (about 9.30 a.m.), more than fifty people had already assembled in the square. Another patrol sent out by Gwiazdowicz was ordered to disperse the crowd and bring in the persons spreading the rumor about the children murdered by Jews. After his arrival at the station, Commander Gwiazdowicz personally took command of the Citizens’ Militia activities.

4. At 9 a.m., Władysław Sobczyński, head of the Provincial Office of Public Security (WUBP), refused to send troops out to Planty Street to protect the Jews.35 He became involved in the operation only half an hour later, when he was informed by the Ministry of Public Security officials that MO had surrounded the shelter and were searching it. Concluding that “the matter is [of] political [nature], it is a provocation,”36 and therefore falls under the jurisdiction of the State Security, he ordered Gwiazdowicz to cede command to him, to send Singer and the Błaszczyks over to the WUBP, and to recall the militiamen from the building. (Colonel Shpilevoy from NKVD – the Soviet consultant at the WUBP – likewise asked MO to halt its operation.) As Gwiazdowicz refused to submit to his authority, Sobczyński sent out his own officers, instructing them to protect the shelter together with the militia. Guards were posted at all three entrances to the building.37

However, the Citizens’ Militia and State Security soon had a conflict about the jurisdiction. On October 4, 1995, Antoni Kręglicki, a witness in the IPN investigation into the Kielce pogrom, testified that while the militiamen were trying to assess the situation in the Jewish shelter, two Willys jeeps full of State Security officers arrived and attempted to “stop the militiamen by force”. “This resulted in mutual brawling and beating. They even managed to apprehend about 3 officers and put them in the vehicles.”38 The crowd that had gathered there came to the defense of the militiamen, shouting: “Don’t touch the militiamen, who want to find the bloodsuckers [assaulting] our children!” and attempting to turn over the vehicles. The UB officers left almost immediately, bringing the arrested militiamen with them. Other witness statements show that the MO patrol commanding officer objected to escorting the Błaszczyks to the WUBP. As a result, all the ←281 | 282→militiamen, except a plainclothes investigator, were detained and taken to the WUBP together with the Błaszczyks.39

Meanwhile the mob, which supported the militiamen in their conflict with UB, had grown to about 150 individuals, including a number of women lamenting the fate of lost children.40 UB officers who argued that the rumor was a mere provocation met with open hostility from the crowd. According to the report written by two MBP (Ministry of Public Security) officials, Jan Jurkowski and Henryk Gutowski, the mob answered with political exhortations: “Down with the Jewish lackeys, down with the Security, down with the communist government.”

The material gathered by the Episcopal Curia shows that the crowd reacted to the officers’ statements that they had found no traces confirming the presence of any Polish children with cries such as: “Go away, let us civilians in, we will do the search, because the militia and the army are Jewish lackeys.”41 Since the situation was becoming critical, two UB officers, Jan Mucha and Albert Grynbaum, asked Sobczyński to send in the army.42 Sobczyński passed this request on to the Internal Security Corps (KBW) Headquarters and to the Commander of the 2nd Warsaw Infantry Division, Colonel Stanisław Kupsza, who replied that the troops were on maneuvers and he could therefore send only forty soldiers; it took them some forty minutes to reach Planty Street. Under the circumstances, Sobczyński stopped insisting on the Citizens’ Militia’s retreat and asked Gwiazdowicz to send in more men.43

5. The first military troops (about 100 soldiers from various divisions) arrived at Planty Street between 10 and 10.30 a.m. According to Grynbaum’s testimony, the soldiers had received no instructions specifying the purpose of their intervention, and could therefore have presumed that they were supposed to join in the search for the children. As a result, “the military troops became confused, surrounded the Jewish Committee building, leaving the unruly mob intact.”44

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At about 10 a.m., stones began hitting the windows of the Jewish house.45 Seeing the passive attitude of the army and the militia, people came closer to the building, shouting: “Long live our army and the MO.” Emboldened, they started to bang on the door. As a result, at about 11.30 a.m., Major Markiewicz, commander of Kielce, entered the house together with the MO and KBW troops and the 2nd Division gendarmerie, and started the search. Civilians forced their way in along with them.46 This is how one of the witnesses recalls that moment:

At the beginning of the incident, the building was in fact protected by MO officers. But this didn’t last long, as the commander of the town of Kielce, Markiewicz, was present when the mob provoked by various suspicious elements was shouting and screaming, “Let us in, we’ll make them pay for it ourselves,” [then] various things like, “Down with the Jewish lackeys,”47 “Long live our army,” “Down with the Russian security that protects the Jews,” etc. Major Markiewicz, not giving any orders, was roaming around among the crowd, and then told the mob, “Well, go in, and see for yourselves, and look everywhere.48

Probably the first victim was Berel Frydman, a tinsmith,49 who was thrown out of a window. The first shots rang out from the second floor, which was initially accessible only to the army.50 The Chairman of the Jewish Committee, Dr. Seweryn ←283 | 284→Kahane, immediately telephoned Mieczysław Kwaśniewski from UB, asking him to inform Provincial Governor Eugeniusz Wiślicz-Iwańczyk (who was on sick leave that day) and Kielce Bishop Czesław Kaczmarek (who was out of town). Kahane was offered safe passage from the building, but he refused and was shot dead at 11 a.m. while on the phone with Kwaśniewski,51 by an unknown Polish Army lieutenant.52

Jews allegedly also fired shots in their own defense, although eyewitness testimonies are not unanimous on that point. One thing is certain: the army and the militia not only took part in the pogrom, but – as most Jewish and Polish testimonies show – played the role of its catalyst:

The militiamen, together with the army, were the first to force their way into the Jewish house. The militia were dragging the Jewish victims out of the house, and passing them on to the mob.53

The conduct of militiamen from the station in Sienkiewicza Street was the worst. They were mixing with the civilians and saying, “Poles, have no fear.” One of the soldiers was shouting that he had seen corpses of four children in quicklime, and the militiaman [Ludwik Pustula54] at the entrance door screamed that his child was dead and in this house.55

An MO officer “Furman was provoking the mob by shouting, ‘Look for the children!’”56 The soldiers were likewise inciting the crowd with their conduct. ←284 | 285→A PUBP (Powiatowy Urząd Bezpieczeństwa Publicznego, District Office of Public Security) officer Albert Grynbaum57 remembers that WP troops, along with a Polish woman with a small boy, forced their way in to a room with forty Jews squeezed inside.58 When he tried to stop them by saying: “No provoction, take this woman away somewhere,” one of the soldiers aimed a submachine gun at him and threatened him, “Shut up or I’ll shoot you like a dog!”59

WUBP commander Sobczyński and Soviet consultant Shpilevoy arrived at Planty Street only at half past ten, dressed in plain clothes.60 No steps were taken to stop the massacre. Sobczyński soon returned to WUBP headquarters, where he repeatedly tried to organize reinforcements. Without appropriate command, the security forces acted chaotically,61 which reproduced the animosity between the provincial MO commander, the WUBP commander, and the commander of the 2nd Infantry Division. At about 11 a.m., following the intervention of provincial MO commander Colonel Wiktor Kuźnicki, the 2nd Infantry Division commander Colonel Stanisław Kupsza ordered a unit to deploy in Planty Street. One of the witnesses said: “It was tragic that a Jew, Major [Kazimierz] Konieczny, was the commanding officer of this unit. He was running around, shouting and whistling at the soldiers to stop shooting the Jews, but nobody listened to ←285 | 286→him.”62 Also around 11 a.m. the fire department (which Sobczyński had tried to call in twice) arrived on the scene, but because of the attitude of the people assembled, water was not used to disperse the crowd;63 according to other witness statements, the firefighters’ hoses had been slashed.64 Konieczny’s troops finally managed to ensure the protection of the building. After a while, militia cadets sent over by Gwiazdowicz arrived and dispersed the crowd.

Thanks to momentary calm, it was possible to take some of the injured to hospital. However, the unrest had spread to other parts of town. Jews dragged out of their houses or seen on the streets were beaten and robbed. Many of the pogrom perpetrators were drunk. Some of them, fatigued by their murderous deeds, went to have a drink, after which they came back to join the unrest.

An assault on a Polish woman with a Semitic look was deemed a mistake,65 just like the assault on a Jewish woman who looked like a Pole.

When I heard shouts and that the crowd is going to Planty 7, I stepped out to the balcony. Not just me, but also many other people were out on the balconies, watching what was going on. I saw the crowd rolling through the street. In the street, Mrs. Dejbuch was walking with her little girl. The crowd surrounded her. They started to shout “Jewess!” and to attack her. Luckily, the child had fair hair and did not look like a Jewess. She started to cry that she was not a Jewess, and then somebody said, “Look at her child, this is not a Jewish child.” And that’s how she saved herself. But in that moment, I was ←286 | 287→recognized, and I heard [a cry], “A Jewess on the balcony!” Where? All raised their eyes looking for the Jewess on the balcony. I was saved by a sudden instinct: I did not run away from the balcony, but started to look around too, searching for the Jewess.66

Intense violence is conducive to collective regression. Wartime behavior patterns toward the Jews returned: denunciations and verifications of circumcision, a habit among the szmalcowniks. Once again, the “right looks” determined someone’s life or death, along with the knowledge of Catholic hymns and prayers and of the Polish version of the shibboleth.67

Many witnesses testified to the odd indifference displayed by the Kielce UB commander Sobczyński.68 During the pogrom, he was initially in Planty Street, where he took no action, and then at the UB headquarters. Edmund Kwasek, a PUBP employee, testified:

I saw two people, probably Jews, and the mob running after them […] they were brought to the front of the Division building, and then I noticed that Major Sobczyński came out to the balcony with the commander of the [2nd] Division [of the Polish Army, Colonel Stanisław Kupsza], and did not react at all to the people shouting “Beat the Jew!”69

6. A renewed attack on the Jewish shelter took place after 12.30 p.m., when about 600 workers from the Ludwików Foundry arrived armed with bats, crowbars, and stones. The workers had allegedly been recruited by little Henio Błaszczyk’s uncle, who worked as a watchman in the foundry.70 There were shouts of “Jews murdered ←287 | 288→Polish children, the militia is shooting the people.”71 Information that the workers were about to leave the foundry was given to the WUBP chief by the director of the foundry.72 Sobczyński again reacted belatedly, not sending out the WUBP cadet troops that had been assembled in front of the UB building since 12.30 p.m. Instead, he sent two UB officers to the foundry, urging the secretary of the PPR Provincial Committee to call a meeting and address the crowd. This was ineffective. Sobczyński also faced resistance at the meeting held in the secretary’s office with the deputy governor of the province and the PPR Provincial Committee’s human resources director. The list of excuses is long: “[PPR Secretary] Kalinowski didn’t want PPR to be accused of defending the Jews, [Deputy District Governor] Henryk Urbanowicz was worried that he looked Jewish, [and Director of Human Resources] Julian Lewin – because he really was a Jew.”73

In the meantime the workers broke through the army cordon and forced their way into the building. According to Grynbaum’s testimony, “When the workers from the Ludwików Foundry arrived, the murdering and the looting started anew. As a result, about fifteen [in fact twenty] people were killed.” An eyewitness, whose testimony was found at the Episcopal Curia, stated:

The workers ran into the courtyard and the lynching started for the second time, [and again] as they started killing the Jews. In the crowd of workers from the Ludwików Foundry, there was the father of [an allegedly] missing child, who kept shouting in despair, “For the innocent blood of my son,” as he split [open] a Jew’s skull with a large wrench.

They were joined by soldiers and militiamen, provoked by a new rumor, this time about the “killing of a Polish officer”.

Intense rioting lasted for more than an hour. It was ended by the arrival of army troops (fifty of Lieutenant-Colonel Pollak’s soldiers). After firing a few rounds in the air, they managed to remove the people from the courtyard and the street. With their aggression turning against the commander, shouts of “soldiers, shoot him in the head, because he’s a Jew” were heard.

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7. The army and the militia surrounded the building again. The wounded and the dead started to be taken away. At about 3.30 p.m., army troops from the vicinity of Warsaw arrived in Kielce and a curfew was imposed.

Investigation and Trials

An investigation into the pogrom was launched the following day, eventually leading to the arrest of the UB (Sobczyński) and the MO (Kuźnicki, Gwiazdowicz) commanding officers. However, their trials did not reveal the magnitude of the conflict between the institutions.

Numerous witnesses accused Sobczyński of lack of initiative and antisemitism, but the death of Albert Grynbaum at the beginning of August 1946 effectively changed their minds. Just like after the Kraków pogrom in August 1945, similarly involving both the army and the militia, the authorities had no intention of investigating the extent of individual soldiers’ crimes. This was also influenced by Grynbaum’s inability to testify. The circumstances of Seweryn Kahane’s death were not clarified either, as is apparent from Izrael Terkieltaub’s account cited above; indeed, he was not even called in to give a statement. Negligence also manifests itself in the number of unidentified bodies (five unidentified females, thirteen unidentified circumcised males,74 and – probably – two unidentified uncircumcised males75) of the pogrom victims.76

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The investigation was run by a special MBP commission, chaired by Grzegorz Korczyński.77 During the first days of the inquiry, dozens of people were arrested, including militiamen from both patrols, MO station commander Zagórski, WUBP head Sobczyński, MO commander Kuźnicki, his deputy Gwiazdowicz, and also Henio Błaszczyk’s father and neighbor. According to the accounts of Jewish pogrom victims, even UB officers of Jewish origin were discouraging them from testifying against the militia and the army.78 At the Supreme Court Martial trial, which opened promptly on July 10, the defendants included eight random individuals from the crowd (all but one were men) and four individuals who had murdered Regina Fisz and her little son. The social status of the defendants is reflected in their occupations: a barber, a janitor, a paver, a locksmith, a tailor, a baker, a guard, a professional petty officer, and a housewife. The pogrom victims were not allowed into the courtroom,79 and none of them were called as witnesses.80 The prosecution did not allow one of the witnesses to testify about the troops’ conduct;81 this aspect was earmarked for separate proceedings, never reaching a conclusion. Nine death sentences were handed down and carried out the following day.

Between August 1946 and March 1947, nine further trials of thirty other pogrom participants were held at the Provincial Court in Kielce. However, the judicial proceedings did not aim to find the real murderers; instead, the investigation ←290 | 291→concentrated on minor details, such as petty theft,82 but no attempt was made to identify those responsible for the deaths of specific individuals. According to historian Krzysztof Persak, this was a tendency within the communist judiciary:

As far as crimes against Jews were concerned, the judiciary worked mechanically, displaying an extreme lack of interest and indifference – because Jews were alien. This indifference is apparent, for instance, in that neither the courts nor the prosecution had bothered to identify the victims. The files largely contain general descriptions such as a Jewess, a group of Jews. The superficiality of the proceedings is striking. Nobody was interested in clarifying the matter.83

All the indictments were based on the officially declared version that the pogrom was the outcome of an underground conspiracy. However, there were no show trials in the wake of these statements, despite the July 26, 1946 arrest of Jerzy Franciszek Jaskólski “Zagończyk”,84 one of the most important figures of the post-AK militant underground in the Kielce region. In spite of information about Walenty Błaszczyk’s membership in the National Armed Forces (NSZ) (disclosed by the first WUBP chief in Kielce, Adam Kornecki85), none of the defendants in the Kielce trial was accused of being a member of a paramilitary group.

Part II.Victor Turner’s Social Drama

Social drama consists of a succession of four distinct phases:

Proceeding from breach of some relationship regarded as crucial in the relevant social group, which provides not only its setting but many of goals, through a phase of rapidly mounting crisis in the direction of the group’s major dichotomous cleavage,86 to the ←291 | 292→application of legal or ritual means of redress or reconciliation between the conflicting parties which compose the action set. The final stage is either the public and symbolic expression of reconciliation or else of irremediable schism.87

Let us inscribe the events of the Kielce pogrom into the above sequence.

1. BREACH. The breach came with the decision of Edmund Zagórski (possibly involving also his deputy, Stefan Sędek), commander of the Citizens’ Militia Station at 45 Sienkiewicza Street, to consider the Błaszczyks’ story a criminal case. Investigation into child abduction perpetrated by Jews legitimized the blood libel and as such constituted a breach of normative behavior. The mob that attacked the shelter in the crisis phase took its cue from the militiamen’s lead.

Meanwhile, the investigators sent over to 7 Planty Street picked up the signal and started spreading the rumor around the town. The attitude of the militiamen manning the 45 Sienkiewicz Street station toward the Jews hardly differed from that of the authors of a leaflet issued after the Kielce pogrom by the underground organization Freedom and Independence. This leaflet speaks of “a nine-year old boy, who by a miracle wrenched himself out from Satanic-Communist-Jewish hands on July 1, after three days of being starved, on the day he was about to be murdered.”88

2. CRISIS. Additional militiamen accompanying the Błaszczyks around town and setting off the pogrom with inflammatory rumors were the emissaries of the crisis. Sobczyński, commander of the Kielce WUBP, made a fruitless attempt to avert the conflict (Turner places such an attempt at the very beginning of the crisis) by arguing that this was “a political provocation,” subject to his jurisdiction. However, Gwiazdowicz from the MO Province Headquarters insisted on his definition of the case. A skirmish between the militiamen and the WUBP officers ensued. The mob protected the militiamen and accused UB of “protecting the Jews.” This was how the fundamental opposition in the conflict was created: with UB, meaning “the Jews,” on one side and MO, meaning “the Poles”, on the other. To satisfy the mob, municipal military commander Markiewicz allowed civilians to enter the shelter so they could see for themselves that there were no children.

Turner explains that the crisis phase “exposes the pattern of current factional intrigue hitherto covert and privately conducted, within the relevant social group”.89 This covert factional intrigue is represented by the conflict between MO and UB, and its exposure would have had a negative impact on the public image ←292 | 293→of communist authorities. As a result, the breach has a tendency to widen, extending until it corresponds to a certain dominant cleavage in a set of social relations relevant to conflicting groups.90

A volume of collected sources on the Kielce pogrom, published in 2008, includes Arnon Rubin’s overview of Notatki do raportu, written by Adolf Berman, an eminent Jewish activist in Poland. This series of notes contains cries of the mob emitted just before it forced its way into the shelter. “Twelve of our children have been murdered there!”; “You lousy Jews, you brought Jesus Christ to Golgotha, now we’ll teach you!”91 These two cries represent a sort of a shortened syllogism,92 given that according to the blood libel legend, the way of killing the children was supposed to be a replication of Christ’s sufferings. This impression is intensified by exclamations known from other sources, such as, “Did Christ’s blood taste good to you?”93 and “Blood for the blood of our children.”94 Turner argues that in social dramas,

[p]eople consciously, preconsciously or unconsciously take on roles which carry with them, if not precisely recorded scripts, deeply engraved tendencies to act and speak in suprapersonal or representative ways appropriate to the role taken, and to prepare the way to a certain climax to approximate the nature of the climax given in a certain central myth of the death or victory of a hero or heroes […] in which they have been deeply indoctrinated or socialized or enculturated in a vulnerable or impressionable year of infancy, childhood, or latency […]. Another way of putting it would be that collective representations had displaced individual representations.95

Incursion of religious symbolism signals the upcoming culminating point of the pogrom: uncovering the dominant cleavage in its most archaic version: “Jews – Christians.” The pogrom recaptures what could be called, following Freud, a ←293 | 294→“primal scene” of Christianity.96 The script the Catholics in the mob and the Catholics in the army and the militia were re-enacting was the Passion. The Jews had clear-cut roles in it, unalterable even by the fact that they themselves were the victims. The mob fought in defense of the children, but in fact it defended Christ.97

In the emerging Passion communitas, asymmetrical relations become egalitarian (crowd – people in uniforms), while the egalitarian ones become asymmetrical (UB vs. MO and WP). This can be illustrated with an example of WP soldiers threatening a UB officer, Albert Grynbaum, with a submachine gun.98 This is corroborated by Jechiel (Chil) Alpert’s testimony:

A young woman was standing there, shouting: “You had it coming! You killed Jesus, and now you’ll pay for this. You have drunk our blood long enough!” I asked her to leave, but a soldier approached and told me, “Leave her alone, otherwise you’ll have to deal with me.”99

Ethnicity is the nominal marker of the communitas that is created. However, the defining agent of the dominant cleavage is not pure, if “purity” is actually relevant ←294 | 295→here at all. Given the stigmatization and gratification it implies, the classification marker always creates a semantic surplus. All those who “defend the Jews” become “Jews” themselves. Where the Jew is an enemy, the enemy becomes a “Jew.”

Turner argues that the longer the yearning for the communitas has been subdued, the more fantastic forms it takes in its fulfilment phase. People “are mad to establish the kingdom (or republic) of heaven on earth, and they proceed compulsively to eliminate whatever they feel represents the obstacle to their desire”.100 Turner emphasizes that revolutions and other overwhelming social movements are characterized by etiology and acceleration, which are impossible to explain in the categories of functional analysis. They are supposed to resemble the overwhelming desire for climax and culmination known from Gestalt psychology.101 This is the source of the feeling of “inevitability” and of the contagion of the process, which spreads to other groups. This results in what can be called – borrowing a term from the title of a book by David Nirenberg102communitas of violence. Due to the contagion of violence, this communitas spreads easily, which is apparent in the conduct of militia officer Błachut, one of the few officers sentenced after the pogrom. At first, he was removing civilians from the Jewish premises, but when he saw soldiers beating the Jews, he too started beating them.103 The very rumor about the kidnapped children was just as contagious, as shown in Andrzej Drożdżeński’s diary:

[Jurkowski, 40, musician]:

[…][I heard], “Jews have killed the children.” I say, “That’s impossible.” They tell me, “Well, you’ll see, you’ll see.” My blood boils, and I start shouting like them, “Men, go get the Jews, go get the Jews!”104

←295 | 296→

Scenes falling into Goldhagen’s category of a “carnivalesque glee”105 were being played out in the background:

Szyling Piotr, a prison guard in Kielce, having arrived at the scene of the incident and seeing a woman of Jewish origin run across the square, started hitting and kicking her until she fell to the ground. Seeing this, the assembled crowd started throwing Szyling in the air, shouting “Long live!” and the woman who was lying on the ground seized the opportunity and ran away.106

3. MEANS OF REDRESS. Turner claims that in the phase of crisis, the true state of affairs reveals itself with such force that it is impossible to pretend any longer “that there is nothing rotten in the village”.107 This is when attempts at redressive action appear, constituting the next phase of the drama. Formal mechanisms (bringing in additional army troops, militiamen, and fire-fighters) and informal mechanisms (Sobczyński’s attempts to contact the commanding officers of the Russian garrison,108 the mayor of Kielce, PPR First Secretary Jechiel Alpert, or Governor Wiślicz-Iwańczyk, and telephone calls to Kielce clergy109) are put in motion in order to stop the murder. Turner claims that escalation is still a possibility in this phase, which in this case was manifested by the second attack on the shelter after the arrival of the Ludwików Foundry workers around 1 p.m.

The redressive phase of social drama consists of a series of ineffectual moves to stop the violence, renewed until the low point of the drama is reached. This seems to be embodied by a symbol-laden shibboleth scene110 – the identity check of Polish Army soldier Maks Erlbaum, whom his brother in arms refuses to help. Erlbaum begs, “Lieutenant, I am a Pole, save me,” to which the officer, looking at the military identity card, replies, “There is no religion [marked] here.” Thanks to the advantages of performativity, which directly manages to express the most inaccessible cultural scripts, we can hereby observe a spectacular clash ←296 | 297→of two meanings of Polishness: the civic, introduced by the Lublin Government in 1944; and the traditional, based on confessional criteria. Assuming that the pogrom, a form of ethnic cleansing, was an attempt to defend the traditional dominant cleavages, it can be considered an emblematic conflict. Communitas of violence is thus a form of revenge for the Communist attempt at appropriating “Polishness”.111

4. REINTEGRATION. According to Turner, the final phase of social drama consists in the reintegration of the disturbed group, or on the acceptance and legitimization of the schism.112 If we admit that the “disturbed group” responsible for the outbreak of the Kielce pogrom corresponds to the milieu of Kielce militiamen, it seems that the fourth phase of the social drama in Kielce consisted of both possibilities. Among the outcomes of the pogrom was a seeming reintegration or rather re-socialization of the militia; however, in reality it amounted to a progressive legitimization and normalization of the politics of a rebellious faction, which would in 1956 culminate in a hostile takeover of communism by national communism. Although the MO commanders were dishonorably discharged and imprisoned after the pogrom, their modus operandi had been passed on to other repressive institutions. In the case of Kielce this was already apparent from the conduct of WUBP commander Sobczyński. It was not a conscious intention on the part of the authorities, but rather a result of the conformist mentality of ←297 | 298→politicians accustomed to local antisemitism; historical conditions; intra-party conflicts113; and the demoralizing tactics of “turning a blind eye.” Communist striving for legitimacy was a dominant part of this process, and the greatest hurdle was posed by being labeled a “party that defends Jews.”

Although the pogrom had been quelled, the eruption of violence in Kielce effectively paralyzed the local authorities. The following day saw the arrival of PPR instructors, who noted, “When Comrade Buczyński and Comrade Chełchowski arrived in Kielce, the situation looked as if the [PPR] Provincial Committee was packing its bags, preparing to flee.”114 The scope of the outburst had horrified the central government and forced it – if not to change its ethnic policy of creating an ethnically homogeneous Poland – then at least to accelerate its implementation. This necessity, which had been apparent for quite a while, was confirmed by the “difficulties” with the organization of meetings in factories, where the assemblies would not only refuse to condemn the perpetrators of the Kielce pogrom, but would also issue their own antisemitic statements.115 Since then, any complaints about antisemitism filed by Jews were hushed up, and the phenomenon itself was classified as “anti-democratic banditry.” Not only did the authorities not treat the Kielce incident as a symptom of problems in their own ranks, but they also canceled measures that had been planned earlier. For example, the Decree on Antisemitism, which was supposed to be issued in the autumn of 1945, fell through.116 Instead, it was substituted by the establishment of the post of commissioner for issues related to the productivization of Jews, a consequence of ←298 | 299→accepting the Marxist interpretation of antisemitism as a class problem.117 Hilary Chełchowski ends his Kielce report by saying:

In the future, we should avoid this system of organization concerning the Jews, who concentrate in one area and do not undertake productive work, but still have an excellent standard of living; they devote themselves to various kinds of speculation, very often to the detriment of the government, and elements hostile to us take advantage of all this.118

The memoirs of Joseph Tennenbaum, who visited Poland in the spring of 1946, contain a mention of a question that he put to President Bolesław Bierut, wondering about the complete absence of show trials against antisemites in Poland. As a response, Bierut cited legal difficulties, but it was clearly just an excuse. The communists did not want to end up like Fousiwe, a South American leader, about whom Pierre Clastres writes, “He saw himself deserted by his tribe for having to thrust on his people a war they did not want.”119

Minister of Security Stanisław Radkiewicz responded even more forthrightly to a similar question asked by delegates from the Central Committee of Jews in Poland. “Do you want me to exile 18 million Poles to Siberia?”120

In the spotlight of Turner’s theory, some distinct features of the local Polish political scene become clear.

  1. After entering Poland in the tow of the Red Army, communist authorities started implementing policies that Jan Gross calls the privatization of state.121 This resulted in demoralization in the MO and UB ranks, manifesting itself in universal looting of property, which was called “post-Jewish” long before the ←299 | 300→legitimate owners ceased to claim it. Local governments were based on cronyism and zblatowanie – a particular exchange of favors, often between nominal political opponents.
  2. Despite the slogans on the banners waved by communist authorities, the officials within the Kielce MO, as well as within UB and WP (judging by the number of rank-and-file officers who had been sentenced), shared similar social and religious antisemitic views.
  3. This interdependence meant that in spite of the continuous presence of the Soviet Army in Poland, local communist authorities largely remained hostage to public opinion. Respecting the ban on using weapons to protect the Jews, they normally preferred to sacrifice the latter instead of their own minimal authority.
  4. The Kielce experience taught the central government that whereas Poles could accept such ideological categories as social justice, communist forms of social and economic life, “dictatorship of the proletariat,” etc., they would not accept internationalism, meaning equal rights for Jews and subordination of national independence to relations with the USSR. This resulted in a policy that was at first silent regarding the true causes of the Kielce pogrom and later tried to silence the Jews themselves, encouraging mass emigration and abolishing all forms of Jewish social and religious life in Poland after 1948. Finally, when this continued to prove ineffectual, it started using official antisemitism as a self-legitimizing tool. This led to successive waves of Jewish emigration from Poland, the final one in the form of expulsion in 1968.

Primary Process and Secondary Processes

Analyzing the Mexican Revolution, Turner (based on Freud) distinguishes a primary process and secondary processes in social activities. The former is supposed to stem from deep collective needs, the realization of which has for a long time been censured or blocked by secondary processes, responsible for “the homeostatic functioning of institutionalized social structure,”122 and managed by social and political elites. Its inveteracy in essential needs gives the primary process “urgency and momentum, which usually sweeps away persons and groups who attempt to curb its excesses by the application of ethical and legal sanctions based on established principles”. This also gives it an impetuous course, marked with outbursts of violence (or creativeness), in which “a whole hidden social ←300 | 301→structure, richly clothed in symbols, may be suddenly revealed.”123 The Kielce pogrom can thus be considered an emblematic example of the eruption of the primary process, exposing a little-known aspect of the communitas, as well as violence in general124 (definitely even more rarely discussed125 in anthropology). As part of the pogrom mob, Communists and anti-Communists confronted the Jews together; AL soldiers stood shoulder to shoulder with NSZ members; and communist militiamen with the underground opposition soldiers. The emerging communitas defined itself as a protest against what it considered Judeocommunism. Antisemitism became a social cause that united Communists and anti-Communists alike.

Inspiration for the process that manifested itself in postwar Polish pogroms did not lie in the rejection of communism, but in the desire to cleanse Poland of “aliens”, as the definitive establishment of “ourness” in a country whose identity had for centuries been defined by its opposition to Jews. Of course, communist authorities encountered defiance in Poland but, as Krystyna Kersten notes, in practice this defiance was mitigated by a realistic assessment of its chances and an overwhelming desire for normality. This conflict found a convenient solution in turning the aggression toward Judeo-communism, which can be viewed as an exemplary manifestation of myth as a tool for the reduction of contradictions (Claude Lévi-Strauss). The painful conflict between defiance and acceptance was accompanied by a previously unencountered “visibility” of Jews – including those who as Communists did not consider themselves Jewish anymore – manifesting itself by their posts in the administration, police, and the army.126

This visibility of Jews, resulting from their equal rights guaranteed by the PKWN Manifesto (July 20, 1944), undermined the traditional Polish dominant cleavages that assigned the Jews an inferior position. Their postwar promotion ←301 | 302→likewise violated the general idea about what postwar Poland was supposed to be like, which showed what kind of country it had actually been before the war. The conflict between defiance and acceptance, from which Poles were suffering in the postwar years, meant that the implication “Communists → Jews” fell on fertile soil in the form of the Jewish bloodsucker127 image common to all of Eastern Europe.128 All this meant that the Jews as a nation that had been almost completely annihilated in the Holocaust did not have a chance to enjoy the capital of social compassion in Poland.


It is difficult to help the impression that certain aspects of the Kielce pogrom have overtones over-reaching the framework of local history. It is connected with the traits of the legitimization process, shown in the above analysis. To clarify, allow me to cite an example of South American indigenous peoples, researched by Pierre Clastres, the author of Society against the State (1987) and Archeology of Violence (1980). They clearly show the relationship between chiefship, legitimization, and authority.

The structure of a small group is a result of repetitive relations of a small number of personae or types: the chief, the enemy, the prophet, the warrior. These figures, some of them purely negative, are defined by their mutual animosity. Thus the chief is defined by a complete lack of authority in the sense of coercion, the right to use violence; chiefship is therefore located outside the sphere of the use of political power. From the functionalist point of view, this rule seems absurd (how can chiefship and power be separate?), but in practice it works very well. The society entrusts the chief, a sort of unpaid civil servant, with certain tasks, essentially assuming its will to appear as a single entity, meaning a deliberate effort on the part of the community to affirm its unity, distinction, specificity, and independence from other communities.129 In fact the chief, who speaks in the ←302 | 303→name of the group, is its most controlled prisoner, representing the community “only inasmuch as this exteriority is interiorized.”130

The second one on the list is the Enemy, a stranger, a foreigner. This useful figure stands in opposition to the collective “us,” thus giving the group an opportunity to affirm itself by excluding him in a violent way; the enemy dies to ensure the continuity of the group.131

The antithesis to the Chief and the Enemy is the Prophet, who assumes a slightly different role than the latter. Instead of affirming the identity, he tempts the group with a vision of religious autotranscendence, actually representing its aspiration to something that is completely different (the ganz Andere or the “wholly Other” divinity concept). Accomplishment of this ideal would in fact paradoxically result in the group’s demise. The more the Prophet confronts the Chief, the more the latter tries to shed the control of the group, seizing transcendent power to which he is not entitled. In fact, in archaic societies researched by Clastres, authority is complemented by chiefship only in time of war.132

The picture is completed by the Warrior, an enemy unto himself, “destroying himself for the pursuit of glorious immortality.”133

Although this analogy may sound metaphorical, these four figures can easily be identified in the Kielce drama. The Communist Party is the Chief, Jews are the Enemy, the Church is the Prophet, and the pogrom mob is the Warrior. Wishing to change the country, the Chief manipulates the dominant cleavages, the roots of which lie in Church teachings. The Warrior exhausted by battle postpones the rebellion. He cannot, however, fail to protect the children from the Enemy. The violence is, as usual, very productive: the Enemy is defeated, the Prophet and the Warrior gain in strength. However, the one who has to change the most is the Chief, who after resocialization ardently strives to become similar to his people.

It is sometimes said that a people produces a tyrant. In the context of the changes in Polish communism, we should rather speak of a tyrant who unsuccessfully tried to produce a people.

1 Kochavi, Arieh: Post-Holocaust Politics: Britain, the United States and Jewish Refugees, 1945–1948. University of North Carolina Press: Chapel Hill 2001, p. 161.

2 Bliss-Lane, Arthur: I Saw Poland Betrayed: An American Ambassador Reports to the American People. Bobbs-Merrill: New York 1948.

3 Kochavi, Post-Holocaust Politics, p. 181: “The Vatican’s version of the causes of the Kielce pogrom reveals that there was little or no difference between Vatican antisemitism and that of the Polish bishops. A Vatican memorandum stated, among other things, that the ‘influx of [Russian] Jews into Poland coincided with the mysterious vanishing of Christian children. The Vatican totally accepted the fabrication that the child in Kielce had been kidnapped to draw his blood and expressed doubts only as to the number of Jewish victims in the pogrom.”

4 See e.g. Perkal, Jakub [Andrzej Paczkowski]: Życie polityczne w Polsce 1944–1948. Niezależna Oficyna Wydawnicza Nowa: Warsaw 1983, p. 25; also see Kersten, Krystyna: “Kielce – 4 lipca 1946 roku”. In: id.: Pisma rozproszone. Szarota, Tomasz / Libionka, Dariusz (eds.), Wydawnictwo Adam Marszałek: Toruń 2006, p. 273.

5 Orlicki, Józef: Szkice z dziejów stosunków polsko-żydowskich 1918–1949. Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza: Szczecin 1983.

6 Suggested volumes of sources include: Meducki, Stanisław / Wrona, Zenon (eds.): Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie 4 lipca 1946 roku. Dokumenty i materiały, vol. I. Kieleckie Towarzystwo Naukowe: Kielce 1992; Meducki, Stanisław (ed.): Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie 4 lipca 1946 roku. Dokumenty i materiały, vol. II. Kieleckie Towarzystwo Naukowe: Kielce 1994; Szaynok, Bożena: Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach 4 lipca 1946. Bellona 1992; Blus-Węgrowska, Danuta: Pogrom kielecki. (master’s thesis) Uniwersytet Warszawski: Warsaw 1994.

7 After: Rubin, Arnon: Facts and Fictions about the Rescue of the Polish Jewry during the Holocaust, Vol. VI: The Kielce Pogrom: Spontaneity, Provocation or a Country-wide Scheme. Tel Aviv University Press: Tel Aviv 2004, p. 144.

8 Żaryn, Jan / Kamiński, Łukasz (eds.): Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I. Instytut Pamięci Narodowej: Kielce and Warsaw 2006; id. (eds.): Wokół pogromu kieleckiego II. Instytut Pamięci Narodowej: Kielce and Warsaw 2008.

9 “Postanowienie o umorzeniu śledztwa w sprawie pogromu kieleckiego”. In: Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, pp. 441–483.

10 Gross, Jan T.: Strach. Antysemityzm w Polsce tuż po wojnie. Historia moralnej zapaści. Znak: Kraków 2008.

11 Zaremba, Marcin: “Mit mordu rytualnego w powojennej Polsce. Archeologia i hipotezy”. Kultura i Społeczeństwo 61(2), 2007, pp. 91–135.

12 In this chapter, I use concepts derived from Turner, Victor: Dramas, Fields and Metaphors: Symbolic Actions in Human Society. Cornell University Press: Ithaca and London 1974, pp. 32–45, 78–79; id.: Schism and Continuity in an African Society: A Study of Ndembu Village Life. Manchester University Press: Manchester 1957).

13 On the basis of subsumption and reduction. Following Paul Ricoeur (Ricoeur, Paul / Drwięga, Marek (transl.): Krytyka i przekonanie [La Critique et la Conviction]. KR: Warsaw 2003), I take subsumption to mean the exemplification of a rule, i.e. a way of explaining in which fact is subordinate to a rule; whereas reduction stands for explanation by reference to the level below.

14 Turner, Dramas, Fields and Metaphors, p. 33.

15 Ibid., 17.

16 As appearing in Turner’s reference to Lewin, Kurt: “Action Research and Minority Problems”. Journal of Social Issues 2(4), 1946, pp. 34–46.

17 “‘Arenas’ are the concrete settings in which paradigms become transferred into metaphors and symbols with reference to which political power is mobilized and in which there is trial of strength between influential paradigm-bearers,” Turner, Dramas, Fields and Metaphors, p. 17.

18 “[…] ‘fields’ are the abstract cultural domains where paradigms are formulated, established, and come into conflict. Such paradigms consist of sets of ‘rules’, from which many kinds of sequences of social action may be generated but which further specify what sequences must be excluded,” Turner, Dramas, Fields and Metaphors, p. 17.

19 Geertz, Clifford: The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays. Basic Books: New York 1973, p. 433; id.: “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight”. Daedalus 101, 1972, pp. 1–37.

20 Turner, Victor: “Hidalgo: Story as Social Drama”. In: id.: Dramas, Fields and Metaphors, pp. 98–155.

21 Ibid., p. 127.

22 See e.g. Wikipedia: Territoriality, retrieved 2.6.2012, from wiki/ Animal_Behavior/Territoriality.

23 “It is symptomatic that Jews as real people and as a concept appear in the underground material exclusively as a hostile element […]. Although of the 3 million Jews, a mere 10 percent survived, the greater part of 20 million Poles continued to believe in dark and hostile Jewish power,” Kersten, Krystyna: “Rozważania wokół podziemia 1944–1947”. Krytyka 25, 1987, pp. 78–79.

24 This variant of the blood libel is usually called “morphological”, as opposed to the classic religious one, where blood was supposed to be used for the production of the Passover matzah (unleavened bread).

25 Meducki, Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie II, p. 23.

26 Łoziński, Marcel: Materiały z filmu “Świadkowie”. Video transcript, unpublished typescript, p. 44.

27 Ibid., p. 52.

28 Based on Krystyna Kersten (Kersten, “Kielce – 4 lipca 1946 roku”, op. cit.), enhancing her account with research findings published in the last two decades. These include, inter alia, Szaynok, Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach, op.cit.; Chęciński, Michał: Poland: Communism, Nationalism, Antisemitism. Karz-Cohl Publishers: New York 1982; Rubin, Facts and Fictions, op. cit.; Meducki and Wrona, Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie I and II, op. cit.; and Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I and II, op. cit.

29 According to Włodzimierz Kalicki, Henio’s father allegedly posted three such announcements himself; after Więcek, Tadeusz (ed.): Zabić Żyda! Kulisy i tajemnice pogromu kieleckiego 1946. Oficyna Wydawnicza: Kraków 1992, p. 66. See also Rev. Canon Roman Zelek’s July 1946 report for the Diocesan Curia in Kielce, which states that a few weeks before the pogrom, “private announcements about missing children were posted on walls of buildings or on telephone poles, giving their age, clothes, description, and – in case they are found – entreating [the person] to bring them to the address indicated below,” after: Datner-Śpiewak, Helena / Cała, Alina (eds.): Dzieje Żydów w Polsce 1944–1968. Teksty źródłowe. Żydowski Instytut Historyczny: Warsaw 1997, p. 53.

30 Łoziński, Materiały z Filmu “Świadkowie”, pp. 15–17; account of the son of a firefighter on duty in Kielce.

31 Ibid., p. 83.

32 These were Antoni Pasowski, the owner of the house where the Błaszczyks lived, and his relative Jan Dygnarowicz. Pasowski took over two Kielce houses that had belonged to Jews. Fearing he might lose his newly acquired property in case of reclamation, he himself did not favor Jews. In his testimony deposited in the 1990s, Antoni Kręglicki claims that Pasowski was a UB officer; Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, p. 301.

33 Zagórski’s version (corroborated by a note in “Notatki do raportu”, written by Adolf Berman (see: Tokarska-Bakir, Joanna, "Social Portrait of the Kielce Pogrom", 2 vols., forthcoming) see Rubin, Facts and Fictions, p. 310) says that it was not him, but the investigating officer Stefan Sędek (who came from an antisemitic family – his brother Jan, a member of ONR and later of NSZ, was serving a term in jail in Mokotów, according to Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, p. 51), who allegedly was the first to give credence to the Błaszczyks’ story, sending a patrol to 7 Planty Street on his own initiative. Dr. Seweryn Kahane was alleged to have called him and asked not to send the militiamen over; see Meducki, Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie II, p. 77.

34 “Notatki do raportu”, in Rubin, Facts and Fictions, p. 310.

35 Szaynok, Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach, p. 38; Rubin, Facts and Fictions, p. 171.

36 Rubin, ibid.

37 Szaynok, Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach, p. 38.

38 Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, p. 301.

39 Szaynok, Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach, p. 39.

40 The motive of women losing and finding their children again was elaborated in Roman Przybyłowski’s deposition dated August 16–22, 1996; Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, p. 380.

41 Meducki and Wrona, Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie, p. 352.

42 Rubin, Facts and Fictions, p. 171.

43 Ibid.

44 Albert Grynbaum’s report, cited in Szaynok, Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach, p. 40.

45 Szaynok, ibid., p. 42; Rubin, Facts and Fictions, p. 171; see also Drożdżeński, Andrzej: “Świadek pogromu kieleckiego mówi: Kielce, 4 lipca 1946”. Polityka 14.7.1990, as cited in Rubin, Facts and Fictions, p. 185.

46 Report by Major Kazimierz Konieczny, deputy commander of the Second Warsaw Infantry Division regarding political matters: “After the militiamen entered the building, the crowd made its way in,” Meducki and Wrona, Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie, p. 63.

47 Meducki and Wrona, Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie, p. 351.

48 “Protokół przesłuchania świadka Zbigniewa Niewiarowskiego”, July 5, 1945, as cited in Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego II, p. 113. See also Szaynok, Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach, p. 46.

49 Chęciński, Poland: Communism, Nationalism, Antisemitism, p. 23; see also Kaczerginski, Szmerke: “Di levaye fun di keltser kdushim”. Dos Naje Lebn 12.7.1946: “The first victim was Berl Frydman, a tinsmith, who had his head smashed with an iron bar. Consequently, a few dozens of Jews barricaded themselves at the premises of the Ichud kibbutz. The hooligans wearing militia uniforms claimed they had come to help the Jews, and asked all the people that had barricaded themselves to come out into the yard. And when the Jews opened the door, the hooligans made their way in and dragged everyone out,” translated from Hebrew into Polish by Sara Arm.

50 Albert Grynbaum’s deposition, Meducki and Wrona, Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie, p. 342; deposition of Jechel Alpert, vice-chairman of the Jewish Committee in Kielce, ibid., p. 63.

51 Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, pp. 351–356.

52 Israel Terkieltaub’s deposition (after: Chęciński, in Meducki, Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie II, p. 104); he continues: “I have never been called [as a witness] either by the prosecution or the court to testify in the case of Dr. Kahane’s death and to identify the murderer,” Meducki, Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie II, pp. 104, 105; Chęciński, Poland: Communism, Nationalism, Antisemitism, p. 28. “Notatki do raportu”, in Rubin, Facts and Fictions, p. 310: “Gajewski and Arendarski from UB enter Dr. Kahane’s room. Two soldiers say [something] to Gajewski; they shove both of them aside, barge into Kahane’s [room], Kahane gets killed.”

53 In the instructors’ report from their stay in the Kielce Province, Szaynok, Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach, p. 40.

54 Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego II, p. 251.

55 ‘Raport funkcjonariusza PUBP w Kielcach Henryka Rybaka do szefa PUBP”, July 4, 1946, in Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, p. 151.

56 “Postanowienie Najwyższego Sądu Wojskowego w sprawie skarg i wniosku rewizyjnego na wyrok uniewinniający Jana Rogozińskiego, Ludwika Pustułę i Franciszka Furmana”, March 12, 1947, in Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego II, pp. 246, 250–251. “Pamiętnik Jerzego Fijałkowskiego”. Słowo Ludu 3.8.1981: “The crowd was looking for the imprisoned children and ritual torture instruments used for bleeding the victims, especially the legendary barrel studded with nails on the inside,” after: Więcek, Zabić Żyda, p. 37.

57 Albert Grynbaum, head of the Kielce PUBP, was at the scene at 7 Planty Street from 9.30 a.m. During the most intense part of the pogrom, he was trying to save the inhabitants of the shelter, barricading himself with them on the first floor; Szaynok, Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach, p. 41. Attacked by the mob, he was saved by a colleague from the PUBP, Jan Rokicki; see Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, p. 386. He was taken away from Planty Street by WUBP officer Edmund Kwasek (Meducki and Wrona, Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie, p. 344). During the trial, they both accused their superior Władysław Sobczyński of passivity. Grynbaum, a key witness in the trials of soldiers and militiamen, died in early August 1946 in a mysterious ambush by an anti-communist guerrilla unit. See Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, p. 70; Skwarek, Stefan: Na wysuniętych posterunkach. Książka i Wiedza: Warsaw 1977, p. 325.

58 See Albert Grynbaum’s testimony: “Being on the first floor, I assembled about 40 Jews in one room, preventing the military from entering by telling them that their role was to maintain order in the street rather than search the building. […] A few minutes later two Jews came up to me […], saying that the military was killing the Jews and looting their property,” Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego II, p. 172.

59 Ibid.

60 Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, p. 412.

61 Rubin, Facts and Fictions, p. 173.

62 Deposition of Eta Lewkowicz-Ajzenman; Meducki, Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie, vol. II, 106; also Chęciński, Poland: Communism, Nationalism, Antisemitism, p. 29. On Major Konieczny’s ambivalent conduct, see also Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, pp. 416–417. According to Jerzy S. Mac’s information (id.: “Kto to zrobił?” Kontrasty 11, 1986), Konieczny in his testimony assigned a part of the blame for instigating the pogrom to the Jews: Hotel Polski on Sienkiewicza St nearby Planty St, was owned by the Preis family. The hotel restaurant was run by Mr Jabłko (formerly Apfel). “In this restaurant – says Kazimierz Konieczny, resident in Warsaw, who served in Kielce from February 1946, and was a retired colonel in 1986 – one good dinner cost the equivalent of my monthly officer’s salary. In spite of that, it was always full. At the same time, most of the inhabitants of Kielce lived in dire poverty. It was a town full of poor, dumb people, exploited by a group of profiteers, such as the Kahane brothers, who had the most beautiful house in town and a licence for trading used military vehicles, Liwszyc, who was selling plaster from Jędrzejów, or Koprowski, the richest attorney in town, who represented Jews in property reclamation matters.”

63 Szaynok, Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach, p. 47.

64 Meducki and Wrona, Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie, pp. 313–318; Szaynok, Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach, p. 48.

65 Morawski, Jerzy / Pytlakowski, Piotr: “Mroczne Stany”. Przeglad Tygodniowy 32(228), 1986, p. 10; after Więcek, Zabić Żyda!, p. 104.

66 Shtokfish, David (ed.): About Our House Which Was Devastated: Memorial Book of Kielce. Kielce Societies in Israel and in the Diaspora: Tel Aviv 1981, p. 200.

67 The idiom stems from the Hebrew word shibolet, and its use in the Biblical story (Judges 12:5–6) about the inhabitants of Gilead, who attacked the Ephraimites, whose dialect lacked the phoneme “sh.” Ephraimite survivors trying to escape across the Jordan River were identified by sentries asking them to say the word shibolet; according to the Hebrew Bible, 42,000 Ephraimites were thus caught and killed. See another version of the shibboleth in the testimony of a Holocaust survivor talking about the victims of the so-called railway action: “when the [attackers] got hold of Meir Schneider, because they had lit a torch and realized that he was Jewish. They started hitting him with a butt-end. Meir started shouting that he was Polish. They made him repeat the word ‘zorza’, he pronounced it incorrectly, so they kept beating him, and then they took him away. After 20 minutes, so difficult to endure, they [finally] allowed the train to leave,” after: Rubin, Facts and Fictions, p. 43.

68 E.g. Henryk Gutowski’s testimony; Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, p. 387.

69 Szaynok, Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach, p. 47.

70 Meducki, Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie II, p. 78; Datner-Śpiewak and Cała, Dzieje Żydów w Polsce, p. 53.

71 Więcek, Zabić Żyda!, p. 10. See also “Protokół przesłuchania świadka Mariana Nogaja”, October 15, 2001, in Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego II, p. 122: “a [Ludwików] foundry employee […] was running around the departments, carrying an iron bar […] he said that a Polish boy, whom the Jews had wanted for matzah, had escaped from a house belonging to Jews.”

72 Rubin, Facts and Fictions, p. 173.

73 Ibid.

74 For discrepant lists of victims quoted in Polish and Jewish sources, compare Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego II, pp. 172–181 and Rubin, Facts and Fictions, pp. 205, where thirty-six individuals are identified, while one individual, with Auschwitz prisoner number 2969B, remains unidentified (no such number is found on the Auschwitz prisoners list, retrieved 2.6.2012, from php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=97).

75 See Soviet consultant Shpilevoy’s report, saying that the two Poles who were killed had been “PPR members who expressed their sorrow about the bestial treatment of Jews,” Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, p. 156. See also US Ambassador Arthur Bliss-Lane’s report from Warsaw to the US Department of State, July 8, 1946, mentioning “a Polish civilian who died in an attempt to confront the mob,” and also the deaths of “a number of militiamen and soldiers,” in Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, p. 164; on the other hand, three Polish casualties are mentioned in an unknown UB officer’s “Notatki do raportu” in Rubin, Facts and Fictions, p. 312.

76 This could partially be blamed on the fact that “the murderers, before or after the murder, took the victims’ clothes and shoes off; there were no identity cards [on the bodies of the victims],” Kaczerginski, “Di levaye fun di keltser kdushim”, op. cit. However, to gain an insight into the degree of negligence, it is sufficient to compare the official list of the victims with the one given in Jewish testimonies.

77 Grzegorz Korczyński was a commander of the Gwardia Ludowa partisan troops in the Lublin area. A 1950s investigation showed that he had ordered nearly 100 Jews to be shot dead in the vicinity of Ludmiłówka. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for his conduct, but the sentence was quashed in 1956.

78 Jechiel Alpert’s testimony: “On the following day, on Friday at 11, I got a visit from a UB officer – Albert [Grynbaum], a Jew, who told me that a group of American journalist was going to arrive at the hospital any minute, and asked me to meet with them but to keep quiet about the involvement of the military and the militia in the pogrom, in order to keep the reputation of the Polish government untarnished,” Shtokfish, David: About Our House Which Was Devastated, pp. 253–257, YVA-03/2985, cited in Rubin, Facts and Fictions, p. 181.

79 Ibid., p. 182.

80 Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, p. 262.

81 “The prosecutor states that [this] trial is only a fragment, that the whole matter shall be independently clarified and [asks] the defense to refrain from pursuing the issues of the military, as the investigation of this matter has not been concluded as yet due to a lack of time,” “Protokół rozprawy Najwyższego Sądu Wosjkowego na sesji wyjazdowej w Kielcach przeciw Antoninie Biskupskiej i współoskarżonym” in Meducki, Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie I, p. 183.

82 See e.g. a detailed investigation of the theft of a tin of food, some lard, and two pairs of men’s warm underwear; Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego II, p. 203.

83 Interview with Krzysztof Persak; Jędrzejczyk, Agnieszka / Ollender, Barbara: “Rekonstruowanie prawdy”. Tygodnik Powszechny 29.1.2012.

84 See Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, pp. 41, 49, 177–179. See also Turlejska, Maria (ed.): Z walk przeciwko zbrojnemu podziemiu 1944–1947. Min. Obrony Narod.: Warsaw 1966, p. 262; Skwarek, Na wysuniętych posterunkach, pp. 161–170.

85 Michał Chęciński writes about it in his book; see id., Poland: Communism, Nationalism, Antisemitism, p. 26. An investigation by the IPN has not confirmed this information.

86 Turner derives his concept of “dominant cleavage” from Max Gluckman, according to whom the sources of sudden outbursts of violence can be found in the violations of dominant cleavages, i.e. in the relations between the main blocks of society. Gluckman, Max: Analysis of a Social Situation in Modern Zululand. (Rhodes Livingstone Papers, no. 28). Humanities Press: New York 1958.

87 Turner, Dramas, Fields and Metaphors, p. 78.

88 Rubin, Facts and Fictions, p. 29.

89 Turner, Dramas, Fields and Metaphors, p. 38.

90 Ibid.

91 Rubin, Facts and Fictions, pp. 310–313.

92 The term “shortened syllogism” refers to a kind of deductive reasoning, in which one of the premises has been omitted – sometimes due to its obviousness, but more often due to the fact that the protagonists are not conscious of the premise. Consequently this premise is often false and baseless. Shortened syllogisms are a frequent cause of capital mistakes, and the revelation of omitted premises constitutes an important way of identifying logical fallacies, and at the same time a way of accessing ideology. See Kurkowska-Budzan, Marta: Antykomunistyczne podziemie zbrojne na Białostocczyź-nie. Analiza współczesnej symbolizacji przeszłości. Towarzystwo Wydawnicze “Historia Iagellonica”: Kraków 2009.

93 Shtokfish, About Our House Which Was Devastated, p. 201.

94 Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, p. 415; cf. Matthew 27:25.

95 Turner, Dramas, Fields and Metaphors, p. 123.

96 Cf. the scenes from the suppression of the second Warsaw uprising in 1944 by the Dirlewanger Brigade: “They were dragging a doctor with a noose around his neck. He was wearing some rags, red, maybe with blood, and a crown of thorns on his head.” Nowak, Włodzimierz / Kuźniak, Weronika: “Mój warszawski szał”. Gazeta Wyborcza 23.8.2004.

97 Marcin Kula writes: “The perception of the new authority as alien (imposed by the Soviets) converged with the perception Jews as aliens. Poles of non-Jewish origin who supported it, and those Jews who did not, received far less attention. […] To this day, whenever the Jewish issue is discussed in Poland, it is stated that Jews as members of the Stalinist political police used to torment the Polish nation. The individuals raising this issue in a debate do not say that agents of the new system were tormenting people. They do not say that such and such person was tormenting another – instead, they say that ‘Jews tormented [them].’ ” See Kula, Marcin: “Dyskusja o Jedwabnem czy o Polsce”. In: id.: Uparta sprawa. Żydowska? Polska? Ludzka? Universitas: Kraków 2004, p. 134. The expression “Jews tormented them” is a sign of a religious narrative, shaping the national psyche of the Poles in the postwar period. It is a story about rivalry between the Christological figure of the “Polish nation” and the “Jews”, endlessly repeating the Christian founding murder. Jews from the NKVD still play the role of Christ’s tormenters at Golgotha.

98 Szaynok, Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach, p. 43; Rubin, Facts and Fictions, p. 201.

99 Jechiel Alpert and Pinchas Ziterman’s testimony, in Shtokfish, About Our House Which Was Devastated, pp. 253–275, Yad Vashem Archive, O.3/2985; cited after Rubin, Facts and Fictions, p. 180.

100 Turner, Dramas, Fields and Metaphors, p. 111.

101 “Primary processes, like revolutions and other kinds of compelling social movements, seem to have an etiology and momentum of their own, which cannot be adequately explained in structural functionalist terms, and that such processes have the Gestalt-like character of tending toward appropriate and exhaustive closure and climax,” ibid.

102 Nirenberg, David: Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages. Princeton University Press: Princeton 1996.

103 See Władysław Błachut’s deposition in Sobczyński’s file; after: Szaynok, Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach, p. 49.

104 Drożdżeński, Andrzej: “Świadek pogromu kieleckiego mówi: Kielce, 4 lipca 1946”. Polityka 14.7.1990; after: Więcek, Zabić Żyda!, p. 25.

105 Goldhagen, Daniel: Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust. Alfred Knopf: New York 1996, p. 388.

106 Meducki and Wrona, Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie I, p. 252.

107 Turner, Dramas, Fields and Metaphors, p. 39.

108 Jechiel Alpert also called Shpilevoy asking for help, which was refused because the troops did not have any Polish uniforms available, and the commander did not want to risk the appearance of Soviets killing Poles; Rubin, Facts and Fictions, pp. 172, 181. Alpert’s attempt to contact the Episcopal Curia was also fruitless, ibid., p. 181.

109 According to Bliss-Lane’s report, the Rev. Canon Danilewicz confirmed that he had received a telephone call from Governor Wiślicz-Iwańczyk at around 2 p.m.; Żaryn and Kamiński, Wokół pogromu kieleckiego I, p. 165.

110 See footnote 67 above.

111 See the take on this issue in a famous article by Rapaport, Emil S.: “Polska jako państwo narodowe. Szkic analityczny ściśle polskiego składu ludności III Rzeczypospolitej”. Myśl Współczesna 1(3/4), 1946 (National Library in Warsaw, microfilm no. 65732): “A Polish nation on an exclusively Polish ethnographic territory, governed by a Polish people’s government – this is the most concise characteristics of the Polish state after WWII. Among so many painful, tragic shadows that still hang over Poland, tortured in the preceding period of Nazi genocide, the single nation is a ray of light that will allow the Third Rzeczpospolita to escape the abyss of war with the least harm. The new situation will remove all the controversial issues of ‘ethnic minorities’, their autonomy or claims of lack of thereof, and the various justified or unjustified nationalist aspirations stemming from this background. The new situation allows the ethnically homogenous, post-war People’s Poland to adopt a decidedly pacifist stance regarding its neighbors, and to become a pioneer and defender of permanent peace in Europe and in the whole world. The new situation, its homogenous ethnically Polish and Slavic background notwithstanding, has nothing to do not even with a semblance of some kind of racial Polonism or Slavophilism. On the contrary, this Poland is decidedly against any special criteria [designating] the autochthony and particular religious views of a modern Pole.”

112 Turner, Dramas, Fields and Metaphors, p. 41.

113 The conflict in the milieu of Polish communists was incited by the animosity between “[t]hose who spent the war on Polish soil and who now formed the core of the PPR and those who spent the war in the USSR and were to return to Poland with or in the footsteps of the new Polish Army.” See Schatz, Jaff: The Generation: The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Communists of Poland. University of California Press: Berkeley 1991, pp. 180–181. This was aggravated by a different ethnic makeup (note that it is hardly relevant to speak of the Jewishness of communists who, having distanced themselves from their religion and their families, no longer identified with being Jewish) of the two groups. While there were virtually no Jews among the “homegrown” communists after the Warsaw ghetto uprising, they constituted a large part of the “Muscovites”.

114 Meducki, Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie II, p. 140.

115 Gross, Fear, p. 121ff.

116 Decree on antisemitism, draft in Meducki, Antyżydowskie wydarzenia kieleckie II, pp. 161–162.

117 See also W. Śliwiński’s report on a work-related trip to Kielce Province, 7–12 September, 1945, in order to carry out an information campaign aimed at preventing anti-Jewish disturbances. Śliwiński claimed in this report that the Jews themselves were responsible for anti-Jewish sentiments (reprivatization of Jewish factories and the Jewish origin of Kielce mayor Zarzycki and the WUBP commander Kornecki). “It has been established that one Jew from Kielce, who wanted to emigrate to the West, had been spreading antisemitism, posting slogans ‘Down with the jews [sic],’” Archive of New Records, 295/VII-149.

118 Kersten, Krystyna: “Rok pierwszy”. In: id., Pisma rozproszone, p. 309.

119 Clastres, Pierre: Society against the State: Essays in Political Anthropology. Zone Books: New York 1989, p. 201.

120 Krystyna Kersten’s introduction to Szaynok, Pogrom Żydów w Kielcach, p. 19.

121 Gross, Jan T.: Revolution from Abroad: The Soviet Conquest of Poland’s Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia. Princeton University Press: Princeton 2002, pp. 118–119.

122 Turner, Dramas, Fields and Metaphors, p. 111.

123 Turner, Dramas, Fields and Metaphors, pp. 110–111.

124 See Nirenberg, Communities of Violence, p. 219, on ritual that is exclusive and seeks to sunder rather than to bind.

125 I cannot elaborate on this point here, as it merits a separate article, in which it would be possible to take into account the one-sided reading of a communitas situation in Turner, but also e.g. in the work of James C. Scott.

126 See for example comments to this effect by Leśniak (first name unknown), a PSL member from Limanowa, at a meeting on August 19, 1945: “We live in Poland, but not the kind of Poland we were missing. We have Poland, but [it is] a Jewish Poland. Jews are in all the important posts.” After: Rabbi David Kahana’s Collection, Tel Aviv University, Carter Library, Document No. 6, as quoted in Rubin, Facts and Fictions, p. 23.

127 Anti-Jewish pogroms erupted in Topoľčany in Western Slovakia in September 1945 and elsewhere, followed by a second wave of pogroms in Slovakia in August 1946 and in Hungary, where the worst one occurred in Kunmadaras in May 1946 (3 victims) and another one in Miskolc. Other pogroms occurred in Lviv, Kiev (Ukraine), and in Bratislava, Komárno, and Nové Zámky (Slovakia). In Slovakia, anti-Jewish feeling ran so high that the government was forced to suspend a decree calling for the restoration of Jewish property to its rightful owners. After: Chęciński, Poland: Communism, Nationalism, Antisemitism, p. 16.

128 See Chapter 6: The Figure of Bloodsucker … in this volume.

129 Clastres, Archeology of Violence, p. 165.

130 Eduardo Viveiros de Castro’s introduction to Clastres, Archeology of Violence, p. 42.

131 Ibid., p. 272.

132 Ibid., p. 90.

133 Ibid., p. 42.

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