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The Holocaust in Occupied Poland: New Findings and New Interpretations

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Edited By Jan Tomasz Gross

New archival materials have provided the basis for rethinking the dynamic of the Holocaust in Poland. These historical sources consist primarily of court papers from postwar trials of Polish citizens. Using such files, historians are now better able to document and write the dramatic story of antagonism between Jews evading the Nazi dragnet, and a hostile rural populace which sometimes collaborated in persecution. Although important works on the Holocaust appeared earlier in Poland, only during the last several years has a scholarly milieu emerged in the country for taking the Holocaust out of its intellectual ghetto as a strictly «Jewish» subject, and repositioning it at the center of Poland’s wartime history.

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Jan Grabowski: "I have only fulfilled my duties as a soldier of the Home Army." Miechów AK and the killings of Jews in Rędziny-Borek. A Case Study.

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Jan Grabowski University of Ottawa “I have only fulfilled my duties as a soldier of the Home Army.” Miechów AK and the killings of Jews in Rędziny-Borek. A Case Study At the end of November 1943, in the village of Rędziny-Borek (Miechów County, Kraków District), a group of armed men started to pound at the door of Franciszek Szych’s house. The house was located in a remote area, close to the edge of the woods. Szych was not at home and, not surprisingly, his wife re- fused to let the intruders in. According to Szych, who gave his testimony after the war, “the bandits tore the door off the hinges, broke the windows, and en- tered the house. Once inside, they started to ask my wife where the Jews were.” The terrorized woman pointed the intruders to the entrance to a well-concealed hideout in which six Jews took shelter. First to die was Dr. Schlesinger, a dentist from nearby Działoszyce who, having refused to leave the chamber, was shot twice. The first bullet crushed his knee; the second one finished him off once he fell to the ground. The other Jews – four men and one woman – left the hideout and underwent a thorough search. They were surrounded by at least six heavily armed men. In the course of the search the men found some jewelry, cash (130 US dollars and 10 000 zlotys), wallets, watches and clothes. The Jews, fearing the worst, started to...

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