Jews in the Polish Army #general


Martin Kronman <mkronman@...>
 

In response to questions about why Jews might have "attached" themselves to
the Polish Army in WW II A.D. Danilecki wrote

... maybe because they were Poles of Jewish ancestry/Poles of Jewish
religion?

In retrospect it is hard to understand why a Polish Jew would have enlisted
in the Polish army before WW II. The history of Jewish persecution in Poland
should have informed them as to the folly of such an act, but every
generation seems to have to learn this for themselves. After WW I my father
enlisted in the Polish Army. At that time he used to say "I was a regular
Polish Patriot". He even had a tailor made uniform made for himself. He soon
learned however that nothing had changed just because the Polish government
had been reformed at that time. His treatment in the Polish Army convinced
him that as far as Jews were concerned a government by Poles was not much of
an improvement over a government by Russians. He deserted the Polish army
and after a year of adventures he managed to get to the United States.
Unfortunatly, for Jews in the Polish army in WW II desertion and fleeing
Europe was not a viable option.


Martin J. Kronman
Syracuse, NY
Researching: KRONMAN in Kolo, Konin,
Tuliskow, Warta, Slupca, Kalisz, Zdunska Wola
and Lodz, Poland ;Ukraine; Hungary; United States


ariewish@...
 

Hi,

It has been written that the Jews "attached" them self to the Polish Army.
This needs clarification:
1. My father in law was drafted to the Polish Army as a soldier in a Ulany
(Cavalry) Regiment some time in 1925. *He was drafted*.
2. My 2 Uncles were drafted in 1939 (just as the war broke out.
3. In 1942 my father was drafted by the Red Army and because he did
speak "German" (Yiddish), he was a "Naczalnik" in charge of german POW.
4. Another Uncle joined (attached himself) to Anders Army (Polish), but
when he found out that the direction of Anders Army) was not West, where
his parents, sister and younger brothers were, he deserted and enlisted in
the Red Army.

I would like to point out that we "the Jews" are the only group of people
that (already in biblical times)had a day of rest, a day of fest and few
days of feast. We also "invented" communism, capitalism and of course
socialism.

Throughout the ages (in Diaspora), we obeyed the Torah. Some of us waited
for the Messiah and did nothing, some waited for the Messiah and did
something (to be ready for his call) and some of us wished to became a
part of the country we were living in. Well, some of the Polish Jews
thought that being a Polish Citizen didn't mean a conversion to
Christianity and among them, Anielewitz or Joselowitz (Berko). It was
their believe that you can be a Pole and observe the Jewish Religion at
the same time. We (the American Jews) do the same thing here what our
parents did in Poland. It is easier for us, but I'm sure that my
grandfather didn't enjoy the same "Civil Rights" in 1924 (in the States)
as I do today.

In short, everybody had a reason to "attach" them self to the Polish Army,
the same reason as Ben Gurion and others that offered to form a Jewish
Brigade to fight alongside the British in WW I.

Sincerely

Arie L. Wishnia
Ft. Myers, Fl.

MODERATOR NOTE: Please limit any replies to the subject of genealogy.


CharlesPottins
 

Jews also enlisted in any army that was fighting Hitler. There were
antisemitic attitudes among Polish forces abroad and sometimes serious
incidents which led to Jewish soldiers asking to transfer. However, I
don't know how general this was. It was controversial here in Britain,
possibly because Jewish community leaders did not wish to "rock the boat"
in the war, but also perhaps because of suspicion that the issue might be
exagerrated for political reasons. Former soldiers I've met have not
mentioned it, though they did bitterly resent treatment by the Russians
(who after all had a pact with Hitler when Poland was invaded.) But it
would be interesting to hear more >from those with experience.

Charles Pottins


Harold Pollins <snillop@...>
 

Martin Kronman wrote:

< Unfortunatly, for Jews in the Polish army in WW II desertion and fleeing
Europe was not a viable option. >

Generally true , of course. But it was possible for some to get out of the
Polish Army. I was in a unit of the British Army in 1945 when two Jewish
soldiers were attached to us who had been in the Polish Army. They,
along with other Jewish soldiers in that army, were allowed to join the
British Army because they had been harrassed in the Polish Army. Before
D-Day they were told that the first bullets would be for the Jews among
them.

Harold Pollins
Oxford