Recent publication from Polish State Archives on sources on Jews during WWII #poland #records #announcements

Deborah Wiener

On the same topic there is the book “such a beautiful sunny day” by Barbara Engelking.

Sadly, both Grabovski and Engelking have been pilloried by the Polish government as there is now a push to  minimize  references to the Jewish victims and maximise the Polish victims and also to portray all Poles as saviours …as evidenced by the court cases taken against Grabovski and Engelking for “bringing the good name of Poles into disrepute”.


Debbie Wiener

Melbourne Australia



Kind regards,

Debbie Wiener

0412 32 3878

dwiener@... (debbie wiener)


Frank Szmulowicz

One cannot compare the percentages of Jews surviving WWII in Eastern and Western Europe - the price for aiding Jews was vastly different, e.g., no one died for helping Ann Frank, and the number of Jews was vastly different. The number of Poles among the Righteous Among the Nations is significant, especially considering that the price for harboring or in any way aiding Jews in Eastern Europe was death. Overall, the number is small but the courage and moral conviction of the rescuers are enormous.
The less well known story is that of the Jew-hunt by local collaborators - an active hunt for and on-the-spot murder of Jews - men, women, and children - who managed to escape ghettos, death transports, etc, and hide with friendly neighbors or in field or forest bunkers. And then there are the stories of Jews who miraculously survived WWII and were killed when they returned to their hometowns, trying to re-establish their lives and reclaim their pre-war possessions. Those phenomena dwarf by several orders of magnitude the aid provided to Jews during WWII. And similar stories can be found in Ukraine, Belorussia, Estonia, Latvia, Hungary, Lithuania, and other countries.  

I recommend reading Jan Grabowski's "Hunt for the Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland" and "Night without End: The Fate of Jews in Selected Counties of Occupied Poland" (co-edited by Barbara Engelking).  

Frank Szmulowicz

Bernard Flam

Hi from Paris,
Dear Ted,
Remember that, by numbers, Polish citizens are the most numerous "Righteous among the nations", i.e. 7.177  today :
Followed by French, 4.150.
In Poland, ca 3.300.000 Jews, more than 95% of community, were murdered during Shoah ; in France, ca 76.000 Jews, about 25% of community.
Bernard Flam 
Archives & history of Medem Center - Arbeter Ring of France (Bund, Skif, Workers Circle)

Ted Gostin

While I was reading press releases from the Polish State Archives (PSA), I came across an announcement of a recent publication by the PSA on Jews during World War II.  The translated title reads "Helping Jews During World War II in Archival Sources."  It is apparently the result of a conference aimed at identifying such sources.  The web page listed below has a link to download the publication as a PDF, and explains its creation, in part, with the following text:

The main purpose of the meeting was to recall the huge contribution of the State Archives to the work carried out as part of the long-term project "
INDEX of Poles repressed for helping Jews during World War II". As a result of queries carried out in over 100 centers in Poland and abroad (Austria, Israel, Lithuania, Germany, Ukraine, the USA, Great Britain), data were collected on over 6,000 Polish citizens subjected to various types of repression, including the death penalty for support given to Jewish neighbors.

There are nine articles, six in Polish and three in Russian.  I haven't tried to examine them closely yet, but it looks like an interesting and useful publication.  It can be downloaded from the following page:

Ted Gostin
Sherman Oaks, California