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Grabowski-Hunt-Critique-3.doc - December 2017 (REVISED)...

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December 2017 (REVISED)Another Look at Polish-Jewish Relations in Dąbrowa Tarnowska CountyA Much Needed Corrective to Jan Grabowski’sHunt for the JewsCONTENTSIntroduction… 1The Catholic Church and Clergy –Some Observations on Grabowski’s Methodology… 3Clergy Assistance Overlooked…11Polish Attitudes and the Risks Associated with Rescue…15Problematic Approach to Testimonies…22The Extent of Rescue…26Rescue Overlooked, Rescue Covered Up…36Poles Put to Death for Helping Jews…43Paid Rescue…46Polish Police, Jewish Police – Shifting the Blame…52Robbery and Banditry – The Cover-Up…57Conclusion…60Tables…61I. Poles from Dąbrowa Tarnowska County Recognizedas Righteous Among the Nations…62II. Other Polish Rescuers from Dąbrowa Tarnowska County…72III. Jews Who Reported to the Żabno Office of the CentralCommittee of Polish Jews…100IV. Jews Who Survived the War Hidden in Dąbrowa Tarnowska County…101Appendix: Rescue Accounts of Poles Recognized asRighteous Among the Nations…104IntroductionGiven the very narrow focus of Jan Grabowski’s bookHunt for the Jews1– Polish-Jewishrelations during the Second World War in Dąbrowa Tarnowska, a rural county in Krakówvoivodship in southern Poland with a population of some 70,000, one would have expected athorough and scholarly treatment of this topic. Instead, what we get is a book that is less thanreliable in many respects. It is characterized by selectivity, unsubstantiated generalizations,frequent digressions and unnecessary polemics. At least one-quarter of the book is drawn fromevents and examples from outside the county (often from distant parts of Poland). The book isalso marred by inadequate research. Grabowski is unable to identify most of the documentedcases of rescue of Jews in Dąbrowa Tarnowska county, and matters that are said to crucial forour understanding of the topic, such as the role of the Catholic Church, are dealt with in a cursoryand even shoddy manner. Sadly, even Grabowski’s information cannot be taken at face value1Jan Grabowski,Hunt for the Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland(Bloomington andIndianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2013).1
without examining the sources he relies on. Yet, reviewers (with no expertise in local conditions)showered accolades on Grabowski’s book for his “exemplary” scholarship and “meticulous”research,2and Grabowski was awarded the 2014 Yad Vashem International Book Prize forHolocaust Research. Moreover, as we shall see, Grabowski’s findings are relied on asauthoritative by prominent Holocaust historians.Jan Grabowski is associated with the Polish Center for Holocaust Research (Centrum Badań nadZagładą Żydów), a state-funded institution, and his research benefited greatly from the input ofhistorians from that circle. As such, his book can be treated as fairly representative of theirscholarship. Before the publication of the English version of his bookHunt for the Jewsin 2013,

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Term
Spring
Professor
Lindley
Tags
Judaism, The Holocaust, Priest, Jewish population, Professor Grabowski

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