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By L. Cooper

The behaviour of many Poles in the direction of the Jewish inhabitants throughout the Nazi profession of Poland has regularly been a debatable factor. even if the Poles are meant to not have collaborated with the invaders, there's facts to teach that during appreciate of the Jewish inhabitants, the behaviour of many Poles, together with contributors of the underground, was once faraway from exemplary. Poland can also be the one ecu nation the place Jews have been being murdered after the tip of the battle and the place powerful anti-Semitic developments are nonetheless current. This ebook analyses this query in an historic context and makes an attempt to supply an evidence for the phenomenon of Polish anti-Semitism in the course of and after the top of the warfare. The paintings relies on lately exposed records in addition to on own bills of witnesses to the occasions in the course of the warfare.

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By the end of the sixteenth century the Jews governed themselves through a sort of parliament, the Council of Four Lands – ‘Vaad Arba Aratzot’ – the four parts of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Great Poland, Little Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine). It lasted from 1580 to 1764. Such an organisation of the Jewish community was favoured by the Polish authorities because they found it more convenient to collect taxes from one source rather than from many individuals. Polish authorities realised that it was more convenient to impose a single annual tax on the entire Jewish community and leave the allocation and collection to the Jews themselves (Poliakov, 1974, p.

A Polish statesman, the priest Staszyc, applied to the Jews such epithets as ‘the plague’, ‘contagion’, ‘putridness’ and the like. Some extreme anti-Semites demanded the expulsion of Jews from the cities and that the expelled Jews become peasants or be used as labourers on public works. As for cities like Warsaw and many others, which applied the old rule of ‘de non tolerandis Judaeis’, they should expel all the Jews already settled there. This rule should also apply to Jews who converted to Christianity.

From the chronicle Yeven Metzulah by the rabbi of Ostrov, Nathan Hannover, published in 1653) It took the Poles ten years to put down the revolt, but the events of 1648–58 and their consequences accelerated the decline of the PolishLithuanian Commonwealth and, with it, the situation of its Jewish inhabitants worsened. The Polish economy went into further decline after the wars with the Cossacks and Swedes (1660), resulting in Poland losing her access to the Baltic sea and in 1719 effectively becoming a Russian protectorate.

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