Pogrom Czy Odwet? Akcja Zbrojna Zrzeszenia „Wolnosci i Niezawislosc” w Parczewie 5 Lutego 1946 r. by Mariusz Bechta, 2014.
Reviewer: Mr. Jan Peczkis
The So-Called Parczew Pogrom, in post-WWII Poland, a Necessary Act of Measured Reprisal Against the Zydokomuna. The ZOLNIERZE WYKLECI in Action
POGROM OR REPRISAL? is the title of this scholarly, Polish-language work. Noted historian Marek Jan Chodakiewicz introduces this work, stressing the fact that author Mariusz Bechta has done an extensive examination (with Benedictine-style patience!) of the pertinent archives (p. 14), and that, had Polish forces been out to “finish Hitler’s job” by killing Jews indiscriminately, FAR more Jews would have died than actually did! (p. 12).
The Soviet Union was in the process of imposing a Communist puppet government on Poland, using draconian terror. On February 5, 1946, a unit of Polish freedom-fighting WiN (WOLNOSC I NIEZAWISLOSC) guerrillas attacked the Jewish-Soviet collaborators at Parczew. The attack on Jewish Communists was soon mischaracterized as a pogrom by the Stalinists, and this old Communist propaganda has recently been recycled by the aptly-named neo-Stalinist Jan T. Gross, as in his FEAR. (p. 39). The likes of Dariusz Libionka and Adam Kopciowski have essentially followed suit. (pp. 37-38).
PARCZEW BEFORE WWII
During the 1920 Polish-Bolshevik War, a sizeable number of Parczew-area Jews collaborated with the Soviets, for which reason they were later put on trial. Bechta bases this information from this book: D. Magier. 2005. WOBEC KOMUNIZMU. (pp. 50-51). In the 1930’s, there was a continuation of the aggressive Jewish affinity for Communism. (p. 63).
Far from being oppressed, the Jews of Parczew had generally been better off than the Poles. (p. 52). This owed, in large part, to the traditional Jewish monopoly on commerce. (p. 52). In order to break this Jewish economic hegemony, Polish boycotts and other unpleasantries took place, as they did elsewhere in Poland.
In 1939, during the German-Soviet conquest of Poland, many of the Parczew Jews formed a Soviet-serving militia. (p. 87). (This was very common in towns in Soviet-occupied eastern Poland.)
During the post-1941 German occupation, the banditry conducted by fugitive Jews was a significant problem for the Poles. (p. 92). Later, the Jewish robber bands and Bolshevik bands merged, and acted against Poles in organized fashion (in what has sometimes been called “revolutionary banditry”.) These were especially active in the regions of Lubartow, Wlodawa, Janow, and Pulawy. (p. 99).
During the Holocaust, a significant number of Jews hid in the remote Parczew-area forests. The Germans made sweeps of the area, and uncovered many of these bunkers, often with the assistance of Jewish informers. (pp. 105-107, 114). [This reminds us that Germans were perfectly capable of finding fugitive Jews without the assistance of Poles, and that the low overall survival rate of fugitive Jews in German-occupied Poland (e. g, Jan Grabowski and his JUDENJAGD) does not necessarily imply significant Polish-German collaboration, as routinely claimed by Polonophobes.]
Finally, there was a significant network of Jewish spies, serving the Nazis, in the area. This is elaborated by Bechta. (pp. 95-97).
JEWISH-SOVIET COLLABORATION IN PERSPECTIVE
After the Holocaust, only about 1% of the postwar Polish population was Jewish. In Parczew itself, as of the beginning of 1946, there were 173 Jews out of 5,947 inhabitants. This comes out to 2.9%. (p. 241).
As elaborated below, the numeric of Jewish-Soviet collaboration [Zydokomuna], when not forming an absolute majority, was many multiples of 2.9%! This adds to the refutation of the silly argument, of the likes of Jan T. Gross, that would have us suppose that Jewish overrepresentation in Communism owed to Jewish overrepresentation in urban areas. [Furthermore, if anything, shouldn’t the egalitarian promises of Communism be more appealing to the poorer rural people than the better-off urban people? In addition, shouldn’t urban people be more skeptical of the revolutionary slogans and utopian promises of Communism than the presumably-simple country folk?]
LATE-WWII FORMS OF JEWISH-SOVIET COLLABORATION
Large-scale and open Jewish service to Soviet Communist initiatives manifested itself when the Red Army had “liberated” the Wlodawa area. For instance, the well-armed all-Jewish GL-AL “Chila” unit (see below) formed the first MO (MILICJA OBYWATELSKA—the so-called Citizens’ Militia) in villages of the Parczew area. This included a 40-man all-Jewish MO unit in Parczew itself. (pp. 169-on).
Even after the Jewish Communists were largely replaced by (especially) Ukrainian, and Polish, Communists, Jews in the Parczew MO were still many multiples of their 2.9% share of the Parczew population. (pp. 176-177, 259-260). [Of course, the Jewish share of the blame does not disappear just because there were non-Jewish Communists, any more than the presumed Polish complicity in the Holocaust disappears because the Holocaust was essentially German. In fact, since Jews call on Poles to “come to terms with the past”, the Jews should be held to the same standard.]
At the end of 1944, the membership of the so-called POLSKA PARTIA ROBOTNICZA (Polish Workers’ Party), at Parczew, was 30% Jewish. (pp. 312-317).
It would be a mistake to think of Jewish-Soviet collaboration as only the acts of a modest number of Jews. In actuality, the Jews and the Soviets effectively entered into a symbiosis against Poles and Poland. The Jews, as a whole, supported the Soviet-imposed Communist puppet government. In return, the Soviets endowed the Jews with privileges not given to Poles, and these privileges lasted until 1949. These privileges included the legal function of both leftist and rightist Jewish politics, the establishment of Jewish schools, the cultivation of Jewish businesses, etc. (pp. 211-212). The Jewish privileges also included economic ones, for which reason the eventual WiN attack included the collectivist reprisal aspect of robbing the Jews. (p. 250; pp. 261-262).
SOME WELL-KNOWN JEWISH COMMUNISTS
Izaak Fleischfarb [Josef Swiatlo] became famous for his defection to the West, albeit for unclear motives (possibly fear of potentially adverse changes after the death of Stalin.) In the 1940’s, Swiatlo had been the leader of a NKVD unit that repressed Polish independence efforts in the Warsaw area. (p. 153).
Now consider Frank Blaichman, who is still alive at the time of this review, and who has been going around publically demonizing Poland’s non-Communist resistance. It figures. Franciszek (Franek) Blajchman was one of 93 Jews who had served in the Communist GL-AL band of “Chila” (Chila Grynszpan). (pp. 319-326).
THE REPRISAL ACTION AGAINST JEWISH COLLABORATORS
The high-handed actions of the Jews of Parczew were so egregious that they became widely known in the area. (p. 250). The Polish Underground gave a warning to the Parczew Jews to stop exploiting and maltreating the Polish locals, and to stop arresting Poles, or the problem would be solved in another way. The Jewish response was a scoffing at the capabilities of the Polish freedom fighters, and a daring of them to attack. (p. 249). Eventually, the Poles took up the challenge.
Attention is now focused on the WiN attack. Though many Parczew Jews were robbed by Polish guerrillas, only 3 Soviet-serving Jews, and one ethnic Polish Communist, were killed in the “pogrom”. (p. 273). This amounts to a negligible share of the 173 Jews living in Parczew at the time. (p. 241). Some Polish fascists! Some mini-Holocaust!
Even during the WiN attack itself, the Jewish and other Communists were hardly sitting ducks. They were armed, and some of them fired back. (p. 265). The anti-Communist guerrilla action culminated in the free Polish rule of Parczew for a few hours, and a raising of the morale of the downtrodden local Poles. (p. 283).
The Polish Underground action permanently freed the Parczew residents from the scourge of Jewish-Soviet collaboration. Within about a month of the attack, nearly all of the Parczew Jews left the town, and moved to Silesia. (p. 285). Soon thereafter, many of them moved to Israel.
Now let us move beyond the Jews. All along, the ZOLNIERZE WYKLECI (Polish anti-Communist guerrillas) were killing numerous ethnic Polish Communists in their long but futile struggle for Poland’s freedom and independence. In fact, the Parczew-area WiN held out until October 1951 (p. 237), which was more than 7 years after the start of the second Soviet occupation of Poland!
INNOCENT VICTIMS: THE DOUBLE STANDARD
I now go beyond Mariusz Bechta’s detailed research, and explore some issues that are relevant to American readers.
The killings of Jewish Communists were themselves unremarkable. Earlier, Jewish units were killing specific Poles and Ukrainians (or their relatives) who were suspected of denouncing fugitive Jews to the Nazis. (p. 109). So what is so terrible about the Polish Underground killing Jews known to be collaborating with the Soviets and their subjugation of Poland? (Unless, of course, Jews are special.)
Apropos to this, the reader should be aware of the fact that Jewish tradition has a long history of reckoning the death of a Jew, at the hands of a gentile, an anti-Jewish act, even if the anti-Jewish motive of the killer is unclear or unknown, or there are multiple reasons for the slaying. See my review of: Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust: Proceedings of the Conference on Manifestations of Jewish Resistance, Jerusalem, April 7-11, 1968.
Let us consider the Jewish exculpation that would have us believe that Jews were siding with the Communists as a means of getting even with those gentiles who had wronged Jews. It is a hollow argument. A Nazi could use a comparable argument, excusing his actions in the Holocaust by saying that he was getting even for the Germans who had been wronged by Jews.
Now consider the Jewish complaint that Jewish victims of anti-Communist actions included Jews who were not Communists. Innocent victims fell on both sides. Pointedly, the victims of Jewish-Soviet collaboration had, for decades, included millions of eastern Europeans—most of whom (notably the children) had never done anything wrong to Jews!