Members of the Jewish police were not the only ones who served the Germans; some Jews acted



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1288 On the topic of honour courts see Laura Jockusch and Gabriel N. Finder, eds., Jewish Honor Courts: Revenge, Retribution, and Reconciliation in Europe and Israel after the Holocaust (Detroit: Wayne State University, 2015). An example of communal ostracism follows. Although a former kapo was exposed in a DP camp in Bindermichel near Linz, and some people wanted to lynch him, his accuser intervened to say that he “only wanted people to know what kind of animal this man was and, if he had a conscience, that he should continue to live and suffer the consequences of his degradation.” Apparently, the man committed suicide some time later. See Laizer Blitt, No Strength to Forget: Survival in the Ukraine, 1941–1944 (London and Portland, Oregon: Vallentine Mitchell, 2007), 177.


1289 Interview with Fania Krawczyk, Internet: .

1290 Gabriel N. Finder and Alexander V. Prusin, “Jewish Collaborators on Trial in Poland, 1944–1956,” in Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, vol. 20 (2008): 137. Shepsl Rotholc, a professional boxer turned ghetto policeman, was the first of 25 persons put on trial. The tribunal (sąd społeczny) found Rothholc guilty of reproachable behaviour for his continued service in the Jewish police after the first wave of deportations from Warsaw in the summer of 1942. He was expelled from the Jewish commmunity for two years and his right to participate in communal activities was revoked for three years; the tribunal ordered the publication of his conviction in the Jewish press. After two years Rotholc petitioned for and received a commutation of his sentence. He then left Poland and immigrated to Canada. See Gabriel N. Finder, “The Trial of Shepsl Rotholc and the Politics of Retribution in the Aftermath of the Holocaust,” Gal-Ed: On the History and Culture of Polish Jewry, vol. 20 (2006): 63–89 (English section); Gabriel N. Finder and Alexander V. Prusin, “Jewish Collaborators on Trial in Poland, 1944–1956,” in Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, vol. 20 (2008): 138.

1291 Rączy, Zagłada Żydów w dystrykcie krakowskim w latach 1939–1945, 223. See also Ewa Koźmińska-Frejlak, “‘I’m Going to the Oven Because I Wouldn’t Give Myself to Him’: The Role of Gender in the Polish Jewish Civic Court,” in Laura Jockusch and Gabriel N. Finder, eds., Jewish Honor Courts: Revenge, Retribution, and Reconciliation in Europe and Israel after the Holocaust (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2015), 265–66.

1292 David Engel, “Who Is A Collaborator? The Trials of Michał Weichert,” in Sławomir Kapralski, ed., The Jews in Poland, Vol. II (Cracow: Judaica Foundation Center for Jewish Culture, 1999), 341; Celemenski, Elegy For My People, 136–38; Gabriel N. Finder and Alexander V. Prusin, “Jewish Collaborators on Trial in Poland, 1944–1956,” in Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, vol. 20 (2008): 132–34, 144–46.

1293 Krempa, Zagłada Żydów mieleckich, 122 n.388.

1294 Gran, Sztafeta oszczerców, 44–80. Later, in Israel, Gran ran into one of the Stalinist security men who dealt with her case; he was working there as a police officer. Ibid., 85. See also Agata Tuszyńska, Oskarżona: Wiera Gran (Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 2010), translated as Vera Gran: the Accused (New York: Knopf, 2013).

1295 Reicher, Country of Ash, 246.

1296 Dean, Encyclopedia of Camps and Ghettos, 1933–1945, vol. II, Part A, 44.

1297 Kahan, Sefer Buczacz, 297ff.

1298 Prywes, Prisoners of Hope, 60; Grajek, Po wojnie i co dalej, 65–66.

1299 Eliezer Gruenbaum’s memoir is to be published in English translation as A Jewish Kapo in Auschwtiz: History, Memory, and the Politics of Survival (Lebanon, New Hampshire: University Press of New England, 2014).

1300 Trunk, Judenrat, 556–57.

1301 William Kornbluth, Sentenced to Remember: My Legacy of Life in Pre–1939 Poland and Sixty-Eight Months of Nazi Occupation (Bethlehem: Lehigh University Press; London and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1994), 67, 144.

1302 Testimony of Miriam Jaszuńska, dated July 15, 1947, Jewish Historical Institute (Warsaw) archive, record group 301, number 2530.

1303 Grynberg, Drohobycz, Drohobycz and Other Stories, 42–43.

1304 Fulbrook, A Small Town Near Auschwitz, 224.

1305 Browning, Collected Memories, 77–81, 83. The fate of Szaja Langsleben, a “much-hated” policeman in the camp. Is not known. Ibid., 69. According to an inmate of Starachowice, only Wilczek’s son was killed on the train to Auschwitz, but not Wilczek, who was shot in Auschwitz-Birkenau. See Frister, The Cap, or the Price of a Life, 268–71.

1306 Wiszniewicz, And Yet I Still Have Dreams, 81.

1307 Hagstrom, Sara’s Children and the Destruction of Chmielnik, 131.

1308 Godel Wroby, My Battle for Survival: From Mlyny to Melbourne (Caufield South, Victoria: Makor Jewish Community Library, 2004).

1309 Interview with Baruch Shub, November 5, 1993, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archive.

1310 Munro, Bialystok to Birkenau, 173.

1311 Mittelberg, Between Two Worlds, 69. Mittelberg recalls one of his Gypsy kapos, who has an “outstanding talent for inflicting pain”. Ibid., 71.

1312 Rosenblum, Defy the Darkness, 286–87.

1313 Giles MacDonogh, After the Reich: From the Liberation of Vienna to the Berlin Arilift (London: John Murray, 2007), 76.

1314 Simon Schweitzer, Simon’s Quest (Toronto: Lugus, 2008), 138–39.

1315 Ibid., 141.

1316 Mittelberg, Between Two Worlds. Jurek Kestenberg, an inmate of Skarżysko, recalls a Jewish doctor who removed gold teeth from the mouths of Jews who died in that camp. He call the doctor, and other Jewish lackeys, “murderes.” See Niewyk, Fresh Wounds, 114.

1317 See also J. Schwiezer, ed., Pinkas Szczekociny (Tel Aviv: Former Residents of Szczekociny in Israel, 1959), where Avrum Zylbersztajn describes how kapos from the Skarżysko labour campo were deliberately trampled to death in Buchenwald.

1318 Werber, Saving Children, 79, 81, 84–85.

1319 Kotkowsky, Remnants.

1320 Kotkowsky, Remnants.

1321 Kotkowsky, Remnants.

1322 Haft, Harry Haft, 89–90.

1323 Sonia Guss-Hornstein, “The Wild Man,” in Julie Meadows, ed., Memory Guide My Hand: An Anthology of Autobiographical Writing by Members of the Melbourne Jewish Community, vol. 3 (Melbourne: Makor Jewish Community Library, 2004), 145–54.

1324 Jack Pomerantz with Lyric Wallwork Winik, Run East: Flight from the Holocaust (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997), 158.

1325 Browning, Remembering Survival, 360 n.35. Langleban had been severely beaten in Auschwitz by a prisoner who was “settling scores” with collaborators. See Pinchas Hochmitz, “We Were Ten Brothers,” in Schutzman, Wierzbnik-Starachowitz, 263ff.

1326 Zimmerman, And Tell the Deeds of God, chapters 35 and 37.

1327 Zimmerman, And Tell the Deeds of God.

1328 Armstrong, Mosaic, 409.

1329 Helmreich, Against All Odds, 22–23.

1330 Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski, “Handel złotymi zębami w obozie w Sachsenhausen pod Berlinem,” Internet: .

1331 Levy, The Wiesnthal File, 83–85.

1332 Orna Ben-Naftali and Yogev Tuval, “Punishing International Crimes Committed by the Persecuted: The Kapo Trials in Israel (1950-s–1960’s), Journal of International Criminal Justice, vol. 4 (no. 1, March 2006): 128–178.

1333 Amazon Customer Review, Internet: .

1334 Piotr Wróbel, “The Judenräte Controversy: Some Polish Aspects,” The Polish Review, vol. 42, no. 2 (1997): 225–32, who cites numerous examples backing his thesis. For additional examples, see Trunk, Judenrat, 548–69; Idith Zertal, “Izrael wobec ofiar Holocaustu,” Gazeta Wyborcza, February 16, 2002.

1335 The following sources corroborate these charges: Bednarczyk, Życie codzienne warszawskiego getta, 242 (Jews built triumphal arches to greet the German invaders in Łódź, Pabianice, and elsewhere; Jewish community leaders, headed by rabbis dressed in ceremonial robes, came out to greet the Germans bearing trays with bread and salt); Eugeniusz Buczyński, Smutny wrzesień: Wspomnienia (Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie, 1985), 132 (in Przemyśl, Ukrainian nationalists and Jews jointly erected a triumphal arch for the Germans and looted Polish military buildings); Elinor J. Brecher, Schindler’s Legacy: True Stories of the List Survivors (New York: Penguin, 1994), 56 (Jews greeted the Germans in Kraków); Piotrowski, Poland’s Holocaust, 315 n.167 (Jews greeted the Germans in Janów Lubelski); Mieczysław Edward Szpyra, Moja wojna z Hitlerem, Banderą i Stalinem (Lublin: Norbertinum, 2001), 40 (several Jews who rushed out to greet the German army in Tomaszów Lubelski were photographed by the soldiers but were promptly chased away by officers); Tomasz Strzembosz, “Zstąpienie szatana czy przyjazd gestapo,” Rzeczpospolita (Warsaw), May 12, 2001 (a Jewish delegation headed by a rabbi greeted the Germans in Zaręby Kościelne near Ostrów Mazowiecka). Confirmation of these events can also be found in the report of a left-leaning Italian diplomat who stationed in Poland: “in the first days of the conflict, numerous Jews greeted the entrance of the German armies into Polish cities with cries of joy.” See Eugenio Reale, Raporty: Polska 1945–1946 (Paris: Institut Littéraire, 1968), 204. The motivation behind these actions is somewhat baffling because German designs, albeit not yet a full-blown Holocaust, were patently apparent from their widespread public mistreatment of Jews as soon as they entered Poland. Was it merely a matter of opportunism? Some behaviour may have been simply attributable to initial naïveté. A Jewish girl recall the day that the German army marched into Kraków: “My father and I were among the silent crowds in the street. Their soldiers certainly looked young, handsome and impressive in their well-cut green-grey uniforms. My father said to me, ‘They look so well-presented,’ and I heard admiration in his voice. Then an officer stepped out and called, ‘Can anyone here speak German?’ Without hesitation, my father approached him.” See Zylberman, Swimming Under Water, 17. In one case at least, it may have been a calculated course of action. In Oświęcim, on September 1, 1939, two Jews took in and cared for a wounded German, who had parachuted from a crashing plane, without informing the Polish authorities of his presence. When the Germans entered the town, the Jews led them to the wounded man who, it turned out, was an important Nazi officer. See Moshe Weiss, “To Commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Liberation from Auschwitz,” The Jewish Press (Brooklyn), January 27, 1995. Henryk Schönker presents this story in a different light. He states that the German officer was a pilot whose plane had been shot down while bombing Oświęcim. Fearful of possible future retaliation by the Germans, his father, the wartime leader of the Jewish community, decided not to hand the officer over to the Polish authorities, who, in any event, had ceased to function in that town. Leon Schönker hid the officer at his factory with the assistance of a caretaker, a Christian of German origin. Later, the grateful German officer alleviated conditions for Jews in the town, at least for a time. See Henryk Schönker, Dotknięcie anioła (Warsaw: Ośrodek Karta, 2005), 22–24. But perhaps part of the answer lies in deep-seated sentiments shared, it seems, by even the élite of the Jewish community. In his wartime diary, Chaim Kaplan, a rabbi, educator and author from Warsaw, wrote on September 1, 1939: “This war will indeed bring destruction upon human civilization. But this is a civilization which merits annihilation and destruction. … well, now the Poles themselves will receive our revenge through the hands of our cruel enemy. … My brain is full of the chatterings of the radio from both sides. The German broadcast in the Polish language prates propaganda. Each side accuses the other of every abominable act in the world. Each side considers itself to be righteous and the other murderous, destructive, and bent on plunder. This time, as an exception to the general rule, both speak the truth. Verily it is so—both sides are murderers, destroyers, and plunderers, ready to commit any abomination in the world.” See Katsh, Scroll of Agony, 19–21. Kaplan also peppered his wartime diary with anti-Christian remarks directed at Poles and gave credence to German anti-Polish propaganda. Ibid., 47, 133, 161. A similar attitude was demonstrated by Rabbi Kalonymos Kalmish Shapira, a prominent Hasidic leader, who wrote in the Warsaw ghetto: “The Jewish people have often had to endure calamities whose sole purpose was the destruction of wicked Gentiles. At such times, Jews are imperiled through no fault of their own.” See Rabbi Kalonymos Kalmish Shapira, Sacred Fire: Torah from the Years of Fury 1939–1942 (Northvale, New Jersey and Jerusalem: Jason Aronson, 2000), 294.

1336 Józef Łyżwa, “Pomagałem, a potem siedziałem,” Gazeta Polska (Warsaw), February 10, 1994.

1337 Marian S. Mazgaj, In the Polish Secret War: Memoir of a World War II Freedom Fighter (Jefferson, North Carolina and London: McFarland, 2009), 16. See also Piotrowski, Poland’s Holocaust, 315 n.167.

1338 Berl Kagan, ed., Luboml: The Memorial Book of a Vanished Shtetl (Hoboken, New Jersey: Ktav Publishing House, 1997), 240–41.

1339 Marek Wierzbicki, Polacy i Białorusini w zaborze sowieckim: Stosunki polsko-białoruskie na ziemiach północno-wschodnich II Rzeczypospolitej pod okupacją sowiecką 1939–1941 (Warsaw: Volumen, 2000), 181.

1340 Józef Geresz, Międzyrzec Podlaski: Dzieje miasta i okolic ((Biała Podlaska and Międzyrzec Podlaski: Ośrodek Wschodni “Civitas Christiana”, 1995), 299; Stanisław Jarmul, Radzyński Obwód Związku Walki Zbrojnej i Armii Krajowej (1939–1944) (Biała Podlaska: Miejska Biblioteka Publiczna, 2000), 26.

1341 Tom Segev, The Seventh Million: The Israelis and the Holocaust (New York: Hill and Wang, 1993); Lenni Brenner, ed., 51 Documents: Zionist Collaboration with the Nazis (Fort Lee, New Jersey: Barricade Books, 2002).

1342 According to Isaiah Trunk, 77 percent of the Judenrat members were Zionists. See Trunk, Judenrat, 34.

1343 Bryan Mark Rigg, Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers: The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military (Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2002). While it is true that the majority of the German Jews and Mischlinge (those of mixed blood) interviewed by Rigg escaped persecution by concealing their background or being fortunate to serve under officers that disregarded it, there were also quite a few of them known and spared by top Nazi officials and re-labeled Aryans. Hitler did this with the stroke of a pen. In Chapter 3 of his subsequent study Lives of Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers: Untold Tales of Men of Jewish Descent Who Fought for the Third Reich (Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2009), which deals with those who received the Deutschblutigkeitserklarung (declaration of German blood), Rigg wrote: “No fewer than twenty-one generals, several admirals, and one field marshal of Jewish descent served with Hitler’s consent. And thousands in the lower ranks of the Wehrmacht remained there because Hitler personally exempted them from the laws.” (P. 171.) Rigg reiterates the fact that Erhard Milch had been either a half-Jew or full Jew. (Pp. 177–78.) In his Chapter 4, Rigg discusses those who got the Genehmigung (racial amnesty, and permission to remain in the German armed forces).

1344 Ibid., 124, 207, 210. As historian Bernard Wasserstein notes, German Jews who were perfectly comfortable with the chauvinistic premises of Nazism, without of course its anti-Semitism (excepting the vehement hostility to the Ostjuden). This included Max Naumann, who argued unsuccessfully that Jews were in fact part of the German Volk. His organization, Verband Nationaldeutscher Juden, once had a membership of 3,500 mostly Berlin-area Jews. Hans Joachim Schoeps led a similar movement, the Deutscher Vortrup. See Bernard Wasserstein, On the Eve: The Jews of Europe Before the Second World War (New York and London: Simon & Schuster, 2012), 216–17.

1345 For some statistics see Wojciech Jerzy Muszyński and Rafał Sierchuła, “Legiony cudzoziemskie III Rzeszy,” in Encyklopedia “Białych Plam”, vol. 11 (Radom: Polskie Wydawnictwo Encyklopedyczne, 2003), 9–27.

1346 Jan T. Gross, Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2001), 155.

1347 Norman Davies, “The Jewish Strand in European History,” in Sławomir Kapralski, ed., The Jews in Poland, Vol. II (Kraków: Judaica Foundation Center for Jewish Culture, 1999), 96–98.


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