Category Archives: Judaism

Only One Occupied Country in Europe Rose to the Defense of Jews During World War II



To what extent did the populations of rural Lithuania and Poland engage in hostilities and Nazi collaboration against Jewish fugitives and partisans surviving in forests? (Part 2, by Jack Watt)


PublisHistory Blog

To what extent did the populations of rural Lithuania and Poland engage in hostilities and Nazi collaboration against Jewish fugitives and partisans surviving in forests? (Part 2, by Jack Watt)

Traditional anti-Semitism was rife in pre-war Eastern Europe and was not a recent phenomenon. Yehuda Merin asserts that ‘most of the local population harboured feelings of hatred for the Jews in the family camps… well-rooted in past ages.’ This was certainly the case for many rural areas, where Catholicism was strong and integration between Jewish and non-Jewish communities was less developed. Such attitudes in Poland and Lithuania were encouraged by German propaganda, and the rhetoric of some nationalist political organisations (such as the Lithuanian Activist Front). In Poland too, ‘on the basis of anti-Semitism and anti-Sovietism, some groups even tried to get along with the occupier, thanks to a common ideological language.’

Thus, encroachment onto land, and theft of property by forest fugitives could be framed as a distinctly Jewish problem. Sakowicz echoes this kind of anti-Semitism in one of his diary entries, as Jewish activity around Ponary became more…

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Judaism: History



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