The Crime and the Silence: Confronting the Memory of the Burning of Jews by Their Neighbors in Wartime Jedwabne

The Crime and the Silence Confronting the Memory of the Burning of Jews by Their Neighbors in Wartime Jedwabne In July just weeks after the Germans invaded Russia the Jewish population of a small Polish town hundreds of men women and children were ordered out of their homes and forced into a barn The

  • Title: The Crime and the Silence: Confronting the Memory of the Burning of Jews by Their Neighbors in Wartime Jedwabne
  • Author: Anna Bikont Alissa Valles
  • ISBN: 9780374178796
  • Page: 257
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In July 1941, just weeks after the Germans invaded Russia, the Jewish population of a small Polish town hundreds of men, women and children were ordered out of their homes, and forced into a barn The barn was then set on fire Anyone attempting to escape, or found in hiding, was quickly killed.The story soon spread that the massacre was organised and executed by NaziIn July 1941, just weeks after the Germans invaded Russia, the Jewish population of a small Polish town hundreds of men, women and children were ordered out of their homes, and forced into a barn The barn was then set on fire Anyone attempting to escape, or found in hiding, was quickly killed.The story soon spread that the massacre was organised and executed by Nazi paramilitary forces It seemed to fit Similar atrocities had taken place in nearby villages although none of this scale But the truth was very different Over the course of the twentieth century fragments of the real story began to surface It emerged that the perpetrators of the act were in fact the Polish villagers, who, on one afternoon, turned on and killed their Jewish neighbours But why Part history, part memoir, part detective story, The Crime and the Silence is an award winning journalist s account of the events of July 1941 the true story of the massacre, a portrait of a town coming to terms with its dark past, and a vital contribution to Holocaust literature.

    One thought on “The Crime and the Silence: Confronting the Memory of the Burning of Jews by Their Neighbors in Wartime Jedwabne”

    1. My father was born a short distance from Krakow in 1913 when Poland was still part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and fortunately was able to immigrate to the United States in the mid-1930s, though many of our extended family would eventually perish in Auschwitz. Growing up my father would tell me stories about what it was like to live among Polish Catholics in his village and the abuse that he endured. Years later I read the book NEIGHBOR: THE DESTRUCTION OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY IN JEDWABNE, PO [...]

    2. Culpable AmnesiaBetween global histories of the Holocaust and individual biographies of those caught up in it lies this: a story of the story to uncover the facts of the massacre of a Polish Jewish village by its neighbours during WW II. Local involvement, even leadership, of the killing cannot be denied. Yet today's residents vehemently resist recognition of the roles their parents and grandparents played. Nor will they permit investigation of events that they simply prefer forgotten. Bikont is [...]

    3. The Crime and The Silence – Will The Truth Ever Be Acknowledged?Anna Bikont is a Jewish journalist based in Warsaw and has written about her attempts to look at one of Poland’s darkest and most shameful events. This was an event that for many years was denied that ever took place, when it has been an open festering sore, especially to those who survived. The murder of Jews in Jedwabne until recently was not even acknowledged by the Polish government, it now is.My Polish Grandfather was a sol [...]

    4. Phenomenal. We are often taught that when a mistake is made we must acknowledge it and work to make things right. Yet in the town of Jedwabne, Poland, this is not the case. Rather, the brutal mass murder of the village's Jews was swept under the rug. Anna Bikont does a tremendous job investigating who died, who survived, and which individuals perpetrated the gruesome murders. She also digs in to the reasons why so many in the village are reticent, even today, to discuss what happened. Her many i [...]

    5. I read this in the newly published Swedish translation. i loved this book and I am very glad I got hold of a copy.It left a deep soar of sadness realizing these were actual people doing this to other people. The book described the author's work in a very detailed manner which I enjoyed, however it got a bit monotonous at times, due to the journal- format of it. The pictures of the victims made the scenery a whole lot more real and it helps you realize the severeness of the crimes committed.

    6. Devastating. Moving. Brave. We all need to know what happened in Jedwabne. This is a stellar work of journalism and cultural reconstruction.

    7. "There were a lot of killings after the war, people were scared of visitors at night, afraid they'd come, smash things up, steal things, murder you. Father said you had to have a good sense of who was coming; they came at night and asked,'Who do you support?' If they were National Armed Forces, and you said you supported the Home Army, they could kill you. The National Armed Forces were fighting, but only to rape women and rob their husbands. It would help not only if Poles apologized to Jews, b [...]

    8. "You could hear the screaming two kilometers away"On July 10, 1941 fourteen hundred Jews from Jebwabne, Poland were rounded up into a barn and set on fire. Who exactly gave the orders for this massacre? Many Poles living in the area claim it was the Germans but this book argues that it was the Poles who killed their own neighbors. It is a community secret that continues to haunt this town to this very day. Through her perseverance and bravery Anna Bikont spent several years researching extensive [...]

    9. A brilliant and terrifying book, it's disappointing it took 11 years to be translated (very ably) into English and published in the US. Anna Bikont not only handles the organization of the book in a very effective manner, alternating between the diary of her investigation and individual stories, she brings together a wide array of sources to give a portrait of a Poland I don't think many Americans know about - a Poland still infected to this day with endemic antisemitism, including in the highes [...]

    10. This is a very "heavy" book and it is extremely hard to get through, but it is definitely worth it and scary to think about what happened in these towns in Poland, where neighbors attacked neighbors goaded on by the authorities and priests. The book goes back and forth between the author's interviews with survivors as well as her journal of events going on. Well worth it if you can stick it out.

    11. This is a brilliantly and meticulously researched book about the "forgotten" massacre of Jews in Jedwabne, Poland, on July 10, 1941. I had never realized how virulently antisemitic Poland was, and appears still to be. I took 36 pages of notes on my Nook for this book, far more than any book I've read.The author, Anna Bikont, is a Polish Jew who decides to assiduously research the burning of hundreds of Jedwabne Jews in a barn at the outskirts of town. Some 40 Polish thugs rousted all the Jews of [...]

    12. BackDescriptionProduct DescriptionWinner of the National Jewish Book Award in the Holocaust categoryA monumental work of nonfiction on a wartime atrocity, its sixty-year denial, and the impact of its truthJan Gross's hugely controversial Neighbors was a historian's disclosure of the events in the small Polish town of Jedwabne on July 10, 1941, when the citizens rounded up the Jewish population and burned them alive in a barn. The massacre was a shocking secret that had been suppressed for more t [...]

    13. La Pologne entretient avec son histoire un rapport paradoxal. D’un côté, le secret longtemps occulté de l’identité des bourreaux de Katyn nourrit sa méfiance atavique à l’égard du voisin russe. De l’autre, la Pologne assume avec difficulté son passé antisémite.Durant l’été 1941, après le déclenchement de l’opération Barbarossa, les populations juives de la Pologne orientale furent victimes de pogroms meurtriers. Le 10 juillet 1941, la quasi-totalité de la population j [...]

    14. This book is really well-written, informative and extremely necessary. It’s also totally horrifying. The gruesome details do not stop coming – there’s hardly a moment to breathe over the 500+ pages.The way the book is constructed contributes to the claustrophobia. It alternates between two types of chapters: the present-day (early 2000s) narrative of Bikont chasing down sources and doing archival research, and then the stories of Holocaust survivors set during the 30s and 40s. The fact tha [...]

    15. I bought this book to work to understand why people kill neighbors and what happens afterward. I've no ax to grind - not Polish, not Jewish - just curious. If you can slog through it this book does an adequate job of covering the various causes - greed, culture, religion, ignorance you get the drift. The book does a good job of painting the long term ramifications on the people who come after in terms of guilt and behavior. This book didn't help me understand why this particular part of Poland w [...]

    16. This is a harrowing and really worthy read. The most important message to bring from it is "the holocaust is not past tense." The controversy over wartime guilt for atrocities in Poland is very sobering. I had the honor of being the narrator for the upcoming audiobook, and many many times in the recording booth, a sentence would trigger a huge emotional response that the author had been steadily building for pages - and then I would have to stop and use a lot of Kleenex to compose myself so i co [...]

    17. UnbelievableAnother proof of man's inhumanity to man. An exceptional work by the author in words, documents and emotions. I would strongly recommend it to the serious rather on the history of the holocaust.

    18. Excellent book. It's a tough read, but in my view essential to understanding a troubling aspect of the 20th Century relationship between Christian and Jewish Poles.

    19. A reviewer of fiction and nonfiction about Judaism, World War II, and the Holocaust, would rarely be shocked or frightened by a book. European Jews have been the object of scorn and animosity for centuries’ however, Anna Bikont’s masterpiece, The Crime and the Silence, fills one with apprehension. One is prepared for the brutality and horror from the past. But one is not prepared for the same level of detestation toward Jews in contemporary Poland. This is almost more frightening than the ge [...]

    20. This incident researched this subject exhaustedly. In Jebwabne, Poland, 200 Jews were marched into a barn and then set on fire. Once Germany lost the war, the neighbors in this town denied involvement and blamed it on German officers. Biking refuted this claim entirely and this book is about her research and findings.

    21. Het boek gaat over het antisemitisme, vooral gesteund door de katholieke kerk, in het oosten van Pollen. Daar waren in de dertiger jaren, al lang voor de oorlog weer pogroms. Toen de oorlog begon was dit gebied even Duits, daarna Russisch en daarna weer Duits. In juli 1941 werden in een aantal dorpen bijna alle Joden op gruwelijke wijze afgeslacht door de Poolse bevolking. De Duitsers hoefden daar weinig aan te doen. In zeker twee dorpen werden de Joden een grote schuur ingedreven, die vervolgen [...]

    22. This book was difficult to read for several reasons. The subject matter is very sad as it covers crimes committed during WWII in Poland against the Jewish residents. The saddest part is that there is still so much anti-Semitism in Poland today even though there are hardly any Jewish people still living in the country. The author did a lot of research in trying to put together all the information and to make sure as much as possible 60 years after the killings that it was correct. I did learn a l [...]

    23. This book starts slowly, as you have to be patient to start to understand the context; the names of the various communities and how they interact with each other; and the names of the various individuals, victims and otherwise (harder to remember if you're not accustomed to reading long Polish names). The structure of the book is also unusual, interspersing historical accounts and summaries of historical research with more personal reflections by the author about how Poland has confronted its wa [...]

    24. During the War, and the years leading up to it, pogroms (organized massacres of Jews) were not uncommon in Poland. In fact, between pogroms and concentration camps, 90 percent of the Jewish population was wiped out. This book details one such pogrom. In interviews the author conducted with those ranging from upper-level government officials to those living in tiny villages, she encountered a tremendous amount of current-day anti-Semitism. This in a country of less than 2,000 Jews. But there were [...]

    25. I've preserved fuller remarks in my personal notes, but it is sufficient to say that this is one of the most powerful works of history I've read in some time. When I read Jan Gross' Neighbors a decade ago, it challenged not only my understanding of the Holocaust, but also my estimation of what lies in the hearts of humankind. In essence, Bikont supports Gross' thesis: war may have forged a world of extremes, but Polish Catholics in Jedwabne, Radziłow, and Wąsosz murdered their neighbors withou [...]

    26. This book was eye-opening, horrifying, disheartening, and, I feel, a very important read. The main reason I only gave it four stars is the structure of the book. I found it difficult to follow at first. This is possibly due to the fact that the book was not originally written in English; it could also be that the author is a journalist and wrote her book with that stylistic influence. The content, however, was thought provoking. The book examines the massacre of the Jews in the Polish town of Ja [...]

    27. In 2000 Jan Gross' book 'Neighbors' was released in Poland. It detailed the massacre of Jews in a barn in Jedwabne on July 10, 1941 and laid the blame on Poles not Germans. Bikont follows the reaction to Gross' book through her 2000-2004 journal, travels far and wide to interview survivors of the tragedy and does investigation into the murders herself. She reveals a Poland riven with anti-Semitism. The roots of the hatred are deep. In Jedwabne before WWII Jews and Poles (and they are considered [...]

    28. This was a tedious read. The story is very sad. It's a shame that Poland is too afraid to come to terms with the reality of what happened. Anna Bikont lays the facts and does a service to everybody! The truth is the Poles were responsible for the massacre of the Jews in Jedwabne and the surrounding towns. But her construction of the book was irritating. The real time diary entries grew tiresome. I enjoyed reading the separate chapters of those she interviewed, including the killers. But my god t [...]

    29. A fascinating oral history of interwar Poland focused on the singular event in 1941 when a group of Poles burned their Jewish neighbours. She weaves the oral history with the present day and the reactions of the Poles as the truth is uncovered. A fascinating historical study but one probably better told by Jan Gross and for the interwar history of Poland and the origins of the Holocaust one is better to read the works of Timothy Snyder.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *