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  • Lenarda Szymczak
    Hi group, very interesting document and study of Ejszyszki - Wilno - Belorus (forgive my spelling of Bialorus/Belorus, how do you spell it? suppose it depends
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 26, 2013
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      Hi group, very interesting document and study of Ejszyszki – Wilno – Belorus (forgive my spelling of Bialorus/Belorus, how do you spell it? suppose it depends on which language you speak or which article you read).


      Quote - Two Occupiers

      The return of the Soviets to the Eastern Borderlands in 1944 spelled a total and collective catastrophe for the Poles and other inhabitants of the area as thriving ethnic, religious, and cul­tur­­al entities.[i] Like National Socialism, Communism was a complete antithesis of the pluralistic tradition of the old noble Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.  The Second Polish Republic (1918-1939) inherited and cherished, for better or worse, the remnants of the old civilization. It could have only been restored through a victory of the Polish Underground State over its two enemies: the Third Reich and the Soviet Union. [ii]

      END NOTES BELOW – (could not copy without their inclusion, programme did not allow - use own judgement in understanding what is written)

      [i] In the short run, the return of the Soviets was beneficial for the Jews if only because it saved them from sure death meted out to them mercilessly by the German Nazis. In the long run, however, the Soviet “liberators” harbored similar plans with respect to the Jewish remnants as they did toward the rest of the population of the Borderlands. The Jews were to be subjected to total Sovietization, as was their tradition­al elite; Jewish religious and social institutions and Jewish culture were to be eradicated. This program spelled the annihilation of the Jews as a separate ethno-religious group.

      [ii] At their most extreme, the Polish Underground State and its armed forces, the Home Army, postulated that the dominant place in the resurrected Polish state should be guaranteed to the majority ethnic group, the Poles, and the assimilated members of other groups. That option, which was after all consistent with the majoritarian stance then-current in Western democracies, also precluded the physical extermination of ethnic or religious minorities (contrary to the practice of totalitarian states like Nazi Germany and the So­viet Union). The mainstream Polish underground formula envisioned the restoration of an independent Poland which would be subject to far-reaching reform, where the interests of the minorities would be sub­ordinated to those of the majority. In practice, however, any extremist measures aimed at the minor­ities would have been paralyzed both by the leftist and liberal circles in the Polish independentist camp as well as by the democratic Western powers, a point that needs to be stressed. Besides, in the wake of a victor­ious war, only a few Polish independentist groups laid plans for a radical future. Following the bloodiest conflict in history, the Polish nation expected foremost stability and reconstruction and not yet another revolutionary upheaval with its inherent contorsions. Free Poland would have welcomed a program of far reaching reform to usher in stability and prosperity, but not a radical campaign to persecute national min­or­ities. For drafts of various underground plans concerning post-war Poland see Komenda Główna Armii Krajowej, Oddział II, Archiwum Akt Nowych, Armia Krajowa [afterward AAN, AK], files 203/III-30 through 38; AAN, AK, file 203/III-48, vol. 2; Departament Rolnictwa, Program, AAN, DR, file 202/VI-4

      And also – quote Meanwhile, nonetheless, some persons connected to the ancient régime as well as opportunists of all colors were able to find a place for themselves at the very bottom of the new power structure. They strove to accommodate the Soviet occupation. Some of them combined their activities in the new administration with struggle against the Soviets.

      Also and -  quote The Wilno Region before the War (1918-1939)

      In 1931 almost 60 percent of the 1,263,300 inhabitants of the province of Wilno declared Polish as their native tongue. The vast majority of these undoubtedly were ethnic Poles who ad­hered to the Roman Catholic faith. The remaining nationalities were, in descending order: Belo­russians (22.7 percent), Jews (8.5 percent), Russians (3.4 percent), Lithuanians (about 3 percent), Tartars, and “locals”. The proportions in Wilno itself were as follows: the Poles constituted an abso­lute majority (about 65 percent), the Jews constituted the second largest ethnic group (about 28 percent), and small groups of Russians, Belorussians, Germans, Tartars, and Lithuanians

      This is logic and sense -  quote Did Polish profes­sors at the USB grade their Jewish students differently than their Christian ones? There is good reason to doubt that.[ii] Moreover, preliminary research concerning at least several towns in the Wilno region suggests that Polish-Jewish relations oscillated between conflict and cooperation, and even cordiality – despite the ethno-religious and cultural wall between them.[ii]

      There is also another dimension that should be considered when we study Polish-Jewish relations in particular, and human affairs in general. We should bear in mind that life does not consist of conflict only. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, we tend to recall conflict most readily, perhaps because it interrupts the monotonous routine of everyday existence. We report to the police when a crime is committed. We do not do so when someone extends a small favor to us. Thus, we would look in vain for evidence of casual kindness in court records and police dis­patches. To a certain extent, the same holds true for individual recollections. This is an indic­ation that the data at our disposal at the present time is incomplete. We must delve deeper into the topic and work out a much more multifaceted methodology for micro-studies than already exists, one that does not overlook the complicated symbiotic interdependencies in everyday existence.

      Let us endeavor to avoid the pitfall of obsessive, nay exclusive concentration on violence in studying Polish-Jewish relations before 1939. Let us restore the full picture of everyday life. After all, historians have largely avoided comprehensive studies of the topic. Therefore our obser­vations concerning the Wilno region should be considered as preliminary and tentative conclusions stemming from a dearth of scholarship, inaccessible archives, and all too often from tendentious recollections and highly dispersed published primary sources.

      All in all, we do not even have any solid monographs on pre-war Wilno and its environs, including the thorny subject of Polish-Jewish relations. Fortunately, from a scholarly point of view, the situation is somewhat better in regards to the study of the history of the Wilno region following the outbreak of the Second World War.[ii]

      Please read entire article as these quotes only highlight what is inside article, so presumptions are not made, before all facts are known - http://www.pacwashmetrodiv.org/projects/ejszyszki/ejszyszki.doc



      Lenarda, Australia


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