has been estimated at between 30,000 and 40,000. Among thernbeneficiaries of Polish heroism is the American Jewish liberalrnadvocate Abe Foxman. Despite the work by Polish Catholics tornsave his life, I have never seen Foxman or the Anti-DefamationrnLeague he heads challenge the equation of Poles with Nazis.rnThis charge has come from one of Foxman’s close associates inrnthe ADL, in his never-ending war against Christian anti-rnSemitism, Alan Dershowitz. In his autobiographical Chutzpah,rnDershowitz vents spleen on Polish Christians and insists that,rnunlike homosexuals and Jews, Poles were “only selectively murderedrnby the Nazis.” One awaits (perhaps in vain) Foxman’srncorrection of such unkind errors by his frequent companion-inarms.rnIn one unpublished response to the Toronto Globe and Mail,rnand to the published allegation of an Alan Levine (this one notrnto be confused with the military historian) that Poles too mustrnaccept responsibility for the holocaust, Polish-Canadian historianrnMark Wegierski cites the contrary opinions of three distinguishedrnPolish Jewish scholars: Richard Pipes, Yisrael Gutmanrnof the Yad Vashem Institute and editor-in-chief of the Encyclopediarnof the Holocaust, and Szymon Datner, director of Warsaw’srnJewish Historical Institute. All three of these respectedrnhistorians have controverted the charge of widespread Polishrncomplicity in Nazi crimes. Each has insisted that PolishrnCatholics, like Polish Jews, were victims of the Nazi occupationrnof Elastern Europe.rnThere is, unfortunately, a long-standing and mutual dislikernbetween these two European groups, a fact that my late wife,rndescended from both, never tired of stressing. Despite the factrnthat they had lived side by side for centuries and had been treatedrnas subhuman by a common oppressor, no real warmth hasrnexisted between them, with only rare exceptions. Indeed eachrnhas defined itself by what the other is not, be it providential orrnprodigal, shrewd or impetuous, calculating or animalistic. Evenrnin shared suffering it may have been difficult for either to recognizernthe humanity of the other, and the fact that some Polesrnrisked their lives for some Jews must come as a happy surprisernin this history of tangled, bad relations. When the war againstrnthe Germans was over, and even before then, hostilities betweenrnthe unwilling allies erupted again. In Soviet-occupiedrnEastern Poland (which Stalin acquired by joining Hitler in thernrape of Poland), Jews as outsiders were eagerly recruited to imposernSoviet rule. Not only did many work for the Soviets, theyrnwere also disproportionately represented in the postwar Stalinistrngovernment inflicted on the Poles in 1948.rnThe now publicized account by the oral historian Yaffa Eliachrnof the Polish Home Front’s assault on her family’s home inrnEjszyszki omits one unsettling detail: Eliach’s father had beenrnhousing and entertaining members of the Soviet secret policernwhen the attack was unleashed. The assailants were Polish resistancernfighters against the Germans who had just broken outrnof Soviet captivity. After the assault, in which two members ofrnEliach’s family were killed (another had been saved by arnCatholic priest from the clutches of the S.S.), local Jews, togetherrnwith the Soviets, hunted down and killed the Polish soldiers.rnThese contextualizing details can be found in releasedrncommunist archives in Lithuania; the)’ also turn up, inopportunelyrnfor Ms. Eliach and Shtetl, in the autobiography Time tornMourn by Polish Jewish NKVD officer Leon Kahn. The secondrnsource has been available in English since 1978.rnBut others also assisted the Soviets, including those who tookrntheir pay while inciting Polish peasants against the Jews. In arncourageous, factual brief, the late Leopold Tyrmand, the firstrneditor of this magazine, exposed the postwar Soviet connectionrnof the Polish anti-Semitic politician Boleslaw Piasecki. Tyrmandrnshowed how Piasecki and others even far more virulentlyrnanti-Jewish were used by the Soviets to turn Western opinionrnagainst noncommunist Poles and toward their communist conquerors.rnIncidents were provoked by Soviet agents who denouncedrnJews as Soviet collaborators in a starving and occupiedrncountry.rnAcommon feature of recent anti-Polish broadsides is theirrnrefusal to allow for the obvious, that from September 1939rnonward Poland was an occupied and wrecked country respondingrnto events rather than shaping them. Those who complainrnthat Poland will not confront its past have a strange view ofrnwhat they think Poles refuse to confront. In this view Poles welcomedrnthe German occupation because it enabled them to robrnand massacre Jews, supposedly a preferred Polish pastime. Alas,rnI have heard this view expressed by Polish Jews more times thanrnI care to recall. Nonetheless, when pressed on these points,rnthey will also explain that some Poles treated them well whilernothers tried to curry favor with the Nazis by behaving treacherously.rnThe point in either case is that Poles did not initiate orrncarry out the killing. It was done by the Nazis and occasionallyrnwith Ukrainian collaborators, who had it in both for Jews andrnfor Poles. That some Poles betrayed Jews to get Nazi favors wasrnnot uniquely Polish. The same practice went on to the samernextent or even more in Western Europe. It is highly doubtfulrnthat Poles engaged in such behavior at a higher rate than, say,rnthe Hench or Dutch. And unlike these others, the Poles didrnnot produce volunteers for the S.S., and moreover their lowrnracial status would have kept the Nazis from accepting themrnanyway.rnSince the fall of the SovietrnEmpire, no former Sovietrncaptive nation has fared as badly asrnPoland in the American press.rnMost of the anti-Polish tirades now being circulated betrayrnthe fingerprints of the Soviet Empire. The dissolving empirernleft an eddy of propaganda that continues to encircle the Polishrnnation and confuse discussions of its past. Thus the Sovietrntakeover of Poland, from the perspective of the conqueror, isrnseen as a benign event, which stopped anti-Jewish pogroms andrnneutralized Polish Catholic character. Never are the Soviets tornbe held responsible for the anti-Semitism they fomented. Theyrnjust came along opportunely to suppress Polish Nazis, who otherwisernwould have finished Hitler’s work. Significantly, the onernindisputable, overshadowing Polish atrocity of the postwarrnyears, the killing or expulsion of over three million ethnic Germansrnsettled in what became Western Poland, is no longerrnbrought up in our newspapers or by the media. This oversightrnJANUARY 1997/13rnrnrn