The Holocaust in the Polish Countryside brings the incredibly moving first-hand witness testimony of Tadeusz Markiel and his recollection of life as a Polish Catholic boy in the rural town of Gniewczyna to an English-speaking audience for the first time. His narrative, supplemented with extensive academic footnotes from Alina Skibinska, recounts life in the Polish countryside prior to the Nazis, before describing in horrific detail the torture, rape, pillaging and betrayal of his Jewish neighbours. Skibinska, a founding member of the world-renowned Polish Centre for Holocaust Research, then builds on this with a sensitive historical account that serves to corroborate, enrich and contextualise Markiel's testimony.
This book, which also includes a Foreword by Neighbors and Golden Harvest author Jan T. Gross and useful transcripts from post-war trials and correspondence between residents and former residents of Gniewczyna, is of incredible significance to anyone seeking to further their understanding of the Holocaust. It provides readers with extensive source material, in English here for the first time, and delivers new insights into burgeoning Holocaust studies topics like the pillaging of the Jews, the Holocaust in rural areas, and notions concerning the witness and the role of the past in the present.