The Holocaust in the Polish Countryside A Witness Testimony and Historical Account

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2017-03-09
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
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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.

Author Biography

Tadeusz Markiel (1929-2010) was a young boy during the Second World War. He grew up in Gniewczyna, in South-Eastern Poland and witnessed the Holocaust as it related to his village. Markiel waited until everyone mentioned in his testimony had passed away before sharing it, having spent decades haunted by what he saw.

Alina Skibinska is a Polish historian of the Holocaust and founding member of the Centre for Holocaust Research in Warsaw, Poland.

Anna Solarska has recently completed a PhD thesis in History under the supervision of Professor Dan Stone at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.

Table of Contents

Foreword - Jan T. Gross (Princeton University, USA)
Editorial Note
Part I - Tadeusz Markiel's Testimony
1. Gniewczyna in Wartime
2. A Word about Gniewczyna
3. Relations with Jewish Neighbours
4. A Time of War, a Time of Fear
5. Lawless Under Occupation
6. At the Trynczers'
7. Nuchym's Fate
8. The Murder of Leib "the Second"
9. The Story of Abramek and his Father Majer
10. The Tragedy of Golda
11. Liberation
12. Settling Scores
13. After the Occupation
14. Preserving memory
15. Not All Are Guilty, But All Are Responsible
Part II Historicizing the Testimony
16. Gniewczyna in Wartime: A Close-Up
17. Gniewczyna on a Historical and Geographical Map
18. Names, the Shortest Story
19. Bad Times
20. Holocaust
21. 'God, Honour, Fatherland'
22. Survivors
23. Criminal Trials
24. Epilogue
Part III - Sources
25. The Trial of Jan Konieczny [transcript]
26. The Trial of Józef Lasek, Józef Kulpa, Józef & Jan Skitala [transcript]
27. Correspondence [letters to and from residents/former residents of Gniewczyna]
28. List of Abbreviations

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