Żydokomuna


Żydokomuna

"Żydokomuna" (Polish for "Judeo-Communism" or "Judeo-Bolshevism") is a pejorative term that has been used to express an antisemitic stereotype that blamed Jews for having advocated, introduced and run communism in Poland.cite book| author = Antony Polonsky and Joanna B. Michlic | title= The Neighbors Respond: The Controversy over the Jedwabne Massacre in Poland | publisher = Princeton University Press| year =2003 | url = http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0691113068&id=a_49GjK8ovMC&pg=PA469&lpg=PA469&ots=1lhMVMFXRZ&dq=zydokomuna&sig=MI7YDstMGsbQ6_b-9UUjmWev-TY | isbn = 0-691-11306-8 p.469] Żydokomuna is a variant on the idea of 'Judeo-communism'—a combination of antisemitism, anti-communism, and anti-Sovietism—which had a strong influence throughout Eastern Europe, including countries such as Poland with large interwar Jewish minorities.Andre Gerrits. Antisemitism and Anti-Communism: The Myth of 'Jiudeo-Communism' in Eastern Europe.. East European Jewish Affairs. 1995, Vol. 25, No. 1:49-72. Page 71.]

Origins

The stereotype behind Żydokomuna is rooted in medieval anti-Semitic myth, that of Jews spreading the diseasecite web|url=http://web.ceu.hu/jewishstudies/pdf/02_stola.pdf|title=THE ANTI-ZIONIST CAMPAIGN IN POLAND 1967–1968|last=Stola|first=Dariusz|accessdate=2008-10-11] Modern forms of demonization of Jews included accusations of white slave trade, criminal activities like counterfeiting and racketeering. [Robert Blobaum. Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland Cornell University Press, 2005, pp. 81-82.] The specific "Żydokomuna" stereotype of the anti-Polish Jew and an organized Jewish conspiracy threatening the the existing social order dates back to a pamphlet (written in 1817 but not published until 1858) by the Polish Enlightenment writer and political activist Julian Ursyn Niemcewicz, "The Year 3333, or the Incredible Dream" ("Rok 3333 czyli Sen niesłychany"). [Magdalena Opalski, Israel Bartal. [http://books.google.com/books?id=VQqO8LBNBbsC&pg=PA29&vq=3333&dq=Julian+Niemcewicz+The+Year+3333+jews&source=gbs_search_s&cad=5&sig=ACfU3U3yhxiOFiS0KXyX0U2Gj-Mlqa9W5Q#PPA30,M1 Poles and Jews: A Failed Brotherhood.] University Press of New England, 1992. P29-30] [Joanna B. Michlic. [http://books.google.com/books?id=t6h2pI7o_zQC&pg=PA48&dq=Niemcewicz+3333&sig=ACfU3U10zREx8wvB12kDCcZAfpyoJ0FxCA#PPA48,M1 Poland's Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present.] University of Nebraska Press, 2006. Pages 47-48.] The novel reflected the widespread fears of Jewish economic influence and a desire to slow down or halt the process of Jewish assimilation, and presented a doomsday vision in which Poland would become a sinister "Judeo-Polonia" run by assimilated Jews. It described a Warsaw of the future, renamed "Moshkopolis" (in the Polish, "Moszkopolis") after its Jewish ruler Moshko (in the Polish, "Moszko"),Antony Polonsky, [http://www.yale.edu/isps/seminars/antisemitism/seminar_papers/Polonsky_seminar.pdf Poles, Jews and the Problems of a Divided Memory] , Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, page: 20 (PDF file: 208 KB)] and was published during the period of European Jewish history known as the Jewish Enlightenment ("Haskalah").

In twentieth century Żydokomuna became the dominant antisemitic stereotype [Robert Blobaum. Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland Cornell University Press, 2005, pp. 81-82.] .The term "Żydokomuna" was popularized in connection with the Russian Bolshevik Revolution. "Many Poles felt directly threatened both by the prospect of revolution and by Russian imperialism in a new guise, which they saw embodied in the Soviet regime." The visibility of Jews in both the Soviet leadership and in the Polish Communist Party further heightened such fears.Antony Polonsky, [http://www.yale.edu/isps/seminars/antisemitism/seminar_papers/Polonsky_seminar.pdf Poles, Jews and the Problems of a Divided Memory] , Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, page: 20 (PDF file: 208 KB)] According to Jaff Schatz, the strength of the "Żydokomuna" belief stemmed from age-old Polish fears of Russia and from anti-communist and antisemitic attitudes. Schatz writes that "because anti-Semitism was one of the main forces that drew Jews to the Communist movement, Żydokomuna meant turning the effects of anti-Semitism into a cause of its further increase." [Jaff Schatz, "The Generation: The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Communists of Poland", University of California Press, 1991, p. 95.] [Jaff Schatz, "Jews and the Communist Movement in Interwar Poland," in Jonathan Frankel, [http://books.google.com/books?id=POkxdm6DoAsC&pg=PA13&lpg=PA13&dq=jaff+schatz+jews+communism&source=web&ots=B5QNMKyJ49&sig=KW-p4_cdwuVM_kHyU9zifzYbX8M&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA30,M1 "Dark Times, Dire Decisions: Jews and Communism: Studies in Contemporary Jewry"] , Oxford University Press US, 2005, p. 30.] The "Żydokomuna" belief boosted antisemitism by amplifying ideas about an alleged "Jewish world conspiracy."Andre Gerrits. Antisemitism and Anti-Communism: The Myth of 'Jiudeo-Communism' in Eastern Europe. "East European Jewish Affairs". 1995, Vol. 25, No. 1:49-72. Page 71.]

The expression "Żydokomuna" was used again during the Polish-Soviet War of 1919–21, when violence against Jews, such as the Pinsk massacre, was justified by alleged Jewish support of the Soviets along Poland's eastern borderlands,en icon cite book | author =Tadeusz Piotrowski | coauthors = | title =Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide... | year =1997 | editor = | pages =p. 41-42| chapter = | chapterurl = | publisher McFarland & Company | location = | id =ISBN 0-7864-0371-3 | format = | accessdate = ] which had led to the belief that some Polish Jews were communists or communist sympathizers. [Joanna B. Michlic. [http://books.google.com/books?id=t6h2pI7o_zQC&pg=PA118&dq=pinsk+massacre+bolsheviks+1919&sig=ACfU3U2xMb8BabkXSW7dC_3BhriQQgc2FA "Poland's Threatening Other. The Myth and Anti-Jewish Violence between 1919 and 1939: Investigation, rationalization and justification of violence".] University of Nebraska Press, 2006. P117.] en icon cite book | author =Tadeusz Piotrowski | coauthors = | title =Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide... | year =1997 | editor = | pages =pp. 41-42| chapter = | chapterurl = | publisher =McFarland & Company | location = | id =ISBN 0-7864-0371-3 | format = | accessdate = ] Jews were also accused at this time as being the masterminds behind the Polish Communist Party. The Żydokomuna accusation, however, had occupied a central place in Polish nationalist propaganda even before the Soviet invasion of eastern Poland. It was here that, according to this thinking, that "the modern means to the long attempted Jewish political conquest of Poland; the Żydokomuna conspirators would finally succeed in establishing a 'Judeo-Polonia.'" [David S. Wyman, Charles H. Rosenzveig. [http://books.google.com/books?id=U6KVOsjpP0MC&pg=PA103&dq=1919+zydokomuna&sig=ACfU3U1v67rfHLwdhJ6qiaDN1x6-g2BXrQ The World Reacts to the Holocaust.] The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.] The concept of "Żydokomuna" was exploited in propaganda by Poland's interwar National Democrats. [Daniel Blatman, "The Encounter between Jews and Poles in Lublin District after Liberation, 1944-1945," "East European Politics & Societies", 2006, vol. 20, no. 4 (598-621), page 601.] Though Jews were well represented in the Polish Communist Party, Jewish communists were a minuscule political and social group with little actual influence in the Polish-Jewish community or Poland as a whole. [Daniel Blatman, "The Encounter between Jews and Poles in Lublin District after Liberation, 1944-1945," "East European Politics & Societies", 2006, vol. 20, no. 4, 598-621: "However, interwar Polish–Jewish relations were much more complex and multifaceted; one cannot deem the Jews’ role in the Polish or global Communist movement to have been a principal factor in shaping relations between the two national groups. Although numerically they were rather well represented in the Polish Communist Party and its counterparts in Ukraine or Lithuania, the Jewish Communists were a small political and social group, isolated and practically devoid of influence in the Jewish street, let alone the Polish."] [Dariusz Libionka. [http://www.lekket.com/Site_ViewDocument.asp?id=808&idPage=1 Alien, Hostile, Dangerous: The Image of the Jews and the "Jewish Question" in the Polish-Catholic Press in the 1930s.] "Yad Vashem Studies." 32 (2004): 248-252.] Nevertheless, Polish Catholic Church publications commonly expressed anti-Jewish views. [Daniel Blatman. The Encounter between Jews and Poles in Lublin District after Liberation, 1944-1945. "East European Politics & Societies", 2006, Vol. 20, No. 4, 598-621.] [Dariusz Libionka. [http://www.lekket.com/Site_ViewDocument.asp?id=808&idPage=1 Alien, Hostile, Dangerous: The Image of the Jews and the "Jewish Question" in the Polish-Catholic Press in the 1930s.] "Yad Vashem Studies." 32 (2004): 248-252.] [Robert Blobaum. [http://books.google.com/books?id=HeUvRvZY0dEC&pg=PA13&dq=zydokomuna+catholic+violent&sig=ACfU3U0NoCZXGP13Eqc6Mqv3IkbL5MEq1Q#PPA110,M1 Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland] Cornell University Press, 2005, p. 110.]

During World War II the term "Żydokomuna" was made to resemble the "Jewish-Bolshevism" rhetoric of Nazi Germany, wartime Romaniacite book| author = George Voicu | title= The Notion of “Judeo-Bolshevism” in Romanian Wartime Press | publisher = Studia Hebraica | year = 4/2004 | url = http://www.ceeol.com/aspx/issuedetails.aspx?issueid=d8285fe3-e7f2-45a7-9c77-1c653030889b&articleId=8736b9e8-77a0-4af5-a31d-b1aae70ce3fa p.55-68] and other war-torn countries of Central and Eastern Europe.cite book| author = A. Gerrits | title= Anti-Semitism and Anti-Communism: The Myth of 'Judeo-Communism' in Eastern Europe | publisher = East European Jewish Affairs | year =1995 25,1,49-72] A number of historians, such as Jan T. Gross and Andre Gerrits, maintain that there was a strong tradition of anti-Semitism which provided a base for "Żydokomuna" to feed upon.Ezra Mendelsohn, "Studies in Contemporary Jewry", Oxford University Press US, 2004, ISBN 0195170873, [http://books.google.com/books?id=NfD3lk_KhI0C&pg=PA279&dq=%22Jewish+historiography%22+Jan+Gross&as_brr=3&sig=ACfU3U0Xc12ASQImDxGTa25ZJohxuO9MLg Google Print, p.279] ] [Magdalena Opalski, Israel Bartal. [http://books.google.com/books?id=VQqO8LBNBbsC&pg=PA29&vq=3333&dq=Julian+Niemcewicz+The+Year+3333+jews&source=gbs_search_s&cad=5&sig=ACfU3U3yhxiOFiS0KXyX0U2Gj-Mlqa9W5Q#PPA30,M1 Poles and Jews: A Failed Brotherhood.] University Press of New England, 1992. P29-30] [Joanna B. Michlic. [http://books.google.com/books?id=t6h2pI7o_zQC&pg=PA48&dq=Niemcewicz+3333&sig=ACfU3U10zREx8wvB12kDCcZAfpyoJ0FxCA#PPA48,M1 Poland's Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present.] University of Nebraska Press, 2006. Pages 47-48.]

Interwar Poland

In the period between the two world wars, the "żydokomuna" myth grew concurrently in Poland with the myth of the "criminal Jew." Statistics from the 1920s had indicated a Jewish crime rate that was well below the Jewish population percentage. However, a subsequent reclassification of how crime was reported—which now would include minor offenses—succeeded in reversing the trend, and Jewish criminal statistics had shows an increase relative to population by the 1930s. These statistics were used by the Polish antisemitic press to propagate an image of the "criminal Jew;" additionally, political crimes by Jews were magnified, creating a perception of a criminal "Żydokomuna".Robert Blobaum. [http://books.google.com/books?id=HeUvRvZY0dEC&pg=PA13&dq=zydokomuna+catholic+violent&sig=ACfU3U0NoCZXGP13Eqc6Mqv3IkbL5MEq1Q#PPA97,M1 "Criminalizing the ‘Other’: Crime, Ethnicity, and Antisemitism in Early. Twentieth-Century Poland."] In: Robert Blobaum, ed. Antisemitism and its opponents in modern Poland. Cornell University Press, 2005: 83-97.]

Support for Poland's communist and pro-Soviet parties came largely from Ukrainian and Orthodox Belarusian voters. As noted by historian Joseph Marcus, the Polish Communist Party ("KPP") was not a "Jewish party," and was in opposition to Jewish economic and national interests [Joseph Marcus. [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN9027932395&id=82ncGA4GuN4C&pg=PA362&lpg=PA362&ots=wlRamGIAQ3&dq=zydokomuna+endeks&sig=oiNo2S0bQl7bW6EUb3edvKEcKXg#PPA290,M1 Social and Political History of the Jews in Poland, 1919-1939.] Walter de Gruyter, 1983. p.290.] Nonetheless, the KPP had strong Jewish representation at higher levels. Those Jews rejected much of the Jewish culture and tradition, and saw themselves as international communists. In Polish court proceedings against communists between 1927 and 1936, 90% of the accused were Jews. Out of fifteen leaders of the "KPP" central administration in 1936, eight were Jews. Jews constituted 53% of the "active members" ("aktyw") of the "KPP", 75% of its "publication apparatus", 90% of the "international department for help to revolutionaries" and 100% of the "technical apparatus" of the Home Secretariat. In terms of membership, before its dissolution in 1938, 25% of "KPP" members were Jews; most urban "KPP" members were Jews—a substantial number, given an 8.7% Jewish minority in prewar Poland.en icon cite book | author =Tadeusz Piotrowski | coauthors = | title =Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide... | year =1997 | editor = | pages =p. 36-37 | chapter = | chapterurl = | publisher =McFarland & Company | location = | id =ISBN 0-7864-0371-3 | format = | accessdate = ]

Research on voting patterns in Poland's parliamentary elections in the 1920s has shown that Jewish support for the communists was proportionally less than their representation in the total population.cite book| author = Robert Blobaum | title= Antisemitism and Its Opponents In Modern Poland | publisher = Cornell University Press | year =1983 | url = http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0801489695&id=gXisr7fgDjwC&pg=PA97&lpg=PA97&ots=HPSPnptsOw&dq=zydokomuna&sig=3joDtgo-m6NQriwVofZZ_sp_X30 | isbn = 0-691-11306-8 p. 97.] Jaff Schatz notes that even if post-war claims by Jewish communists that 40% of the 266 528 communist votes on several lists of front organizations at the 1928 Sejm election came from the Jewish community were true (a claim Marcus describes as "almost certainly an exaggeration") [Joseph Marcus. [http://books.google.com/books?id=82ncGA4GuN4C&pg=PA290&dq=%22in+fact+it+was+strongly+anti-Jewish%22&sig=ACfU3U3O7dBBZK0pWJWhHFuscCzAy0iBrQ The Social and Political History of the Jews in Poland, 1919-1939.] ) Walter de Gruyter, 1983. P. 291] , this total would amount to total of no more than 5% of Jewish votes for the communists, indicating the Jewish population at large was "far from sympathetic to communism." [Jaff Schatz. Jews and the communist movement in interwar Poland. In: Jonathan Frankel. [http://books.google.com/books?id=POkxdm6DoAsC&pg=PA13&lpg=PA13&dq=jaff+schatz+jews+communism&source=web&ots=B5QNMKyJ49&sig=KW-p4_cdwuVM_kHyU9zifzYbX8M&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result#PPA30,M1 Dark Times, Dire Decisions: Jews and Communism. Studies in Contemporary Jewry.] Oxford University Press US, 2005, p. 211.] In the end, while most Jews were neither communists nor communist sympathizers, a substantial and quite visible portion of the Polish Communist leadership in the interwar period were Jews. However, research by Jeffrey Koppstein and Jason Wittenberg, who analyzed the communist vote in interwar Poland, has shown that the notion of the "communist Jew" was a myth at the mass level. The authors note that not only were most communists not Jews, but most Jews were not communists, and in fact "Jews were no more communist than the Catholic Poles, and far less so than the Belarusans or Ukrainians." [Jeffrey S. Kopstein and Jason Wittenberg. Who Voted Communist? Reconsidering the Social Bases of Radicalism in Interwar Poland. "Slavic Review", Vol. 62, No. 1, (Spring, 2003):87-109.] Nonetheless it was the disproportionately large representation of Jews in the communist leadership led to the spread of the "Żydokomuna" myth, which in the late 1930s was widely used in the propaganda of the National Democrats (Endeks), who after Józef Piłsudski's death in 1935 hoped to take power.cite book| author = Joseph Marcus | title= The Social and Political History of the Jews in Poland, 1919-1939 | publisher = Walter de Gruyter | year =2003 | url = http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN9027932395&id=82ncGA4GuN4C&pg=PA362&lpg=PA362&ots=wlRamGIAQ3&dq=zydokomuna+endeks&sig=oiNo2S0bQl7bW6EUb3edvKEcKXg | isbn =ISBN 9027932395 p. 362.] "Żydokomuna" slogans were a central plank in the Endeks campaign to seize power in 1936. While there was a limited audience for Endek propaganda, it was supplemented by the much larger circulation enjoyed by Catholic Church publications, which increasingly referred to the communist threat and the alleged "Godlessness" of the Jews. One anti-semitic Church newspaper alone, the "Samoobrona Norodu" ("Self-Defense of the Nation," which meant defense against Jews) had a circulation of over one million. [Joseph Marcus. [http://books.google.com/books?id=SOFkWX8EC4cC&pg=PA1115&dq=zydokomuna+church&sig=ACfU3U3wgfZwI3deT_5mS08jM487KkRUNg#PPA1116,M1 Antisemitism and Jewish Economic and Social Conditions.] In: Hostages of Modernization: Studies on Modern Antisemitism, 1870-1933/39. Walter de Gruyter, 1993. P.1116 ff]

oviet invasion

Following the 1939 Soviet invasion of Poland, Jewish communities in eastern Poland welcomed with relief the Soviet occupation, which they saw as a "lesser of two evils" from openly antisemitic Nazi Germany. [Dov Levin. The Lesser of Two Evils: Eastern European Jewry Under Soviet Rule, 1939-1941. Philadelphia, 1995.] [http://www.jewishgen.org/yizkor/rogatin/roh032e.html The Death of Chaimke] Yizkor Book Project, JewishGen: The Home of Jewish Genealogy] Additionally, the Soviets had an official policy of opposition to antisemitism, which was welcomed by Polish Jews alienated by the increasingly antisemitic Polish state. Red Army as liberators, further strengthening the antisemitic "żydokomuna" myth. [Robert Blobaum. [http://books.google.com/books?id=HeUvRvZY0dEC&pg=PA13&dq=zydokomuna+catholic+violent&sig=ACfU3U0NoCZXGP13Eqc6Mqv3IkbL5MEq1Q#PPA13,M1 Antisemitism And Its Opponents In Modern Poland.] Introduction. Cornell University Press, 2005. p.13.] en icon cite book | author =Tadeusz Piotrowski | coauthors = | title =Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide... | year =1997 | editor = | pages =p. 49-65| chapter = | chapterurl = | publisher =McFarland & Company | location = | id =ISBN 0-7864-0371-3 | format = | accessdate = ] Such behavior affronted non-Jewish Poles, who likely exaggerated Jewish participation in the Soviet occupation because a Jewish presence in the government apparatus was a novel phenomenon in 1939 Poland. Jews and other minorities from within Poland occupied positions in the Soviet occupation government—such as teachers, civil servants and engineers—that they trouble achieving under the Polish government. [István Deák, Jan Tomasz Gross, Tony Judt. [http://books.google.com/books?id=s82F2H0FEHQC&pg=PA98&dq=zydokomuna+deak&sig=ACfU3U23Vrj71bmEXtUHaSm00qCq3meyDw The Politics of Retribution in Europe.] Princeton University Press, 2000.] What Poles saw as occupation and betrayal, some Jews, including Polish Jewish communists who emerged from the underground, saw as an opportunity for revolution or retribution. [Dov Levin. "The Lesser of Two Evils: Eastern European Jewry Under Soviet Rule, 1939-1941." Philadelphia, 1995.] This strengthened the myth of "żydokomuna", which would hold Jews responsible for the introduction of communism in Poland. [Robert Blobaum. [http://books.google.com/books?id=HeUvRvZY0dEC&pg=PA13&dq=zydokomuna+this+powerful+myth,+born+in+the+interwar+period&sig=ACfU3U0NoCZXGP13Eqc6Mqv3IkbL5MEq1Q "Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland."] Cornell University Press, 2005.] Jews waving red flags to welcome Soviet troops rose to great symbolic meaning in Polish memory of the period.Ben Cion Pinchuk. [http://books.google.com/books?id=4Iiw0KB31rgC&pg=PA54&lpg=PA54&dq=%C5%BBbikowski+jews&source=web&ots=SfUztDG1-0&sig=pq1RSF29FuqpZAI_x9It6JZCAqU&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result#PPA63,M1 "Facing Hitler and Stalin: On the Subject of Jewish "Collaboration" in Soviet-Occupied Eastern Poland, 1939-1941".] P.63, and Andrzej Zbikowski. [http://books.google.com/books?id=4Iiw0KB31rgC&pg=PA54&lpg=PA54&dq=Andrzej+Zbikowski+jews+specific&source=web&ots=SfUztDH2U-&sig=_3Kzg_o39yew1unoXlT-34rhGco&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result "Polish Jews Under Soviet Occupation, 1939-1941: Specific Strategies of Survival".] In: Joshua D. Zimmerman, ed. Contested Memories: Poles and Jews during the Holocaust and its Aftermath. Rutgers University Press, 2003.]

Though Jews had benefited from the effects of the Soviet invasion, this occupation soon began to strike at the Jewish population as well; independent Jewish organizations were abolished and activists were arrested. Hundreds of thousands of Jews who had fled to the Soviet sector were given a choice of Soviet citizenship or returning to the German occupied zone. The majority chose the latter, and instead found themselves deported to the Soviet Union, where ironically, 300,000 would escape the Holocaust. [David Wyman. [http://books.google.com/books?id=U6KVOsjpP0MC&pg=PA103&dq=partisans+zydokomuna&ei=TNXbSJCjC4LmygSGgNGABg&sig=ACfU3U1v67rfHLwdhJ6qiaDN1x6-g2BXrQ#PPA104,M1 The World Reacts to the Holocaust.] Johns Hopkins university Press, 1996.] Jewish armed groups had difficulty joining the official Polish resistance group, the Armia Krajowa; some Jewish groups were forced to rob local Polish peasants for food, in turn Polish underground often labeled those armed Jewish groups fighting for survival in the forests as "bandits" and "robbers."Shmuel Krakowski. [http://books.google.com/books?id=4Iiw0KB31rgC&pg=PA88&dq=armia+poland+jews&sig=ACfU3U1PxzMS-orZwAzmcvcNpu5HYVXtYw#PPA103,M1 "The Attitude of the Polish Underground to the Jewish Question during the Second World War".] In: Joshua D. Zimmerman, ed. Contested Memories: Poles and Jews during the Holocaust and its Aftermath. Rutgers University Press, 2003. Pages 100-103.] Jewish partisans instead more often joined the Armia Ludowa of the communist Polish Workers' Party [Yehuda Bauer. [http://books.google.com/books?id=WhvShlTeqesC&pg=PA138&dq=armia+poland+jews&sig=ACfU3U2UJMQX-GYKy4NgmYnKPkAW_TNqSQ Rethinking the Holocuast.] Yale University Press, 2001.] and Soviet guerrilla groups, which increasingly clashed with Polish guerillas; contributing to yet another perception of Jews working with the Soviets against the Poles.

While there was Polish Jewish representation in the London-based government in exile, the underground Delegate's Bureau and the Armia Krajowa exhibited an ethno-nationalism that excluded Jews. The attitudes of the Delegate's Bureau and the AK was one which saw Jews and ethnic Poles as separate entities, and communications from the underground to the government-in-exile showed a favorable attitude towards an ethnically homogeneous Poland free of Jews. [Joanna B. Michlic. [http://books.google.com/books?id=t6h2pI7o_zQC&pg=PA153&dq=delegate%27s+bureau+and+the+myth&lr=&ei=VxbnSP2IN4OQsgPf-fGcBw&sig=ACfU3U1Rm3beGYQ7P0YRoeoCa2guNpTnXg Poland's Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present.] University of Nebraska Press, 2006. Pages 153-156.] Historian Israel Gutman has noted that AK leader Stefan Rowecki had advocated that long-range considerations of the underground would be abandoned and that an all out uprising would be launched should the Germans undertake a campaign of extermination against ethnic Poles, but that no such plan existed while the extermination of Polish Jewish citizens was under way. [Israel Gutman. [http://books.google.com/books?lr=&ei=_BrnSJjmK4PWsgObmIWYBw&q=%22no+less+citizens+of+poland%22&btnG=Search+Books The Jews of Warsaw, 1939-1943: Ghetto, Underground, Revolt.] Indiana University Press, 1982.]

War's aftermath

Immediately after World War II, the Soviet-backed communist government lent support to the revival of Jewish cultural, political, and social life, which had been decimated by the Holocaust. Thousands of Jews returned from exile in Soviet Union; amongst them were a small number of Jewish communists who played a minor, but highly visible role in the unpopular communist government and its security apparatus. The new government's hostility to the wartime Polish exile government and resistance — which it accused of being nationalist, reactionary and antisemitic — further strengthened the myth, to the point where in the popular consciousness Jewish Bolshevism was seen as having conquered Poland. It was in this context reinforced by the immediate post-war lawlessness that Poland experienced an unprecedented wave of anti-Jewish violence. [David S. Wyman, Charles H. Rosenzveig. [http://books.google.com/books?id=U6KVOsjpP0MC&pg=PA111&dq=nationalist,+reactionary++poland+zydokomuna&sig=ACfU3U34GMwl2Y2pZszCx7kxekiGewSoyw#PPA112,M1 The World Reacts to the Holocaust.] John Hopkins university Press. 1996. pp. 102-113.]

Regarding this period, Andre Gerrits writes, in his study of the myth, that although communism was now a reality in Poland

"the vigour of antisemitism during the first post-war decade cannot be exclusively attributed to the prominent role of individuals of Jewish extraction in the newly-established Communist regimes. Various factors played a role—from the continuation of traditional anti-Jewish sentiments (ethnically or religiously inspired) to the overall radicalizing effect of the war and the fear that the Jews who returned from camps, exile or hiding would reclaim their belongings". [Andre Gerrits. Antisemitism and Anti-Communism: The Myth of 'Jiudeo-Communism' in Eastern Europe. "East European Jewish Affairs". 1995, Vol. 25, No. 1:49-72. Page 61.]

1950s

During Stalinism, the preferred Soviet policy was to keep sensitive posts in the hands of non-Poles. As a result "all or nearly all of the directors (of the Ministry of Public Security of Poland) were Jewish" as noted by award-winning historian Teresa TorańskaTeresa Torańska, "Them: Stalin's Polish Puppets", Harper & Row, New York 1987, ISBN 0060156570. Page number] among others. [Stanisław Krajewski, [http://web.ceu.hu/jewishstudies/pdf/01_krajewski.pdf "Jews, Communism, and the Jewish Communists"] ] A recent study by the Polish Institute of National Remembrance showed that out of 450 people in director positions in the Ministry (from 1944 to 1954), 167 (37.1%) were of Jewish ethnicity, compared to an approximately 1% of the Polish post-war Jewish population.Krzysztof Szwagrzyk "Żydzi w kierownictwie UB. Stereotyp czy rzeczywistość?" (Jews in the authorities of the Polish Secret Security. Stereotype or Reality?), Bulletin of the Institute of National Remembrance (11/2005), p. 37-42, [http://www.ceeol.com/aspx/getdocument.aspx?logid=5&id=CA8899B4-7AC6-42B8-BADF-CE18E478D525 online article] , [http://www.ceeol.com/aspx/issuedetails.aspx?issueid=ffbb5b1f-0fe0-4413-b2a2-e672938ede75&articleId=ca8899b4-7ac6-42b8-badf-ce18e478d525 entire issue] ] These Jewish members of the security forces would become useful as scapegoats in the period of de-Stalinization. According to one account

"While Poland’s communists had been highly selective in their choice of Jewish scapegoats after Stalin’s death, if only because other Jews in the party and security apparatus could not be excluded from participating in the whole process, and the desire of the leadership to keep a tight grip on the scope of the ensuing investigations, there is further evidence to suggest that Poland’s communists had grown accustomed to placing the burden of their own failures to gain sufficient legitimacy among the Polish population during the entire communist period on the shoulders of Jews in the party". [L.W. Gluchowski. [http://www.sipa.columbia.edu/ece/research/intermarium/vol3no2/gluchowski.pdf The Defection of Jozef Swiatlo and the Search for Jewish Scapegoats inThe Polish United Workers’ Party, 1953-1954.] ]
Among the notable Jewish officials of the Polish secret police and security services were Julia Brystiger, Anatol Fejgin, Józef Światło, Roman Romkowski, and Józef Różański; Światło defected to the West in 1953, while Romkowski and Różański would find themselves among the Jewish scapegoats for Polish Stalinism in the political upheavals following Stalin's death.cite web | title = The defection of Jozef Swiatlo and the Search for Jewish Scapegoats in the Polish United Workers' Party, 1953-1954 | work = Fourth Convention of the Association for the Study of Nationalities | publisher = Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York City | date = April 15-17, 1999 | url = http://www.sipa.columbia.edu/ece/research/intermarium/vol3no2/gluchowski.pdf | format = PDF | accessdate = 2006-10-26] While Jews were indeed overrepresented in various Polish communist organizations, including the oppressive security apparatus, relative to their percentage of the general population, the vast majority of Jews did not participate in the repressive apparatus, and indeed most were not supportive of communism. The categorization of the security forces as a Jewish institution, as disseminated in the post-war anti-communist press at various times, is biased and rooted in a belief in Żydokomuna. [Joanna Michlic. [http://books.google.com/booksid=t6h2pI7o_zQC&pg=PA205&dq=the+ub+as+a+jewish+institution&sig=ACfU3U1pEbsF45CV_BOPLHJOpX38O9oRtA Poland's Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present.] University of Nebraska Press, 2006. Page 204-205.] Szwagrzyk has also quoted Jan T. Gross, who argued that many Jews who worked for the communist party cut their ties with their – Jewish, Polish or Russian – culture, and tried to represent the interests of international communism only, or at least that of the local communist government. Nonetheless, the inaccurate belief that the secret police was a predominantly Jewish institution was one of the factors keeping the "Żydokomuna" myth alive and contributed to the post-war stereotype of Jews as agents of the secret police.Joanna B. Michlic. [http://books.google.com/books?id=t6h2pI7o_zQC&pg=PA202&dq=%22secret+police%22+poland+jews&ei=JfnbSJTzNomUzAS014G3Bg&sig=ACfU3U11CB4u4e1k-ixUHF6gB5g4omIIaQ#PPA205,M1 Poland's Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present.] University of Nebraska Press, 2006.]

The "Żydokomuna" myth and scapegoating of Jews reappeared at times of severe political and socio-economic crises in Stalinist Poland. After the death of Polish United Workers' Party leader Bolesław Bierut in 1956, a de-Stalinization and a subsequent battle among rival factions looking to lay blame for the excesses of the Stalin era. As described in one historical account, the party hardline "Natolin" faction "once again used anti-Semitism as a political weapon and found an echo both in the party "apparat" and in society at large, where traditional stereotypes of an insidious Jewish cobweb of political influence and economic gain resurfaced, but now in the context of 'Judeo-communism,' the Żydokomuna." [Frances Millard. [http://books.google.com/books?id=M3IX8lydeCEC&pg=PA208&dq=%C5%BBydokomuna+poland+1956&sig=ACfU3U3cLPwbSIuJ71YQHrZU2rtQOct_6Q The Failure of Nationalism in Post-Communist Poland 1989-95: An Historical Perspective.] In: Brian Jenkins, Spyros A. Sofos, eds. Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe. Routledge, 1996. Page 208] "Natolin" leader Zenon Nowak entered the concept of "Judeo-Stalinization" and placed the blame for the party's failures, errors and repression on "the Jewish apparatchiks." Documents from this period chronicle antisemitic attitudes within Polish society, including beatings of Jews, loss of employment, and persecution. These outbursts of antisemitic sentiment from both Polish society and within the rank and file of the ruling party spurred the exodus of some 40,000 Polish Jews between 1956 and 1958. [Joanna B. Michlic. [http://books.google.com/books?id=t6h2pI7o_zQC&pg=PA232&dq=Poland%27s+Threatening+Other:+The+Image+of+the+Jew+from+1880+to+the+Present+prelude&sig=ACfU3U02Iz_KD1tmADvKV7Zo7sfGIcv9og Poland's Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present.] University of Nebraska Press, 2006, pp 232 ff.] [Bożena Szaynok. [http://books.google.com/books?id=rT6qx6hi8C4C&pg=PA265&lpg=PA265&dq=szaynok+role+of+antisemitism&source=web&ots=n-j51YlSOF&sig=RS9aiQL0hHhCWEP6dTs90zDHfHY&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result The Role of Antisemitism in Postwar Polish-Jewish Relations.] In: Robert Blobaum, ed. Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland. Cornell University Press, 2005, p. 265.]

1960s, on

The numbers of Jews in communist structures gradually fell. Urząd Bezpieczeństwa was liquidated. With time, more Poles joined the communist party. Interior minister Mieczysław Moczar's nationalist "anti-Zionist" faction became increasingly influential in the communist party, leading to the March 1968 events, and a government sponsored antisemitic campaign which resulted in most remaining Jews leaving Poland. [Mikolaj Kunicki. The Red and the Brown: Boleslaw Piasecki, the Polish Communists, and the Anti-Zionist Campaign in Poland, 1967-68. "East European Politics & Societies", 2005, Vol. 19, No. 2, 185-225.] Moczar's "Partisan" faction promulgated an ideology that has been described as an "eerie reincarnation" of the views of the pre-world War 2 National Democratic Party (Poland), and even at times exploiting the anti-semitic Żydokomuna myth. [Antony Polonsky, Joanna B. Michlic. [http://books.google.com/books?id=a_49GjK8ovMC&pg=PA8&dq=%C5%BBydokomuna+1956&sig=ACfU3U1w7ySiY5i-WGHFDhVWwe1jy35mrw The Neighbors Respond: The Controversy Over the Jedwabne Massacre in Poland.] Princeton University Press, 2004. Page 8.] After Israel's victory in the 1967 Arab Israeli war, the Polish government, following the Soviet lead, launched an antisemitic campaign under the guise of "anti-Zionism", with both Moczar's faction, as well that of Party Secetetary Wladyslaw Gomulka playing leading roles. The campaign however did not find resonance with the general public, as most Poles saw Israel's fight for survival as similar to Poland's past struggles for independence and many Poles felt pride in the success of the Israeli military which was dominated by Polish Jews - the popular view, unlike that of the government, was that "Our Jews" beat "Soviet Arabs". [Iwona Irwin-Zarecka. [http://books.google.com/books?id=X2lRVxpul9AC&pg=PA60&lpg=PA60&dq=polish+jews+soviet+arabs+six+days+war&source=web&ots=hEYlahd6Sh&sig=AjgdGMGh1Z9Ug9eLcO-hATifPAs&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=9&ct=result#PPA60,M1 Neutralizing Memory] Transaction Publishers, 1988. Page 60.] The campaign was put to domestic use, when in March 1968 a wave of unrest among students and intellectuals, unrelated to the Six-Day War, swept Poland. The anti-semitic campaign served multiple purposes, most notably the suppression of the protests, which were branded as inspired by a "fifth column" of Zionists, as well as a tactic in a political struggle between Gomulka and Moczar, both of whom played the Jewish card in a nationalist appeal. [Dariusz Stola. [http://books.google.com/books?id=gXisr7fgDjwC&pg=PA292&lpg=PA292&dq=probably+the+most+powerful+slogan+of+the+communist+propaganda&source=web&ots=HQNOjovBJw&sig=Hxq7-4R9nBFV3_Z6i0ZedTY7cc8&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result Fighting against the Shadows The Anti-Zionist Campaign of 1968.] In: Robert Blobaum, ed. Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland. Cornell University Press, 2005.] [David S. Wyman, Charles H. Rosenzveig. [http://books.google.com/books?id=U6KVOsjpP0MC&pg=PA120&dq=%22efforts+to+appropriate+the+memory%22&sig=ACfU3U1Dlaz1fP5k11Bzuv8g-T0WSYmOvA World Reacts to the Holocaust.] John Hopkins University Press, 1996, pp 120ff.] [Joanna B. Michlic. [http://books.google.com/books?id=t6h2pI7o_zQC&pg=PA240&dq=%22the+rise+of+the+partisans%22&sig=ACfU3U3zPYNfmhQLiMCSpdfrPvGZir154A#PPA248,M1 "Poland's Threatening Other. The Myth and Anti-Jewish Violence between 1919 and 1939: Investigation, rationalization and justification of violence".] University of Nebraska Press, 2006. pp240-248.] As historian Dariusz Stola notes, the anti-Jewish campaign combined century old conspiracy theories, recycled antisemitic claims and classic communist propaganda. Regarding the tailoring of the Zydokomuna myth to communist Poland, Stola writes:

"Paradoxically, probably the most powerful slogan of the communist propaganda in March was the accusation that the Jews were zealous communists. They were blamed for a major part, if not all, of the crimes and horrors of the Stalinist period. The myth of Judeo-bolshevism had been well known in Poland since the Russian revolution and the Polish-Bolshevik war of 1920, yet its 1968 model deserves interest as a tool of communist propaganda. This accusation exploited and developed the popular stereotype of Jewish communism to purify communism: the Jews were the dark side of communism; what was wrong in communism was due to them." [Dariusz Stola. [http://books.google.com/books?id=gXisr7fgDjwC&pg=PA284&lpg=PA284&dq=stola+fighting+against+the+shadows&source=web&ots=HQNOjowsLx&sig=G7j1aM5t-rQ2zuXQxTih7tamI6s&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result Fighting against the Shadows The Anti-Zionist Campaign of 1968.] In: Robert Blobaum, ed. Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland. Cornell University Press, 2005.]

Ultimately the communist elites utilized the "Jews as Zionist" myth for a purge of Jews from scientific and cultural institutions, publishing houses, and national TV and radio stations. [Joanna B. Michlic. [http://books.google.com/books?id=t6h2pI7o_zQC&pg=PA256&dq=%22scientific+and+cultural+institutions%22+jews&sig=ACfU3U2CB2yaCHPUJOE-9rhTn68vy5NvOg Poland's Threatening Other: The Image of the Jew from 1880 to the Present.] University of Nebraska Press, 2006, p.256.]

Stola also notes that one of the effects of the antisemitic campaign of 1968 was to thoroughly discredit the Communist government in the eyes of the public. As a result, when the concept of the Jew as a "threatening other" was employed in the 1970s and 1980's in Poland by the communist government in its attacks on the political opposition, including against the Solidarity trade union movement and against the Workers' Defence Committee (Komitet Obrony Robotników, or KOR) it was completely unsuccessful. [Dariusz Stola. Fighting against the Shadows The Anti-Zionist Campaign of 1968.] In: Robert Blobaum, ed. Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland. Cornell University Press, 2005. pg 15] . This image of the Jew was also used by the anti-communist opposition, including by segments of the Solidarity movement. Post communist Poland experienced what has been described as a sudden, intense and widespread outburst of anti-Jewish mood," including allegations that Jews were to blame for Poland's "decline" during the communist years, and Jew-baiting of political opponents during election campaigns. More recent efforts have emerged from a wide range of sources in the Polish community to challenge these conceptions of Jews and to foster a pluralistic society in Poland. [Steven Elliott Grosby, Athena S. Leoussi. [http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&id=oxueiVlm97EC&dq=Nationalism+and+Ethnosymbolism:+History,+Culture+and+Ethnicity+in+the+Formation+of+Nations&printsec=frontcover&source=web&ots=C3jDbASUgt&sig=dyresXIHOxtgddMAmbHB5EQ7GYw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result#PPA137,M1 Nationalism and Ethnosymbolism: History, Culture and Ethnicity in the Formation of Nations.] Edinburgh University Press, 2007. Page 137-139. See also Michlic (2006), pp 271-277.] The term Żydokomuna is now used almost exclusively by fringe nationalists associated with Radio Maryja, usually in reference to former communist party members and to "liberals" who have supported capitalist reforms, globalization and European integration. Organizations attacked as "Żydokomuna" have included the SLD and UW political parties, and "Gazeta Wyborcza", whose editor-in-chief, Adam Michnik, is Jewish. [Henryk Pająk, "Piąty rozbiór Polski 1990–2000", Wydawnictwo Retro, 1998, p.92]

Controversy

Postwar Polish-Jewish relations have lent themselves to controversy, with discussion of the "Żydokomuna" myth again being revived. [Marci Shore. [http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/kritika/v006/6.2shore.html Conversing with Ghosts: Jedwabne, Zydokomuna, and Totalitarianism.] "Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History", Volume 6, Number 2, Spring 2005:345-374] Particularly recent studies by Jan T. Gross have revitalized the related issue.Failed verification|date=October 2008 Some Polish historians are critical of recent studies by Jan T. Gross on anti-Jewish violence in Poland during and after World War 2. According to historians Joanna Michlic and Laurence Weinbaum post-1989 Polish historiography has seen a revival of ethnonationalist historical approach with the works of authors such as Marek Jan Chodakiewicz [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/986231.html Whoever controls the past By Laurence Weinbaum ] , Piotr Gontarczyk, Bogdan Musiał, and Tomasz Strzembosz. During the debate over Gross's work, Gross and his supporters characterized "Żydokomuna" as an antisemitic cliché while to some of the more extreme right-wing nationalist of Gross’s critics "Żydokomuna" was a fact of history. According to Joanna B. Michlic, among some Polish historians, "Judeo-communism served the purpose of rationalizing and explaining the participation of ethnic Poles in killing their Jewish neighbors and, thus, in minimizing the criminal nature of the murder."Joanna B. Michlic. "The Soviet Occupation of Poland, 1939–41, and the Stereotype of the Anti-Polish and Pro-Soviet Jew." Jewish Social Studies: History, Culture, Society. 13, no. 3 (Spring/Summer 2007): 135–176. Page 137] [Joanna B. Michlic. [http://books.google.com/books?id=vkLTSB7NHwgC&pg=PA163&dq=Chodakiewicz+ethnonationalist&sig=ACfU3U1HmuoCa8I8OM0AZkvuwm_eze4pAA Antisemitism in Contemporary Poland: Does It Matter? And For Whom Does It Matter?] In: Robert D. Cherry, Annamaria Orla-Bukowska, eds. Rethinking Poles and Jews: Troubled Past, Brighter Future. Rowman & Littlefield, 2007. Page 163.]

One of Gross' critics, Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, stressed that after the Soviet takeover of Poland in 1945 violence had developed amid postwar retribution and counter-retribution, exacerbated by the breakdown of law and order and a Polish anti-Communist insurgency.Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, [http://www.columbia.edu/cu/cup/catalog/data/088033/0880335114.HTM "After the Holocaust Polish-Jewish Conflict in the Wake of World War II"] , Columbia University Press, New York 2003, ISBN 0-88033-511-4 ] According to Chodakiewicz, some Jewish "avengers" endeavored in extracting justice from the Poles who harmed Jews during the War and in some cases Jews attempted to reclaim property confiscated by the Nazis. These phenomena further reinforced the stereotype of "Żydokomuna", a Jewish-Communist conspiracy in post-war Poland. Chodakiewicz claims that after World War Two, the Jews were not only victims, but also aggressors. He describes cases in which Jews cooperated with the Polish secret police, denouncing Poles, members of the Home Army. Chodakiewicz claims some 3500 to 6500 Poles died in late 1940s because of Jewish denunciations or were killed by Jews themselves.pl icon Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, [http://wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/Wiadomosci/1,80708,4830600.html "Chodakiewicz: medialny "Strach" i niemedialna prawda"] , gazeta.pl, 2008-01-11] Historian Antony Polonsky has strongly criticized Chodakiewicz' account, writing that Chodakiewicz exaggerates the Jewish presence in the post-war communist government, fails to take into account what Polonsky calls the widespread character of antisemitism in postwar Poland, and appears to hold all Jews responsible for the crimes committed by the communists, whether of Jewish origin or not. [Antony Polonsky. "The American Historical Review". Vol. 109, No. 3, June 2004.] Genocide scholar Omer Bartov has written that "recent writings and pronouncments seem to indicate that the myth of the Żydokomuna (Jews as communists) has not gone away." Bartov cites younger Polish scholars, including Chodakiewicz, whom he describes as claiming that Poland's Jewish citizens were disloyal to it during the Soviet occupation and therefore had to be suppressed by the state, and attributes these historical reconstructions as being relective of a right wing turn in contemporary Polish politics. [Omer Bartov. [http://books.google.com/books?id=CbofiWD2hL0C&pg=PP4&lpg=PP4&dq=Erased+By+Omer+Bartov&source=web&ots=NMIj0hEaoI&sig=hwDoa_ZOYu7wtmN1UQ-xIu6Gbg4&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result Erased: Vanishing Traces of Jewish Galicia in Present-day Ukraine.] Princeton University Press, 2007.]

The debate in scholarship regarding to the origins and evolution of the "żydokomuna" myth still continues.

See also

*Massacre of Brzostowica Mala
*Jewish Bolshevism
*Kielce pogrom
*Bund
*Zionist-Occupied Government
*

Notes

Further reading

*pl icon August Grabski, "Działalność komunistów wśród Żydów w Polsce (1944-1949)", Trio, Warszawa 2004, ISBN 8388542877
*pl icon Krystyna Kersten, "Polacy, Żydzi, Komunizm. Anatomia półprawd 1939-68", Warszawa: Niezależna Oficyna Wydawnicza, 1992, ISBN 8370540260

External links

* [http://www.ceu.hu/jewishstudies/pdf/01_krajewski.pdf Jews,Communism,and the Jewish Communists]


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