[Marxism] query re "Fear" by Jan Gross

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 24 20:45:54 MST 2012

I'm reading "Fear: Anti-Semitism in Poland After Auschwitz" by Jan T.
Gross. He makes a convincing case that the roots of post-WWII pogroms
in Poland are to be found in the efforts of Poles to keep Jewish
property stolen during the war. By no means does he minimize other
social, cultural or psychological factors, but he does what seems to
be a good job in finding their rational (if murderous), material

His concluding chapter is on the behavior of the Polish Communist
Party, which aided and abetted these pogroms.

I turned to the book after reading accounts by I.F. Stone and others
of why Jews left Poland for Palestine, which seem to mesh with Gross,
as they all state simply (but without sufficient examination or
context) that Jews were getting slaughtered and no-one -- not even the
new CP-led regime -- was defending them.

Gross is an anti-Communist, if only of the mainstream academic kind,
but his depiction of the Polish CP's behavior is also convincing.
When he paints the actions and statements of the Party -- and their
Soviet masters - as opportunistic pandering to Christian Poles in
order to minimize resentment at their own dictatorial assumption of
power, I can believe it given the rotten practice of CPs by then.

One reason all this matters, and what brought me to the book in the
first place, is seeking an answer to the question of how and why a
Soviet Union which assumed power in Eastern Europe relatively easily
couldn't have used its armed might to smash the postwar pogroms and
thus have prevented the mass exodus, an exodus which meant a huge
influx into the new colonial state being set up by the Zionists. Gross
recounts how in fact the Polish CP encouraged emigration.

Comments? Alternative accounts?

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