September, 2011

Proposal Final

Josh Furnary

Hist. 299

9/29/2011

299 Paper Proposal

            The defeat of the Nazis and eventual end of WWII left Europe in immense turmoil. Specifically, Poland found itself ravaged throughout the war and left in vast social, economic, political, and religious tumult. Over 90 percent of the Jews in Poland before the war were killed by 1945- roughly 3 million people. Most of the remaining 10 percent who survived after the war attempted to return from either the concentration camps or from exile in the Soviet Union to their native towns in Poland. By 1946, specifically within the Polish town of Kielce, 200 or so Jews returned from the concentration camps. When they returned, they were not welcomed back by the gentile Poles with as much sympathy as one might assume; rather, they experienced profound resistance. On July 4th, 1946 the largest Pogrom against Jews since the end of the war took place in Kielce. Roughly 38 to 42 Jews were murdered and between 40-50 people injured in brutal and tragic fashion. The Kielce Pogrom, as it is now known, reveals vast insight into the social and religious conflicts of post-war Poland in July 1946. The gentile Poles demonstrated a fear of Jews and anti-Semitism even though they themselves were not Nazis. What then was at the heart of this anti-Semitism in Kielce that ignited the Pogrom and influenced everyday citizens to mutilate and kill defenseless Jewish men, woman, and children?

The fact that the event took place reveals that some underlying motives were at play. In Jan Gross’s book, Fear, he delves deeply into this contradiction of human nature. The book is extremely heavily annotated with first hand sources and details of the events. Admittedly, it is hard to find translated accounts from Polish to English however. Another prominent source on the Kielce Pogrom is the subtitled documentary “Witnesses” by Marcel Lozinksi. This documentary is available via Professor Harris and has firsthand accounts of the events. The documentary is extremely useful because it reveals a different view point from that of Jan Gross’s book Fear. In Lozinkski’s documentary, citizens from Kielce spoke of how the Jew’s themselves were at fault for the pogrom. It demonstrates that for many of the common gentile citizens of Kielce, popular consensus held the Jews responsible, even though the facts paint a different picture.

The sources reveal that there are many possible motives for the anti-Semitism that stemmed during the Kielce Pogrom too. Part of the general hate can be broken down to human survival instinct. Poland was continuously occupied between the Nazis or Soviet Union throughout WWII, and the Poles struggled to survive. During the War, while the Jews were killed and forced into hiding, the gentile Poles immediately looted their property and possessions. Therefore, in 1946 when the Jews began returning back into Poland, the gentile Poles who took the Jews property out of survival instinct didn’t want to give it back up. They even went as far as hating the people whom they took possessions from, likely because they did not want to admit they had taken so ruthlessly from the Jews. This in part explains Gross’s book; the fear he refers to lies within the gentile Poles who were scared the returning Jews would expose them for the thieves they were.

This understanding helps to make sense of why the Kielce Pogrom took place. The pogrom can also be viewed as motivated from the top down. Some articles reference the Soviet Socialist Party as instigating the pogrom in order to divert attention away from their shady politics and elections that were taking place during the time. And by jumping on board with the inherent anti-Semitism in Poland, the Communist Party could bolster their role politically.

The Kielce Pogrom is one of the lesser known events of the 20st century, yet it reveals the turmoil after the War. It is seemingly contradictory to think that with the Holocaust over and Jews finally liberated they would experience such disdain in their own towns. A wide spectrum of people, whether they were government officials, policemen, shop owners, or Boy Scouts, took place in the events of that July day in 1946. What spawned and influenced the actions of the Kielce Pogrom is an important question worth investigating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            Bibliography

Gross, Jan. Fear: Anti-Semitism In Poland After Auschwitz. New York: Random House, 2006.

Blobaum, Robert, ed. Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland. Ithaca, NY: Cornell          University Press, 2005.

Davies, Norman, and Antony Polonsky, eds. Jews in Eastern Poland and the USSR, 1939-46.          New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991.

Lozinski, Marcel. Witnesses: Anti-Semitism in Poland, 1946.

Kovachi, Aryeh Josef. “The Catholic Church and Anti-Semitism in Poland Following World       War II as Reflected in British Diplomatic Documents.” Gal-Ed on the History of the Jews      in Poland, no. 11, 1989.

Bliss Lane, Arthur. I Saw Poland Betrayed: An American Ambassador Reports to the American      People. Indianapolis and New York: The Bobbs- Merrill Co., 1948.

Browning, Christopher R. Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in     Poland. Harper Perennial, 1998.

Checinski, Michal. Poland, Communism, Nationalism, Anti-Semitism. New York: Karz- Cohl          Publishers, 1982.

Gay, Ruth. Safe Amoung the Germans, Liberated Jews After WWII. New Haven and London:          Yale University Press, 2002.

Gay, Ruth. The Jews of Germany. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992.

Gerrits, Andre. “Anti-Semitism and Anti-Communism: The Myth of Judeo-Communism in          Eastern Europe.” East European Jewish Affairs, vol. 25, no. 1 (1995).

Lendvai, Paul. Anti-Semitism Without Jews; Communist Eastern Europe. Garden City, NY:             Doubleday, 1971.

Michlic- Coren, Joanna. “Polish Jews During and After the Kielce Pogrom: Reports From the    Communist Archives.” in Polin, V.XIII (2000).

Rubenstein, Joshua. Tangled Loyalties: The Life And Times Of Ilya Ehrenburg. New York: BasicBooks, 1996.

Leandre, Charles. 1898. Rothschilds Family. Le Rire. April 16th.          http://www.art.com/products/p9784654109-sa-i5579284/charles-leandre-caricature-of-           the-rothschild-family-from-the-front-cover-of-le-rire-16th-april-1            898.htm?sorig=cat&sorigid=0&dimvals=5045680&ui=3d4a6450fc0b449fa3d96893a255       53f8 [accessed September 30, 2011].

 

 

 

Braudel

I found this article to be very dense and difficult to sift through. But what I discovered is the struggle that History has had a social science. Braudel recognizes it as the most important of all social sciences because it is the foundation all other sciences operate out of. History puts everything in a time and place. It frames all the questions that other social sciences use to ask thier questions and create hypothesis out from. Bruadel also recognizes that all the social sciences “speak the same language” and depend on each other for clearer insight.

Without fully grasping the main point of the article, it is easy to see that Braudel was putting forth a fight on behalf of history and its role in academia.

Meeting With a Professor

I met with Professor Harris briefly to talk about my paper on the Kielce Pogrom of 1946. He supported the topic and offered to let me use a great primary source that he owned. It is a documentary on the pogrom using eye witnesses accounts of the people who were immediately involved. It also has subtitles in English, which is HUGE, especially when dealing with the primary sources of the time. Professor Harris also said if there are any questions or further issues that I come across he is available to help, which is good to know.

Book Review- Fear

I found a Book Review within the JSTOR database on the book by Jan T. Gross called Fear. It was reviewed in 2007 by Padraic Kenney and published in the Slavic Review Journal. The review was particularly relevant because it is one of the main sources for my research topic on the Kielce Pogrom of 1946. The review starts with a general background of Gross’s argument within the book and the topic of Poles being able to commit horribly antisemitic pogroms in the aftermath of WWII. The reviewer gives credit the the book and author for raising important questions and bringing the events of that era into popular knowledge, but draws some points of disagreement. One such point is that in Gross’s book he claims the actions were perpetrated by Poles that had been engrained with a killing mentality as a result of the war, which influenced their ability to kill the Jews. However, Kenney recognizes that such events as perpetrated by the younger Boy Scouts may have been influenced by the war, he argues that the adults would have had a prewar understanding of life that would have trumped the killing mentality of the war. Kenny does admit though at the end of the review that Gross is extremely persuasive and does substantial research to prove his claims.

299 Paper Proposal Draft #1

Josh Furnary

Hist. 299

9/20/2011

299 Paper Proposal Draft #1

            The defeat of the Nazi’s and eventual end of WWII left Europe as a whole in immense turmoil. Specifically, Poland found itself ravaged throughout the war and was left in vast social, economic, political, and religious tumult. Of the Jews in Poland before the war, over 90 percent had been killed by 1945- roughly 3 million people (http://avalon.law.yale.edu/ 20th_century/angap03.asp). Out of the remaining 10 percent who survived, many of them  attempted to return from either the concentration camps or from exile in the Soviet Union to their native towns in Poland. By 1946, specifically within the Polish town of Kielce, 200 or so Jews had returned from the concentration camps (Gross). When they returned, they were not welcomed back by the gentile Poles with much sympathy as one might assume; rather, they experienced profound resistance. On July 4th, 1946 the largest Pogrom against Jews since the end of the war took place in Kielce. Roughly 38 to 42 Jews were murdered and between 40-50 people injured in brutal and tragic fashion.

The Kielce Pogrom, as it is now known, reveals vast insight into the social and religious conflicts of post-war Poland in July 1946. The gentile Poles demonstrated a fear of Jews and anti-Semitism even though they themselves were not Nazis. What then was at the heart of this anti-Semitism in Kielce that ignited the Pogrom and influenced everyday citizens to mutilate and kill defenseless Jewish men, woman, and children?

The fact that the event took place clearly reveals that some underlying motives, not obvious to outsiders, are at play. In Jan Gross’s book, Fear, he delves deeply into this contradiction of human nature. The book is extremely heavily annotated with first hand sources and details of the events. Admittedly, it is hard to find translated accounts from Polish to English however. Another prominent source on the Kielce Pogrom is the subtitled documentary “Witnesses” by Marcel Lozinksi. This documentary is available via Professor Harris and has firsthand accounts of the events.

The sources reveal that there are many possible motives that the anti-Semitism stemmed from during the Kielce Pogrom. Part of the general hate can be broken down to human survival instinct. Poland was continuously occupied between the Nazi’s or Soviet Union throughout WWII, and the Poles struggled to survive. During the War, while the Jews were killed and forced into hiding, the gentile Poles immediately looted their property and possessions. Therefore, in 1946 when the Jews began matriculating back into Poland, the gentile Poles who took the Jews property out of survival instinct didn’t want to give up the property. They even then began to hate the people who they took from, likely because they didn’t want to admit their wronging. This in part explains Gross’s book; the fear he refers to lies within the gentile poles who are scared the returning Jews will expose them for the thieves they were.

This understanding helps to make sense of why the Kielce Pogrom took place, at least in part. The Pogrom can also be viewed as motivated from the top down. Some articles reference the Soviet Socialist Party as instigating the Pogrom in order to divert attention away from their shady politics and elections that were taking place during the time. And by jumping on board with the inherent anti-Semitism in Poland, the Communist Party could substantiate their role politically.

The Kielce Pogrom is one of the lesser known events of the 21st century, yet it reveals vast insight into the turmoil after the War. It is seemingly contradictory to think that with the Holocaust over and Jews finally liberated they would experience such disdain in their own towns. But it did happen, and it happened on a grand and gruesome scale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            Bibliography

Gross, Jan. Fear: Anti-Semitism In Poland After Auschwitz. New York: Random House, 2006.

Blobaum, Robert, ed. Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland. Ithaca, NY: Cornell       University Press, 2005.

Davies, Norman, and Antony Polonsky, eds. Jews in Eastern Poland and the USSR, 1939-46.       New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991.

Lozinski, Marcel. Witnesses: Anti-Semitism in Poland, 1946.

Kovachi, Aryeh Josef. “The Catholic Church and Anti-Semitism in Poland Following World         War II as Reflected in British Diplomatic Documents.” Gal-Ed on the History of the Jews     in Poland, no. 11, 1989.

Bliss Lane, Arthur. I Saw Poland Betrayed: An American Ambassador Reports to the American    People. Indianapolis and New York: The Bobbs- Merrill Co., 1948.

Browning, Christopher R. Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland. Harper Perennial, 1998.

Checinski, Michal. Poland, Communism, Nationalism, Anti-Semitism. New York: Karz- Cohl        Publishers, 1982.

Gay, Ruth. Safe Amoung the Germans, Liberated Jews After WWII. New Haven and London:       Yale University Press, 2002.

Gay, Ruth. The Jews of Germany. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992.

Gerrits, Andre. “Anti-Semitism and Anti-Communism: The Myth of Judeo-Communism in           Eastern Europe,” East European Jewish Affairs, vol. 25, no. 1 (1995).

Lendvai, Paul. Anti-Semitism Without Jews; Communist Eastern Europe. Garden City, NY:          Doubleday, 1971.

Michlic- Coren, Joanna. “Polish Jews During and After the Kielce Pogrom: Reports From the       Communist Archives,” in Polin, V.XIII (2000).

 

 

 

Winsor Family History

The Winsor family history was written in what appears to be a word document. It gives lots of facts and doesn’t flow very smoothly. It is both a family tree going back to before the American Revolution when the families last name was actually Harris, and a personal autobiography of William John Winsor Jr. In the autobiography, he talks of his childhood growing up in Jew Jersey and encountering minor forms of violence walking to and from school. It continues through his adolescence until he went to flight school with the Army Air Corps and eventually flew in WWII. After the war, he even flew in Vietnam and eventually made it to the rank of General.

It ends in 1900 with a calling to his family to keep the family legacy going. He calls for continued record keeping so that the family legacy would live on.

Carr’s Writings on History

In Carr’s writings on history, I found it interesting how many historical approaches to documenting history there are. The idea of recording history without bias I know is very difficult to do without adding your own interpretations, but it was interesting to read that throughout time the struggle between facts and interpretation has been a point of conflict. The idea of a “fact” isn’t really that simple. Which facts are chosen to be highlighted by historians and the arrangement of those known facts reveal what the historians believes to be more important. Therefor it trumps other facts and reveals bias. I also found interesting Carr’s point that the best historians tend to be the most ignorant, not knowing and choosing to leave out facts in order to structure clearer frameworks to make sense of things in.

Possible Topics.

I know this post is supposed to reveal my topic, but I am having trouble coming up with a good analytical topic. In one class I have read a lot about Jewish persecution in Poland after the Holocaust and found it very interesting. The Jews were killed and beaten by locals out of antisemitism even after the Nazi’s were defeated, and it was ironically safer for them to live in Germany immediately following the war. I think that there is a lot of information on this topic and I have found it interesting.

I am also interested in  studying and finding out more on the history of the Marine Corps. I realize that is pretty cliche, but none the less I also find it interesting. I need to narrow my focus with this topic though and find something worth writing about.

Morgan’s Puritan Ethic

Historian Edmund Morgan proposed that the values and idea’s ingrained in the actions of early Americans drove them to carry out the American Revolution. These values are what he refers to as the Puritan Ethic and he claims the same ethic can even been seen motivating Americans today. Part of the ethic he claims pushes all persons to find their true calling in life, as revealed by God, to become the best and most complete person they can be in that calling. It called for diligent work as well as thrifty, frugal saving. Morgan bridges the tightening leash of British laws, such as the Townsend Acts and lack of representation, with an infringement on Puritan Ethics. The Americans couldn’t be living lives with the best interest of the common in mind when their rights were being taken from them. They disagreed with the King who was not virtuous and did not have the best interest of the colonists in mind, as they believed he should. The ethic also spilled into manufacturing in the North as the ethic instilled a sense of hard work and diligence to make a living. In the south the same ethic ran directly contrary to slavery, yet as it was seen as wrong, it still continued until a point in the future when in would be revisited and abolished.

Morgan was able to support all his points with primary source material as well. It was well thought out and planned, but at times seemed like he was stretching his argument too far. The Puritan Ethic might just as well be Work Ethic. Something ingrained in most people out of the necessity to get things done and provide financial security.

Colonol Rhea

When reading about Colonel Rhea the first  thing that stood out was the introduction listing his accomplishments. He was a highly educated West Point graduate with advanced degrees from war colleges after serving in the Philippines. He is a man with a Distinguished Service Cross AND a Medal of Honor recipient. These awards are given out directly by the President and not given out lightly.

The primary source material from which he provided give immense insight into who he is and the era. His passport listed all his physical characteristics, from height to hair color. There are maps and pictures illustrating the conflict and key players in the Armenian- Azerbaijan war too. Colonel Rhea’s documents also revealed a direct line of contact with his superiors when he lets them know he doesn’t believe Armenia is in any position to attack  in December of 1919. He has pages and pages of first hand accounts and beliefs that make it a great primary source.

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