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Jews in Poland after 1945

Polish-Jewish relations still remain strained after a turbulent relationship during the 20th century. During WWII the survival rate for Jews in Poland was 1 percent. During WWII, Poland was partitioned by Germany and Russia. Stalin despised the Poles and hundreds of thousands were sent to Germany, while Hitler helped make Polish Jews the scapegoat for both PolandÆs economic devastation and RussiaÆs persecution of Poles. Most of the notorious Nazi concentration camps were located in Poland, including Auschwitz and Birkenau. While some Poles chose to help the Jews, far larger numbers assisted the Germans in their disclosure, capture, and murder. While never official government policy of Poland, many organizations existed that we designed to kill hews, like the NSZ that was designed to kill Jews hiding in the forests.

At the end of WWII, there were very few Jews left in Poland. While some returned home, a majority immigrated to other countries including the U.S. For those Jews that survived in Poland or returned there after the WWII, the situation was one of hostility and violence. After the war, Poles actually killed returning Jews in the infamous pogrom in Kiel in 1946. Likewise, the Polish government actually maintained an anti-Semitic campaign in the late 1960s. In the first free elections in Poland in the 1980s that put Lech Walesa in office, supporters tried a smear campaign against one opponent by spreading a rumor that he was part Jewish. It is such incidents that continue to strain relations between Jews and Poles in contemporary times. However, a review of the treatment of Jews after 1945 in Poland demonstrates that much of the anti-Semitism generated against Jews was not from fascism but rather the Catholic Church and government policy.

The literature on Jews living in Poland after WWII makes it abundantly clear that both the Polish government and the Catholic Church routinely incited anti-Semitic fervo...

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Jews in Poland after 1945. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:28, February 21, 2017, from