Bystanders, blackmailers, and perpetrators: Polish complicity during the Holocaust

Date
2011-01-01
Authors
Flaws, Jacob
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John Monroe
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Altmetrics
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History
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History
Abstract

The Holocaust was carried out primarily in the country of Poland. Because of the close proximity to their Jewish neighbors' destruction, the actions of local Poles are studied for patterns of complicity. Through studying survivor memoirs and testimonies, three levels of complicity are discussed at length: bystanders, blackmailers, and perpetrators. The motivations for each level of complicity are also discussed and include: fear, diffusion of responsibility, the changing morality of war, and the effects of anti-Semitism. The role of anti-Semitism is given deeper analysis as it can be linked to all three levels of complicity.

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