Niczego innego nie chcemy. Some facts, sometimes so much linked in our minds. Lately I was in , I visited the Campo dei Fiori square. Campo di Fiori appears in the poem of my favorite poet - Milosz. Referring to this poem Jan Blonski great figure in Polish literary criticism , wrote one of the most important texts in postwar Polish history about the Polish-Jewish relations.
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Reptile Journalism is a solidly documented account of the Polish publications that appeared under Nazi rule, based on material the author found in Polish archives when he was a member of the Institute of History at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. His book will be a precious source of information about wartime Poland for scholars, but it closely follows the original Polish version, and the author apparently felt he did not have to provide some basic facts for the American reader concerning the Nazi occupation.
In Germany during World War I there was a public discussion about what to do with the conquered eastern territories. German nationalist politicians advocated that only the regions which could be made to fit into German life should be incorporated into the Reich, since lands with ethnic elements that were too alien would be hard to digest. The western provinces of Poland were made a part of the Reich, while the central provinces were formed into an administrative unit called the General Government GG , under control of a German governor, Hans Frank, who was tried after the war in Nuremberg for war crimes, found guilty, and hanged.
Contrary to some views, there was no Polish satellite state during the war years. Dobroszycki puts this succinctly: Poland was a country without a Quisling. But for the sake of historical precision, it must be said that in the course of their more than five-year rule in Poland, the Germans never seriously attempted to produce such a figure; for without some tangible concessions, including a margin of sovereignty no matter how narrow , there was no place for Quislingism in Poland.
Would the Germans have been able to create in Poland a puppet state as they did in neighboring Slovakia? Germans like Oscar Schindler were lured to Poland by a hope of getting rich, but the region was far from safe for them. A nearly hysterical patriotic conformity was imposed on Polish society by the Polish resistance groups, which were loyal to the Polish government in exile in London.
The members of a potential Quisling government would have had a poor chance of surviving. Choose a Print, Digital, or All Access subscription. If you are already a subscriber, please be sure you are logged in to your nybooks. Also in This Issue.
Biedni Polacy patrza̜ na getto
BIEDNI POLACY PATRZĄ NA GETTO