June 21, 2024
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Detailed Bulletin: Jewish Complicity in the Holocaust (Yes). Jewish-Nazi Collaboration

 

  • Jewish collaboration cannot be excused: German-occupied Poles felt comparable pressures to collaborate, yet do not get excused. Surely a power disparity existed between Nazi German and Jew, but—let’s not forget–it also existed between Nazi German and Pole. In a general sense, ALL collaborators, Polish and Jewish, felt more likely to improve their lot and to survive the occupant than non-collaborators, by gaining special favors! This should not be confused with any IMMEDIATE threat to one’s life for failing to collaborate—for Poles and Jews alike–as elaborated below.
  • History does not run backwards. Contrary to the “Jews feared death” excuse, Jews did not see the Nazi Germany as particularly dangerous until 1942 (Szende 1945). Jews collaborated with the Nazis long before then.
  • The first step in collaboration is asking for, or accepting, favors from the enemy. The Jews requested separatism and autonomy from the new Nazi German conquerors of Poland. The Germans cynically played along, authorizing the formation of the Judenrat (Friedman 1980). The Jews were never forced to form a Judenrat (Porat 2019).
  • The cruelty and corruption of the Jewish ghetto police, serving the Germans, went back to the beginning, and long before the Germans started killing Jews on a frequent and sustained basis (Ringelblum 1952).
  • Far from anticipating the Holocaust (another false excuse for collaboration), Jews would not conceive of a Nazi Holocaust because of their ingrained conviction that the Germans were fundamentally cultured and civilized (Gat 2014, Hausner 1978, Katz 2013, Shatyn 1985, Schoenfeld 1985, Wells 1963).
  • Furthermore, the Jews disbelieved the reality of the unfolding Holocaust even long after it finally began (Eisner 1996, Greif 2005, Lubetkin 1981). They could not be scared of something that they did not believe.
  • And, contrary to the “Jews feared death” excuse, the Jewish ghetto police dispatched Jews to what turned out to be the death camps without any prior belief that avoiding the transports was the only way to avoid death (Braatz 2011).
  • Jewish kapos were not generally forced to become kapos (Guterman 2008).
  • Contrary to exculpations, Jewish kapos beating other Jews were not trying to “impress the Germans”: Jewish kapos beat other Jews even when the Germans were not watching! (Finkel 2017, Porat 2019).
  • Jewish betrayers of other Jews often acted voluntarily (Finkel 2017).
  • Jewish Gestapo agents acted out of selfish, personal gain (Carnaghi 2020).
  • Jewish collaboration was crucial in the German success in killing 6,000,000 Jews. For instance, 2,000 to 3,000 Jewish ghetto police did the work of 10,000 would-be German replacements in dispatching 400,000 Warsaw Jews to their deaths at Treblinka (Zuckerman 1993).
  • Jewish collaborators got their perks. They fraternized with the Germans and sometimes even got their own automobiles (Browning 2003, Niewyk 1998, Wolgelernter 2015).
  • A Pole could betray a Jew for a bag of sugar. So could a Jew! (Zelkovitsh 2003).
  • The Jewish ghetto police were free to do evil, independent of German orders. They demanded bribes, and often blackmailed other Jews (Drix 2003, Kulkielko 2018).
  • The Judenrat diligently went above and beyond German orders in fulfilling its tasks against other Jews (Hilberg 2002, Kruk 2002).
  • The Judenrat exploited the German order to collect taxes from the Jews as a pretext for collecting much additional money–for its own clique (Wolgelernter 2015. See also Redner 2015, Smolar 1989).
  • In fact, some leading collaborationist Jews planned to survive the Holocaust and to live off the massive wealth that they had acquired from the doomed Jews (Sierakowiak 1998).
  • Many Judenrat and Jewish ghetto police members lived lavishly, at the expense of other Jews (Goda 2014, Kruk 2002).
  • The Jewish Ghetto Police was crueler to the Jews than was the Polish Blue Police (Tushnet 1972).
  • Once the Holocaust happened, the Judenrat deliberately deceived the Jews, reassuring them of their safety in German hands—and not only in the notorious Kasztner case! (Arendt 2007, Bogdanor 2016, Cholawsky 1997, Kruk 2002, Ringel 1973, Tenenbaum 2001).
  • The Nazis went out of their way to cultivate Jewish collaborators, because they correctly believed that Jews could be turned against other Jews in conducting the Holocaust (Hecht 1961; See also Greif 2005).
  • The Judenrat decided which Jews will live, and which Jews will die (MacDonald 1974, Ronen 2011). This started before the deaths of all ghetto Jews became obvious.
  • The “avert a worse situation” is a standard exculpation for collaborators of all nationalities, and it does not apply to Jewish collaboration. Jews collaborated with Nazis even when there was nothing “bad” to avert (Trunk 1972).
  • Hannah Arendt, who spoke the truth to power about Jewish-Nazi collaboration, faced organized vilification from the ADL and other powerful Jewish groups–in an attempt to discredit her (Brightman 1995).

 

Source: jewsandpolesdatabase.org. Specifics:

Arendt. 2007. The Jewish Writings, pp. 481-482

Bogdanor. 2016. Kasztner’s Crime, p. 282

Braatz. 2011. From Ghetto to Death Camp, p. 73

Brightman. 1995. Between Friends, p. 146

Browning. 2003. Collected Memories, pp. 56-57

Carnaghi. 2020. Betraying Your Own, pp. 62-64

Cholawsky. 1997. The Jews of Bielorusia During World War II, pp. 257-258

Drix. 2003. Witness to Annihilation, p. 169

Eisner. 1996. The Survivor of the Holocaust, p. 98, 118

Finkel. 2017. Ordinary Jews, p. 72, 85

Friedman. 1980. Roads to Extinction, p. 541

Gat. 2014. Not Just Another Holocaust Book, pp. 105-106

Goda. 2014. Jewish Histories of the Holocaust, pp. 81-82

Greif. 2005. We Wept Without Tears, p. 164, 243, 324

Guterman. 2005. A Narrow Bridge to Life, p. 138, 140

Hausner. 1978. Justice in Jerusalem, p. 195

Hecht. 1961. Perfidy, p. 232

Hilberg. 2002. The Politics of Memory, p. 151

Niewyk. 1998. Fresh Wounds, p. 29

Katz. 2013. Gone to Pitchipoi, p. 69

Kruk. 2002. The Last Days of the Jerusalem of Lithuania, p. 187, 386

Kulkielko. 2018. Escape From the Pit, p. 81

Lubetkin. 1981. In the Days of Destruction and Revolt, p. 103

MacDonald. 1974. Discriminations, p. 313

Porat. 2019. Bitter Reckoning, p. 39, 189

Redner. 2015. A Jewish Policeman in Lwow, p. 119

Ringel. 1973. The Rawa Ruska Memorial Book, p. 368

Ringelblum. 1952. Notes From the Warsaw Ghetto, p. 329, 331

Ronen. 2011. Collaborator or Rescuer? YAD VASHEM STUDIES 39(1)117-167, p. 160

Schoenfeld. 1985. Holocaust Memoirs, p. 39

Shatyn. 1985. A Private War, p. 133, 165, 194

Sierakowiak. 1998. The Diary of David Sierakowiak, p. 188

Smolar. 1989. The Minsk Ghetto, pp. 53-54

Szende. 1945. The Promise Hitler Kept, p. 89

Tenenbaum. 2001. Zloczow Memoir, p. 208, 213

Trunk. 1972. Judenrat, p. 569

Tushnet. 1972. The Pavement of Hell, p. 97

Wells. 1963. Janowska Road, pp. 34-35

Wolgelernter. 2015. The Unfinished Diary, p. 161, 198

Zelkovitsch. 2003. In Those Terrible Days, p. 306

Zuckerman. 1993. A Surplus of Memory, p. 209

 

 

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