July 16, 2024
Polish/Jewish Relations

Patterns of Cooperation, Collaboration and Betrayal: Jews, Germans and Poles in Occupied Poland during World War II

Jakub Lejkin, second in command of Jewish Order Service in front of his unit.

Collaboration with the Germans in occupied Poland is a topic that has not been adequately explored by historians. Holocaust literature has dwelled almost exclusively on the conduct of Poles toward Jews and has often arrived at sweeping and unjustified conclusions. At the same time, with a few notable exceptions such as Isaiah Trunk and Raul Hilberg, whose findings confirm what Hannah Arendt opined about the Jewish councils, Holocaust historians have shied away from the topic of Jewish collaboration with the Germans. With few exceptions, Holocaust survivors are also in denial about this phenomenon. This dark chapter of the wartime history of Jews is one that merits closer scrutiny.

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