This story shows that in the case of Polish-Jewish relations – especially in the post-war period – there can be no simple, zero-one narrative. Just as there were bad Poles surrendering hiding Jews to Germans, so were there Jews, overrepresented among communists, who tortured and murdered patriotic Poles hiding from communists. Abram Tauber, who was Jewish, was hidden from Germans by Home Army soldiers during the war. When the Soviet army appeared in the vicinity of Lublin, he joined their side. Soon, he became the head of the UB (Security Service) in the village of Chodel and personally murdered four Home Army soldiers.
Abram Tauber, due to his Jewish origin, did not have an easy life under German occupation. He had to hide. He was assisted by Home Army soldiers under the command of Major Hieronim Dekutowski (nicknamed “Zapora”). He often came to rely upon shelter in locations controlled by the “Zaporczyk” unit.
In the second half of 1944, when Soviets took over the Lublin region, Tauber decided that the threat to his life would be much smaller if he moved to the areas from which the Germans had been driven out. He did that and joined the regime installed by the Soviets.
In early 1945, Tauber was appointed commander of the police and head of the UB, in Chodel. As the head of this communist unit, he contacted four Home Army soldiers whom he knew from the period of hiding from the Germans (one of them saved him directly). These soldiers went to the meeting completely voluntarily and without weapons. It is possible that they were convinced that Tauber, who had been saved by them earlier, would want to repay them somehow, treat them with some vodka or give some good advice on the new reality.
The reality turned out very different. The meeting with Tauber was a classic UB ambush. Tauber ordered the soldiers to be tied up with barbed wire first and then shot them all personally.
Upon hearing the news, Hieronim Dekutowski (“The Firewall”) decided to return to the underground. He organized a group of several dozen Polish soldiers and – as a revenge for Tauber’s conduct – on the night of February 5-6, 1945, he broke into the MO / UB police station in Chodel. The Dekutowski group did not find Tauber, however. According to the account of one of the “Zaporczyki”, Stanisław Wnuk (aka “Opal”), Tauber was soon transferred to the Szczecin UB. Finally, he supposedly emigrated to Israel.
I throw this “pebble in the garden” to show that – contrary to what the Yad Vashem Institute claims – the history of anti-Semitism and anti-Polonism can sometimes intertwine. Abram Tauber was undoubtedly a victim of Nazi Germany’s anti-Semitic policy. However, as soon as the opportunity arose, he became an officer of the criminal regime for whom the primary enemy were Poles fighting for freedom.