In Western popular discourse there exists an assumption that “Poles killed Jews” during and following the Holocaust. Further, some have even claimed that Jewish deaths in Poland in the wake of the Second World War are attributable to a Polish desire to bring to completion the Nazi plan of extermination.
After the Holocaust offers a multi-layered analysis of the actual sources of Polish-Jewish conflict in Poland as a new Soviet Communist occupation replaced the German Nazi one. Dr. Chodakiewicz contextualizes this conflict and demonstrates the complex and multi-faceted nature of the situation in Soviet-occupied Poland. During this time the communists were consolidating their grip on the country by employing brute force and sheer terror. Meanwhile, bands of criminals roamed the countryside, robbing and harassing the general population. The independentist (non-communist) underground strove to resist, alas in vain.
Both Poles and Jews died in the process, and anti-Semitism (or one’s ethnic background for that matter) was rarely the main cause of death. This book is indispensable for students of ethnic conflict.
Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, After the Holocaust: Polish-Jewish Conflict in the Wake of World War II (Boulder, CO: East European Monographs, 2003).
Also in Polish: Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Po zagładzie. Stosunki polsko-żydowskie 1944-1947 (Warsaw: Instytut Pamięci Narodowej, 2008).