Judenjagd, hunt for the Jews, was the German term for the organized searches for Jews who, having survived ghetto liquidations and deportations to death camps in Poland in 1942, attempted to hide "on the Aryan side". Jan Grabowski's penetrating microhistory tells the story of the Judenjagd in Dabrowa Tarnowska, a rural county in southeastern Poland, where the majority of the Jews in hiding perished as a consequence of betrayal by their Polish neighbors. Drawing on materials from Polish, Jewish, and German sources created during and after the war, Grabowski documents the involvement of the local Polish population in the process of detecting and killing the Jews who sought their aid. Through detailed reconstruction of events, this close-up account of the fates of individual Jews casts a bright light on a little-known aspect of the Holocaust in Poland.
"This important, often disturbing, exploration of how genocides happen is… enriched by the author's clear compassion for those who were compromised or lost." (ForeWord Reviews)
"Here is an absolutely essential addition to any Holocaust library or a read for anyone interested in Polish-Jewish relations." (AJL Reviews)
"Recommended for all serious Holocaust collections." (Library Journal)
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Highlights how quick people turn on each other.
- Steve H. Caldwell
No, once is enough.
Hunt For the Jews reads more like a research paper or text book, than the typical nonfiction book. This is a systematic account of story after story of acts of atrocity carried out in Poland by common ordinary citizens, discussing motives, court documents and eye witness testimonies. The narrator seemed like he wanted to compensate for the author's lack by injecting more emotion into his performance than expressed. Nevertheless, some of the detailed accounts of the witnesses' testimonies that were included in this work were disturbing. The fact that so many non-military, non-German, Polish civilians, not only went along with the systemic eradication of all Jews, but actually rained down terror upon their fellow citizens themselves, is unconscionable. It provides a lesson for those of us living in the west who think it could never happen here, and it is an indictment beyond Poles and Jews. It is the blood lust or blood frenzy, if you like, of greed and racism, devoid of any sense of human dignity, and it's a story that we should never forget.
- J. Paul