Page 33 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 7 (1948-1949)

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21
BLOCH----THE YEAR’S BOOKSHELF
trip (in 1946) and on anti-Semitism rife there. He describes the
pogroms and the destruction wrought by the Nazis but also the
anti-Semitism manifested by the Poles since their liberation. It
is full of dispiriting details, including an account of the pogrom
in Kielce in July, 1946 and its aftermath. He tells of the Jews
who live as marranos and want to escape to present-day Germany:
the assimilators and traitors. Incidentally the Kielce pogrom was
instigated by a diabolically executed blood libel by reactionary
agitators. It was followed by a wholesale exodus of Jews. He also
tells of the refusal of Cardinal Hlond and other church dignitaries
to condemn the ritual murder libel and gives a terse description
of the Warsaw Ghetto battle, in which the tales of survivors are
blended with evidence drawn from official Nazi reports. He fur-
nishes documentary proof of the fact that the Polish government
is bending every effort to root out anti-Semitism. In this it does
not have the support of the people. No wonder Pat reports that
stronger than any emotion in the Polish Jews today is the urge
to leave Poland; they are determined to rebuild their .dreams in
their own homeland, preferring the grim waiting in DP camps,
if that brings them but one step nearer to Palestine. Unlike other
correspondents who have traveled in the country since the war,
Schneiderman feels that the Polish government is on the right
track and is not just another subsidiary of the Kremlin.
Renya Kulkielko, a young Polish Jewess now in a Palestine
collective in her
Escape from the p it
; foreword by Ludwig Lewisohn
(N. Y., Sharon, ’48), describes her precarious existence hiding
from the Gestapo in Poland, her imprisonment, torture and
escape. Her story begins in 1939 when she was a girl in her late
teens. She tells of the continuous and merciless manhunt against
Jews, regardless of sex and age. This manhunt was organized by
Germans and aided and abetted by people of other nationalities.
She also tells of Christians who hid her and her comrades, often
for good money, sometimes because they were decent at heart.
Her parents, sisters and brother were murdered by the Germans.
For a time she pretended to be a Christian and served as a maid
to a partly German family. Fearing recognition, she fled to the
Bendzin children’s
kibbutz
(a training camp for those going to
Palestine). Her wanderings are a montage of ghettos, concentra-
tion camps, torture and humiliation chambers. Finally, her forged
papers and the aid of the underground connections with the Holy
Land placed her among the few who, in 1944, were miraculously
rescued and brought to Palestine. Even though safe in Palestine
she could not forget the Nazi bestiality as it revealed itself before
her eyes. In his foreword, Ludwig Lewisohn ranks her book with
the new “literature of martyrdom.”