From the POLIN Reading-Room - "Młyny Boże” ("The Mills of God") and "Dalej jest noc” ("Ahead is the Night")

Mateusz Szczepaniak / English translation: Andrew Rajcher, 13th April 2018
The POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews presents events promoting the two newest books on the subject of hiding Jews during the Holocaust - " Młyny Boże. Zapiski o Kościele i Zagładzie” ("The Mills of God - Notes on the Church and the Holocaust") by Professor Jacek Leociak and "Dalej jest noc” ("Ahead is the Night") edited by Professor Barbara Engelking and Professor Jan Grabowski. Part of POLIN's Reading-Room Cycle, the events will take place on the 16th and 22nd April 2018.

Jacek Leociak, Młyny Boże. Zapiski o Kościele i Zagładzie (The Mills of God - Notes on the Church and the Holocaust, published by Wydawnictwo Czarne, Wołowiec 2018.

Regarding his book, Professor Jacek Leociak says:

I know very well that Poles saved Jews during the Holocaust. Rescues were also performed by nuns, diocesan priests (formerly referred to as lay people) and those in holy orders. Much has been written about that. According to data collected in 2007, amongst those Poles honoured with the "Righteous Among the Nations" medal, there are forty nuns and twenty priests. On my pages, I have endeavoured to note that about which less has been written. I take them out of a Bradshaw & Lloyd shoebox. It is a traditional English company which was founded at the end of the 19th century. I care about facts, even for minutiae. I do not rely on impersonal coolness or emotionless objectivity, On the contrary - this is a subjective record and a biased choice. After all, it's my box.

This book's event will take place on Monday, 16th April 2018 at 6:00pm - entry is free. The discussion with Prof. Jacek Leociak which be conducted by Father Tomasz Dostatni OP (Dominican Order).

Dalej jest noc. Losy Żydów w wybranych powiatach okupowanej Polski (Ahead is the Night - the Fates of Jews in Selected Districts of Occupied Poland), edited by Barbara Engelking and, Jan Grabowski, the Centre for Holocaust Research IFIS PAN, Warsaw 2018.

This two-volume work, edited by Prof. Barbara Engelking and Prof. Jan Grabowski, is the summary of a research project carried out, over several years, by the Centre for Holocaust Research, IFIS PAN. The project was entitled "Strategies for the Survival of Jews During the Occupation of the General Government, 1942-1945 - Studies of Selected Districts” (Read more about the project). Chapter authors include Barbara Engelking, Tomasz Frydel, Jan Grabowski, Dariusz Libionka, Dagmara Swałtek-Niewińska, Karolina Panz, Alina Skibińska, Jean Charles Szurek and Anna Zapalec – (See the books' Table of Contents).

The publication's authors write:

In all the Districts examined by us, Jews most often did not seek help in the towns, but in nearby villages - in the homes of their neighbours. To a great degree, the possibility of survival depended upon the willingness of these Christian neighbours to help, on whether they were able to overcome the fear of the threat which hiding Jews meant to a rural community. The prevailing group norms, the omni-present antisemitism and the mechanisms of social conformism were not conducive. Those, who were able to oppose not only the German legal regulations, but also the written and unwritten rules of group life, all the more deserve admiration. The numbers are emphatic - of every three Jews who sought help, two perished. These volumes provide evidence that there was a more than apparent significant scale of participation by Poles in the destruction of their Jewish fellow-citizens.

The event for this long-awaited book will take place on Sunday, 22nd April 2018 at 6:00pm - entry is free. Among those to participate in the discussion will be the book's editors, Prof. Barbara Engelking andPprof. Jan Grabowski, as well as the author of one of the chapters, Karolina Panz. Dr hab. Marcin Zaremba will also take part. The event will be chaired by TOK FM journalist Jakub Janiszewski.