Stranger Blame

From Ann Szedlecki (1925-2005), Album of My Life (2009), describing circumstances associated with her escape from Lodz to Russian-occupied eastern Poland, 1939, at the age of fourteen:

On the trip we were subjected to a lot of antisemitic verbal abuse from Poles on the train. They didn’t allow us into any of the compartments, which meant that we had to either sit or stand on the floor of the corridor. They didn’t blame the German occupiers for the war–they blamed us. They seemed to be quite content with the present state of affairs. …I sat on the floor, afraid to move or attract undue attention, getting dirty looks from the Poles, who rather than being hateful toward the invaders of the country, vented their hostility on us. It was a completely new experience for me. Until now I had been surrounded almost exclusively by Jews.

Seems no concept of being a Jewish Pole, by either non-Jewish Poles or Jewish Poles…


About brucelarochelle
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