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The Jedwabne Tragedy

Jedwabne is 100 miles NW of Warsaw

English version of Rzeczpospolita's map

In the Fall of 1939, Jedwabne (pron: Yedvabneh], a small town with a population of almost 3,000 in northeastern Poland, came under Soviet occupation. The day following the June 22, 1941, German attack on the Soviets Union, Jedwabne came under German occupation. On July 10, 1941, some members of the Polish population of Jedwabne participated in the slaughter of several hundred of the town's 900 to 1600 Jews. After the war, a number were tried, convicted and served prison terms for having done so.

Jan Tomasz Gross, a Polish-born New York University historian, has investigated the slaughter and authored a book, Sąsiedzi (Neighbors) detailing it. The book stimulated widespread debate in Poland's press with over 750 articles. This page seeks to provide English language readers with access to the discussion within Poland by presenting translations of articles which appeared in Poland's leading newspapers.

Time-wise, the discussion can be divided into three periods. The first group of articles began to appear in May of 2000, soon after the publication of the Polish version of Gross's book, and continued through the Fall. The magazine Więź has posted English translations of a score of those articles on the Internet.

The debate took on added intensity in the Spring of 2001, a period broadly coinciding with the scheduled April 1st publication of the English version of Gross's book. The translations posted below come mainly from that period.

A third group of articles, represented by seven entries in gold/green type below, appeared in a period broadly antedating or coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the tragedy and the July 10th memorial service that tool place in Jedwabne.

The last two entries, present respectively the Final Findings of the judicial investigation by Poland's Institute of National Memory and the subsequent remarks of Poland's President, Aleksander Kwaśniwski (the banner at top of the page is a link to Jedwabne page of the Warsaw-based daily, Rzeczpospolita which features more than 145 articles.)

Poland's Institute for National Remembrance undertook the full fledged judicial investigation of the facts pertaining to the slaughter on August 31, 2000. Among the facts it sought to determine were the following: who specifically were the perpetrators, the identity of any still alive and liable to prosecution, and the extent to which the slaughter was result of orders or instigation by the German occupiers.

On July 10, 2002 the Institute for National Remembrance issued a press release summarizing the Final Findings of the investigation. Two volumes of documents, inquiries and analyses resultiing from the Institute's Jedwabne inquiry are to be published in due course.

Jedwabne: History - 60 Years Later
as recounted in Rzeczpospolita by Maciej Łukasiewicz
1175 words

Poland's President on the subject of Jedwabne
an interview with Aleksander Kwaśniewski
1073 words

Living in Truth
special statement by Prime minster Jerzy Bużek
334 words

Poland's Institute of National Memory
Official Statement and interview with Prof. Leon Kieres, its head.
850 words

Jedwabne: Guilt Justly Acknowledged
an address by Józef Cardinal Glemp, Primate of Poland
1225 words

Trivializing Barbarity
Article by Archbishop Józef Życiński
2082 words

The Need for Atonement
by Jan Nowak-Jeziorański
1884 words

Remembering the righteous ten
Article by Professor Antoni Gryzyk
1344 words

Open Letter regarding Jedwabne
to member and sympatizers of the Polish Democratic Left
655 words

Bishop Gądecki about Jedwabne
"I agree with Rabbi Schudrich"
565 words

Jedwabne shoud be a symbol of reconciliation
A conversation with Michael Schudrich, Rabbi of Warsaw and Łódź
2339 words

We Trusted Each Other:
Jedwabne Rabbi Jacob Baker
2549 words

Poles and the Jews: How Deep the Guilt?
by Adam Michnik, Editor of Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest circulation daily
2565 words

The Germans were forcing Poles to take part in the murders
in the opinion of the historian Prof. Tomasz Strzembosz
547 words

Readers doubt credibility of war crime account by Polish-Jewish historian.
A report by the Polish Press Agency
1023 words

Were the Jews in Jedwabne killed by the Gestapo?
Testimony in the Ludwigsburg archives
1022 words

The Jedwabne Matter
Did Gross Commit a Crime? ... The prosecutor's office in Sejny has refused...
617 words

To the Moskals Friends
A column by Marek Zieleniewski
756 words

A Monument Made of Words
Article by Dr. Dariusz Stola
9095 words

Goldhagen for Beginners
by Prof. Norman G. Finkelstein
2111 words

Regret without Guilt
by Prof. Michał Wojciechowski
1555 words

Jedwabne, that's the new name of the Holocaust
by Rev. Stanisław Musiał, S.J.
1100 words

Hell's last circle
article by Ignacy Matuszewski
first published on December 5, 1941
1019 words

Sixty Years Ago . . .
Remarks by President Aleksander Kwaśniewski
Jedwabne, July 10, 2001
1206 words

Jedwabne, 10th July, 1941
An interview with Prof. Paweł Machcewicz, Director
Office of Public Education, Institute of National Memory
3289 words

Jedwabne: Final Findings
of Poland's Institute of National Memory
July 9, 2002 - 1370 words

We, Poles, have a special duty ...
President Alexander Kwaśniewski on July 17, 2002
at Georgetown University
330 words

Polish Crimes Against Jews Detailed
President Alexander Kwaśniewski on July 17, 2002
Associated Press News Report of November 2, 2002
530 words


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