Jaff Schatz, The Generation: The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Communists of Poland, Uni. Of California Press, Berkeley, 1991. Schatz was director of the Institute for Jewish Culture, Lunds University, Sweden. Selections by Peter Myers, September 17, 2001; update October 21, 2004. My comments are shown {thus}.

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{Poland's postwar Communist government was Jewish-dominated; the 1967 Middle East War forced Poland's Jews to finally choose between Zionism and Communism. Removal of Jews from the leadership allowed Poles to take over, who would later be more amenable to Solidarity. Jews created Communism, but the Jew-Gentile divide later destroyed it. Note that these Jewish Communists were supporters of Trotsky. Stalin's triumph upset the applecart; it made a huge difference to the fate of the Communist movement.}

{p. 11} "The truest community to which one can belong," Robert Wohl has written, "is that defined by age and experience" (1979: 203). Those who are the subject matter of this study formed such a community. Now, nearing the end of their lives, they are deeply aware of the fact that their individual biographies form part of the common history of their generation. ... This is the story of the times and path of the generation of Polish-Jewish Communists.

They were seized by the Communist vision in a time when this vision could be regarded as heralding an approaching age of fundamental general redemption. Despite frustrations and disappointments, they remained faithful to its basic core until the time of their final existential defeat. Although it went almost unnoticed, this defeat augured what was to become apparent to the world in less than two decades: the complete moral, ideological, economic, and political bankruptcy of the Communist system.

They were not the only Polish-Jewish radicals of their time but, compared to their peers, they were the most radical of all radical Jews.

In modern times, radical Jews caught the attention of the world.

{p. 12} Men and women of Jewish descent were in such a disproportionate number among the theoreticians, leaders, and rank and file of the leftist movements that, depending on one's point of view, Jews were prized or cursed for their alleged radicalism. Thus, after having uttered several anti-Jewish remarks in his early years but now deeply impressed by the role played by the Jewish leaders in the Soclallst movement and the radicalization of the Jewish proletariat in the Russian Empire, London, and New York, Engels wrote in 1890, "To say nothing of Heine and Borne, Marx was of purest Jewish blood; Lassalle was a Jew. Many of our best people are Jews. My friend Victor Adler, ... Eduard Bernstein, ... Paul Singer ... - people of whose friendship I am proud, are all Jews! Have I not been turned into a Jew myself by the 'Gartenlaube'?" In a lecture in Geneva in 1905, Lenin said, "The hatred of the czars was particularly directed against the Jews. The Jews provided an extremely hlgh percentage (compared to the total of the Jewish population) of leaders of the revolutionary movement. In passing, it should be said to their credit that today the Jews provide a relatlvely high percentage of representatives of internationalism compared with other nations." In contrast, King Fredrick Wilhelm IV of Prussia lamented "the disgrace which the circumcised ringleaders among the revolutionaries had brought upon Germany." A report written by the Prussian police in 1879 about the connection between Jews and the Social Democratic party stated that Jews support Socialist ideas financially and by advocatlng them in the press and concluded that "if we add the fact that the most prominent leaders of the revolutionary parties in the various countries are Jews, such as Karl Hirsch in Bruxelles, Karl Marx in London, Leo Fraenkel in Budapest and that the large party of Russian nihilists...consists mostly of Jews, there is reason to justify the claim that Jewry is by nature a revolutionary movement." Russian Czar Nicholas II complained to his wife that "nine-tenths of the troublemakers are Jews." Russian Minister of Interior Plehve noted that 70 percent of all political dissidents known by the police were Jews, while Count Witte told Theodor Herzl in 1903 that in his opinion, the proportion of Jews among Russlan revolutlonaries was 50 percent. Sixty-five years later, on learning of the riots at the 1968 Democratic National

{p. 13} convention in Chicago, President Nixon wondered "whether all the indicted conspirators are Jews, or whether ... only about half are."

... extreme radicals formed but a tiny minority among Jews as a whole. Theories equating Jews with radicalism have, simply, no substance and are a product of incompetence or prejudice. However, the disproportionate participation of Jews in leftist parties and movements has historically been highly significant (and highly visible).

If intellectuals as such form a "relatively classless stratum which is not too firmly situated in the social order," {this is not so; religious leaders in every society are intellectuals, but usually not destroyers of the social order} Jewish intellectuals falling in between Jewish and nonJewish segments of society must be even more so. Thus, one can find theories attributing Jewish intellectual radicalism to their positively interpreted cosmopolitanism and secular, messianic universalism, which is said to allow Jews to become true internationalists and to formulate ideas about how to reform society. This is expressed most prominently and most affirmatively by Isaac Deutscher who sees the revolutionary "non-Jewish Jew" as one who continues a specifically Jewish tradition of "transcending" the borders of Judaism when they are "too narrow, too archaic, and too restricting" in order to strive "for the universal, as against the particularist, and for the internationalist, as against the nationalist solutions to the problems of their time" (1968: 33).

{p. 14} Another group of theories seeks to explain the phenomenon of Jewish radicalism by referring to Jewish cultural heritage in which messianism is said to have special appeal. This position is best expressed by Nicolas Berdyaev, in whose view "the most important aspect of Marx's teaching" can be explained by the fact that "the messianic expectations of Israel" remained in his subconsciousness and that, therefore, the proletariat was for him "the new Israel, God's chosen people, the liberator and the builder of an earthly kingdom that is to come." Communism is for Berdyaev "a secularized form of the ancient Jewish chiliasm," because "a messianic consciousness is surely always of ancient Hebrew origin" (1961: 69-70). ... Lawrence Fuchs ... attributes a supposed Jewish yearning for justice to the effect of the Jewish religious imperative of tikkun olam (repair of the world), the prophetic traditions, the love for learning, and immunity from ascetism, which direct activity into the concrete world of economy and politics.

... Other theories point out deprivation and anti-Semitism as the main causes of Jewish radicalism. {but other peoples have been deprived too}

Thus, Hugo Valentin, arguing primarily against racist doctrines (but also against those who attribute Jewish political radicalism to cultural heritage), states simply that the only explanation for the participation of Jews in the Communist movements of Eastern Europe was their hopeless predicament of misery, prosecution, and anti-Semitism. {but other peoples have beenin this position too}

{p. 24} Poland was a multiethnic society and its national minorities- Ukrainians, Jews, Byelorussians, and Germans-constituted approximately 35 percent of its population. According to the census of 1931, there were 3,113,993 Jews in Poland. Unlike other national minorities who were concentrated in certain territories, Jews lived all over the country. After the Ukrainians (16%), Jews constituted approximately 10 percent of the population, thus being the second largest minority in Poland. Constituting one-seventh of all Jews in the world, they were, after the United States, the world's second largest Jewish community.

In a predominantly rural Poland, Jews constituted an extremely urban group, forming 2.7 percent of the inhabitants of Polish towns and cities and only 3 percent of its rural population. While only 2.7 percent of ethnic Poles, 7 percent of Ukrainians, and 3 percent of Byelorussians lived in cities, the proportion of urban Jews was 76 percent. One-fourth of Polish Jews lived in Poland's five largest cities, constituting between one-fourth and one-third of their inhabitants.

The occupational structure of Polish Jewry followed the residential one: 58.8 percent of Polish but only 4.3 percent of Jewish breadwinners worked in agriculture. Instead, Jews were primarily active in light industry, handicrafts, the professions, and commerce. As much as 36.6 percent of Jewish breadwinners were active in commercial occupations. While only 3.4 percent of ethnic Poles were found there, Jews formed approximately 60 percent of this occupational category.

{p. 25} Jews accounted for 56 percent of all doctors in private practice, 33.5 percent of those active in legal professions, and 22 percent of journalists, publishers, and librarians. All in all, Jews constituted 21.5 percent of all Polish professionals.

{p. 34} ... according to the census of 1931, Yiddish was a mother tongue for 79 percent of Jews, Polish for 12 percent, and Hebrew for 9 percent ... Most Jews were probably bilingual ... Approximately one-third of the Jewish adult population was still Orthodox or traditionalist ... They were highly visible, with their traditional style of dress and the use of Yiddish as the sole or main language of communication. They lived predominantly in small cities with large Jewish populations and had quite limited contact with non-Jews. ...

The assimilationists, who regarded themselves as Poles, Poles "of the Mosaic faith," or Poles "of Jewish descent," and for whom assimilation was a conscious program to solve the "Jewish question," constituted the opposite pole. It is estimated that they numbered approximately ... 8 to 9 percent of the total Jewish population. Socially, they could be found among the Polish-Jewish upper-middle class and intelligentsia. The young assimilationists placed their hopes in the Polish left, although some, disappointed by anti-Jewish hostility, found their way back into the Jewish world as Zionists or Bundists.

{p. 38} Their socialization took place in the network of their parental homes, among grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, in play and more formal learning, in their neighborhoods, and among their friends. The core of cultural heritage was handed down to them through formal religious education and practice, through holiday celebrations, tales, and songs, through the stories told by parents and grandparents, through listening to discussions among their elders {i.e. the people who destroyed other people's family life, had a strong one themselves}. In other words, it was transmitted to them through direct, conscious, and intentional forms but also through myriad subtle, unintentional, and indirect ways. The result was a deep core of their identity, values, norms, and attitudes with which they entered the rebellious period of their youth and adulthood. Thls core was to be transformed in the processes of acculturation, secularlzatlon, and radicalization, sometimes even to the point of expliclt denial. However, it was through this deep layer that all later perceptions were filtered. Among the most important elements of this cultural heritage was a moralism connected to a yearning for justice, a belief in ratlonality, a respect for learning and study, and a messianic core that was to facilitate the transformation of the static, conservative ballast of tradition into fuel for radicalism.

Secularized elements of Jewish messianism, stimulated by factors of the social predicament, undoubtedly played a central role in forming a radical potential among these peers.

{p. 39} The essence of the messianic idea is a yearning for redemption, both for Jews and for the whole of mankind. Jewish messianism is this-worldly and emancipatory. Redemption is understood as peace, justice, harmony, and perfection, for both the individual and society. The golden age is thus not in the past but in the future. The state of redemption is the ultimate goal of humanity, a historic breakthrough to come.

The "this-worldliness" of Jewish messianism is of basic importance and must be clearly understood. Messianic redemption, the ultimate goal of history, is to take place on this earth and not in some heavenly world beyond. In this lies the basic difference between Jewish messianism and Christian variants. While Christian messianism regards redemption as "an event in the spiritual and unseen realm, an event which is reflected in the soul, in the private world of each individual, and which affects an inner transformation which need not correspond to anything outside," Jewish messianism is this-wordly and maintains "a concept of redemption as an event which takes place publicly, on the stage of history and within the community."

After the initial period of crystallization, messianism became

{p. 40} one of the most central ideas in Jewish civilization. Several times it has exploded in the form of powerful social movements, among which the movement of Sabbatai Sevi in the middle of the seventeenth century was the most potent. The Sabbataian movement shook the Jewish world of the time and, despite its failure, created an Ideological fermentation that might have stimulated the modernizatlon of Jewish social and political thought two hundred years later.

Although originating in preexile notions, the messianic ideas has been closely connected to the changing fortunes of the Jewish exile. Being exiled and exposed to the dangers of persecution has constituted the primary characteristic of the Jewish historical experience. An exile as such can be seen as a state or as a process. In the perceptlon of the exiled, exile as a state is rooted in their Immedlate soclal situation: its time dimension is the present. Seen as a process, exile has a past, present, and future dimension. The past and the future dimensions of exile furnish the exiled with the possibility of giving the present situation a meaningful interpretatlon.

{p. 41} Another tension contained within the messianic tradition is that between its restorative and utopian dimensions. The restorative dimension has been directed toward the re-creation of the past conditions, now longed for and cherished in the historical memory of the Jews. But parallel with this past-oriented tendency, there exists another, utopian-oriented longing for a future that has not yet existed.

{p. 42} ... messianic activism, called by its opponents a "wrong messianism" or "mad messianism," was never entirely wiped out. As a nearly permanent latent factor, it has repeatedly manifested itself in Jewish history in the form of different messianic movements. ... The

{p. 43} Zionists, the Bundists, and the Jewish Communists shared the same messianic activism and emancipatory ideal, the token of all modern Jewish secular politics. ... To point out the central significance of messianic traditions in modern Jewish ideology, identity, and politics does not mean that this tradition is an exclusively Jewish possession. In secularized form, elements of the messianic idea permeated the European Enlightenment and the French and Industrial revolutions. Under the influence of religious and political liberalism, urbanization, and industrialization, and united with elements of utopian thought, messianic millennialism was transformed into the modern idea of progress. However, if the messianic idea was of such great significance within the general society, it was immensely more so in the community that created and carried it throughout the ages. The messianic tradition permeated Jewish civilization to such a degree that it became one of its very central, even when latent, features and a backbone of its popular culture. It resisted the impact of secularization and acculturation, the challenge of modernity, by transforming itself into radical political options, in which activist forces were immensely strengthened.

{p. 44} Whether they lived in the classical Jewish small towns, big cities, or villages, the world of the shtetl, on the edge of modernity, once encompassed Jews throughout Eastern Europe. It formed a social, religious, cultural, and linguistic polysystem in which class antagonisms were subordinated to a common core of values ...

{p. 46} Their taste and ability for abstract, analytical thinking and a holistic perspective; their respect for learning and study as means for acquiring an understanding of the laws and directions behind seemingly chaotic events; thelr intellectualism and belief in the power of words and arguments had all been developed by their forefathers in the course of studying the Scriptures, in discussions, debates, analyses, and interpretations of religious problems. Their intense sense of duty toward Ideology and movements, and, ultimately, toward the cause of emancipating their nation or the whole human race, was a modern version of a historically developed sense of social and religious obligations. Their unusually high degree of ideological and polltlcal involvement, their conviction of the supremacy of ideologles over all spheres of their private lives, their self-denying subordination to political causes were all shadows of the past, modern verslons of religious intensity and halakic discipline. Their yearning for internatlonal solidarity and national or universal justice was an echo of the prophetic and messianic traditions as treasured and preserved in the world of the shtetl. Finally, their sense of a meanmgful history and its teleological course was the very core of the legacy of their past. ...

{p. 49} Some contemporary Marxist perceptions of the meaning of history strongly corresponded to the emancipatory, utopian, universalistic undercurrents in the Jewish tradition. This Marxist vision could be viewed as one in which God had been replaced by history, with its immanent, iron laws, and in which a human collective, the proletariat, had replaced the liberating force of the Messiah. Both visions are teleological. In both, the world moves irresistibly toward its ultimate redemption, whether by the process of human and cosmic restoration as in the kabbalist-messianic tradition or by the immanent logic and laws of societal development as in the Marxist view. ...

Likewise, both Jewish and Marxist traditions were permeated by the anticipation that the fulfillment of history meant its end. ... Messianic transition was to be realized through a series of catastrophes and dramatic upheavals at the end of which redemption would occur. This apocalyptic vision of history corresponded to the fas-

{p. 50} cination with revolution and the sense of acute anticipation of radical and violent social change ...

Both contemporary Marxism and the Jewish tradition saw human collectives (classes, nations) and not individuals as the basic entities in the historical process of redemption, which had a collective, nonindividualistic character. In general, it seems apparent that the Marxist vision shared strong millennial characteristics with the messianic tradition. If, following Norman Cohn (1957), millennialism is defined as characterized by five main features - that the coming upheaval is collective, near at hand, this-earthly, total, and miraculous - then four of these five characteristics appear to be common and central to both.

{p. 51} ... some of the radical peers were to become Bundists, some others Zionists, and still others Communists.

{p. 52} ... most Polish jews were to find death in the flames of the Holocaust. The generation of peers found itself decimated. Of the survivors, the Zionists found fulfillment of their vision in the Jewish state reborn in the aftermath of World War II. The Bundist vision lost its social substance with the physical disappearance of the large Yiddish-speaking radical Jewish working class. As the Communists took over Poland, the Bundists had to capitulate: they either became resigned fellow travelers or emigrated.

{p. 53} It must be understood that becoming a Communist, a Jewish Communist in particular ... meant rebellion against the traditional Jewish world, the values of one's parents, and the values of the general society. ... exchanging a normal life for one of total commitment, persecution, and permanent insecurity.

{p. 60} Through radio broadcasts from Moscow, through letters from relatives in the Soviet Union, through conversations or reading illegal Communist brochures, they learned about the classless Soviet society. It was widely believed that the Communist revolution had freed Soviet society from anti-Semitism, which seemed to be confirmed by the number of Jews in prominent state and party positions. Also, it was common knowledge that the Soviet state had built a whole system of Jewish education and culture. In addition, there was the sensational news about Soviet Jews being given their own autonomous territory {Biro-Bidzhan}.

{p. 75} Participation in the interwar Polish Communist movement was a fundamentally important period in the life career of these peers. On the individual level, they became committed Polish-Jewish Communists during these years. On the collective level, their generation took shape, and the focal points of a collective identity were formed. In a reciprocal way, they influenced the character and, most of all, the perception of the movement and were themselves deeply affected by its goals, values, norms, and code of behavior. ...

The organized Polish Communist movement was founded on December 16, 1918, when the PPS Lewica (the left faction of the

{p. 76} Polish Socialist party) merged with the SDKPiL (Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania) to form the KPRP (Communist Workers' Party of Poland). ...

The general ideological outlook of the thus created Polish Communist party was to a large degree influenced by the ideological positions inherited with the theoreticians and leaders of the SDKPiL. The leading figures here were Rosa Luxemburg, Leon Jogiches (Tyszko), Adolf Warszawski (Warski), Karol Sobelson (Radek), Jozef Unschlicht (Jurowski), Marcin Kasprzak, Julian Leszczynski (Lenski), Jakob Firstenberg (Hanecki), Julian Marchlewski (Karski), and Feliks Dzierzynski. ...

{p. 77} Of these ten leaders, seven were Jewish, nine belonged to the intelligentsia, and only one, Kasprzak, was an "authentic" worker. ...

Being particularly successful among ethnic minorities, the Polish Communist party set up (in 1923) semiautonomous but subordinate sections in Poland's Eastern territories, the KPZU, Communist Party of Western Ukraine, and the KPZB, Communist Party of Western Byelorussia, and integrated large splinter groups from the established Jewish parties. ...

{p. 78} ... Their early hopes for global revolutionary change were frustrated by the failure of the German revolution in 1919. The new revolutionary hopes that emerged in connection with the war between the Soviet Union and Poland in 1919-20 were also crushed: the expected rebellion of the Polish masses did not materlahze, and the Russian Red Army was defeated at Warsaw and forced to withdraw. The war ended with the peace treaty of Riga (March 1921), which gave Poland large areas of Byelorussla and the Ukraine and formal recognition of the Polish state by the USSR. These frustrations shocked the movement. Most of its leadership left the country, were imprisoned, or simply ceased to be politlcally active, and the movement's membership in the main centers of its activity fell between 40 and 80 percent. The party was forced to accept the existence of the Polish state and to change its course of action.

{p. 79} ... The defeat of the moderates in the leadership of the Polish party was also connected to its support for Trotsky in his power struggle with Stalin. Trotsky was highly esteemed for his role in the October Revolution, his theoretical skills, and his internationalist profile. The Polish party supported him strongly in 1923 and 1924, thereby earning Stalin's enduring hostility. At the fifth Comintern Congress in July 1924 a commission headed by Stalin condemned the Polish leadership for interference in the internal problems of the Soviet party and for "reformist opportunism" and charged it with responsibility for the weaknesses of their movement. The leadership of the KPRP was dissolved and a new Central Committee appointed. This change was formally approved by the third congress of the Polish party in 1925, which committed itself to a militantly revolutionary course and, symbolically, changed the name of the party to KPP (Communist Party of Poland).

{p. 88} ... being a Communist meant to have served, to serve, or to be extremely likely to serve a prlson sentence. ...

The essence of the ideological climate in the Polish Communist movement was created by the members' loyalty to the cause of international Communism and to the "fatherland of international

{p. 89} proletariat," the Soviet Union. ... In addition, it was influenced by the ideological traditions of the movement and by the growing dependence on the Comintern and the Soviet party, as well as by general political trends in European and Polish politics. On top of all this, Polish-Jewish Communists had to confront the political forces operating on the "Jewish street" and the special problems that faced Polish Jewry. ... Although the Luxemburgist strategy was abandoned on the orders of the Comintern already in the 1920s, and the Luxemburgist tradition was sharply criticized on Stalin's orders at the beginning of the 1930s, the Luxemburgist legacy remained with a militant minority in the movement. For them, Rosa Luxemburg remained a revolutionary hero and a source of Communist identification.

Another element in the ideological heritage of the movement- one that was to contribute to its tragic fate - was its intensive admiration and support for Trotsky in his feud with Stalin in the 1920s. Trotsky was admired as an internationalist, a Communist theoretician, and a military leader, and the leadership of the Polish movement sided with him almost from the outset of his conflict with Stalin. In December 1923, the Central Committee of the

{p. 90} KPRP sent a letter to the Russian party in which it stated that "for our party, nay for the whole Comintern, for the whole revolutionary world proletariat, the name of Comrade Trotsky is insolubly connected with the victory of the Soviet Revolution, with the Red Army, with Communism.... We refuse to admit the possibility that Comrade Trotsky could be put outside the ranks of the leaders of the Russian Communist Party and those of the Communist International." This credo of faith in Trotsky was repeated in another letter in January 1924 and in internal Polish discussions.

But the Polish party had backed the wrong horse. Trotsky lost his fight, and in the years to come, Trotskyism was to denote not only his particular program but every attempt to oppose the official ideological line. Trotskyism was violently suppressed, and those who openly sympathized with Trotsky were purged from the movement. But the Trotskyist heritage remained, influencing party members as a source of ideological conflict, inquisitory suspicions, or personal doubt.

... the traditionally held ideological values and attitudes that had crystallized under the influence of Luxemburgist and - to a lesser extent - Trotskyist traditions were difficult to erase ... changing tactics never shook the fundamental hostility based on the conviction of possessing the exclusive political truth.

{p. 91} ... The party's attitude toward the newborn Polish state at the beginning was clearly negative, wholly in the spirit of the anti-nationalist SDKPiL tradition. As the hopes for a victorious Communist revolution in Germany, or for a Soviet victory in the Polish-soviet war, did not materialize, the Communists half-heartedly accepted Poland's independence and decided in February 1921 to join the elections ...

In retrospect, it appears that, in addition to its ethnic composition, the Communist movement's insensibility to Polish nationalism and its ambiguous attitude toward the Polish state constituted the main source of the popular hostility that surrounded it. It appears equally clear, however, that this course of action and this

{p. 92} ideological profile could hardly have been different. The age of national or nationalist communism had not yet arrived.

{p. 94} ... a mighty Nazi Germany could threaten the Soviet Union. Even in Poland, after Marshal Pilsudski's death on May 12, 1935, there began a process of semi-Fascist change. To Communists, all this seemed to imply the onslaught of fascism all over Europe.

The members of the generation lived in an atmosphere of intense tension and deep devotion to their cause. As one put it, "My old friends had families, children, but I had the party and the comrades.... We did not live our own lives, we were living the life of the party, the problems of the movement.... I was married to the party, my personal life had to wait." A Communist was a total rebel, perceived and perceiving himself or herself as the number one enemy of the present society. Rejecting nearly all principles of the current social order and being convinced of the coming revolution, they lived in two different time dimensions: that of today - the struggle - and that of tomorrow - society after the Communist victory.

{p. 95} The participation of Jews in the Polish Communist movement has given rise to many stereotypes, the most persistent of which is that of Zydokomuna (Jewish Communist conspiracy). This stereotype was very powerful in Poland between the wars, especially after Marshal Pilsudzki's death: its psychological strength lay in combining a general Polish fear of Russia with anti-Communist sentiments and anti-Jewish attitudes. In turn, because anti-Semitism was one of the main forces that drew Jews to the Communist movement, Zydokomuna meant turning the effects of anti-Semitism into a cause of its further increase.

In fact, people of Jewish origin constituted a substantial part of the Polish Communist movement. In general, however, Communist ideals and the movement itself enjoyed only very limited support among Polish Jewry.

{p. 96} ... throughout the whole interwar period, Jews constltuted a very important segment of the Communist movement. According to Polish sources and to Western estimates the proportion of Jews in the KPP was never lower than 22 percent. In the larger cities, the percentage of Jews in the KPP often exceeded 50 percent and in smaller cities, frequently over 60 percent. Given this background, a respondent's statement that "in small cities like ours, almost all Communists were Jews" does not appear to be a gross exaggeration.

The proportion of Jewish membership in the KPP reached its peak in 1930 at 35 percent. During the remainder of the 1930s the proportion is said not to have exceeded 24 percent. However there are data suggesting that it might have increased further in the large cities: Jewish membership in the Communist organization in Warsaw increased dramatically, from 44 percent in 1930 to over 65 percent in 1937.

All in all, most estimates put the proportion of Jews in the KPP at an average of from 22 to 26 percent throughout the 1930s. In the semiautonomous KPZU and KPZB, the percentage of Jewish members was at least similar to that in the KPP.

In the Communist youth organizations, the proportion of Jewish members was even higher than in the party itself. In 1930, Jews constituted 51 percent of the KZMP, while ethnic Poles were only 19 percent (the remaining number was composed of Ukrainians and Byelorussians). And in 1933, Jews made up 31 percent as compared to ethnic Poles who made up 33 percent. If we assume that Polish-Jewish Communists constituted between one-third and one-fourth of the total membership of the whole movement (KPP, KPZB, KPZU, and their youth organizations) in the 1930s, this would approximate between 5,000 and 8,400 Jewish Communists, without counting those in prison. If we include those imprisoned, the total number of Jews in the Communist movement in Poland during that period would probably rise to between 6,200

{p. 97} to 10,000 individuals. In addition, Jews were in an overwhelming maiority in the Polish MOPR (Miedzynarodowa Organizacja pomocy Rewolucjonistom, International Organization for Help to the Revolutionaries), which collected money for and channeled assistance to imprisoned Communists. In 1932, out of 6,000 members in the MOPR, about 90 percent were Jews.

The qualitative significance of Jewish Communists was even larger than their sheer numbers would indicate. Despite the fact that party authorities consciously strove to promote classically proletarian and ethnically Polish members to the cadres of leaders and functionaries, Jewish Communists formed 54 percent of the field leadership of the KPP in 1935. Moreover, Jews constituted a total of 75 percent of the party's tecnika, the apparatus for production and distribution of propaganda materials. Finally, Communists of Jewish origin occupied most of the seats on the Central Committees of the KPRP and KPP. ...

{p. 100} This firm stand against anti-Semitism did not mean, however an undivided affirmative attitude toward Jewish ethnicity. On this point, Polish Communist attitudes followed the Soviet party line and were thus ambiguous. In a longer time perspective, the "progressive" solution to the "Jewish problem" was seen in assimilation. In a shorter time perspective, the Communist movement voiced a program for secular, state-sponsored schools, with Yiddish as the language of instruction, and for vaguely described free cultural development. ...

{p. 102} The dissolution of the KPP was part of the Great Purge of 1937-38. During this purge, almost all Polish Communists who found themselves in the Soviet Union were shot or sent to concentration camps. Thls was a fate met by the entire leadership of the KPP and all those minor functionaries who fell into Soviet custody. The exact number of victims is unknown; estimations run from "several hundred" to "some five thousand." In the opinion of the respondents, the truth lies somewhere in between. The proportion of Jews among the victims of this purge was very high.

The KPP was formally dissolved by the Comintern at the end of 1938. The exact date of the decision is not known. The official reason for dissolution was the disintegration of the KPP and its infiltration by police spies and provocateurs, on one hand, and by the Trotskyists, on the other. The real reason has never been stated, not even when the KPP was rehabilitated in February 1956. Probably Stalin never forgot or forgave the support the KPP gave Trotsky. ... The only protest came from a small Trotskyist group under the leadership of Isaac Deutscher, who accused the Comintern of "ultra-rightist deviation" and anti-Semitism.

{p. 114} ... For these young Communists, there existed an increasing gap of totally different values, attitudes, and images separating them from their parents and their "world of yesterday." As the gap between the generation grew, the Communist movement increasingly became a substitute for their original families. This phenomenon was not exclusively Communist. The Zionist and Bundist movements, with their large profile of activities-

{p. 115} schools, summer camps, social clubs, and so on - and the fact of their legality, were able to function as social substitutes for the family. They "helped give party members the feeling that they resided in a 'new world,' as opposed to the 'old world' of the home and the synagogue." The Communist movement ... could offer the young rebels the most radical and drastic break with the system of values and norms of their parents, the replacement of this system with a holistic, integral world outlook, and an immense hope connected to "casting one's lot" with all those committed to reforming the world.

{p. 116} ... either be a Communist or live a normal life.

{p. 117} To study ... was an integral part of being a member of this movement. ... individual intellectual and ideological-political formation produced the core of their commonality ...

{p. 211} Most surviving Jews left Poland, but for those who decided against emigration there seemed to be new and exciting prospects for social mobility. The war decimated the country's intelligentsia and cultural elite. ... Out of a population of approximately 20 million, one-fourth were illiterates, half of them ages 18 to 50.

{p. 212} ... these Jews were a reservoir that could be trusted and enlisted in its efforts to rebuild the country. Although not old, "tested" comrades, they were not rooted in the social networks of the anti-Communist society, they were outsiders with regard to its historically shaped traditions, without connections to the Catholic church, and hated by those who hated

{p. 213} the regime. Thus, they could be depended on and used to fill the required positions. ...

Although they were trusted, however, there were limits to their usefulness and therefore to their upward social mobility. These were created by the regime's efforts to attain national legitimacy by presenting itself as genuinely Polish, which under current conditions meant avoiding identification with Jews. This resulted in a reluctance to man the new functionary positions with Jews and an ambition to fill them, it possible, with non-Jews {this is how Stalin became leader}. But implementation of such a policy was hindered by the lack of ideologically and professionally reliable cadres. Important key positions and so-called sensitive posts in the party apparatus, the state administration, the army, and the security forces could only be staffed by those most trusted. This applied also to the fields of ideology, education, and culture and was desirable even for middle positions in all areas of social, political, and economic life. The prewar Communists, Jewish or not, obviously met such requirements. Moreover, the members of the generation had informal contacts, with old comrades from the prewar Communist movement, from the ZPP or the army, and were known to others who were now in important positions. Thus, while their ethnic descent limited their usefulness, their party record, ideological reliability, and network of informal contacts were to their advantage.

The practical consequences of these conflicting factors were demands and pressures for Polonization prior to or following their employment. Despite exceptions, this was the major trend. Those who could pass as ethnic Poles, who changed their names into typi-

{p. 214} cally Polish ones and severed contact with Jewish life were preferred to others whose usefulness was circumscribed by appearance, accent, or unwillingness to comply with such demands. The former were sent to work in different positions in the general, that is, non-Jewish, sector and, as a rule, were more successful in their careers than the latter.

This personnel policy of negative selection provided a very strong incentive for further assimilation. Later, the philosophy underlying this policy was to reinforce the depth of their final existential defeat. At present, some felt hurt and ridiculed the policy and its executors, who were often Jews themselves. ... While in the 1930s most Jews worked in commerce and trade, now most worked in industry or administration. A Jew could now become a minister or a general, a company manager or a university professor, the only limitation being his or her ideological and personal qualifications. It seemed that socialism created conditions that for the first time allowed Jews to become fully respected Poles.

{p. 215} ... Among the demobilized ... Some were directed to the "Jewish sector," but most were sent to work on the "general front": as the saying went, the party gave one a "Jewish job" or a "general job." ... Some were directed to the fields of propaganda and culture, and others to the police and security apparatus. ... All joined the party and were active Communists.

{p. 216} ... When the anti-Jewish purge swept the army at the beginning of the 1950s and, again, after the de-Stalinization in Poland in 1956 ("the Polish October" or "the thaw"), the operational officers were less affected than the political officers or the commissars. Although the purges that continued into the next decade constantly decreased their number, some remained in the army as officers, military researchers, and educators until the late 1960s. ...

The political offficers were much more ideologically motivated. They saw themselves as educators and as watchdogs against ideological diversion. They advanced in grade, and an important segment reached central political significance, acting in the army's

{p. 217} Main Political Command. Together with the economic commissars they were, however, heavily affected by the purges of the early 1950s and after the thaw when, in accordance with the policy of odzydzanie armi (de-Judaizing of the army) and "nationalization of the cadres," Jews were released from sensitive army positions. ...

The category of the apparatchiks and administrators was formed of those members of the generation who were employed in the party apparatus, state administration, and the economic sector in central, regional, or local positions. As such, they were part of the new class that was managing the administration, politics, and economy of postwar Poland. What distinguished apparatchiks and administrators was their officially defined main field of activity: the party apparatus, on one side, and the almost all-encompassing state sector of administration and economics, on the other. The common denominator was the overlap and interlacing of their fields of action and the frequent personal rotation between them. Those who left the party apparatus were most often transferred into the state administration and the economy, while those who were conspicuous in these spheres acted on behalf of the party, being its nominees and making up part of its activists or cadres.

These cadres encompassed the leadership of all units in the party structure as well as all party members in leading positions on all levels of the society outside the party itself. Indispensable for the

{p. 218} implementation of the party's policy, the cadres were regarded as crucial for the Socialist transformation of the society. ...

The experienced, reliable, and relatively well-educated prewar Communists were thus indispensable, at least during the early years. Although few - the former KPP and KZMP members constituted a mere 8 percent of the party's paid political employees in 1950 and 6.2 percent in 1952 - they constituted the trusted core of the party cadres, occupying key positions on the central and regional levels.

{p. 219} Many held double positions, being employed outside the party structure and having political functions within it. Each of their positions in the power structure was part of the nomenklatura system that, like a gigantic spider web, enclosed every post of significance in the entire society (and, in practice, many wholly insignificant ones as well), subjecting them to approval by a higher or parallel party committee. ...

{p. 220} Others found refuge in the newly re-created Jewish cooperatives, becoming craftsmen or clerks. ... The intellectuals and ideologists formed an extremely important category, comprised of those working in the fields of culture, science, education, and propaganda. ... Symptomatic of their qualitative and quantitative importance was their presence on the editorial staff of the party's main theoretical organ, Nowe Drogi, and the daily organ of its Central Committee, Trybuna Ludu. Especially beginning in the second half of the 1950s, however, most were conspicuous outside the party network, in the mass media, the arts, academia, the liberal professions, and the publishing companies.

{p. 221} In their own and the political leadership's perception, the sphere of propaganda, education, and culture was regarded as decisive for the rapid transformation of social consciousness in the direction of Communist ideals. From this perspective, their role was crucial. They were the midwives of a mental revolution expected to radically change the consciousness of the society.

{p. 222} Policemen constituted a category comprised of those who became members of the state police and security apparatus. Unlike others, this category ceased to exist in the late 1950s, when most Jews were purged from this area.

Until the thaw, the Polish security apparatus was totally controlled by the Soviet secret police. Seen as a whole, the security apparatus had a double function: it served as an instrument of Soviet control over Poland and its regime while, at the same time, securing the Polish Communist party's monopoly of power. This apparatus consisted of the military counterintelligence called the Informacja, the civilian security service known in common parlance as the Bezpieka, and the so-called Department Ten, whose task was to supervise the loyalty of the highest strata of party and state leadership. ...

The Informacja was created in November I944 as a Polish version of the Soviet counterintelligence agency, Smersh. It was formally placed under the Polish Ministry of Defense but was in fact the most important instrument of Soviet domination in Poland. The head of the Informacja was formally responsible to the Polish politburo but actually reported directly to the head of the KGB in Moscow, keeping under permanent surveillance not only Poles but also their Soviet supervisors.

{p. 223} The number of Jewish Communists in the civilian security service was much larger. ... A Jewish section was organized within the frame of the political department of the ministry of public security. In this period, it was manned almost solely by functionaries of Jewish descent and carried out an intensive surveillance of all institutions within the Jewish sector, their activities, employees, and clientele. The party leadership depended on the Bezpieka to ensure social obedience and to pacify all potential resistance to its social, economic, and cultural policy. In addition, as the leadership depended on the Bezpieka for information about the nation's real state of mind, it also functioned as a police version of the public opinion polling institute. Thus, the apparatus of the Bezpieka grew fast: by the end of 1949, it numbered some 50,000 functionaries operating through a network of approximately 150,000 informers. Obedience was accomplished through terror and the widespread fear that this terror created. ...

{p. 224} The signals coming from the USSR since 1948 and the first warnings given by Rajk's trial in 1949 were followed by the Slansky trial in 1951-52, which made it clear that Polish-Jewish Communists were next in line for accusations of cosmopolitanism and Zionist conspiracy. In fact, the Department Ten had already been deeply engaged in establishing a connection between the "Gomulkaites" and the "Zionists." ... There is no doubt that large anti-Jewish trlals were being planned in connection with the planned trial of the "right-wing nationalist deviators" and that only Stalin's death and the Polish leadership's passive resistance prevented them from taking place.

{p. 225} How many Jews, in general, and how many prewar Communists, in particular, served in the security service is impossible to say. Their number and role must have been much smaller than the propaganda campaign, undertaken by Soviet intelligence and aimed at putting all blame for 'errors and distortions" on Jewish officials, had it.

{p. 227} Thus, while the ideologists' response to the lack of popular support was their conviction that "the nation must be taught," that is, indoctrinated, the essence of the policemen's ethos was a belief that the primary means for achieving a revolution in social consciousness and behavior was the cure of sword and fire.

Ruthlessness was seen as necessary: in their perception, it was more important and more realistic to make the actual or potential opponents fear them than to love them. ... they were always on guard and severely limited in their ability to enjoy relaxed human contact. The tensions inherent in their situation led them to increasingly reject even the shadow of a doubt, accept the most im-

{p. 228} probable accusations, and carry out the orders whose ruthless performance replaced their former great ideals. The prospect of the Communist emancipation, which was the initial motive and ultimate justification of their activities, became increasingly dim: its actuality was transmitted to a distant future. In short, they became demoralized and their vision deeply deformed.

They shared this moral and ideological development with their non-Jewlsh comrades. Where they differed, however, was in their fate when the thaw lightened the Stalinist darkness. When the might of the security apparatus was curtailed, the blame for its previous misdeeds was almost solely put on its Jewish functionanes. This was demonstrated when a special committee appointed by the politburo in 1954 to investigate the activity of Department Ten found only three culprits, all of them Jewish. Similarly, in the party's central committee resolution of May 1957, there was one ethnic Pole but six Jews mentioned as responsible for the "errors and distortions." Neither the Soviet offficials and "advisors" nor the non-Jewish leaders, functionaries, and politicians responsible for the securlty sector were mentioned. Thus, Jewish security men were singled out and made scapegoats.

The security apparatus was soon cleared of most of its Jewish functionaries. ... Most were helped by Jewish organizations, which, with financial help from American Jewry, opened vocational training schools and started artisan cooperatives. ...

{p. 229} They formed only a segment of the diplomatic service. However, as they often manned key positions, their visibility was very high ...

{p. 230} Originating in earlier Polish and Polish-Jewish initiatives in the USSR at the end of the war and formally created at the end of October 1944 in the liberated city of Lublin, the CKZP was composed of representatives from all the prewar Jewish political parties, with the exception of the Revisionists. It was chaired by the recognized Zionist leader, Emil Sommerstein ... Basing its activites mainly on financial aid from American Jews but also from the Polish government ... The work guided by the CKZP resulted in the creation by 1948 of over 30 Yiddish- and Hebrew-language schools with approximately 3,000 pupils, 11 orphanages, and 60 homes for the aged (this in addition to the Hebrew and the religious schools created outside the framework of the CKZP). Vocational training was providing by 49 ORT schools and medical care by the Society for Health Care. There were 20 Jewish sport clubs, 2 Yiddish theaters, and a rich variety of Jewish publications in Polish, Yiddish, and Hebrew. Books were published, and cultural events and political activities took place in over 200 local Jewish committees. The Jewish Historical Institute, the Jewish Institute of Art, and the Jewish Pen Club were founded. The CKZP coordinated repatriation, settlement, and aid to the repatriates, and the Zionist parties conducted their vocational and military training preparing some of the returning youth for emigration to Palestine. A network of 220 Jewish light industry cooperatives, built with aid from the American Joint Distribution Committee, was coordinated on a central level by the umbrella organization, Solidarnosc (Solidarity), which sold their products through the network of 24 shops and one department store. ,,,

The activists sincerely believed that the Jewish problem in Poland, in the prewar sense of the word, no longer existed: there were only the concrete needs of the Jewish population to be solved. In their view, the future of Polish Jewry lay in Socialist Poland: as the phrase went, Jews should "unpack their valises," roll up their sleeves, and start working on building a common Polish-Jewish Socialist future. ...

{p. 232} ... In 1948 they (and the Bund) had to join the Zionists in fund-raising, the recruitment of volunteers for Haganah (which soon became the official Israeli army), and in military training, all carried out with the quiet blessing of the authorities. On Israel's victory in the war for independence, several Jewish Communists were provided with party contacts and sent to Israel with officially proclaimed wishes for good luck in the task of building socialism there.

{p. 234} Communist-Jewish politics evolved in a way paralleling the general changes in Poland's political life ... Its essential points were the belief in some kind of Jewish collective existence and, at the same time, a rejection of such an ethnic communion, as it was thought incompatible with class divisions and harmful to the general political struggle; strivlng to mamtain a specific kind of Jewish culture and, at the same time, a view of this as a mere ethnic form of the Communist message, instrumental in incorporating Jews into the Polish Socialist community; and maintaining separate Jewish institutions while at the same time desiring to eliminate Jewish separateness as such.

{p. 235} Representing a kind of Jewish affirmativeness and, at the same time, reducing it to the ethnic form of an ideological content, they both wanted to keep the Jewish cake and, in time, eat it. ... The soldiers, the apparatchiks and administrators, the intellectuals and ideologists, the policemen, the diplomats, and the Jewish activists formed relatively clearly distinguishable categories. They were concentrated in the capital and a few of the larger cities of the country.

{p. 237} At the other pole, there were those who reacted to the Holocaust and the entire postwar situation with a reinforced tendency toward assimilation. The Jewish world in Poland no longer existed, and Poland, to which their lives were united, was now a one-nation state. ... In addition to being Communists, they consciously opted for full ethnic conversion, which often involved a change of name, eliminating the remaining traces of Jewish customs and habits, and taking on what they perceived to be genuinely Polish practices and traditions. In their own perception, they thus real-

{p. 238} ized the classical promise of Socialist assimilation, where their ethnic and political subidentities appeared to complete each other in a harmonious way. Although not limited to the conscious assimilationists, mixed marrlages were much more frequent among this group than among the others. As a rule, the assimilationists lived in the capital and the large provincial cities; they were better educated and reached higher positions on the social ladder than the affirmative Jews. ... Most of them changed their names prior to or during the intensive "renaming" period between 1948 and 1949. They avoided association with any Jewish organization and defined themselves as Poles (or, sometimes, as Poles of Jewish descent) in addition to being Communists. In extreme cases, they went so far as to change the names of their parents on birth certificates and questionnaires, to discourage their children from personal and organizational Jewish association, or, even, to keep their children in complete ignorance of their origins.

Although they defined themselves as Poles and thought that others ought to regard them as such, they were keenly aware that their self-identification was often questioned and that behind their backs others might still regard them as Jews. They were extremely sensitive to this and regarded all reference to their ethnic origins as "Nuremberg reasoning." ... although they eagerly took on "typical" Polish habits ... they were less nationalistic, more pro-Soviet, and more universalistic than most of their compatriots. Also, they were completely insensitive to the affinity between Polish and Catholic traditions.

{p. 240} ... although subjectively individualistic, they were objectively collective.

In between these two poles of persistent Jews and conscious assimilationists lay the majority: all those who neither consistently denounced their Jewishness nor affirmed it. ... Although the Jewish Jews acknowledged everyone's right to choose his or her own way, they often mocked the assimilationists, especially those who in their eyes put on a performance to facilitate their personal careers. These were called careerists or, sometimes, "Aryan Jews." The assimilationists, however, paying lip service to the right to cultivate Jewish culture, regarded the others as culturally retarded, seeing their unwillingness (or inability) to assimilate as one of the reasons for continuing anti-Semitism.

... the differences between the Jewish Jews and the assimilationists were more of a quantitative than of a qualitative kind.

{p. 242} ... despite these divisions that weakened its cohesion, the generation continued to form an affective totality. All this was to be confirmed by the circumstances surrounding their existential defeat.

{p. 243} The Stalinist period in Poland began in 1948 with the ousting of Gomulka and his associates from party leadership. It lasted until 1954, reaching its peak from 1949 to 1953. The general background was created by international postwar political conditions and by the situation in the Communist movement.

{p. 244} The international Communist movement came out of the war strongly reinforced. The Communist parties increased both in number and membership and up to 1947, participated in governments in France, Italy, Belgium, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Austria, Denmark, and Luxembourg. The process of Communist ascension in Central and Eastern Europe was intensified between 1947 and 1948. To formulate and control a worldwide strategy, at a meeting of the Italian, French, and all ruling Communist parties (Szklarska Poreba, Sept. 22-27, 1947), the Soviet leadership set up the Cominform (Communist Information Bureau), a new organization to replace the previously dissolved Comintern. Also in the air was the Communist uprising in Greece ( 1946-1949), the growing German crisis, and Soviet aspirations in the Middle East. The Western perception of the Soviet threat, symbolically expressed in Churchill's speech at Fulton on March 5, 1946, found more concrete expression in the Truman doctrine, which gave to the United States the right and duty to support "free nations threatened by totalitarian regimes." In line with this and the Kennan doctrine of containment, Western assistance was given to Greece and Turkey. The Marshall aid plan, within which Poland was to be a main recipient, was rejected by the Soviet bloc. The defense pact called the Western Union, later to be replaced by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, was signed in l948 by Great Britain, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands. As the cold war intensified, the Soviet leadership was determined to close ranks in the Communist movement. This determination was strengthened by the conflict with the Yugoslavian party, which had federalist ambitions in the Balkan states and claimed the right to formulate its own foreign and domestic policies. This conflict culminated in mid-1948 with the ousting of the Yugoslavian party from the Cominform. From then on, the Communist movement would be a monolith in which the USSR would tolerate no divergences.

This was bound to have repercussions on the Polish Communist party. Gomulka and his associates, far from rejecting Soviet leadership of the Communist movement, were resentful of the Cominform and the uniformity it imposed. Gomulka was also hesitant regarding the condemnation of the Yugoslavian party and its oust-

{p. 245} ing from the Cominform. His concept of the "Polish way to socialism" advocated specific tactics and politics corresponding to Polish traditions and conditions, the temporary coopcratlon with non-Communists, and a rejection of any sweeping collectivization of agriculture.

{p. 251} The situation of the Jewish activists was specific and slightly different from those belonging to the other categories. ... The Polish government's policy of facilitating Jewish emigration and the Soviet foreign policy in the Middle East forced them to collaborate or at least accept Zionist activities and aspirations. Their relief and a turning point in the history of the Jewish sector came when the hopes that the USSR had placed in the creation of an anti-Western Jewish state were defeated. This was a new situation, allowing them to act in accordance with their traditional ideological convictions and political instincts. As one put it, "The love affair with the Zionists was over."

{p. 252} They were definitely unhappy about the government's policy to allow Jewish emigratlon in 1949-50 and tried not only to sabotage it by delaying and otherwise obstructing the issuance of documents required for exit applications but also to counteract it through intense anti-emigratlon propaganda in their newspapers and at specially arranged local meetings.

An important ideological signal that precluded the final Communist offensive in the Jewish sector was Ilya Ehrenburg's Pravda article of September 21, 1948. This obviously offficially sanctioned article condemned Zionism as "mysticism," denied that there was any afffinity between Jews of different countries, condemned Jewish nationalism, stressed the necessity of class struggle in the newly created Jewish state, and declared that Communism and not the bourgeois-governed State of Israel was the solution to the Jewish problems.

{p. 254} ... This was soon followed by deep and lasting political and organizatlonal changes in the Jewish sector. Separate Jewish schools, which previously had been subordinated to the CKZP, were at the beginning of the 1949-50 school year taken into the state budget and soon wholly incorporated into the national school system. The vocational ORT schools were taken over by the state in 1950. Toward the end of 1949, against the wishes of the CKZP and the Communist activists, the American Joint Distribution Committee (AJDC) was ousted from Poland as part of the severing of contacts with the West. The Jewish welfare institutions and the Jewish theater, which had been operating with AJDC aid, were nationalized. Jewish libraries were merged with non-Jewish ones, the Jewish Writers Association, Jewish youth organizations, and the lands-

{p. 255} manshaften were either dissolved or merged with national organizations. At the end of 1949, the Jewish cooperative movement Solidarnosc was merged with its Polish counterpart. After having been under intense ideological attack, the Bundists were made to retract their "rightist-nationalist tendencies" and reject their "separatist" program of national-cultural autonomy. Sharing the fate of the PPS, the Bund was dissolved on January 16, 1949, and some of its members admitted to the Communist party. The Zionist parties and organizations were disbanded later that year. The Union of Jewish Religious Congregations changed its name to the Union of Congregations of the Mosaic Faith, and its contacts with Jewish organizations abroad were greatly limited. Finally, the by then totally Communist-dominated CKZP was in October 1950 officially merged with the Jewish Cultural Society to form the TSKZ. Thus, the Jewish sector was reshaped. It was reduced and reconstructed beyond recognition and its remaining institutions placed under exclusive political and ideological Communist domination. From being merely a minor factor among Polish Jewry, Jewish Communists were now in total command of what remained. From their point of view, history had proved them right. A sense of triumph that dominated the members of the generation in the first Stalinist years was increasingly mixed with and clouded by fear and suspicion. This contradictory mixture of revolutionary impatience, triumphant anticipation, anxiety, and dread formed the basis of an increasingly paranoid climate that held them in its grip until the beginnings of the thaw.

After 1948, the Soviet attitude toward Israel and Jews changed. Most probably motivated by Soviet disillusionment with Israel's pro-Western stance, Stalin's image of Soviet Jews as politically unreliable, and purely instrumental needs, this turn was marked by Ehrenburg's Pravda article. The Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, organized in 1942. to mobilize pro-Soviet opinion in the West, was dissolved, its periodical Aynikayt (Unity) terminated, and Yiddish schools closed. Jewish intellectuals were arrested and deported and top Soviet Jewish writers and cultural leaders were secretly executed in 1952. Starting in l949, an intensive campaign against Zionism, Jewish "nationalists," "cosmopolitans," and

{p. 256} "traitors" spread anti-Jewish suspicions over the whole Eastern bloc. This new climate culminated in the trial of Slansky and his "anti-state center" in 1951-53. Of the fourteen accused, eleven were Jews. They were accused of serving the worldwide net of "Zionist centers" and, as such, responsible for treason, espionage, and economlc sabotage of all kinds. In January 1953, the so-called doctors' plot' was announced in Moscow. Nine prominent Moscow physicians, six of whom were Jews, were arrested and accused of plotting to poison the Soviet leadership on orders from a "Zionist-imperialist" conspiracy. There were rumors about detailed plans for the deportation of Jews throughout the Soviet bloc. A pogrom was in the air. Had Stalin not died and the accusations been retracted, Jews, in general, and Jewish Communists, in particular, would most probably have met a terrible fate. In this climate, conspiracies were found everywhere. In the wake of the 195I trials of high-ranking Polish army officers, accused of preparing a coup d'etat, approximately 1,500 officers were arrested for espionage. In the trials that followed in 1951-1954, 9 civilians and 83 officers were convicted and sentenced (of the latter, 19 were sentenced to death). The previous associate of Gomulka, Marian Spychalski, was arrested in May 1950, and Gomulka hlmself, together with his wife, was arrested in August 1951. In addition, the Polish church was attacked and accused of treason. Bishop Kaczmarek, detained in 1951 and accused of spying for the United States, was sentenced to twelve years in prison in 1953, when nine other bishops and the head of the church, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, were also arrested.

As previously mentioned, as the Slansky trial was being prepared in Czechoslovakia, the Polish security apparatus tried to connect Gomulka's rightist-nationalist deviation to the Zionist conspiracy. The charge against Slansky and the others connected their alleged work for Noel Field, the American intelligence service, and the "Zionist centers." By accusing Field of being an American spy, and by connecting this accusation to both Tito and the "Zionist conspiracy," the KGB-guided security services of the Eastern bloc were able to formulate a conspiracy theory that focused on prewar Communists with Western contacts, preferably Jewish ones. In Poland, the Field affair was originally used against Communlsts whose hfe hlstories were connected to the Spanish

{P. 257} Civil War or to Western Communist parties. Eventually, however, it was employed in trying to connect alleged Zionists or Trotskyites among Jewish Communists with Gomulka's "deviations." As previously mentioned, several civilian Jewish Communists were arrested and interrogated by Department Ten concerning their alleged connections to Field, Western intelligence, the Zionist and Trotskyite centers, and the Gomulka group. In addition, at least sixteen Jews, among them several high-ranking officers of the General Staff, were arrested and interrogated by the military Informacja. As discussed earlier, remembering the dissolution of the KPP and fearing for their own safety, the Polish leadership tried to win time and obstructed the pace of preparations for the major trials. However, had Stalin not died and a new policy undertaken, these preparations would certainly have led to show trials of highly placed Polish Communist leaders and to massive antiJewish repressions.

In this atmosphere, the nationalization of the cadres was intensified. The purges in the army were continued in 1953-54 and were followed by the ousting or downgrading of Jewish functionaries in the party machinery and state administration. ...

Uncertainty and fear touched them all, although the degree varied. All were conscious of the tensions in the air, but the degree of this consciousness and the sensibility in reading the signs were clearly structured. The higher they were placed, the more they knew, and the more they knew, the more they feared. Although most of them believed in the factual content of the accusations, they sensed the danger and knew that anyone might be next. Thus, the more they feared, the more cautious, suspicious, and guarded they became. At the same time, as the intensity of Stalinist anti-Semitism rose, so too their need to suppress its proper interpretation and explain away their misgivings increased. Hence they convinced themselves and their comrades of the truth of these accusations. When H. Smolar, the chairman of the TSKZ, asked rhetorically, "Don't you believe that Jews can be spies too?" they were relieved and feverishly nodded

{p. 258} their approval. ... They were also defending their deeply rooted perception of the Communist movement and of their place in it. They regarded themselves as an integral part of the movement and perceived communism and anti-Semitism as totally incompatible. Had they thought the situation through and regarded the accusations as anti-Semitic and false, the whole system of their convictions would have been shattered. Hence, they suppressed this interpretation of the climate and the events, preferring to keep their faith.

... One type of response was the feverish need to demonstrate, both to oneself and to others, one's faith and loyalty. ... one of them, an important ideologist ... repeated with a particular intensity charges against "the terrorist gang of physicians-poisoners in the service of the imperialist intelligence service," most of whom "were connected to the international Jewish bourgeois-nationalist organization the Jomt, an agency of American intelligence." He called Slansky and those accused at his trial "the Trotskyite, Titoite, and Zionist gang of spies and saboteurs" whose trial "unmasked Zionism as an agent of American imperialism." In his view, Zionism was spreading "nationalism and cosmopolitanism through espionage and dlversion, up to the point of assassinating prominent leaders of the people." Another, parallel type of response was a reinforced ethnic self-negation, as a result of which the assimilationist tendency was radically intensified. In the Jewish sector, this self-negation took form in Socialist-patriotic declarations and repeated denials of any separate, universal Jewish identity. Still another related response was the desire to decrease Jewioh visibility. Present on all levels, this tactic was encouraged from the highest sources, as when Jakub Berman asked Jews to keep a low profile. It was symbolically highlighted when Zachariasz, in meetings

{p. 259} with Jewish activists in 1952, asked the Jews who worked in the cooperatives together with non-Jews to leave their positions on behalf of the latter, so as not to incite the rising anti-Semitism. ... Finally, in several cases, those in charge of central or local official structures responded by eagerly attempting to prove their impartiality and to defend their positions by purging other Jews.

The anomalous consequences of this situation were highlighted by the predicament of those who were themselves hit by the secret service witch hunt. Their position was completely impossible. They were utterly devoted to the system and the ideology on which it was founded. ... the victims shared their tormentors' siege mentality, their beleaguered fortress world view, and their belief in the basic correctness of the conspiracy perspective on which the accusations ... were formed.

{p. 260} What actually existed was much less important than what would exist tomorrow. The present was seen as important only insofar as it led to the realization of revolutionary goals, and the hidden mechanisms of change appeared more real and much more important than the present lives, joys, and sorrows of common men and women. They regarded the party as the collective personification of the progressive forces of history and, regarding themselves as its servants, expressed a specific kind of teleological-deductive dogmatism, revolutionary haughtiness, and moral am-

{p. 261} biguity. In addition, there was the prosaic factor of the former outsiders and underdogs who had now in many cases attained great, previously unthinkable careers. The power, status, and privileges that followed such careers had two effects. First, to a varying degree, they had an unavoidably corrupting influence, causing the former champions of social justice to guard their personal advantage. Second, they projected their own personal rise up the social ladder onto society as a whole (or, at least, on its workers, peasants, and progressive intelligentsia), which caused them to confuse their own personal promotion and the corresponding satisfaction with that of all the people. On top of all this came the increasing suspiciousness, fear for personal safety, and need to always be on guard. ...

This anomalous development also affected their judgment about their own situation. During these years, which in the beginning seemed to be the approaching fulfillment of their vision, there were also the first signs of their coming defeat. These signs were not perceived for what they really were, and the misgivings that resulted from them were for the most part suppressed or denied. However, paralleling their individual sociopolitical position, the fear of being accused of "cosmopolitanism" or "Jewish nationalism" bred a premonition of a particular exposure, of not really being treated as an integral and equal part of the Communist core. Although counteracted by their deeply rooted convictions and previous emotional investment, these misgivings about being singled out and not wholly accepted marked the beginnings of a defensiveness that was to grow during the coming years.

Despite their Soviet experience, they regarded Stalin as the leader of the Communist movement and the USSR not only as its un-

{p. 262} questioned center and source of strength but also as the model for building a Communist society. ... The only alternative to the Stalinist model was Gomulka's "Polish way to socialism." However, this model was ideologically discredited and politically defeated. Second, this initially authentic ambition must have been considerably weakened in confrontation with the fundamentally anti-Communist Polish society. Most probably, this confrontation reinforced alienation and perceptions of estrangement on the part of all convinced prewar Communists. Besides the specific Communist hostility toward non-Communist society, this alienation must have led them not only to view the USSR in terms of realpolitik, that is, as the absolutely indispensable guarantor of their power but also the Soviet model as the only realistic method for transforming a society that did not want to be transformed. As they were consumed by their revolutionary impatience, in this confrontatlon with a reluctant society, administrative measures and coercion seemed the only way to quickly produce seemingly stable results. Third, there was the deeply rooted fear of Soviet might and the paralyzing fright that deadened all independent, creative sociopolitical initiative. Finally, there was the cold war and the perception of being surrounded by a hostile Western world that excluded any possibility of experimenting with some of its methods. Thus, even if real, this ambition "to do it better" was doomed to remain an unclear emotional wish rather than a mature intellectual construct.

The anti-Jewish Stalinist propaganda that was fostered throughout the entire Eastern bloc was less intense in Poland than elsewhere. This was probably due to the composition of the core of the Polish party and its ideological roots in prewar party traditlons. Those members of the generation who became victims of the security apparatus were relatively few. In Poland, there were no anti-Jewish show trials, and the purges took place quietly.

{P. 263} Moreover, the purges were not carried out in a thorough way and, on the whole, resulted in transfer or downgrading rather than in the systematic ousting of Jews from the official bureaucracy.

{p. 282} The 1960s were the last stretch of the path that was to end in the existential defeat of the generation.

{P. 283} Latent or manifest, popular nationalism and anti-Soviet feelings formed a constant feature of the country's social climate throughout the postwar period. Founded on the partition experience, the perception of Polish-Soviet relations (including the wartime German-Soviet second partition of Poland), and the Communist takeover, these deeply rooted sentiments produced a seemingly unbridgeable gap between the party and the general society.

{p. 284} The old hostility between the "Muscovites" from the Soviet-based Union of Polish Patriots and the political apparatus of the Polish army, on one hand, and the "natives" of the PPR, on the other, was not forgotten. As previously mentioned, during the Stalinist years, the former most often had the upper hand, thanks to Moscow's more reserved attitude toward the latter. As among the former, there was a very large number of Jews (and, also, of old KPP members), and the frustrations and resentment of the natives merged with anti-Jewish sentiments. ... These resentments continued to play a vital role behind the ideological arguments between the Pulawska and Natolin factions during the thaw and were later inherited by the police faction, which, led by police general and Minister of Interior Mieczyslaw Moczar, was to design the generation's final defeat.

The party apparatus inherited by Gomulka after his return to

{p. 285} power was a strongly conservative force with a long professional tenure. Resisting changes and determined to retain its dominant position, its most conservation core labeled every attempt at critical analysis and reform a "revisionist deviation from socialism." ... Gomulka and his initially centrist team joined and subsequently led the offensive against the liberals. Thus, while the party formally adopted a two-front strategy against both the "dogmatics" and the reform-minded "revisionists," a decisive battle was waged against the latter ...

This conservative counteroffensive resulted in a continuous downgrading not only of liberal reformers but also of old KPP members and Jews. As these categories often overlapped, for the conservative core of the party apparatus, the struggle against revisionism became increasingly synonymous with the struggle against Jews. The reverse was also the case: anti-Semitism and the struggle against Jews in the party became increasingly labeled as the battle against revisionism. By 1964, most of the reformers and Jews were purged from central party positions, and liberal tendencies were definitely defeated. However, the struggle against revisionism continued as a form of ghost hunting, ideological exorcism, a war cry of the conservative party apparatus, and a weapon in factional struggles for power.

{p. 286} the party grew rapidly in the 1960s, reaching a membership of nearly two million in 1967 and crossing the two million threshold in 1968 ... the resulting growth led to a substantial increase in the nonproletarian segments in its ranks and its relative deproletarization. As was to be dramatically manifested in the workers' rebellions of the 1970s and 1980s, this was to result in a widening gap between the party and the social classes within which it claimed its legitimization. In the short term, as the new intelligentsia and white-collar groups entered the ranks of the party cadres, the latter became increasingly permeated by the middle-class values, attitudes, and ambitions carried by its new members.

... this changing composltion of party cadres and its accumulating ideological effects generated two main trends: a new, technocratic orientation and the reappearance of an aggressive nationalism and anti-

{p. 287} Semitism. A significant segment of the new cadres were young technicians and engineers who brought into the party a managerial, technocratic pragmatism, largely devoid of the customary Communist ethos.

... the reemergence of a strong nationalistic and anti-Semitic tendency within the party cadres ... was based on the changed general ideological profile of the party and reinforced by the political aspirations and ideological influence of the heirs of the Natolinians, the police faction. Its main social proponent was the young generation of the party cadres and a segment of its new intellectual laborers of predominantly peasant and middle-class origin who had grown up in the new Poland. ... In their eyes, Jews in general and Jewish Communists in particular became the symbol of and the reason for everything that went wrong in modern Polish history and in the fulfillment of their ambitions. Moreover, anti-Semitism and romantic nationalism offered a substitute for their unpro-

{p. 288} nounceable anti-Sovietism. ... this large section of the middle level of the party cadres formed the social basis for the Communist populism under which banner the police faction prepared its quest for power.

Part of the leadership of the police faction, or, as they preferred to be called, the partisans, was composed of men with a past in the wartime Communist Polish resistance, who often were placed in secondary political positions in the Stalinist years. In the wake of Gomulka's return to power, they advanced to influential political posts, reinforcing and allying themselves with the remnants of the Natolin faction. By the mid-1960s, they had firmly established their power center in the ministry of interior and in the security and political services of the army. Partly due to their wartime and postwar experience, they harbored a deep animosity toward the Muscovites and Jewish Communists. ... however, they refrained from open anti-Sovietism ... their "whispered" anti-Sovietism was merely a tactic intended to raise popular support within and outside the ranks of the party.

As an alternative to the inexpressible anti-Sovietism, the partisans invoked the image of an allegedly threatening German revanchism even stronger than Gomulka himself, who, utilizing this deeply rooted popular emotion, had to take into account the existence of Communist East Germany. Much stronger than the Natolinians before them, in their propaganda they blamed Jews for all the evils of the Polish past and present. Coupling the "German threat" with denunciations of "Zionism" as allied with "American imperialism" and "West German revanchism," and

{p. 289} spreading suspicions against Jews as actual or potential "Zionist agents," the partisans sought to create an image of a beleaguered Poland threatened by both outer and inner conspiracy. Symptomatic of the mood they sought to spread was the sudden appearance in 1966 of a Polish edition of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" among party activists, students at the military academies, and army officers. Symptomatic of their rising ideological influence within the party was the speech held the same year at a meeting of Polish historians in Cracow by one of Gomulka's closest associates, party theoretician Zenon Kliszko. Although he did not himself belong to the partisans, Kliszko praised the patriotic spirit of prewar nationalists, warned against Jewish intellectuals, and called for the national unity of true patriots "even if this involved for some people personal injustices or tragedies."

Channeling various social frustrations into a single nationalist movement of discontent, the message and the moods that the partisans spread became increasingly similar to those of the prewar National Democrats, once the sworn enemy of all Polish Communists. As was to be fully demonstrated in the events of 1968, the partisans and their social basis in the party and state cadres represented a fully developed hybrid of the Communist movement: nationalistic communism.

The partisan-controlled security service played an extremely important role in the faction's increasing influence and power. Initially demoralized by the thaw and disoriented by the postthaw concept of national unity, the security apparatus had to replace its former working rationale with a new one in order to provide justification for its existence and operations. The former members of the non- or anti-Communist underground and Comnmunists with prewar or wartime contacts with Western Communist parties were no longer regarded as inherently suspect. Instead, with the retreat from the ideals of the thaw and the intensified campaign against revisionism, the security service gradually succeeded in building up an image of the "revisionists" and Jews as constituting an actual or potential threat and thus in need of constant surveillance. Hence, these categories replaced the former ones, providing a new rationale for the growing strength of the security service, which already in 1963 extended its network of secret informers to become twice as large as it was during the Stalinist years.

{p. 290} There is an extremely important difference between the modes of operation of the security service in these two periods. Acting through infiltratlon, pressure, disinformation, and by advancing its own people to key positions, rather than through actual or potentlal mass terror, the security service gradually penetrated a large part of the party organizations, the army, the civil service, mass media, and centers of personnel policy and economic control. In short, it pierced and increasingly merged with a large part of the power apparatus, thus becoming a major political force. Controlling the flow and the content of confidential reports to the highest party leadership concerning the social, political, and ideological situation in the country, the security apparatus built up an image of the "revisionist" and "Jewish" threat as a potentially serious securlty risk. In line with this development, at the beginning of the 1960s, it was declded to regard Polish Jews as a group in need of close and constant surveillance. In 1961-62, with the consent of the Politburo and on the suggestion of Soviet advisors, the ministry of interior affairs was entrusted with keeping higher officlals of Jewish origin under strict watch and was preparing a card index of Polish Jews as potential enemies of the state. By that tlme, there were almost no Jews left in the civilian and military security apparatus, and they were being quietly removed from "sensitlve' posts in the administration. In 1964, the Jewish section of the ministry of internal affairs finished the preparation of this card index, including most of the "hidden" Jews, the converts, the mixed marnages, their children, addresses, places of work, inclinatlons, informal contacts, and so on. A similar list of all the remaining offficers of Jewish or mixed origin was prepared by military counterintelligence and submitted to the ministry of defense. After this, in 1965, the Politburo reportedly accepted a secret plan to cleanse the top administration, the army, the opinion-making media, and all positions requiring unquestioned afirmacja narodowa (national allegiance) of Jews by 1970. Thus, the ideological and orgamzational prerequistes of the final defeat of the generatlon were created long before it actually took place.

{p. 292} ... Gomulka attempted to win over the party apparatus that had distrusted him and despised the social forces that brought him back to power. In this way, Gomulka, once the symbol of the thaw, sided with and increasingly took the lead in the conservative offensive against the liberals. ... Gomulka and his team found themselves in a political vacuum, increasingly isolated from both the main party factions and general society ... firmly in control of the situation under the protective umbrella of the Soviet leadership.

{p. 293} ... accumulating dissatisfaction ... was to explode at the beginning of the next decade. Both in the cadres and the society at large, this cumulative social mood undermined the acceptance of leadership and stimulated a longing for change, thus creating important social prerequisites for the police faction's coming thrust for power.

These internal Polish tensions that prepared the social, ideological, and political conditions for the defeat of the generation were connected to and reinforced by an outside force of immense strength: the Soviet leadership's Middle East policy and its consequential distrust of Jews. As mentioned before, the early Soviet hopes for an anti-Western Jewish state proved to be a miscalculation. As a result, particularly after 1956, the USSR actively sought to enlarge its influence in the Middle East by siding with the Arab countries against Israel. This policy had to be followed by Poland, and the demands on its wholehearted implementation reinforced the view that Jewish Communists were potentially unreliable and expendable. Expressed to the Soviet public in the form of ongoing anti-Zionist propaganda and strengthened by Khrushchev's and Brezhnev's resistance to political reforms, this distrust was transmitted to the Polish leadership and apparatus in a variety of ways, ranging from confidential Polish-Soviet highlevel contacts, "informal" conversations between the Soviet officials and their visiting Polish colleagues, and Soviet intelligence directed anti-Jewish propaganda within the Polish party and state administration. While during the thaw this Soviet attitude was largely ignored by the Polish party (as, for instance, was the case when Khrushchev - and the KGB - supported Nowak's demands to purge Jews from the Polish state and party apparatus), these suggestions began to fall on increasingly receptive soil. After the defeat of the Pulawska group and with the rising influence of Moczar's faction, this Soviet attitude gradually led to a legitimization of anti-Jewish arguments in personnel policy, offering a potentially powerful weapon for the partisans and strongly undermining what was left of the generation's political influence.

The process of decreasing political influence of liberal Communists and of the generation was closely connected to the regime's ongoing antirevisionist witch hunt and its increasingly nationalistic ethos. Taking place in the party and in the mass media, labeling

{p. 294} criticism as revisionism, and attributing independent thoughts to hostile propaganda, the nationalistic, antiliberal, and anti-intellectual dimensions of this offensive were increasingly interlaced. ...

{p. 295} As the party's grasp of social and cultural life intensified, by the mid-1960s, the hard-liners' offensive took an increasingly nationalistic and anti-Jewish turn. On the inner party level, this was demonstrated by the heated discussion surrounding Adam Schaff's book, Marxism and the Human Individual. Although the book dealt with the issue of nationalism and anti-Semitism only in passing, it was condemned by leading party ideologists, and the sense transmitted to the party cadres was one of a Jewish intellectual daring to accuse the Polish nation and its party of antiSemitism. As the Polish intellectual milieu contained many people of Jewish origin (among them several members of the generation), this ideological offensive increasingly focused on the alleged connection between revisionists and Jews. Against this background, the campaign against the State Scientific Publishing House which began in 1964 had a symbolic character. Its general manager was accused (and tried) of all possible sins, ranging from financial fraud to revisionism and "Zionist conspiracy," and the team working on its largest project, the Great Universal Encyclopedia, was attacked for an alleged Zionist falsification of Polish history and dishonoring the Polish nation. An important reason for this attack was that the team contained several Jews, among them some former apparatchiks. Ironically called the "Encyclopedists," they came to be treated in the propaganda as symbols of Zionist infiltration of Polish cultural life and of the "personal union of Zionism and revisionism." Similarly, press reports increasingly stressed the Jewish origin of the dissidents and defectors. At internal discussions about personnel policy, Gomulka's right hand, Kliszko, used to produce a special list of Jewish defectors, while the rumors spread within the party cadres made all Jews into security risks.

Oddly enough, the subjects of anti-Semitism and of the Holocaust were increasingly used to construct an image of internal and external threat to Poland and to Polish honor. One of the greatest outcries of official indignation was caused by the entry on Nazi extermination camps in the Great Universal Encyclopedia, which stated that 99 percent of the victims of these camps - not to be con

{p. 296} fused with the inmates of concentration or forced labor camps - were Jews. This was interpreted as a purposeful attempt to depreciate the plight and offend the memory of the non-Jewish Polish victims of the Nazi occupation. In 1966, Jerzy Kosinski's novel, The Painted Bird, which without naming the country or the ethnic background of its hero describes the sufferings of a child somewhere in Eastern Europe during the war, sparked off a wave of attacks. Violently criticizing memoirs and novels published in the West and dealing with the plight of Polish Jews during the Holocaust, the propaganda campaign claimed that "the dirty wave of anti-Polish publications is not accidental. It is inspired, directed and financed" by West German money in order to "prepare the American nation psychologically for an armed showdown with the barbarous Poles and 'Communist Eastern Europe.'" Connected to a parallel development in Soviet propaganda, these attacks increasingly pointed to "Zionist groups" as the hidden forces behind the "anti-Polish campaigns" of the "American imperialists" and "German revanchists." A parallel theme taken up in the partisan-controlled newspapers accused Jews of wartime cooperation with the Nazis, ingratitude, and "slandering the Polish nation."

Reaching the public in the form of press articles and books, this campaign intensified in the second half of the 1960s. It sought to identify in the public conscience "Zionists" and Jews and connect "the revisionist threat" and "Zionism" to various "anti-Polish forces." Implying that Zionists and revisionists were protected by people at the highest political level and posed a sinister anti-Polish threat, this campaign prepared the psychological ground for "bringing order" to the country.

Further undermining the generation's position, these circumstances gradually led to the events that constituted its ultimate defeat. As the members of the generation still persisted in their basic convictions and perceptions, the trends of the 1960s meant a widening gap between their ego- and alter-defined identity and a foreshadowing of what was to come. However, when the decade began, the remnants of Polish Jewry seemed to be heading toward a relatively stable future. At the beginning of the 1960s, there were some 30,000 Jews in the country, forming about 0.1 percent of its

{P. 297} population. Shortly before the start of the all-out anti-Semitic campaign, the number might have decreased to some 25,000 as a result of limited, yet ongoing emigration. (However, it also could have been somewhat higher as there were many successful ethnic conversions that concealed some Jews from the eyes of both authorities and researchers.) The "Jewish sector" with its cooperatives, press, book publishers, clubs, schools, and social, cultural, and youth work was quite active, organizing a group that together with their families might have amounted to some 20,000 people. The core of this group was made up of Jewish Jews. Although the extreme and consequent assimilationists constituted a minority, a large and increasing proportion of the Polish-Jewish population, mainly represented among the intellecuals and the white-collar workers, regarded itself as part of Polish culture. For this group, being Jewish was mainly the consciousness of the specific nature of their Polishness.

As the future was to prove, the members of the generation lived with a false sense of security and belonging.

{p. 298} However, seen as an entity, they were still relatively visible and divided from the general population on several important issues. Ideologically and politically, they were all Communists, while in the population-at-large in the middle of the 1960s, only one of eighteen Poles was a party member. Second, both compared to the population-at-large and to other party members, they were overwhelmingly urban: while all of them lived in the large or medium-sized cities, over 50 percent of the country's population lived in the countryside and more than one out of ten party members was a peasant. Third, in addition to their intellectual interests and continuous self-study, the level of their formal education was substantially higher than average. Fourth, ... While most gainfully employed Poles and Jews were workers and craftsmen, in the mid-1960s, the majority of the generation held middle-high and lower managerial positions in administration and the economy and were highly conspicuous in intellectual and cultural professions. Fifth, while the overwhelming majority of the nation and at least a very significant proportion of party members were active Catholics, the members of the generation were atheists, with a varying consciousness of their Jewish origins. Finally, as the subsequent events were to prove, independently of their own self-perception, the alter-defined identity haunted even those who opted for complete ethnic conversion: they were still regarded by a significant segment of their compatriots as different.

{p. 299} At the same time, some of these distinctive characteristics might also be viewed as not necessarily making the generation different from the nation as such but rather placing it in its various social strata. Thus, if not regarded as a separate entity, in the 1960s, the members of the generation formed a substantial part of the party membership with the longest tenure in the Communist movement and were among the most urban and best educated people in the country, a large proportion of them belonging to the (broadly defined) intellectual, cultural, and administrative strata.

{p. 300} By the 1960s, however, thelr ideologlcal intensity had diminished and their private lives became for them more important than ever before. So also did their concrete, professional work ... it was above all strongly related to the growth of an alien ideological climate and political trends, as the result of which they became defensive and marginal with regard to both the ideological mainstream and the centers of political power. ... As one put it, "The fire faded. The dreams were not realized and what was left was practical life. One worked in one's field and was a professional."

... Such people refused to accept the climate of the decade, regarding it as their duty to protest and resist in all available ways.

{p. 301} ... an "old comrade" came to be a synonym for a true Communist, something most of the new party members were not.

{p. 302} Some of those higher up had already in 1966

{p. 303} been warned by their friends about possible purges or advised to look for other jobs. Others, visiting or receiving guests from the Soviet Union or reading the Soviet press, gained a clear insight into the anti-Jewish trends emanating from the USSR. Hence, those most in the know were deeply worried about the repercussions of the Soviet "anti-Zionist" line, the concrete Soviet pressures in regard to the ethnic aspect of personnel policy, and the nationalistic mood spread by the police faction. However, their ability to forecast what was coming was severely circumscribed by several factors. Restrained by their marginalization, their insights into what was going on behind the scene were not what they used to be. Further, they were still captives of their perceptions of the Soviet Union as, despite all, the bearer of the internationalist credo. ... Knowing that the present nationalistic moods in the party were in fact as anti-Soviet as they were anti-Jewish, they counted on Soviet resistance to the former to turn into resistance to the latter. Because of this, even those who knew that much of the present anti-Jewish mood originated from or was supported by the Soviets tended to regard the USSR as their ultimate defense.

The events of 1968, when the tensions that had cumulated and matured behind the apparent stabilization erupted with full force, have received systematic description in the literature and need not to be repeated in detail. The preparatory stage, during which the official campaign against the "Zionists" and the "revisionists" was started, lasted from June 1967 to March 1968. Parallel with this stage, a planned and apparently centrally steered campaign of hid-

{p. 304} den propaganda intensified within the party cadres and the army, wlth smears and rumors directed against Jews and officials said to be Jews. Following the student demonstrations and the protests of intellectuals against the party's cultural policy, the storm broke out with full force in March 1968. It consisted of a violently anti-Jewish, nationalistic, and antiliberal propaganda campaign, a serles of security service-directed takeovers in the state and party administratlon, the mass media, cultural institutions, and institutes of higher learning, and massive purges. As it became apparent that this campaign was part of an attempted coup d'etat from below, the highest leadership reacted by adopting the mood and the course of the campaign, as a tactic to disarm it.

Following Israel's victory in the Six-Day War and the spontaneous expression of popular joy at this outcome, on June 19, 1967, Gomulka gave a speech in which he condemned those who "came out in favor of the aggressor," saying further, "Let those who feel that these words are addressed to them, irrespective of their nationality, draw the proper conclusion. We do not want a Fifth Column in our country." This speech was broadcast over radlo and television and, although this last phrase was not reprinted in the mass media the following day, it was clearly heard throughout the country. The "Fifth Column speech" became a signal for gradually intensifying the propaganda campaign and purges directed primarily against Jews but also against non-Jewish revisionists among intellectuals and scholars and all those who in any way resisted. Rapidly strengthening the security service's grip on the mass media and on the local party structures, the "anti-Zionist" campaign occurred on two basic levels. On the official level, the mass media built up a hysterical picture of the Zionist conspiracy against Poland. On the unofficial party level, this was followed by a flood of "secret" brochures and pamphlets, all being different versions of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" adapted to the present Polish conditions and "confidential" oral information about Jews and "revisionists" involved in actions against Poland. Soon, "Zionist" became synonymous with "Jews," and at local party meetings, manipulated bv people connected to the security service, resolutions were passed calling for the instant dismlssal of all Zionists. The initially limited purges began. Some Jews were put on trial for "slandering the Polish nation," more

{p. 305} were harassed in their places of work, and some received telephone calls and anonymous letters urging them to leave the country.

Following the student and intellectual protests in the wake of the January 1968 ban on the theatrical production of "Dziady," the national drama by a great Polish nineteenth-century poet, Adam Mickiewicz, the anti-Zionist campaign erupted with full force. As the student demonstrations spread in Warsaw and throughout the country (at least in part provoked and manipulated by the security service), and as the attempts to neutralize the discontent by showing Jews as the instigators failed, the signal for an all-out anti-Jewish campaign was given in the March 11 issue of the PAX paper, Slowo Powszechne, and by Warsaw party secretary Jozef Kepa. Slowo Powszechne, said to be used occasionally by the KGB to put pressure on the Polish leadership, accused Jewish students of being leaders of the student unrest and serving foreign interests. This theme was repeated the next day in the national and provincial press. In a speech at a conference of Warsaw party activists, Kepa pointed to "bankrupt politicians," such as Stefan Staszewski and Roman Zambrowski (both Jews), and intellectuals affiliated with "foreign and domestic revisionists" as the real culprits behind the unrest. He also stated that most of the leaders of student unrest could be traced to Jewish origin and that action would be taken against "those parents who occupy high positions but whose children actively participated in the organization of the recent disturbances." This line of attack was strengthened by Gierek. In a widely quoted speech given at a gigantic mass meeting in Poland's industrial capital, Katowice, on March I4, Gierek followed Kepa's argument, threatening to "break the bones of all remnants of the old regime, revisionists, Zionists and imperialist lackeys" who would dare to disturb order in his province. Gierek's accusations and threats were soon repeated by other provincial party secretaries. Although on March 19 Gomulka listed several writers, unlversity professors, and "reactionary troublemakers" rather than the "Zionists" as the instigators of the student demonstrations and declared that at present "Zionism is not a danger to socialism in Poland," it was too late to stop the campaign. Combining anti-Semitism, chauvinism, anti-intellectualism, and the ethos of a cultural revolution, this campaign of purge

{p. 306} and intimidation achieved a scope and intensity that was much greater than the leadership had assumed. In open definance of Gomulka and interpreting the recent unrest as a coup d'etat by "a group of conspirators connected with Zionist centers," the campaign soon openly challenged Gomulka's leadership. Initially singling out and dismissing several "politically frustrated, alienated and embittered" Jewish university professors and students, the propaganda attacks and purges soon became a broad campaign of almost indiscriminate persecution at all levels of the social structure. The mass purges began. Already by mid-April 1968, over 8,300 persons were purged from the party and 80 officials at the government level ousted. The campaign, which was made to seem to express the repressed wrath of the nation, produced numerous press articles, speeches, and "workers' resolutions," typically demanding that "our authorities stop tolerating the activity of reactionary Zionist elements in the political, social, economic and cultural life of our country." All over Poland, local "Zionists" were "unmasked," condemned, and purged. Facing the threat of closure, the institutions of the Jewish sector were pressured to release anti-Zionist declarations. Although the TSKZ made such a declaration in language even more extreme than was called for, it proved to be of little avail. Jewish cooperatives were once again merged with their non-Jewish counterparts or disbanded, Jewish schools, youth camps, publishing house, and the literary magazine Yiddishe Shriften were suspended and later dissolved. Most members of the TSKZ's presidium were sacked and expelled from the party, and the TSKZ itself was reduced to a shadow of its former self.

The essence of this campaign, as related to Polish Jews in general and the generation in particular, was especially obvious in two documents: in a widely publicized interview given in April by Mieczyslaw Moczar and in an article written in June by a leading party ideologist and Central Committee member, Andrzej Werblan. Describing Poland's present problems as rooted in the post-1945 situation, Moczar lamented "the arrival in our country ... of certain politicians dressed in officers' uniforms, who later presumed that only they - the Zambrowskis, the Radkiewiczes, the Bermans - had the right to leadership, a monopoly over deciding what was right for the Polish nation." Moczar implied that

{p. 307} had not power been left in the hands of these people, to whom "patriots were dirt," but to ethnic Poles, Stalinist deviations could have been avoided.

Werblan's article was a pioneering attempt by a Communist theoretician to interpret the history of his party in racist terms. Instead of the customary Marxist analysis, Werblan analyzed the history and problems of the Polish Communist movement in terms of relations and tensions between Polish "patriots," on one hand, and Jewish "cosmopolitans" or "Zionists," on thc other. His conclusion was that throughout the history of the Polish Communist movement, its problems, that is, its weakness during the prewar period, the Stalinist excesses, and the "revisionist tendencies" after the thaw, had all been due to the dominance of Jewish Communists. The present campaign thus received ideological justification as an attempt to solve a long delayed problem of Jewish domination within the party apparatus, the administration, the mass media, and higher education. As postwar problems were rooted in a cadres policy that "ignored the changes in the ethnic structure of society," these problems, Werblan stated, would find their solution when the "abnormal ethnic composition" in important fields of society were corrected. Thus, his treatise provided an ideological justification for a Communist version of numerus clausus and, acquiring the weight of an official party statement, became the guide of further purges.

These events had several aspects. Seen in the historical perspective of the Polish Communist movement, they symbolized a definite end to the prewar Communist ethos and its spokesmen. Also, they formed a logical outcome of the party's post-1945 history and the legacy of forcing a Communist regime on a deeply anti-Communist society. Abandoning the underground and taking over exclusive political power, the numerically small Communist party had been forced to assimilate into its cadres non-Communist ideological influences and people who at the end "gave the old Communists a true pogrom." In a way, this was "history's revenge for the violence that had been done to society." From the point of view of tensions between "natives" and "Muscovites," these events represented the ultimate triumph of the former over the latter.

{p. 308} Viewed in the context of the emergence of the reform movement in Czechoslovakia and the dissident movement in the USSR, it was an effort to discipline and intimidate society and to prevent or counteract similar developments on the Polish scene. ...

For the members of the generation, these events resulted in a total existential defeat: the sudden slide down the social ladder, the bankruptcy of their moral, ideological, and political life investment, and, in the end, their forced emigration. Whether they worked in the party apparatus, state administration, scientific institutes, umversitles, publishing houses, local industrial management, factories, cooperatives, or the institutions of the Jewish sector, almost all were personally affected. Both as a collective and as individuals, they were singled out, slandered, ostracized, degraded, threatened, and intimidated with breathtaking intensity and a malignance that could not be compensated for by rather sporadic and discreet individual expressions of sympathy and support. They were made suspect, accused of being servants of various "anti-Polish forces," purged from the party and from their jobs. A large proportion of their children were expelled from the

{p. 309} universities (some imprisoned), and those still in school were often persecuted or mobbed in various ways. During the course of these events, their world fell apart.

Can a collective existential defeat of this magnitude be measured? ... Most were dismissed from the party. Leaving a party to which their lives and identity had been so closely connected was a tragedy for them all

{p. 310} ... it appears that the non-Jewish Jews were, as a rule, more hurt than the Jewish Jews

... they were all in a state of shock, embitterment, and humiliation. Although some were comforted by expressions of moral support from friends and colleagues, others received abusive telephone calls or anonymous letters urging them to "stop eating the bread of Poland" and "go to Palestine." On the corridor walls in the apartment houses where some of them lived were painted slogans: "Here live Jews" or "Judases go home." Whether caused by indifference or fear, around many of them there suddenly appeared a vacuum: they were avoided by their former colleagues and collaborators, as if contaminated. Communist Poland, to which they had given their best years and which they had helped to shape, suddenly turned its wrath on them, appearing as they had never seen it before. The Communist party, their former frame of reference, the pivotal point of their lives, and the core of their identity emerged now as a semi-Fascist, nationalistic movement, similar to the prewar anti-Semites and Communist haters of the Endeks (National Democrats). What they perceived as their deeds and sacrifices for the Communist cause were now declared to have been of no value or, even, harmful. Their party newspaper, Trybuna Ludu, now published articles and declarations that caused many of them to refer to Voelkischer Beobachter, and the leading political journalist of the Communist state's television, Karol Malcuzynski, commenting on the "anti-Polish campaign conducted in the West by the Zionists," remarked that it would not be surprising if Poles reacted by "ruffian anti-Semitism," that is, pogroms. The movement that had given meaning to their lives now expelled them, denying them membership in the nation in which their forefathers had grown up. This was the ultimate confrontation in the course of which their hopes were proven empty, their image of the world and themselves in it false, and their lives, as they had lived them, tragically wrong. It was an earthquake without end. Their world fell apart. As one remarked, "Wszystko wzielo w leb" (Everything fell through).

Thus bankrupt, they faced the fateful choice: to remain despite

{p. 311} all the degradation or - as the government opened the doors of emigration and pushed - to leave. What spoke for emigration was their deeply wounded pride, the collapse of their world view and self-perception, their ousting from the party and their jobs, their badly hurt identity, and the prospects for their children. What spoke against emigration was their lifelong investment in terms of deeds, thoughts, and emotions, their identification with the culture, language, and traditions, and a pride that moved them to defiant determination to retain the right to self-identification. To accept reality and leave required acknowledging the failure, the defeat of their entire life course. They could either go to an Israel built by their Zionist peers and former rivals or to the Western capitalism they had fought. In addition, several had non-Jewish spouses or children who refused to leave. Moreover, approaching or in their sixties, some ill and most without a profession that could be exported to the West, they feared the prospects of becoming refugees and starting anew for a fourth time in their lives. Thus, there were different, parallel, and most often contradictory motives present in each individual life situation. The overall outcome was that some members of the generation stayed, but the large majority left in an emigration that closely resembled a forced explusion.

In this, the generation followed the overall reaction of all remaining Polish Jews. Surrounded by a massive wall of official hostility and a largely intimidated or indifferent society, for most there was nothing to do but leave. The forms of their exodus were as humiliating as the events that led up to it: all the emigrants were forced to renounce their Polish citizenship, and, paying the equivalent of more than two average monthly salaries, receive a travel document for the stateless, valid for a one-way trip to Israel. In renouncing their citizenship, they also had to state that they felt bound to Israel rather than to Poland, disavow all claims to pensions or compensation of any kind, and pay to the state treasury the estimated equivalent of the costs of their children's studies. The net result of this emigration, which reached its peak between 1968 and 1969 but continued at a slower pace until the mid-1970s, was the end of Polish Jewry. Most probably, nearly 20,000 Jewish refugees left Poland, leaving some 5,000, mostly aged, behind.

{p. 313} Here the story of the generation ends. Defeated and disoriented, they spread around the world, although most went to Sweden, Denmark, and Israel.

... The members of the generation have adjusted themselves in their new countries but - especially those outside Israel - have not become wholly integrated into these new cultures.

{p. 314} In retrospect, their Jewishness appears to them as a factor that strongly influenced the course of their lives. Thus taught by experience, they have became more conscious and more affirmative, perceiving their Jewishness in terms of interdependence, of sharing the same "Jewish fate" and looking at the world through "Jewish eyes." Still atheistic and having retained their materialistic view of the world, they do not perceive being a Jew in terms of religion but rather as sharing a collective memory, a history, and a heritage of ethics and culture.

... Closely connected, their perception of Israel currently occupies a very important place in their identity and concern. It is in their view of the importance of Israel (and what they now see as the basically correct course of their Zionist peers and former rivals) that the most radical change in their identity has taken place.

... knowing how it all ended, many regret that they did not join (or remain in) the Zionist movement and some that they did not avoid politics altogether. Above all, they re-

{p. 315} gret that they did not see it through and did not depart at a much earlier stage: if not at the time of the Moscow trials, then after the Soviet experience or in the mid-1950s.

Today, most of them express varying degrees of anticommunism. However, this should not be misunderstood: their lives have forced them to realize the impossibility of the Communist vision, not its moral falsity. In this light, these former millennialists have become resigned pragmatists. As such, they are strongly suspicious of all utopias.

... they are, as a rule, utterly suspicious of Soviet intentions (as well as fearful of the rise of terrorism and religious fundamentalism). ...

A few still hold onto their former dreams. ... they still have hope, placing it in the changed political course of the USSR or, as they say, in the return to true Leninism.

{p. 337} When it became clear that the melting pots of men and nations - which from the time of Jewish emancipation many Jews had hoped for and others feared - did not happen, one of the results was a renewed interest in Jewish identity. Jewish debates about different concepts of Jewish identity began, however, even earlier.

The term "identity" comes from the Latin word idem (same) and relates both to uniqueness and to sameness in relation to others. Prior to Jewish emancipation, being a Jew meant living a specific ghetto life in which Jewish communities, kehilot, with their social, religious, and political institutions, created an all-encompassing frame of reference for the individual and the collective.

{p. 338} Jewish identity became a real issue when the walls of the ghetto were pulled down ...

Modernization and Jewish emancipation, which reached Eastern Europe only unevenly and with considerable delay, led to the crystallization of five main competing types of Jewish response ... (1) a camp of Orthodox Jewry, with a traditional identity based in religion, a strong tendency toward voluntarily maintained isolation from the non-Jewish society, and a ghetto-centered pattern of social life; (2) the assimilationists, with a program of assimilating Jews into the general society, possibly with a complementary retention of some selected Jewish traits; (3) the Zionists, from far left to far right, who rejected the world of the ghetto and who projected Jewish national rebirth in Eretz Israel (the Land of Israel); (4) the Jewish Socialists (the Bund), who rejected the ghetto world of the Orthodox, the Zionist project, and capitalist society and who formulated a program for civil equality, socialism, and a secular, Yiddish-based Jewish cultural autonomy; and (5) the Jewish Communists, those Jews who joined the Communist project of total upheaval of the existing society and its millennarian reformation. The three latter responses were revolutionary and radical. What united them was their rejection of the world as it was; what divided them were their different prescriptions for Jewish, universal, or Jewish and universal emancipation.

The flames of the Holocaust, the creation of the State of Israel, and general Jewish disillusionment with the reality of communism did not put an end to discussions about Jewish identity. The debate still goes on with great ferocity. Here one finds the traditional definition of a Jew based on Halakha, Jewish religious law, according to which a Jew is a person born of a Jewish mother or one who has converted to Judaism. There is also Ben-Gurion's pragmatic definition of a Jew as one who regards himself as such, which is the reverse of Sartre's definition of a Jew as one who is regarded by others as such. ...

{p. 339} Here is also the statement of the philosopher and founder of the Reconstructionist movement, Mordecai Kaplan, that "the basic qualification for being a Jew is the acceptance of the Jewish people in the past, the present and the future as one's own people, belief in the spiritual values of the Jewish tradition, participation in Jewish life." There are Jewish definitions of Jewish identity which focus on or combine elements of ethics, cultural heritage, religious observance, and nationalism. The seemingly simple question of who is a Jew is a raging political issue in Israeli politics.


Marxist policy on farming: Small private farms cf communal farms and state farms: marx-vs-the-peasant.html.

Lech Walesa attended the canonization of Josemaria Escriva: http://www.opusdei.org/art.php?w=32&a=1643.

This, coming from the Opus Dei website, indicates that he is a member of Opus Dei. Therefore it's likely that he knew about CIA funding of Solidarity - even though other Solidarity leaders did not - and was complicit in it.

Kevin MacDonald's review of The Generation: The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Communists of Poland: poland.html.

Vladimir Pozner on Why Jews left the Soviet Union - Max Shpak on Why the West Betrays Russians: jewish-emigration-ussr.html.

Jaff Schatz's book The Generation: The Rise and Fall of the Jewish Communists of Poland is out of print. To order a second-hand copy through ABEbooks: http://dogbert.abebooks.com/abe/BookSearch?tn=rise+fall+jewish+communists+poland

Write to me at contact.html.