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A National Institute for Polish and Polish American Affairs

Analysis of Joan Mellen's Review of FEAR
Mellen's review appeared in the "Baltimore Sun" on July 2nd, 2006

The review of FEAR by Joan Mellen has actually little to do with the book. Ms. Mellen uses the space allotted for a review to exercise her anti-Polish prejudices. Ms. Mellen’s brief foray into Polish history shows she knows almost nothing about the subject. In regards to the postwar period, Ms. Mellen insists entirely, without any evidence, that “the old order and the army, the new communist apparatus, the cardinal (N.B. there were two) and his bishops – all conspired to kill Poland’s remaining Jews (90% had already perished) or drive them out of the country for good.” This would be an extraordinary conspiracy, and historians around the world would be grateful indeed if Ms. Mellen would only reveal her sources.

Despite Professor Gross’s extraordinary effort to illuminate his interpretation of the causes of postwar anti-Semitism, Ms. Mellen concludes that “Gross finds no explanation for the horrendous deeds because there is none.”

Except as an illustration of Ms. Mellen’s biases, this review is of no value. It sheds no light on either Professor Gross’s book or postwar anti-Semitism.


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