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A National Institute for Polish and Polish American Affairs

Analysis of Karen Long's Review of FEAR
Long's review appeard in the "Cleveland Plain Dealer" on August 8th, 2006

Link to PDF of Article

Karen Long has written a favorable and measured review of FEAR. Like other reviewers, however, she accepts the accuracy of Professor Gross’s description of the Jedwabne Massacre in 1941, which was the subject of his earlier book Neighbors. Long even quotes Cardinal Glemp, who called Professor Gross’s narrative “incontestable.” Glemp’s observation confirmed that the event did take place, and that Poles were perpetrators. Subsequent investigation by the respected Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), however, showed that several dozen Poles, including the mayor (not “half the town”), were to one degree or another responsible for murdering 300 to 400 (not 1,600) of their Jewish neighbors. The results of the later investigation, as Long’s review shows, have not yet caught up with Professor Gross’s erroneous but “most quoted sentence from that book.”

The review is ultimately a bit murky about the particulars of Professor Gross’s interpretation. The Kielce pogrom and post war anti-Semitism, according to Karen Long, took place because (quoting Professor Gross) of “what the Poles had done to the Jews.” What it was that the Poles had done is never made exactly clear. Long does not therefore rehearse Professor Gross’s allegation of Polish complicity in the Holocaust nor does she subject it to critical examination.

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