Originally published 02/27/2013
Alex Joffe: Review of Halik Kochanski’s "The Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War"
Alex Joffe received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Arizona in 1991.The adage “history is written by the winners” is no more than a half-truth. Losers, too, have always written history and, more important, enshrined their losses in memory. A new history of Poland in World War II thus has particular significance. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth gradually vanished from the map of Europe at the end of the 18th century, when Russia, Prussia, and Austria divided it up among themselves; and the Poles regained their independence only in 1918. In their new republic, ethnic Poles were a majority, but Ukrainians, Belorussians, Germans and, of course, Jews constituted a large minority. The Jews alone made up more than 10 per cent of the country’s population. Mustn’t any history of Poland in the Second World War therefore put the Jews and the Holocaust at the center? If it does not, is that originality or revisionism? Halik Kochanski’s The Eagle Unbowed: Poland and the Poles in the Second World War offers important insights into the Polish experience of the war, but her treatment of the Jewish Question is less satisfying.
- Trump got history wrong in interview with NYT
- A Century-Old Abraham Lincoln Mystery May Finally Have an Answer
- Did an Israeli student steal Auschwitz artifacts for her art exhibit?
- Memorial erected at site of witch trial hangings
- Michael Beschloss says if Trump pardons himself this is worse than Watergate
- One reason H.R. McMaster and Trump don't have a close relationship
- Rick Perlstein joins criticism of Nancy MacLean's "Democracy in Chains"
- Daniel Pipes says it’s time for the Palestinians to recognize they lost
- Wm. Theodore de Bary, Renowned Columbia Sinologist, Dies at 97
- Iran sentences Princeton history grad student to 10 years for spying