June 25, 2007

A Promise Kept to Bear Witness, by Joyce Wagner, Exposes Radziejow

Joyce Wagner, in her definitive work on Radzidjow and the Holocaust, exposes the actions of the Poles during and after the Holocaust. As the Jewish Ghetto in Radziejow was being liquidated the Poles did not just stand by. Some acted out their true antisemetic feelings. “The Woman who had reported us to the Gestapo when we first left the attic (their hiding place) was a single mother with ten children of her own. She had made a living before the war working for Jewish neighbors, and we had helped her and her children. We felt sorry for the children, and they were our playmates. And yet when this woman saw us running for our lives she immediately reported us to the Gestapo.” p. 43. Wagner states, “[s]ome Polish people needed an instigator to openly display their feelings, and Hitler was their answer. Some Poles collaborated with the Nazis in the persecution of the Jews.” p.45. Wagner goes on to say that she she does not”blame all of the Polish people, just the bad ones.” p.45.
The citizens of Radziejow today must choose in which camp do they fall in. The good Poles that “cried with me when they learned of the fate of their Jewish neighbors.” p. 45. Or the bad Poles that sided with Hitler during the Holocaust. I believe the grandchildren and great grandchildren of the woman that reported to the Gestapo about the Jews trying to escape the roundup must stand up and right the wrong of their Grandmother or Great Grandmother. These relatives are still living in Radziejow. They must work to right the wrong done by helping to return Ben Neuman’s property, Now!

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  • Joyce,
    I grew up in Bloomington, Indiana. I see that your book "A Promise Kept to Bear Witness", was published in Bloomington. I have a question…did you have a daughter named Alex? I attended St. Charles Elementary and was quite good friends with Alex who was Polish, &who's parents were survivors. Yiddish was still spoken in the home in the late sixties and I understand Alexis went back to Poland after 1972…if this is your girl…could you please forward my inquiry! Debbie Behen…dlang@bresnan.net.
    I admire your courage and thanks for bearing witness….Debbie

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