Kielce Pogrom Staged: Jewish Author

Here is my review, recently appearing at Amazon.
Review of My Century, By Aleksander Wat. 1977. 1988. University of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London
Reviewer: Mr. Jan Peczkis
Endek Nonhostility. Communist-Related Personages. Unfounded Anti-Semitism in Anders Army. Kielce Pogrom Staged
The author, a Communist, had a large number of opinions of various prominent individuals and nationalities. Since the reader is likely to be unfamiliar with many of the personages mentioned, a biographical glossary is provided in the back of the book.
Aleksander Wat was a nonobservant Jew. Wat’s father had been a Hasid and Cabalist [Kabbalist]. However, the father not inculcate this in his children. Wat’s siblings were atheists, and that created the environment in which Aleksander grew up in. (p. 95, 153, 293). Otherwise, the 1920’s-era children of religious Jews, as young as five or six, “begin memorizing whole pages not of the Bible but of the Talmud with all its casuistry.” (p. 68).
Interestingly, Wat, a Jew, did not experience unilateral hostility from Endeks. Far from it. In describing his life in Poland in the 1930’s, Wat reported that, (quote) And so personally I never felt any anti-Semitism on my own hide—but what does that prove? I had good relations with a great many NDs [National Democrats, or Endeks], old NDs. A few of them looked askance at me, but those were rather the young ones. (unquote)(p. 90).
Wat gives many details on his experiences while a deportee in the Soviet Union during WWII. He realizes that the Soviet authorities had balked at allowing Jews to join Anders’ Army. (p. 340). He also notes that the post-“amnesty” disparate treatment, by some Poles against Jews, did not necessarily owe to anti-Semitism. He describes his investigation of a Polish delegate, who allegedly had made anti-Semitic remarks, as follows, (quote) And the delegate said, ‘Yes, I did give the Jews less than the Poles, but not because they’re Jews’…He gave the Jews less, sometimes considerably less, because the Jews had come there mainly from settlements, and they were in quite bearable condition. Some even had some capital. This was confirmed. The Polish families, however, were mostly people who’d been in the camps or the widows of men who’d died in the camps…My conclusion was that the accusations of abuses and discrimination against Jews had not proved true. (unquote)(p. 342).
In an interview with Czeslaw Milosz, Aleksander Wat shared his suspicion that the Kielce Pogrom had been a Soviet provocation. Wat commented, (quote) He [Spychaj] was in charge of Kielce in 1946 when the pogrom took place there…On the basis of what I’ve heard from many quarters, the pogrom was launched—launched isn’t the word, more like provoked—by the Kielce security forces (there wasn’t a policeman in sight that day). Spychaj was in charge of these forces. It should be remembered that Spychaj had an older brother in the NKVD who hadn’t returned to Poland. This is all conjecture of course but the instructions must have come from the Soviets. In other words, the younger Spychaj was acting on orders…Spychaj was supposed to stand trial but was transferred instead. And sometime in 1956 or 1956 when Poland started letting the first Jews to emigrate to Israel, that same Spychaj was in charge of the security department that issued visas to the Jews. As an expert in such matters. (unquote)(p. xxviii).
Aleksander Wat came to see Communism and Nazism as having many similar gestalts. (p. 83). He also noted the irony of Communism relying on many of the same scapegoats (e. g, “enemies of the people”) once used against Jews. (p. 201).

By piotrbein