Economics of Polish Jews from 1937-1947 Rebecca Holliday Fall 2010 History 300. 101 Dr. Neverdon-Morton 1
Thesis The damaging effects of the German occupation in Poland during World War II caused the economic downfall of Poland’s Jewish community as well as the mass post war migration. 2
Findings: Pre-War Jewish Status Shtetl
Jewish community, similar to a village but on a much larger scale and inhabits only Jewish residents. Village = on average, 5-20 homes; Shtetl = about 2, 500 people.
Health Care centers, Schooling, Trading and business ventures with non-Jew persons.
80% of Warsaw’s Factories controlled by a Jew. Including meat shops, textile mills and small shops Why Poland? 3 Above: Goldblum Family in front of their kosher butcher shop in Katowice, 1937. (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archives # 29649). To the Left: The Littman family, Jewish, poses in a boat in Poland circa 1938. Both pictures show some of the freedoms Jews had in pre-war Poland. These freedoms were later annexed. (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archives #48945)
Findings: Invasion Route and Tactics 1934- following World War I, Hitler signs a nonaggression pact with Poland. August 1939 (1 month before German Invasion of Poland)- Ribbentrop-Molotov Agreement.
Divided Poland between Germany and USSR at the Bug River. Designed to keep USSR from interfering with German invasion.
German invades Poland September 1, 1939.
4 “ German invasion of Poland, September 1939.” German Invasion of Poland: Jewish Refugees, 1939 — Map. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Findings: Nazi Occupation > Polish Economics 5
Anti-Semitism negatively effecting Jewish business ventures.
Bombing of Synagogues and schools.
Dramatic decline in the Jewish Population of Poland
Wealthy, intelligent and those holding political office specifically targeted before any other Jew.
Introduction of Death Camps (Auschwitz, most infamous)
Forced into hiding.
Click Here >>>>>> Above: Corpses piled in a cart in Warsaw ghetto. Living in the ghetto, Jews were no longer guaranteed the rights to a proper Jewish burial. Deceased Jews were typically piled in this manner and either dumped into a pit that was already burning, or placed into ovens. (USHMM Photo Archive #69982) “Public Service Broadcast by Ignace Jan Paderewski”
Ghetto Life Refers to the 6,000 Jews freed with the assistance of Oscar Schindler. Joined Nazi party in 1939. Took prisoners from Plaszon Camp in Warsaw, allowed them to work at his camp supposedly manufacturing German war shells. Provided healthcare, bigger food rations and safety. 6 Schindler’sJews Above: Destruction of Warsaw Ghetto, 1943. (National Archives ARC Identifier 540124 / Local Identifier 238-NT-282).
Research Challenges Locating Census Data about Jewish unemployment rates, revenue generated from businesses, housing after the war. Finding government data pertaining to Economy of Poland during World War II (not just Jewish) Finding course of travel and resources for those Jews who escaped during the war. Locating multiple Resource centers close to Maryland. How to limit a topic. Select a thesis that successfully argues my topic. Save all work frequently and to multiple places. How to locate the facts and use them in a scholarly manner. How to use an Archival resource center. Examine all documents before drawing conclusions. 7 What I’ve Learned
Questions Did the actions of the Holocaust influence or nurture the intellectualism of the surviving Jewish population? Process of Jewish communal rise back to a sense of normality? Forces advanced Germany’s technology beyond U.S. and other fighting forces? Psychological state of Hitler how it influenced his decision making capabilities? An attempt to cover up things he hated about himself? Did he intend to start a World War? Economic growth of Polish Jew immigrants in America and those in Poland from 1947- present? 8
The Next Step: Additional Sources to Examine American census data, following World War II, on the economics of European Immigrants. Locate and Visit Polish Archival centers, in Poland.(long term goal) Examine the Great Axis Powers. 9
A cart filled with corpses of Jews who died in Warsaw ghetto, awaiting mass burial at the Jewish cemetery.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archives # 69982. Courtesy of Guenther Schwarberg. Copyright United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. November 7, 2010.
“ German invasion of Poland, September 1939.” German Invasion of Poland: Jewish Refugees, 1939 — Map. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. <http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/media_nm.php?ModuleId=100055 93&MediaId=431>.
“Izak and TolaGoldblum pose with their daughter Salusia in the doorway of their kosher butcher shop in Katowice.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archives # 29649. Courtesy of Sally Goldblum Wasserman. Copyright United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. November 6, 2010.
“Jewish civilians. Copy of German photograph taken during the destruction of the Warsaw Ghetto, Poland, 1943.” National Archives ARC Identifier 540124 / Local Identifier 238-NT-282. December4, 2010.
“Oscar Schindler.” Oscar Schindler. <http://www.auschwitz.dk/schindler2.htm>. November 8, 2010.
Perlberger, Mina. “Mina Perlberger Papers: Buried alive: A Diary.” 1984. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, RG- 02.054; Acc. 1990.329
“Public Service Broadcast by Ignace Jan Paderewski, 05/16/1941.” The National Archives. ARC Identifier 2184706 / Local Identifier 56.58. <http://arcweb.archives.gov/arc/action/ShowFullRecordDigital?initpagemodel=on&mn=resultsDetailPageModel&goto=1&sort=&%24searchId=7&%24showFullDescriptionTabs.selectedPaneId=&%24digiDetailPageModel.currentPage=0&%24resultsPartitionPageModel.targetModel=true&%24resultsSummaryPageModel.pageSize=10&%24partitionIndex=0&%24digiSummaryPageModel.targetModel=true&%24submitId=5&%24resultsDetailPageModel.search=true&%24digiDetailPageModel.resultPageModel=true&%24resultsDetailPageModel.currentPage=0&%24showArchivalDescriptionsTabs.selectedPaneId=digital&%24resultsDetailPageModel.pageSize=1&%24resultsSummaryPageModel.targetModel=true&%24sort=RELEVANCE_ASC&%24resultsPartitionPageModel.search=true&%24highlight=false&tab=init/showFullDescriptionTabs/details>. 4 December 2010.
Rubin, Jack. Oral History Interview. Helen Sollins. Jewish Museum of Maryland OHV 0017, 8: Communication Artifact. 8 May 1996.
“The Littman Family poses in a boat in prewar Poland.” United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Photo Archives #48945. Courtesy of Halina Peabody. Copyright of United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.