Justice behind the Iron Curtain: Nazis on Trial in Communist Poland - German and European Studies (Paperback)
  • Justice behind the Iron Curtain: Nazis on Trial in Communist Poland - German and European Studies (Paperback)
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Justice behind the Iron Curtain: Nazis on Trial in Communist Poland - German and European Studies (Paperback)

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Paperback 400 Pages / Published: 18/10/2018
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In Justice behind the Iron Curtain, Gabriel N. Finder and Alexander V. Prusin examine Poland's role in prosecuting Nazi German criminals during the first decade and a half of the postwar era. Finder and Prusin contend that the Polish trials of Nazi war criminals were a pragmatic political response to postwar Polish society and Poles' cravings for vengeance against German Nazis. Although characterized by numerous inconsistencies, Poland's prosecutions of Nazis exhibited a fair degree of due process and resembled similar proceedings in Western democratic counties. The authors examine reactions to the trials among Poles and Jews. Although Polish-Jewish relations were uneasy in the wake of the extremely brutal German wartime occupation of Poland, postwar Polish prosecutions of German Nazis placed emphasis on the fate of Jews during the Holocaust. Justice behind the Iron Curtain is the first work to approach communist Poland's judicial postwar confrontation with the legacy of the Nazi occupation.

Publisher: University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 9781487522681
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 610 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Finder and Prusin have prepared a solid, well-documented, and objective book that deserves praise and recognition." -- Lukasz Jasinski * H-Net Reviews (H-Poland) *
"Gabriel N. Finder and Alexander V. Prusin's Justice Behind the Iron Curtain is an exhaustively researched volume that makes an important contribution to the scholarship on postwar justice and Holocaust-related trials." -- Natalie Belsky, University of Minnesota Duluth * Austrian Studies Newsmagazine, vol 31, no 1, Spring '19 *
"This is a wonderfull successful work...A judicious, well-informed presentation of complicated issues. Highly recommended." -- T. Flynn, College of the Holy Cross * Choice Magazine *
"Impressively researched and rich in detail, Justice behind the Iron Curtain is the first comprehensive study of Nazi trials in postwar Poland, and as such constitutes a very important contribution to scholarship on the history of war crimes prosecution. The book provides fascinating insights into how the trials created an institutional space (perhaps the only one in postwar Poland) in which the specific suffering of the Jewish people was acknowledged - even though this ran counter to the official communist memory of the war, which erased the distinction between Jewish and non-Jewish victims of Nazism." -- Franziska Exeler, University of Cambridge, Free University Berlin * Slavic Review *
In recent years sedulous efforts have been made to develop jurisprudence for dealing with genocide, mass killing, and crimes against humanity. Thus, all the more reason to welcome this well-researched and often disturbing book by Gabriel Finder and Alexander Prusin, who tragically died before its publication. It is, in fact, two separate studies. The first is an account of the "war crimes trials," which took place in Poland between 1946 and 1959. These began with the trials of alleged collaborators under the "August Decree" (Sierpni6wka) promulgated in August 1944, by the Polish Committee of National Liberation (Polski Komitet Wyzwolenia Narodowego -PKWN) and ended with the trial of Erich Koch, Reichskommisar of Ukraine and the chief of the Bialystok administration, in 1958-1959. The second topic is an extensive and valuable discussion of what we can learn from these trials about the perpetrators of the crimes, which adds significantly to what we know about their motives. -- Antony Polonsky, International Institute for Holocaust Research (Jerusalem) * Yad Vashem Studies *

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