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The “Just” and the “Passive”
Sila-Nowicki’s statements of self-satisfaction relating to Polish attitudes to the Jews in the 1939–1945 period are questionable. The scope of rescue could have been broader as one estimates that only 1–2.5 percent of eligible Poles actually came to the aid of the Jews. Some Poles blackmailed Jews and others turned them over to the Nazis. The accusation of passivity of the Jews is exaggerated, as all the forms of underground civil resistance were prevalent in the ghettos, too. As for escaping, it was much more difficult for a Jew to blend into the city crowds. The Warsaw ghetto uprising was one of the first manifestations of armed resistance in occupied Europe. Armed revolts in Treblinka and Sobibor, and in Auschwitz and Chelmno should, perhaps, lead us to revise our image of Jewish passivity.