Three Endings and a Beginning: Shimon Redlich’s Galicia in Yad Vashem Studies, Volume XXXIV

Timothy Snyder


Three Endings and a Beginning: Shimon Redlich’s Galicia: Shimon Redlich, Together and Apart In Brzeżany: Poles, Jews, and Ukrainians, 1919-1945

Shimon Redlich nostalgically recalls his boyhood in prewar Polish Breżany. The population consisted of Jews and Polish and Ukrainian Christians. Inter-Christian tension and violence often surpassed antisemitism. Soviet occupation, German invasion and Soviet recapture completely changed the social structure of the town. Redlich’s life was saved by Righteous Among the Nations, but others participated in the Nazi murder of Jews. Based on his perspective that there was something sound and sustainable in the “good” pre-war years, Redlich speculates whether the three peoples could have coexisted tolerantly had World War II not intervened.