Neighbours in Borysław. Jewish Perceptions of Collaboration and Rescue in Eastern Galicia
The present chapter offers a close reading of several Jewish testimonies given in the aftermath of the Holocaust. These testimonies come from survivors’ early attempts to document their experiences during World War II, from Jewish testimonies given in Polish courts, and from accounts written and recorded several decades later. While distinct times, contexts and languages in which these documents were produced have methodological implications for interpreting them, this chapter does not differentiate between diaries, memoirs, court statements and testimonies. The chapter examines what elsewhere I have called ‘intimate violence’ and does so in the local setting of a single community. I analyse the ways in which the survivors tackled the questions of local collaboration and local assistance and tried to make sense of their strained encounters with people they had known before the war. Not only do the testimonies undermine clear-cut categorizations of ‘victims’ and ‘perpetrators’, they also render ‘bystanders’ virtually non-existent. Last but not least, I address the question of individual and communal memory: how did people look back at a time of extreme crisis that broke a tenuous coexistence among a mixed population and turned former neighbours against one another?