nasza witryna Jewish crooks from Jedwabne
by Prof. Jerzy Robert Nowak

  translated by: Mariusz Wesolowski

  • Pro i contra, Niedziela 25/2001

    by Jerzy Robert Nowak

    [...] Jewish crooks from Jedwabne

    In the June 2001 issue of the "Kulisy" magazine there appeared a shocking article "Discovering the secret" by Danuta and Aleksander Wroniszewski. This journalistic couple several years ago (in 1988, in the Lomza weekly "Kontakty"), for the first time in Poland, have written about the murder of Jews in Jedwabne.

    In the words of the "Kulisy" commentator, "(...) the Wroniszewskis discovered then some startling criminal-financial aspects of this case, which might have had an impact on the later testimonies of Jewish witnesses. We reveal them now for the first time".

    The new article by the Wroniszewskis brings forth facts compromising one of Gross's false witnesses, namely, Eliasz Gradowski - a petty thief during the war, who afterwards became a larger-scale crook appropriating possessions of the murdered Jews.

    In a subchapter called "Affairs with property", the Wroniszewskis write: "Different reasons certainly motivated Eliasz Gradowski who appeared as a prosecution witness during the 1949 trial. He named specific Poles participating in the pogrom and described their actions, he also described the resulting robbery of ex-Jewish possessions, although in the period of 1940-45 he had been away in Russia, after getting caught as a thief. The authorities had been already familiar with his swindles related to the illegal expropriation of ex-Jewish property in the Lomza district.

    We have run into this story in the course of our investigation of the colorful and controversial functionary of the District Security Office in Lomza, one Eliasz Trokenheim. In January 1949, when his colleagues were arresting Poles suspected of the participation in the mass burning of Jews at Jedwabne, Trokenheim was a defendant before the Military Court in Bialystok. The prosecutor accused him, among other things, of being an accomplice to the illegal appropriation of ex-Jewish property. Although well aware of such criminal activities conducted by a ring of local Jews, Trokenheim did not only try to stop them, but he even used his position and influence to shield the crooks in return for hefty bribes. The main culprits in this affair were the inhabitants of Bialystok - Eliasz Gradowski and Chaim Sroczko ".

    Prof. Jerzy Robert Nowak, Niedziela, 2001-06-24