A book by a Princeton professor that says ordinary Poles plundered graves near Nazi death camps is stirring debate in Poland, with critics saying it is fiction designed to cast the Polish as predatory anti-Semites.
“Golden Harvest,” by Polish-born historian Jan Tomasz Gross, is scheduled to be published in the United States and Britain next year. After it came out in Poland, the book entered the chart of the top 10 best-sellers at Empik Media & Fashion, which operates stores across the country.
Gross takes as his starting point a photo of what, at first glance, appears to be a line of smiling agricultural workers at the end of a day’s work. At the bottom of the picture is a line of skulls. The photo was taken in 1945 or 1946 near Treblinka, the site of a death camp in which at least 800,000 people were murdered, Gross writes. He says the people were searching for valuables overlooked by the Nazis.