The Most Controversial Polish Holocaust Movie Ever

by Avi Abelow

An ordinary Polish village. A dark secret. The Director says that historians told him that reality was even worse than the story in this movie. This is a holocaust movie that kills the Polish argument that they were victims of the holocaust just like the Jews.

The movie “Aftermath” depicts the horrors of what some Polish people did to their Jewish neighbors. Shockingly, these events happened even before the Nazis began systematically murdering the Jews.


This holocaust drama film is based on a true story. The true story happened in the Polish village of Jedwabne. The Polish villagers of Jedwabne massacred all their Jewish neighbors in a barn in a horrifying way. Unfortunately, this didn’t just happen in Jedwabne.

The movie begins with the return of a Polish man to his hometown in rural Poland after having lived in Chicago for two decades. He learns that his brother, who lives in the village, is shunned by the community for acquiring and displaying on his farmland dozens of Jewish tombstones which he discovered had been used by German occupying forces as paving stones in a now abandoned road. They end up discovering a deep secret about the villagers during the holocaust, including a horrendous act by their own father. This leads them to investigate further, to deep opposition from the villagers.

Another Must-See Holocaust Movie on This Topic

For more than 70 years, the story of the barn in Jedwabne, Poland, where the local Christians burned to death all 1,600 of their Jewish neighbors, was perceived as a unique case of cruelty and brutality.

The movie “2 Barns” is a movie produced to both showcase the horrific massacres that the Polish people did to their Jewish neighbors, as well as highlight the heroic stories where Polish villagers saved the lives of their Jewish neighbors. While it highlights the vast amount of hatred Poles had for their Jewish neighbors, it also makes sure to emphasize the story of the Poles who were righteous gentiles.

Two Barns

“Two Barns” proves irrevocably that the Jedwabne incident was not an exception, but rather the rule. Even before the Nazis declared their ‘Final Solution’, tens of thousands of Jews had been murdered by their Polish neighbors. This happened in villages and township all over Poland, Russia and Ukraine.

One of the main characters of this movie is Prof. Shevah Weiss who served as the Israeli Ambassador to Poland.  Polish villagers saved him in their barns. After he survived the holocaust he moved to Israel and ended up being the speaker of Isreal’s parliament, the Knesset. The story of his survival due to Righteous Poles allowed the Polish people the opportunity to honestly look into their history throughout the war.

The Holocaust movie includes scenes with a number of prominent historians including Prof. Jan Tomasz Gross, who revealed the story of the Jedwabne pogrom.

These are both MUST-SEE Holocaust movies to get a better understanding of the holocaust. As well as a more complete picture of the Polish involvement in the holocaust.

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