One summer day in 1941, half of the Polish town of Jedwabne murdered the other half, 1,600 men, women, and children, all but seven of the town's Jews. 'Neighbors' tells their story. This is a shocking, brutal story that has never before been told. It is the most important study of Polish-Jewish relations to be published in decades and should become a classic of Holocaust literature. Jan Gross pieces together eyewitness accounts and other evidence into an engulfing reconstruction of the horrific July day remembered well by locals but forgotten by history. His investigation reads like a detective story, and its unfolding yields wider truths about Jewish-Polish relations, the Holocaust, and human responses to occupation and totalitarianism. It is a story of surprises: The newly occupying German army did not compel the massacre, and Jedwabne's Jews and Christians had previously enjoyed cordial relations. After the war, the nearby family who saved Jedwabne's surviving Jews was derided and driven from the area. The single Jew offered mercy by the town declined it. Most arresting is the sinking realization that Jedwabne's Jews were clubbed, drowned, gutted, and burned not by faceless Nazis, but by people whose features and names they knew well: their former schoolmates and those who sold them food, bought their milk, and chatted with them in the street. As much as such a question can ever be answered, 'Neighbors' tells us why. 'Nothing could have prepared the 1,600 Jews in Jedwabne, a town in northeast Poland, for the hell of their final days in the summer of 1941. . . . It is an especially gruesome Holocaust horror story. But it is a tale that, 60 years later, has stunned Poland. For what Poles have learned recently is that the perpetrators in this case weren't Germans, though the Nazi occupiers clearly approved the slaughter. They were Poles, the Jedwabne neighbors of the Jews. And the revelation of their role has triggered a wave of agonized soul-searching since it emerged . . . in Neighbors, a slim, carefully researched book [that] has guaranteed that Poles will never see their wartime history in the same way. . . . The controversy over Neighbors is already spreading across the Atlantic.'--Andrew Nagorski, Newsweek Jan T. Gross is Professor of Politics and European Studies at New York University. He is the author of, among other books, 'Revolution from Abroad: Soviet Conquest of Poland's Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia' (Princeton) and a coeditor of 'The Politics of Retribution in Europe: World War II and Its Aftermath' (Princeton).