Szmalcownik

English translation: blackmailer/extortionist (of hiding Jews or Poles hiding them during WWII)

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Polish term or phrase:Szmalcownik
English translation:blackmailer/extortionist (of hiding Jews or Poles hiding them during WWII)
Entered by: Frank Szmulowicz, Ph. D.
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10:47 May 8, 2018
Polish to English translations [PRO]
Slang
Polish term or phrase: Szmalcownik
This is in the context of WW2 in Poland. Szmalcownik in its various forms appears many times in a book. Has anyone come across a better translation than blackmailer?

Podziemna Polska posiadała własne sądownictwo, a na osobach, które dopuszczały się przestępstw, na agentach, kolaborantach i szmalcownikach, na wszystkich tych ludziach, którzy postępowali w haniebny sposób, wykonywano wyroki śmierci.

Chociaż że było źle, że byli tacy, że nadawali, że byli szmalcownikami.

Po drugiej stronie byli ludzie, którzy szantażowali, donosili, a nawet zabijali Żydów, tzw. szmalcownicy, kolaboranci i inne podobnego pokroju osoby, które, czy to dla brudnego zysku czy też z nienawiści i pogardy, byli gotowi na wszystko, ludzie ci byli pozbawieni wszelkich skrupułów i współczucia.

Jeden szmalcownik mógł donieść i przyczynić się do śmierci nawet kilkudziesięciu osób, a żeby uratować jednego Żyda, często potrzeba było nawet kilkunastu zaangażowanych w tym celu ludzi.
Jerry Dean
United States
Local time: 12:19
blackmailer/extortionist (of hiding Jews or Poles hiding them during WWII)
Explanation:
Szmalcownik (Polish pronunciation: [ʂmalˈtsɔvɲik]), in English also spelt shmaltsovnik, is pejorative Polish slang used during World War II for a person who blackmailed Jews who were hiding, or who blackmailed Poles who protected Jews during the German occupation
https://www.google.com/search?num=100&ei=M4HxWvbxOZ2zjwSe75G...

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Note added at 7 mins (2018-05-08 10:55:34 GMT)
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ccccccccccc
Of course, you can use shmaltsovnik, but that may not mean much to an English-speaking person.
Selected response from:

Frank Szmulowicz, Ph. D.
United States
Local time: 12:19
Grading comment
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4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
3blackmailer/extortionist (of hiding Jews or Poles hiding them during WWII)
Frank Szmulowicz, Ph. D.
2denouncer
geopiet
Summary of reference entries provided
... there is no real equivalent in English of 'szmalcownik', greasy-palmer,
geopiet

  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
blackmailer/extortionist (of hiding Jews or Poles hiding them during WWII)


Explanation:
Szmalcownik (Polish pronunciation: [ʂmalˈtsɔvɲik]), in English also spelt shmaltsovnik, is pejorative Polish slang used during World War II for a person who blackmailed Jews who were hiding, or who blackmailed Poles who protected Jews during the German occupation
https://www.google.com/search?num=100&ei=M4HxWvbxOZ2zjwSe75G...

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Note added at 7 mins (2018-05-08 10:55:34 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------


ccccccccccc
Of course, you can use shmaltsovnik, but that may not mean much to an English-speaking person.

Frank Szmulowicz, Ph. D.
United States
Local time: 12:19
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PolishPolish
PRO pts in category: 36
Grading comment
thanks
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

15 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 2/5Answerer confidence 2/5
denouncer


Explanation:
It became a choice of dying from hunger by simply staying put or leaving the ghetto and risking our lives to obtain food. Whoever was able to sneak out of the ghetto to sell possessions and buy some food, did so. Many succeeded, but some were not so fortunate and never returned. The szmalcowniks — denouncers — took care of them - http://memoirs.azrielifoundation.org/recollection#display-as...

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geopiet
Native speaker of: Native in PolishPolish
PRO pts in category: 32
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Reference comments


15 hrs
Reference: ... there is no real equivalent in English of 'szmalcownik', greasy-palmer,

Reference information:
For example, there is no real equivalent in English of 'szmalcownik', greasy-palmer, and the word is often translated as 'blackmailer', which is not exactly the same.

(Editor's note: wartime parlance distinguished, not always consistently, between the szmalcownik and the szantażysta (blackmailer): the former accosted his victims on the street and might be likened to an ordinary mugger, using the threat of denunciation rather than a pistol as his weapon. The latter, much more dangerous, ferreted out Jews in their hiding-places and demanded everything they had. In English writing on the subject, the Polish word szmalcownile has generally been adopted for both.) - https://goo.gl/jgu7cQ

geopiet
Native speaker of: Native in PolishPolish
PRO pts in category: 32
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