Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland

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Cornell University Press, 2005 - History - 348 pages
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From the Middle Ages until World War II, Poland was host to Europe's largest and most vibrant Jewish population. By 1970, the combination of Nazi genocide, postwar pogroms, mass emigration, and communist repression had virtually destroyed Poland's Jewish community. Although the Poles themselves were subjected to enormous cruelties in the twentieth century, questions about the extent of their antisemitism and its role in the fate of Polish Jewry are today hotly disputed.

Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland serves as an effective guide to some of the most complex and controversial issues of Poland's troubled past. Fourteen original essays by a team of distinguished Polish and American scholars explore the different meanings, forms of expression, content, and social range of antisemitism in modern Poland from the late nineteenth century to the present. The contributors focus on both the variations in antisemitic sentiment and those Poles who opposed such prejudices.

Central themes of this significant, balanced, and timely contribution to a contentious and often emotional debate include the deterioration of Polish-Jewish relations in the era of national awakening for both the Poles and the Jews, the meaning of the various forms of violence against the Jews, intellectual movements in opposition to antisemitism, the role of the Catholic Church in promoting antisemitism, and the prospects for the Church to atone for this shameful chapter in its recent history.

Contributors: Robert Blobaum, West Virginia University; Steven D. Corrsin, New York Public Research Libraries; William W. Hagen, University of California, Davis; Janine P. Holc, Loyola College in Maryland; Jerzy Jedlicki, Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences; Katherine R. Jolluck, Stanford University; Dariusz Libionka, Institute of National Remembrance, Lublin and Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences; Antony Polonsky, Brandeis University and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Brian Porter, University of Michigan; Szymon Rudnicki, Warsaw University; Konrad Sadkowski, University of Northern Iowa; Keely Stauter-Halsted, Michigan State University; Dariusz Stola, Institute of Political Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences and Collegium Civitas, Warsaw; Bozena Szaynok, Wroclaw University; Theodore R. Weeks, Southern Illinois University

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About the author (2005)

Robert Blobaum is professor of History at the University of West Virginia.

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