Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 31

BookPolin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 31

Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 31

Poland and Hungary: Jewish Realities Compared

Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, 31


December 19th, 2018



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At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Jewish communities of Poland and Hungary were the largest in the world and arguably the most culturally vibrant, yet they have rarely been studied comparatively. Despite the obvious similarities, historians have mainly preferred to highlight the differences and emphasize instead the central European character of Hungarian Jewry. Collectively, these essays offer a different perspective. The volume has five sections. The first compares Jewish acculturation and integration in the two countries, analysing the symbiosis of magnates and Jews in each country’s elites and the complexity of integration in multi-ethnic environments. The second considers the similarities and differences in Jewish religious life, discussing the impact of Polish hasidism in Hungary and the nature of ‘progressive’ Judaism in Poland and the Neolog movement in Hungary. Jewish popular culture is the theme of the third section, with accounts of the Jewish involvement in Polish and Hungarian cabaret and film. The fourth examines the deterioration of the situation in both countries in the interwar years, while the final section compares the implementation of the Holocaust and the way it is remembered. The volume concludes with a long interview with the doyen of historians of Hungary, István Deák.


Author Information

François Guesnet is Professor of Modern Jewish History, University College London and chair of the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies. His publications include ‘Chanukah and its Function in the Invention of a Jewish-Heroic Tradition in Early Zionism’ in Nationalism, Zionism and ethnic mobilisation (ed. Michael Berkowitz, 2004) and Sources on Jewish Self-Government in the Polish Lands from Its Inception to the Present, edited with Jerzy Tomaszewski (2022). Howard Lupovitch is an associate professor of history and director of the Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies at Wayne State University. He is the author of Jews at the Crossroads: Tradition and Accommodation during the Golden Age of the Hungarian Nobility, 1729—1878 (Budapest, 2007) and is currently writing a history of the Neolog movement. Antony Polonsky is Emeritus Professor of Holocaust Studies, Brandeis University, and Chief Historian of the Global Education Outreach Program at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. His three-volume history the Jews in Poland and Russia (2010–12), also published by the Littman Library, was awarded the Pro Historia Polonorum Prize of the Polish Senate for the best book on the history of Poland in a language other than Polish.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
François Guesnet, Howard Lupovitch, and Antony Polonsky
The Magnate–Jewish Symbiosis: Hungarian and Polish Variations on a Theme
Howard Lupovitch
Ethnic Triangles, Assimilation, and the Complexities of Acculturation in a Multi-ethnic Society
Kristian Gerner
Between Poland and Hungary: The Process of Jewish Integration from a Comparative Perspective
Guy Miron
The Ashkenaz of the South: Hungarian Jewry in the Long Nineteenth Century
Victor Karády
Jews and Poles, 1860–1914: Assimilation, Emancipation, Antisemitism 
Theodore R. Weeks
Jewish Women in Poland and Hungary
Katalin Fenyves
Morality, Motherland, and Freedom: The Arduous and Triumphant Journey of Michael Heilprin to America
Ferenc Raj and Howard Lupovitch
Gender and Scholarship in the Goldziher Household: Jewish Men and Women in Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Hungarian Academia
Katalin Franciska Rac
Polish Hasidism and Hungarian Orthodoxy in a Borderland: The Munkács Rabbinate
Levi Cooper
Polish ‘Progressive’ Judaism and Hungarian Neolog Judaism: A Comparison
Benjamin Matis
Integration and Its Discontents: Humorous Magazines and Music Halls as Reflections of the Ambiguous Transformation of Budapest Jews into Magyars of the Jewish Faith
Mary Gluck
Cabaret Nation: The Jewish Foundations of Kabaret Literacki, 1920–1939
Beth Holmgren
The Politics of Exclusion: The Turbulent History of Hungarian and Polish Film, 1896–1945
Susan M. Papp and Antony B. Polonsky
Abnormal Times: Intersectionality and Anti-Jewish Violence in Hungary and Poland, 1918–1922
Emily Gioielli
Suicides of the Polish and Hungarian Types: Jewish Self-Destruction and Social Cohesion in Interwar Warsaw and Budapest
Daniel Rosenthal
On the Margin of a Historic Friendship: Polish Jewish Refugees in Hungary during the Second World War
Tamás Kovács
Placing the Ghetto: Warsaw and Budapest, 1939–1945 
Tim Cole
Warsaw and Budapest, 1939–1945: Two Ghettos, Two Policies, Two Outcomes
Laszlo Karsai
Polish and Hungarian Poets on the Holocaust 
George Gömöri
 ‘Anti-Fascist Literature’ as Holocaust Literature? The Holocaust in the Hungarian Socialist Literary Marketplace, 1956–1970
Richard S. Esbenshade
Holocaust Remembrance in Hungary after the Fall of Communism
Zsuzsanna Agora
‘Nicht vor dem Kind!’ Testimonies on the Yellow-Star Houses of Budapest
Gwen Jones
 ‘Non-Remembering’ the Holocaust in Hungary and Poland
Andrea Pető
Jews in Museums: Narratives of Nation and ‘Jewishness’ in Post-Communist Hungarian and Polish Public Memory
Anna Manchin
Polish and Hungarian Jews: So Different, Yet So Interconnected: An Interview with István Deák
Howard Lupovitch
Polish National Antisemitism 
Ireneusz Krzemiński