Polin Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 21: 1968 Forty Years After

Edited by Leszek W. Gluchowski and Antony Polonsky

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ISBN: 9781904113362

Publication: November 27, 2008

Series: Polin Studies in Polish Jewry 21

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In the mid-1960s, public opinion in Poland turned against the Gomulka regime for a variety of reasons. In an attempt to regain public support and divert attention from the real problems, Gomulka adopted an antisemitic stance. On 19 March 1968 he delivered a speech to party activists in which he divided Jews into three categories: 'patriotic Jews', 'Zionists', and those who were neither Jews nor Poles but 'cosmopolitans', who should 'avoid those fields of work where the affirmation of nationality is indispensable'. In consequence, nearly 15,000 Jews--a very large part of Poland's Jewish community--left for Israel, western Europe, and North America, effectively ending Jewish life in the country for over a decade.

The events of 1968 were long ignored by scholars but in recent years their importance in the process which led to the collapse of communism has become increasingly evident. This volume illuminates the events that triggered the crisis, the crisis itself, and its consequences. Different aspects of this are examined by Dariusz Stola, Jerzy Eisler, and Wlodzimierz Rozenbaum, while the role of the the Polish Military Intelligence Service during 1945-1961 in precipitating the crisis is analyzed by Leszek Gluchowski.

Several contributors consider the background to the crisis in terms of the concerns of the Jewish community. Audrey Kichelewski describes developments in the community between the consolidation of Gomulka's power in 1957 and the outbreak of the Six Day War. Malgorzata Melchior examines how Jews who had survived in Poland during the Second World War responded to the crisis. Joanna Wiszniewicz provides a group portrait of pupils of Jewish origin in Warsaw schools in the 1960s, a milieu from which important elements in the student opposition were drawn. Karen Auerbach sharpens the focus in her consideration of the situation of Yiddish writer Naftali Herts Kon, while Holly Levitsky describes the travails of the Jewish communist writer Sara Nomberg-Przytyk. The book also reprints the testimonies of several people who lived through these painful events: Jerzy Jedlicki, Henryk Dasko, and Miroslaw Sawicki. Bozena Szaynok analyses the rhetoric of the period and examines the role of 'Israel' in the crisis. The controversies which it still arouses are reflected in the exchange between generals Pioro and Jaruzelski concerning the impact of the purge of Jewish officers from the Polish People's Army and in the responses to the publication by Piotr Gontarczyk of a report on the role of Jacek Kuron in 1968.

As in previous volumes of Polin, in the section 'New Views' substantial space is also given to new research into a variety of topics in Polish-Jewish studies. These include a study by Kalman Weiser of the Yiddishist Ideology of Noah Prylucki; an reassessment by Julian Bussgang of the role of Metropolitan Sheptytsky during the Holocaust; an account by Michael Beizer and Israel Bartal of the tragic career of Moses Schorr; an evaluation by Krzysztof Czyzewski of the work of the Polish poet Jerzy Ficowski; and a description of the reception in Poland of Art Spiegelman's Maus.

CONTRIBUTORS Karen Auerbach, Israel Bartal, Michael Beizer, Teresa Bogucka, Julian Bussgang, Wojciech Czuchnowski, Krzysztof Czyzewski, Henryk Dasko, Jerzy Eisler, Leszek W. Gluchowski, Piotr Gontarczyk, Anna Jarmusiewicz, Wojciech Jaruszelski, Jerzy Jedlicki, Audrey Kichelewski, Holli Levitsky, Krzysztof Link-Lenczowski, Tomasz Lysak, Jacek Maj, Malgorzata Melchior, Joanna B. Michlic, Karol Modzelewski, Tadeusz Pioro, Wlodzimierz Rozenbaum, Maciej Rybinski, Dariusz Stola, Bozena Szaynok, Kalman Weiser, Joanna Wisniewicz, Tadeusz Witkowski, Piotr Wrobel, Rafal Ziemiewicz.

Antony Polonsky was born in Johannesburg, and studied history and political science at the University of the Witwatersrand. He went to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship in 1961 and read modern history at Worcester College and St Antony's College. He taught at the London School of Economics and Political Science from 1970 to 1992. Since then he has been at Brandeis University, where in 1999 he was appointed Albert Abramson Professor of Holocaust Studies, an appointment held jointly at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Brandeis University. He has also been a visiting professor at the University of Warsaw, the Institute for the Human Sciences, Vienna, and the University of Cape Town; Skirball visiting fellow at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies; and Senior Associate Member of St Antony's College, Oxford.

Leszek W. Gluchowski is an independent scholar and writer based in Hamilton, Ontario. He received his Ph.D. in 1992 from the University of Cambridge and has published numerous articles and documents, primarily with the Cold War International History Project of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. He has recently completed a novel, entitled ‘Father, Son, Holy . . . Spy’, based on the defection to the CIA in 1953 of Lt. Col. Józef Sawiatlo of the Polish Ministry of Public Security.

Note on Place Names Note on Transliteration PART I: THE 1968 CRISIS AFTER FORTY YEARS Introduction leszek w. gluchowski and antony polonsky The Hate Campaign of March 1968: How Did It Become Anti-Jewish? dariusz stola 1968: Jews, Antisemitism, Emigration jerzy eisler The March Events: Targeting the Jews wlodzymiersz rozenbaum A Critical Analysis of the Activities of the Polish Military Intelligence Service, 1945-1961 leszek w. gluchowski 'Israel' in the Events of March 1968 bozena szaynok A Community under Pressure: Jews in Poland, 1957-1967 audrey kichelewski Facing Antisemitism in Poland during the Second World War and in March 1968 malgorzata melchior Jewish Children and Youth in Downtown Warsaw Schools of the 1960s joanna wiszniewicz The Exile of Sara Nomberg-Przytyk: Polish Jewish Communist holli levitsky The Fate of a Yiddish Poet in Communist Eastern Europe: Naftali Herts Kon in Poland, 1959-1965 karen auerbach Domestic Shame: A Conversation with Professor Jerzy Jedlicki anna jarmusiewicz An Interview with Miros{l/}aw Sawicki (August 2006) joanna b. michlic Testimony henryk dasko The Controversy Aroused by the Role in 1968 of General Wojciech Jaruzelski The Purges in the Polish Army 1967-1968 tadeusz pioro A Painful and Complex Subject wojciech jaruzelski Reply to General Jaruzelski tadeusz pioro The Controversy Aroused by the 1968 Events in 2006 A Meeting with Jacek Kuron as Reported by Secret Collaborator 'Return' (Leslaw Maleszka): A Contribution to the Discussions about the Events of March 1968 piotr gontarczyk The Institute for National Remembrance Slanders Jacek Kuron wojciech czuchnowski and seweryn blumsztajn I Am, Therefore I Write: Uses and Abuses maciej rybinski Selective Indignation rafal ziemkiewicz Attention, Moczar Lives! An Interview with Karol Modzelewski adam leszczy{na}ski Between the Institute for National Remembrance and Gazeta Wyborcza: The Cracked Code tadeusz witkowski 'Gniazdo'-The Moral Bankruptcy of the Security Service (SB) teresa bogucka PART II: NEW VIEWS The Yiddishist Ideology of Noah Prylucki kalman weiser Metropolitan Sheptytsky: A Reassessment julian j. bussgang The Case of Moses Schorr: Rabbi, Scholar, and Social Activist michael beizer and israel bartal You Can't Do It Just Like That... or, Jerzy Ficowski's Path to Reading the Ashes krzysztof czy{z.}ewski Contemporary Debates on the Holocaust in Poland: The Reception of Art Spiegelman's 'Graphic Novel' Maus tomasz {l/}ysak Apollo, Mercury, and Soviet Jews piotr wrobel Obituaries Father Stanislaw Musial Jozef Andrzej Gierowski Jerzy Ficowski Notes on the Contributors Glossary Index

Format: Paperback

Size: 235 x 155 x 41 mm

550 Pages

2 B&W illustrations

ISBN: 9781904113362

Publication: November 27, 2008

Series: Polin Studies in Polish Jewry 21

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