Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, Volume 20

Making Holocaust Memory

Edited by: Natalia Aleksiun, Jan Schwarz, Antony Polonsky, Gabriel Finder

Although the reconciliation of Jewish and Polish memories of the Holocaust is the central issue in contemporary Polish-Jewish relations, this is the first attempt to examine these divisive memories in a comprehensive way. Until 1989, Polish consciousness of the Second World War subsumed the destruction of Polish Jewry within a communist narrative of Polish martyrdom and heroism. Post-war Jewish memory, in contrast, has been concerned mostly with Jewish martyrdom and heroism (and barely acknowledged the plight of Poles under German occupation). Since the 1980s, however, a significant number of Jews and Poles have sought to identify a common ground and have met with partial but increasing success, notwithstanding the new debates that have emerged in recent years concerning Polish behaviour during the Nazi genocide of the Jews that Poles had ignored for half a century. This volume considers these contentious issues from different angles. Among the topics covered are Jewish memorial projects, both in Poland and~beyond its borders; the Polish approach to Holocaust memory under communist rule; and post-communist efforts both to retrieve the Jewish dimension to Polish wartime memory and to reckon with the dark side of the Polish national past. An interview with acclaimed author Henryk Grynberg touches on many of these issues from the personal perspective of one who as a child survived the Holocaust hidden in the Polish countryside, as do the three of his poems reproduced here. The 'New Views' section features innovative research in other areas of Polish-Jewish studies. A special section is devoted to research concerning the New Synagogue in Poznan, built in 1907, which is still standing only because the~Nazis turned it into a swimming-pool.

512 pages

Publication Date: 1/1/2008
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781904113065