The goal of the lecture is presenting the history of the “new” Antisemitism and its institutionalization in the years 1945–1968 through the work of the PAX Association. In the summer of 1945 Bolesław Piasecki presented to Władysław Gomułka the program to foster Antisemitism in post-War conditions. This idea survived in its original form and was realized in 1968. However, in the turbulent years before that, the bepists (named after their leader’s initials-B.P.; known also as “the mafia” or “the Leader’s Team”) could not be sure when, and even if, they would manage to bring the idea to life. They could not be certain, even, whether their movement, de facto a “state within a state”, might survive and for how long, since up to 1957 it consisted of de iure… 15 members. One of the most important research issues and postulates is taking a look at, a the attempt to reconstruct, the pragmatics and structure of how the aforementioned idea was kept alive between 1945 and 1968. Thus we should also attempt to answer questions like: was PAX an influential organization? If yes, how influential were they and where did their significance stem from? Should PAX and Piasecki be treated as one and the same? How should we understand the concept of “conquering the conqueror”? What was the idée fixe of the bepists and how did it relate to the official ideology of PAX and the party?
Wojciech Wendland, historian, Ph.D. (2012), received a grant from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (2013), author of works nominated for the Historical Book of the Year award (2014): “The three prophets’ foreheads from a foreign mother” The historical thought of the Polish Tatars in the Second Polish Republic.(Cracow 2013), Around the world in 89 years. Aleksander Tansman at the sources of culture and identity. (Lodz 2013). He deals with the history of culture and ideas. He was published in „Twórczość”, „Znak”, „Odra”, „Midrasz”, „Więź”, among others.
The seminar is part of the Modern Jewish History/Culture and its Relationship to Polish History/Culture Workshop.