The image of the Pole in polish language jewish press

Professor Anna Landau-Czajka will talk about her book “Poland is not Them. Poland and Poles in Polish-language Jewish press in the Second Polish Republic”

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Recent years have brought a veritable flood of works concerning the history of Jews in Poland and Polish-Jewish relations. This second issue has been discussed in many works, however, most of them focus on it from the perspective of the Polish people- how did Poles treat their fellow citizens- the Jews, what they thought of them, which stereotypes were common among the Polish society. This issue has not been investigated from the Jewish perspective. Until this day we still don’t really know what how Jews perceived Poland and Poles, whether there existed any established national stereotypes. It is a problem which has in recent years garnered the attention of many scientists. Additionally there exists, in certain circles, the conviction of the “anti-Polish” sentiments held by Polish Jews, a sentiment usually treated as an absolute truth, one that does not require any evidence. It would be worthwhile to investigate whether this stereotype is reflected in the Jewish press of the inter-war period. It became apparent that though the stereotype of the Jew (or rather the many stereotypes of Jews) is very easy to recreate based on the Polish inter-war press, the opposite- recreating the stereotype of the Pole from Polish-language Jewish press- is impossible. Further research was required to come closer to understanding how the acculturated Jewish press viewed, or maybe rather presented Polish society. The work was thus broadened to include the press’ attitude towards Poland as a homeland and present Jewish patriotism. In other words: what was the attitude of the acculturated Jewish press towards Poland and Poles? Did it present its readers with some coherent image or was it dependent on the type of the publication, the subject matter, current needs?

The book is available at our bookstore.


Anna Landau-Czajka, sociologist and historian, professor — Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW), chairwoman of the JHI’s Programme Board. Deals with the history of Polish-Jewish relations, women’s history and the social history of the 20th century. Author of: And they shared one house. The ideas of solving the Jewish issue in Polish publications (1933–1929) (1998), What Alice discovers on her side of the looking-glass. Everyday life, society, government in children’s school books 1785-(2002), And the Son will be Lech… The assimilation of Jews in inter-war Poland (2006). Published a series of texts concerning women’s history in the collected works “A Woman and…” edited by Anna Żarnowska and Andrzej Szwarc.

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