From the Middle Ages until World War II, Poland was host to Europe's largest and most vibrant Jewish population.
By 1970, the combination of Nazi genocide, postwar pogroms, mass emigration, and communist repression had virtually destroyed Poland's Jewish community.
Although the Poles themselves were subjected to enormous cruelties in the twentieth century, questions about the extent of their antisemitism and its role in the fate of Polish Jewry are today hotly disputed. In Antisemitism and Its Opponents in Modern Poland, fourteen original essays by distinguished Polish and American scholars explore the different meanings, forms of expression, content, and social range of antisemitism in modern Poland.
The contributors focus on both the variations in antisemitic sentiment and those Poles who opposed such prejudices. Central themes of this significant, balanced, and timely contribution to a contentious and often emotional debate include the deterioration of Polish-Jewish relations in the era of national awakening for both the Poles and the Jews, the meaning of the various forms of violence against the Jews, intellectual movements in opposition to antisemitism, the role of the Catholic Church in promoting antisemitism, and the prospects for the Church to atone for this shameful chapter in its recent history.
About the Author
Robert Blobaum is Eberly Family Professor of History and Chair, Department of History, at West Virginia University. He is the author of Rewolucja: Russian Poland, 1904-1907 and Feliks Dzierzynski and the SDKPiL: A Study of the Origins of Polish Communism.
"Historians who would integrate Polish history into the history of Europe must come to terms with the enormously complex topic of antisemitism. This book meets that challenge admirably, and is simply indispensable. The team of scholars that Robert Blobaum has assembled includes some of the very best writers on modern Polish history. The result is an unusually coherent volume, seamlessly uniting American and Polish perspectives to ask us to examine the very meaning of Polishness. Antisemitism appears here in all its nationalist, political, ideological, and religious complexity. Antisemitism and its Opponents is essential reading for scholars of Poland and of Jewish history. Any student of European history, too, will find that this book significantly advances our understanding of one of the central problems of modernity."-Padraic Kenney, University of Colorado, Boulder
Number Of Pages: 348
Published: 1st September 2005
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Dimensions (cm): 23.266 x 15.646 x 2.413
Weight (kg): 0.531