Jewish Studies in Postwar Poland
The tradition of Jewish studies in Poland has been drastically interrupted by the Second World War and the Holocaust. In the immediate postwar period the process of re-establishing research on Jewish history and heritage was undertaken by the Jewish Historical Commissions and later Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. More examples of the individual and group initiatives can be traced only in the 1970s and 1980s. The real happened in the late 1980s with Kraków as one of the first and main centers of revitalized Jewish studies in Poland. The first postwar academic institution in Krakow specializing in Jewish studies – Research Center for Jewish History and Culture in Poland – was established already in 1986 in the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. More than a decade later, in 2000, it was transformed into the first Poland’s Department of Jewish Studies (Katedra Judaistyki) – now the Institute of Jewish Studies. Nowadays there are more similar programs and institutions – at the universities in Warsaw, Wrocław and Lublin (UMCS). Also other academic centers tend to have at least individual scholars, programs, classes or projects focusing on widely understood “Jewish topics.” Jewish studies in Poland, along with the revival of Jewish culture, reflect the contemporary Polish attitude to the Jewish heritage, and their scale and intensity remains unique in the European context. The growing interest in Jewish studies in Poland can be seen as a sign of respect for the role of Jewish Poles in the country’s history, and as an attempt to recreate the missing Jewish part of Poland through research, education and commemoration, accompanied by slow but promising revival of Jewish life in Poland.
Main Topic: Culture and Heritage Jewish Revival Jewish Studies Universities / Higher Education Jewish Heritage Post-1989 Post-War Reconstruction Post-War Jewish History
Link to article, Jewish Studies in Postwar Poland
Jewish Studies in Postwar Poland. 2013: 55-66. https://archive.jpr.org.uk/10.4467/20843925SJ.13.006.1302