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The Politics of Jewish Absence in Contemporary Poland


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Since the early 2000s, Polish society has undergone a significant ‘mnemonic awakening’; rediscovering traces of past Jewish presence in that country, critically examining the process of eradication of Jewish life and its subsequent erasure from collective memory, and attempting to recover some aspects of the Polish-Jewish past. Based on archival and ethnographic data, this article analyzes different modes of mnemonic practices that directly engage with Jewish absence. I show that for Jewish absence to even be noticed by contemporary Poles and potentially experienced by them as a void that deserves to be (re)filled, past Jewish presence is being brought back to life. I argue that this mnemonic creation of absence is part of a broader political project to expand Polish national identity beyond the narrow confines of Catholicism.



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Link to article, The Politics of Jewish Absence in Contemporary Poland

Bibliographic Information

Zubrzycki, Geneviève The Politics of Jewish Absence in Contemporary Poland. Journal of Contemporary History. 2016: 250-277.  https://archive.jpr.org.uk/10.1177%2F0022009416664020