Dealing with past: memory work and the Jews of Poland. The case of Mszana Dolna
This research contributes to the understanding of the process of reconstructing the memory of Jews in contemporary Poland. Focusing on a case study of a town in southern Poland, Mszana Dolna, the study analyses how Jewish/non-Jewish relations and the history of the Jews of the town are remembered by the current inhabitants of Mszana, as well as by Holocaust survivors and their families. The research is based on an interdisciplinary approach to the subject of memory, using in depth oral history interviews, archival and other written materials, as well as participant observation as sources of analysed data. The study concentrates on the memory of the life in Mszana before, during and after the war in terms of the coexistence of two communities, Jewish and non-Jewish ones. Focusing mainly on the annual commemoration of the shooting of the Jews of Mszana in August 1942 by non-Jewish members of the community and their participation in the educational programmes, the research elucidates the process of regaining the Jewish heritage of the town by non-Jewish inhabitants and incorporating it into the past of the community of Mszana. Identifying the variety of levels of interactions between Jews and non-Jews before the war, it argues that the interrupted coexistence of both groups in Mszana resulted in the void which remained after the destroyed Jewish community. The memory of Jews found its place in the oral history for several decades. Through examining the forms of remembrance of the Jews in Mszana, this study attempts to illustrate the transition of the memory of Jews from private sphere of life to the public discourse on the Jewish inheritance of the town.
Holocaust Holocaust Commemoration Main Topic: Holocaust and Memorial Memory Oral History and Biography
Link to download in university repository, Dealing with past: memory work and the Jews of Poland. The case of Mszana Dolna
Dealing with past: memory work and the Jews of Poland. The case of Mszana Dolna. . December 2016: https://archive.jpr.org.uk/object-2112