Translated Title: Stettin, Szczecin and the 'third room': Memory in the German-Polish-Jewish borderland
Topics: Main Topic: Culture and Heritage, Memory, Memorial, Cities and Suburbs, Holocaust Commemoration
Abstract: This article addresses the question of how contemporary commemoration projects spatialize the memory of Jewish and German presence in Stettin/Szczecin and map Jewishness in the urban space. Analyzing local memorial projects and autobiographical writings that address the Jewish past in Stettin/Szczecin, I investigate the particular conditions of urban nostalgia in the so-called “Regained Lands” where the Jewish legacy is inseparable from the German one and where the rediscovery of Jewish spaces thus entails a process of cultural translation and “overwriting” of contested spaces.
Topics: Jewish Heritage, Main Topic: Culture and Heritage, Jewish Music, Klezmer, Jewish - Non - Jewish Relations
Abstract: Klezmer music has become very popular in Poland. The Festival of Jewish Culture in Cracow has gained national and international significance. Nonetheless, this is about more than music. The festival has become a litmus test, by which changes in the country’s political mood and its attitude towards its Jewish heritage is measured.
Remembering the Holocaust on the fault lines of East and West-European memorial cultures: the new memorial complex in Trastsianets, Belarus
Abstract: The article addresses the emerging memorial spaces on the fault lines of the post-Soviet and Western memorial cultures. Taking as a case study the Memorial Complex in Trastsianets, located on the fourth biggest site of Nazi mass killing in Europe, it analyses the way Belarus revisits its memorial paradigms and factors the Holocaust into its national narrative. Looking at the political underpinnings of the project, rivaling artistic visions and the transnational diplomatic efforts involved, the article examines how different stakeholders negotiate the symbolic significance and material appearance of this major but little known Eastern European Holocaust site.
Translated Title: Representations of Jewishness in the Polish and German klezmer scene
The Framing of the Jew: Paradigms of Incorporation and Difference in the Jewish Heritage Revival in Poland
Abstract: Focusing on three contemporary grassroots initiatives of preserving Jewish heritage and commemorating Jews in Belarus, namely, the Jewish Museum in Minsk, Ada Raǐchonak’s private museum of regional heritage in Hermanovichi, and the initiative of erecting the monument of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda in Hlybokae, the present article discusses how local efforts to commemorate Jews and preserve Jewish heritage tap into the culture of political dissent, Belarus’s international relations, and the larger project of redefining the Belarusian national identity. Looking at the way these memorial interventions frame Jewish legacy within a Belarusian national narrative, the article concentrates in particular on the institution of the public historian and the small, informal social networks used to operate under a repressive regime. Incorporating the multicultural legacy of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth into the canon of Belarusian national heritage and recognizing the contribution of ethnic minorities to the cultural landscape of Belarus, new memory projects devoted to Jewish history in Belarus mark a caesura in the country’s engagement with its ethnic Others and are also highly political. While the effort of filling in the gaps in national historiography and celebrating the cultural diversity of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania overlaps in significant ways with the agenda of the anti-Lukashenka opposition, Jewish heritage in Belarus also resonates with the state authorities, who seek to instrumentalize it for their own vision of national unity.
Topics: Klezmer, Jewish Music, Jewish - Non - Jewish Relations, Holocaust Commemoration, Memory, Jewish Heritage, Cultural Politics, Jewish Culture, Jewish Revival, Ethnography, Ethnomusicology, Main Topic: Culture and Heritage
Abstract: Klezmer in Europe has been a controversial topic ever since this traditional Jewish wedding music made it to the concert halls and discos of Berlin, Warsaw, Budapest and Prague. Played mostly by non-Jews and for non-Jews, it was hailed as "fakelore," "Jewish Disneyland" and even "cultural necrophilia." Klezmer's Afterlife is the first book to investigate this fascinating music scene in Central Europe, giving voice to the musicians, producers and consumers of the resuscitated klezmer. Contesting common hypotheses about the klezmer revival in Germany and Poland stemming merely from feelings of guilt which emerged in the years following the Holocaust, author Magdalena Waligorska investigates the consequences of the klezmer boom on the people who staged it and places where it occurred. Offering not only a documentation of the klezmer revival in two of its European headquarters (Kraków and Berlin), but also an analysis of the Jewish / non-Jewish encounter it generates, Waligorska demonstrates how the klezmer revival replicates and reinvents the image of the Jew in Polish and German popular culture, how it becomes a soundtrack to Holocaust commemoration and how it is used as a shining example of successful cultural policy by local officials
A Goy Fiddler on the Roof: How the Non-Jewish Participants of the Klezmer Revival in Kraków Negotiate Their Polish Identity in a Confrontation with Jewishness
Topics: Klezmer, Jewish Music, Jewish - Non - Jewish Relations, National Identity, Jewish Revival, Main Topic: Culture and Heritage
Abstract: The revival of Jewish traditional music in Krakow, performed mostly by non-Jews, provokes the question about the relation of ethnic identity and ethnic music. How do Polish klezmer musicians and cultural organizers identify themselves with the Jewish culture that they cultivate? The interviews with the members of the klezmer milieu in Krakow indicate that the revival provokes them to undergo a complex process of negotiating their Polish identity in confrontation with Jewishness and the Jewish outlook on Polish history. The experience with the music of the "others" inspires them to revise their national myths and stereotypes. While doing that they adopt various techniques that help them achieve a positive identification with their ingroup.