Topics: Antisemitism, Attitudes to Israel, Jewish - Non - Jewish Relations, Main Topic: Antisemitism, Surveys
Abstract: This article constitutes a meta-analysis of sociological surveys conducted between 1967 and 2010 on the attitudes of Poles towards Jews. This analysis covers factual knowledge about Jews, like/dislike feelings, social distance, cognitive schema, and views regarding Polish–Jewish history. The results reflect a general nonacceptance of strangers as well as a specific type of anti-Semitism with strong roots in and encompassing a broad spectrum of Polish society. In this respect, Poland and some of the other Central Eastern European countries are much alike and distinguish themselves negatively in comparison to Western Europe. Nevertheless, in the last decade a positive shift in Polish attitudes towards Jews has been manifesting itself: feelings of closeness are increasing while disapproving cognitive schemes are decreasing. Further changes depend upon the reconstruction of Polish national identity as well as on the public debates delving into Polish–Jewish relations past and present.
Topics: Main Topic: Other, Antisemitism, Attitudes to Jews, Jewish - Non - Jewish Relations, Surveys
Abstract: On the subject of the Polish-Jewish postwar relations, this paper deals with the pathology of public discourse known as the “conspiracies of silence” phenomenon (see Eviatar Zerubavel, The Elephant in the Room: Silence and Denial in Everyday Life , 2008). The concept in question may be applied to the Polish historic conditions. It helps to problematize the circumstances in which social conspiracies were accumulating around the Polish-Jewish relations in the postwar period so as to pave the way for analysis of the current difficulties in researching the title issues, particularly those that emerged while using a quantitative and qualitative approach to research Polish attitudes toward Jews. The resulting polemical analysis is made on the basis of a text by one of the most renowned Polish sociologists, Prof. Antoni Sułek. His lecture titled “Ordinary Poles Looking at Jews” was delivered at the University of Warsaw, Poland, on 17 December 2009, within the cycle “Ten Lectures for a New Millennium.” It summarises the Polish twenty-year poll-based researches of Poles’ attitudes towards Jews.