CS: The Anguishes of Neighbors: Polish-Jewish Relations in the 20th century

Marion Romberg's picture

This seminar will explore the painful and complex history of Polish-Jewish relations from Poland's "regaining of independence" in 1918 through the present day, particularly in the light of the enormous discussion surrounding Jan Gross's recently-published book Neighbors: The Destruction of the Jewish Community in Jedwabne, Poland. While the course will be organized chronologically, discussions will be more focused thematically. Topics will include assimilation and its discontents; antisemitism and the Polish Right; cosmopolitanism and the "non- Jewish Jew;" Polish-Jewish relations during the Nazi occupation; and the legacy of so-called "żydokomuna," a virtually untranslatable Polish term referring to communism as a kind of Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy. Readings will include historical analyses as well as newspaper polemics, poems, short stories and memoirs.