Call for Proposals: “November Hopes: Jews and Polish Independence in 1918” a special edition of East European Jewish Affairs

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Call for Papers
December 20, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Jewish History / Studies, Eastern Europe History / Studies, Political History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Ethnic History / Studies

Call for Proposals: “November Hopes: Jews and Polish Independence in 1918” a special edition of East European Jewish Affairs

Guest editor: Michał Trębacz(POLIN: Museum of the History of Polish Jews) 

Editors in Chief: David Shneer (University of Colorado Boulder) and Anna Shternshis (University of Toronto) 


This special issue seeks to evaluate the relationship between Jews and the Polish state in the wake of the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence in 1918. Between 1795 and 1918 there was no Polish state. As a result, the initial loss of sovereignty and subsequent rebirth of the Polish state had enormous impact on Europe’s largest Jewish community. 

Rebuilding the Polish state after 123 years of its non-existence meant that Jews who resided within its territory found themselves in an entirely new political and social reality. The establishment of this new state transformed Jews’ legal status and thus opened up possibilities for new political ideologies and strategies of action, especially in the wake of the Minorities Treaties signed at Versailles in 1919. This special issue seeks add to the historical awareness concerning the history of Jews in Poland and the study of their relations with the administration as well as with non-Jewish residents of the Polish state. 

Some topics we are interested in seeing covered:

  • The relations between Jewish elites and the administration of the new state such as the Regency Council, the Polish Liquidation Committee, or the Provisional Government of the Republic of Poland.
  • How Jewish parties active at the time such as the Bund, Poale Zion or Folkspartey constructed their political strategies towards the new state 
  • How Jews participated in the rebuilding of the Polish state and to what extent Jews wanted or were able to get involved in them. 
  • Jewish hesitation towards the newly established state, driven by a massive anti-Jewish aggression. 
  • Any other topics dealing with Jews and their relationship to the newly reborn Polish state. 

Please send a 250-word abstract of your proposed paper to EEJA by December 20, 2018. Decisions will be made in January 2019. If accepted, papers will be due in for peer review by August 2019. 

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