Monthly Publications Update, October 2017, PSA/H-Poland Member Submissions

Patrice Dabrowski's picture

(2 entries total: journal articles)


1. Wiktor Marzec. “Under one common banner: antisemitism and socialist strategy during the 1905–7 Revolution in the Kingdom of Poland.”  Patterns of Prejudice 51 (2017), nos. 3-4: 269-291.

Keywords: antisemitism, anti-antisemitism, Endecja, Jewish question, 1905 Revolution, Russian Poland, socialism

Abstract:  Marzec investigates socialist strategies in relationship to antisemitism during the 1905–7 Revolution in the Russian-controlled Kingdom of Poland. An extensive, diachronic discourse analysis of political leaflets reveals a dialogical differentiation of political identities and ideological positions. Antisemitism was an important political device used by the National Democracy party (Endecja) to assist in the construction of a new national identity. It represented a certain discursive binary logic that ushered in a need for a negatively perceived and threatening 'outside'. Jews easily became the focus of this mechanism due to the particular sociodemographic conjuncture of events as well as older, more established Judaeophobic tendencies. This antisemitism was, for the same structural reasons, questioned and rejected by the socialist parties that were struggling to maintain class unity. For socialists, the need to prevent the redirection of class anger into ethnic animosities and to secure the united struggle of Polish and Jewish workers were matters of life and death. While general antisemitic attitudes may be perceived as more common in Russian Poland than in Western Europe, nevertheless domestic socialists of all parties and denominations remained firmly against antisemitism and did not accept the 'economic Jew' stereotype that was often a hidden undercurrent of anti-capitalism at the time. A broader overview of the genealogy of divisions among Polish radicals from the 1880s and 1890s and afterwards, up until the tragic rise of antisemitism from 1910 onwards, demonstrates that an anti-antisemitic strategy was adopted, and subsequently kept in place, as the most viable political identity in the given social and political situation. It remained unsuccessful, however, and some socialist writers started to distance themselves from the earlier, virtually unanimous, anti-antisemitic stance.

DOI: 10.1080/0031322X.2017.1353723


2. Ewa Stańczyk. Exilic Childhood in Very Foreign Lands: Memoirs of Polish Refugees in World War II.  Journal of War & Culture Studies, published online 22 May 2017. DOI: 10.1080/17526272.2017.1328637

Keywords: World War II, refugees, children, memoirs, Poland

The cultural representations of World War II have been dominated by narratives of suffering, victimization, displacement, and death, as much in Poland as elsewhere. But frequently forgotten are the stories of hope and survival of thousands of Poles who escaped the terror of war and found safe haven in distant, and often ‘exotic’, lands such as Persia, India, Africa, and Mexico. To date, little scholarly attention has been paid to the cultural portrayals of these experiences. Conspicuously absent in most of this research is an examination of the Polish refugee children and their personal experience of exile. Building on a selection of memoirs and shorter first-hand accounts, this article explores the authors’ experience of these ‘very foreign lands’, their encounters with local populations and, in many cases, the eventual permanent migration. The stories discussed in this article challenge the stereotypical view of childhood passivity and victimhood and highlight the constructed nature of childhood. By showing the multitude of ways in which children were able to build peaceful, happy environments away from home, often with the help of local populations, this paper is also relevant to the current debate on the ongoing refugee crisis, emphasizing that once it was Europeans who sought refuge in ‘very foreign lands’.