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Traditional Jewish Attitudes Toward Poles

Mark Paul|Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mutual prejudices and stereotypes have been harboured by both Poles and Jews, in relation to one another, for long centuries. However, few authors writing about this topic in the West have detected that Jews, no less than Poles, succumbed to a similar view of the other group, and fewer still have analyzed the impact of Jewish attitudes on mutual relations with Poles. A patently obvious yet much overworked theme in studies of Polish-Jewish relations is that of “Otherness,” with its exclusive focus on Polish attitudes toward Jews.

In a multi-ethnic setting such as prewar Poland, however, where Poles were themselves in a minority in many towns and areas, in a country that had reemerged after more than a century of foreign, colonial-like rule, that focus is skewed as it provides little understanding of the dynamics of inter-ethnic relations in the context of the dramatic social, political and economic upheavals that befell Poland.

Traditional Jewish Attitudes Toward Poles
by Mark Paul
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