On the neighborhood of the dead: Dissonance in Jewish Kazimierz

Kazimierz, past and present 

The Old Town neighborhood Kazimierz in the city of Kraków is located between Dietla street, the rail embankment and the river Wisła. Kazimierz used to be the home of a Catholic community living in the western part, and a Jewish community that resided in the eastern part. Founded by King Kazimierz the Great in 1335, the Jewish presence of the Ashkenazim in Kazimierz started to grow from the fourteenth century onwards, leading to the erection of many residences, synagogues and prayerhouses [1]. In the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century, Jewish Kazimierz expanded to the Wisła river, adding more houses, places of worship and public facilities. Despite an exodus of especially the more affluent members of the neighborhood in the nineteenth century that was the result of the intolerant nationalisms emerging in the Habsburg Empire, Kazimierz maintained its symbolic significance for the Jewish population of Kraków until the outbreak of WWII [2].

The annihilation of over 90% of the 3,5 million Polish Jews in WWII and the Holocaust (i.e. in the Nazi-German concentration camps [3], as well as in the violent events surrounding it: the Holocaust by bullets, and the pre- and postwar pogroms [4]) however left the numerous cultural heritage sites of Jewish civic and religious life in Kazimierz without heirs [5]. Therefore we could speak about Kazimierz as ‘disinherited heritage’. This term was coined by Ashworth and Tunbridge (1996) to describe heritage sites that no one ‘automatically’ has a claim to, leaving them more venerable to manipulation, misunderstanding and disappearance. For this reason, I asked myself the question how the Holocaust was commemorated in Kazimierz’s memorial landscape today, and what representations of ‘Jewishness’ could be observed amidst this absence of Polish Jews. After liberation from Nazi-German occupation, the Jewish population in Poland briefly amounted to 200.000; leaving just 2.000 of the 60.000 Jews that once inhabited Kraków [6]. More Jews left Poland after a series of antisemitic campaigns in the 1950’s, and more again in 1968, when the Polish authorities under Communism targeted them as so-called “Zionists” part of a disloyal “fifth column” [7] Between these campaigns and 1989, the Jewish population in Poland reached an all time low of 3.000 [8].

From 1989 onwards, the Jewish community of Kraków slowly began to grown again. Jews settled  there for various reasons: reclaiming Kazimierz’s Jewish heritage and religious life, or to seek one’s roots and identity [9]. The comparatively small Jewish community in Kraków makes it unlikely, however, that all Kazimierz’s synagogues and prayerhouses that were restored or conserved during the 1990’s and the 2000’s will ever return to their former function. Although some of the sites have been re-appropriated by the Jewish community — such as the Center for Jewish Culture in a former prayer house — there exists simply not enough revenue, nor actively involved people, to keep up the maintenance of all the Jewish heritage sites [fig. 1].

Map Kazimierz FransiscoFigure 1: Map of Jewish Kazimierz and its heritage sites by Jason Francisco.

The issue that naturally arises — for whom and to what end these historical sites have to be maintained — is in this situation of near Jewish absence a particularly awkward and painful one. But it is also a moral and a political one. The fact that Jewish communities were historically never fully accepted as an integral part of the societies in which they lived, is namely ultimately linked to their ‘disappearance’ in the Holocaust [10]. In a post-Holocaust context, we therefore cannot simply disentangle Jewish heritage — such as that of Kazimierz — from the links they have with Holocaust memory and antisemitism. However, what can presently be observed as a result of this disinheritance of Jewish heritage sites and Poland’s development towards a capitalist economy after 1989, is rather the ‘disneyfication’ of Kazimierz. Indeed, the paradox that one encounters today is how Kazimierz’s urban regeneration — particularly centered around the rediscovery of Jewish heritage — has simultaneously contributed to the near-disappearance of living Jewish culture, sometimes reducing ‘Jewishness’ to commercial kitsch. Jewish-style restaurants and cafés, bookshops, souvenir boutiques selling wood-carved caricature orthodox Jews (holding a Torah or money [11]), hotels named “Eden” and “Rubinstein”, the carts driving tourists to Schindler’s Factory, Jewish heritage routes, klezmer concerts in the synagogues and on Szeroka street, and an annual Jewish Culture Festival: they attest to Kazimierz’s entanglement in the wheels of the ‘Jewish heritage industry’ that maintains a blurred line with on the other side the ‘Holocaust industry’ [fig. 2] [12]. Interestingly, many of these businesses that seem to reduce Jewish culture to kitsch, are actually owned by Jewish ‘newcomers’ in Kraków [13]. Perhaps this points to an internalization of Jewish stereotypes, or at least a commercial benefit in using them, as many of these newcomers often have little awareness of the histories of the Jewish communities that once inhabited Kazimierz.   

Figure 2: Jewish Kazimierz, 2018.

Although Ruth Ellen Gruber (2002, 2007) holds an optimistic attitude towards the role that ‘virtual Jewishness’ plays in creating the possibility of prompting people to a more in-depth understanding of living Jewish culture and its history [14], I believe that Kazimierz’s case reflects a different development. Instead, I argue that the framing of Kazimierz’s memorial landscape of the Holocaust and WWII is actually often done in such a way to evade complex questions around complicity and guilt, while strengthening national myths of Polish martyrdom and resistance. For what follows, I have therefore selected some case-studies that reflect this tendency. Because of their remarkable dissonance, I will highlight two ‘memory narratives’ on the Holocaust and WWII, while surely there exist many more [15]. These narratives seem to compete over the apparently limited commemorative landscape of Kazimierz — something Rothberg (2009) would call the zero-sum struggle over scarce resources, as it exists in the minds of these actors, while Rothberg himself proposes a ‘multidirectional’ approach to the dynamics of memory [16]. The narratives analyzed here are a ‘cosmopolitan’ narrative and an ‘ethno-nationalist’ narrative, respectively reflecting a more pro-European memory paradigm, and recent Polish national contestations towards the former. Moreover, to do justice to the complexity of Kazimierz’s memorial landscape, it seems necessary to me to adopt an intertextual approach and incorporate sites of memory that seem at first sight unrelated to, but are in fact interconnected to Holocaust and WWII memory in contemporary Poland. That is also why it is sometimes necessary to transgress the borders of the strict subject of research — Kazimierz — and include sites that belong to the larger memory landscape of Kraków, Poland and the EU.

A cosmopolitan narrative: The Jewish Galicia Museum

Particularly important for the acceleration of Kazimierz’s urban regeneration in the 1990’s was Spielberg’s film Schindler’s List (1993), being set in Kraków. The film de-nationalized Holocaust memory by making a German — Oskar Schindler — the hero, instead of using the traditional ‘national/ethnic’ model for framing the perpetrator [17]. Moreover, the film reframed the story along a universalist and rather simplistic narrative of good versus evil. This move contributed to the possibility for the globalization of the Holocaust, making the moral message “never again” its abstract mantra. Together with its vicinity to Auschwitz and the Płaszów concentration camp (in which Spielberg’s film is partially set), Kazimierz, holding an indexical link to the Holocaust as a site of Jewish absence [18], became a valuable cultural resource. One of the symptoms of this globalization of Holocaust memory is — as described — that Kazimierz became increasingly commercialized. Head of the education department of the Jewish Galicia Museum (JGM) Anna Wencel, in an interview I had with her, therefore referred to this commercialized strip around Szeroka street as “Jewrassic Park”.

The JGM is located in a former factory building in Kazimierz, and was set-up in 2004 as an NGO to counter the commercialized imagery of ‘Jewishness’, and to give a more nuanced view on Jewish presence in the Galicia region. This border region formerly belonged to Poland, but has been divided between Poland and Ukraine since the 1945 Yalta conference. In the postwar years, the remnants of the Jewish spaces clashed with Polish people’s own experience and memory of suffering and resistance during Nazi-occupation, as well as with the government’s vision of a socialist future that favored modernism and socialist realism in urban planning [19]. After 1968 especially, when Jews became increasingly unwelcome, a politically motivated collective forgetting of Jewish presence took place in Poland. For that reason, the JGM sought and still seeks to fill in the gap of knowledge on Jewish history in Polish society and education that was created in these years. Another important task the museum has given itself — resulting from this lack of knowledge — is to challenge the tenacious antisemitic stereotypes of Jews. In their museum and education practice, the JGM thus tries to draw lessons from the path that led from antisemitism as a form of racism to the extermination of the Jews in the Holocaust. They invite Holocaust survivors to recount their personal stories, and offer courses dealing not only with Jewish history, but also with the creation of stereotypes of muslim immigrants that are based on racial prejudices, circling in the media. In this respect, the JGM could be regarded as a proponent of what Sharon MacDonald (2013) calls a ‘cosmopolitan’ narrative on the Holocaust: not treating history as specific, but using it as a resource for ‘bigger’ and ‘broader’ lessons and urging for moral responsibility in preventing human rights violations [20]. Different however from MacDonalds’ conception of cosmopolitan — often equated with the ‘European’ Holocaust paradigm — is that the particularity of the victimization of Jews in the Holocaust is still frequently acknowledged in the JGM’s exhibition Traces of Memory [21]. 

Nevertheless, I believe the JGM represents this ‘cosmopolitan’ perspective on the Holocaust in Kazimierz, that emerged in Poland’s rapprochement to the European Union after 1989. Since the 1990’s the EU has become more strongly concerned with a shared European understanding of “key moments in its history”. Most importantly in this regard was the ‘Europeanization’  (i.e. ‘Western Europeanization’) of Holocaust memory that followed the shocked responses to the Balkan wars. The images of ethnic cleansing in Omarska, Prijedor, and Srebrenica, prompted Holocaust recognition to become pivotal for acceptance into the European “community of values” [22]. As Assmann (2007) and Sierp (2014) have argued, the Holocaust than became the yardstick with which to measure other forms of human violence, creating a language in which to articulate atrocities such as genocide. For this reason, “to deny or belittle the Holocaust is to place yourself beyond the pale of civilized public discourse” in Europe — as historian Tony Judt puts it [23].

Poland’s membership into the EU in 2004 therefore moved the majority of Polish intellectual and political elites to realign the national memory narrative on WWII and the Holocaust with the EU’s dominant memory narrative. This meant the adoption of the Holocaust as a ‘negative founding myth’ for Europe’s cultural and political agenda of integration, as well as embracing human rights as the main moral discourse and guideline for international and domestic policies [24]. To affiliate yourself with the EU’s dominant stance on Holocaust recognition, and thus with Jewish victimhood specifically and minority suffering more generally, for Poland also meant a way to to get a “European entry ticket” [25]. In this regard, the JGM seems to operate within such a ‘cosmopolitan’ or pro-European memory narrative; understanding the Holocaust as a resource in which lessons, and hence values, can be drawn to secure the future. 

Furthermore, the name of the museum referring to the Galicia region, seems to suggest a revaluation of Galicia as a multicultural region. Aside from historically being a region densely populated by Jews, historically Galicia had a more autonomous status inside the Habsburg Empire and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. This paved the way for a multicultural and multilingual community of mainly Yiddish, Polish, Ukrainian and German. For rapprochement to the EU after 1989 by Eastern and Central European states, Galicia is therefore being used as a cultural and diplomatic resource to appeal to to a similar set of values as the EU, as the region is associated with multiculturalism and tolerance [26]. Through its name and practice, Galicia’s symbolic power is also utilized by the JGM.

Polish ethno-nationalism around Jewish heritage

However, it seems that orientation on the future — in which shared values play a key role — has lost much of its power to integrate in Europe today, and has largely become replaced by the past as the cornerstone for the formation of identity. As a consequence, the Baltic states but also Poland as relatively new EU member states, have shown a curious — although not surprising — combination of “seeking European recognition from and exercising resistance to the hegemonic ‘core European’ narrative of what ‘Europe’ is all about” [27]. While Western-Europe was liberated from foreign powers after WWII, a significant part of Eastern and Central Europe had to cope with a ‘double occupation’ under the Soviet Union, and particularly with a ‘double terror’ under Stalinism. This “double genocide paradigm” (of which the articulation is possible by appealing to the human rights discourse) is nowadays also mobilized for nationalist ends in post-sate socialist nations [28]. As I will argue for the Polish case, this has led to an ethno-nationalist revision of WWII.

The EU’s memory narrative of Holocaust recognition as the cornerstone of ‘being European’, and the EU’s demands for Poland (as to all member states) to come to terms with its past, have lately prompted dissonance in the articulations of an ‘ethno-nationalist’ narrative. This narrative imagines a competing victimhood of Poles with Jews, and constructs ethnic Polish martyrdom and heroic resistance as the foundational myth of Polish self-understanding and belonging. Typical in this is the accusation that although Jews had suffered during the Holocaust, Poles had endured severe suffering due to the ‘double terror’ that was unleashed on them. First by the Nazi’s and than by the hands of Communists, among which were supposedly Jews who were untrustworthy people acting against Polish interests — suggesting a ‘Judeo-Communist’ conspiracy [29]. While the articulations of this type of antisemitic idioms and the competing victimhood paradigm was already noticed earlier [30], since the ascent of the current Polish government under the Law and Justice Party (PiS) it seems to have gained more resonance. The PiS is the party most vocally claiming martyrdom and resistance of Poles against ‘foreign powers’ as the foundation of a proud Polish national identity. One of the first to oppose the Polish national memory as subsidiary to that of the EU, was PiS’s Jarosław Kaczyński [31], the brother of the former president Lech Kaczyński who died in a plane crash over Smoleńsk in 2010 and who lies buried underneath the cathedral of Wawel Castle in Kraków. The current Polish president Andrej Duda (PiS) followed similar lines when trying to pass a law forbidding accusations to the Polish nation in the Holocaust, as well as the use of the term “Polish death camp”. Although the law was — quite expectedly — modified after pressures from the US and Israel (so interestingly: not the EU), this symbolic politics shows a general attitude within the ethno-nationalist narrative in Poland. 

The trail down memory lane in this narrative has led among other things to a revival of the cultus of the so-called ‘cursed soldiers’. These were resistance fighters of whom many were previously members of the Polish Underground State, a clandestine organization that had cooperated with the exiled Polish government in London, and that acted against Nazi-German occupation. Some of its factions later ‘continued’ — in their minds — the struggle for Poland’s independence by fighting against the subsequent Communist government until 1956, when most of them were caught, tortured, and executed, while the government derided their name (in the Museum of the People of Kraków in Times of Terror — 1939-1945-1956, a similar narrative of continued resistance is suggested [link Giulia]). Hence these ‘cursed soldiers’ became a symbol of martyrdom and resistance against ‘foreign powers’. This has led to the celebration of their memory in PiS’s program on “identity and historical policy”. Some of the factions were however not recognized by the Underground State — that in principle was loyal to Poland’s government in exile — for being antisemites favoring Poland freed of Jews and seeing their extermination as a desirable outcome of the Nazi-German occupation [32]. The memory of the ‘cursed soldiers’ is therefore far from reaching a historical consensus. Nevertheless, the cursed soldiers myth has gained institutional support. In 2011, March 1st was chosen as the National Remembrance Day of the Cursed Soldiers. Ironically, this initiative was passed not only with support of the PiS, but also of Civic Platform, the liberal-conservative and pro-European party of Donald Tusk, who is president of the European Council since 2014. As a result of its institutional support (that is also coming from the Church) the cursed soldiers myth is however also articulated bottom-up, leaving traces on a local level in Kraków. In Miodowa street, in opposition to the New Jewish Cemetery, there is a graffiti mural dedicated to the cursed soldiers myth, featuring the symbol of the Underground State, a depiction of a cursed soldier and the slogan “czesc ich pamieci” (“honor their memory”) [fig. 3].

IMG_1066.JPGFigure 3. Graffiti honoring the memory of the ‘cursed soldiers’ (middle), and the sign of the Polish Underground State (right).

Interestingly, the same slogan can be found on a memorial dedicated to the ‘first collectively executed Poles’ that stands at the entrance of the former KL Płaszów in the South of Kraków [fig. 4]. But these interconnections can also be found on other commemorations for the memory of Poles during WWII in the vicinity of Jewish memory spaces. In Płaszów another monument pays “homage” to 40 “Blue policemen” and members of the Home Army of Poland (“ZWZ-AK”) “who served the nation and gave their lives for Poland” [fig. 5]. As Roma Sendyka of the Jagiellonian University told us at the site, the monument was erected by a woman who is a relative of one of the people who’s name is inscribed. However, these so-called Blue policemen are far from uncontested: they were notorious for collaborating with the Nazi’s, and for searching for and rounding up Jews. It seems to me that this remarkable monument that honors both the Home Army soldiers (fighting the Nazi-German occupants) and the collaborating Blue policemen, reflects what I have called an ethno-nationalist narrative. Despite of their opposing positions in WWII, both share an ethnic ‘Polishness’ that, on this site of terror, is trying to compete with Jewish victimhood. The symbol on the top of the monument — the Polish coat of arms, a Catholic cross, and the anchor of the Polish Underground State — also seems an attempt to cleanse the negative connotation of the Blue policemen, by realigning it with the institutions of the Church and the state.

IMG_1085
Figure 4. Monument dedicated to the first collectively executed Poles at Płaszów.

IMG_1096
Figure 5. Monument for 40 fallen Blue policemen and the Home Army at Płaszów.

In Kazimierz, a similar competition of victimhood in the memorial landscape emerges in prima facie sites of Jewish absence and terror. Right next to the Old Synagogue, that now houses a branch of the Kraków historical museum, a small monument states briefly that “On this spot on 28.10.1943 Hitlerites shot 30 Poles” [fig. 6]. The monument, that was already established in the 1950’s, was renovated — I believe not coincidentally — in 2012. Although the dissonance is not immediately apparent, as historically the information presented on the monument could be accurate, the period of the renovation seems to coincide with the growing importance given to the memory of Polish martyrdom in the ‘double occupation’ of Nazi-Germany and Soviet-Communism. By leaving out what the reason was for the killing of these ‘Poles’, and by not specifying the position they had (were they soldiers or civilians?) the monument simplifies how Poles (‘innocent people’) were being killed by their ‘evil oppressors’ (‘Hitlerites’). In my view, the monument (and its restoration curiously leaving the Soviet framing ‘Hitlerites’ for the more widely used ‘Nazis’) echoes the dissonant memory politics of Poland’s contemporary memorial landscape [33].

IMG_2268 (1)
Figure 6: Monument to 30 shot Poles at the Old Synagogue in Kazimierz.

Dissonant memories in Kazimierz

What I have tried to sketch is how the memorial space of present-day Kazimierz reflects both the EU’s ‘cosmopolitain’ memory narrative, provoking as well as revealing the continuity of an ethno-nationalist vision of the past. Appeals to a proud Polish self-understanding that stress Polish martyrdom and resistance seem to gain support in contemporary Poland, utilizing not only national monuments such as the Wawel Castle, but also sites of Jewish absence that are associated with the Holocaust. In this regard — although they are small and local memorializations — these case-studies I believe also show how antisemitism can be closely tied up with Polish nationalism. As a neighborhood associated with Holocaust and Jewish absence, Kazimierz is not only invested in by more ‘liberal’ and ‘cosmopolitain’ narratives, but also seems an apparent recourse for an ethno-nationalist narrative, imagining Polish martyrdom as great or superior to that of Jews. Joanna Michlic in her book Poland’s threatening other (2006) has argued that antisemitism remains largely uncontested in Poland due to the construction of the ‘Jew’ as the significant other to Polish identity. In the ethno-nationalist politics of the nineteenth century, Jews were namely perceived as corroding the Polish body-politic. Also shown by Michlic (but given few attention here) is that this type of antisemitic nationalist politics was mainly practiced not only by Nazi-Germany, but also by propagandists with a strong Catholic bend. Turning to Kazimierz, although showing engagement with ‘virtually’ Jewish culture, seems to me to constitute a memorial landscape in which opposing memory narratives respond to each other, but instead of entering into a dialogue on the past or on the blurred lines running between perpetrators, victims and bystanders, they seem to harden their own visions of the past. Furthermore, it seems to me that the current nationalist memory politics under the PiS-government is lifting the taboo on antisemitic outlets (as practiced mainly by proponents of the Church and the far-right) that as it turns out, remains strongly tied to an ethno-nationalist understanding of Polish identity.

Notes

[1] Romańczyk, Katarzyna M. (2018). ‘Kraków — The city profile revisited’. Cities 73, p. 139.

[2] Murzyn-Kupisz, Monika. (2007). ‘Reclaiming memory or mass consumption? Dilemmas in rediscovering the Jewish heritage of Kraków’s Kazimierz’. Reclaiming Memory. Urban Regeneration in the historic Jewish quarters of Central European Cities. Kraków: International Cultural Centre, p. 366-367.

[3] Mazower, Mark. (1998). Dark Continent: Europe’s Twentieth Century. New York: Penguin.

[4] Gross, Jan Tomasz. (2006). Fear: anti-Semitism in Poland after Auschwitz. An Essay in historical interpretation. New York: Random House, p. 28.

[5] Judt, Tony. (2005). Postwar. A History of Europe since 1945. London: Pimlico, p. 803.

[6] Romańczyk 2018, p. 139.

[7] Meng, Michael. (2011). Shattered Spaces. Encountering Jewish Ruins in Postwar Germany and Poland. London: Harvard University Press, p. 158-189.

[8] Murzyn-Kupisz 2007, p. 368.

[9] Gruber, Ruth Ellen. (2002). Virtually Jewish. Reinventing Jewish Culture in Europe. Berkeley: University of  California Press, p. 9.

[10] Firestone, Michael. (2007). ‘The conservation of Jewish cultural heritage as a tool for the investigation of identity’. Reclaiming Memory, p. 53-54. In Poland — though surely not exclusively in Poland — Jews were part of a national myth in which the construction of ‘the Jew’ functioned as the significant other for Polish national identity. This meant that Jews were seen as ethnically ‘different’ (i.e. ‘inferior’) from Poles. To realize Poland’s ‘full potential’ as a nation and a people— following the myth’s logic — Jews had to be pushed out. Thus, when the Nazi’s invaded Poland in 1939, Poles, especially those who were nationalistically oriented, saw the gradual removal and killing of their Jewish neighbors as a favorable outcome of Poland’s occupation. This myth is the main issue of Joanna Michlic’s book Poland’s threatening other: the image of the Jew from 1880 to the present (2006), that revolves around the question: How central were antisemitic motifs to a wider Polish self-understanding?

[11] The Jewish Galicia Museum, Kraków, made an exhibition about the meaning of these figurines, see: <http://www.galiciajewishmuseum.org/en/souvenir-talisman-toy>. 

[12] MacDonald, Sharon. (2013). Memorylands: Heritage and Identity in Europe Today. New York: Routlegde, p. 189.

[13] Murzyn-Kupisz 2007, 384-385.

[14] Gruber, Ruth Ellen. (2007). ‘Beyond virtually Jewish…balancing the real, the surreal and real imaginary places.’ Reclaiming Memory.

[15] These additional narratives that can be identified are a ‘teleologic-Zionist’ one (found for example on the plaque the prayer house in Jósefa street: “With this humble contribution we wish to honor the memory of those who dedicated their lives to promotion of culture, education, religion and Jewish heritage, but did not survive to witness the fruition of their accomplishments in the state of Israel.”); and a liberal variant combining cosmopolitanism with nationalism as propagated by former president Donald Tusk, among others.

[16] Rothberg, Michael. (2009). Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization. Stanford: Stanford University Press, p. 3.

[17] MacDonald 2013: 189-190.

[18] Doane, Mary Ann. (2007). ‘Indexicality: Trace and Sign: Introduction. Differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 18:1, pp. 1-6.

[19] Meng 2011, 108-109.

[20] MacDonald 2013: 200.

[21] Webber, Jonathan. (2018). Rediscovering Traces of Memory: The Jewish Heritage of Polish Galicia. Kraków: The Jewish Galicia Museum.

[22] Van der Laarse, Rob. (2017). ‘Bones Never Lie? Unearthing Europe’s Age of Terror in the Age of Memory.’ Dziuban, Zuzanna (ed.). Mapping the ‘Forensic Turn’: Entanglements with Materialities of Mass Death in Holocaust Studies and Beyond. Vienna: New Academic Press, p. 156.

[23] Judt 2005: 804.

[24] Clarke, David and Pawel Duber. (2018). ‘Polish Cultural Diplomacy and Historical Memory: The Case of the Museum of the Second World War in Gdańsk’. International Journal for Politics, Culture and Society. Published online, p. 4.

[25] Judt 2005: 803.

[26] Bialasiewicz, Luiza. (2003). ‘Another Europe: remembering Habsburg Galicja’. Cultural geographies 10, p. 21-22.

[27] Mälksoo, Maria. (2009). ‘The Memory Politics of Becoming European: The East European Subalterns and Collective Memory of Europe’. European Journal of International Relations 15: 4, p. 655.

[28] Van der Laarse 2017, p. 158.

[29] See Jan Tomasz Gross’ chapter on Judeo-Communism or Zydokomuna in his book Fear (2006). This ‘Judeo-Communist’ idiom was introduced by antisemitic Nazi-propaganda, framing the Russian occupation of Poland of 1939-1941 as a Judeo-Bolshevist conspiracy. After WWII its propagandist value was again used in framing the Katyń massacre (the killing of 22.000 Polish military and intellectuals by Soviet forces), being a resource for the struggle against non-Polish ‘foreign powers’.

[30] Gebert, Konstanty. (2014). ‘Poland and the new anti-semitism.’ Index Censorship 43:1, p. 99.

[31] Clarke and Duber 2018: 8.

[32] Gross 2006: 46.

[33] On the 100th year celebration of Polish independence, president Duda, among other state officials, walked together in a march with radical nationalist groups such as the National Radical Camp, who carried white supremacist symbols. Haaretz. (November 10 2018). ‘Polish State Officials Walk with Nationalists on Independence Day.’ https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/polish-state-officials-to-walk-with-nationalists-on-independence-day-1.6637143?fbclid=IwAR1qPiIVG-HSp3TwfgYa4yBBwGV6KaN2bmiZa8P8xfAXgsvvu16MpL3TTBw

Front picture copyright: Jason Francisco, Everything and Nothing: Kazimierz 1999/2014.

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