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Adam Michnik: Anti-Semitism in 20th Century Poland
September 6, 2018 , 7:00 pm
Polish-Jewish relations have once again become an important topic. In February, the Polish parliament passed a law which calls for up to three years in prison or a fine for anyone—in Poland or abroad—who accuses the Polish state or people of participating in the Holocaust or other Nazi crimes. This attempt to re-write history and criminalize historical discourse has caused the greatest crisis between Poland and Israel in decades. And the law has been widely criticized by Jewish communities throughout the world. In Poland, it triggered both expressions of antisemitism in the media, and protests against antisemitism among intellectuals and in wide social and cultural circles.
In this context, we are once again faced with questions about the sources of antisemitism in Poland: at the turn of the twentieth century, in the interwar years, and after the war, especially during the 1946 Kielce Pogrom and in March 1968. The need to better understand this history motivated Adam Michnik and Agnieszka Marczyk to prepare “Against Anti-Semitism: An Anthology of Twentieth-Century Polish Writings.” In this talk, Michnik will offer his interpretation of the history of antisemitism—and efforts to resist it—in twentieth-century Poland.