Two new books on Jewish heritage issues in Poland

The POLIN museum advertised at Warsaw's Central Train Station. Photo © Ruth Ellen Gruber

Two news books deal with aspects of Jewish built heritage in Poland and other issues of interest to Jewish Heritage Europe readers.

Warsaw. The Jewish Metropolis: Essays in Honor of the 75th Birthday of Professor Antony Polonsky

ed. by Glenn Dynner and Francois Guesnet (Brill: 2015). 626 pp.

The book is a festschrift honoring Dr. Polonsky, a pioneer in Jewish-Polish studies who is now the Chief Historian of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Table of contents

PART ONE: THE RISE OF THE METROPOLIS

Illegal Immigrants: The Jews of Warsaw, 1527–1792 Hanna Węgrzynek
Merchants, Army Suppliers, Bankers: Transnational Connections and the Rise of Warsaw’s Jewish Mercantile Elite (1770–1820) Cornelia Aust
In Warsaw and Beyond: the Contribution of Hayim Zelig Slonimski to Jewish Modernization Ela Bauer
The Garment of Torah: Clothing Decrees and the Warsaw Career of the first Gerer Rebbe Glenn Dynner
From Community to Metropolis: The Jews of Warsaw, 1850–1880 François Guesnet
An Unhappy Community and an even Unhappier Rabbi Shaul Stampfer
Distributing Knowledge: Warsaw as a Center of Jewish Publishing, 1850–1914 Nathan Cohen
In Kotik’s Corner: Urban Culture, Bourgeois Politics and the Struggle for Jewish Civility in Turn of the Century Eastern Europe Scott Ury
Hope and Fear: Y. L. Peretz and the Dialectics of Diaspora Nationalism, 1905–1912 Michael Steinlauf
“Di Haynt-mishpokhe”: Study for a Group Picture Joanna Nalewajko-Kulikov
A Warsaw Story: Polish-Jewish Relations during the First World War Robert Blobaum
The Capital of “Yiddishland”? Kalman Weiser
The Kultur-Lige in Warsaw: A Stopover in the Yiddishists’ Journey between Kiev and Paris Gennady Estraikh
Enduring Prestige, Eroded Authority: the Warsaw Rabbinate in the Interwar Period Gershon Bacon
From Galicia to Warsaw: Interwar Historians of Polish Jewry Natalia Aleksiun
Negotiating Jewish Nationalism in Interwar Warsaw Kenneth B. Moss

PART TWO: DESTRUCTION OF THE METROPOLIS AND ITS AFTERMATH

The Polish Underground Press and the Jews: The Holocaust in the Pages of the Home Army’s Biuletyn Informacyjny, 1940-1943 Joshua D. Zimmerman
“The Work of My Hands is Drowning in the Sea, and You Would Offer Me Song?!”: Orthodox Behaviour and Leadership in Warsaw during the Holocaust Havi Dreifuss
The Warsaw Ghetto in the Writings of Rachel Auerbach Samuel Kassow
Stories of Rescue Activities in the Letters of Jewish Survivors about Christian Polish Rescuers, 1944-1949 Joanna B. Michlic
The Politics of Retribution in Postwar Warsaw: In the Honor Court of the Central Committee of Polish Jews Gabriel N. Finder
The End of a Jewish Metropolis? The Ambivalence of Reconstruction in the Aftermath of the Holocaust David Engel
The Reconstruction of Jewish Life in Warsaw after the Holocaust: A Case Study of a Building and Its Residents Karen Auerbach
In Search of Meaning after Marxism: The Komandosi, March 1968, and the Ideas that Followed Marci Shore
“Context is everything.” Reflections on Studying with Antony Polonsky Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern

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Jewish Space in Contemporary Poland

ed Erica T. Lehrer and Michael Meng. Indiana University Press, 2015

Most of the essays derives from a conference/workshop in 2010 at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC

Table of Contents

Introduction / Erica Lehrer and Michael Meng
1. “Oświęcim”/ “Auschwitz”: Archeology of a Mnemonic Battleground / Geneviève Zubrzycki
2. Restitution of Communal Property and the Preservation of Jewish Heritage in Poland / Stanislaw Tyszka
3. Muranów as a Ruin: Layered Memories in Postwar Warsaw / Michael Meng
4. Stettin, Szczecin, and the “Third Space.” Urban nostalgia in the German/Polish/Jewish borderlands / Magdalena Waligórska
5. Rediscovering the Jewish Past in the Polish Provinces: The Socio-Economics of Nostalgia / Monika Murzyn-Kupisz
6. Amnesia, Nostalgia, and Reconstruction: Shifting Modes of Memory in Poland’s Jewish Spaces / Slawomir Kapralski
7. Jewish Heritage, Pluralism, and Milieux de Memoire: the case of Krakow’s Kazimierz / Erica Lehrer
8. The Ethnic Cleansing of the German-Polish-Jewish ‘Lodzermensch’ / Winson Chu
9. Stony Survivors: Images of Jewish Space on the Polish Landscape / Robert L. Cohn
10. Reading the Palimpsest / Konstanty Gebert
11. A Jew, a Cemetery, and a Polish Village: A Tale of the Restoration of Memory
Jonathan Webber
12. The Museum of the History of Polish Jews: A Post-War, Post-Holocaust, Post-Communist Story / Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett
Epilogue: Jewish Spaces and their Future / Diana Pinto