Rethinking Poles and Jews: Troubled Past, Brighter Future / Edition 1

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Since Polish Catholics embraced some anti-Jewish notions and actions prior to WWII, many intertwined the Nazi death camps in Poland with Polish anti-Semitism. As a result, more so than local non-Jewish population in other Nazi-occupied countries, Polish Catholics were considered active collaborators in the destruction of European Jewry. Through the presentation of these negative images in Holocaust literature, documentaries, and teaching, these stereotypes have been sustained and infect attitudes toward contemporary Poland, impacting on Jewish youth trips there from Israel and the United States. This book focuses on the role of Holocaust-related material in perpetuating anti-Polish images and describes organizational efforts to combat them. Without minimizing contemporary Polish anti-Semitism, it also presents more positive material on contemporary Polish-American organizations and Jewish life in Poland. To our knowledge this will be the first book to document systematically the anti-Polish images in Holocaust material, to describe ongoing efforts to combat these negative stereotypes, and to emphasize the positive role of the Polish Catholic community in the resurgence of Jewish life in Poland. Thus, this book will present new information that will be of value to Holocaust Studies and the 100,000 annual foreign visitors to the German death camps in Poland.

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Editorial Reviews

The Polonia Portal
The contributors to Rethinking Poles and Jews are knowledgeable persons, experienced in Polish-Jewish dialogue, whose individual efforts over the years have helped to bring about the 'brighter future' foreseen in the subtitle.
Jewish Book World
The essays in this book attempt to demystify the claims and charges made, to shed some light on an emotional issue and to provide information and perspective in our search for understanding and reconciliation. The editors, Cherry and Orla-Bukowska, are to be commended for their efforts.
David A. Harris
These probing essays make a profound contribution to enhanced understanding between today’s democratic Poland and the Jewish people.
Holli Levitsky
In a masterful fashion and with breathtaking reach, the authors in this collection both complicate and clarify the historically tense relationship between Jews and Poles. As stereotypes are replaced with facts by Jewish and non-Jewish authors alike, the powerful truth emerges: that without the work of Polish non-Jews the Polish Jewish historical and cultural heritage would be lost. The value of this conclusion will not be lost on readers whose work and lives depend on the preservation of that heritage. Robert Cherry and Annamaria Orla-Bukowska are to be congratulated on their stunning accomplishment.
Donald Schwartz
This collection of essays represents a compelling analysis of the complex, tortured, and often tragic relationship between Poles and Jews. Taken as a whole, the book exposes the distortions, inaccuracies and misunderstandings that have divided these two peoples in recent history. While exploring the roots of mutual antagonisms, the essays do not whitewash the real issues that continue to separate Jews and Poles, even today. While offering an honest, objective examination of persistent sources of Polish anti-Semitism as well as Jewish anti-Polanism, the authors nevertheless find many hopeful signs of improved relations...In sum, this new study is a welcome and most necessary curative to the high inflammatory dialogue that has often set Jews and Poles apart.
Michael C. Steinlauf
The authors of the essays written for this volume, Poles and Jews, are some of the most knowledgeable and committed participants in the contemporary Polish-Jewish dialogue. Their writings are a ray of light amidst the acrimonious and generally uninformed polemics that still dominate so much of Polish-Jewish relations today.
John K. Roth
As vast as they are vexed, controversies about the relationships between Polish Christians and Polish Jews continue to swirl long after the Holocaust, which intensified so many tensions between those communities. Robert Cherry and Annamaria Orla-Bukowska have performed an important scholarly and ethical service by enlisting highly qualified scholars to analyze those wartime relationships and their aftereffects. This carefully crafted book does more than clarify complex interactions. It shows how sound scholarship can improve human understanding.
Zbigniew Nosowski
In my home town, Otwock, before WWII there used to be five synagogues and just one Roman Catholic church. Today there are ten churches and no Jews. But more and more ethnic Poles discover that our collective memory would be false without Jews.

Unfortunately, Jewish-Polish relationships are full of stereotypes. If you want your opinions on the relations between these two ethnic groups to be based on facts, Rethinking Poles and Jews is a must. The authors precisely distinguish truth from misconceptions.

Deborah Lipstadt
I strongly recommend Rethinking Poles and Jews: Trouble Past, Brighter Future edited by Robert Cherry and Annamaria Orla-Bukowska for a series of essays that pierce the stereotypes which have obscured historical reality.
Deborah E. Lipstadt
I strongly recommend Rethinking Poles and Jews: Trouble Past, Brighter Future edited by Robert Cherry and Annamaria Orla-Bukowska for a series of essays that pierce the stereotypes which have obscured historical reality.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742546660
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/7/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Cherry is professor of economics at Brooklyn College. He has written dozens of articles and four books on discrimination, and has written extensively on the American Jewish community and the Holocaust. He is the author of Who Gets the Good Jobs? Combating Race and Gender Earnings Disparities, Prosperity for All? The Economic Boom and African Americans, Discrimination: Its Economic Impact on Blacks, Women, and Jews, and The Imperiled Economy: Macroeconomics from a Left Perspective. Annamaria Orla-Bukowska teaches in the sociology department at Jagiellonian University, Krakow.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Foreward Part 2 Preface Part 3 Introduction: Confronting Negative Stereotypes: Polish Behavior in Wartime and Contemporary Poland Part 4 Anti-Polish Stereotypes Chapter 5 Introduction: Anti-Polish Stereotypes Chapter 6 Poland and the Poles in the Cinematic Portrayal of the Holocaust Chapter 7 Cinema in the Crossfire of Jewish-Polish Polemics: Wajda's Korczak and Polanski's The Pianist Chapter 8 American Press Coverage of Poland's Role in the Holocaust Chapter 9 Measuring Anti-Polish Biases Among Holocaust Teachers Part 10 Contextual Understanding and Dialogue Chapter 11 Introduction: Polish-Jewish Relations in America Chapter 12 Polish-Jewish Relations during the Holocaust: A Changing Jewish Viewpoint Chapter 13 Polish and Jewish Historiography of Jewish-Polish Relations during World War II Chapter 14 The Holocaust: A Continuing Challenge for Polish-Jewish Relations Chapter 15 Polish-Jewish Relations since 1984: Reflections of a Participant Part 16 Contemporary Poland Chapter 17 Introduction: Polish-Jewish Relations in Poland: Where Have We Come From and Where Are We Headed? Chapter 18 The Evolution of Catholic-Jewish Relations after 1989 Chapter 19 Antisemitism in Contemporary Poland: Does It Matter? And For Whom Does It Matter? Chapter 20 Polish Historians Respond to Jedwabne Chapter 21 March of the Living: Confronting Anti-Polish Stereotypes Chapter 22 Gentiles Doing Jewish Stuff: The Contributions of Polish Non-Jews to Polish Jewish Life

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