- Pub. Date:
- Littman Library of Jewish Civilization
Until 1939 Poland was the heartland of European Jewry, and the Polish Jewish community was still one of the largest and most important in the world. For nine centuries it was one of the central forces in the shaping of Jewish culture and its impact on the shaping of modern Jewry-religious and secular-was profound. An understanding of the history of the Jews of Poland is thus essential to a proper understanding of Jewish history. This book, comprising a selection of studies drawn from the first seven volumes of Polin, provides that understanding. Written by scholars from Europe (including Poland itself), Israel, and North America, it illuminates the most critical aspects of the history of the Jews in Poland and illustrates how these issues are being treated by the leading and most innovative scholars in the field. A broad spectrum of subjects is discussed, covering the origins and development of the community and the many crises it experienced from the earliest date of Jewish settlement in Poland to the establishment of Communist rule in postwar Poland.
Maps and a chronology of Polish Jewish history are also provided, and the book is prefaced by an extensive introduction by Antony Polonsky, general editor of Polin.