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CENSOR GUARDING THE CHURCH. KRYSTYNA MODRZEWSKA'S CENSURED DIARY (PREFACED AND EDITED BY JACEK LEOCIAK) (Cenzor na strazy Kosciola. Ocenzurowany pamietnik Krystyny Modrzewskiej (wstep i opracowanie - Jacek Leociak))

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In the three subsequent issues of 'The Bulletin of the Jewish Historical Institute' of 1959 and 1960, the diary of Krystyna Modrzewska (Mendalbaum), submitted to the Central Jewish Historical Commission in 1947, was published. The first part, which opens with the outbreak of the war and ends with mass executions of the Jews in a forest near Krepiec, outside Lublin in spring 1942, was massacred by the censorship. The authoress writes, among other things, about hiding in the nunnery of the Congregation of Sisters of the Bethany Family outside Lublin, and she harshly judges the relations there. It turns out that the communist censor eliminated the record concerning critical views on the nuns' mentality, their intellectual and moral standards. The censor did not approve of the comments about nunnery's everyday life and church religious rituals, the clergy's hypocrisy and the increasingly materialistic views of this group. The censor's interference in the field of the authoress' religious experience is even more acute as Modrzewska's diary rates among a small group of testimonies describing adult Jews hiding in monasteries and convents. All those fragments has been restored in the current edition and placed in the context of the whole. Reading the integrated fragments of Modrzewska's diary about hiding in the convent, it is worth pondering why a person (who had been baptized as a student of the university of Bologna, treating this ceremony very seriously, not opportunistically) experiences such a sheer disappointment in the convent near Lublin.
  • Jacek Leociak, Instytut Badan Literackich PAN, ul. Nowy Swiat 72, 00-330 Warszawa, Poland
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