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EN
The past can be described in different ways by historians and sociologists. They differ in their attitudes toward sources for their studies, and in terms of research sensitivity, which directs their analyses towards given aspects of the past. This text focuses on selected sociological studies of the Holocaust and issues of Polish-Jewish relations (before and during World War II as well as during the immediate postwar years). First the authoress refers to sociological works using the historical prospective in their description of Polish-Jewish relations and/or the Holocaust, and, second, to studies (both historical and sociological) which employ categories of sociological analysis in their description. By referring to Nechama Tec's works, shel presents the methodological problems of sociological studies.
EN
The article is an attempt to write a 'cultural biography' of the hair exhibited at the National Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum in Oswiecim. It in that hair has been treated a relic, remains and material constituting a source of various senses. The preface to the discussion regarding the Auschwitz hair is a presentation of their cultural and social significance and the way in which they are manipulated. Using factual data and the recollections of prisoners, the article describes German practices associated with obtaining hair in the concentration camps. The history of the hair in the museum is covered by a description of two successive exhibitions at the National Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, a presentation of the 'corpus delicti' rhetoric, a discussion of the conservation of the hair and, finally, what could be described as their sacralisation. At the end, the article raises the motive of the Auschwitz hair in art.
EN
The article is based on an analysis of reports left by a very young person - almost a child - who in normal times belonged to the silent majority. The exceptional times of the Holocaust resulted in Dawid Rubinowicz keeping his diary. He did so in order to record the nightmare he was living through and to understand the world around him. Consequently, his 'Diary' become a record of the Apocalypse; he described a disturbed world in which moral standards did not prevail nor did the natural sequence of human fate but where chaos ruled. Dawid Rubinowicz's 'Diary' is a record of an individual's fate and a disturbed personality in conditions of traumatising stress. At the same time it shows the fate met by a typical Jewish community in a small town during the Holocaust. As such it is of great cognitive value to a historian. The 'Diary' allows one to recognise not just the facts and events but how they were understood and experienced by participants in historic reality.
EN
This article aims to present the picture of Polish partisans in the accounts of Jewish survivors, based on materials from the Archive of the Jewish Historical Institute. This texts discusses the following Polish underground military formations: the Home Army, Peasants' Battalions, socialist armed groups, the National Armed Forces and the People's Guard /Army (GL/AL). In her discussion of pro-independence armed formations, the authoress emphasises. the feeling of danger still present in those accounts, fear of death even from the partisans. The accounts mention a number of murders as well as difficulties Jews encountered when they wanted to join partisan outfits, not to mention refusals of co-operation from Poles. Testimonies about GL/AL differ from previous ones by their 'insider' perspective, as most of them come from Jews, GL partisans. Perhaps that is why they are dominated by a favourable picture of communist partisans, even though several accounts mention conflicts between the commanders and the Jewish GL partisan outfits
EN
Some unknown letters of Emanuel Ringelblum written in hiding in the bunker on the 'aryan side' and sent to the Jewish conspiracy in Warsaw compiled, decoded and described by Israel Gutman.
EN
This article tells a story of a literary forgery on a Jewish girl's wandering across Europe under German occupation. The book 'Surviving With Wolves', written as an autobiography, was greatly acclaimed in the U.S., and a movie was produced based on it in 2007. This latter circumstance provoked Belgian historians to embark on source research - and it eventually occurred
EN
During a meeting in Hütte in Todtnauberg on 25 July 1967, the poet Paul Celan and the thinker Martin Heidegger hatched a conspiracy of silence in their 'Muttersprache'. The background for it was the experience of Holocaust, and its important expression - Celan's (un)poetical 'Todesfuge' (Fugue of Death) from 1944. 'Fugue of Death' is however not a metaphor of Holocaust but a language saved from it. This language does not assume a simple contradiction of speech and silence. This contradiction breaks down in Auschwitz. It creates a rift in which the speech is not not-silence, and silence - only not-speech. The logos in the antropo- and theological realm breaks down. The coming out of the 'abysmal', redeeming of words is supposed to come into being through an attempt of silence, such as the one created between Celan and Heidegger, in making the non-speech of the witness of the Holocaust sanctified.
EN
Historiography of the Holocaust published in Poland in the period from the end of the Second World War and until the nineties seems quite complex. While it did not ignore the topic altogether, it avoided some topics. Especially in the period immediately after the war, Jewish historians in the Central Jewish Historical Commission in Poland engaged in research and published important pioneering studies along collections of documents. From 1968 until the 1980s. historical research on the fate of Polish Jews during the war became marginalized and was carried out almost exclusively in Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw. Despite a large number of local studies and research on the controversial topic of Polish-Jewish relations during the war, the historiography still lacks a more theoretical study and a new synthesis of the Holocaust of Polish Jewry has not yet been written.
EN
The study is a compact and straightforward guide aimed at anyone coming to the subject for the first time or just looking to improve their knowledge about documentaries relating to Holocaust. The paper offers both skimming and in-depth analysis of seven outstanding works made in the period 1993-2008 focused on key-problems of their distinctly different poetics. Author assembles evidence from the documentary film production of the time to describe the structure of message exposed in its narration, particular catches and figures, methods of lighting, framing, and editing as well as the collective feelings and emotions generated by these films. Hendrykowski considers the basic difference and fundamental conflict between two ways of thinking about manipulation in moving pictures language which establishes viewers' approach to using (or over-using) of various stylistic catches, patterns of composition and narrative figures in this kind of documentary and generally in movies. Marek Hendrykowski's study brings methodological revision of this important question.
EN
The author employs the concept of ‘memoryscape’ (derived from the vocabulary of Arjun Appadurai’s theory) to explore memories of Jews that have been recently re-emerging in Poland’s countryside in various spatial layouts or the lack thereof. This complex process includes the phenomenon of ‘virtual’ Jewishness produced in essentially Polish ‘realms of memory’, simultaneously evoking the country’s multicultural past as a value, a moral obligation, a symbolic resource in the production of local identities, and a commodified resource for tourism. On this backdrop the author studies three main problems: (1) the presence/absence of the Holocaust in spatialized commemorative activities, (2) the impact of the restitution of Jewish communal property, and (3) the process of ‘decommunization’ of Polish public memory. The interplay of factors involved in these processes has in recent years significantly transformed Poland’s memoryscape, sometimes extinguishing certain forms of virtual Jewishness or nostalgic redefinition of the past, and sometimes fruitfully confronting Polish remembrance with a real, if only periodic, Jewish presence. The text concludes with an attempt to present a typology of various attitudes towards memory, space and identity which contextualizes and deconstructs Polish ‘memory of Jews’.
EN
This article is based primarily on an analysis of hitherto unused trial records related to the so-called August Decree of the PKWN (Polish Committee of National Liberation), which was the basis for indictment of those suspected of committing crimes against Jews or complicity in such crimes. Additional sources are contemporary interviews with eyewitnesses of those events, known as 'Oral History'. The authors attempt to analyse the then situation in rural areas in order to study, in this context, the typology of acts committed, the perpetrators, passive participants and eyewitnesses. The article contains rich sources to exemplify the events described.
EN
The article presents one of the most crucial Polish writers raising the subject of Jewish Holocaust. The question of theodicy is analyzed here in particular. The author reconstructs the most essential questions and doubts Henryk Grynberg asks God in his works. They are all based on the philosophy and religion of Judaism. Although there are numerous Grynberg's poems which seem to deny theodicy (e.g. 'Rodowód'), the poet does not throw away faith in God. He assumes that after Auschwitz it is still better to trust the Creator than man.
EN
The authoress analyses two testimonies from the Stanislawów ghetto: Eliszewa/Elza Binder's and Juliusz Feuerman's. Binder's diary, found in the ghetto, begins on 13 December 1941 and ends on 18 July 1942, whereas Feuerman's notes are a chronicle of the ghetto and the destruction of its inhabitants. The purpose of this analysis, supplemented by a biographical context, is to portray - as well as the authoress can - the characters of their authors. The reading of these two accounts, written in the same historical situation is to demonstrate that both the ideological and the emotional reactions to the current events in the ghetto cannot be separated from their personal emotional situation or their pre-war lives.
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Content available remote PRÓZA „TMA NEMÁ STÍN“ A FILM „DÉMANTY NOCI
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EN
The article deals with several versions of the short story “Darkness Casts no Shadow” by Arnošt Lustig and the film adaptation of this work, “Diamonds of the Night”, directed by Jan Němec. Lustig has gradually expanded his story in new versions. The author, who lived in the U.S. in the 1970s and 1980s, obviously rewrote his text with regard to American readers. Jan Němec’s film adaptation, which premiered in 1964, is an experimental film that revaluates cinematic conventions. On the one hand, it uses surreal elements, on the other hand authentic devices.
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Content available remote Holocaust Survivor Testimony: A Brief Overview Of Characteristics And Approaches
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EN
This paper reviews characteristics of audiovisual testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other victims of Nazi crimes. It provides general reflections about the genre of survivor’s testimony, and underscores some challenges associated with this resource. Characteristics of eye witness accounts and their application to educational use are discussed in the second part of the paper. The research used data from the Visual History Archive of the Shoah Foundation Institute, a collection of 52 000 videotaped and digitized testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other victims of Nazi persecution. The Archive is now housed at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. It is the largest collection of eyewitness accounts of Shoah of this kind in the world, and a resource that “shifted the collection of testimonies to a new scale”.
EN
In 1942, Gusta (Gustawa) Ehrlich landed in prison in Krzeszowice. This Jewess from Cracow tried to survive the occupation hiding near Cracow. She was denounced and arrested. The presented collection of documents includes her diary in form of the letters to her daughter, being at the same time the record of Gusta Ehrlich's last weeks. She described the conditions in the prison and relation with the fellow inmates. She also left information concerning the person who denounced her to the authorities, informing them of her origin. In the notes, there are numerous hints for the daughters, who remained at large, concerning both the personal and financial matters connected with running the business. Gusta Ehrlich's letter of 1940 to the Metropolitan Curia, in which the author asks for baptism, is a supplement to the diary.
EN
The text is an attempt at reading Kazimierz Brandys' prose from the perspective of two Jewish motives present in it. The considerations, based on analyses of fragments of the text, concentrate on the traces of Jewish origin in Brandys' autobiographical discourse. They also focus on Brandys' construction of protagonists, trying to find a place for a Jewish tradition in the shaping of a subjective self both in the 'I' in the text and in the biographies he constructed. The self is based on a difficult coexistence of the sense of Polishness and of belonging to Polish intelligence alongside the Jewish nation. The latter is built mainly of the negative, difficult experience. What links Brandys with the Jewish nation is the stigmata, persecution and humiliation. A memorable experience in thus formulated sense of the national self is the Holocaust, and a Brandys-like protagonist construction: a witness, who avoided extermination, but was forced to see the suffering of others. This, in turn, resulted in his painful feeling of guilt and condemned to constant returns in his memory to the difficult experience of war.
Ikonotheka
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2007
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nr 20
117-146
EN
'Behind the Iron Gate' is the name of the massive-scale housing estate in the centre of Warsaw, consisting of 19 apartment blocks, 16 storeys each, designed by a team of Polish architects (Jan Furman, Jerzy Czyz, Jerzy Józefowicz, Andrzej Skopinski) between 1966-1970. This realisation has been interpreted as one of the far-reaching consequences of the Athens Charter which commited CIAM to a single type of urban housing, described as high, widely-spaced apartment blocks wherever the necessity of housing high density of population exists. In the 1970s, the Behind the Iron Gate housing estate was considered a symbol of Polish socialist prosperity. The principles of so-called modern rationalism - that is, 'Siedlungen' responding to the drastic housing shortage, and 'Existenzminimum' understood as the apartment for the minimal existence - became subject to a political propaganda which affected the post-war urbanism in Poland as the country behind the Iron Curtain. Since 1989, the Behind the Iron Gate area is one of the most active construction sites in the city, attracting foreign investments, and gradually shaped as a 'Warsaw Manhattan'. Former green zones and playgrounds now host parking lots, bank and insurance company buildings, business centers, and exclusive hotels. At the same time, the Behind the Iron Gate housing estate is a rather neglected part of the city; the pre-fabricated apartment blocks are often referred to as 'architecture on pension', 'slums' or even 'pathological substandards'. 'A Surplus of Memory' is the title of memoirs by Yitzhak 'Antek' Zuckerman, a member of the Jewish Fighting Organization Command, who took part in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. The Behind the Iron Gate housing estate was designed upon the field of ruins of the so-called 'small ghetto' liquidated in August 1942. On today's map of Warsaw, there are only few ruins in this highly built-up area that constitute the Jewish Route of Memory: a part of the ghetto wall, a gate, fragments of the original pavement and rails, and some pre-war 'memory places', such as the sites of non existing houses: of Isaac Bashevis Singer at Krochmalna street and of Icchok Lejbusz Perec at Ceglana (now Pereca street). Designed as a narrative walk along the contemporary streets and squares of the Behind the Iron Gate area, the paper examines the specificity of urban memory and questions the notion itself. Paul Ricoeur's description of the threefold, interpretative nature of the historiographical operation (as demonstrated in his 'Memory, History, Forgetting') is referred to the concrete urban site with its ambiguous character. Acknowledging the reciprocity of writing history and collecting memories, as well as the difference between the ontological question and the 'hauntological' description, the paper discusses the possibilities of historiographical and commemorative tasks of architecture. The Behind the Iron Gate area with its contemporary in-fills, socialist blocks and ruins, where architecture is not turned into a timeless monument or a museum-district, serves as an example of both the space of memory and the space of forgetting.
EN
Autobiographism relies on a kind of agreement with a viewer, listener or reader on basis of which culture text is deciphered as a record of an author's experience. It can be understood only when an artist's biography is known and functions in society. As Maka-Malatynska argues, autobiographical convention is rarely used in documentary films on Holocaust, which appears to be a consequence of psychological resistance to describing own experiences and overwhelming power of images in which the past is brought back to life. In the strict sense only a few films represent this trend in documentary cinema. An autobiography, an experience of a Holocaust is a theme in films by Mira Hamermesh and Marian Marzynski. In broader sense documentaries co-created by Survivors in which they are protagonists and narrators and where their stories determine film construction can be treated a autobiographical, e.g. 'Miejsce urodzenia' (Birthplace) by Pawel Lozinski (1992). More frequently autobiographical motifs are used in fiction films, although in such case they are not autobiographical in a narrow sense. Filmmakers, like Roman Polanski in Pianist (2002), hide behind someone else's story telling about their own experiences and emotions at the same time.
EN
An analysis and interpretation of Dora Sztatman's text, part of a folder of documents in Ringelblum Archive (Ring I, 1092; nowa sygn. ARG I 288). The text is an account of a young Jewish woman's encounter with two German officers in the Municipal Courts building in Leszno Street and their walk together to the 'Aryan side'. It is an attempt of looking at the historical document not only as a testimony of actual events, but particualrly as a trace of 'mental facts' - desire, dream, denial.
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