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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 11Focusing on Aspects and Experiences of Religion$
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Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774051

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774051.001.0001

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Jewish Martyrdom in the Works of Adolf Rudnicki

Jewish Martyrdom in the Works of Adolf Rudnicki

(p.247) Jewish Martyrdom in the Works of Adolf Rudnicki*
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 11

Józef Wróbel

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the theme of Jewish martyrdom in the works of Adolf Rudnicki. Without losing sight of the universal dimensions of the theme he was taking up, Rudnicki enriches the subject-matter with characteristics that are specifically Jewish. First, the situation of Jewish society during the occupation differed from that of other nations. Jews were pushed to the very bottom of the invader's hierarchy. Their life and death depended not only on Germans but also on the aid of Poles among whom they lived, which was not always forthcoming. A second specific feature is derived from Rudnicki's chosen artistic genre, which monumentalized the suffering of Jews by including them in the biblical circle and the almost 2,000-year history of the Diaspora, the wandering and persecution with which God tries his chosen people. This problem dominated the writing of Rudnicki for at least ten years. Undoubtedly, the literary situation in the first half of the 1950s was decisive in Rudnicki's abandonment of the theme, since the subject of the war was quickly recognized as outdated. The chapter then studies occupation literature.

Keywords:   Jewish martyrdom, Adolf Rudnicki, Jewish society, Jews, occupation literature

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