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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 13Focusing on the Holocaust and its Aftermath$
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Antony Polonsky and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774600

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774600.001.0001

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Black is Black

Black is Black

(p.303) Black is Black
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 13

Stanisław Musiał

Gwido Zlatkes

Liverpool University Press

This chapter investigates how Poles react to the Revd Henryk Jankowski's antisemitic statements. If in any Western country, a cleric (a Catholic priest as well known as the Revd Jankowski) presented such antisemitic opinions, many people of good will would protest in the streets. In Poland, it is still impossible. Though in Polish society, sensitivity and solidarity seem to be awakening today, they express themselves in only one context: where an exceptionally hideous murder has been committed. The chapter argues that in Poland, it will be a long time before antisemitic excesses or statements will get people moving. After all that happened in the land at the hands of the Nazis, there is still no social awareness that antisemitism is deadly by its nature, and in every form, even if often not directly or immediately. In this regard, the past is taking its toll: not long ago the subject of antisemitism was taboo, and to be a patriot meant, in the interpretation of the ruling Communist Party, to be anti-Zionist, which in practice equalled being an antisemite.

Keywords:   Poles, Henryk Jankowski, antisemitic statements, Catholic priest, Poland, Polish society, social awareness, antisemitism, antisemites

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