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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 16Focusing on Jewish Popular Culture and Its Afterlife$
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Michael C. Steinlauf and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9781874774730

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781874774730.001.0001

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The Kraków Jewish Culture Festival

The Kraków Jewish Culture Festival

(p.357) The Kraków Jewish Culture Festival
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 16

Ruth Ellen Gruber

Liverpool University Press

This chapter describes on the Kraków Festival of Jewish Culture, founded in 1988 by Jewish intellectuals Janusz Makuch and Krzysztof Gierat. The public embrace of Jewish culture in Poland had its roots in the anti-communist dissident movements of the 1960s and 1970s and developed steadily after the success of Solidarność in 1980 opened up new cultural and intellectual freedoms that were only partially stifled by the imposition of martial law in 1981. The pervasiveness of underground networks forced some relaxation of official strictures, too. Many taboos remained in place, but from the early 1980s on, with official sanction that at times verged on co-option, books on Jewish topics were published, research on Jewish subjects was carried out, and exhibitions, concerts, and performances on Jewish themes were held with increasing frequency. The Kraków festival was a milestone in this process and throughout the 1990s served as an important, continuing catalyst, changing and developing as overall conditions in post-communist Poland evolved.

Keywords:   Kraków Festival of Jewish Culture, Janusz Makuch, Krzysztof Gierat, Jewish culture, Poland, post-communist Poland, Jewish topics, Jewish themes, cultural freedom, intellectual freedom

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