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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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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Making a Space for Antisemitism: The Catholic Hierarchy and the Jews in the Early Twentieth Century

Making a Space for Antisemitism: The Catholic Hierarchy and the Jews in the Early Twentieth Century

Chapter:
(p.415) Making a Space for Antisemitism: The Catholic Hierarchy and the Jews in the Early Twentieth Century
Source:
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 16
Author(s):

Brian Porter

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781874774730.003.0024

This chapter argues that as recently as the 1880s, Catholicism, as it existed in Poland at the time, was still somewhat resistant to expressions of antisemitism. Catholicism, in other words, was configured in such a way in the late nineteenth century as to make it hard for antisemites to express their views without moving to the very edges of the Catholic framework. Catholicism and antisemitism did overlap at the time, but the common ground was much more confined than it would later become. If one moves forward fifty years, to the 1930s, one sees a different picture: the discursive boundaries of Catholicism in Poland had shifted to such a degree that antisemitism became not only possible, but also difficult to avoid. The upshot of this argument is that Catholicism in Poland is not antisemitic in any sort of essential way, and that religion did not directly generate the forms of hatred that would become so deadly and virulent in the early twentieth century. None the less, Catholicism did become amenable to antisemitism in Poland, so much so that the Church in Poland between the wars was one of the country's leading sources of prejudice and animosity.

Keywords:   Catholicism, Poland, antisemitism, antisemites, prejudice, Catholic Church

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