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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 1Poles and Jews: Renewing the Dialogue$
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Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113171

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113171.001.0001

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A Turning Point in the History of Polish Socialism and its Attitude Towards the Jewish Question

A Turning Point in the History of Polish Socialism and its Attitude Towards the Jewish Question

(p.111) A Turning Point in the History of Polish Socialism and its Attitude Towards the Jewish Question
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 1

Moshe Mishkinsky

, Antony Polonsky, Antony Polonsky
Liverpool University Press

This chapter describes a turning point in the history of Polish Socialism and its attitude towards the Jewish Question. In dealing with the concept of the Jewish Question, the intention is not, as is often the case, to dwell solely upon the legal status of Jews (emancipation) but to view the problems of Jewish existence in their diversity. According to one view, the dependence upon non Jewish society represents an integral element or, even a determinant, in these problems. In the context of Polish–Jewish relations from the historical perspective of the last hundred years, one may discern six aspects of the subject. These include the development of Socialist thought in its different versions as regards the Jews; the influence of the gradual growth and development of the emerging working class in Polish society; the influence of the relatively large involvement of Jews within the Socialist Labour Movement; the impact of the new processes which matured in the last quarter of the 19th century on the life of Eastern European Jewry in general, and on the Polish–Jewish area in particular; the growth alongside each other, but also in conflict, of two political and ideological movements — Polish Socialism and Jewish labour Socialism; and the tension between the Socialist and the national elements which was common to both yet different in its concrete content.

Keywords:   Polish Socialism, Jewish Question, Jewish existence, Jewish society, Polish–Jewish relations, Socialist Labour Movement, Jewish labour, Socialism, Socialist thought, Eastern European Jewry

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