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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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Some Methodological Problems of the Study of Jewish History in Poland Between the Two World Wars

Some Methodological Problems of the Study of Jewish History in Poland Between the Two World Wars

Chapter:
(p.163) Some Methodological Problems of the Study of Jewish History in Poland Between the Two World Wars*
Source:
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 1
Author(s):

Jerzy Tomaszewski

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113171.003.0013

This chapter identifies some methodological problems of the study of Jewish history in Poland between the two World Wars. The growing public interest in the history of Polish Jews between the wars has been the reason for the publication of many books and articles. Some are based on only a superficial survey, others present a deep and penetrating analysis of specific problems. This body of literature deserves methodological consideration, together with a critical review of the most important sources, so that some queries, doubts and suggestions can be raised. During at least the past hundred years, a tradition developed in some Jewish and Polish political circles of treating the Jews as a kind of alien body within Polish society. This attitude can also often be observed in contemporary historical studies, despite the authors' declared intentions. This can partly be explained in terms of the distant past, when Jews constituted a distinctly different class of people with its own legal status and institutions, but there is no reason to maintain such an approach when investigating the history of the 20th century.

Keywords:   Jewish history, Poland, Polish Jews, World Wars, Jews, Polish society

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