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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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Jews and Poles in Yiddish Literature in Poland Between the Two World Wars

Jews and Poles in Yiddish Literature in Poland Between the Two World Wars

(p.176) Jews and Poles in Yiddish Literature in Poland Between the Two World Wars
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 1

Chone Shmeruk

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses Yiddish literature in Poland between the two World Wars. After World War I, a schism began to divide the two major centres of Yiddish literature in Eastern Europe. Despite certain difficulties with Polish censorship and in contrast to Soviet Yiddish literature, in independent Poland, Yiddish literature continued to develop in great freedom. Unlike the case of Soviet Yiddish literature, a direct and natural connection existed between writer and reader deriving from an unbroken cultural-historical continuum and enjoying the benefits of a native habitat. Despite the often bitter internal arguments, there was room in Yiddish literature in Poland for all possible ideologies and trends. Yiddish literature in Poland was essentially a secular literature, although there was also a surviving traditional religious Yiddish literature, as well as a new literature in Yiddish with religious orientations. Politically, Yiddish literature encompassed a wide range of ideological positions, from extreme nationalist literature which totally negated the ideological left, to fanatical communistic orientations.

Keywords:   Yiddish literature, Poland, World Wars, Polish censorship, Soviet Yiddish literature, secular literature, religious Yiddish literature

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