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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 Thoughts on Polish-Jewish Relations

Some Thoughts on Polish-Jewish Relations

(p.278) Some Thoughts on Polish-Jewish Relations
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 1

Władysław Bartoszewski

Liverpool University Press

This chapter assesses Polish–Jewish relations. The Poles and Jews shared the same lands within the same country for hundreds of years. The overwhelming majority of the Jews of Poland rejected assimilationist tendencies, steadfastly maintaining the primary value of their separate identity, and a significant number of Orthodox Jews preferred actual isolation from the non-Jewish environment. The Poles too, having numerous links with the Jews arising from the practicalities of everyday life, were not overly eager to break down barriers dividing them. Each side also displayed tendencies of superiority towards the other. Ultimately, the hundreds of years of Polish Jewry demand historical remembrance. Despite the unfavourable environment in Poland, serious interest has developed in the social history of Jews in Poland, in the religion, customs, and culture of people who are no longer there.

Keywords:   Polish–Jewish relations, Poles, Jews, Poland, assimilation, Orthodox Jews, Polish Jewry

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