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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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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

Norman Davies. Heart of Europe. A Short History of Poland. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1984. Pp. xxi, 511.

Norman Davies. Heart of Europe. A Short History of Poland. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1984. Pp. xxi, 511.

Chapter:
Norman Davies. Heart of Europe. A Short History of Poland. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1984. Pp. xxi, 511.
Source:
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 1
Author(s):

L. R. Lewitter

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113171.003.0025

This chapter examines Norman Davies's Heart of Europe (1984). The delicate subject of Polish–Jewish relations in history, not being strictly relevant to the main theme of Heart of Europe, receives little attention. Davies writes with sympathy about the extermination of most of the Jewish community by the Germans during the last war and with restraint about the participation of Jews in the activities of the Communist Party before the war and in those of the political police in the post-war period. Those who regard the Poles as traditional anti-semites will do well to note the autonomy and the scope for economic activity and religious life enjoyed by the Jewish community in the Republic of Poland–Lithuania. In the later 19th and early 20th centuries, a conjunction of pressure and reform opened the flood gates of a reservoir of Jewish talent stored up in those areas, making a unique contribution to Polish, and very soon also to western European culture. Nevertheless, Heart of Europe can be considered as an initiation into the arcane elements of Polish history and politics.

Keywords:   Norman Davies, Polish–Jewish relations, Jewish community, Jews, Communist Party, Poles, anti-semites, Poland–Lithuania, Polish history, Polish politics

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