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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 32Jews and Music-Making in the Polish Lands$
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François Guesnet, Benjamin Matis, and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764739

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764739.001.0001

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Singing Their Way Home

Singing Their Way Home

(p.411) Singing Their Way Home
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 32

Eliyana R. Adler

Liverpool University Press

This chapter analyzes the way wartime experiences were reflected in the songs of Polish Jews who escaped the Holocaust by fleeing to the Soviet Union. It introduces both the contours of the controversy and the broad outlines of what the Polish Jews went through during the war years. It also looks into the research about partisans and ghetto fighters that far outweighs their significance and their percentage of the Jewish population in Europe. The chapter investigates the hegemony of armed resistance by introducing the idea of “spiritual resistance,” which encompassed explicitly religious and other actions that raised the human spirit in the face of the Nazi effort to destroy it. It identifies singing as one of the many phenomena to describe spiritual resistance, which is considered an act that could have no possible effect on the war and yet allowed its victims to find the strength to continue living.

Keywords:   wartime experiences, Polish Jews, Holocaust, Soviet Union, Jewish population, spiritual resistance

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