Cover Osteuropa 8-10/2008

In Osteuropa 8-10/2008

Forms of Remembrance
Jews in Poland’s Collective Memory

Katrin Steffen

Deutsche Fassung


Before the Second World War, over 3 million Jews lived in Poland. Almost all of them were killed during the Shoah. The Communist regime forbade commemoration of the Jews as a special group of victims. That may have changed since 1990, but the memory of the Jews still polarises Polish society. That is shown by debates over Jedwabne and the postwar pogroms. There exists a competition of victims between Jews and Poles. A mythological-symbolic figure of the “Jew” is present in Polish memory. Moreover, a virtual Jewry has come into being at former sites of Jewish life.

(Osteuropa 8-10/2008, pp. 367–386)

Read this article's international version:
Disputed Memory