Article by Ewa Tartakowsky

Paying tribute to Joann Sfar’s comic strip The Rabbi’s Cat (Le Chat du Rabbin), Ewa Tartakowsky takes the opportunity to question certain “Ashkenazi-centric” prejudices. Isn’t there a tendency to relate to Maghrebian Jewishness while ignoring its specificities, thereby retaining something of the colonial legacy? In this respect, Sfar’s work, driven by the caustic lucidity of The Cat, is a valuable remedy for appreciating the subtleties of a mixed European Judaism.

Historians Shira Klein and Jan Grabowski have published an important article on the distortions of the history of the Holocaust – particularly in Poland – present on a large number of Wikipedia pages. They analyze the practices of certain Wikipedians, those volunteers who contribute to the editing of the open encyclopedia, who aim to minimize, omit or even deny a series of historical facts; in particular those that affect the image of a victimized and heroic Poland, with a large number of Righteous who saved Jews during the war.

In Poland, the traditional conception of the nation is based on the idea that Polishness is inherently linked to Catholicism. In her latest book, sociologist Geneviève Zubrzycki examines the outlines of what is regularly called a “Jewish revival” in Poland. She explains how the philosemitism of progressive Poles is a manifestation of their attempts to break down the equation between Polishness and Catholicism in order to define a more inclusive and pluralist conception of national identity.

Last week, Ewa Tartakowsky told us about the conditions under which a school visit like the one to the “Museum of the Poles Who Saved Jews During the Second World War – Ulma family” in Markowa takes place today, in the era of the PiS, Poland’s right-wing nationalist governing party. Here is the second and final part of this brush withg a biased, ethno-religious account of the history of relations between non-Jewish Poles and Jews in Poland.

A group of students enrolled in a course on the Polish Righteous Among Nations went to Markowa, in the Subcarpathian region, to visit the “Museum of Poles Saving Jews during the Second World War – Ulma Family.” Ewa Tartakowsky accompanied this visit. She explains how the discourse that accompanies it resonates with the memorial policies promoted by the PiS government. Excerpts from a field diary, part one.

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Thanks to the Paris office of the Heinrich Böll Foundation for their cooperation in the design of the magazine’s website.