‘Smocza: A Biography of a Jewish Street in Warsaw’, by Benny Mer, was published in Hebrew in 2018. Like an archaeologist, the street’s biographer exhumes it by tracking down all the traces he can gather (in the press, in poetry and fiction, in the rare photographs that remain, in the testimonies that the author could collect) to give an idea, an image, a reminiscence of Smocza, which he loves like a ghost that beckons you. K. is happy to publish the first chapter of Benny Mer’s investigation of this vanished world, which he says he feels at home in.
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.
After having read Philippe Sands’ essay East West Street, Danny Trom visited Lemberg, once Polish and now Ukrainian, the town at the center of the book and toured in Galicia on the trail of his own heritage. The path of Lemkin and Lauterpacht, the two heroes of Sands’ bestseller, overlaps with those of Trom’s grandfather. Galicia, this was a land of crime and the epicenter of nascent international law. But why does Sands occlude the fact that this was also the birthplace of the Zionist dream, expressed in Yiddish?
Did Eugene Lazowski save 8,000 Polish Jews during World War II? Or not? Barbara Necek looks back at the history of a historical fake news that has become a tenacious legend that has continued to captivate audiences.
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