Granica – różnica kulturowa – tożsamość: przestrzeń lubelskiej dzielnicy żydowskiej we wspomnieniach przedwojennych mieszkańców
Border - Cultural Difference - Identity: The Space of the Jewish Quarter in Lublin as Remembered by Its Pre-War Inhabitants
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For few hundred years Lublin developed as a multiethnic city, where Jews – among other minorities – played an important role, participating in process of creating the city's political and economic institutions and public life. Jews had inhabited a separated district, Podzamcze, since the 16th century and, after 1862, the Old Town and other districts as well. While Jews eventually could be found throughout Lublin by the interwar period, the former boundaries between the "Jewish" and "Christian" parts of the city remained strongly imprinted in social and cultural memory. They were an important element in local heritage and affected the everyday life of the city inhabitants. This article analyses the imaginative boundaries that delineated the "Jewish" district of Lublin in the pre-World War II period. Drawing on oral testimonies of residents who have personal recollections from the 1920s and 1930s, it documents the processes by which individuals invoke urban border markers to situate communities spatially, and in so doing invest those markers with cultural difference. Describing the Jewish district as "different" and thus culturally separated is an important element of an of Lublin's historical discourse, and is central to understanding the complex issues connected with the former ethnic and religious diversity of Lublin. The article also contributes to theoretical issues involving borders, borderlands and multicultural spaces or places.
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