2004 | 2(6) | 185-203
Article title

Komuniści w Polsce (PPR/PZPR) wobec ludności żydowskiej (1945–1953)

Title variants
Communists in Poland and the Jewish people (1945–1953)
Languages of publication
The Polish-Jewish relations are often described by the stereotypes. The one of them is the view on the preference of Communists in Poland gave to the Jewish question and Jewish society after WW II. The article deals with the Jewish question in the activities of Polish Workers Party (PPR) (from 1948 Polish United Workers Party, PZPR) from 1945 to 1953. The author does not focus only on theory (official documents, declarations) but also analyzes the activities of Communists in Poland with regard to Jews. The article also discusses the Communist policy toward other minorities living in Poland after WW II to put the situation of Polish Jews in context. An emphasis is placed on a description of Jewish activities in response to Communist policies. The author concludes that post-war Communist policy towards Jews was not monolithic. Many factors affected the PPR’s views on the Jewish question and the expectations of Jewish society with regard to Communist rule varied widely (e.g. the Zionist’s main problem was emigration of Jews from Poland while Jewish Communist and Bundists were determined to rebuild the Jewish life in Poland after Holocaust). The PPR’s activities in relation to Jews were not monolithic either, but there was one constant goal for the entire period described (1945–1953) – subordination to Communist ideology. The creation of Communist state in Poland was the priority. In this context the Jewish subject, as well as every issue in Poland at that time, had to be consistent with this goal. Some of the concession or privileges granted by Communists in first period of their rule were only part of their takeover in Poland and these concessions or privileges did not go beyond the limits of Communist orthodoxy. The next factor which influenced Communist policy towards Jews deals with the specific situation of Jews following the Holocaust (the necessity of assistance) as well as postwar issues (anti-Semitism, migration of Jews from USSR and emigration to Palestine). An important feature of PPR’s Jewish policy was to use the Jewish question for its own political aims, included wining the approval of the West for new government in Poland through influential Jewish groups or discrediting political opponents by accusing of anti-Semitism. The various views on the described issues were the reason that in PPR the pro-Jews group represented only one of the attitudes towards Jewish question in Poland after WW II. There were anti-Semitic views as well. The article was based on documents coming from archives from Poland, including some new documents from Archive of Institute of National Remembrance.
  • Instytut Historyczny Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
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