Anat PlockerJan 12, 2022
The Expulsion of Jews from Communist Poland
Memory Wars and Homeland Anxieties
Indiana University Press 2022
In The Expulsion of Jews from Communist Poland: Memory Wars and Homeland Anxieties (Indiana University Press, 2022), Anat Plocker examines the campaign of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism that swept through Poland in 1967 and 1968, in the wake of the Six-Day War. Plocker offers a new framework for understanding how this anti-Semitic campaign was motivated by Polish fears of Jewish influence and international power. She sheds new light on the internal dynamics of the communist regime in Poland, stressing the importance of mid-level functionaries, whose dislike and fear of Jews had an unmistakable impact on the evolution of party policy. The Expulsion of Jews from Communist Poland examines how Communist leader Władysław Gomułka’s anti-Zionist rhetoric spiraled out of hand and opened up a Pandora's box of old assertions that Jews controlled the communist Party, leading in turn to a revival of nationalist chauvinism and witch hunts in universities and workplaces that conjured up ugly memories of Nazi Germany.
Piotr H. Kosicki is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of Catholics on the Barricades (Yale, 2018) and editor, among others, of Political Exile in the Global Twentieth Century (with Wolfram Kaiser).