Ármin(ius) Vámbéry and the problem of antisemitism. In his article the author deals with the problem of antisemitism Á. Vámbéry was confronted with. The author has narrow his survey to some topoi and their reflections in contemporary German-speaking newspapers as well as statements of German-speaking academics concerning his “Jewishness”.
2018 amendment of the act on the Polish Institute of National Remembrance that was passed by the Polish Sejm in January 2018 raised a vibrant public debate about Polish-Jewish relations. In this article, we try to trace the dynamics of this debate and assess its consequences for contemporary Polish-Jewish relations and present-day representations of the relations between Poles and Jews during the German occupation in 1939–1945. To this end, we present the analysis of social media content, data from search engines, as well as the results of two nationwide polls conducted at the beginning of 2018. These studies indicate that the debate on amendment of the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance has increased the expression of antisemitic prejudice in the media and on the internet, increased the presence of defective codes of memory, and at the same time polarized the Polish debate about the behavior of Poles during the Holocaust. The results of these analyzes are discussed in the context of earlier debates on the Polish-Jewish relations during Nazi occupation, referring to the category of “secondary antisemitism” that receives growing support in current social sciences.
The motto of Zofia Nałkowska’s short-story collection Medaliony [Medalions] – “People doomed people to this fate” [Polish, “Ludzie ludziom zgotowali ten los”] – as obvious as it may apparently seem, has aroused various controversies. Henryk Grynberg believed that the only right formula, the one that would do justice to those persecuted, would have been “People doomed Jews to this fate”. Recently, the discussion was resumed in a book on the portrayal of the Holocaust in Medaliony – Zagłada w „Medalionach” Zofii Nałkowskiej, edited by Tomasz Żukowski: one of its essays (by Żukowski and Aránzazu Calderón Puerta) notices that endeavours to universalise the Holocaust is at least premature for the Poles tending to avoid facing the truth about their own contribution to annihilation of the Jews. While the threads addressed in these debates are important, they disregard the beliefs and the system of values Nałkowska adhered to. The Polish novelist adopted the view that man and the pleasure he takes in inflicting pain is the actual cause of evil. This inclination revealed itself not only during the war. This more general observation was rooted in her knowledge of life, relations between people, and daily cruelty. Supported by an ideology and furnished with technical resources, the war added a historical dimension to this bent. Moreover, Nałkowska was definitely not one among those who stayed silent in respect of the Jewish victims. Conversely, a few of the stories in Medaliony speak exactly about this problem, never trying to conceal anti-Semitic attitudes among Poles.