Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another

thescroll_header

No More Fear

After World War II, many Polish Jews abandoned their faith. Now their children are rediscovering the religion and culture that was hidden from them.

Print Email
Jewish Market Day on Próżna Street in Warsaw.(Milan Durovic)

Malgorzata Lubinska, a 50-something Warsaw resident, always knew there was “something strange about our family,” she says. When she was in her 30s, she learned what that something was: Her family had been Jewish. After World War II, violence toward Jews and discrimination were facts of life in Poland; those who chose to stay were, almost by definition, those who were prepared to leave their Jewishness behind, as did Lubinska’s family. But as things have changed, a new generation that includes Malgorzata is exploring the faith and culture their parents took pains to conceal. Lubinska spoke to Natalie Kestecher for the Australian radio documentary “My Fear of Poland,” produced for ABC Radio National’s 360documentaries, in which Kestecher traces her family’s Polish heritage and explores the country’s Jewish renaissance. Vox Tablet presents Lubinska’s story, and you can find the entire broadcast here. [Running time: 8:41.] 

Print Email
JackieFour says:

Wonderful! Thank you.

SKLevine says:

Having been to Poland this past summer with a teachers’ group from New Jersey…and the Israeli Army’s Edim B’ Madim program, I had many of the same reactions that the documentarian had. I didn’t want to go to Poland, but I did (most of my mother’s family had been murdered at Auschwitz). I couldn’t understand why any Jew would want to live in Poland today, but I did understand. It was a very emotional and very life-affirming journey for which I will be forever greatful.

Barrie Rockman says:

Interesting and moving.
My partner here (Israel) is a tourist guide and leads Polish groups around Israel. She tells me that quite a few of the ostensibly Catholic tourists ‘indicate’ to her that they or their families were jewish.

Michal says:

I think, nowadays the antisemitism is much less than in eg. France. No political parties exist with antisemitic slogans like Hungarian’s Jobbik party. The media, generally speaking, are not anti-Israeli and two main daily newspapers take either pro-Jewish stand (center-left Gazeta Wyborcza) or pro-Israeli (center-right Rzeczpospolita).

After listening to this 8′ story, my impression is, the Jewish life in Poland nowadays has again been reduced to bnei-anusim-like-picture, which is far to obsolete now… I don’t say you are guaranteed to put on yarmulkeh and walk thru the streets. But some do it. Some others meet in smaller societies, like youth-oriented (youth of at least Jewish descent): Cracow’s Czulent, Warsaw’s ŻOOM and others. There are some small internet forums and many Polish Jews (or descents) to be met on Facebook.

Marty Janner says:

As an American Jew born in the states which by itself is quite extraordinary due to the fact that both sets of grandparents emigrated here in the 1890’s, one from Minsk and the other from Roumania my circumstance could have been the same!

The thing that always me is that the newer arrivals for some unexplainable reason, develop a relationship with the faith of their fathers, this, also applies to those who remain in their home countries.

Apparently, it’s that mystical thread, that is beyond definition!

Elizabeth Dunievitz says:

Very interested in your magazine, and would like to be contacted through my e-mail address. I am a Jewish American female writer who had lost contact from her faith for five years while residing in a goy household. I am now recovering from spiritual abuse through intimate, loving relationships with people who are open-minded with regards to Judaism. I am concerned about the prevalence of Holocaust denial in modern society. I attended a Solomon Schechter academy for seven years before entering American public school. I have some college, and I continue to write books about Jewish life in America.

I am a 2nd generation jew from both sides and have been visiting Poland for 16 years. In Krakow I wear my Kippa and have never rec’d anything but welcoming remarks and people wishing to communicate with Jews and wishing to learn and understand.
Yes a jewish revival without Jews but heartening nonetheless, visit during Jewish Heritage festival from the 24th June 2011 a real treat

I am a 2nd generation jew from both sides and have been visiting Poland for 16 years. In Krakow I wear my Kippa and have never rec’d anything but welcoming remarks and people wishing to communicate with Jews and wishing to learn and understand.
Yes a jewish revival without Jews but heartening nonetheless, visit during Jewish Heritage festival from the 24th June 2011 a real treat
Further details on http://www.jewishheritagetours.co.uk

Many Poles who are interested in Klezmer music or other aspects of Jewish cultural may have Jewish souls according to an American Progressive Rabbi; Allen Maller who was a scholar in residence at the Reform Synagogue Beit Warzawa in September and October of 2010. Rabbi Maller spoke of a Kabbalah teaching that Jewish souls from previous generations of Jews who were cut off from the Jewish people and left no Jewish descendants, were reincarnated in their non-Jewish descendants 3-7 generations later. To learn more about reincarnation and 5 ways to learn if you have a Jewish soul, see Rabbimaller.com

I’ve said that least 3891489 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

Excellent post.Like exciting read and details, thanks for sharing this publish, I??ve already bookmarked your blog. I can see that you’re putting a lot of time and effort into your weblog and detailed articles!

Thanks, Your post is an excellent example of why I keep coming back to read your excellent quality commentary….

I have recently started a site, the info you provide on this website has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work.

2000

Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

No More Fear

After World War II, many Polish Jews abandoned their faith. Now their children are rediscovering the religion and culture that was hidden from them.

More on Tablet:

Rediscovering the First Woman Rabbi

By Laura Geller — Ordained in 1935, Regina Jonas died at Auschwitz. Now, she’s being honored.