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Illustration: ©Noam Nadav

A Hasidic Spatial Turn

Professor Marcin Wodziński argues that historians have studied Hasidism from a limited perspective, which is surprising considering that it was a movement of enormous cultural significance throughout Eastern Europe, and that it shaped modern thinking about Ashkenazi Jews in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. (…) Researchers, unfamiliar with the geography of the region, found it difficult to assign traditional names to places that fell within the borders of modern Poland or Ukraine. The Historical Atlas of Hasidism remedies this type of methodological error by firmly embedding key questions of Hasidism in a spatial turn.

A satirical look at women's position in Hasidism. Illustration: ©Noam Nadav

Hasidism: An Elite Men’s Club

Professor Marcin Wodziński: „The great tsadikim could afford not to deal with women, which does not mean that there weren’t exceptions. Such unprecedented meetings could even raise a tsadik’s prestige: if he agreed to meet a woman, it meant that she was no ordinary woman, but the Shekhina, the divine presence of God”.

Father Tadeusz Rydzyk presents the Israeli Ambassador Anna Azari with an album about the Chapel of Remembrance /Photo: Ambasada Izraela w Polsce

Father Israel

Excerpt from the article: Father Tadeusz Rydzyk is the founder of the largest Catholic radio station in Poland. An able political manipulator who relentlessly perpetuates anti-Semitic conspiracy theories through his personal media network, Rydzyk has become the face of the most discriminatory and anti-progressive faction of Polish Catholicism. Poland’s right-wing parties both love and need…

Dressed in black: Chana Matusiak. In the background, a brick factory owned by the Berent family from Koźminek. /Photo: Family archive

When Angels Came for Tea

Excerpt from the article: Two families hiding a Jewish man and his young son. Siblings informing on their own brother and his Jewish wife. A decent German army police commander, killed just after the war. Jewish women who died because someone was tempted by their alleged “treasures”. The memory of the Holocaust in Koźminek (near…

Okładka autorstwa Edyty Marciniak / CHIDUSZ 2017

It’s All Happening at the Zoo

Excerpt from the article: The Żabiński Award honors Poles who saved Jews during the Holocaust. It has been awarded since 2015 by the controversial From the Depths foundation, which mimics the agendas of several better established organizations that deal with Holocaust commemoration. The award is the foundation’s flagship project and aims to redress failings on…

Mikołaj Grynberg /fot. Tomek Sikora

Stranger than Fiction [Interview with Writer Mikołaj Grynberg]

Excerpt from the article: He used to think his grandparents had phone numbers tattooed on their forearms. His father used to count the steps to the basement of the building in the Marymont district where he hid during the war. He used to get beaten up at school for murdering Jesus. Years later, he organized…

Renovation of the mikvah in Wrocław, Autumn 2017/ Photo: Tomasz Fila

Poland’s Mikvahs

Excerpt from the article: “I won’t tell you more than I can, and I cannot tell you much,” she says, opening a brochure entitled Balanit’s Mission. We’re sitting at her desk by the entrance to the mikvah in Łódź. Teresa, called ‘Aunt’ by local Jewish community members, chooses her words carefully. She won’t disclose the…

After over 70 years, Madeleine Alster came to Korczyna with her children and grandchildren to once again see the house where her life was saved.

Good Walls Make Good Neighbors

Excerpt from the article: German soldiers were murdering children in the market square and leading the last Jews from Korczyna to death. She was eleven years old. Her mother told her to go over to a stranger. She didn’t say anything else and didn’t give her anything to take with her. The man put her…

The boarding school building and houses located on the grounds of the former cemetery in Kalisz.

The Cemetery of Jewish Liberties

Excerpt from the article: In 2000, the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland submitted a request to the Property Commission for the old Jewish cemetery in Kalisz to be returned to its rightful owner. It took years for the local authorities and the Union to negotiate and draft a complex agreement stipulating its return.…