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Antisemitism in an Era of Transition

Continuities and Impact in Post-Communist Poland and Hungary

Edited By François Guesnet and Gwen Jones

The post-Communist transition in Eastern Central Europe has brought about democratic reform, liberalized economies and accession to the European Union, but also the emergence of political movements that revert to antisemitic rhetoric and arguments. This volume compares the genealogies and impact of antisemitism in contemporary Poland and Hungary. Leading and emerging scholars contrast developments in both countries from the last quarter of the nineteenth century to the present, analysing the roles played by organised religion, political leaders, media and press, but also by Communist Parties. They present historical analysis as well as the results of qualitative and quantitative research on contemporary public memory, the image of the Jew, antisemitic media, political constituencies and the interplay of prejudices, specifically anti-Roma racism. A topical bibliography of research on antisemitism in post-Communist Eastern Central Europe offers pathways to further research.
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Why Do Polish Catholics Hate the Jews? A reasoned answer to a stupid question: Brian Porter-Szucs


Brian Porter-Szűcs

[Antisemitism] is fundamentally evil and practically dangerous. Evil because it is anti-Christian, unjust, and unmerciful. One may not hate one’s neighbour just because God created him different than me. Such so-called antisemitism, moreover, can be dangerous in practice because no one knows where it might lead, where it will stop, where such unbridled hatred of one part of the population against another will lead, once it has been taken up… May God protect us against antisemitism.

Count Stanisław Tarnowski (1893)1

All the materialism, all the blindness and hatred that we see in the short life story of the Saviour of the World had accumulated among the Jews gradually, over the course of entire generations. Fathers passed to their children with their blood and with their estates their customs, prejudices, false views and mistaken hopes—and this heritage of poisoned hearts and evil consciences grew ever larger and ever worse. The guilt rose with every generation, so that the whole nation was responsible for deicide—and as a result the whole nation had to bear the punishment for a general sin.

Father Zygmunt Pilch (1925)2

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