Jewish Poland Revisited

Jewish Poland Revisited

Heritage Tourism in Unquiet Places
Lehrer, Erica T.
Distribution: World
Publication date: 07/19/2013
Format: Paperback 25 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-00886-2
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Honorable Mention, 2013 Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards Finalist, 2013 National Jewish Book Awards

Since the end of Communism, Jews from around the world have visited Poland to tour Holocaust-related sites. A few venture further, seeking to learn about their own Polish roots and connect with contemporary Poles. For their part, a growing number of Poles are fascinated by all things Jewish. Erica T. Lehrer explores the intersection of Polish and Jewish memory projects in the historically Jewish neighborhood of Kazimierz in Krakow. Her own journey becomes part of the story as she demonstrates that Jews and Poles use spaces, institutions, interpersonal exchanges, and cultural representations to make sense of their historical inheritances.

Author Bio

Erica T. Lehrer is Associate Professor of History and Anthropology and Canada Research Chair in Post-Conflict Memory, Ethnography, and Museology at Concordia University, where she founded and directs the Centre for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence.


Honorable Mention, 2013 Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards Finalist, 2013 National Jewish Book Awards, Modern Jewish Thought & Experience categoryJewish Poland Revisited is a timely book on an important topic. Based on extensive fieldwork spanning over two decades, Lehrer’s account of 'Jewish Poland' after the Fall of Communism is rich and nuanced, highlighting the subtle reconfigurations of complex, interwoven Polish and Jewish memoryscapes. Lehrer captures the mood of Krakow’s Jewish district of Kazimierz at the crucial moment of its reinvention in the 1990s. In her vivid prose, all of the social and sensorial textures of the Jewish quarter come to life.Since her first visit to Poland in 1990, Erica Lehrer has been exploring what might be called 'Jewish presence in Polish consciousness' in a country that was once home to the largest Jewish community in the world and now to one of the smallest. The result is a vivid ethnography and masterful analysis of Jewish heritage tourism in Poland today. Jewish Poland Revisited is a major contribution to the new anthropologies of Europe.

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Table of Contents

Prologue: Scene of Arrival
Introduction: Poles and Jews: Significant Others
1. Making Sense of Place: History, Mythology, Authenticity
2. The Mission: Mass Jewish Holocaust Pilgrimage
3. The Quest: Scratching the Heart
4. Shabbos Goyim: Polish Stewards of Jewish Spaces
5. Traveling Tschotschkes and "Post-Jewish" Culture
6. Jewish like an Adjective: Expanding the Collective Self
Conclusion: Towards a Polish-Jewish milieu de mémoire

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