Journal article

Olga Linkiewicz (2020)

Judasze wśród ludu. Żydzi galicyjscy w polskiej etnologii i tekstach etnograficznych z okresu międzywojnia

Short title of the journal Kwartalnik Historii Żydów
Number/Volume 1 (273)
Page references 103-121

ISSN: 1899-3044

This article traces the presence and absence of research on Jews in interwar Polish ethnology. Using the case of Eastern and Western Galicia, it juxtaposes two types of texts which appeared in Polish language: professional academic studies and essays by amateurs. It shows that Polish professional ethnology – if talked about Jews at all – mostly produced studies based on amateur findings which, in turn, described Jews as seen from the perspective of their Catholic neighbors. Moreover, Polish ethnologists usually did not consider Jews as representatives of folk culture. And even if they recognized Jewish folklore as a potential subject of an ethnographic analysis, they refused to see it as a means to a national culture; in other words, to accept the right to Jewish national claims. Additionally, as the Polish Sanacja authorities did not see the Jewish nationalism as a major threat to the national interests and security, the state practically did not invest its resources into the research of "the Jewish question." These convictions, along with antisemitism and growing hostility toward Jews in the academic environment, hampered the development of studies on Jewish culture in interwar Poland.