Vital Signs

Polonophobia, Cont.

"Polonophobia," my essay in the January issue of Chronicles, engendered moving and informed responses for which I am most grateful. Professors Ewa Thompson and Alex Kurczaba and Dr. Wojciech Wierzewski have all praised me generously in letters to the editor [Eds. note: See the Polemics and Exchanges section of the April issue], but, according to Managing Editor Theodore Pappas, their praise may be equaled in intensity by the hate calls he has received from readers who refuse to submit letters. One heartening development is that my essay can now be further discussed in Poland. Two widely respected Polish publications, Respublica and Arcana (the latter edited by the distinguished Polish historian Andrzej Nowak, who is a close friend of professors Thompson and Kurczaba), have both printed translations.

Allow me to clarify what I was trying to say and what I did not mean to say in my essay. I was certainly not maintaining that Poland has no history of anti-Semitism. Alas, it does, but not to the same extent as its Russian and Ukrainian neighbors. Moreover, the interwar Polish republic did not make all possible efforts to assimilate its large and, for the most part, culturally alien Jewish...

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