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The history of the Jews
Jews
in Poland
Poland
dates back over 1,000 years. For centuries, Poland
Poland
was home to the largest and most significant Jewish community in the world. Poland
Poland
was the centre of Jewish
Jewish
culture, thanks to a long period of statutory religious tolerance and social autonomy. This ended with the Partitions of Poland
Poland
which began in 1772, in particular, with the discrimination and persecution of Jews in the Russian Empire. During World War II
World War II
there was a nearly complete genocidal destruction of the Polish Jewish
Jewish
community by Nazi Germany and its collaborators, during the 1939–1945 German occupation of Poland
Poland
and the ensuing Holocaust. Since the fall of communism in Poland, there has been a Jewish
Jewish
revival, characterized by the annual Jewish
Jewish
Culture Festival, new study programmes at Polish high schools and universities, the work of synagogues such as the Nożyk and the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. From the founding of the Kingdom of Poland
Poland
in 1025 through to the early years of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth
created in 1569, Poland
Poland
was the most tolerant country in Europe.[4] Known as paradisus judaeorum ( Latin
Latin
for " Paradise
Paradise
of the Jews"), it became a shelter for persecuted and expelled European Jewish
Jewish
communities and the home to the world's largest Jewish
Jewish
community of the time. According to some sources, about three-quarters of the world's Jews
Jews
lived in Poland
Poland
by the middle of the 16th century.[5][6][7] With the weakening of the Commonwealth and growing religious strife (due to the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation), Poland's traditional tolerance[8] began to wane from the 17th century onward.[9] After the Partitions of Poland
Poland
in 1795 and the destruction of Poland
Poland
as a sovereign state, Polish Jews
Jews
were subject to the laws of the partitioning powers, the increasingly antisemitic Russian Empire,[10] as well as Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
and Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
(later a part of the German Empire). Still, as Poland
Poland
regained independence in the aftermath of World War I, it was the center of the European Jewish world with one of the world's largest Jewish
Jewish
communities of over 3 million. Antisemitism
Antisemitism
was a growing problem throughout Europe
Europe
in those years, from both the political establishment and the general population.[11] At the start of World War II, Poland
Poland
was partitioned between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
(see Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact). One-fifth of the Polish population perished during World War II, half of them were 3,000,000 Polish Jews
Jews
murdered in The Holocaust, constituting 90% of Polish Jewry.[12][13] Although the Holocaust occurred largely in German-occupied Poland, there was little collaboration with the Nazis by its citizens. Collaboration by individual Poles
Poles
has been described as smaller than in other occupied countries.[14][15] Statistics of the Israeli War Crimes Commission indicate that less than 0.1% of Poles
Poles
collaborated with the Nazis.[16] Examples of Polish attitudes to German atrocities varied widely, from actively risking death in order to save Jewish
Jewish
lives,[17] and passive refusal to inform on them; to indifference, blackmail,[18] and in extreme cases, participation in pogroms such as the Jedwabne pogrom. Grouped by nationality, Poles
Poles
represent the largest number of people who rescued Jews
Jews
during the Holocaust.[19][20]

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In the postwar period, many of the approximately 200,000 Jewish survivors registered at Central Committee of Polish Jews
Jews
or CKŻP (of whom 136,000 arrived from the Soviet Union)[20][21][22] left the People's Republic of Poland
Poland
for the nascent State of Israel
Israel
and North or South America. Their departure was hastened by the destruction of Jewish
Jewish
institutions, post-war violence and the hostility of the Communist Party to both religion and private enterprise, but also because in 1946–1947 Poland
Poland
was the only Eastern Bloc
Eastern Bloc
country to allow free Jewish
Jewish
aliyah to Israel,[23] without visas or exit permits.[24][25] Britain demanded Poland
Poland
to halt the exodus, but their pressure was largely unsuccessful.[26] Most of the remaining Jews
Jews
left Poland
Poland
in late 1968 as the result of the Soviet-sponsored[27] "anti-Zionist" campaign. After the fall of the Communist regime in 1989, the situation of Polish Jews
Jews
became normalized and those who were Polish citizens before World War II
World War II
were allowed to renew Polish citizenship. Religious institutions were revived, largely through the activities of Jewish
Jewish
foundations from the United States. The contemporary Polish Jewish
Jewish
community is estimated to have approximately 20,000 members,[28] though the actual number of Jews, including those who are not actively connected to Judaism
Judaism
or Jewish culture, may be several times larger.[29]

Contents

1 Early history to Golden Age: 966–1572

1.1 Early history: 966–1385 1.2 The early Jagiellon era: 1385–1505 1.3 Center of the Jewish
Jewish
world: 1505–72

2 The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth: 1572–1795

2.1 The Cossack
Cossack
uprising and the Deluge

3 The development of Judaism
Judaism
in Poland
Poland
and the Commonwealth

3.1 Jewish
Jewish
learning 3.2 The rise of Hasidism

4 The Partitions of Poland 5 Jews
Jews
of Poland
Poland
within the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
(1795–1918)

5.1 Pale of Settlement 5.2 Pogroms
Pogroms
within the Russian Empire 5.3 Haskalah
Haskalah
and Halakha 5.4 Politics in Polish territory

6 Interwar period
Interwar period
1918–1939

6.1 Fight for independence and Polish Jews 6.2 Jewish
Jewish
and Polish culture 6.3 Growing antisemitism

7 World War II
World War II
and the destruction of Polish Jewry (1939–45)

7.1 The Polish September campaign 7.2 Territories annexed by the USSR (1939–41) 7.3 The Holocaust: German-occupied Poland 7.4 Ghettos
Ghettos
and death camps

7.4.1 Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto
Ghetto
and its uprising 7.4.2 Białystok
Białystok
Ghetto
Ghetto
and uprising

8 Communist rule: 1945–1989

8.1 Postwar period 8.2 Aliyah
Aliyah
Bet 8.3 1967–1989

9 Since 1989 10 Numbers of Jews
Jews
in Poland
Poland
since 1920 11 See also 12 Notes 13 References 14 Further reading

14.1 Maps 14.2 History of Polish Jews 14.3 World War II
World War II
and the Holocaust

Early history to Golden Age: 966–1572[edit]

The Reception of the Jews
Jews
in Poland. Painting by Jan Matejko, 1889

Adalbert of Prague
Adalbert of Prague
freeing Slavic Christian
Christian
slaves from Jewish merchants—relief of Gniezno
Gniezno
Cathedral Doors

Main article: Jews
Jews
in the Middle Ages Further information: History of Jews
Jews
in Poland
Poland
before the 18th century Early history: 966–1385[edit] Main article: History of Poland
Poland
(966-1385) The first Jews
Jews
arrived in the territory of modern Poland
Poland
in the 10th century. By travelling along the trade routes leading eastwards to Kiev
Kiev
and Bukhara, Jewish
Jewish
merchants, known as Radhanites, crossed the areas of Silesia. One of them, a diplomat and merchant from the Moorish town of Tortosa
Tortosa
in Spanish Al-Andalus, known under his Arabic name of Ibrahim ibn Jakub, was the first chronicler to mention the Polish state under the rule of prince Mieszko I. In the summer of 965 or 966 Jacob made a trade and diplomatic journey from his native Toledo in Muslim Spain to the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
and Slavonic countries.[30] The first actual mention of Jews
Jews
in Polish chronicles occurs in the 11th century. It appears that Jews
Jews
were then living in Gniezno, at that time the capital of the Polish kingdom of the Piast dynasty. Among the first Jews
Jews
to arrive in Poland
Poland
(in 1097 or 1098) were those banished from Prague.[30] The first permanent Jewish community is mentioned in 1085 by a Jewish
Jewish
scholar Jehuda ha-Kohen in the city of Przemyśl.[31]

Early medieval Polish coins with Hebrew inscriptions

The first extensive Jewish
Jewish
emigration from Western Europe
Western Europe
to Poland occurred at the time of the First Crusade
First Crusade
in 1098. Under Bolesław III (1102–1139), the Jews, encouraged by the tolerant regime of this ruler, settled throughout Poland, including over the border in Lithuanian territory as far as Kiev.[32] Bolesław III recognized the utility of Jews
Jews
in the development of the commercial interests of his country. Jews
Jews
came to form the backbone of the Polish economy. Mieszko III employed Jews
Jews
in his mint as engravers and technical supervisors, and the coins minted during that period even bear Hebraic markings.[30] Jews
Jews
worked on commission for the mints of other contemporary Polish princes, including Casimir the Just, Bolesław I the Tall and Władysław III Spindleshanks.[30] Jews
Jews
enjoyed undisturbed peace and prosperity in the many principalities into which the country was then divided; they formed the middle class in a country where the general population consisted of landlords (developing into szlachta, the unique Polish nobility) and peasants, and they were instrumental in promoting the commercial interests of the land. Another factor for the Jews
Jews
to emigrate to Poland
Poland
were the Magdeburg rights, or Magdeburg Law, a charter given to the Jews, among others, that specifically outlined the rights and privileges that Jews
Jews
had coming into Poland. For example, they could define their neighborhoods and economic competitors and set up monopolies. This made it very attractive for Jewish
Jewish
communities to pick up and move to Poland.[33] Gesta principum Polonorum states that Princess Judith of Bohemia, wife of Polish Prince Władysław I Herman
Władysław I Herman
ransomed many Christians with her own money from the bondage of the Jews.[34] The first mention of Jewish
Jewish
settlers in Płock
Płock
dates from 1237, in Kalisz
Kalisz
from 1287 and a Zydowska (Jewish) street in Kraków
Kraków
in 1304.[30] The tolerant situation was gradually altered by the Roman Catholic Church on the one hand, and by the neighboring German states on the other.[35] There were, however, among the reigning princes some determined protectors of the Jewish
Jewish
inhabitants, who considered the presence of the latter most desirable as far as the economic development of the country was concerned. Prominent among such rulers was Bolesław the Pious
Bolesław the Pious
of Kalisz, Prince of Great Poland. With the consent of the class representatives and higher officials, in 1264 he issued a General Charter of Jewish
Jewish
Liberties, the Statute of Kalisz, which granted all Jews
Jews
the freedom of worship, trade and travel. Similar privileges were granted to the Silesian Jews
Jews
by the local princes, Prince Henry Probus of Wrocław
Wrocław
in 1273–90, Henry of Glogow in 1274 and 1299, Henry of Legnica
Legnica
in 1290 – 95 and Bolko of Legnica and Wrocław
Wrocław
in 1295.[30] During the next hundred years, the Church pushed for the persecution of the Jews
Jews
while the rulers of Poland
Poland
usually protected them.[36] The Councils of Wrocław
Wrocław
(1267), Buda (1279), and Łęczyca (1285) each segregated Jews, ordered them to wear a special emblem, banned them from holding offices where Christians would be subordinated to them, and forbade them from building more than one prayer house in each town. However, those church decrees required the cooperation of the Polish princes for enforcement, which was generally not forthcoming, due to the profits which the Jews' economic activity yielded to the princes.[30]

Wojciech Gerson, Reception of Jews, Casimir the Great and Jews

In 1332, King Casimir III the Great (1303–1370) amplified and expanded Bolesław's old charter with the Wiślicki Statute. Under his reign, streams of Jewish
Jewish
immigrants headed east to Poland
Poland
and Jewish settlements are first mentioned as existing in Lvov (1356), Sandomierz (1367), and Kazimierz near Kraków
Kraków
(1386).[30] Casimir, who according to a legend had a Jewish
Jewish
lover named Esterka
Esterka
from Opoczno[37] was especially friendly to the Jews, and his reign is regarded as an era of great prosperity for Polish Jewry, and was nicknamed by his contemporaries "King of the serfs and Jews." Under penalty of death, he prohibited the kidnapping of Jewish
Jewish
children for the purpose of enforced Christian
Christian
baptism. He inflicted heavy punishment for the desecration of Jewish
Jewish
cemeteries. Nevertheless, while for the greater part of Casimir’s reign the Jews
Jews
of Poland
Poland
enjoyed tranquility, toward its close they were subjected to persecution on account of the Black Death. In 1348, the first blood libel accusation against Jews
Jews
in Poland
Poland
was recorded, and in 1367 the first pogrom took place in Poznań
Poznań
(Posen).[38] Compared with the pitiless destruction of their co-religionists in Western Europe, however, the Polish Jews
Jews
did not fare badly; and the Jewish
Jewish
masses of Germany fled to the more hospitable cities in Poland. The early Jagiellon era: 1385–1505[edit] Main article: History of Poland
Poland
(1385–1569) As a result of the marriage of Wladislaus II (Jagiełło) to Jadwiga, daughter of Louis I of Hungary, Lithuania
Lithuania
was united with the kingdom of Poland. In 1388–1389, broad privileges were extended to Lithuanian Jews
Jews
including freedom of religion and commerce on equal terms with the Christians.[39] Under the rule of Wladislaus II, Polish Jews
Jews
had increased in numbers and attained prosperity. However, religious persecution gradually increased, as the dogmatic clergy pushed for less official tolerance, pressured by the Synod of Constance. In 1349 pogroms took place in many towns in Silesia.[30] There were accusations of blood libel by the priests, and new riots against the Jews
Jews
in Poznań
Poznań
in 1399. Accusations of blood libel by another fanatic priest led to the riots in Kraków
Kraków
in 1407, although the royal guard hastened to the rescue.[39] Hysteria caused by Black Death led to additional 14th-century outbreaks of violence against the Jews
Jews
in Kalisz, Kraków
Kraków
and Bochnia. Traders and artisans jealous of Jewish
Jewish
prosperity, and fearing their rivalry, supported the harassment. In 1423 the statute of Warka forbade Jews
Jews
the granting of loans against letters of credit or mortgage and limited their operations exclusively to loans made on security of moveable property.[30] In the 14th and 15th centuries rich Jewish
Jewish
merchants and moneylenders leased the royal mint, salt mines and the collecting of customs and tolls. The most famous of them were Jordan and his son Lewko of Kraków
Kraków
in the 14th century and Jakub Slomkowicz of Luck, Wolczko of Drohobycz, Natko of Lvov, Samson of Zydaczow, Josko of Hrubieszow and Szania of Belz in the 15th century. For example, Wolczko of Drohobycz, King Ladislaus Jagiello's broker, was the owner of several villages in the Ruthenian voivodship and the soitys (administrator) of the village of Werbiz. Also Jews
Jews
from Grodno were in this period owners of villages, manors, meadows, fish ponds and mills. However until the end of the 15th century agriculture as a source of income played only a minor role among Jewish
Jewish
families. More important were crafts for the needs of both their fellow Jews
Jews
and the Christian
Christian
population (fur making, tanning, tailoring).[30]

Casimir IV Jagiellon
Casimir IV Jagiellon
confirmed and extended Jewish
Jewish
charters in the second half of the 15th century

In 1454 anti- Jewish
Jewish
riots flared up in Wrocław
Wrocław
and other Silesian cities, inspired by a Franciscan friar, John of Capistrano, who accused Jews
Jews
of profaning the Christian
Christian
religion. As a result, Jews were banished from Lower Silesia. Zbigniew Olesnicki then invited John to conduct a similar campaign in Kraków
Kraków
and several other cities, to lesser effect. In 1495, Jews
Jews
were ordered out of the center of Kraków and allowed to settle in the " Jewish
Jewish
town" of Kazimierz. In the same year, Alexander Jagiellon, following the example of Spanish rulers, banished the Jews
Jews
from Lithuania. For several years they took shelter in Poland
Poland
until they were allowed back to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1503.[30] The decline in the status of the Jews
Jews
was briefly checked by Casimir IV the Jagiellonian (1447–1492), but soon the nobility forced him to issue the Statute of Nieszawa.[40] Among other things it abolished the ancient privileges of the Jews
Jews
"as contrary to divine right and the law of the land." Nevertheless, the king continued to offer his protection to the Jews. Two years later Casimir issued another document announcing that he could not deprive the Jews
Jews
of his benevolence on the basis of "the principle of tolerance which in conformity with God's laws obliged him to protect them".[41] The policy of the government toward the Jews
Jews
of Poland
Poland
oscillated under Casimir's sons and successors, John I Albert
John I Albert
(1492–1501) and Alexander the Jagiellonian
Alexander the Jagiellonian
(1501–1506). The latter decreed in 1495 to expel the Jews
Jews
from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Lithuania
when he was the Grand Duke of Lithuania
Lithuania
but reversed his decision eight years later in 1503 after becoming King of Poland. The next year he issued a proclamation in which he stated that a policy of tolerance befitted "kings and rulers".[41] Center of the Jewish
Jewish
world: 1505–72[edit]

Sigismund II Augustus
Sigismund II Augustus
followed in the tolerant policy of his father and also granted autonomy to the Jews.

Poland
Poland
became more tolerant just as the Jews
Jews
were expelled from Spain in 1492, as well as from Austria, Hungary
Hungary
and Germany, thus stimulating Jewish
Jewish
immigration to the much more accessible Poland. Indeed, with the expulsion of the Jews
Jews
from Spain, Poland
Poland
became the recognized haven for exiles from Western Europe; and the resulting accession to the ranks of Polish Jewry made it the cultural and spiritual center of the Jewish
Jewish
people. The most prosperous period for Polish Jews
Jews
began following this new influx of Jews
Jews
with the reign of Sigismund I the Old
Sigismund I the Old
(1506–1548), who protected the Jews
Jews
in his realm. His son, Sigismund II Augustus (1548–1572), mainly followed in the tolerant policy of his father and also granted autonomy to the Jews
Jews
in the matter of communal administration and laid the foundation for the power of the Qahal, or autonomous Jewish
Jewish
community. This period led to the creation of a proverb about Poland
Poland
being a "heaven for the Jews". According to some sources, about three-quarters of all Jews
Jews
lived in Poland
Poland
by the middle of the 16th century.[5][6][7] In the middle of the 16th century, Poland
Poland
welcomed the Jewish
Jewish
newcomers from Italy
Italy
and Turkey, mostly of Sephardi origin. However, some of the immigrants from the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
are still considered Mizrahim. Jewish
Jewish
religious life thrived in many Polish communities. In 1503, the Polish monarchy appointed Rabbi
Rabbi
Jacob Pollak, the official Rabbi
Rabbi
of Poland, marking the emergence of the Chief Rabbinate. By 1551, Jews
Jews
were given permission to choose their own Chief Rabbi. The Chief Rabbinate held power over law and finance, appointing judges and other officials. Some power was shared with local councils. The Polish government permitted the Rabbinate to grow in power, to use it for tax collection purposes. Only 30% of the money raised by the Rabbinate served Jewish causes, the rest went to the Crown for protection. In this period Poland- Lithuania
Lithuania
became the main center for Ashkenazi Jewry and its yeshivot achieved fame from the early 16th century. Moses Isserles
Moses Isserles
(1520–1572), an eminent Talmudist of the 16th century, established his yeshiva in Kraków. In addition to being a renowned Talmudic and legal scholar, Isserles was also learned in Kabbalah, and studied history, astronomy, and philosophy. The Remuh Synagogue
Synagogue
was built for him in 1557. Rema (רמ״א) is the Hebrew acronym for his name.[42] The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth: 1572–1795[edit] See also: History of Poland
Poland
(1572–1795), Jewish
Jewish
Polish history during the 18th century, and Warsaw
Warsaw
Confederation (1573) After the childless death of Sigismund II Augustus, the last king of the Jagiellon dynasty, Polish and Lithuanian nobles (szlachta) gathered at Warsaw
Warsaw
in 1573 and signed a document in which representatives of all major religions pledged mutual support and tolerance. The following eight or nine decades of material prosperity and relative security experienced by Polish Jews
Jews
– wrote Professor Gershon Hundert – witnessed the appearance of "a virtual galaxy of sparkling intellectual figures." Jewish
Jewish
academies were established in Lublin, Kraków, Brześć
Brześć
(Brisk), Lwów, Ostróg and other towns.[43] Poland- Lithuania
Lithuania
was the only country in Europe
Europe
where the Jews cultivated their own farmer's fields.[44]

Number of Jews
Jews
in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth per voivodeship in 1764

The Cossack
Cossack
uprising and the Deluge[edit] In 1648 the Commonwealth was devastated by several conflicts, in which the country lost over a third of its population (over three million people). The Jewish
Jewish
losses were counted in the hundreds of thousands. The first of these large-scale atrocities was the Chmielnicki Uprising, in which Bohdan Khmelnytsky's Cossacks massacred tens of thousands of Jews
Jews
and Catholic Poles
Poles
in the eastern and southern areas he controlled (today's Ukraine).[45] The precise number of dead is not known, but the decrease of the Jewish
Jewish
population during this period is estimated at 100,000 to 200,000, which also includes emigration, deaths from diseases and jasyr (captivity in the Ottoman Empire). The Jewish
Jewish
community suffered greatly during the 1648 Cossack
Cossack
uprising which had been directed primarily against the Polish nobility. The Jews, perceived as allies of the nobles, were also victims of the revolt, during which about 20% of them were killed. Ruled by the elected kings of the House of Vasa
House of Vasa
since 1587, the embattled Commonwealth was invaded by the Swedish Empire
Swedish Empire
in 1655 in what became known as the Deluge. The kingdom of Poland
Poland
which had already suffered from the Chmielnicki Uprising
Chmielnicki Uprising
and from the recurring invasions of the Russians, Crimean Tatars and Ottomans, became the scene of even more atrocities. Charles X of Sweden, at the head of his victorious army, overran the cities of Kraków
Kraków
and Warsaw. The amount of destruction, pillage and methodical plunder during the Siege of Kraków
Kraków
(1657) was so enormous that parts the city never again recovered. The Polish general Stefan Czarniecki
Stefan Czarniecki
defeated the Swedes in 1660. He was equally successful in his battles against the Russians.[46] Meanwhile, the horrors of the war were aggravated by pestilence. Many Jews
Jews
along with the townsfolk of Kalisz, Kraków, Poznań, Piotrków and Lublin
Lublin
fell victim to recurring epidemics.[47][48] As soon as the disturbances had ceased, the Jews
Jews
began to return and to rebuild their destroyed homes; and while it is true that the Jewish population of Poland
Poland
had decreased, it still was more numerous than that of the Jewish
Jewish
colonies in Western Europe. Poland
Poland
continued to be the spiritual center of Judaism. Through 1698, the Polish kings generally remained supportive of the Jews. It also should be noted that while Jewish
Jewish
losses in those events were high, estimated by some historians to be close to 500,000, the Commonwealth lost one third of its population — approximately three million of its citizens.

A Jewish
Jewish
couple in Poland, around 1765.

The environment of the Polish Commonwealth – wrote Professor Gershon Hundert – profoundly affected Jews
Jews
due to genuinely positive encounter with the Christian
Christian
culture across the many cities and towns owned by the Polish aristocracy. There was no isolation.[49] The Jewish
Jewish
dress resembled that of their Polish neighbor. "Reports of romances, of drinking together in taverns, and of intellectual conversations are quite abundant." Wealthy Jews
Jews
had Polish noblemen at their table, and served meals on silver plates.[49] By 1764, there were about 750,000 Jews
Jews
in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The worldwide Jewish
Jewish
population at that time was estimated at 1.2 million. In 1768 the Koliyivshchyna
Koliyivshchyna
rebellion west of the Dnieper river in Volhynia led to ferocious murders of Polish noblemen, Catholic priests and thousands of Jews.[50] Four years later, in 1772, the military Partitions of Poland
Poland
had begun between Russia, Prussia
Prussia
and Austria.[51] The development of Judaism
Judaism
in Poland
Poland
and the Commonwealth[edit] The culture and intellectual output of the Jewish
Jewish
community in Poland had a profound impact on Judaism
Judaism
as a whole. Some Jewish
Jewish
historians have recounted that the word Poland
Poland
is pronounced as Polania or Polin in Hebrew, and as transliterated into Hebrew, these names for Poland were interpreted as "good omens" because Polania can be broken down into three Hebrew words: po ("here"), lan ("dwells"), ya ("God"), and Polin into two words of: po ("here") lin ("[you should] dwell"). The "message" was that Poland
Poland
was meant to be a good place for the Jews. During the time from the rule of Sigismund I the Old
Sigismund I the Old
until the Nazi Holocaust, Poland
Poland
would be at the center of Jewish
Jewish
religious life. Many agreed with Rabbi
Rabbi
David ben Shemu’el ha-Levi (Taz) that Poland was a place where “most of the time the gentiles do no harm; on the contrary they do right by Israel” (Divre David; 1689).[52] Jewish
Jewish
learning[edit]

Late renaissance synagogue in Zamość
Zamość
(1610–1620).

Yeshivot were established, under the direction of the rabbis, in the more prominent communities. Such schools were officially known as gymnasiums, and their rabbi principals as rectors. Important yeshivot existed in Kraków, Poznań, and other cities. Jewish
Jewish
printing establishments came into existence in the first quarter of the 16th century. In 1530 a Hebrew Pentateuch
Pentateuch
(Torah) was printed in Kraków; and at the end of the century the Jewish
Jewish
printing houses of that city and Lublin
Lublin
issued a large number of Jewish
Jewish
books, mainly of a religious character. The growth of Talmudic scholarship in Poland
Poland
was coincident with the greater prosperity of the Polish Jews; and because of their communal autonomy educational development was wholly one-sided and along Talmudic lines. Exceptions are recorded, however, where Jewish
Jewish
youth sought secular instruction in the European universities. The learned rabbis became not merely expounders of the Law, but also spiritual advisers, teachers, judges, and legislators; and their authority compelled the communal leaders to make themselves familiar with the abstruse questions of Jewish
Jewish
law. Polish Jewry found its views of life shaped by the spirit of Talmudic and rabbinical literature, whose influence was felt in the home, in school, and in the synagogue. In the first half of the 16th century the seeds of Talmudic learning had been transplanted to Poland
Poland
from Bohemia, particularly from the school of Jacob Pollak, the creator of Pilpul ("sharp reasoning"). Shalom Shachna
Shalom Shachna
(c. 1500–1558), a pupil of Pollak, is counted among the pioneers of Talmudic learning in Poland. He lived and died in Lublin, where he was the head of the yeshivah which produced the rabbinical celebrities of the following century. Shachna's son Israel became rabbi of Lublin
Lublin
on the death of his father, and Shachna's pupil Moses Isserles
Moses Isserles
(known as the ReMA) (1520–1572) achieved an international reputation among the Jews
Jews
as the co-author of the Shulkhan Arukh, (the "Code of Jewish
Jewish
Law"). His contemporary and correspondent Solomon Luria
Solomon Luria
(1510–1573) of Lublin
Lublin
also enjoyed a wide reputation among his co-religionists; and the authority of both was recognized by the Jews
Jews
throughout Europe. Heated religious disputations were common, and Jewish
Jewish
scholars participated in them. At the same time, the Kabbalah
Kabbalah
had become entrenched under the protection of Rabbinism; and such scholars as Mordecai Jaffe and Yoel Sirkis devoted themselves to its study. This period of great Rabbinical scholarship was interrupted by the Chmielnicki Uprising
Chmielnicki Uprising
and The Deluge. The rise of Hasidism[edit]

Jacob Frank

Main article: Hasidim The decade from the Cossacks' uprising until after the Swedish war (1648–1658) left a deep and lasting impression not only on the social life of the Polish-Lithuanian Jews, but on their spiritual life as well. The intellectual output of the Jews
Jews
of Poland
Poland
was reduced. The Talmudic learning which up to that period had been the common possession of the majority of the people became accessible to a limited number of students only. What religious study there was became overly formalized, some rabbis busied themselves with quibbles concerning religious laws; others wrote commentaries on different parts of the Talmud
Talmud
in which hair-splitting arguments were raised and discussed; and at times these arguments dealt with matters which were of no practical importance. At the same time, many miracle workers made their appearance among the Jews
Jews
of Poland, culminating in a series of false "Messianic" movements, most famously as Sabbatianism was succeeded by Frankism. In this time of mysticism and overly formal rabbinism came the teachings of Israel
Israel
ben Eliezer, known as the Baal Shem Tov, or BeShT, (1698–1760), which had a profound effect on the Jews
Jews
of Eastern Europe
Europe
and Poland
Poland
in particular. His disciples taught and encouraged the new fervent brand of Judaism
Judaism
based on Kabbalah
Kabbalah
known as Hasidism. The rise of Hasidic Judaism
Judaism
within Poland's borders and beyond had a great influence on the rise of Haredi Judaism
Judaism
all over the world, with a continuous influence through its many Hasidic dynasties including those of Chabad-Lubavitch, Aleksander, Bobov, Ger, Nadvorna, among others. See also: List of Polish Rabbis The Partitions of Poland[edit]

Jewish
Jewish
dress in the 17th (top) and the 18th century (bottom).

Disorder and anarchy reigned supreme in Poland
Poland
during the second half of the 18th century, from the accession to the throne of its last king, Stanislaus II Augustus Poniatowski in 1764. His election was bought by Catherine the Great
Catherine the Great
for 2.5 million rubles, with the Russian army stationing only three miles away from Warsaw.[53] Eight years later, triggered by the Confederation of Bar
Confederation of Bar
against the Russian influence and the pro-Russian king, the outlying provinces of Poland were overrun from all sides by different military forces and divided for the first time by the three neighboring empires, Russia, Austria, and Prussia.[53] The Commonwealth lost 30% of its land during the annexations of 1772, and even more of its peoples.[54] Jews
Jews
were most numerous in the territories that fell under the military control of Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
and Russia.

Berek Joselewicz
Berek Joselewicz
(1764–1809)

The permanent council established at the instance of the Russian government (1773–1788) served as the highest administrative tribunal, and occupied itself with the elaboration of a plan that would make practicable the reorganization of Poland
Poland
on a more rational basis. The progressive elements in Polish society recognized the urgency of popular education as the very first step toward reform. The famous Komisja Edukacji Narodowej
Komisja Edukacji Narodowej
("Commission of National Education"), the first ministry of education in the world, was established in 1773 and founded numerous new schools and remodeled the old ones. One of the members of the commission, kanclerz Andrzej Zamoyski, along with others, demanded that the inviolability of their persons and property should be guaranteed and that religious toleration should be to a certain extent granted them; but he insisted that Jews
Jews
living in the cities should be separated from the Christians, that those of them having no definite occupation should be banished from the kingdom, and that even those engaged in agriculture should not be allowed to possess land. On the other hand, some szlachta and intellectuals proposed a national system of government, of the civil and political equality of the Jews. This was the only example in modern Europe
Europe
before the French Revolution
French Revolution
of tolerance and broadmindedness in dealing with the Jewish
Jewish
question. But all these reforms were too late: a Russian army soon invaded Poland, and soon after a Prussian one followed. A second partition of Poland
Poland
was made on July 17, 1793. Jews, in a Jewish
Jewish
regiment led by Berek Joselewicz, took part in the Kościuszko Uprising the following year, when the Poles
Poles
tried to again achieve independence, but were brutally put down. Following the revolt, the third and final partition of Poland
Poland
took place in 1795. The territories which included the great bulk of the Jewish
Jewish
population was transferred to Russia, and thus they became subjects of that empire, although in the first half of the 19th century some semblance of a vastly smaller Polish state was preserved, especially in the form of the Congress Poland
Poland
(1815–1831). Under foreign rule many Jews
Jews
inhabiting formerly Polish lands were indifferent to Polish aspirations for independence. However, most Polonized Jews
Jews
supported the revolutionary activities of Polish patriots and participated in national uprisings.[55] Polish Jews
Jews
took part in the November Insurrection of 1830–1831, the January Insurrection of 1863, as well as in the revolutionary movement of 1905. Many Polish Jews
Jews
were enlisted in the Polish Legions, which fought for the Polish independence, achieved in 1918 when the occupying forces disintegrated following World War One.[55] Jews
Jews
of Poland
Poland
within the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
(1795–1918)[edit] Main article: History of Poland
Poland
(1795–1918) See also: History of the Jews
Jews
in 19th-century Poland, History of the Jews
Jews
in Russia
Russia
and Soviet Union, and Antisemitism
Antisemitism
in the Russian Empire

Jewish
Jewish
merchants in 19th-century Warsaw

Official Russian policy would eventually prove to be substantially harsher to the Jews
Jews
than that under independent Polish rule. The lands that had once been Poland
Poland
were to remain the home of many Jews, as, in 1772, Catherine II, the Tzarina of Russia, instituted the Pale of Settlement, restricting Jews
Jews
to the western parts of the empire, which would eventually include much of Poland, although it excluded some areas in which Jews
Jews
had previously lived. By the late 19th century, over four million Jews
Jews
would live in the Pale. Tsarist policy towards the Jews
Jews
of Poland
Poland
alternated between harsh rules, and inducements meant to break the resistance to large-scale conversion. In 1804, Alexander I of Russia
Alexander I of Russia
issued a "Statute Concerning Jews",[56] meant to accelerate the process of assimilation of the Empire's new Jewish
Jewish
population. The Polish Jews
Jews
were allowed to establish schools with Russian, German or Polish curricula. They could own land in the territories annexed from Poland. However, they were also restricted from leasing property, teaching in Yiddish, and from entering Russia. They were banned from the brewing industry. The harshest measures designed to compel Jews
Jews
to merge into society at large called for their expulsion from small villages, forcing them to move into towns. Once the resettlement began, thousands of Jews
Jews
lost their only source of income and turned to Qahal for support. Their living conditions in the Pale began to dramatically worsen.[56]

Map of the Pale of Settlement
Pale of Settlement
with the Jewish
Jewish
population density.

During the reign of Tsar Nicolas I, known by the Jews
Jews
as "Haman the Second", hundreds of new anti- Jewish
Jewish
measures were enacted.[57] The 1827 decree by Nicolas – while lifting the traditional double taxation on Jews
Jews
in lieu of army service – made Jews
Jews
subject to general military recruitment laws that required Jewish
Jewish
communities to provide 7 recruits per each 1000 "souls" every 4 years. Unlike the general population that had to provide recruits between the ages of 18 and 35, Jews
Jews
had to provide recruits between the ages of 12 and 25, at the qahal's discretion. Thus between 1827 and 1857 over 30,000 children were placed in the so-called Cantonist
Cantonist
schools, where they were pressured to convert.[58] "Many children were smuggled to Poland, where the conscription of Jews
Jews
did not take effect until 1844."[57] Further information on the Garrison schools for male children: Cantonist Pale of Settlement[edit] The Pale of Settlement
Pale of Settlement
(Russian: Черта́ осе́длости, chertá osédlosti, Yiddish: תּחום-המושבֿ‎, tkhum-ha-moyshəv, Hebrew: תְּחוּם הַמּוֹשָב‎, tḥùm ha-mosháv) was the term given to a region of Imperial Russia in which permanent residency by Jews
Jews
was allowed and beyond which Jewish
Jewish
permanent residency was generally prohibited. It extended from the eastern pale, or demarcation line, to the western Russian border with the Kingdom of Prussia
Kingdom of Prussia
(later the German Empire) and with Austria-Hungary. The archaic English term pale is derived from the Latin
Latin
word palus, a stake, extended to mean the area enclosed by a fence or boundary. With its large Catholic and Jewish
Jewish
populations, the Pale was acquired by the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
(which was majority Russian Orthodox) in a series of military conquests and diplomatic maneuvers between 1791 and 1835, and lasted until the fall of the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
in 1917. It comprised about 20% of the territory of European Russia
Russia
and largely corresponded to historical borders of the former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth; it included much of present-day Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, Moldova, Ukraine, and parts of western Russia. From 1791 to 1835, and until 1917, there were differing reconfigurations of the boundaries of the Pale, such that certain areas were variously open or shut to Jewish
Jewish
residency, such as the Caucasus. At times, Jews
Jews
were forbidden to live in agricultural communities, or certain cities, as in Kiev, Sevastopol
Sevastopol
and Yalta, excluded from residency at a number of cities within the Pale. Settlers from outside the pale were forced to move to small towns, thus fostering the rise of the shtetls. Although the Jews
Jews
were accorded slightly more rights with the Emancipation reform of 1861
Emancipation reform of 1861
by Alexander II, they were still restricted to the Pale of Settlement
Pale of Settlement
and subject to restrictions on ownership and profession. The existing status quo was shattered with the assassination of Alexander in 1881 – an act falsely blamed upon the Jews. Pogroms
Pogroms
within the Russian Empire[edit]

Printed caricature by painter Henryk Nowodworski, depicting Białystok pogrom of 1906. Note the assailant wearing a Tsarist army hat with a cockade sideways

The assassination prompted a large-scale wave of anti- Jewish
Jewish
riots, called pogroms (Russian: погро́м;) throughout 1881–1884. In the 1881 outbreak, pogroms were primarily limited to Russia, although in a riot in Warsaw
Warsaw
two Jews
Jews
were killed, 24 others were wounded, women were raped and over two million rubles worth of property was destroyed.[59][60] The new czar, Alexander III, blamed the Jews
Jews
for the riots and issued a series of harsh restrictions on Jewish movements. Pogroms
Pogroms
continued until 1884, with at least tacit government approval. They proved a turning point in the history of the Jews
Jews
in partitioned Poland
Poland
and throughout the world. As a result of the pogroms and the waves of antisemitism, 36 Jewish
Jewish
Zionist delegates met in Katowice, in 1884, forming the Hovevei Zion movement. The pogroms prompted a great flood of Jewish
Jewish
immigration to the United States. Nearly two million Jews
Jews
left the Pale by the late 1920s, setting the stage for the Zionist movement. An even bloodier wave of pogroms broke out from 1903 to 1906, and at least some of the pogroms are believed to have been organized by the Tsarist Russian secret police, the Okhrana. They included the Białystok pogrom
Białystok pogrom
of 1906 in the Grodno Governorate
Grodno Governorate
of Russian Poland, in which at least 75 Jews
Jews
were murdered by the marauding soldiers, and many more wounded. However, ethnic Poles
Poles
did not participate and instead sheltered Jewish
Jewish
families, testified the survivors.[61] Haskalah
Haskalah
and Halakha[edit] Main article: Haskalah The Jewish
Jewish
Enlightenment, Haskalah, began to take hold in Poland during the 19th century, stressing secular ideas and values. Champions of Haskalah, the Maskilim, pushed for assimilation and integration into Russian culture. At the same time, there was another school of Jewish
Jewish
thought that emphasized traditional study and a Jewish
Jewish
response to the ethical problems of antisemitism and persecution, one form of which was the Musar movement. Polish Jews
Jews
generally were less influenced by Haskalah, rather focusing on a strong continuation of their religious lives based on Halakha ("rabbis's law") following primarily Orthodox Judaism, Hasidic Judaism, and also adapting to the new Religious Zionism
Zionism
of the Mizrachi movement later in the 19th century. Politics in Polish territory[edit]

A Bundist demonstration, 1917

By the late 19th century, Haskalah
Haskalah
and the debates it caused created a growing number of political movements within the Jewish
Jewish
community itself, covering a wide range of views and vying for votes in local and regional elections. Zionism
Zionism
became very popular with the advent of the Poale Zion
Poale Zion
socialist party as well as the religious Polish Mizrahi, and the increasingly popular General Zionists. Jews
Jews
also took up socialism, forming the Bund labor union which supported assimilation and the rights of labor. The Folkspartei (People's Party) advocated, for its part, cultural autonomy and resistance to assimilation. In 1912, Agudat Israel, a religious party, came into existence. Many Jews
Jews
took part in the Polish insurrections, particularly against Russia
Russia
(since the Tsars discriminated heavily against the Jews). The Kościuszko Insurrection, January Insurrection
January Insurrection
(1863) and Revolutionary Movement of 1905 all saw significant Jewish
Jewish
involvement in the cause of Polish independence. By the end of the 19th century, 14% of Polish citizens were Jewish. Jews
Jews
participated in their religious communities, as well as local and federal government. There were several prominent Jewish
Jewish
politicians in the Polish Sejm, such as Apolinary Hartglas
Apolinary Hartglas
and Yitzhak Gruenbaum. Many Jewish
Jewish
political parties were active, representing a wide ideological spectrum, from the Zionists, to the socialists to the anti-Zionists. One of the largest of these parties was the Bund, which was strongest in Warsaw
Warsaw
and Lodz. In addition to the socialists, Zionist parties were also popular, in particular, the Marxist Poale Zion
Poale Zion
and the orthodox religious Polish Mizrahi. The General Zionist party became the most prominent Jewish party in the interwar period and in the 1919 elections to the first Polish Sejm
Sejm
since the partitions, gained 50% of the Jewish
Jewish
vote. In 1914, the German Zionist Max Bodenheimer
Max Bodenheimer
founded the short-lived German Committee for Freeing of Russian Jews, with the goal of establishing a buffer state (Pufferstaat) within the Jewish
Jewish
Pale of Settlement, composed of the former Polish provinces annexed by Russia, being de facto protectorate of the German Empire
German Empire
that would free Jews in the region from Russian oppression. The plan, known as Judeopolonia, soon proved unpopular with both German officials and Bodenheimer's colleagues, and was dead by the following year.[62][63] Interwar period
Interwar period
1918–1939[edit] Main article: History of Poland
Poland
(1918–1939) Further information: History of the Jews
Jews
in 20th-century Poland Fight for independence and Polish Jews[edit]

Hasidic schoolchildren in Łódź, circa 1910s under Partitions

While most Polish Jews
Jews
were neutral to the idea of a Polish state,[64] many played a significant role in the fight for Poland's independence during World War One; around 650 Jews
Jews
joined the Legiony Polskie formed by Józef Piłsudski, more than all other minorities combined.[65] Prominent Jews
Jews
were among the members of KTSSN, the nucleus of the interim government of re-emerging sovereign Poland including Herman Feldstein, Henryk Eile, Porucznik
Porucznik
Samuel Herschthal, Dr. Zygmunt Leser, Henryk Orlean, Wiktor Chajes and others.[64] The donations poured in including 50,000 Austrian kronen from the Jews
Jews
of Lwów
Lwów
and the 1,500 cans of food donated by the Blumenfeld factory among similar others.[64] In the aftermath of the Great War localized conflicts engulfed Eastern Europe
Europe
between 1917 and 1919. Many attacks were launched against Jews during the Russian Civil War, the Polish-Ukrainian War, and the Polish–Soviet War
Polish–Soviet War
ending with the Treaty of Riga. Almost half of the Jewish
Jewish
men perceived to have supported the Bolshevik Russia
Russia
in these incidents were in their 20s.[66] Just after the end of World War I, the West became alarmed by reports about alleged massive pogroms in Poland
Poland
against Jews. Pressure for government action reached the point where U.S. President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
sent an official commission to investigate the matter. The commission, led by Henry Morgenthau, Sr., concluded in its Morgenthau Report that allegations of pogroms were exaggerated.[67] It identified eight incidents in the years 1918–1919 out of 37 mostly empty claims for damages, and estimated the number of victims at 280. Four of these were attributed to the actions of deserters and undisciplined individual soldiers; none was blamed on official government policy. Among the incidents, during the battle for Pińsk a commander of Polish infantry regiment accused a group of Jewish
Jewish
men of plotting against the Poles
Poles
and ordered the execution of thirty-five Jewish
Jewish
men and youth.[68] The Morgenthau Report found the charge to be "devoid of foundation" even though their meeting was illegal to the extent of being treasonable.[69] In the Lwów
Lwów
(Lviv) pogrom, which occurred in 1918 during the Polish–Ukrainian War
Polish–Ukrainian War
of independence a day after the Poles
Poles
captured Lviv
Lviv
from the Sich Riflemen
Sich Riflemen
– the report concluded – 64 Jews
Jews
had been killed (other accounts put the number at 72).[70][71] In Warsaw, soldiers of Blue Army assaulted Jews
Jews
in the streets, but were punished by military authorities. Many other events in Poland
Poland
were later found to have been exaggerated, especially by contemporary newspapers such as The New York Times, although serious abuses against the Jews, including pogroms, continued elsewhere, especially in Ukraine.[72] The above-mentioned atrocities committed by the young Polish army and its allies in 1919 during their Kiev
Kiev
operation against the Bolsheviks had a profound impact on the foreign perception of the re-emerging Polish state.[73] The result of the concerns over the fate of Poland's Jews was a series of explicit clauses in the Versailles Treaty signed by the Western powers, and President Paderewski,[74] protecting the rights of minorities in new Poland
Poland
including Germans. In 1921, Poland's March Constitution gave the Jews
Jews
the same legal rights as other citizens and guaranteed them religious tolerance and freedom of religious holidays.[75] The number of Jews
Jews
immigrating to Poland
Poland
from Ukraine
Ukraine
and Soviet Russia
Russia
during the interwar period grew rapidly. Jewish
Jewish
population in the area of former Congress of Poland
Poland
increased sevenfold between 1816 and 1921, from around 213,000 to roughly 1,500,000.[76] According to the Polish national census of 1921, there were 2,845,364 Jews
Jews
living in the Second Polish Republic; but, by late 1938 that number had grown by over 16% to approximately 3,310,000. The average rate of permanent settlement was about 30,000 per annum. At the same time, every year around 100,000 Jews
Jews
were passing through Poland
Poland
in unofficial emigration overseas. Between the end of the Polish–Soviet War
Polish–Soviet War
and late 1938, the Jewish
Jewish
population of the Republic had grown by over 464,000.[77] Jewish
Jewish
and Polish culture[edit] Main articles: Jewish culture
Jewish culture
and Polish culture

Warsaw
Warsaw
Great Synagogue

The newly independent Second Polish Republic
Second Polish Republic
had a large and vibrant Jewish
Jewish
minority. By the time World War II
World War II
began, Poland
Poland
had the largest concentration of Jews
Jews
in Europe
Europe
although many Polish Jews
Jews
had a separate culture and ethnic identity from Catholic Poles. Some authors have stated that only about 10% of Polish Jews
Jews
during the interwar period could be considered "assimilated" while more than 80% could be readily recognized as Jews.[78] According to the 1931 National Census there were 3,130,581 Polish Jews measured by the declaration of their religion. Estimating the population increase and the emigration from Poland
Poland
between 1931 and 1939, there were probably 3,474,000 Jews
Jews
in Poland
Poland
as of September 1, 1939 (approximately 10% of the total population) primarily centered in large and smaller cities: 77% lived in cities and 23% in the villages. They made up about 50%, and in some cases even 70% of the population of smaller towns, especially in Eastern Poland.[79] Prior to World War II, the Jewish
Jewish
population of Łódź
Łódź
numbered about 233,000, roughly one-third of the city’s population.[80] The city of Lwów
Lwów
(now in Ukraine) had the third largest Jewish
Jewish
population in Poland, numbering 110,000 in 1939 (42%). Wilno
Wilno
(now in Lithuania) had a Jewish
Jewish
community of nearly 100,000, about 45% of the city's total.[81] In 1938, Kraków's Jewish
Jewish
population numbered over 60,000, or about 25% of the city's total population.[82] In 1939 there were 375,000 Jews
Jews
in Warsaw or one third of the city's population. Only New York City had more Jewish
Jewish
residents than Warsaw. The major industries in which Polish Jews
Jews
were employed were manufacturing and commerce. In many areas of the country, the majority of retail businesses were owned by Jews, who were sometimes among the wealthiest members of their communities.[83] Many Jews
Jews
also worked as shoemakers and tailors, as well as in the liberal professions; doctors (56% of all doctors in Poland), teachers (43%), journalists (22%) and lawyers (33%).[84]

L. L. Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto

Jewish
Jewish
youth and religious groups, diverse political parties and Zionist organizations, newspapers and theatre flourished. Jews
Jews
owned land and real estate, participated in retail and manufacturing and in the export industry. Their religious beliefs spanned the range from Orthodox Hasidic Judaism
Judaism
to Liberal Judaism. The Polish language, rather than Yiddish, was increasingly used by the young Warsaw
Warsaw
Jews
Jews
who did not have a problem in identifying themselves fully as Jews, Varsovians and Poles. Jews
Jews
such as Bruno Schulz
Bruno Schulz
were entering the mainstream of Polish society, though many thought of themselves as a separate nationality within Poland. Most children were enrolled in Jewish
Jewish
religious schools, which used to limit their ability to speak Polish. As a result, according to the 1931 census, 79% of the Jews
Jews
declared Yiddish
Yiddish
as their first language, and only 12% listed Polish, with the remaining 9% being Hebrew.[85] In contrast, the overwhelming majority of German-born Jews
Jews
of this period spoke German as their first language. During the school year of 1937–1938 there were 226 elementary schools [86] and twelve high schools as well as fourteen vocational schools with either Yiddish
Yiddish
or Hebrew as the instructional language. The YIVO
YIVO
(Jidiszer Wissenszaftlecher Institute) Scientific Institute was based in Wilno
Wilno
before transferring to New York during the war. Jewish
Jewish
political parties, both the Socialist
Socialist
General Jewish
Jewish
Labour Bund (The Bund), as well as parties of the Zionist right and left wing and religious conservative movements, were represented in the Sejm
Sejm
(the Polish Parliament) as well as in the regional councils.[87]

Isaac Bashevis Singer
Isaac Bashevis Singer
(Polish: Izaak Zynger), achieved international acclaim as a classic Jewish
Jewish
writer and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1978

The Jewish
Jewish
cultural scene [88] was particularly vibrant in pre–World War II Poland, with numerous Jewish
Jewish
publications and more than one hundred periodicals. Yiddish
Yiddish
authors, most notably Isaac Bashevis Singer, went on to achieve international acclaim as classic Jewish writers; Singer won the 1978 Nobel Prize in Literature. Other Jewish authors of the period, such as Bruno Schulz, Julian Tuwim, Marian Hemar, Emanuel Schlechter, Jan Brzechwa
Jan Brzechwa
(a favorite poet of Polish children) and Bolesław Leśmian, as well as Konrad Tom
Konrad Tom
and Jerzy Jurandot, were less well-known internationally, but made important contributions to Polish literature. Singer Jan Kiepura, born of a Jewish
Jewish
mother and Polish father, was one of the most popular artists of that era, and pre-war songs of Jewish
Jewish
composers, including Henryk Wars, Jerzy Petersburski, Artur Gold, Henryk Gold, Zygmunt Białostocki, Szymon Kataszek
Szymon Kataszek
and Jakub Kagan, are still widely known in Poland
Poland
today. Painters became known as well for their depictions of Jewish
Jewish
life. Among them were Maurycy Gottlieb, Artur Markowicz, and Maurycy Trebacz, with younger artists like Chaim Goldberg
Chaim Goldberg
coming up in the ranks.

Shimon Peres, born in Poland
Poland
as Szymon Perski, served as the ninth President of Israel
Israel
between 2007 and 2014

Scientist Leopold Infeld, mathematician Stanislaw Ulam, Alfred Tarski, and professor Adam Ulam contributed to the world of science. Other Polish Jews
Jews
who gained international recognition are Moses Schorr, Ludwik Zamenhof
Ludwik Zamenhof
(the creator of Esperanto), Georges Charpak, Samuel Eilenberg, Emanuel Ringelblum, and Artur Rubinstein, just to name a few from the long list. The term "genocide" was coined by Rafał Lemkin (1900–1959), a Polish- Jewish
Jewish
legal scholar. Leonid Hurwicz was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Economics. The Scientific Institute YIVO
YIVO
was first organized in Wilno. In Warsaw, important centers of Judaic scholarship, such the Main Judaic Library and the Institute of Judaic Studies were located, along with numerous Talmudic Schools (Jeszybots), religious centers and synagogues, many of which were of high architectural quality. Yiddish
Yiddish
theatre also flourished; Poland
Poland
had fifteen Yiddish
Yiddish
theatres and theatrical groups. Warsaw
Warsaw
was home to the most important Yiddish
Yiddish
theater troupe of the time, the Vilna Troupe, which staged the first performance of The Dybbuk
The Dybbuk
in 1920 at the Elyseum Theatre. Some future Israeli leaders studied at University of Warsaw, including Menachem Begin
Menachem Begin
and Yitzhak Shamir. There also were several Jewish
Jewish
sports clubs, with some of them, such as Hasmonea Lwow
Hasmonea Lwow
and Jutrzenka Kraków, winning promotion to the Polish First Football League. A Polish- Jewish
Jewish
footballer, Józef Klotz, scored the first ever goal for the Poland
Poland
national football team. Another athlete, Alojzy Ehrlich, won several medals in the table-tennis tournaments. Growing antisemitism[edit] An ever-increasing proportion of Jews
Jews
in interwar Poland
Poland
lived separate lives from the Polish majority. In 1921, 74.2% of Polish Jews listed Yiddish
Yiddish
or Hebrew as their native language; the number rose to 87% by 1931,[85] contributing to growing tensions between Jews
Jews
and Poles.[89] Jews
Jews
were often not identified as Polish nationals, a problem caused not only by the reversal of assimilation shown in national censuses between 1921 and 1931, but also by the influx of Russian Jews
Jews
escaping persecution—especially in Ukraine, where up to 2,000 pogroms took place during the Civil War, an estimated 30,000 Jews
Jews
were massacred directly, and a total of 150,000 died.[90][91] A large number of Russian Jews
Jews
emigrated to Poland, as they were entitled by the Peace treaty of Riga to choose the country they preferred. Several hundred thousand refugees joined the already numerous Jewish
Jewish
minority of the Polish Second Republic. The resulting economic instability was mirrored by anti- Jewish
Jewish
sentiment in some of the media; discrimination, exclusion, and violence at the universities; and the appearance of "anti- Jewish
Jewish
squads" associated with some of the right-wing political parties. These developments contributed to a greater support among the Jewish
Jewish
community for Zionist and socialist ideas,[92][93] coupled with attempts at further migration, curtailed only by the British government. Notably, the "campaign for Jewish
Jewish
emigration was predicated not on antisemitism but on objective social and economic factors".[94] However, regardless of these changing economic and social conditions, the increase in antisemitic activity in prewar Poland
Poland
was also typical of antisemitism found in other parts of Europe
Europe
at that time, developing within a broader, continent-wide pattern with counterparts in every other European country.[95] Matters improved for a time under the rule of Józef Piłsudski (1926–1935), who opposed antisemitism. Piłsudski countered Endecja's 'ethnic assimilation' with the 'state assimilation' policy: citizens were judged by their loyalty to the state, not by their nationality.[96] The years 1926–1935 were favourably viewed by many Polish Jews, whose situation improved especially under the cabinet of Pilsudski’s appointee Kazimierz Bartel.[97] However, a combination of various factors, including the Great Depression,[96] meant that the situation of Jewish
Jewish
Poles
Poles
was never very satisfactory, and it deteriorated again after Piłsudski's death in May 1935, which many Jews
Jews
regarded as a tragedy.[98] The Jewish
Jewish
industries were negatively affected by the development of mass production and the advent of department stores offering ready-made products. The traditional sources of livelihood for the estimated 300,000 Jewish
Jewish
family-run businesses in the country began to vanish, contributing to a growing trend toward isolationism and internal self-sufficiency.[99] The difficult situation in the private sector led to enrolment growth in higher education. In 1923 the Jewish
Jewish
students constituted 62.9% of all students of stomatology, 34% of medical sciences, 29.2% of philosophy, 24.9% of chemistry and 22.1% of law (26% by 1929) at all Polish universities. It is speculated that such disproportionate numbers were the probable cause of a backlash.[100]

The student's book of the Jewish
Jewish
student of medicine Marek Szapiro at the Warsaw
Warsaw
University with " Ghetto
Ghetto
benches" (odd-numbered seats) stamp

With the influence of the Endecja
Endecja
party growing, antisemitism gathered new momentum in Poland
Poland
and was most felt in smaller towns and in spheres in which Jews
Jews
came into direct contact with Poles, such as in Polish schools or on the sports field. Further academic harassment, such as the introduction of ghetto benches, which forced Jewish students to sit in sections of the lecture halls reserved exclusively for them, anti- Jewish
Jewish
riots, and semi-official or unofficial quotas (Numerus clausus) introduced in 1937 in some universities, halved the number of Jews
Jews
in Polish universities between independence (1918) and the late 1930s. The restrictions were so inclusive that – while the Jews
Jews
made up 20.4% of the student body in 1928 – by 1937 their share was down to only 7.5%,[101] out of the total population of 9.75% Jews in the country according to 1931 census.[102] Although many Jews
Jews
were educated, they were excluded from most of the government bureaucracy.[103] A good number therefore turned to the liberal professions, particularly medicine and law. In 1937 the Catholic trade unions of Polish doctors and lawyers restricted their new members to Christian
Christian
Poles
Poles
(in a similar manner the Jewish
Jewish
trade unions excluded non- Jewish
Jewish
professionals from their ranks after 1918).[104] The bulk of Jewish
Jewish
workers were organized in the Jewish trade unions under the influence of the Jewish
Jewish
socialists who split in 1923 to join the Communist Party of Poland
Poland
and the Second International.[105][106] Complex and long history shaped Polish attitudes towards the Jews
Jews
and Jewish
Jewish
attitudes towards the Poles, but the anti- Jewish
Jewish
sentiment in Poland
Poland
had reached its zenith in the years leading to the Second World War.[107] Between 1935 and 1937 seventy-nine Jews
Jews
were killed and 500 injured in anti- Jewish
Jewish
incidents.[108] National policy was such that the Jews
Jews
who largely worked at home and in small shops were excluded from welfare benefits according to American commentators.[109] Nevertheless, the impact of right-wing extremism would have been hard to substantiate in towns with percentage of Jews
Jews
equal or even higher than that of the non- Jewish
Jewish
Poles. In the provincial capital of Łuck Jews
Jews
constituted 48.5% of the diverse multicultural population of 35,550 Poles, Ukrainians, Belarusians and others.[110] Łuck
Łuck
had the largest Jewish
Jewish
community in the voivodeship.[111] In the capital of Brześć
Brześć
in 1936 Jews
Jews
constituted 41.3% of general population and some 80.3% of private enterprises were owned by Jews.[112][113] The 32% of Jewish
Jewish
inhabitants of Radom
Radom
enjoyed considerable prominence also,[114] with 90% of small businesses in the city owned and operated by the Jews
Jews
including tinsmiths, locksmiths, jewellers, tailors, hat makers, hairdressers, carpenters, house painters and wallpaper installers, shoemakers, as well as most of the artisan bakers and clock repairers.[115] In Lubartów, 53.6% of the town's population were Jewish
Jewish
also along with most of its economy.[116] In a town of Luboml, 3,807 Jews
Jews
lived among its 4,169 inhabitants, constituting the essence of its social and political life.[110]

Demonstration of Polish students demanding implementation of "ghetto benches" at Lwów
Lwów
Polytechnic (1937).

The national boycott of Jewish
Jewish
businesses and advocacy for their confiscation was promoted by the Endecja
Endecja
party, which introduced the term " Christian
Christian
shop". A national movement to prevent the Jews
Jews
from kosher slaughter of animals, with animal rights as the stated motivation, was also organized.[117] Violence was also frequently aimed at Jewish
Jewish
stores, and many of them were looted. At the same time, persistent economic boycotts and harassment, including property-destroying riots, combined with the effects of the Great Depression that had been very severe on agricultural countries like Poland, reduced the standard of living of Poles
Poles
and Polish Jews
Jews
alike to the extent that by the end of the 1930s, a substantial portion of Polish Jews
Jews
lived in grinding poverty.[118] As a result, on the eve of the Second World War, the Jewish
Jewish
community in Poland
Poland
was large and vibrant internally, yet (with the exception of a few professionals) also substantially poorer and less integrated than the Jews
Jews
in most of Western Europe.[citation needed] The main strain of antisemitism in Poland
Poland
during this time was motivated by Catholic religious beliefs and centuries-old myths such as the blood libel. This religious-based antisemitism was sometimes joined with an ultra-nationalistic stereotype of Jews
Jews
as disloyal to the Polish nation.[119] On the eve of World War II, many typical Polish Christians believed that there were far too many Jews
Jews
in the country and the Polish government became increasingly concerned with the " Jewish
Jewish
Question". Some politicians were in favor of mass Jewish emigration from Poland. By the time of the German invasion in 1939, antisemitism was escalating, and hostility towards Jews
Jews
was a mainstay of the right-wing political forces post-Piłsudski regime and also the Catholic Church. Discrimination and violence against Jews
Jews
had rendered the Polish Jewish
Jewish
population increasingly destitute, as was the case throughout much of Central and Eastern Europe. Despite the impending threat to the Polish Republic from Nazi Germany, there was little effort seen in the way of reconciliation with Poland's Jewish population. In July 1939 the pro-government Gazeta Polska wrote, "The fact that our relations with the Reich are worsening does not in the least deactivate our program in the Jewish
Jewish
question—there is not and cannot be any common ground between our internal Jewish
Jewish
problem and Poland's relations with the Hitlerite Reich."[120][121] Escalating hostility towards Polish Jews
Jews
and an official Polish government desire to remove Jews
Jews
from Poland
Poland
continued until the German invasion of Poland.[122] World War II
World War II
and the destruction of Polish Jewry (1939–45)[edit] Main article: History of Poland
Poland
(1939–45) The Polish September campaign[edit] Main article: Invasion of Poland

Graves of Jewish
Jewish
soldiers who died in Invasion of Poland, also known as the September Campaign.

The number of Jews
Jews
in Poland
Poland
on September 1, 1939, amounted to about 3,474,000 people.[123] One hundred thirty thousand soldiers of Jewish descent, including Boruch Steinberg, Chief Rabbi
Rabbi
of the Polish Military, served in the Polish Army at the outbreak of the Second World War,[124] thus being among the first to launch armed resistance against Nazi Germany.[125] The Polish Jewish
Jewish
losses during the September Campaign were 7,000 killed, 20,000 wounded, and 61,000 in German captivity.[126] It is estimated that during the entirety of World War II
World War II
as many as 32,216 Polish- Jewish
Jewish
soldiers and officers died and 61,000 were taken prisoner by the Germans; the majority did not survive. The soldiers and non-commissioned officers who were released ultimately found themselves in the Nazi ghettos and labor camps and suffered the same fate as other Jewish
Jewish
civilians in the ensuing Holocaust
Holocaust
in Poland. In 1939, Jews
Jews
constituted 30% of Warsaw's population.[127] With the coming of the war, Jewish
Jewish
and Polish citizens of Warsaw
Warsaw
jointly defended the city, putting their differences aside.[127] Polish Jews
Jews
later served in almost all Polish formations during the entire World War II, many were killed or wounded and very many were decorated for their combat skills and exceptional service. Jews
Jews
fought with the Polish Armed Forces in the West, in the Soviet formed Polish People's Army
Polish People's Army
as well as in several underground organizations and as part of Polish partisan units or Jewish
Jewish
partisan formations.[128] Territories annexed by the USSR (1939–41)[edit] Main article: Territories of Poland
Poland
annexed by the Soviet Union The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
signed a Pact with Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
on August 23, 1939 containing a protocol about partition of Poland
Poland
(generally known but denied by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
for the next 50 years).[129] The German army attacked Poland
Poland
on September 1, 1939. The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
followed suit by invading eastern Poland
Poland
on September 17, 1939. Within weeks, 61.2% of Polish Jews
Jews
found themselves under the German occupation, while 38.8% were trapped in the Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union. Based on population migration from West to East during and after the German invasion the percentage of Jews
Jews
under the Soviet-occupation was substantially higher than that of the national census.[130] In the weeks following the attack about 200,000–300,000 Polish Jews
Jews
fled to the eastern city of Lwów
Lwów
alone, not yet occupied.[131] The Soviet annexation was accompanied by the widespread arrests of government officials, police, military personnel, border guards, teachers, priests, judges etc., followed by the NKVD
NKVD
prisoner massacres and massive deportation of 320,000 Polish nationals to the Soviet interior and the Gulag
Gulag
slave labor camps where, as a result of the inhuman conditions, about half of them died before the end of war.[132] Jewish
Jewish
refugees under the Soviet occupation had little knowledge about what was going on under the Germans, since the Soviet media did not report on their Nazi ally. Many people from Western Poland
Poland
registered for repatriation back to the German zone, including wealthier Jews, as well as some political and social activists from the interwar period. Instead, they were labelled "class enemies" by the NKVD
NKVD
and deported to Siberia with the others. Jews
Jews
caught at border crossings, or engaged in trade and other "illegal" activities were also arrested and deported. Several thousand, mostly captured Polish soldiers, were executed; some of them Jewish.[133] All private property and – crucial to Jewish
Jewish
economic life – private businesses were nationalized; political activity was delegalized and thousands of people were jailed, many of whom were later executed. Zionism, which was designated by the Soviets as counter-revolutionary was also forbidden. In just one day all Polish and Jewish
Jewish
media were shut down and replaced by the new Soviet press,[133] which conducted political propaganda attacking religion including the Jewish
Jewish
faith. Synagogues and churches were not yet closed but heavily taxed. The Soviet ruble of little value was immediately equalized to the much higher Polish zloty and by the end of 1939, zloty was abolished.[134] Most economic activity became subject to central planning and the NKVD
NKVD
restrictions. Since the Jewish
Jewish
communities tended to rely more on commerce and small scale businesses, the confiscations of property affected them to a greater degree than the general populace. The Soviet rule resulted in near collapse of the local economy, characterized by insufficient wages and general shortage of goods and materials. The Jews, like other inhabitants of the region, saw a fall in their living standards.[130][134] Under the Soviet policy, ethnic Poles
Poles
were dismissed and denied access to positions in the civil service. Former senior officials and notable members of the Polish community were arrested and exiled together with their families.[135][136] At the same time the Soviet authorities encouraged young Jewish
Jewish
communists to fill in the newly emptied government and civil service jobs.[134][137]

Welcome banner in the eastern city of Białystok
Białystok
during the Soviet invasion of Poland. In the background the Catholic Church of St. Roch (Soviet archival photo)

While most eastern Poles
Poles
consolidated themselves around the anti-Soviet sentiments,[138] a portion of the Jewish
Jewish
population, along with the ethnic Belarusian and Ukrainian activists had welcomed invading Soviet forces as their protectors.[139][140][141] The general feeling among the Polish Jews
Jews
was a sense of temporary relief in having escaped the Nazi occupation in the first weeks of war.[142][143] The Polish poet and former communist Aleksander Wat
Aleksander Wat
has stated that Jews
Jews
were more inclined to cooperate with the Soviets.[144][145] Following Jan Karski's report written in 1940, historian Norman Davies
Norman Davies
claimed that among the informers and collaborators, the percentage of Jews
Jews
was striking; likewise, General Władysław Sikorski
Władysław Sikorski
estimated that 30% of them identified with the communists whilst engaging in provocations; they prepared lists of Polish "class enemies".[137][144] Other historians have indicated that the level of Jewish
Jewish
collaboration could well have been less than suggested.[146] Historian Martin Dean has written that "few local Jews obtained positions of power under Soviet rule."[147] The issue of Jewish
Jewish
collaboration with the Soviet occupation remains controversial. Some scholars note that while not pro-Communist, many Jews
Jews
saw the Soviets as the lesser threat compared to the German Nazis. They stress that stories of Jews
Jews
welcoming the Soviets on the streets, vividly remembered by many Poles
Poles
from the eastern part of the country are impressionistic and not reliable indicators of the level of Jewish
Jewish
support for the Soviets. Additionally, it has been noted that some ethnic Poles
Poles
were as prominent as Jews
Jews
in filling civil and police positions in the occupation administration, and that Jews, both civilians and in the Polish military, suffered equally at the hands of the Soviet occupiers.[148] Whatever initial enthusiasm for the Soviet occupation Jews
Jews
might have felt was soon dissipated upon feeling the impact of the suppression of Jewish
Jewish
societal modes of life by the occupiers.[149] The tensions between ethnic Poles
Poles
and Jews
Jews
as a result of this period has, according to some historians, taken a toll on relations between Poles
Poles
and Jews
Jews
throughout the war, creating until this day, an impasse to Polish- Jewish
Jewish
rapprochement.[141] Even though only a small percentage of the Jewish
Jewish
community had been members of the Communist Party of Poland
Poland
during the interwar era, they had occupied an influential and conspicuous place in the party's leadership and in the rank and file in major centres, such as Warsaw, Łódź
Łódź
and Lwów. A larger number of younger Jews, often through the pro-Marxist Bund or some Zionist groups, were sympathetic to Communism and Soviet Russia, both of which had been enemies of the Polish Second Republic. As a result of these factors they found it easy after 1939 to participate in the Soviet occupation administration in Eastern Poland, and briefly occupied prominent positions in industry, schools, local government, police and other Soviet-installed institutions. The concept of "Judeo-communism" was reinforced during the period of the Soviet occupation (see Żydokomuna).[150][151]

Jewish
Jewish
gravestone at Monte Cassino

There were also Jews
Jews
who demonstrated loyalty toward Poland, assisting Poles
Poles
during brutal Soviet occupation. Among the thousands of Polish officers killed by the Soviet NKVD
NKVD
in the Katyń massacre
Katyń massacre
there were 500–600 Jews. From 1939 to 1941 between 100,000 and 300,000 Polish Jews
Jews
were deported from Soviet-occupied Polish territory into the Soviet Union. Some of them, especially Polish Communists (e.g. Jakub Berman), moved voluntarily; however, most of them were forcibly deported or imprisoned in a Gulag. Small numbers of Polish Jews
Jews
(about 6,000) were able to leave the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
in 1942 with the Władysław Anders
Władysław Anders
army, among them the future Prime Minister of Israel
Israel
Menachem Begin. During the Polish army's II Corps' stay in the British Mandate of Palestine, 67% (2,972) of the Jewish
Jewish
soldiers deserted to settle in Palestine, and many joined the Irgun. General Anders decided not to prosecute the deserters and emphasized that the Jewish
Jewish
soldiers who remained in the Force fought bravely.[152] The Cemetery of Polish soldiers who died during the Battle of Monte Cassino includes headstones bearing a Star of David. The Holocaust: German-occupied Poland[edit] Main articles: The Holocaust
The Holocaust
in occupied Poland
Poland
and Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany Further information: Rescue of Jews
Jews
by Poles
Poles
during the Holocaust

Holocaust
Holocaust
in German occupied Poland: the map

The Polish Jewish
Jewish
community suffered the most in the Holocaust. About six million Polish citizens perished during the war,[153] half of them (three million) Polish Jews—all but about 300,000 of the Jewish population—who were killed at the German Nazi extermination camps of Auschwitz, Treblinka, Majdanek, Belzec, Sobibór, Chełmno or died of starvation in ghettos.[154] Poland
Poland
was where the German Nazi program for the extermination of Jews, the "Final Solution" was implemented, since this was where the majority of Europe's Jews
Jews
lived at the time (excluding the Soviet Union).[155] In 1939 several hundred synagogues were blown up or burnt by the Germans who sometimes forced the Jews
Jews
to do it themselves.[123] In many cases Germans turned the synagogues into factories, places of entertainment, swimming-pools or prisons.[123] By the end of the war, almost all of the synagogues in Poland
Poland
had been destroyed.[156] rabbis were ordered to dance and sing in public with their beards cut or torn. Some rabbis were set on fire or hanged.[123]

Jewish
Jewish
children in the Ghetto

Germans ordered registration of all Jews
Jews
and a word "Jude" was stamped in their identity cards.[157] Numerous restrictions and prohibitions targeting Jews
Jews
were introduced and brutally enforced.[158] For example, Jews
Jews
were forbidden to walk on the sidewalks,[159] use public transport, enter places of leisure, sports arenas, theaters, museums and libraries.[160] On the street, Jews
Jews
had to lift their hat to passing Germans.[161] By the end of 1941 all Jews
Jews
in German-occupied Poland, except the children, had to wear an identifying badge with a blue Star of David.[162][163] Rabbis were humiliated in "spectacles organised by the German soldiers and police" who used their rifle butts "to make these men dance in their praying shawls."[164] The Germans "disappointed that Poles
Poles
refused to collaborate",[165] made little attempts to set up a collaborationist government in Poland,[166][167][168] nevertheless, German tabloids printed in Polish routinely ran antisemitic articles that urged local people to adopt an attitude of indifference towards the Jews.[169]

"The Mass Extermination of Jews
Jews
in German Occupied Poland", by the Polish government-in-exile
Polish government-in-exile
addressed to the wartime allies of the then-United Nations, 1942

Following Operation Barbarossa, many Jews
Jews
in what was then Eastern Poland
Poland
fell victim to Nazi death squads called Einsatzgruppen, which massacred Jews, especially in 1941. Some of these German-inspired massacres were carried out with help from, or active participation of Poles
Poles
themselves: for example, the Jedwabne pogrom, in which between 300 (Institute of National Remembrance's Final Findings[170]) and 1,600 Jews
Jews
(Jan T. Gross) were tortured and beaten to death by members of the local population. The full extent of Polish participation in the massacres of the Polish Jewish
Jewish
community remains a controversial subject, in part due to Jewish
Jewish
leaders' refusal to allow the remains of the Jewish
Jewish
victims to be exhumed and their cause of death to be properly established. The Polish Institute for National Remembrance identified twenty-two other towns that had pogroms similar to Jedwabne.[171] The reasons for these massacres are still debated, but they included antisemitism, resentment over alleged cooperation with the Soviet invaders in the Polish-Soviet War and during the 1939 invasion of the Kresy
Kresy
regions, greed for the possessions of the Jews, and of course coercion by the Nazis to participate in such massacres. Some Jewish
Jewish
historians have written of the negative attitudes of some Poles
Poles
towards persecuted Jews
Jews
during the Holocaust.[172] While members of Catholic clergy risked their lives to assist Jews, their efforts were sometimes made in the face of antisemitic attitudes from the church hierarchy.[95][173] Anti- Jewish
Jewish
attitudes also existed in the London-based Polish Government in Exile,[174] although on December 18, 1942 the President in exile Władysław Raczkiewicz
Władysław Raczkiewicz
wrote a dramatic letter to Pope Pius XII, begging him for a public defense of both murdered Poles
Poles
and Jews.[175] In spite of the introduction of death penalty extending to the entire families of rescuers, the number of Polish Righteous among the Nations
Polish Righteous among the Nations
testifies to the fact that Poles were willing to take risks in order to save Jews.[176] Holocaust
Holocaust
survivors' views of Polish behavior during the War span a wide range, depending on their personal experiences. Some are very negative, based on the view of Christian
Christian
Poles
Poles
as passive witnesses who failed to act and aid the Jews
Jews
as they were being persecuted or liquidated by the Nazis.[177] Poles, who were also victims of Nazi crimes,[178] were often afraid for their own and their family's lives and this fear prevented many of them from giving aid and assistance, even if some of them felt sympathy for the Jews. Emanuel Ringelblum, a Polish- Jewish
Jewish
historian of the Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto, wrote critically of the indifferent and sometimes joyful responses in Warsaw
Warsaw
to the destruction of Polish Jews
Jews
in the Ghetto.[179] However, despite that, as another scholar (Gunnar S. Paulsson) in his work on the Jews
Jews
of Warsaw
Warsaw
has demonstrated, Polish citizens of Warsaw
Warsaw
managed to support and hide the same percentage of Jews
Jews
as did the citizens of cities in Western European countries.[15] Paulsson's research shows that at least as far as Warsaw
Warsaw
is concerned, the number of Poles
Poles
aiding Jews far outnumbered those who sold out their Jewish
Jewish
neighbors to the Nazis. During the Nazi occupation of Warsaw
Warsaw
70,000–90,000 Polish gentiles aided Jews, while 3,000–4,000 were szmalcowniks, or blackmailers who collaborated with the Nazis in persecuting the Jews.[180] Ghettos
Ghettos
and death camps[edit] The German Nazis established six extermination camps throughout occupied Poland
Poland
by 1942. All of these – at Chełmno (Kulmhof), Bełżec, Sobibór, Treblinka, Majdanek
Majdanek
and Auschwitz
Auschwitz
(Oświęcim) – were located near the rail network so that the victims could be easily transported. The system of the camps was expanded over the course of the German occupation of Poland
Poland
and their purposes were diversified; some served as transit camps, some as forced labor camps and the majority as death camps. While in the death camps, the victims were usually killed shortly after arrival, in the other camps able-bodied Jews
Jews
were worked and beaten to death.[181] The operation of concentration camps depended on Kapos, the collaborator-prisoners. Some of them were Jewish
Jewish
themselves, and their prosecution after the war created an ethical dilemma.[182]

Jewish
Jewish
Ghettos
Ghettos
in German occupied Poland
Poland
and Eastern Europe

Between October 1939 and July 1942 a system of ghettos was imposed for the confinement of Jews. The Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto
Ghetto
was the largest in all of World War II, with 380,000 people crammed into an area of 1.3 square miles (3.4 km2). The Łódź
Łódź
Ghetto
Ghetto
was the second largest, holding about 160,000 prisoners. Other large Jewish
Jewish
ghettos in leading Polish cities included Białystok
Białystok
Ghetto
Ghetto
in Białystok, Częstochowa Ghetto, Kielce
Kielce
Ghetto, Kraków
Kraków
Ghetto
Ghetto
in Kraków, Lublin
Lublin
Ghetto, Lwów Ghetto
Ghetto
in present-day Lviv, Stanisławów Ghetto
Stanisławów Ghetto
also in present-day Ukraine, Brześć
Brześć
Ghetto
Ghetto
in presend-day Belarus, and Radom
Radom
Ghetto among others. Ghettos
Ghettos
were also established in hundreds of smaller settlements and villages around the country. The overcrowding, dirt, lice, lethal epidemics such as typhoid and hunger all resulted in countless deaths. Further information: Jewish
Jewish
ghettos in German-occupied Poland

Walling-off Świętokrzyska Street (seen from Marszałkowska Street on the "Aryan side")

During the occupation of Poland, the Germans used various laws to separate ethnic Poles
Poles
from Jewish
Jewish
ones. In the ghettos the population was separated by putting the Poles
Poles
into the "Aryan Side" and the Polish Jews
Jews
into the " Jewish
Jewish
Side". Any Pole found giving any help to a Jewish
Jewish
Pole was subject to the death penalty.[183] Another law implemented by the Germans was that Poles
Poles
were forbidden from buying from Jewish
Jewish
shops, and if they did they were subject to execution.[184] Many Jews
Jews
tried to escape from the ghettos in the hope of finding a place to hide outside of it, or of joining the partisan units. When this proved difficult escapees often returned to the ghetto on their own. If caught, Germans would murder the escapees and leave their bodies in plain view as a warning to others. Despite these terror tactics, attempts at escape from ghettos continued until their liquidation.[185]

NOTICE Concerning: the Sheltering of Escaping Jews. ....There is a need for a reminder, that in accordance with paragraph 3 of the decree of October 15, 1941, on the Limitation of Residence in General Government
General Government
(page 595 of the GG Register) Jews
Jews
leaving the Jewish
Jewish
Quarter without permission will incur the death penalty.

....According to this decree, those knowingly helping these Jews
Jews
by providing shelter, supplying food, or selling them foodstuffs are also subject to the death penalty

....This is a categorical warning to the non- Jewish
Jewish
population against: .........1) Providing shelter to Jews, .........2) Supplying them with Food, .........3) Selling them Foodstuffs. Dr. Franke – Town Commander – Częstochowa 9/24/42

Since the Nazi terror reigned throughout the Aryan districts, the chances of remaining successfully hidden depended on a fluent knowledge of the language and on having close ties with the community. Many Poles
Poles
were not willing to hide Jews
Jews
who might have escaped the ghettos or who might have been in hiding due to fear for their own lives and that of their families. While the German policy towards Jews
Jews
was ruthless and criminal, their policy towards Christian
Christian
Poles
Poles
who helped Jews
Jews
was very much the same. The Germans would often murder non- Jewish
Jewish
Poles
Poles
for small misdemeanors. Execution for help rendered to Jews, even the most basic kinds, was automatic. In any apartment block or area where Jews
Jews
were found to be harboured, everybody in the house would be immediately shot by the Germans. For this thousands of non- Jewish
Jewish
Poles
Poles
were executed.[186]

Announcement of death penalty for Jews
Jews
captured outside the Ghetto
Ghetto
and for Poles
Poles
helping Jews, November 1941

Hiding in a Christian
Christian
society to which the Jews
Jews
were only partially assimilated was a daunting task.[187] They needed to quickly acquire not only a new identity, but a new body of knowledge.[187] Many Jews spoke Polish with a distinguished Yiddish
Yiddish
or Hebrew accent, used a different nonverbal language, different gestures and facial expressions. Jews
Jews
with the specific physical characteristics were particularly vulnerable.[187] Some individuals blackmailed Jews
Jews
and non- Jewish
Jewish
Poles
Poles
hiding them, and took advantage of their desperation by collecting money, or worse, turning them over to the Germans for a reward. The Gestapo
Gestapo
provided a standard prize to those who informed on Jews
Jews
hidden on the 'Aryan' side, consisting of cash, liquor, sugar, and cigarettes. Jews
Jews
were robbed and handed over to the Germans by "szmalcowniks" (the 'shmalts' people: from shmalts or szmalec, Yiddish
Yiddish
and Polish for 'grease'). In extreme cases, the Jews
Jews
informed on other Jews
Jews
to alleviate hunger with the awarded prize.[188] The extortionists were condemned by the Polish Underground State. The fight against informers was organized by the Armia Krajowa
Armia Krajowa
(the Underground State's military arm), with the death sentence being meted out on a scale unknown in the occupied countries of Western Europe.[189]

Janusz Korczak's orphanage

The belief that the experienced suffering was preordained and that it would result in the coming of the Messiah
Messiah
also existed among some religious Jews.[190] To discourage Poles
Poles
from giving shelter to Jews, the Germans often searched houses and introduced ruthless penalties. Poland
Poland
was the only occupied country during World War II
World War II
where the Nazis formally imposed the death penalty for anybody found sheltering and helping Jews.[191][192][193] The penalty applied not only to the person who did the helping, but also extended to his or her family, neighbors and sometimes to entire villages.[194] In this way Germans applied the principle of collective responsibility whose purpose was to encourage neighbors to inform on each other in order to avoid punishment. The nature of these policies was widely known and visibly publicized by the Nazis who sought to terrorize the Polish population. Food rations for the Poles
Poles
were small (669 kcal per day in 1941) compared to other occupied nations throughout Europe
Europe
and black market prices of necessary goods were high, factors which made it difficult to hide people and almost impossible to hide entire families, especially in the cities. Despite these draconian measures imposed by the Nazis, Poland
Poland
has the highest number of Righteous Among The Nations awards at the Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
Museum (6,339).[195] The Polish Government in Exile
Polish Government in Exile
was the first (in November 1942) to reveal the existence of Nazi-run concentration camps and the systematic extermination of the Jews
Jews
by the Nazis, through its courier Jan Karski[196] and through the activities of Witold Pilecki, a member of Armia Krajowa
Armia Krajowa
who was the only person to volunteer for imprisonment in Auschwitz
Auschwitz
and who organized a resistance movement inside the camp itself.[197] One of the Jewish
Jewish
members of the National Council of the Polish government in exile, Szmul Zygielbojm, committed suicide to protest the indifference of the Allied governments in the face of the Holocaust
Holocaust
in Poland. The Polish government in exile was also the only government to set up an organization (Żegota) specifically aimed at helping the Jews
Jews
in Poland. Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto
Ghetto
and its uprising[edit] Main article: Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto Further information: Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto
Ghetto
Uprising

Ghetto
Ghetto
fighters memorial in Warsaw
Warsaw
built in 1948 by sculptor Natan Rappaport

Deportation to Treblinka
Treblinka
at the Umschlagplatz

The Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto[198] and its 1943 Uprising represents what is likely the most known episode of the wartime history of the Polish Jews. The ghetto was established by the German Governor-General Hans Frank
Hans Frank
on October 16, 1940. Initially, almost 140,000 Jews
Jews
were moved into the ghetto from all parts of Warsaw. At the same time approximately 110,000 Poles
Poles
had been forcibly evicted from the area. The Germans selected Adam Czerniakow
Adam Czerniakow
to take charge of the Jewish
Jewish
Council called Judenrat
Judenrat
made up of 24 Jewish
Jewish
men ordered to organize Jewish
Jewish
labor battalions as well as Jewish
Jewish
Ghetto
Ghetto
Police which would be responsible for maintaining order within the Ghetto
Ghetto
walls.[199][200] A number of Jewish
Jewish
policemen were corrupt and immoral. Soon the Nazis demanded even more from the Judenrat
Judenrat
and the demands were much more cruel. Death was the punishment for the slightest indication of noncompliance by the Judenrat. Sometimes the Judenrat
Judenrat
refused to collaborate in which case its members were consequently executed and replaced by the new group of people. Adam Czerniakow
Adam Czerniakow
who was the head of the Warsaw Judenrat
Judenrat
committed suicide [201] when he was forced to collect daily lists of Jews
Jews
to be deported to Treblinka extermination camp
Treblinka extermination camp
at the onset of Grossaktion Warsaw. The population of the ghetto reached 380,000 people by the end of 1940, about 30% of the population of Warsaw. However, the size of the Ghetto
Ghetto
was only about 2.4% of the size of the city. The Germans closed off the Ghetto
Ghetto
from the outside world, building a wall around it by November 16, 1940. During the next year and a half, Jews
Jews
from smaller cities and villages were brought into the Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto, while diseases (especially typhoid) and starvation kept the inhabitants at about the same number. Average food rations in 1941 for Jews
Jews
in Warsaw were limited to 253 kcal, and 669 kcal for Poles, as opposed to 2,613 kcal for Germans. On July 22, 1942, the mass deportation of the Warsaw Ghetto
Ghetto
inhabitants began.[202] During the next fifty-two days (until September 12, 1942) about 300,000 people were transported by freight train to the Treblinka
Treblinka
extermination camp. The Jewish
Jewish
Ghetto
Ghetto
Police were ordered to escort the ghetto inhabitants to the Umschlagplatz train station. They were spared from the deportations until September 1942 in return for their cooperation, but afterwards shared their fate with families and relatives. On January 18, 1943, a group of Ghetto militants led by the right leaning ŻZW, including some members of the left leaning ŻOB rose up in a first Warsaw
Warsaw
uprising. Both organizations resisted, with arms, German attempts for additional deportations to Auschwitz
Auschwitz
and Treblinka.[203] The final destruction of the Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto
Ghetto
came four months later after the crushing of one of the most heroic and tragic battles of the war, the 1943 Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto Uprising.

The cover page of The Stroop Report
Stroop Report
with International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg markings.

When we invaded the Ghetto
Ghetto
for the first time – wrote SS commander Jürgen Stroop
Jürgen Stroop
– the Jews
Jews
and the Polish bandits succeeded in repelling the participating units, including tanks and armored cars, by a well-prepared concentration of fire. (...) The main Jewish
Jewish
battle group, mixed with Polish bandits, had already retired during the first and second day to the so-called Muranowski Square. There, it was reinforced by a considerable number of Polish bandits. Its plan was to hold the Ghetto
Ghetto
by every means in order to prevent us from invading it. — Jürgen Stroop, Stroop Report, 1943.[204][205][206]

The Uprising was led by ŻOB ( Jewish
Jewish
Combat Organization) and the ŻZW.[203][207] The ŻZW ( Jewish
Jewish
Military Union) was the better supplied in arms.[203] The ŻOB had more than 750 fighters, but lacked weapons: they had only 9 rifles, 59 pistols and several grenades.[190] A developed network of bunkers and fortifications were formed. The Jewish
Jewish
fighters also received support from the Polish Underground (Armia Krajowa). The German forces, which included 2,842 Nazi soldiers and 7,000 security personnel, were not capable of crushing the Jewish resistance in open street combat and after several days, decided to switch strategy by setting buildings on fire in which the Jewish fighters hid. The commander of the ŻOB, Mordechai Anielewicz
Mordechai Anielewicz
died fighting on May 8, 1943 at the organization's command centre on 18 Mila Street.

34 Mordechaj Anielewicz
Mordechaj Anielewicz
Street, Warsaw, Poland

It took the Germans twenty-seven days to put down the uprising, after some very heavy fighting. The German general Jürgen Stroop
Jürgen Stroop
in his report stated that his troops had killed 6,065 Jewish
Jewish
fighters during the battle. After the uprising was already over, Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
had the Great Synagogue
Synagogue
on Tłomackie Square (outside the ghetto) destroyed as a celebration of German victory and a symbol that the Jewish
Jewish
Ghetto
Ghetto
in Warsaw
Warsaw
was no longer. A group of fighters escaped from the ghetto through the sewers and reached the Lomianki forest. About 50 ghetto fighters were saved by the Polish "People's Guard" and later formed their own partisan group, named after Anielewicz. Even after the end of the uprising there were still several hundreds of Jews
Jews
who continued living in the ruined ghetto. Many of them survived thanks to the contacts they managed to establish with Poles
Poles
outside the ghetto. The Uprising inspired Jews throughout Poland. Many Jewish
Jewish
leaders who survived the liquidation continued underground work outside the ghetto. They hid other Jews, forged necessary documents and were active in the Polish underground in other parts of Warsaw
Warsaw
and surrounding area.

Freed prisoners of Gęsiówka
Gęsiówka
and the Szare Szeregi
Szare Szeregi
fighters after the liberation of the camp in August 1944

Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto
Ghetto
Uprising, was followed by other Ghetto
Ghetto
uprisings in many smaller towns and cities across German occupied Poland. Many Jews
Jews
were found alive in the ruins of the former Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto
Ghetto
during the 1944 general Warsaw
Warsaw
Uprising when the Poles
Poles
themselves rose up against the Germans. Some of the survivors of 1943 Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto
Ghetto
Uprising, still held in camps at or near Warsaw, were freed during 1944 Warsaw Uprising, led by the Polish resistance movement Armia Krajowa, and immediately joined Polish fighters. Only a few of them survived. The Polish commander of one Jewish
Jewish
unit, Waclaw Micuta, described them as some of the best fighters, always at the front line. It is estimated that over 2,000 Polish Jews, some as well known as Marek Edelman
Marek Edelman
or Icchak Cukierman, and several dozen Greek,[208] Hungarian or even German Jews
Jews
freed by Armia Krajowa
Armia Krajowa
from Gesiowka
Gesiowka
concentration camp in Warsaw, men and women, took part in combat against Nazis during 1944 Warsaw
Warsaw
Uprising. Some 166,000 people lost their lives in the 1944 Warsaw
Warsaw
Uprising, including perhaps as many as 17,000 Polish Jews
Jews
who had either fought with the AK or had been discovered in hiding (see: Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński
Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński
and Stanisław Aronson). Warsaw
Warsaw
was razed to the ground by the Germans and more than 150,000 Poles
Poles
were sent to labor or concentration camps. On January 17, 1945, the Soviet Army entered destroyed and nearly uninhabited Warsaw. Some 300 Jews
Jews
were found hiding in the ruins in the Polish part of the city (see: Wladyslaw Szpilman).

The Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto
Ghetto
Uprising of 1943 saw the destruction of what remained of the Ghetto

The fate of the Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto
Ghetto
was similar to that of the other ghettos in which Jews
Jews
were concentrated. With the decision of Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
to begin the Final Solution, the destruction of the Jews
Jews
of Europe, Aktion Reinhard
Aktion Reinhard
began in 1942, with the opening of the extermination camps of Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka, followed by Auschwitz-Birkenau where people were killed in gas chambers and mass executions (death wall).[209] Many died from hunger, starvation, disease, torture or by pseudo-medical experiments. The mass deportation of Jews
Jews
from ghettos to these camps, such as happened at the Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto, soon followed, and more than 1.7 million Jews
Jews
were killed at the Aktion Reinhard
Aktion Reinhard
camps by October 1943 alone. Białystok
Białystok
Ghetto
Ghetto
and uprising[edit] Main article: Białystok
Białystok
Ghetto Further information: Białystok
Białystok
Ghetto
Ghetto
Uprising In August 1941, the Germans ordered the establishment of a ghetto in Białystok. About 50,000 Jews
Jews
from the city and the surrounding region were confined in a small area of Białystok. The ghetto had two sections, divided by the Biala River. Most Jews
Jews
in the Białystok ghetto worked in forced-labor projects, primarily in large textile factories located within the ghetto boundaries. The Germans also sometimes used Jews
Jews
in forced-labor projects outside the ghetto. In February 1943, approximately 10,000 Białystok
Białystok
Jews
Jews
were deported to the Treblinka
Treblinka
extermination camp. During the deportations, hundreds of Jews, mainly those deemed too weak or sick to travel, were killed. In August 1943, the Germans mounted an operation to destroy the Białystok
Białystok
ghetto. German forces and local police auxiliaries surrounded the ghetto and began to round up Jews
Jews
systematically for deportation to the Treblinka
Treblinka
extermination camp. Approximately 7,600 Jews
Jews
were held in a central transit camp in the city before deportation to Treblinka. Those deemed fit to work were sent to the Majdanek
Majdanek
camp. In Majdanek, after another screening for ability to work, they were transported to the Poniatowa, Blizyn, or Auschwitz camps. Those deemed too weak to work were murdered at Majdanek. More than 1,000 Jewish
Jewish
children were sent first to the Theresienstadt ghetto in Bohemia, and then to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where they were killed. On August 15, 1943, the Białystok
Białystok
Ghetto
Ghetto
Uprising began, and several hundred Polish Jews
Jews
and members of the Anti-Fascist Military Organisation (Polish: Antyfaszystowska Organizacja Bojowa) started an armed struggle against the German troops who were carrying out the planned liquidation and deportation of the ghetto to the Treblinka extermination camp.[210][211] The guerrillas were armed with only one machine gun, several dozen pistols, Molotov cocktails and bottles filled with acid. The fighting in isolated pockets of resistance lasted for several days, but the defence was broken almost instantly. As with the earlier Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto
Ghetto
Uprising of April 1943, the Białystok
Białystok
uprising had no chances for military success, but it was the second largest ghetto uprising, after the Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto
Ghetto
Uprising. Several dozen guerrillas managed to break through to the forests surrounding Białystok
Białystok
where they joined the partisan units of Armia Krajowa and other organisations and survived the war. Communist rule: 1945–1989[edit] Main article: History of Poland
Poland
(1945–1989) Further information: Polish anti-religious campaign (1945–1990) and Anti- Jewish
Jewish
violence in Poland, 1944–46 Postwar period[edit] The number of Polish Jews
Jews
who survived the Holocaust
Holocaust
is difficult to ascertain. Following the Soviet annexation of over half of Poland
Poland
at the onset of World War II, all Polish nationals including Jews
Jews
were declared by Moscow to have become Soviet nationals regardless of birth.[212] Also, all Polish Jews
Jews
who perished in the Holocaust
Holocaust
behind the Curzon Line were included with the Soviet war dead.[213] For decades to come, the Soviet authorities refused to accept the fact that thousands of Jews
Jews
who remained in the USSR opted consciously and unambiguously for Polish nationality.[214] At the end of 1944, the number of Polish Jews
Jews
in the Soviet and the Soviet-controlled territories has been estimated at 250,000–300,000 people.[215] Jews who escaped to eastern Poland
Poland
from areas occupied by Germany in 1939 were numbering at around 198,000.[216] Over 150,000 of them were repatriated or expelled back to new communist Poland
Poland
along with the Jewish
Jewish
men conscripted to the Red Army from Kresy
Kresy
in 1940–1941.[215] Their families died in the Holocaust. Some of the soldiers married women with the Soviet citizenship, others agreed to paper marriages.[215] Those who survived the Holocaust
Holocaust
in Poland
Poland
included Jews
Jews
who were saved by the Poles
Poles
(most families with children), and those who joined the Polish or Soviet resistance movement. Some 20,000–40,000 Jews
Jews
were repatriated from Germany and other countries. At its postwar peak, up to 240,000 returning Jews
Jews
might have resided in Poland
Poland
mostly in Warsaw, Łódź, Kraków, Wrocław and Lower Silesia, e.g., Dzierżoniów
Dzierżoniów
(where there was a significant Jewish
Jewish
community initially consisting of local concentration camp survivors), Legnica, and Bielawa.[217] The character of Poland
Poland
had changed however. In spite of the major Polish contribution to World War II, Poland
Poland
was placed under direct Soviet control due to British and US dependence on the Soviet military commitment to the defeat of Hitler
Hitler
and Franklin D. Roosevelt's unwillingness to confront Stalin over his future plans for Poland. Soviet style Communism
Communism
was established and the borders of Poland
Poland
were moved west. The Soviet Union
Soviet Union
annexed the eastern regions, which had many ethnic minorities including Jewish
Jewish
shtetl communities. Jewish
Jewish
survivors found it practically impossible to reconstruct their earlier lives as they were before in pre-war Poland.[218] Jewish communities and Jewish
Jewish
life as it had existed was gone. Those Jews
Jews
who somehow survived the Holocaust
Holocaust
and returned to their town or villages often discovered that their homes had been looted or destroyed. Some homes had new repatriated inhabitants who at times were very unhappy to see returning Jewish
Jewish
survivors. Aliyah
Aliyah
Bet[edit]

Jewish
Jewish
Holocaust
Holocaust
survivors awaiting departure for the British Mandate of Palestine

For a variety of reasons, vast majority of returning Jewish
Jewish
survivors left Poland
Poland
soon after the war ended.[219] Many left for the West because they did not want to live under a Communist regime. Some left because they did not want to live where their family members had been murdered, and instead have arranged to live with relatives or friends in different western democracies. Others wanted to go to British Mandate of Palestine soon to be the new state of Israel, especially after Gen. Spychalski signed a decree allowing Jews
Jews
to leave Poland without visas or exit permits.[24] Amidst the raging civil war in postwar Poland,[220] anti- Jewish
Jewish
riots broke out in several cities. Hundreds of Jews
Jews
were murdered in anti-communist violence (see: Anti- Jewish
Jewish
violence in Poland, 1944–46).[221] The best-known case is the Kielce pogrom
Kielce pogrom
of 1946,[222] in which thirty-seven Jews
Jews
and two Poles
Poles
were murdered. The Communist government's response to the Kielce
Kielce
atrocity was rapid.[223] Special
Special
investigators were dispatched and military tribunals formed.[223] Activities of the local authorities were investigated.[223] However, only the local commander of Milicja Obywatelska was found guilty of inaction.[223] Nine alleged participants of the pogrom were sentenced to death on trumped up charges; three were given lengthy prison sentences.[223] The debate in Poland
Poland
continues about the involvement of regular troops in the killings, at the exact time of the Soviet takeover.[224] Between 1945 and 1948, 100,000–120,000 Jews
Jews
left Poland. Their departure was largely organized by the Zionist activists including Adolf Berman
Adolf Berman
and Icchak Cukierman, under the umbrella of a semi-clandestine Berihah
Berihah
("Flight") organization.[225] Berihah
Berihah
was also responsible for the organized Aliyah
Aliyah
emigration of Jews
Jews
from Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Poland, totaling 250,000 survivors. In 1947, a military training camp for young Jewish volunteers to Hagana
Hagana
was established in Bolków, Poland. The camp trained 7,000 soldiers who then traveled to Palestine to fight for Israel. The boot-camp existed until the end of 1948.[226] A second wave of Jewish
Jewish
emigration (50,000) took place during the liberalization of the Communist regime between 1957 and 1959. After 1967's Six-Day War, in which the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
supported the Arab
Arab
side, the Polish communist party adopted an anti- Jewish
Jewish
course of action which in the years 1968–1969 provoked the last mass migration of Jews
Jews
from Poland.[219] The Bund took part in the post-war elections of 1947 on a common ticket with the (non-communist) Polish Socialist
Socialist
Party (PPS) and gained its first and only parliamentary seat in its Polish history, plus several seats in municipal councils. Under pressure from Soviet-installed communist authorities, the Bund's leaders 'voluntarily' disbanded the party in 1948–1949 against the opposition of many activists. Stalinist Poland
Poland
was basically governed by the Soviet NKVD
NKVD
which was against the renewal of Jewish
Jewish
religious and cultural life. In the years 1948–49, all remaining Jewish schools were nationalized by the communists and Yiddish
Yiddish
was replaced with Polish as a language of teaching. For those Polish Jews
Jews
who remained, the rebuilding of Jewish
Jewish
life in Poland
Poland
was carried out between October 1944 and 1950 by the Central Committee of Polish Jews
Jews
(Centralny Komitet Żydów Polskich, CKŻP) which provided legal, educational, social care, cultural, and propaganda services. A countrywide Jewish
Jewish
Religious Community, led by Dawid Kahane, who served as chief rabbi of the Polish Armed Forces, functioned between 1945 and 1948 until it was absorbed by the CKŻP. Eleven independent political Jewish
Jewish
parties, of which eight were legal, existed until their dissolution during 1949–50. Hospitals and schools were opened in Poland
Poland
by the American Jewish
Jewish
Joint Distribution Committee and ORT to provide service to Jewish communities.[227] Some Jewish
Jewish
cultural institutions were established including the Yiddish
Yiddish
State Theater founded in 1950 and directed by Ida Kaminska, the Jewish
Jewish
Historical Institute, an academic institution specializing in the research of the history and culture of the Jews
Jews
in Poland, and the Yiddish
Yiddish
newspaper Folks-Shtime ("People's Voice"). Following liberalization after Joseph Stalin's death, in this 1958–59 period, 50,000 Jews
Jews
emigrated to Israel.[7] Some Polish Communists of Jewish
Jewish
descent actively participated in the establishment of the communist regime in the People's Republic of Poland
Poland
between 1944 and 1956. Hand-picked by Joseph Stalin, prominent Jews
Jews
held posts in the Politburo
Politburo
of the Polish United Worker's Party including Jakub Berman, head of state security apparatus Urząd Bezpieczeństwa (UB),[228] and Hilary Minc
Hilary Minc
responsible for establishing a Communist-style economy. Together with hardliner Bolesław Bierut, Berman and Minc formed a triumvirate of the Stalinist leaders in postwar Poland.[228] After 1956, during the process of destalinisation in the People's Republic under Władysław Gomułka, some Jewish
Jewish
officials from Urząd Bezpieczeństwa
Urząd Bezpieczeństwa
including Roman Romkowski, Jacek Różański, and Anatol Fejgin, were prosecuted and sentenced to prison terms for "power abuses" including the torture of Polish anti-fascists including Witold Pilecki
Witold Pilecki
among others. Yet another Jewish
Jewish
official, Józef Światło, after escaping to the West in 1953, exposed through Radio Free Europe
Radio Free Europe
the interrogation methods used the UB which led to its restructuring in 1954. Solomon Morel a member of the Ministry of Public Security of Poland
Poland
and commandant of the Stalinist era Zgoda labour camp, fled Poland
Poland
for Israel
Israel
to escape prosecution. Helena Wolińska-Brus, a former Stalinist prosecutor who emigrated to England in the late 1960s, fought being extradited to Poland
Poland
on charges related to the execution of a Second World War resistance hero Emil Fieldorf. Wolińska-Brus died in London in 2008.[229] 1967–1989[edit] In 1967, following the Six-Day War
Six-Day War
between Israel
Israel
and the Arab
Arab
states, Poland's Communist government, following the Soviet lead, broke off diplomatic relations with Israel
Israel
and launched an antisemitic campaign under the guise of "anti-Zionism". However, the campaign did not resonate well with the Polish public, as most Poles
Poles
saw similarities between Israel's fight for survival and Poland's past struggles for independence. Many Poles
Poles
also felt pride in the success of the Israeli military, which was dominated by Polish Jews. The slogan "our Jews beat the Soviet Arabs" (Nasi Żydzi pobili sowieckich Arabów) became popular in Poland.[230][231] The vast majority of the 40,000 Jews
Jews
in Poland
Poland
by the late 1960s were completely assimilated into the broader society.[citation needed] However, this did not prevent them from becoming victims of a campaign, centrally organized by the Polish Communist Party, with Soviet backing, which equated Jewish
Jewish
origins with "Zionism" and disloyalty to a Socialist
Socialist
Poland.[citation needed] In March 1968 student-led demonstrations in Warsaw
Warsaw
(see Polish 1968 political crisis) gave Gomułka's government an excuse to try and channel public anti-government sentiment into another avenue. Thus his security chief, Mieczysław Moczar, used the situation as a pretext to launch an antisemitic press campaign (although the expression "Zionist" was officially used). The state-sponsored "anti-Zionist" campaign resulted in the removal of Jews
Jews
from the Polish United Worker's Party and from teaching positions in schools and universities. In 1967–1971 under economic, political and secret police pressure, over 14,000 Polish Jews
Jews
were forced to leave Poland and relinquish their Polish citizenship.[232] Officially, they were expelled to Israel. However, only about 4,000 actually went there; most settled throughout Europe
Europe
and in the United States. The leaders of the Communist party tried to stifle the ongoing protests and unrest by scapegoating the Jews. At the same time there was an ongoing power struggle within the party itself and the antisemitic campaign was used by one faction against another. The so-called "Partisan" faction blamed the Jews
Jews
who had held office during the Stalinist period for the excesses that had occurred, but the end result was that most of the remaining Polish Jews, regardless of their background or political affiliation, were targeted by the communist authorities.[233] There were several outcomes of the March 1968 events. The campaign damaged Poland's reputation abroad, particularly in the U.S. Many Polish intellectuals, however, were disgusted at the promotion of official antisemitism and opposed the campaign. Some of the people who emigrated to the West at this time founded organizations which encouraged anti-Communist opposition inside Poland. First attempts to improve Polish-Israeli relations began in the mid-1970s. Poland
Poland
was the first of the Eastern Bloc
Eastern Bloc
countries to restore diplomatic relations with Israel
Israel
after these have been broken off right after the Six-Day's War.[7] In 1986 partial diplomatic relations with Israel
Israel
were restored,[7] and full relations were restored in 1990 as soon as communism fell. During the late 1970s some Jewish
Jewish
activists were engaged in the anti-Communist opposition groups. Most prominent among them, Adam Michnik (founder of Gazeta Wyborcza) was one of the founders of the Workers' Defence Committee (KOR). By the time of the fall of Communism in Poland
Poland
in 1989, only 5,000–10,000 Jews
Jews
remained in the country, many of them preferring to conceal their Jewish
Jewish
origin. Since 1989[edit] Main article: History of Poland
Poland
(1989–present) Further information: Jewish
Jewish
Polish history (1989–present) With the fall of communism in Poland, Jewish
Jewish
cultural, social, and religious life has been undergoing a revival. Many historical issues, especially related to World War II
World War II
and the 1944–89 period, suppressed by Communist censorship, have been re-evaluated and publicly discussed (like the Jedwabne pogrom, the Koniuchy massacre, the Kielce
Kielce
pogrom, the Auschwitz
Auschwitz
cross, and Polish- Jewish
Jewish
wartime relations in general).

Chief Rabbi
Rabbi
of Poland
Poland
– Michael Schudrich

In a 2005 survey commissioned by Anti-Defamation League
Anti-Defamation League
from New York in 12 European countries, asking about selective stereotypes among 500 callers each, Polish respondents averaged 52% at question #1, 43% at #2, 43% at #3, 52% at #4 and 39% at #5 (the highest) asked if "The Jews
Jews
are responsible for the death of Christ", with the lowest percentage of believers that Israeli actions were responsible for violence against European Jews
Jews
(21% at question #7) among all of the 12 countries surveyed.[234] According to a Polish survey conducted in 2005,[235] by CBOS institute (target of critical evaluations themselves by the media),[236] in which Poles
Poles
were asked to assess their attitudes toward 32 nationalities representing different European and non-European countries, 45% claimed to feel antipathy towards Jews
Jews
(steadily decreasing) with 18% to feel sympathy (fluctuating by up to 10 percentage points annually; in 1997 it was 28%), while 29% felt impartial and 8% were undecided. Those surveyed were asked to express their feeling on the scale from −3 (strong antipathy) to +3 (strong sympathy). The average score for attitude towards Jews
Jews
was −0.67 in that year. In the CBOS survey from 2010,[237] antipathy decreased to 27%, and sympathy rose to 31% (down from 34% in 2008). The average score for attitude was +0.05 at that time.[235] The Chief Rabbi
Rabbi
of Poland, Michael Schudrich, said in a BBC
BBC
interview: "it's ... false and painful stereotype that all Poles
Poles
are antisemitic. This is something I want to clearly state: this is a false stereotype. Today there is antisemitism in Poland, as unfortunately the rest of Europe; it is more or less at the same level as the rest of Europe. More important is that you have a growing number of Poles
Poles
who oppose antisemitism."[238]

Lesko Synagogue, Poland

Reform Beit Warszawa Synagogue

Poland
Poland
has many legal provisions to combat antisemitism, neo-fascism, and extremism and has ratified all the major international conventions pertaining to human rights protection and anti-discrimination. Jewish
Jewish
religious life has been revived with the help of the Ronald Lauder Foundation and the Taube Foundation for Jewish
Jewish
Life & Culture. There are two rabbis serving the Polish Jewish
Jewish
community, several Jewish
Jewish
schools and associated summer camps as well as several periodical and book series sponsored by the above foundations. Jewish studies programs are offered at major universities, such as Warsaw University and the Jagiellonian University. The Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland
Poland
was founded in 1993. Its purpose is the promotion and organization of Jewish
Jewish
religious and cultural activities in Polish communities. A large number of cities with synagogues include Warsaw, Kraków, Zamość, Tykocin, Rzeszów, Kielce, or Góra Kalwaria
Góra Kalwaria
although not many of them are still active in their original religious role. Stara Synagoga ("Old Synagogue") in Kraków, which hosts a Jewish
Jewish
museum, was built in the early 15th century and is the oldest synagogue in Poland. Before the war, the Yeshiva
Yeshiva
Chachmei in Lublin
Lublin
was Europe's largest. In 2007 it was renovated, dedicated and reopened thanks to the efforts and endowments by Polish Jewry. Warsaw
Warsaw
has an active synagogue, Beit Warszawa, affiliated with the Liberal-Progressive stream of Judaism. There are also several Jewish
Jewish
publications although most of them are in Polish. These include Midrasz, Dos Jidische Wort (which is bilingual), as well as a youth journal Jidele and "Sztendlach" for young children. Active institutions include the Jewish
Jewish
Historical Institute, the E.R. Kaminska State Yiddish
Yiddish
Theater in Warsaw, and the Jewish
Jewish
Cultural Center. The Judaica Foundation in Kraków
Kraków
has sponsored a wide range of cultural and educational programs on Jewish themes for a predominantly Polish audience. With funds from the city of Warsaw
Warsaw
and the Polish government ($26 million total) a Museum of the History of Polish Jews
Jews
is being built in Warsaw. The building was designed by the Finnish architect Rainer Mahlamäki.[227]

2005 March of the Living

Former extermination camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Majdanek
Majdanek
and Treblinka
Treblinka
are open to visitors. At Auschwitz
Auschwitz
the Oświęcim
Oświęcim
State Museum currently houses exhibitions on Nazi crimes
Nazi crimes
with a special section (Block Number 27) specifically focused on Jewish
Jewish
victims and martyrs. At Treblinka
Treblinka
there is a monument built out of many shards of broken stone, as well as a mausoluem dedicated to those who perished there. A small mound of human ashes commemorates the 350,000 victims of the Majdanek
Majdanek
camp who were killed there by the Nazis. In Łódz there is the largest Jewish
Jewish
burial ground in Europe, and preserved historic sites include those located in Góra Kalwaria
Góra Kalwaria
and Leżajsk.[239] The Great Synagogue
Synagogue
in Oświęcim
Oświęcim
was excavated after testimony by a Holocaust
Holocaust
survivor suggested that many Jewish
Jewish
relics and ritual objects had been buried there, just before Nazis took over the town. Candelabras, chandeliers, a menorah and a ner tamid were found and can now be seen at the Auschwitz
Auschwitz
Jewish
Jewish
Center.[239] The Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto
Ghetto
Memorial was unveiled on April 19, 1948—the fifth anniversary of the outbreak of the Warsaw
Warsaw
ghetto Uprising. It was constructed out of bronze and granite that the Nazis used for a monument honoring German victory over Poland
Poland
and it was designed by Natan Rappaport. The Memorial is located where the Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto
Ghetto
used to be, at the site of one command bunker of the Jewish
Jewish
Combat Organization. A memorial to the victims of the Kielce
Kielce
Pogrom
Pogrom
of 1946, where a mob murdered more than 40 Jews
Jews
who returned to the city after the Holocaust, was unveiled in 2006. The funds for the memorial came from the city itself and from the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad. In modern Poland, interest in learning about and preserving the artifacts of Jewish culture
Jewish culture
is quite strong, especially among the younger generations.[citation needed] Many works devoted to the Holocaust
Holocaust
have been published. Notable among them are the Polish Academy of Sciences's journal Zaglada (first issue, 2005) as well as other publications from the Institute of National Remembrance.

President of the Republic of Poland, Lech Kaczyński, at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, 26 June 2007

There have been a number of Holocaust
Holocaust
remembrance activities in Poland in recent years. The United States
United States
Department of State documents that:

In September 2000, dignitaries from Poland, Israel, the United States, and other countries (including Prince Hassan of Jordan) gathered in the city of Oświęcim
Oświęcim
(Auschwitz) to commemorate the opening of the refurbished Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot synagogue
Chevra Lomdei Mishnayot synagogue
and the Auschwitz
Auschwitz
Jewish Center. The synagogue, the sole synagogue in Oświęcim
Oświęcim
to survive World War II
World War II
and an adjacent Jewish
Jewish
cultural and educational center, provide visitors a place to pray and to learn about the active pre– World War II
World War II
Jewish
Jewish
community that existed in Oświęcim. The synagogue was the first communal property in the country to be returned to the Jewish
Jewish
community under the 1997 law allowing for restitution of Jewish
Jewish
communal property.[240]

The March of the Living
March of the Living
is an event held each year in April to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust. It takes place from Auschwitz
Auschwitz
to Birkenau and is attended by many people from Israel, Poland
Poland
and other countries. The marchers honor Holocaust
Holocaust
Remembrance Day as well as Israel
Israel
Independence Day.

"Shalom in Szeroka Street", the final concert of the 15th Jewish Festival

An annual festival of Jewish
Jewish
culture, which is one of the biggest festivals of Jewish culture
Jewish culture
in the world, takes place in Kraków.[241] In 2006, Poland's Jewish
Jewish
population was estimated to be approximately 20,000;[28] most living in Warsaw, Wrocław, Kraków, and Bielsko-Biała, though there are no census figures that would give an exact number. According to the Polish Moses Schorr
Moses Schorr
Centre and other Polish sources, however, this may represent an undercount of the actual number of Jews
Jews
living in Poland, since many are not religious.[242] The Centre estimates that there are approximately 100,000 Jews
Jews
in Poland, of which 30,000 to 40,000 have some sort of direct connection to the Jewish
Jewish
community, either religiously or culturally.[citation needed] There are also people with Jewish
Jewish
roots who do not possess adequate documentation to confirm it, due to various historical and family complications.[242] A special program of introduction to Judaism
Judaism
is offered to them by a progressive Jewish Community Beit Kraków.[242][243] Poland
Poland
is currently easing the way for Jews
Jews
who left Poland
Poland
during the Communist organized massive expulsion of 1968 to re-obtain their citizenship.[244] Some 15,000 Polish Jews
Jews
were deprived of their citizenship in the 1968 Polish political crisis.[245] On June 17, 2009 the future Museum of the History of Polish Jews
Museum of the History of Polish Jews
in Warsaw
Warsaw
launched a bilingual Polish-English website called "The Virtual Shtetl",[246] providing information about Jewish
Jewish
life in Poland. According to an ADL report released in 2012, based on telephone survey of 500 adults in Poland
Poland
(out of the total number of 5,000 adults polled by Ipsos-Reid in 10 European countries), 54% of Poles
Poles
continue to believe in some anti-Semitic stereotypes. The percentage is down from similar survey conducted in 2009. For instance, with regard to a question of whether " Jews
Jews
have too much power in the business world", Poles
Poles
surveyed ranked the third-highest after Hungary
Hungary
(73%) and Spain (60%). On another question regarding loyalty of their Jewish
Jewish
citizens, the surveyed Poles
Poles
answered at par with Italians at 61% (overall, more than half of all European respondents gave the same answer).[247] Later research conducted in Poland
Poland
and published in 2013 revealed that more than 64.4% of the population agree with phrases that express belief in Jewish
Jewish
conspiracy ( Jews
Jews
would like to control the international financial institution; Jews
Jews
often meet in hiding to discuss their plans; etc.) Moreover, the survey found that people who believed that Jews
Jews
are a collectively intentional group that aims at dominating the world were the ones who would most strongly oppose Jewish
Jewish
rights to buy land, to open businesses, or to regain their lost properties. People who hold such beliefs are also unwilling to vote for a political candidate with Jewish
Jewish
origins or to accept a Jew
Jew
in their closest environment.[248] The study's results were presented to the Polish Sejm
Sejm
(parliament) in January 2014 and were well received by most of its members.[249] Towards the end of 2014, a study conducted by Warsaw
Warsaw
University Center for Research on Prejudice found out that more than half of Polish youth visit anti-Semitic websites that glorify Hitler
Hitler
and the Nazi era. It was also found that some Polish participants agreed with antisemitic phrases. The study's results were presented to the Polish parliament.[250] In July 2013, following animal rights activist campaigns and the European Council
European Council
directive of September 24, 2009, the Polish government passed an animal protection law that had the effect of banning kosher slaughter. This was condemned by Jewish
Jewish
groups in Poland
Poland
and around the world.[251][252][253] Poland
Poland
is the second member state of the European Union
European Union
to pass a relevant bill, after Sweden. In the parliamentary vote, although 178 members voted for re-legalizing ritual slaughter, 222 members opposed it.[254] The new law is causing concerns for some Polish meat processing plants.[254] The Shechita
Shechita
ritual requires cutting the throat of an animal without stunning it first. According to FAWC it can take up to two minutes for cattle to bleed to death.[255] A research published by Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center
in June 2015 revealed that out of six European countries researched, Poland
Poland
has the most unfavorable opinion of Jews. While 78% of Europeans have a favorable opinion of Jews, only 59% of the participants in Poland
Poland
have positive feelings for Jewish
Jewish
people, and 28% hold unfavorable opinion. According to the authors, these outcomes shows no significance change from previous studies.[256] Numbers of Jews
Jews
in Poland
Poland
since 1920[edit]

Historical core Jewish
Jewish
population (using current borders) with Jews
Jews
as a % of the total Polish population (Source: YIVO
YIVO
Encyclopedia & the North American Jewish
Jewish
Data Bank)

Year 1921 1939 1945 1946 1951 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010

Population 2,845,000.3 (+14.2%) 3,250,000[257][258] (100%) 9.14% of the total 100,000 (−96.9%) 0.43% 230,000 (+130.0%) 0.97% 70,000 (−69.6%) 0.28% 31,000 (−55.7%) 0.10% 9,000 (−71.0%) 0.03% 5,000 (−44.4%) 0.01% 3,800 (−24.0%) 0.01% 3,500 (−7.9%) 0.01% 3,200[258] (−8.6%) 0.01%

However, most sources other than YIVO
YIVO
give a larger number of Jews living in contemporary Poland. In the 2011 Polish census, 7,353 Polish citizens declared their nationality as "Jewish," a big increase from just 1,055 during the previous 2002 census.[259] There are likely more people of Jewish
Jewish
ancestry living in Poland
Poland
but who do not actively identify as Jewish. According to the Moses Schorr
Moses Schorr
Centre, there are 100,000 Jews
Jews
living in Poland
Poland
who don't actively practice Judaism
Judaism
and do not list "Jewish" as their nationality.[260] The Jewish Renewal
Jewish Renewal
in Poland
Poland
organization estimates that there are 200,000 "potential Jews" in Poland.[261] The American Jewish
Jewish
Joint Distribution Committee and Jewish
Jewish
Agency for Israel
Israel
estimate that there are between 25,000 and 100,000 Jews
Jews
living in Poland,[262] a similar number to that estimated by Jonathan Ornstein, head of the Jewish
Jewish
Community Center in Kraków (between 20,000 and 100,000).[263] See also[edit]

History of Poland History of the Jews
Jews
in Galicia (Eastern Europe) Israel– Poland
Poland
relations Jewish
Jewish
ethnic divisions Jewish
Jewish
history Jewish
Jewish
Roots in Poland Lauder – Morasha School List of Polish Jews Three Hares Timeline of Jewish
Jewish
Polish history

Notes[edit]

^ http://www.worldjewishcongress.org/en/about/communities/PL ^ Article on Ynet news site, Hebrew (Google translate: "Polish passport" by Naama Sickoler). ^ "Jews, by Country of Origin and Age". Statistical Abstract of Israel (in English and Hebrew). Israel
Israel
Central Bureau of Statistics. 26 September 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2012.  ^ Hugh Redwald Trevor-Roper, From Counter-Reformation
Counter-Reformation
to Glorious Revolution, University of Chicago Press 1992, page 51. Quote: "Poland, at that time, was the most tolerant country in Europe." Also in Britain and the Netherlands by S. Groenveld, Michael J. Wintle; and in The exchange of ideas (Walburg Instituut, 1994). ^ a b George Sanford, Historical Dictionary of Poland
Poland
(2nd ed.) Oxford: The Scarecrow Press, 2003. p. 79. ^ a b European Jewish
Jewish
Congress – Poland ^ a b c d e The Virtual Jewish
Jewish
History Tour – Poland. Jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved on 2010-08-22. ^ In accordance with its tradition of religious tolerance, Poland refrained from participating in the excesses of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation
Counter-Reformation
"Central Europe: Enemies, Neighbors, Friends" by Lonnie R. Johnson Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
1996 ^ Although traditional narrative holds that as a consequence, the predicament of the Commonwealth’s Jewry worsened, declining to the level of other European countries by the end of the eighteenth century, recent scholarship by Gershon Hundert, Moshe Rosman, Edward Fram, and Magda Teter, suggest that the reality was much more complex. See for example, the following works, which discuss Jewish
Jewish
life and culture, as well as Jewish- Christian
Christian
relations during that period: M. Rosman Lords' Jews: Magnate- Jewish
Jewish
Relations in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during the Eighteenth Century (Harvard University Press, new ed. 1993), G. Hundert The Jews
Jews
in a Polish Private Town: The Case of Opatów in the Eighteenth Century (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992), E.Fram Ideals Face Reality: Jewish
Jewish
Law and Life in Poland, 1550–1655 (HUC Press, 1996), and M. Teter Jews
Jews
and Heretics in Pre-modern Poland: A Beleaguered Church in the Post-Reformation Era (Cambridge University Press, 2006). ^ Beyond the Pale Online exposition ^ William W. Hagen, Before the "Final Solution": Toward a Comparative Analysis of Political Anti-Semitism in Interwar Germany and Poland, The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 68, No. 2 (Jun., 1996), 351–381. ^ "The Hidden Jews
Jews
of Poland". Shavei Israel. 2015-11-22. Retrieved 2018-02-20.  ^ Shoa Resource Center: Estimated Casualties During World War II. Internet Archive ^ Paulsson, Gunnar S (2002). Secret City: The Hidden Jews
Jews
of Warsaw, 1940–1945. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 245. ISBN 0-300-09546-5. There were people everywhere who were prepared, for whatever motives, to do the Nazis' work for them. And if there was more anti-Semitism in Poland
Poland
than in many other countries, there was also less collaboration.... The Nazis generally preferred not to count on outbursts of 'emotional anti-Semitism', when what was needed to realize their plans was 'rational antisemitism', as Hitler himself put it. For that, they neither received or requested significant help from the Poles.  ^ a b Unveiling the Secret City H-Net Review: John Radzilowski ^ Richard C. Lukas Out of the inferno: Poles
Poles
remember the Holocaust University Press of Kentucky, 1989 ISBN 0-8131-1692-9, p. 13 ^ Anna Poray, Polish Righteous, Those Who Risked Their Lives, 2008 ^ "I know this Jew!" Blackmailing of the Jews
Jews
in Warsaw
Warsaw
1939–1945. Archived 2007-10-07 at the Wayback Machine. Polish Center for Holocaust
Holocaust
Research ^ Yad Vashem, The Holocaust
The Holocaust
Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority, Righteous Among the Nations – per Country & Ethnic Origin January 1, 2009. Statistics ^ a b Richard C. Lukas, Out of the Inferno: Poles
Poles
Remember the Holocaust
Holocaust
University Press of Kentucky 1989 – 201 pages. Page 13; also in Richard C. Lukas, The Forgotten Holocaust: The Poles
Poles
Under German Occupation, 1939–1944, University Press of Kentucky 1986 – 300 pages. ^ Natalia Aleksiun. " Jewish
Jewish
Responses to Antisemitism
Antisemitism
in Poland, 1944–1947." In: Joshua D. Zimmerman, ed. Contested Memories: Poles and Jews
Jews
During the Holocaust
Holocaust
and Its Aftermath. Rutgers University Press, 2003. Pages 249; 256. ^ Michael C. Steinlauf. "Poland.". In: David S. Wyman, Charles H. Rosenzveig. The World Reacts to the Holocaust. The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996. ^ Devorah Hakohen, Immigrants in turmoil: mass immigration to Israel and its repercussions... Syracuse University Press, 2003 – 325 pages. Page 70. ISBN 0-8156-2969-9 ^ a b Aleksiun, Natalia. "Beriḥah". YIVO. Suggested reading: Arieh J. Kochavi, "Britain and the Jewish
Jewish
Exodus...," Polin 7 (1992): pp. 161–175  ^ Marrus, Michael Robert; Aristide R. Zolberg (2002). The Unwanted: European Refugees from the First World War Through the Cold War. Temple University Press. p. 336. ISBN 1-56639-955-6.  ^ Kochavi, Arieh J. (2001). Post- Holocaust
Holocaust
Politics: Britain, the United States
United States
& Jewish
Jewish
Refugees, 1945–1948. The University of North Carolina Press. pp. xi. ISBN 0-8078-2620-0.  ^ Dariusz Stola. ""The Anti-Zionist Campaign in Poland
Poland
of 1967–1968." The American Jewish
Jewish
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Antisemitism
and Its Opponents in Modern Poland. Cornell University Press, 2005. ^ a b The Canadian Foundation of Polish- Jewish
Jewish
Heritage. Polish-jewish-heritage.org (2005-01-08). Retrieved on 2010-08-22. ^ The history of the Jewish
Jewish
population in Plonsk and the history of the Jews
Jews
in Poland ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "The Polish Jews
Jews
Heritage – Genealogy Research Photos Translation". polishjews.org. 2009. Retrieved September 30, 2015.  ^ Postan, Miller, Habakkuk. The Cambridge Economic History of Europe. 1948 ^ Friedman, Jonathan C (2012) [2011]. " Jewish
Jewish
Communities of Europe
Europe
on the Eve of World War II". Routledge History of the Holocaust. Abingdon; New York: Routledge. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-415-52087-4.  ^ Origins of Polish Jewry (This Week in Jewish
Jewish
History) « Henry Abramson, PhD ^ Andrzej Żbikowki, Żydzi, Wrocław
Wrocław
1997, s. 17. ^ Simon Dubnow, History of the Jews
Jews
in Russia
Russia
and Poland, Varda Books (2001 reprint), Vol. 1, p. 44. ^ Simon Dubnow, History of the Jews
Jews
in Russia
Russia
and Poland, Varda Books (2001 reprint), Vol. 1, p. 42. ^ Official portal of the city of Opoczno
Opoczno
Archived 2008-12-05 at the Wayback Machine. ^ American Jewish
Jewish
Committee, 1957, 1367 pogrom Poznan. Google Books ^ a b S. M. Dubnow with Simon Dubnow
Simon Dubnow
and Israel
Israel
Friedlaender (2000). History of the Jews
Jews
in Russia
Russia
and Poland, Volume 1. Translated by Israel
Israel
Friedlaender. Avotaynu Inc. pp. 22–24. ISBN 1-886223-11-4. Retrieved June 11, 2011.  ^ The Encyclopedia of World History 1447–92. 2001 Archived 2008-02-28 at the Wayback Machine. ^ a b Bernard Dov Weinryb " Jews
Jews
of Poland", p. 50 ^ "Remuh Synagogue. A relic of Kazimierz's Golden Age". Cracow-life.com. Retrieved March 24, 2013.  ^ Hundert 2004, p. 11. ^ Hundert 2004, p. 19. ^ Herman Rosenthal, "Chmielnicki, Bogdan Zinovi", Jewish
Jewish
Encyclopedia 1901. ^ Nagielski, Mirosław (1995). " Stefan Czarniecki
Stefan Czarniecki
(1604–1655) hetman polny". Hetmani Rzeczypospolitej Obojga Narodów. Wydawn. Bellona. pp. 206–213. ISBN 978-83-11-08275-5.  ^ Dariusz Milewski, Szwedzi w Krakowie (The Swedes in Krakow) Mówią Wieki monthly, 08.06.2007, Internet Archive. (in Polish) ^ Mgr inz. arch. Krzysztof Petrus. "Zrodla do badan przemian przestrzennych zachodnich przedmiesc Krakowa" (PDF). Architektura, Czasopismo techniczne. Politechnika Krakowska. pp. 143–145. Retrieved 5 May 2014.  ^ a b Hundert 2004, pp. 51–52. ^ Hundert 2004, pp. 17–18. ^ "Timeline: Jewish
Jewish
life in Poland
Poland
from 1098", Jewish
Jewish
Journal, June 7, 2007. ^ David ben Samuel Ha-Levi, "Divre ̄ David Ture ̄ Zahav" (1689) in Hebrew. Published in: Bi-defus Y. Goldman, Warsaw: 1882. Quoted by the YIVO
YIVO
Encyclopedia of Jews
Jews
in Eastern Europe. ^ a b Bartłomiej Szyndler (2009). Racławice 1794. Bellona. pp. 64–65. ISBN 9788311116061. Retrieved 26 September 2014.  ^ Hundert 2004, p. 18. ^ a b Olaf Bergmann (2015), Narodowa demokracja wobec problematyki żydowskiej w latach 1918–1929, Poznań: Wydawnictwo Poznańskie, page 16. ISBN 978-83-7976-222-4. ^ a b Domnitch, Larry (2003). The Cantonists: the Jewish
Jewish
children's army of the Tsar. Devora Publishing. p. 11. ISBN 1-930143-85-0. Retrieved March 11, 2012.  ^ a b Domnitch, Larry (2003). The Cantonists: the Jewish
Jewish
children's army of the Tsar. pp. 12–15. Retrieved March 11, 2012.  ^ Ĭokhanan Petrovskiĭ-Shtern (2009). Jews
Jews
in the Russian Army, 1827–1917: Drafted Into Modernity. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 2013-03-26 – via Books.google.com.  ^ Brian Porter, When Nationalism Began to Hate: Imagining Modern Politics in Nineteenth-Century Poland, Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
(2000), p. 162. ^ Simon Dubnow, History of the Jews
Jews
in Russia
Russia
and Poland, Varda Books (2001 reprint), Vol. 2, p. 282. ^ Sara Bender (2008). Introduction: "Bialystock-upon-Tiktin". The Jews of Białystok
Białystok
During World War II
World War II
and the Holocaust. UPNE. p. 16. ISBN 1584657294. Retrieved 6 June 2015.  ^ Walter Laqueur. A History of Zionism. Tauris Parke, 2003 pp. 173–4. ^ Isaiah Friedman. Germany, Turkey, Zionism, 1897–1918. Transaction Publishers, 1997, p. 233 ff. ^ a b c Zygmunt Zygmuntowicz, Żydzi w Legionach Józefa Piłsudskiego excerpt from book Żydzi Bojownicy o Niepodleglość Polski, Lwów, 1939, digitized at Forum Żydów Polskich. Internet Archive. ^ Marek Gałęzowski (10 November 2012). "Żydzi w Legionach" (in Polish). Uważam Rze Historia. Retrieved 26 December 2015.  ^ Tadeusz Piotrowski (1997). Poland's Holocaust: Ethnic Strife, Collaboration with Occupying Forces and Genocide... McFarland & Company. pp. 41–42. ISBN 0-7864-0371-3. On December 8, 1919, a Polish National Committee (Komitet Narodowy Polski) report analyzed all the 'so-called pogroms' that had occurred in Poland
Poland
up to that date and concluded that, 'none of the occurrences which took place in Poland, in which the Jewish
Jewish
people suffered, had the character of a 'pogrom' organized by the Polish people against an unarmed population. [Note 45.]  ^ Neal Pease. 'This Troublesome Question': The United States
United States
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Poland
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RP. Internetowy System Aktow Prawnych. "Traktat między Głównemi Mocarstwami sprzymierzonemi i stowarzyszonemi a Polską, podpisany w Wersalu dnia 28 czerwca 1919 r." PDF scan of the Treaty, Archived 2012-01-26 at the Wayback Machine. (original document, 1,369 KB). Retrieved October 16, 2011. ^ Sejm
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RP. Internetowy System Aktow Prawnych. "Ustawa z dnia 17 marca 1921 r. – Konstytucja Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej." PDF scan of the March Constitution, (original document, 1,522 KB), including "Rozporządzenie Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej z dnia 9 marca 1927 r. w sprawie utworzenia gmin wyznaniowych żydowskich na obszarze powiatów: białostockiego, bielskiego i sokólskiego województwa białostockiego." Amendments, Archived 2012-01-19 at the Wayback Machine. (original document, 67 KB). Retrieved October 16, 2011. ^ Gershon David Hundert. The YIVO
YIVO
encyclopedia of Jews
Jews
in Eastern Europe, Vol. 2. Yivo Institute for Jewish
Jewish
Research Yale University Press. 2008. p. 1393. OCLC 837032828 ^ Yehuda Bauer, A History of the American Jewish
Jewish
Joint Distribution Committee 1929–1939. End note 20: 44–29, memo 1/30/39 [30th January 1939], The Jewish
Jewish
Publication Society of America, Philadelphia, 1974 ^ Nechama Tec, "When Light Pierced the Darkness: Christian
Christian
Rescue of Jews
Jews
in Nazi-Occupied Poland", Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press
US, 1987, p. 12 ^ Jews
Jews
in Poland
Poland
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in World War II
World War II
Archived 2008-10-06 at the Wayback Machine. ^ The Virtual Jewish
Jewish
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Jewish
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Jewish
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Revival Hopes". The Forward. 2014-01-14. Retrieved 2014-03-07.  ^ Snyder, Don (November 16, 2014). "Poll reveals anti-Semitism in Poland, renews debate over hate-speech laws". Fox News. Retrieved 31 December 2014.  ^ "Polish Jews
Jews
fight law on religious slaughter of animals". NYTimes. 4 September 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.  ^ "Polish Kosher Slaughter Ban Has Jews
Jews
Feeling Uneasy". The Jewish Daily Forward. July 21, 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.  ^ "Żydzi skarżą się w Brukseli na zakaz uboju rytualnego w Polsce" [ Jews
Jews
appeal to Brussels against the Polish prohibition]. Rzeczpospolita. 2013-07-18. Retrieved 5 October 2013.  ^ a b "Izraelski MSZ: zakaz uboju rytualnego w Polsce "bezczelny"" [Israeli Foreign Ministry: Ban on ritual slaughter in Poland "insolent"]. Wprost. 2013-07-15.  Missing or empty url= (help); access-date= requires url= (help) ^ "Red Meat Animals" (PDF). Report on the Welfare of Farmed Animals at Slaughter or Killing. Farm Animal Welfare Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 May 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.  ^ Stokes, Bruce. "Faith in European Project Reviving". PEW research center. PEW research center. Retrieved 29 June 2015.  ^ YIVO, Population since World War I at the YIVO
YIVO
Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. ^ a b Berman Institute, World Jewish
Jewish
Population. North American Jewish Data Bank. (See Table 1: Jewish
Jewish
Population by Country, 1920s–1930s; PDF file, direct download 52.4 KB) ^ http://mniejszosci.narodowe.mac.gov.pl/mne/mniejszosci/charakterystyka-mniejs/6480,Charakterystyka-mniejszosci-narodowych-i-etnicznych-w-Polsce.html Archived 2015-10-17 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "THE HISTORY FROM THE JEWS POPULATION". JewishGen KehilaLinks. Retrieved 2018-02-20.  ^ " Jewish Renewal
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in Poland". Jewish Renewal
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Detroit . Retrieved 2018-02-20.  ^ "Q+A with Jonathan Ornstein". J-Wire. 2016-04-06. Retrieved 2018-02-20. 

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References[edit]

Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, After the Holocaust, East European Monographs, 2003, ISBN 0-88033-511-4. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, Between Nazis and Soviets: Occupation Politics in Poland, 1939–1947, Lexington Books, 2004, ISBN 0-7391-0484-5. William W. Hagen, "Before the 'Final Solution': Toward a Comparative Analysis of Political Anti-Semitism in Interwar Germany and Poland", The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 68, No. 2 (Jun., 1996), 351–381. Hundert, Gershon David (2004). Jews
Jews
in Poland- Lithuania
Lithuania
in the Eighteenth Century: A Genealogy of Modernity. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-23844-3.  Antony Polonsky and Joanna B. Michlic. The Neighbors Respond: The Controversy over the Jedwabne Massacre in Poland, Princeton University Press, 2003 ISBN 0-691-11306-8. (The introduction is online) Iwo Cyprian Pogonowski, Jews
Jews
in Poland. A Documentary History, Hippocrene Books, Inc., 1998, ISBN 0-7818-0604-6. David Vital, A People Apart: A Political History of the Jews
Jews
in Europe 1789–1939, Oxford University Press, 2001. M. J. Rosman, The Lord's Jews: Magnate- Jewish
Jewish
Relations in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth During the Eighteenth Century, Harvard University Press, 1990, ISBN 0-916458-18-0 Edward Fram, Ideals Face Reality: Jewish
Jewish
Life and Culture in Poland 1550–1655, HUC Press, 1996, ISBN 0-8143-2906-3 Magda Teter, Jews
Jews
and Heretics in Premodern Poland: A Beleaguered Church in the Post-Reformation Era, Cambridge University Press, 2006, ISBN 0-521-85673-6 Laurence Weinbaum, The De-Assimilation of the Jewish
Jewish
Remnant in Poland, in: Ethnos-Nation: eine europäische Zeitschrift, 1999, pp. 8–25  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Singer, Isidore; et al., eds. (1901–1906). "Russia". Jewish
Jewish
Encyclopedia. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.  New York: Funk and Wagnalls. Considerable amount of copy-pasted paragraphs lacking inline citations originate from the Chapter: "Russia" in this source. The encyclopedia was published when sovereign Poland
Poland
did not exist following the century of Partitions by neighbouring empires. OCLC 632370258.

Further reading[edit]

Chodakiewicz, Marek Jan (2003). After the Holocaust: Polish-Jewish Conflict in the Wake of World War II, East European Monographs. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-88033-511-4.  Dynner, Glenn. Men of Silk: The Hasidic Conquest of Polish Jewish Society NY: Oxford University Press, 2006. Engel, David (1998). "Patterns of Anti- Jewish
Jewish
Violence in Poland 1944–1946". Yad Vashem
Yad Vashem
Studies.  Krajewski, Stanisław. Poland
Poland
and the Jews: Reflections of a Polish Polish Jew, Kraków: Austeria P, 2005. Levine, Hillel (1991). Economic Origins of Antisemitism: Poland
Poland
and Its Jews
Jews
in the Early Modern Period. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300049879. OCLC 22908198.  Nikžentaitis, Alvydas, Stefan Schreiner, Darius Staliūnas (editors). The Vanished World of Lithuanian Jews. Rodopi, 2004, ISBN 90-420-0850-4 Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2014) [1942]. Rohde, Aleksandra Miesak, ed. German Occupation of Poland. Washington, D.C.: Dale Street Books. ISBN 1941656102.  Polonsky, Antony. The Jews
Jews
in Poland
Poland
and Russia, Volume 1: 1350–1881 (Littman Library of Jewish
Jewish
Civilization, 2009) ISBN 978-1-874774-64-8 Polonsky, Antony. The Jews
Jews
in Poland
Poland
and Russia, Volume 2: 1881–1914 (Littman Library of Jewish
Jewish
Civilization, 2009) ISBN 978-1-904113-83-6 Polonsky, Antony. The Jews
Jews
in Poland
Poland
and Russia, Volume 3: 1914-20008 (Littman Library of Jewish
Jewish
Civilization, 2011) ISBN 978-1-904113-48-5 Ury, Scott. Barricades and Banners: The Revolution of 1905 and the Transformation of Warsaw
Warsaw
Jewry, Stanford University
Stanford University
Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0-804763-83-7 Weiner, Miriam; Polish State Archives (in cooperation with) (1997). Jewish
Jewish
Roots in Poland: Pages from the Past and Archival Inventories. Secaucus, NJ: Miriam Weiner Routes to Roots Foundation. ISBN 978-0-96-565080-9. OCLC 38756480. 

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
has media related to Daily life in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
has media related to Judaism
Judaism
in Poland.

Maps[edit]

The Cossak Uprising and its Aftermath in Poland, Jewish
Jewish
Communities in Poland
Poland
and Lithuania
Lithuania
under the Council of the Four Lands, The Spread of Hasidic Judaism, Jewish
Jewish
Revolts against the Nazis in Poland
Poland
(All maps from Judaism: History, Belief, and Practice)

History of Polish Jews[edit]

Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Virtual Shtetl

The Polish Jews
Jews
Home Page Beyond the Pale: A History of the Jews
Jews
in Russia. See especially: Jews of Lithuania
Lithuania
and Poland Mike Rose's History of the Jews
Jews
in Poland
Poland
before 1794 and After 1794 Virtual Jewish
Jewish
History Tour of Poland Early History of the Polish Jewish
Jewish
Community from Medieval Jewish Civilization: An Encyclopedia Jews
Jews
in Poland
Poland
from the LNT Travel company. Judaism
Judaism
in the Baltic: Vilna as the Spiritual Center of Eastern Europe The Jews
Jews
in Poland. Saving from oblivion – Teaching for the future Historical Sites of Jewish
Jewish
Warsaw Kazimierz in Kraków
Kraków
– History and Jewish
Jewish
Festivals Jewish
Jewish
presence in the history of Gliwice Polish- Jewish
Jewish
Relations section of the Polish Embassy in Washington Facts and Myths: on the Role of the Jews
Jews
during the Stalinist Period Joanna Rohozinska, A Complicated Coexistence:Polish- Jewish
Jewish
relations through the centuries, Central Europe
Europe
Review, 28 January 2000. Primary sources for the premodern period in Jewish history
Jewish history
and video presentations by scholars, including: Edward Fram, Moshe Rosman, Adam Teller, and Magda Teter on Jews
Jews
in Poland-Lithuania Jewish
Jewish
organisations in Poland
Poland
before the Second World War Foundation for the Preservation of Jewish
Jewish
Heritage in Poland The Canadian foundation of Polish- Jewish
Jewish
Heritage Foundation for Documentation of Jewish
Jewish
Cemeteries
Cemeteries
in Poland

World War II
World War II
and the Holocaust[edit]

Chronicles of the Vilna Ghetto: wartime photographs & documents – vilnaghetto.com Warsaw
Warsaw
Ghetto
Ghetto
Uprising from the US Holocaust
Holocaust
Museum. From the same source see:

Non- Jewish
Jewish
Polish Victims of the Holocaust Bibliography of Polish Jewish
Jewish
Relations during the War

Chronology of German Anti- Jewish
Jewish
Measures during World War II
World War II
in Poland The Catholic Zionist Who Helped Steer Israeli Independence through the UN Poland's Jews:A light flickers on, The Economist, 20 December 2005

v t e

History of the Jews
Jews
in Europe

Sovereign states

Albania Andorra Armenia Austria Azerbaijan Belarus Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Georgia Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland

Italy Kazakhstan Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macedonia Malta Moldova Monaco Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia San Marino Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Turkey Ukraine United Kingdom

States with limited recognition

Abkhazia Artsakh Kosovo Northern Cyprus South Ossetia Transnistria

Dependencies and other entities

Åland Faroe Islands Gibraltar Guernsey Isle of Man Jersey Svalbard

v t e

Ethnic groups in Poland

Traditional

Armenians Belarusians Czechs Germans (Vistula) Jews Kashubians Lithuanians Romani Russians Scots Silesians Slovaks Tatars Ukrainians

Immigrant

Filipinos Georgians Greeks Indians Koreans Macedonians Nepalis Turks Vietnamese

v t e

Polonia and Polish minorities

Europe

Belarus Bosnia and Herzegovina Croatia Czech Republic France Germany Iceland Ireland Latvia Lithuania Moldova Norway Romania Russia
Russia
(and Soviet Union) Spain Sweden Ukraine United Kingdom

Americas

Argentina Brazil Canada Chile Haiti Mexico Paraguay United States

History

Uruguay Venezuela

Asia

Azerbaijan Japan Kazakhstan Lebanon Pakistan Philippines Turkey

Oceania

Australia New Zealand

v t e

Principal religions of Poland

State-recognised

Catholic Church in Poland

Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese Armenian

Rodzima Wiara Native Polish Church Polish Catholic Church Polish Orthodox Church Polish Reformed Church Evangelical-Augsburg Church United Methodist Church Catholic Mariavite Church Old Catholic Mariavite Church Seventh-day Adventist Church Baptist Union of Poland Pentecostal Church in Poland Judaism Islam Karaim

Not state-recognised

Jehovah's Witnesses Buddhism Hinduism

See also

Irreligion in Poland Protestantism in Poland Slavic Nati

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