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This is Zofia Kossak writing in 1936
Jews are so terribly alien to us, alien and unpleasant, that they are a race apart. They irritate us and all their traits grate against our sensibilities. Their oriental impetuosity, argumentativeness, specific mode of thought, the set of their eyes, the shape of their ears, the winking of their eyelids, the line of their lips, everything. In families of mixed blood we detect the traces of these features to the third or fourth generation and beyond.

Jan Blonski, Professor of Polish Literature at the Jagiellonian University has discussed this paradox of antisemite and heroic rescuer in depth both in his seminal essay on Poles and the Holocaust "Poor Poles look at the Ghetto" (the title refers to a famous poem by Milosz written in 1943, the essay is mainly concerned with indifference and failure to act) and in a shorter essay "Pole-Catholic, Catholic-Pole", devoted to Kossak specifically. (For the former see 'My Brother's Keeper? Recent Polish debates on the Holocaust New York 1990, originally Tygodnik Powszechny 1987. Also Les Temps Modernes #516 (1989), the latter in Jews and Christians in a Pluralistic World London, 1991.)

by MarekNYC on Wed Dec 7th, 2005 at 02:29:58 AM EST
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