Brief Description -

In the first issue, the editors wrote in their introductory statement:

It is vital for Jews to preserve the memory of a world from which so many of us are descended and from which we derive so many of the vital springs of our being. Among Poles, too, there is a new willingness to investigate the past of a people who for ten centuries lived in close proximity to them and whose history constituted an integral part of the development of the Polish lands... Our aim is to preserve and enlarge our collective memory, to investigate all aspects of our common past. We believe that there should be no taboo subjects and no topics too sensitive to be discussed. Our columns are open to all those of good will. We ask only that they write honestly and with respect for historical facts.

Twenty Eight issues of Polin have so far appeared:

  • Volume 1 included an important exchange between Rafael Scharf and Wladyslaw Bartoszewski on Polish-Jewish relations and an interview with Czeslaw Milosz on translating the Hebrew Bible into Polish.
  • Volume 2 had a core of articles devoted to the problems posed for Jews by the emergence in 1918 of an independent Polish state.
  • Volume 3, which appeared on the forty-fifth anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, was devoted to the history of Warsaw Jewry.
  • Volume 4 dealt with the way the mutual perceptions of Poles and Jews have developed historically, how prejudices were created and how they were perpetuated.
  • Volume 5 had a core of articles devoted to the problems of Polish Jews in Germany in the twentieth century. It also contained a section on Jewish Art and architecture.
  • Volume 6 had a core of articles dealing with the history of the Jews in Lódz;
  • Volume 7 had a core of articles dealing with the Warsaw ghetto;
  • Volume 8 investigated the situation of the Jews in interwar Poland; and
  • Volume 9 discussed the problem of why socialism, whether in its revolutionary or its reformist manifestation was unable, for the most part, to transcend national and ethnic divisions on the Polish lands.
  • Volume 10 was devoted to the situation of the Jews in Early Modern Poland.
  • Volume 11 had, as its basis, a series of articles on the varieties of the Jewish religious experience in Poland.
  • Volume 12 examined the triangular relationship of Poles, Jews and Ukrainians in Galicia between 1772 and 1914.
  • Volume 13 investigates the Holocaust and its aftermath in Poland; and
  • Volume 14 examines the situation of Jews in the Polish borderlands.
  • Volume 15 is devoted to Jewish religious life in Poland from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century; and
  • Volume 16 investigated Jewish popular culture in Poland.
  • Volume 17 examined the shtetl, myth and reality.
  • Volume 18 had a core of articles on Jewish women in Eastern Europe.
  • Volume 19 investigated Polish-Jewish relation in North America.
  • Volume 20 discussed the problem of how the memory of the Holocaust was contructed and perpetuated.
  • Volume 21 analyzed the causes and consequences of the crisis of 1968 in Poland.
  • Volume 22 was devoted to social and cultural boundaries in pre-modern Poland.
  • Volume 23 examined the history of the Jews in Kraków.
  • Volume 24 was an investigation of the relationship between Jews and their neighbours in Eastern Europe since 1750.
  • Volume 25 investigated the complex relationship between Jews and Lithuanians from 1772 to the present
  • Volume 26 was devoted to the history of Jews in Ukraine
  • Volume 27 investigated the situation of the Jews in the Kingdom of Poland between 1815 and 1918
  • Volume 28 analysed aspects of Jewish writing in Poland.

In addition, each issue has included previously unpublished documents and major bibliographical essays. Until volume 18 each volume had an extensive book review section. The length of time it has taken to publish reviews has led us to post all our reviews on the web instead of publishing them in hard copy. All reviews can be found on the Reviews page.

A selection of the most important articles from the first seven volumes with a long historical introduction by Antony Polonsky has also been published under the title, 'From Shtetl to Socialism'. We have also produced a comprehensive index of the first twelve volumes.