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Polish Journals Spar on Anti-semitic Article

An anti-Semitic article appearing in a Polish literary magazine was sharply attacked in a Polish cultural publication earlier this month, the World Jewish Congress reported. The offensive article, “In the World Torn Apart,” appeared in the monthly journal Poezja and was authored by the deputy-editor-in-chief Bohdan Urbankiewicz.

Leopold Lewin, in his piece entitled “Phantoms and Returning,” in the July 2nd issue of Kultura, said that on reading the anti-Semitic article he felt as though he was in the pre-war world where the Gazeta Warszawska had published jokes about his Jewish origins and the monthly Mysl Narodowa had published an essay entitled “Vampirism of Semite Poetry.”

Lewin wrote that he thought the time had past when literary works were judged according to racist criteria, yet Urbankiewicz had written that those Jews who had become integrated into Polish culture since the war had been forced to do this by circumstances and not as a result of individual decisions or through cultural preparation. Urbankiewicz’s accusation that certain Jewish writers had weak roots in things Polish was an echo of classical chauvinism, Lewin charged.

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