Page 47 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 45

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GROSS/JEWISH THEMES IN RECENT POLISH LITERATURE
3 9
Chance in a Thousand
(1986), which recounts the dramatic tale of
120 days of hiding among the ruins of Warsaw following the Pol­
ish rebellion in 1944.
An unexpected publication was the anthology
Poezie nowo-
hebrajskie
(Modern Hebrew poetry, 1986), translated and edited
by Aleksander Ziemny. While the translations fall short of the
mark, the editor has endeavored to include representative poems
of 40 poets from Bialik to Dalya Ravikovich. In the field of poetry
mention should also be made of the collection by Jan Dol^ga
Szczepariski entitled
Singers of the Ghetto
(1986), which offers a
chronicle of life in the Warsaw Ghetto. It contains a series of
“Psalms,” in which there figure such personalities as Yitzhak
Katzenelson, Ringelblum, Schiper, and Balaban, among others.
Each of these poems concludes with an appropriate verse from
the Book of Psalms.
Kazimierz Brandys, the first-rate author who recently visited
Israel, published at the beginning of his career a novel about a
Jewish student entitled
Samson: Antygona
(1949 ; reprinted Paris,
1985). During the anti-Semitic riots of 1938 at the University of
Warsaw he killed a Polish student. Later he met a heroic death in
opposing the Nazis as a member of the Polish Underground.
Brandys has not dealt directly with the Jews in any of his many
subsequent books. However, in his latest collection of essays,
Months
(Paris, 1985), he has incorporated his memoirs of his Jew­
ish family that perished in the Holocaust.
A serious study dealing with Polish Jewish history is repre­
sented by Jerzy Tomaszewski’s
Rzeczpospolita wielu narodow
(A
republic of many peoples, 1985). Included are seven chapters
dealing with the Jewish minority. The volume represents the
work of a competent historian, a faculty member of the Univer­
sity of Warsaw who was invited last year to be a visiting professor
at the Hebrew University.
Since 1983, Jewish calendars
(Kalendarz zydowski
), comprising
rich almanacs of information on various aspects of Jewish life,
history and literature, have appeared on an annual basis. These
volumes offer a mine of information to both Poles and Jews alike.
During 1986, as noted, there appeared a new bilingual (Polish-
Yiddish) edition of
The song of the murderedJewish people
by Yitzhak
Katzenelson in the translation of Jerzy Ficowski. The latter was
also the author of a collection of essays on Bruno Schulz and the
editor of an album of Schulz’s drawings. A bilingual (Polish-