Text resize: A A
Change contrast

Category: Issue 2 2019

The other history of Ukraine

The recently released book The Pages of Jewish history of Ukraine is an important achievement. Despite the fact that it was written as a textbook for high schools, it is accessible to readers from different backgrounds and gives a comprehensive overview of the 2,000 years of Jewish presence in Ukraine.

In May 2018 the Kyiv city council passed a decision to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Koliyivshchyna – a peasant revolt which spread through right-bank Ukraine in 1768-1769 and was a response to the Bar Confederation (a political and military revolt of the Polish nobility against the politics of King Stanisław August Poniatowski, a protégé of Catherine the Great which took place partially on Ukrainian territories resulting in victims among Ukrainian orthodox civilians). The Koliyivshchyna rebellion could be seen thus as an episode of Ukraine's religious wars.

March 4, 2019 - Kateryna Pryshchepa

To be or not to be a Jewish student activist?

The European Union of Jewish Students is an umbrella organisation of national Jewish students throughout Europe and the political representation of 160,000 Jewish students and young professionals. Today, after four decades of existence, the organisation must now take on the challenge to gain wider recognition and take responsibility to challenge the status quo.

On the February 7th 2019, the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) had the privilege to open a high-level conference to address antisemitism, hosted by the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Heavy-weights of Jewish advocacy made their way to Brussels to engage in discussion and, through their mere presence, reinforce the importance of the topic.

March 4, 2019 - Alina Bricman

A western in Warsaw

A Covert Action. Reagan, the CIA, and the Cold War Struggle in Poland. By: Seth G. Jones. Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 2018.

When on December 13th 1981 the Polish communist leader Wojciech Jaruzelski introduced Martial Law in Poland, Ronald Reagan, the US president at that time, was vacationing at Camp David. The interpretation of this fact still remains ambiguous today: were the Americans surprised by the decision of the Polish communist authorities? Or was the president’s weekend outing a demonstration of his peace of mind? This question remains unanswered, even though it is widely known that the defecting Polish Colonel, Ryszard Kukliński, had informed the CIA about the communists’ plans to introduce Martial Law. Why, in that case, did the Americans not warn the Polish underground?

March 4, 2019 - Andrzej Brzeziecki

Inspirations and lessons for an oppressed world

The Final Act: The Helsinki Accords and the Transformation of the Cold War. By: Michael Cotey Morgan. Publisher: Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2018.

Many lessons and inspirations for our troubled times can be drawn from the Cold War. For example, we learnt that fascism has many outfits. Communism showed that even the humanist, enlightened pursuit of utopia leads to totalitarianism, as long as it is based on a philosophy that counters rather than values political, social and basic human diversity. Similarly, we saw that we should take ideology seriously. This lesson is particularly important for us today, in the world of Vladimir Putin, Viktor Orbán, Bashar al-Assad, Xi Jingping, Donald Trump, and Nicolás Maduro.

March 4, 2019 - Jordan Luber

An iron will

Prebijem sa! Štefánik. Muž železnej vôle (I shall prevail! Štefánik – a Man of Iron Will). By: Jozef Banáš. Publisher: Ikar, Bratislava, 2018.

“Were we not to follow the path of truth and prove worthy of the good and the work you have done on our behalf, we would kill you. Were we to act selfishly in seeking our own prosperity instead of the nations, we would kill you. Were we to search for the meaning of life in material things, in money, food and physical escapades that are all soul-destroying, we would kill you. Were we to love lies more than truth, were we not to purge our private and public lives of evil, we would kill you. Were we to lose our national consciousness and pride, we would kill you.”

These were the touching words of Evangelical Bishop Samuel Zoch at Milan Rastislav Štefánik’s funeral on May 11th 1919 in Bradlo, close to the general’s native village of Košariská in western Slovakia. The Czechoslovak government in Slovakia – which had to fight for its survival until the Treaty of Versailles would grant recognition of the new state and its southern borders – demonstrated its gratitude with a state funeral and a beautiful sepulchre (mohyla) that was worthy of a king.

March 4, 2019 - Josette Baer

A booze smuggler’s metamorphosis into the Righteous Among Nations

A review of The Mover. A film written and directed by Dāvis Sīmanis. Released in Latvia, October 2018.

“Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire.” No, I am not quoting from Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning film Schindler’s List (1993), although it has popularised the saying. Actually this quote, taken from the Talmud, is the leitmotif of the recent Latvian film The Mover, directed by Dāvis Sīmanis. Though the quote is never mentioned in the movie, it stays in the back of your mind all the time. The Mover is a film based on the true story of Žanis Lipke and his family, who risked their lives to save more than 50 Jews in Latvia during the Second World War, and were later honoured with the title of Righteous Among the Nations.

March 4, 2019 - Solveiga Kaļva

Partners

Terms of Use | Cookie policy | Copyryight 2022 Kolegium Europy Wschodniej im. Jana Nowaka-Jeziorańskiego 31-153 Kraków
Agencja interaktywna: hauerpower krakow studio krakow.