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The Collective Memory of Auschwitz and World War II among Catholics in Poland: A Qualitative Study of Three Communities

Marek Kucia, Marta Duch-Dyngosz and Mateusz Magierowski
History and Memory
Vol. 25, No. 2 (Fall/Winter 2013), pp. 132-173
Published by: Indiana University Press
DOI: 10.2979/histmemo.25.2.132
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/histmemo.25.2.132
Page Count: 42
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The Collective Memory of Auschwitz and World War II among Catholics in Poland: A Qualitative Study of Three Communities
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Abstract

This article discusses the results of focus group interviews with members of three different Catholic communities in Poland: the Radio Maryja Family from Rzeszów, epitomizing the so-called “Closed Church,” the intellectuals from Lublin associated with the late Archbishop Życiński, who exemplify adherents to the “Open Church,” and the Club of Catholic Intelligentsia from Kraków, which adopts a middle position between these two groups. The analysis reveals that although the groups constitute varying “communities of memory” with different perceptions of the Polish national past and relations between Poles and Jews, there are no significant differences in their memory of Auschwitz. The qualitative study of these three Catholic communities confirms the results of surveys which show that over the past years in Poland the Jewish meaning of Auschwitz has gained precedence over the Polish and Catholic meanings.

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