(Post)border Urban Narrations. Literary Re-constructions of Jewish Szczecin

Paweł Wolski

Jewish identity of the post-war Szczecin may be considered almost symbolic for the state of the Jewish community in Poland: it is marked by a noticeable absence. However, the absence in the case of Szczecin, if reflected upon on the narrative level, goes beyond that tragic, yet clichéd paradox. Jewish Szczecin as a literary reality exists as a “signifiant” of a Jewish town described by means of other urban symbols (Warsaw, Kielce etc.).The article Post-border Urban Narratives presents the ephemeral nature of the literary Szczecin on the example of various narratives by Anna Frajlich, Inga Iwasiów, Alan Sasinowski and focuses on a text by Taube Kron, who describes Szczecin reaching for the symbolic “lieux de memoire” of the Jewish post-war history: Warsaw ghetto, Kielce in the time of pogroms or Lwów as Eastern Europe’s Jewish urban center. In conclusion, it is argued that the “double absence” (of the Jewish and urban identification) can be considered emblematic for the Polish post-war Jewish memory in general, but in the case of the literary Szczecin, presents a particular state of a post-border town: a crossover of a lost/exiled Jewish and German presence and of a never fully acknowledged Polish identity.

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