Is there Jewish life in Poland after the Shoah? Should there be? How do present-day Polish Jews, children and grand-children of survivors, relate both to the wartime horrors and to the glorious history of Polish Jewry which preceded them? Do they feel comfortable living as a tiny minority in an overwhelmingly Catholic country? How do their Polish and Jewish identities interact? How did living for forty years under Communism impact on their fate? Konstanty Gebert was a witness and participant of many of the events he describes in his collection of essays on post-war Polish Jewry. His book is an indispensable guide for all those who want to understand the Polish Jewish experience today.
Konstanty Gebert is a well-known Polish journalist and writer, co-founder, in the Seventies, of the unofficial Jewish Flying University and, in the Nineties, of the Polish Council of Christians and Jews. He begun his journalistic career in the underground in the Eighties: under the pseudonym of David Warszawski he still uses, he was editor and columnist of an important clandestine publication. After the democratic transformation of 1989, he joined the new daily Gazeta Wyborcza as international reporter and columnist, covering i.a. the wars in the Balkans, the Middle East, and human rights issues. He is the founder and first editor of Midrasz, the Polish Jewish intellectual monthly. Since 2005 he is the representative of the Taube Foundation for Jewish Life and Culture, a US Jewish philanthropy, in Poland. His latest books in Polish include a set of commentaries on the Torah, a panorama of the European 20th century, and a history of the wars of Israel. “Living in the Land of Ashes” is his tenth book.