I the Lucky Dystopian Survivor in a Utopian Poland

Utopia, in  my “naive” view, is a striving to some unachievable  goal. In my case : “Genealogy, documents identity, memories and  new ceremonial protocols  of the Holocaust”, seen in a broader perspective, are such very remote impossible goals.


And why ….

From a Polish “Utopic” point of view after WW2, the aiming at a renewed beautiful present and normal future, in the form of many activities taking place in Poland today, are in many instances, the after effects of the Holocaust,  and therefore are in conflict with the Jewish point of view, because they are taking place in an Dystopian Poland , where almost no Jews where left from the three millions living there before war..

However, from a local point of view, the reconstruction of Jewish cemeteries,  the Jewish studies in the Polish universities, see here and here, are absolutely legitimate goals in themselves. And in the same vain are the Jewish active people from abroad and Israel, merging with their Polish partners into the same localization (Lodz, Zdunska Wola, Krakow etc.), see here.  But what is totally forgotten is what I identified as the global Polish Dystopian-Utopian actual  reality.

This forgetfulness is bests seen in “Berek, a film by Artur Zmijewski, the Polish visual artist, filmmaker and photographer, see here, and he wrote:

“The film Berek (Game of Tag) was made in 1999. In it a group of people play a kid’s game. They are naked, they run around, they laugh a lot. But they are also very serious. They know where they are—in the gas chamber of a former Nazi extermination camp. Berek is about a part of history that is treated as “untouchable” and about overly painful memories, when the official commemorations of this history are not enough. The murdered people are victims—but we, the living, are also victims. And as such we need a kind of treatment or therapy, so we can create a symbolic alternative; instead of dead bodies we can see laughter and life. Berek is about how we can engage with this brutal history and work with imposed memory. It’s possible to have active access to history, and to attempt to emancipate ourselves from the trauma…”



Source, see here

 And here is another quote:
 ….Anthropologist Joanna Tokarska-Bakir, see here, recently sent me a comment on the controversy”

 It’s interesting how the whole issue with Berek explodes now. The video is old. I would emphasize the fact that it is a way of breaking with the kitsch of the Holocaust—which is presented as the guardian of memory, while at the same time that very memory is destroyed, ensuring that the Holocaust would remain a Jewish-only issue. Your video is a way of dealing with the violent appropriation of the Holocaust—through a shock re-coding of that which has become congealed in the solemn interpretations controlled by the “high priests”.

 I would also say that—and I feel it more than ever—all of us, who feel there is still a lot left to say, find it more and more difficult to reach the audience, as nobody wants to hear about the Shoah anymore. Phenomena as excessive as the Holocaust and its representations can never take their proper place there   is always too little or too much of them

This more global  view, into witch our (Polish and Jewish) local activities are embedded, leads (me) to an almost impossible situation of choice: to be local or global in Poland