The Crooked Mirror: A Memoir of Polish-Jewish Reconciliation
Download Full Text
Sunday, January 26, 2014, 2:00-3:30pm
The Crooked Mirror: A Memoir of Polish-Jewish Reconciliation by Louise Steinman
Facilitated by Dr. Holli Levitsky, Department of English and Director of Jewish Studies
In the winter of 2000, Louise Steinman set out to attend an international Bearing Witness Retreat at Auschwitz-Birkenau at the invitation of her Zen rabbi, who felt the Poles had gotten a “bum rap.” A bum rap? Her own mother could not bear to utter the word “Poland,” a country, Steinman was taught, that allowed and perhaps abetted the genocide that decimated Europe’s Jewish population, including members of her own extended family.
As Steinman learns more about her lost ancestors, though, she finds that the history of Polish-Jewish relations is far more complex. Returning time and again to Poland over the course of a decade, Steinman finds Poles who are seeking the truth about the past, however painful, and creating their own rituals to teach their towns about the history of their lost Jewish neighbors. This lyrical memoir chronicles her immersion in the exhilarating, discomforting, sometimes surreal, and ultimately healing process of Polish-Jewish reconciliation.
Jewish, Polish, reconciliation
History | Jewish Studies
Steinman, Louise, "The Crooked Mirror: A Memoir of Polish-Jewish Reconciliation" (2014). Jewish Studies Sunday Book & Discussion Group. 49.