The Debate over J.T. Gross’s Golden Harvest. Between a Choreographed Performance and a New Opening of the Debate over Collective Memory. Cover Image
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Debata wokół „Złotych Żniw” J. T. Grossa. Między inscenizacją a nowym otwarciem sporu o pamięć zbiorową
The Debate over J.T. Gross’s Golden Harvest. Between a Choreographed Performance and a New Opening of the Debate over Collective Memory.

Author(s): Magdalena Nowicka
Subject(s): History
Published by: Żydowski Instytut Historyczny
Keywords: public debate; collective memory; Jan Tomasz Gross; Złote żniwa

Summary/Abstract: The article deals with communication mechanisms that govern public debates over the shape of collective memory. These actions are illustrated by examples of the decade-long controversy over books by Jan Tomasz Gross, in particular Złote żniwa [Golden Harvest] (2011). Złote żniwa is already the third book by this author that has sparked of a heated reaction in the public space, especially in nationwide media. The accumulation of argumentation strategies applied to Gross and his works could indicate that we are dealing with a production of the dispute, driven largely by the media. However, next to the well-known machinations and arguments used to discredit or support Gross’s message, new strategies of the debate about the Poles’ guilt vis-à-vis the Jews also appear. We are witnessing a public redefinition of the historian as a public figure and his duty toward collective memory. There is also a pronounced need for a reflection that would recapitulate and evaluate the outcome of the debates. The recapitulating thread of the dispute has produced some statements that offer a reflection over the quality of the debate and its long-term consequences for the ways of remembering the victims and the perpetrators.

  • Issue Year: 251/2014
  • Issue No: 03
  • Page Range: 514-527
  • Page Count: 14
  • Language: Polish