Between Universal Science and National Politics. Nature of the Research Project on the Youth of the Institute for Jewish Research (YIVO) Cover Image
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Między uniwersalną nauką a narodową polityką. Charakter projektu badań nad młodzieżą Żydowskiego Instytutu Naukowego (JIWO) w Polsce międzywojennej
Between Universal Science and National Politics. Nature of the Research Project on the Youth of the Institute for Jewish Research (YIVO)

Author(s): Kamil Kijek
Subject(s): History
Published by: Żydowski Instytut Historyczny
Keywords: YIVO; Yugfor; Max Weinreich; autobiographic method; autobiography; youth; assimilation; acculturation

Summary/Abstract: The purpose of this article is to trace back the context of the birth of one of the most valuable source materials for studying the history of Jews in Poland’s 2nd Republic, i.e., a collection of autobiographies of youth, written in response to three competitions organized by the Institute for Jewish Research (YIVO) of Vilnius in the years 1932, 1934 and 1939. In it, the author seeks to trace back the theoretical and methodological inspirations of the organizers of research into the personality of Jewish youth (Yugfor), and the course of the competitions themselves. The scientific context of the research is followed in conjunction with the social and political goals pursued by YIVO. By reconstructing the scientific and political bases for research, both discussions among Jewish scholars and among them and other scientific communities (chiefly Polish and US ones), or finally the manner in which the competition was presented to the Jewish audience, the article seeks to reconstruct the full context in which this specific source materials were created. Thanks to this it would be possible to interpret more fully the autobiographies, and at the same time, through an analysis of the political and social goals of YIVO, reveal new aspects of the political activity of the Jewish minority in Poland between WWI and WWII. One element of that activity were studies of the youth, which from the point of view of the YIVO milieu was a key group for building the programme of Jewish national autonomy.

  • Issue Year: 234/2010
  • Issue No: 02
  • Page Range: 157-193
  • Page Count: 37
  • Language: Polish