[Antisemitic demonstration by members of Poland's right-wing nationalist party giving the Nazi salute, Jewish district of Warsaw]
|Dimensions||Image (paper): 10 13/16 x 13 11/16 in. (27.5 x 34.8 cm)
Mount: 14 1/16 x 18 in. (35.7 x 45.7 cm)
|Print medium||Photo-Gelatin silver|
In the 1930s, several members of Poland’s government sought to scapegoat the large Jewish population for the country’s economic woes. The Polish Endecja (National Democracy) party organized pogroms and promoted antisemitic measures and dictatorship. In 1935, after the death of influential Polish leader and former chief of state Jozef Pilsudski, who opposed the antisemitic policies of the National Democrats, the situation of Jews in Warsaw rapidly deteriorated. Calls for the establishment of separate seating for Jews, boycotts of Jewish shops, and antisemitic violence became commonplace, and undermined the security and stability of Warsaw’s Jewish community, then numbering 400,000, roughly one-third of the city’s population. In 1935, Vishniac was sent by the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) to document the crippling effects of the Polish antisemitic boycotts, focusing his lens on impoverished shopkeepers, destroyed shops and market stalls, porters, people who had lost their jobs, and children living in horrible conditions.
Photographs of similar Polish antisemitic demonstrations are located in the archives of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
© Mara Vishniac Kohn
Gift of Mara Vishniac Kohn, 2013