OPPOsite

Opposite nr 1

Mniejszości narodowe i etniczne w sztuce polskiej po 1945 roku. "Dla ciebie chcę być biała"

Eleonora Jedlińska / An alley near Wolborska street or remnants of Jewish culture in Łódź

One of the most important problems of contemporary humanities is memory and its place in history (Pierre Nora, Les lieux de memoire, 1884-1992). The fundamental notion for discourse of memory is trauma as an answer to an extreme experience of mankind after the 20th century. The extermination of Jewish people is a symbol of contemporary trauma. A good example of this understanding of history and memory is Łódź - the city, which was created together by Germans, Russians, Jews and Poles. Currently, a small alley near Wolborska street is a symbolic place where Jews settled in Łódź at the turn of the 18th and 19th century. Herein is the place where the first and most beautiful synagogue in Łódź was built. This one like the other synagogues in Łódź was demolished by Nazi in November 1939. Empty places, where the synagogues used to be, are today the testimony of our "loss of memory". What is left after the picturesque alley around Wolborska street are some neglected houses, a chaos of unfinished and incomplete arteries and sloppy squares. Jewish people and Jewish artists created the identity of Łódź - many of whom lived here before the World War II. In the collection of the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź we can find important works of arts by Jewish artists: Samuel Hirszenberg, Jankiel Adler, Vincenty (Izaak) Brauner, Henryk (Henoch) Barciński. Almost all of these artists perished during the time of the Holocaust.
After 1945 former villas and palaces which were the real estate of Jewish fabricant families owners are today the places, which were turned into museums, Music Academy and Medical University. And recently a commercial-cultural- show business center so-called "Manufactura" came into being in the revitalized space of the former factory of Izrael Poznański. Since 2008 part of Muzeum Sztuki has been located in the former loom building, which was constructed in 1895 - at present it is called "ms?" - "Museum Sztuki increased to the power of two".
It is our obligation, and the obligation of next generations to remember; Łódź, once a melting pot of different cultures -focuses today on the problem of memory, oblivion, the memory of its own roots and identity. One of the most important parts of this city were Jewish people and this part was snatched. Today only the relics of their existence remain here.