Jewish ‘Shtadlan’ in Communist Poland?

A Microstudy of the Historical Continuation and Paradoxes of Jewish Communal Subjectivity




Communism, Holocaust Aftermath, Poland, post-war, productivization, subjectivity, continuation, Nusekh Poyln, Klal Israel, shtadlan, intercesorship, anti-Semitism, Jewish cooperatives


This article is a microhistorical study of the activity of Commissar for the Productivisation of the Jewish Population that took place in the Jewish community of Reichenbach/ Dzierżoniów in the years 1946–1947. By studying the activity of communist Jewish Commissar, Simcha Intrator, in the very unique milieu of Dzierżoniów (town in former German territories of which half of the population consisted of Polish Jews in the summer of 1946) – this article shows the role of prewar continuations in post-Holocaust Polish Jewish life. As I claim, in the specific social and cultural climate of Dzierżoniów, Simcha Intator, nominated to help to mould the Jewish community according to the communist model, acted against the prerogatives of his institutions, strengthening non-communist, pluralistic elements of local Jewish life. Thus, this article is a microhistorical study of the role of continuation of older norms and traditions in the post-war socio-political subjectivity of the Polish Jewish community.

Author Biography

Kamil Kijek, University of Wroclaw

Kamil Kijek is an Assistant Professor at the Jewish Studies Department, University of Wrocław, Poland. He was a Prins Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Jewish History in New York, and a Sosland Family Fellow at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. Between March and August 2022 he was a Gerda Henkel Research Fellow at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies. His research interest include Central-East European Jewish History at the end of the XIX and in the XX century as well as social and cultural theory. In 2018, he received an international prize for his book Dzieci Modernizmu granted by the Leonid Nevzlin Research Center for Russian and East-European Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for the best publication on the topic of Jews and Illiberal Regimes in Eastern Europe after 1917. Email:


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How to Cite

Kijek, Kamil. 2023. “Jewish ‘Shtadlan’ in Communist Poland? : A Microstudy of the Historical Continuation and Paradoxes of Jewish Communal Subjectivity”. S: I.M.O.N. Shoah: Intervention. Methods. Documentation. 10 (3):4-25.