Alina Cała

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Alina Cała in 1990.

Alina Cała (born 1953) is a Polish writer, historian and sociologist. A former board member of the Jewish Historical Institute,[1] she specialises in 19th and 20th century Polish-Jewish history, antisemitism and Jewish assimilation in Central and Eastern Europe.

After 1976 Alina Cała collaborated with the Workers' Defence Committee and Committee for Social Self-defence KOR. In the 1980s she also co-founded the folk high school in Zbrosza Duża, perhaps the first institution for adult education to be independent from the Communist authorities since the end of World War II. After 1989 she has been a feminist and pro-choice activist. She collaborates with the Greens 2004 party.[citation needed]

As a historian, Alina Cała focuses mostly on Polish-Jewish relations in the last two centuries. Among her most important works is the Assimilation of Jews in the Kingdom of Poland (1864-1897) (published in 1989).[2] Her most cited work is The Image of the Jew in Polish Folk Culture (1st edition 1987), also published since in English.[3] In recent years she published a variety of historical books on modern Polish-Jewish history, notably the ideological views of the last generation of Jewish-Polish youth before the war,[4] and the Polish-Jewish history between 1944 and 1968.

In an 2009 interview for Rzeczpospolita Cała claimed that Poles share responsibility for the deaths of 3 million Jews (i.e. all of them) during the Nazi Holocaust in Poland.[5] Her controversial views have been criticized by historians of the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, including Prof. Andrzej Paczkowski,[6][7] who commented in his subsequent interview on 27 May 2009, that unlike the Vichy French or the Romanian Antonescu regime, Polish people did not form a pro-Nazi collaborationist government. Even in the presumably less antisemitic Netherlands the local administration helped the Germans by providing Jewish population data, which would have never taken place in occupied Poland.[8]


  1. ^ Jewish Historical Institute of Poland (2013). "Alina Cała" (in Polish and English). 
  2. ^ Asymilacja Żydów w Królestwie Polskim 1864-1897; postawy, konflikty, stereotypy (in Polish). Warsaw: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy. 1989. p. 407. ISBN 978-83-06-01789-2. 
  3. ^ Alina Cała (1995). The image of the Jew in Polish folk culture. Jerusalem: Magnes Press, Hebrew University. p. 235. ISBN 978-965-223-900-6. 
  4. ^ Alina Cała (2003). Ostatnie pokolenie: autobiografie polskiej młodzieży żydowskiej okresu mie̜dzywojennego ze zbiorów YIVO Institute for Jewish Research w Nowym Jorku (in Polish). Warsaw: Sic!. p. 544. ISBN 978-83-88807-38-1. 
  5. ^ Piotr Zychowicz (May 2009). "Polacy jako naród nie zdali egzaminu". Rzeczpospolita (in Polish) (2009-05-25). ISSN 0208-9130. Retrieved 2009-12-23. 
  6. ^ Sebastian Górkiewicz, Andrzej Arseniuk (27 May 2009). "Przegląd Mediów – 27 maja 2009". Institute of National Remembrance. Retrieved December 23, 2009. 
  7. ^ Franciszek Tyszka, Controversial article by employee of Jewish Historical Institute Dr. Alina Cała commented on by historian Prof. Andrzej Paczkowski, Super Express daily, 27.05.2009. (Polish)
  8. ^ IPN, Przegląd Mediów – 27 maja 2009, Instytut Pamięci Narodowej (wersja tekstowa), 2009. (Polish)