Alina Cała

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Alina Cała (born 19 May 1953 in Warsaw) 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 a 2009 interview with the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, disregarding the factual evidence Cała said that Poles shared responsibility for the deaths of the 3 million Jews murdered in Poland during the Nazi Holocaust.[5] In a 2016 interview with Wprost, Cała said Poles bore responsibility for the fate of Jews who escaped into the forests, some of whom were hunted by Poles, according to publications by Jan Grabowski. Maliciously Cała commented that the 6,620 Polish Righteous among the Nations were insignificant for a nation of some 30 million, and maintained that ethnic Poles' failure to give more help to Jews was due to an antisemitism that was rampant in Poland before the war, particularly after 1935.[6] Her views have been criticized by Institute of National Remembrance historians Andrzej Paczkowski, Piotr Gontarczyk, and Jerzy Woźniak.[7][8][9]


  1. ^ Jewish Historical Institute of Poland (2013). "Alina Cała" (in Polish and English). Archived from the original on 2014-02-22. Retrieved 2013-10-09.
  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. ^ Jesteśmy stadem dzikich zwierząt, [[Wprost ]], Eliza Olczyk, 17 April 2016
  7. ^ Sebastian Górkiewicz, Andrzej Arseniuk (27 May 2009). "Przegląd Mediów – 27 maja 2009" (PDF). Institute of National Remembrance. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
  8. ^ 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. (in Polish)
  9. ^ IPN, Przegląd Mediów – 27 maja 2009, Archived 2011-06-11 at the Wayback Machine. Instytut Pamięci Narodowej (wersja tekstowa), 2009. (in Polish)