Students’ presentations on the topic MIGRATION AND RELIGION:
Polish-Jewish relations in the ancient Poland
In the Middle Ages, the Jews sought refugee in Poland from persecutions they experienced in the countries of Western Europe. Here, they had many privileges issued by Polish princes and kings, and the penalties for crimes committed against the Jews were strict, which protected them from groundless accusations of “ritual murder”. Thanks to this, they could live and work here peacefully.
However, in the 15th century, more and more tension in the conflicts between the Jews and Polish Christians began to appear. At first, the majority of assaults on Jews were due to economic reasons, but sometimes also because of influences from Western Europe, where people considered Jews as the killers of Christ. Anti-Jewish feelings were strongest in Cracow, where in the 15th centurya, a few collective assaults on Jews took place. This caused eviction of Jews from the city in 1495, but they moved to nearby Kazimierz.
The first lawsuits against Jews accused of profaning the Host and committing “ritual murders” took place on Polish territory in the 16th century, when in Western Europe such accusations had already vanished. In Poland, Counter-Reformation writers like Piotr Skarga contributed to the popularity of these accusations. In “Lives of the Saints from the Old and New Testaments” he posted the story of Simon of Trent, the boy allegedly murdered in 1475 by the Jews, the boy who began to be treated as a saint, which was later officially approved by the Catholic Church. All the way to the half of the 17th century the majority of the accused of alleged felonies of this type had been released by Polish courts, and Jews had been defended by Polish magnates and kings. However, the political, economic and cultural collapse, in Rzeczpospolita in the mid-seventeenth century, resulted in exacerbation of relations between Poles and Jews. More and more often Jews accused of „ritual murders” were sentenced to death. On Polish soil however, collective processes, like in Western Europe, have never happened. Many of accused of ritual murders were subjected to torture, and forced to plead guilty of something they had never done. The prohibition of torture issued by king Stanisław August in 1776 made the processes of “ritual murders” gradually die out.
Since the end of the XVI century anti-Jewish literature in Poland had began to appear. It accused Jews of the dislike for Christians and the aspiration to economic dominance, as well as propagated accusations of ritual murders. It developed mainly in Cracow, and the Jagiellonian University contributed to fueling these moods. Students throughout the Rzeczpospolita acted against Jews. They smashed windows or organized assaults. Such actions mainly happened during Easter and the celebration of Corpus Christi. Christians also forced Jews to change their religion.
Jews had been living among Poles for a few hundred years, practising their own religion, speaking their own language and creating their own culture. They lived in allocated districts of cities, have often encountered hostility of the people around. But it never came to a total separation of the two communities. Due to the fact that Jews settled throughout the Polish state, almost all Poles had contact with them. Even if they didn’t live in a particular town, one was bound to meet them in the neighboring one. Their main activities – trade and crafts – created many opportunities for contacts.
Buyers and sellers have to talk to each other, anda popular habit of haggling made it even more common. The knowledge of Polish was not too great amongst Jews at that time, but many were able to communicate with Poles when they did business. However, in general it concerned only the spoken language. Traditional Jews rarely knew how to read and write in Polish.
Since medieval times the Catholic Church had forbidden Christians to live with Jews, to be in their houses or serve them. However, that ban was not obeyed strictly. In cities, where there were separate Jewish streets or districts, among the Jewish there were also Polish townspeople’s houses. In Poland, ghettos, such as in Italy, Germany, or in Prague, Czech Republic, never existed.
Although Jews did not have the same rights as Christian townspeople until the mid-nineteenth century, they stood together with other inhabitants of a city in situations that threatened its security. They took part in defense of cities, especially in the seventeenth century in the eastern part of the Rzeczpospolita during the wars with Moscow, Tartars, Cossacks and Swedes. They also participated in the work of maintaining the city’s fortifications. In some cities they built synagogues adjoining municipal fortifications and adapted for the defence purposes. In times of peace, fires of cities forced them to cooperate.
These contacts resulted in mutual influences in the folk culture of both communities. Polish folk paper cut-outs contain motifs known from Jewish cutouts, which were stuck on window panes during the holiday of Shavuot.
Jewish cut-out Żupan
Some elements of folk dress cuts and furniture styles evolved undoubtedly under the influence of Jewish tailors and carpenters, who were their chief producers. In Jewish culture, you can also see Polish influences. The cut of the Jewish gaberdine comes from the traditional dress of Polish nobleman, żupan. Jewish tailors used designs they knew well, because they often sewed clothes for the nobility. The influences can also be observed in Polish and Jewish folk songs from different periods.
Yiddish contains a lot of borrowings from Polish: Yiddish DEMB comes from Polish DĄB (oak); LONKE – LĄKA (meadow). Also Polish incorporated words from Yiddish. The word CYMES, which in Yiddish means „dessert, something sweet” , is used in Polish to mean something exceptionally delicious. In Poland a naughty child is called BACHOR (in English BRAT). The word originates from Hebrew BACHUR (boy). In pre-war Warsaw the word DINTOJRA was commonly used to mean vengeance in the underworld. In Yiddish DIN TOJRA means rabbinic court, which makes rulings based on Torah, that is Jewish law.
The Krakow Ghetto during the Second World War
Several days after German soldiers had entered Cracow, repressions began against the Jews. They could not pray in their synagogues, use the public transport, and also come to the Main Square and the Plants (a park surrounding the Old Town). Their property was confiscated, which resulted in Jews moving to Kazimierz. They arrived from other Polish cities and from downtown because they hoped that they would find safe shelter. It caused significant population growth in that area. It became a problem for Hans Frank, who was residing in Cracow as the governor of General-Gouvernment (the area of Poland ocuupied by German Nazis). He wanted the capital to cope with excess number of Jews in exemplary way. At that time mass deportations to the Lublin district in the east began. Later, the majority of those people were murdered in extermination camps. The authorities of GG had decided to create a ghetto which was opened on 21 March 1941 and situated in Podgórze. Its borders were initially surrounded by barbed wire. Jews could not go outside the fence without a special permission under threat of being executed and non-Jewish people could not go inside without a pass. Initially, it was easy to get a pass, so Jews who worked outside the ghetto could easily get food for themselves and their families, so at that time they did not suffer hunger. However, the situation considerably changed under harsh regulations and with isolation of the ghetto. Food prices began to soar and it was very difficult to get food. Another problem was overpopulation in that small area, where over 16 thousand Jews were put (more and more were being resettled all the time), while this area could be inhabited by only 3.5 thousand people. With gradual reduction of available space in the ghetto more vulnerable people, especially the elderly, committed suicide. There were also cases when close relatives gave them cyanide.
At the end of May deportation of Krakow Jews to exterminations camps began. The Nazis started controlling reconnaissance cards, which could be purchased only through the statements of work or bribes. The first such inspection, according to the Germans, did not bring the desired effects. They thought that several thousand had not appeared at the meeting point. It was the reason why a few days later they repeated a round up. Displaced people marched to Prokocim and the trail was marked by the bodies of those who were not fast enough and were killed by Germans. A few days after ‘bloody Thursday’ the Nazis began another action aimed at reducing the Jewish population by introducing blue cards which, as an attachment to reconnaissance cards, gave permission to stay in the ghetto. Difficulties in obtaining it led to following displacements and in consequence to reduction the ghetto area. It was also divided into part A, which was meant for working people, and part B, which was inhabited by people who did not work, were sick or old. They could not move between the parts without a special passe, which was issued only in extraordinary circumstances. When Amon Göth became a commander of the labor camp in Płaszów, he told the authoroties of the ghetto to resettle inhabitants from part A to the camp in Płaszów. On 13 March 1943 he issued a new order according which residents from part A were resettled to the camp in Płaszów and residents of part B were referred to Ostbath company, where they would start working. The news of liquidation of the ghetto was very suprising and unexpected for the Jews. They did no have time to search for any shelter outside the ghetto due to a very short notice – six hours were give for resettlement. Some of them tried to escape through the canals. But unfortunately very few groups managed to do it. The rest were caught by German police. In this way ghetto A was deserted within a few hours. The next day, after the Nazis had formed separate groups of men, women, children and the elderly, they started shooting at the weaponless crowd which was gathered in Zgody square. Thay had planned everything before and when the shots calmed down, Göth made a selection searching for people for the Płaszów camp. All the people who were condemned to extermination were directed to a special train and they had to run, rushed by the SS men. They came to Auschwitz, where everyone was immmediately sent to the gas chambers.
NATIONALITIES IN MÁLAGA
In recent years, Spain and Málaga in particular, have been influenced by many cultures, not only from Europe, but from many parts of the world. This is because Málaga is a good place to have a second home and many foreigners come looking for a job because in their country they don’t have it.
Málaga is a great city. Many tourists are attracted by the climate, food and people, and that makes many decide to stay here to live. Málaga also offers extensive activities and customs that really like foreigners who visit us for example the Village’s fair that is culinary and popular fair held in the villages of Málaga. During the morning the village streets are decorated with flowers. In the afternoon, people eat the typical food of the village and drink wine, all accompanied by music, and many shows.
Malaga is an exchange of cultures where living Germans, English, Finnish, Chinese, Japanese, South American, Moroccan and many more cultures live .
This has made Málaga to have many monuments that have been built such as the Great Mosque in Malaga for example.
One of the most numerous comunities is the British with the 4.48 % of the province. Attracted by the climate, gastronomy, or employment opportunities or the tranquility of its developments, foreign residents in the province are 28% of the total population of Málaga. But most of the 267,824 foreigners living in the province have British and Moroccan nationality. Most of them live in Mijas ,Benalmadena , Fuengirola and Estepona . Someof them have their business here and participate in the village activities.They usually set in Málaga their first or second home especially when they retire in their country.
In Málaga, the English have their own cemetery. The oldest Christian cemetery of Spain. It was built in 1831 on land donated by the Governor to the British Consul in Malaga. The cemetery has been home since 1891 of the Anglican Church of St. George under the authority of the European Diocese of Europe. The cementery is in the center of Malaga. Is the final resting place of many personalities of the English comunity, Spanish communities, and other nationalities, established or passing through Andalucia and particularly in Costa del Sol. In many places as Puerto Banús, there’re luxurius comunities that concentrate a high economic society.
Other community is the German. Approximately the 1.03 % of the province. Marbella for decades has been chosen by German, specially in Costabella and El Rosario, where mostly live. In La Mairena is the German School John Hoffmann. The Germans have built a life in towns like these, where every year come more, generally with a high purchasing power. They consider Malaga like a a comfortable setting where they search establish their second home with a quality service and they’re willing to pay for it. Besides the sun and sand, seeking sports and culture and they visit to cities like Seville, Granada and Cordoba.
They’re around 20.000 and they live mainly in Torrox, Marbella or Estepona.
Málaga for them is a great city where they are offered a great break and is this that Germans and other nationalities choose Costa del Sol.
Finnish are the 0.41 % of the province.
This community has 5,000 residents in Málaga which a high percentagewho learn Spanish. It started in the 70s with the first tourists.
In Fuengirola, in the middle of developments, there is a huge group of Finnish. Most neighbors are retirees who come in the fall, but in May they return to their country that presents a less hot weather and their children and grandchildren occupy these houses to go to the beach and have fun.
There are Finnish establishments such as Lääkäri ,a medical consultation and a lot of restaurants.
This community has its own school where each year more Finnish study. In Fuengirola, we can find the biggest comunity of Finnish in the world, it’s name is ”Los Pacos”. In this community, they have their own bookshop and other shops.
Other numerous community is the Russian. They represent the 0,23% of the province. In Málaga 3,703 Russian citizens are registered.
One of the sectors that has benefited because of the Russian population has been the real estate. Sales of luxury homes have increased by 30 % to the Russian public in the last year. Marbella, Benahavís and Estepona are the famous “Golden Triangle” which are the selected points .
Russian clients want all the comforts and invest large amounts for them ,such as swimming pools, saunas … They are the most demanded services.
Thus, they are reviving the real estate on the Costa del Sol that are increasingly tailored to their tastes and requirements. Most of these businesses have joined Russian-speaking staff and web pages are translated into the language.
Russian investments is located in hotels, real states and shops.
Tourism is the first point of contact with the Costa del Sol and Málaga has doubled the number of Russian visitors in two years in our area and increasing its presence by 26 % a year. Many Russians set their second home after visiting Malaga.
Families often are installed in Málaga and carry their children to international schools in the coast.
Currently, about 1,200 Russians are counted in Marbella. Also, we find the Russian Association Andalucía born with the idea to help the integration of the Community.
The Russian community in the Costa del Sol that want to make their future plans in this area, on May 18th, 2013 the first stone to build the largest Russian Orthodox Church of Spain in Marbella (Málaga) was set. The idea is based on the construction of a great temple which will be accompanied by an annex enclosure serve as a center of Orthodox and Russian culture.
Other community, the Muslim community in Málaga which is formed by 50,000 people. They’re the 2.12 % of the province.
With the Muslim occupation, and especially during the nazarí era, is to strengthen the organization and humanization of Malaga territory.
They have a lot of stores where they offer productsof their countries for example they have butcher shops where they sell couscous, moorish spices or typical sweets from their hometowns.
There are mosques in the capital in Marbella ,Benalmádena ,Torre del Mar, Torremolinos and inFuengirola.
The main mosque is located in Málaga and has a minaret tower 25 meters high. This is a city location for Muslim worship and other services. this mosque is thronged by Muslims during auspicious days besides days of daily prayer.
Two other very numerous communities are Chinese and Japanese. Japanese often come to Málaga looking for a quiet atmosphere to spend their years after retirement, young Japanese entrepreneurs or just have found love and have decided to stay here, having mixed descendants. Most Japanese tend to live in the capital, although many live in Alora and Fuengirola. Also, to have lots of young mixed race population in Malaga makes they can adapt both cultures perfectly. Young people often work in engineering or open their own family Japanese restaurant.
Chinese citizens are the most enterprising foreign community in the province of Málaga and is sixth among the most numerous groups.
This is due to the discipline and spirit of sacrifice of this community.
The retail and hospitality sectors were where they started their activity, highlighting the Chinese restaurants and shops around a hundred chaired by textile products very affordable price. Today we also find bars and cafes, bakeries and greengrocers some or several tax advice.
Other community is the Italian. They’re the 0.73 % of the province. Normally, Italians aren’t very noticed because our physical resemblance, making it difficult to identify. At the same time, having common roots, it is easier for them to adapt to our city and see it as a striking destination to live. We also share the same religion and their cuisine we greatly stresses within Spain. Therefore, it is not uncommon to see their own pizzeria and ice-cream shop mostly, places very visited bySpanish.
The atmosphere of Málaga attracts Italians for the family atmosphere and the friendliness of the people.
There are many other foreigners who live with us but these are the main ones. As a final conclusion, we can say that thanks to cultures living with us in our city, we have a very open mind and have learned a lot living with them.