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Milosz v. Pienkowski Essay

“These damn Jews! They’re rotten and don’t belong here! We need to remove them all from Poland and send them to concentration camps! ” “Whoah. You are misinformed about the history of your own country. Firstly, the Jews definitely belong here. For centuries Poland has had the largest and most prominent Jewish population in the world. Although religious tolerance did end with the partitioning of Poland by the Russian empire, Judaism is still extremely prevalent. It is even the second largest religion in the Wilno area. ” “Whatever! They are single-handedly causing economic stagnation and poverty in my naturally prosperous country!

” “This is also untrue. When Poland was under Pilsudski’s leadership, the economy grew significantly despite other world economic crises. He was opposed to anti-Semitism and believed that devotion to the Polish republic could be created from all ethnic and religious groups. Maybe the economic stagnation is due to other factors, such as Poland being partitioned into three estranged areas representing different power structures from Austria, Germany, and Russia. This causes problems for sustaining a united government and school systems.

Also, foreigners utilizing cheap labor to make a quick buck are exploiting Polish industrial centers. Western countries will only offer their aid if it reduces some kind of threat to themselves. This situation would cause any country to disintegrate. The Jews were most certainly not the problem. ” “You are just infected with socialism and are a Jew-lover! Pilsudski means nothing! It’s Dmowski who had the right idea! Poles are the best! Race is above everything! The first thing we need to do is energize the Polish population with nationalism and exercise our spiritual, physical, and material domination!

” “Actually, in my youth I was conditioned to hate Jews as well, but I soon realized that I was the product of my environment. Although my relatives flamboyantly encouraged anti-Semitism, I outgrew those family arrogances and began to realize why anti-Semitism developed. The first reason is the way the youth is taught. Only Polish texts are read in schools, and textbooks are extremely biased, as nationalists write them. This makes other cultures seem inferior by exclusion, and even if Jewish literature is published, it is either disregarded or doesn’t reach the larger population of Poland.

Furthermore, anti-Semitism perpetuates with continuous streams of Jewish jokes and Christians whispering about Judaism as if it was a shameful disease. The real responsibility of regarding the Jews as different nationality, however, lies with nationalist writers and journalists, as they can influence schools, books, and even ‘change history’ through their writing by providing biased accounts of historical events. ” “That’s not true! There aren’t enough nationalists, because Jews still occupy all managerial and leadership positions and have tainted the entire state system!

Screw their books! The only reason I’d want to learn about Jews would be to overthrow them! ” “Actually, Jews are discriminated against for many positions, including the Army and medical school slots. And, on the contrary, if you did learn about Jewish literature, it might help remove prejudice against them. Instead of seeing them as inferior, Jewish literature may convince you that Jews are worthy and intelligent. Instead of judging Jews through familiar stereotypes, propaganda, biased teaching, opposite truths, and ignorance, try judging different ethnicities based on merit.

This is what I did in college with my literary alliances, and it allowed me to see past ethnic differences and realize that Jews aren’t a different nationality. They just have different beliefs. But together, we can become one, unified country. ” “Blegh. You are way behind your time. I won’t waste my time speaking to an imbecile any longer. ” Word Count: 598 Part Two In order to write this dialogue, I read Pienkowski’s text and wrote down all of the arguments and nationalistic comments that I could find. Next, I did an extremely close reading of the text and highlighted parts that I thought best countered these arguments.

Then, I made an outline. The first point on my outline was the history of ethnic minorities in Poland, including the Pilsudski discussion on page 51, and the political anti-Semitism history on page 92. I also used notes that I took in class to help with basic background knowledge. My next point on the outline was how and why anti-Semitism developed. I talked about how schools, teachers, and children were exposed to this discrimination (98), and how biased textbooks (97) and Jewish literature played a huge role (98).

Relatives also had a large impact on Milosz (96), and it seemed that everybody in society was exposed to anti-Semitism, perpetuating prejudice through jokes and whispers (94-99). The brunt of the responsibility, however, lied with the nationalist writers and journalists (106). I then went on to my next point, about how economic degradation was not due to the Jews. In fact, there are many alternate reasons for economic stagnation, which appear on page 61. For my next point, I took note of how Milosz, as a child, was conditioned by society and relatives to dislike Jews.

However, at the university, his opinions changed, which brought me to my next point: What needs to be done in order to eliminate anti-Sematic beliefs? The information for the last point didn’t specifically come from the text. Instead, I predicted what Milosz would say based off of what he wrote. I gathered that to squash ethnic assimilation, one should end the brainwashing, propaganda, biased teaching, opposite truths (where one country/area teaches an aspect of history completely different from another country/area), and ignorance.

Instead, people should become educated about different cultures, and not focus on racial or religious unity. Instead, they should focus on state unity, like Pilsudski believed. One should also judge by merit, like Milosz did when he went to the university (102). Then I created tone for each character (Milosz being rational and Pienkowski being rash, impatient, and rude), and created an argument! Word Count: 373.

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