Sunday, September 20, 2020




Thanks for the yiddish lesson, Keith, My grandmother used "Shiksa" to refer to any non-jewish woman. Though it was always said with an unmistakable shading of contempt I never suspected that it means vermin. O yes she also used shvartza - (yiddish for n____). The constant need to discern who is and who is not jewish (and therefore contempible) is one of those cultural traits that made me run several thousand miles from my home-town jewish community.


Message was posted to an online conversation by a woman in her forties, from the East Coast, now living on the West Coast.




NOTE: As mentioned, the research I conducted twenty years ago had one goal: to hear from Polish people and from Jewish people how they understood their own identities and how they understood the other's identity. For me, as an ethnographer, data was key. There was no such thing as good data or bad data. This post contains material that many will find offensive. Again, for an ethnographer, this data is as valid as data that provides a warm, fuzzy feeling. Too, what this person wrote is not meant to be representational. We can't conclude from this post that most Jews feel this way, or even that this woman would feel this way two weeks after posting this message.


"To Chew Someone Down" Bieganski Interview #1

"Poles are Inherently Comic Janitors" Bieganski Interview # 2

"My Father Began to Conceal His Jewish Origins" Bieganski Interview # 3

They Worked Like Moles Their Whole Lives Bieganski Interview # 4

"She Never, and I Mean Never, Threw Anything Away" Bieganski Interview # 5

"They Always Kept One Token Jew" Bieganski Interview # 6

"White Privilege? I Laugh" Bieganski Interview # 7

"Stalin Died and I Was Set Free" #8

"The Jew is Clever. The Pole is Obnoxious, Loud, and Stupid." #9

"My Grandfather Let Anastasia Escape" #10

"I No Longer Practice Anything Except Reciting Yizkor and Lighting Yahrzeit Candles for My Parents"# 11

"I Have Always Been Afraid to Get Close to Any 'Real' Jews"# 12

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Bieganski the Blog exists to further explore the themes of the book Bieganski the Brute Polak Stereotype, Its Role in Polish-Jewish Relations and American Popular Culture.
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