The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

Seeking a Return to Poland" The Case of Gomulka Immigrants in Israel (1956–1960)

In my paper I would like to describe the case of Jews from Poland who immigrated to Israel during the Gomulka Aliyah in 1956-1960.[1] Some of them, after few month living in Israel, wanted to go back to Poland.

Firstly, I would like to explore the situation of Polish Immigrants in Israel, taking into account their social, economic and political situation. I will also examine the question of the policy of the State of Israel towards the new “olim” from Poland.

Secondly, I will describe how the newcomers absorbed and assimilated with the Israeli society in the end of the 50ts.

Another important aspect is to identify the reasons why Olim Chadashim from Poland wanted to leave their new Homeland – Israel - and to return to Poland. It is worth mentioning, that among immigrants who applied to return from Israel to Poland, very few were granted the authorization to do so. Both the Polish People’s Republic and the State of Israel were negatively disposed to the idea of remigration. Therefore about 90% of the applicants were refused the permission to return to Poland.

Finally, I would like to examine the cases of those who were able to return to Poland and to describe the attitude of the communist Poland toward them.

The study material which I am going to use in my paper comes from several different sources. The main source is research carried out both in Polish and Israeli archives. Another source is press published during this period (1956-1960) in Israel (in Hebrew as well as in Polish) and also press published in Poland (in Polish and Yiddish).