Nowoczesność i znamię żydowskości: biograficzno-ideowe uwikłania Juliana Tuwima, Alfreda Döblina i Kurta Tucholsky’ego
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The paper deals with biographical, ideological and artistic links between Julian Tuwim, Alfred Döblin and Kurt Tucholsky. On the one hand, the basis of comparison are biographical similarities, the Jewish origin of those three writers, their family dramas, the experience of politically opressive school, the trauma of revolution or war, and the exile to name just a few. On the other hand, the article demonstrates the ways the modernity has influenced the attitudes and texts of Döblin, Tucholsky and Tuwim. While talking about modernity, the author focuses on such phenomena as secularisation and urbanisation processes, mass political movements, and new cultural challenges. Tuwim, Döblin and Tucholsky were born into assimilated Jewish families. Their perspective on the stereotypical Jews (the orthodox Jews as well as Jewish bankers or manufacturers) is marked with antipathy, or even contempt. The writers’ ambivalence towards the diapora and towards their own origin illustrate “Jewish self-hatred“; however, all three authors change their opinion on Jewry in the face of the growing anti-Semitic and Nazi danger, and especially the Holocaust. Döblin is proud of being Jewish after his visit to Poland in 1924, Tucholsky warns German Jews against the consequences of their passivitivy, and Tuwim publishes in 1944 his agitating manifesto We, Polish Jews. Last but not least, the three authors go into exile because of their Jewish ancestry and sociocultural activities. Therefore, it is no coincidence thatone cannot help having associations with Heinrich Heine: his biography can be interpreted as a prefiguration of a Jewish artist’s biography. Furthermore, Tuwim, Döblin and Tucholsky are notably sensitive to social questions, and their sensitivity to such issues results to some extent from their difficult childhood and youth. Especially significant seem in that respect family conflicts and the moving from city to city, since such experiences increase the feeling of loneliness and the vulnerability to depression. Nevertheless, Döblin, Tucholsky and Tuwim come with impetus into the cultural life of Germany and Poland and work in the areas of literature, cabaret (satire) as well as journalism. They share sympathy for the political left and fears of the orthodox communism. They are simultaneously advocates and ardent critics of great cities. They pay attention to new phenomena (the popularity of cars, the role of the press, the new morality) and react to them. Their aim is creating a culture which appeals to the masses and educates them in a non-intrusive way. However, the awareness of their own intellectual superiority imposes distance towards lower social groups. The distance stems, firstly, from the universal ambivalence artists feel towards the masses, and secondly, from the ideological moderation characteristic of petit bourgoisie and of the political centre. In general, Döblin, Tucholsky and Tuwim are idealists who hope for a humanitarian world which is impossible in the era of extrem political violence leading to the Holocaust.