New article: The ‘Jewish Freedom Fighter’. The legacy of Naftali Botwin and the construction of a transnational cult of Jewish heroes

This article discusses the transnational heroic cult that developed in Yiddish communist circles around the figure of Naftali Botwin, a young Polish-Jewish communist who was executed by the Polish authorities in the city of Lwów following a trial in which he was accused of assassinating a police infiltrator in the ranks of the Polish Communist Party (KPP). The analysis brings out how Botwin’s legacy has been appropriated in multiple, and sometimes contradictory ways in the decades following his death, especially within the context of the creation of the Botwin Company in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War. In so doing it will highlight the transnational nature of this cult as his memory lived on through the poems, plays and publications that circulated through the worldwide networks and communicative spaces of Jewish (leftist) émigrés.

The article can be found here and was published in the book: Le Culte des héros en Europe centrale 1880-1945 (Paris: Eur'Orbem Éditions, 2019).

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