Yes, that is correct. The sign on the big shelf in one of the largest bookstores in Warsaw says “Jewish books.” The books — fiction, nonfiction, academic, guides to Judaism and contemporary Jewish life (including a translation of Shmuley Boteach’s “Kosher Sex”) — are all in Polish. Such shelves can be seen in every big bookstore across the country. The readers, mostly non-Jews who are flipping through the pages of the books at this particular bookstore, are most probably the same ones who account for the majority of visitors during the popular Jewish Book Week in Warsaw. The 14th edition of the fair kicks off in May, offering Varsovians the usual mix of book launches, meetings with writers and discounts.
Warsaw ? If it weren?t for a story she read in 1972 in a local paper, she would probably be a retired journalist by now. Instead, the phones are ringing, meetings are being set and work is progressing on a new book. Monday morning at the apartment of Hanna Krall is not exactly peaceful. At the age of 75, the writer has no time for a break.
It’s 2 p.m. on a Saturday in March when a large group of people rushes to the Dworzec Gdański railway station. They are not here to catch a train, though. “I saw you on the television this morning. You are doing that Jewish thing, right?” a lady in her early 60s says as she approaches Rafał Betlejewski, a 40-year-old Warsaw-based artist and advertising executive.