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Polish Jewish weekly (1933–1939) devoted to political, social, and literary issues. Published by the Alt-Naj Cooperative Publishing House, Opinia: Tygodnik żydowski polityczno-społeczny i literacki (Opinion: Political, Social and Literary Jewish Weekly) was associated with the daily Haynt and was ideologically close to Zionism. Its editorial board consisted of Moyshe Kleinbaum, Abraham Insler, Bronisław Sztraubaum, and Roman Brandstaetter; its editors in chief were Mosheh Indelman (1933) and Sztraubaum (1934). Opinia’s first issue appeared on 5 February 1933 in Warsaw. In 1935, the journal moved its operations to Lwów, where it was published until 1939 as Nasza Opinia under the editorship of Naftali Hauser. In all, 198 issues were published, with circulation reaching 25,000 copies.

Representing the Jewish intellectual elite, Opinia stood out for its high intellectual standards and sought to provide a platform for Jewish national thought. It targeted Polish-speaking Jews as well as Polish readers interested in Jewish affairs. Among its contributors were leading scholars, politicians, publicists, and literati, including Majer Bałaban, Jakub Bleiberg, Jeremiasz Frenkel, Yitsḥak Grünbaum, Apolinary Hartglas, Henryk Hescheles, Abraham Insler, Chaim Löw, Andrzej Marek (Mark Arnshteyn), Matthias (Mateusz) Mieses, Henryk Rosmarin, Ignacy Schiper, Mojżesz Schorr, Naḥum Sokolow, Emil Sommerstein, Edmund Stein, Arie Tartakower, Ozjasz Thon, Ozjasz Tilleman, Jehuda (Yehudah) Warszawiak, and Jakub Zineman.

Its Zionist orientation and campaigns against German fascism and Polish antisemitism notwithstanding, Opinia stressed loyalty to the Polish state and celebrated Jewish contributions to Polish and European cultures. It also informed its readers about publications on Jewish topics appearing in Polish and other languages, and cited prominent Polish figures favorably inclined toward Jews. Nasza Opinia published reportage from Jewish life abroad (including the Soviet Union) and from various Polish cities. Its supplements included Opinia Akademicka (Academic Opinion), Świat Młodych (World of the Young), Życie Kobiety (Woman’s Life), Przegląd Gospodarczy (Economic Review), and Ze Świata Nauki (The Science World). Holiday issues featured theological, philosophical, and ethnological texts (e.g., by Regina Lilientalowa). Opinia also published special thematic issues, including one devoted to Yiddish literature (1937). A separate section focused on Palestine. Translations of works by nationally minded authors (Ahad Ha-Am, Martin Buber, and Theodor Herzl) were also published.

Opinia played an important role in the history of Polish Jewish literature: as its main forum, it brought together Polish Jewish writers from Warsaw, Lwów, and Kraków (Maurycy Szymel, Roman Brandstaetter, Stefan Pomer, Anda Eker, Juliusz Wit, Izydor Berman, and Wilhelm Fallek) and printed literary manifestos by Brandstaetter, Szymel, and Adam Madler. The weekly also hosted the most important discussions of Polish Jewish culture and its prospects.

Opinia featured a chronicle covering literary and cultural events in Poland and abroad, especially in Germany, and included news of contemporary Jewish literature and culture (contributors to this last section included Nakhman Mayzel, Shmuel Niger, Yisroel Trief, Ignacy Schiper, Rokhl Oyerbakh, and Gabriel Talpir). Literary translations included works by Mendele Moykher-Sforim, Sholem Aleichem, Y. L. Peretz, Ḥayim Naḥman Bialik, Sha’ul Tchernichowsky, David Frishman, Sholem Asch, Shemu’el Yosef Agnon, Uri Tsevi Grinberg, Yoysef Opatoshu, Moyshe Nadir, and Itsik Manger. Michał Weichert was one of its theater critics, while Leon Strakun wrote about fine art. A series, Z naszej starej skarbnicy (From Our Old Treasure Chest), featured parables and aphorisms from rabbinic literature.

Nasza Opinia had a broader circle of contributors than its Warsaw predecessor. It published texts by ideological outsiders (Bruno Schulz), former assimilationists (Leo Belmont), and some Polish authors (Stanisław Vincenz, Tadeusz Zaderecki).

Suggested Reading

Marian Fuks, Prasa żydowska w Warszawie, 1823–1939 (Warsaw, 1979). Eugenia Prokop-Janiec, Polish-Jewish Literature in the Interwar Years, trans. Abe Shenitzer, pp. 22–41 (Syracuse, N.Y., 2003).



Translated from Polish by Christina Manetti; revised by Magda Opalski