Seeking a Return To Poland. The Case of the “Gomulka Aliyah” Immigrants in Israel (1956–1960)

Ewa Węgrzyn


In my paper entitled Seeking a return to Poland. The case of “Gomulka Aliyah” immigrants in Israel (1956–1960) I describe the emigration of Polish citizens of Jewish origin to Israel in the second half of the 1950s. From October 1956, when Wladyslaw Gomulka came into power in Poland, it became possible for Polish Jews to relocate in to Israel. Leaving Poland was not obligatory for Jews in that period, but a rise in anti-Semitism and disappointment with the communist regime in Poland led a number of Polish citizens of Jewish origin to make the decision to emigrate. In the period of 1956 to 1960 approximately 50,000 Jews went to Israel. However, after few months of living in the New Homeland, some of the new immigrants from Poland were seeking to return. Difficult living conditions, an unfamiliar language, and unemployment led Polish Jews to request repatriation. That was in most of the cases impossible, as most of them had given up on Polish citizenship while immigrating to Israel.

Słowa kluczowe: return to Poland, Polish Jews, Israel, immigrants, immigration wave

Archival sources

Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Poland

Archive of New Documents, Poland

Central Zionist Archives, Israel

Central Bureau of Statistics,Israel

Israel State Archives,  Israel


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