A new generation of Polish scholars is dedicated to lifting the silence surrounding Poland’s treatment of Jews. WHILE CONDUCTING interviews in the Polish hinterland beginning in 2004, Joanna Tokarska- Bakir, an anthropologist from Warsaw University, noticed a subtext about Jews. The hints had been encrypted into the narratives of Polish peasants as an illusive undertone, the lost whispers of ghosts. A soft-spoken woman who calls herself a Buddhist, she had began her research by studying Polish folk religiosity in the countryside, but the Jewish subject just kept coming up and it made her determined to dig deeper. “It was fascinating,” she says. “I have stayed with this topic until today.” In 1977, a London friend sent Monica Adamczyk-Garbowska, then a comparative literature student, a short story by Isaac Bashevis Singer, banned at the time in Communist-controlled Poland and completely unknown. It changed her life, opening her eyes to Poland’s Jewish past. And once curiosity took hold of her, it wouldn’t let go. Adamczyk-Garbowska, now 54, studied Yiddish so she could read Singer in the original, and is now a Yiddish-Polish translator and a professor of Comparative Literature at the Center for Jewish Studies in the Maria Curie-Sklodowska University in Lublin. Witold Medykowski, 48, became curious about how such terrible crimes were possible when as a young boy in Lublin he visited the Majdanek Concentration Camp. It later prompted him to come to Israel to study history, Hebrew and Yiddish. He now works as a historian in the Yad Vashem archives. These three Poles are part of a growing trend of young scholars confronting the darker sides of Poland’s treatment of Jews, filling in the blanks left by the Communist-era taboos that barred an objective analysis of history.