Publications on the Holocaust and the history of Polish-Jewish relations quite frequently lead to historical debates in the Polish media. On the one hand, it is a unique opportunity to publicise unknown pages of history, and on the other, a potential threat to contemporary Piolish-Jewish relations.This article is an attempt to explain the Polish reactions to Jan Tomasz Gross 'Fear' and the character of similar debates in Polish media. Thanks to the achievements of experimental social psychology (attribution errors, social identity theory, and the sleeper effect), we can now understand why certain books spawn a media debate while others do not; why the contents of the contested books reach the consciousness of a broader audience and why the debates that surround such books less and less resemble true discussion, in which people cease to talk to one another and engage in polemics against the position of their opponents.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.