Kwestia żydowska na sejmiku szkolnym w warszawskim Collegium Nobilium Societatis Jesu
Among the issues raised in the Warsaw Collegium Nobilium of the Society of Jesus in the 1750s, in connection with the contemporary legislative initiative of deputies of the Warsaw region, was the Jewish question. It was discussed during the school council meeting, during which the dignified audience could listen to the speaker, his interlocutors, and as many as nine deputies. The council was prepared under the guidance of distinguished teacher of rhetoric, author of comedies for the students of the Warsaw college, Franciszek Bohomolec.
In a para-theatrical feat of rhetorical skill centuries-old theological, political, economic and moral arguments were levied against the Jewish community. On the other hand, four addresses which opted for Jews to remain in the Polish Commonwealth presented rational, primarily economic and demographic arguments (crisis in trade and crafts, as well as decrease in tax revenue and depopulation). The value of the addresses does not lie, contrary to what some researchers believe, in the ground-breaking change of position, but in the shaping of political discourse in culture. Voices opting for “suffering the Jews in Poland” should be regarded as a specific, isolated, and positive attitude towards the Jewish minority, contrasting with Jesuit literature and patristics from the Enlightenment period. The echoes of students’ disputes were also expressed during the Four Year Sejm (1788-1792). In the Warsaw Jesuit college for nobility one could hear brutal insults hurled at the Jewish minority – insults which would still resound in the Jesuit school during the period of the Second Polish Republic.