This is the cover of the program for the feature film Fiddler on the Roof that my father kept amongst tons of other paper items—personal writings, magazines, financial papers, legal documents, photographs—mementos of his life. The Fiddler on the Roof booklet was more than just a movie program; it signaled something significant that I would need to explore.
In Poland, certain cultural symbols informed the development of Polish national identity. Specific tropes were invoked, including those developed by nineteenth-century Romantic writers and composers. The mazurkas and polonaises by Chopin, for example, became “quintessentially” Polish.