Museum News


Meeting with prof. Natalia Aleksiun, author of the book “Conscious history: Polish Jewish historians before the holocaust”

Meeting with prof. Natalia Aleksiun, author of the book “Conscious history: Polish Jewish historians before the holocaust”

Thursday, 20.05.2021, 18.00

Led by: Dr. Edyta Gawron
Online event

To register to this meeting on Zoom, click here:

Thoroughly researched, this study highlights historical scholarship, which is one of the lasting legacies of interwar Polish Jewry, and analyses its political and social context. As Jews struggled to find and assert their place in a newly independent Poland, a dedicated group of Jewish scholars, fascinated by history, devoted themselves to creating a sense of Polish Jewish belonging. They were also fighting for their rights as an ethnic minority in the newly independent state. The political climate made it hard for these men and women to pursue an academic career; instead, they had to continue their efforts to create and disseminate Polish Jewish history by teaching outside of universities and publishing in scholarly and popular journals. By introducing the Jewish public to a pantheon of historical heroes to celebrate and anniversaries to commemorate, they sought to forge a community aware of its past, its cultural heritage, and its achievements—though no less important were their efforts to counter the increased hostility towards Jews in the public discourse of daily life. In highlighting the role of public intellectuals and the social role of scholars and historical scholarship, this study adds a new dimension to the understanding of the Polish Jewish world during the interwar period.

Natalia Aleksiun is the Professor of Modern Jewish History at Touro College, Graduate School of Jewish Studies, New York. She is the co-editor, together with Antony Polonsky and Brian Horowitz, of ‘Writing Jewish History in Eastern Europe’ (2016). She has been published widely on Polish Jewish issues. In addition to receiving several prestigious fellowships, she has been a fellow at the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich and at the Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies in Vienna. She has also been the Pearl Resnick Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC.

Partner: Institute of Jewish Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Krakow

Reservations are required.

In Polish.
Free admission.