Natalia Aleksiun and Sam Kassow will discuss the legacies of Jewish historians before the Holocaust who wrote both academic and popular history for their community and engaged in creating a sense of Polish-Jewish belonging, while also fighting for their rights as an ethnic minority. What shaped their sense of both scholarly and communal mission? How relevant is their work to writing Jewish history today and to our understanding of the modern Jewish experience in East Central Europe?
Natalia Aleksiun is Professor of Modern Jewish History at Touro College, Graduate School of Jewish Studies, New York. She specializes in the social, political and cultural history of modern East European Jewry and has written extensively on the history of the Jewish intelligentsia in East Central Europe, Polish-Jewish relations, modern Jewish historiography, the history of medicine and the Holocaust. Her book, Conscious History: Polish Jewish Historians before the Holocaust, will be published with Littman in 2020. She is currently working on two new books: about the so-called cadaver affair at European Universities in the interwar period and on a project dealing with daily lives of Jews in hiding in Galicia during the Holocaust.
Samuel Kassow is the Charles H. Northam Professor of History at Trinity College and is recognized as one of the worlds leading scholars on the Holocaust and Ashkenazi Jews. He is a consultant to the POLIN Museum of History of the Polish Jews in Warsaw. He is widely known for his 2007 book, Who will Write Our History? Emanuel Ringelblum, the Warsaw Ghetto, and the Oyneg Shabes Archive. A featured documentary film drawing from this book, called Who Will Write Our History, written, produced and directed by Roberta Grossman and executive produced by Nancy Spielberg, was released in 2018.
Presented by Center for Jewish History
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