PODCAST: Natalia Aleksiun, Poland's Jews in the 20th century

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August 5, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Eastern Europe History / Studies, Ethnic History / Studies, Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies, Jewish History / Studies

In this episode, Natalia Aleksiun, Harry Rich Professor of Holocaust Studies at the University of Florida, discusses the social dynamics of interethnic relations in interwar Poland, particularly in relation to the Holocaust. One of the characteristics discussed is the double marginalisation of Jewish women, which made them more susceptible to discrimination regarding education, professional choices and family life. Focusing on her numerous studies of Jewish communal life in Eastern Galicia, Professor Aleksiun explores what she calls “intimate violence”, showing how those who survived the Holocaust came to perceive the question of local collaboration and assistance when attempting to make sense of their strained relations with people whom they had known before the war. The episode also considers the impact of immediate post-war developments, examining how Poland’s newly established Communist regime shape subsequent patterns of popular and state antisemitism through its encouraging of Jewish mass emigration.

"Eastern Europe's Minorities in a Century of Change", a podcast series on the history of minorities and minority experiences in twentieth-century Central and Eastern Europe prepared by the BASEES Study Group for Minority History to mark the Institute for Historical Research’s centenary. The co-conveners of the Study Group are Olena Palko (Birkbeck) and Samuel Foster (University of East Anglia).


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