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The Annual Zaleski Lecture in Modern Polish History

The Holocaust in Poland: Controversies and Explanations


March 8, 2016
5:15pm - 7:00pm
Lower Level Conference Room, Busch Hall

The Annual Zaleski Lecture in Modern Polish History

The Holocaust in Poland: Controversies and Explanations


March 8, 2016
5:15pm - 7:00pm
Lower Level Conference Room, Busch Hall
March 8, 2016
5:15pm - 7:00pm
Lower Level Conference Room, Busch Hall
Video recording 1h:45m

Poland is at the center of the history of the Holocaust. Based on his research for his book "Black Earth," Snyder will examine whether Polish discussions can build a broader explanation of the Holocaust as a whole.

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More than 90% of Poland’s Jewish citizens were murdered under German occupation and by German policy, and Polish Jews constitute an absolute majority of the victims of the Holocaust as a whole. Holocaust historiography, generally based in a narrative of the German 1930s, and often oriented towards issues of discourse and memory, fails to account for the reality and significance of non-German societies and institutions. The new Polish micro-history of the Holocaust, although it has brought major factual breakthroughs about local collaboration and important debates about national responsibility, tends to rest on a non-existent consensus about what caused the Holocaust as a whole, and to reproduce the limitations of national history already apparent in the German case.

Can Polish discussions, fruitful in themselves, help to break the deadlock in Holocaust historiography and build a larger explanation of the Holocaust as a whole?

Join CES for a reception after the presentation. A book signing will be open 30 minutes before and after the presentation.

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