The Ph.D. Program in History

at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York

GC EventsHistory Program Events

4/22 – New Scholarship on the History and Memory of the Holocaust in Poland

Featuring a new wave of scholars:  Miranda Brethour (Doctoral Candidate,  PhD Program in History, GC-CUNY) on

“Life and Death in the Shadow of Sobibór: Economic Dimensions of Jewish-Gentile Relations in the Town of Włodawa, 1939-1944”

This paper traces the lines of communication between the Sobibór extermination camp and the Eastern Polish town of Włodawa to explore how knowledge of the mechanisms of extermination shaped Jewish-Gentile interactions during the Holocaust. Drawing on court documents and postwar testimonies, the paper illuminates how widespread local awareness of the murder of Jews at Sobibór drove the plunder and take-over of ‘post-Jewish’ goods and property in and around the town.


Alicja Podbielska (Doctoral Candidate, Department of History, Clark University)

“The Righteous or Szmalcowniks?! Narrative of Rescue v. Holocaust Scholarship”

How is the commemoration of assistance to Jews used to distort history and suppress research on the Holocaust in Poland? 


Jonathan Zisook (Doctoral Candidate, PhD Program in Sociology, The Graduate Center-CUNY)

“‘Polityka Historyczna’ and the Instrumentalization of the Holocaust in Contemporary Poland”

This paper will explore the diverse political strategies employed by the Polish government to distort and instrumentalize the Holocaust as a constitutive feature of its “policy on history” (polityka historyczna). 


Chair and moderator: Dr. Joanna Sliwa, author of Jewish Childhood in Kraków: A Microhistory of the Holocaust, awarded the 2020 Fraenkel Prize

Responses by Profs Barbara Engelking and Jan Grabowski


Date: April 22, 2021

Time: Noon – 1:15 PM (Eastern time, U.S. and Canada)

Please register in advance for this webinar:

Sponsored by the GC Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity

The mission of the Center for the Study of the Holocaust, Genocide, and Crimes Against Humanity is to promote the exchange of ideas across disciplines and generations.  Serving as a hub for a vibrant community of scholars from many fields with convergent interests, the Center is a forum for innovative research, graduate student mentoring, and public programming.  Reaching beyond the university, the Center is enriched by linkages with NGOs, cultural institutions, and supra-national organizations dedicated to the study and prevention of mass violence and its legacies. Please follow us on Twitter to keep posted @cshgcah on news, events and developments at our center.

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