Holocaust Literature Research Group
PAN Institute of Literary Studies
Presentation of research plans and editorial work
On May 1st 2004 the Direction of the PAN Institute of Literary Studies decided to create the Holocaust Literature Research Group.
Members of the Group are:
Jacek Leociak (IBL PAN), Ph.D. - Head
Dorota Krawczyńska (IBL PAN), Ph.D.
Sławomir Buryła (Uniwersytet Warmińsko-Mazurski), Ph.D.
Monika Polit (ŻIH INB)
Marta Janczewska (ŻIH INB)
Ewa Koźmińska-Frejlak ("Midrasz")
Piotr Matywiecki (SPP)
- Research work:
- The formulation and realization of research projects will be directed at describing the traces the Holocaust has left in Polish literature and culture. However, the learning horizon of the Group's works is broader. The final goal is to grasp the special value of Polish-Jewish associating in the space of history and culture, to open up to multiculturalism and cultural borderlands treated as a value. Research will be accompanied by collecting materials, library and archive queries, organizing scientific conferences, giving seminars and lectures, starting countrywide and international scientific cooperation.
- The first research project realized by the Group is the monograph Literatura polska wobec Zagłady [Polish Literature in face of the Holocaust]. The project's goal is collective work on a thorough presentation, analysis and interpretation of literary documents of the Jewish Holocaust during WWII, in its historical, political and sociological context, taking into account the public discourse in Polish and Jewish press, films and photographic documentation, as well as the international literary context. An enterprise of that scale has no precedence in the Polish literature of the subject. The monograph will be divided into two volumes: volume I for the years 1939-1968, volume II since the year 1968.
- Editorial work
- The Group has presented the initiative of establishing the Biblioteka Świadectw Zagłady [Library of Holocaust Documents], realized together with the Centrum Badań nad Zagładą Żydów [Polish Center for Holocaust Research] of the IFiS PAN and with the KARTA Center. This initiative comes from the conviction that, compared to the existing archive contents, too few texts have yet been published and made available to the readers. Too few in face of the research and public interests, and of the appeals existing in almost every surviving text, putting on future readers the moral imperative of reading.
- The editorial series planned will present the sources for the history of the Holocaust, especially personal documents (diaries, memoirs, letters, reports) so far unpublished (kept in the ŻIH Archives, Yad Vashem Archives, Archives of the Kibuc Bojowników Getta [Kibbutz of Ghetto Fighters], Archiwum Akt Nowych [New Acts Archives], Archiwum Miasta Warszawy [The Archives of the City of Warsaw] and others) or kept by the authors' families. At the beginning we would like to focus on the texts from the Warsaw ghetto. We do not exclude the widening of the thematic extent in the future, like e.g. publishing translations and re-editing rare and hard to find texts.
- The Group is planning to undertake educational activity in the future (in cooperation with the IFiS PAN Center for Holocaust Research), the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw, the Centrum Badania i Nauczania Dziejów i Kultury Żydów w Polsce im. M Anielewicza [the M. Anielewicz Center for Teaching and Researching the History and Culture of the Jews in Poland] - History Institute at Warsaw University).
© JACEK LEOCIAK