Categories of the Description of the Shoah in Poland Seminar

Department of Contemporary Literature and Social Communication

The idea of seminar work on the categories of the description of the Shoah emerged from the observation that speaking of the Holocaust in Poland is strongly entangled in the processes of defining and redefining collective identity. Based on R. Hilberg's triad, Poles belonged in the bystanders group, i.e. they did not directly participate in the events – they were neither perpetrators, nor victims. Nevertheless, defining their role in the extermination, the attitude to victims and the influence of discriminatory practices embedded in the culture (the antisemitism of the 19th and 20th century) on the realization of the final solution have fundamental significance for the self-image of the majority group and, consequently, their self-assessment. The debate on the Shoah, as it constitutes an opportunity for – or, looking from a different perspective, a threat of – reformulating or criticism of the existing practices and self-definitions, causes strong emotions in Poland.

Seminar team

Project leader: Professor Maryla Hopfinger-Amsterdamska
Team members: Aranzazu Calderón Puerta, Ph.D., Katarzyna Chmielewska, Ph.D., Helena Datner-Śpiewak, Ph.D., Elżbieta Janicka, Ph.D., Ewa Koźmińska-Frejlak, Bożena Keff, Ph.D., Wojciech Wilczyk, M.A., Anna Zawadzka, Ph.D., Tomasz Żukowski, Ph.D.

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