Remnants of the German-Jewish Past:

Archival Holdings at the Jewish Historical Institute in Warsaw after 1945

Lecture by Michal Czajka (Warsaw) as part of the online lecture series »Jewish Material Cultures in East-Central Europe in the 20th Century«

Modern Jewish history can be explored anew by assuming a perspective that adopts materiality as its point of departure. As portable belongings, visible remnants, or just silent reminders of lost stories, objects illuminate the Jewish experience of migration and transfer, as well as expulsion, annihilation, and destruction, from a unique angle.

Against this background, the colloquium addresses the fate of Jewish cultural artifacts and the institutions to which they belonged in the twentieth century. It explores libraries, archives, as well as private book collections in Central and Eastern Europe, including the Czech lands, Hungary, and Poland. This focus will offer a glimpse of the richness of European Jewish intellectual and spiritual life in the interwar period, it will shed light on the history of destruction in the course of World War II and the Nazi looting of Jewish cultural property. Finally, it will enable us to track the reconstruction of Jewish cultural heritage in the aftermath of the Holocaust. While presenting a sort of biography of objects, it will reflect some fundamental changes that affected both the cultural geography of the Jewish world and Europe’s geo-political map after 1945.

27th June 2019, 5.15–6.45 p.m. (CEST); 11.15 a.m. to 12.45 p.m. (EST)
Dubnow Institute