Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Holocaust Scholarship on Trial: Jan Grabowski in Conversation with Masha Gessen
Online EventThe Jewish Studies Program and YIVO Institute for Jewish Research present an online event featuring Jan Grabowski, Professor of History at the University of Ottawa, who was convicted in a Polish court for his work documenting Polish collaboration during the Holocaust. Grabowski will be in conversation with Masha Gessen, Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College.
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm EST/GMT-5
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm EST/GMT-5
In 2018 Jan Grabowksi and Barbara Engelking published Dalej jest noc: losy Żydów w wybranych powiatach okupowanej Polski [Night Without End: The Fate of the Jews in Selected Counties of Occupied Poland], which documents the range of Polish behavior towards Jews during the Holocaust in a series of local case studies.
The Polish League against Defamation, which has close ties to the right-wing ruling Law and Justice Party, brought a lawsuit against Grabowski and Engelking on behalf of the niece of a figure discussed in the book. This action is widely viewed as a continuation of the government’s campaign to stifle free inquiry into Poland’s wartime history and to punish those who question the narrative of Poles as exclusively the victims of Nazi atrocities who rescued Jews on a massive scale.
On February 9, 2021 a Warsaw court found Grabowski and Engelking guilty, declining to fine the scholars but demanding that they issue an apology. In his first public remarks since the trial Prof. Grabowski, in conversation with journalist Masha Gessen, will discuss his response to the verdict as well as its political and scholarly implications.
Jan Grabowski is Professor of History at the University of Ottawa. His books include Polacy, nic się nie stało! Polemiki z Zagładą w tle [Poles, Nothing Happened! Polemics with the Holocaust in the Background] (2021); Na posterunku: Udział polskiej policji granatowej i kryminalnej w zagładzie Żydów [On Duty: Participation of Blue and Criminal Police in the Destruction of the Jews], (2020); Hunt for the Jews: Betrayal and Murder in German-Occupied Poland (2013), which won the Yad Vashem International Book Prize; and "Ja Tego Żyda Znam!": Szantażowanie Żydów w Warszawie, 1939-1943 [“I Know that Jew!”: The Blackmailing of Jews in Warsaw, 1939-1943] (2004). He is a member of the Royal Society of Canada and has held fellowships and guest professorships at the Institut für Zeitgeschichte (Munich), the University of Haifa, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Yad Vashem.
Masha Gessen is Distinguished Writer in Residence at Bard College. She is a staff writer at The New Yorker and author of 11 books of nonfiction, most recently Surviving Autocracy (2020); as well as The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, which won the 2017 National Book Award for Nonfiction; and The Man without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin (2012). The Moscow-born Gessen is the recipient of Guggenheim, Andrew Carnegie, and Nieman Fellowships, Hitchens Prize, Overseas Press Club Award for Best Commentary, and an honorary doctorate from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.
For more information, contact Cecile Kuznitz at email@example.com.
Join this event via Zoom.
For more information, call 845-758-6822.
Time: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm EST/GMT-5
Location: Online Event