21.05.2023 - online

POLIN Reading Room: "Around Us a Sea of Fire. The Fate of Jewish Civilians During the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising"

Join a discussion of the publication accompanying POLIN Museum’s temporary exhibition, "Around Us a Sea of Fire. The Fate of Jewish Civilians During the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising." Authors Zuzanna Schnepf-Kołacz, Maria Ferenc, and Krzysztof Persak in conversation with Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett.

  • Sunday, May 21, 2023, 8:00 PM CET, 2:00 PM ET, 11:00 AM PS, 9:00 PM Israel
  • Online at POLIN Museum’s English Facebook page
  • No registration required and the event is free.
  • Event in English. Polish translation will not be available for this event.
  • Q&A at the end. Submit your questions now or during the event.

"Around Us a Sea of Fire. The Fate of Jewish Civilians During the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising" explores the experience and fate of those who did not take up arms, but resisted the German order to give themselves up. About 50,000 Jewish civilians hid in improvised shelters and bunkers in the Warsaw Ghetto. Who were they? The line between fighters and civilians was fluid. Combatants might use the shelters and hide together with civilians. What were their tasks in support of the Uprising? How did they manage living conditions in bunkers? What were their daily routines ? How did they cope with the constant fear, loneliness, and feeling of being abandoned?  What did the civilians think about the Uprising,  and about the lack of help from the other side of the wall? Finally, why for decades was nothing said about them?  Why were they forgotten?

Zuzanna Schnepf-Kołacz, coordinator of the Holocaust gallery of POLIN Museum’s the Core Exhibition, is a curator in POLIN Museum’s Exhibition Department. She has published articles on the Holocaust, and curated the exhibition "Around Us a Sea of Fire. The Fate of Jewish Civilians During the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising."

Maria Ferenc is a sociologist and Holocaust scholar in the Research Department of the Jewish Historical Institute. She coordinates "Encyclopedia of the Warsaw Ghetto."  Her book, "Everyone Asks What Will Happen to Us. Residents of the Warsaw Ghetto to the News of the War and the Holocaust," received the "Polityka" History Prize award. She is currently working on a biography of Mordechai Anielewicz.

Krzysztof Persak is a historian in the Research Department of POLIN Museum, and the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. He has authored and edited monographs, anthologies, and collections of documents on the communist system in Poland, the repression apparatus, Polish-Soviet relations, history of scouting, and Polish-Jewish relations. He has published, among others: "Around Jedwabne" (2002, with P. Machcewicz), and "The Case of Henryk Holland" (2006).

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett is University Professor Emerita and Professor Emerita of Performance Studies at New York University. She is best known for her interdisciplinary contributions to Jewish studies and to the theory and history of museums, tourism, and heritage. She is currently the Ronald S. Lauder Chief Curator of POLIN Museum’s Core Exhibition and Advisor to the Director of POLIN Museum.