Report: Prof. Rachel Feldhay Brenner's lecture

On November 15, 2013, Prof. Rachel Feldhay Brenner (University of Wisconsin-Madison) delivered a lecture entitled Attitudes of Polish Intellectuals Towards Extermination in the Warsaw Ghetto.

In her presentation, Prof. Brenner analyzed the wartime journals of writers representing different circles of Polish intelligentsia: Maria Dąbrowska, Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, Zofia Nałkowska, Stanisław Rembek and Aurelia Wyleżyńska. Prof. Brenner’s research is structured around the notion of empathy, and tries to answer the question of whether the Poles, themselves at risk of German terror, were capable of experiencing the tragedy of the Jews. During her lecture, Prof. Brenner pointed out that many authors during the war struggled with metaphysical guilt, whose sources Karl Jaspers traces to feeling responsible for the evil done to others in our presence.

After the lecture, Prof. Brenner answered questions from the audience. The Museum hosted Prof. Brenner thanks to the kind support of the American Embassy in Warsaw.