Biograms of conference participants

Ściana krzywoliniowa w budynku muzeum - wykonana z kamiennej okładziny w kolorze piasku pustyni. Naprzeciwko ogromna tafla szkła - okno w fasadzie muzeum.
fot. Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich

Click the name to read biogram.



Natalia AleksiunTop of the page

Natalia Aleksiun is Professor of Modern Jewish History at Touro College, Graduate School of Jewish Studies, New York. She studied East European and Jewish history in Poland, where she received her first doctoral degree at Warsaw University, as well as Oxford, Jerusalem and New York, where she received her second doctoral degree at NYU. She published a monograph titled Where to? The Zionist Movement in Poland, 1944-1950 (in Polish), and numerous articles in Yad Vashem Studies, Polish Review, Dapim, East European Jewish Affairs, Studies in Contemporary Jewry, Polin, Gal-Ed, East European Politics and Societies, Nashim and German History. She co-edited the 20th volume of Polin, devoted to the memory of the Holocaust as well as the 29th volume titled Writing Jewish History in Eastern Europe. Among several prestigious fellowships, she was a fellow at the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, Germany; Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced Judaic Studies, University of Pennsylvania, and Senior Fellow at Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies, The Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies, USHMM, Washington D.C. and Imre Kertesz Kolleg in Jena. Together with Dr. Elissa Bemporad, she ran the Scholars’ Working Group on Women and Gender in Jewish History at the Center for Jewish History in New York. She prepared a new edition of Gerszon Taffet’s Zagłada Żydów Żółkiewskich. She is currently working on two new books: about the so-called cadaver affair at European Universities in the 1920s and 1930s and Hidden Lives - dealing with daily lives of Jews in hiding in Galicia during the Holocaust. Her book titled Conscious History: Polish Jewish Historians before the Holocaust will be published by Littman Library in early 2020.


Anna BikontTop of the page

Anna Bikont is a journalist and a non-fiction writer. She works on the Polish-Jewish relations during the Holocaust and on the literature and history of postwar Poland. In 1989, she was a co- founder of Gazeta Wyborcza, the first independent daily in post-Communist Europe and the main newspaper in Poland, with which she is still associated.

In 2004, her book about the killing of the Jedwabne’s Jews by their Polish neighbors during World War II, My z Jedwabnego, was part of a huge discussion in Poland about Polish-Jewish relations. In 2011, she received the European Book Prize for the French version of the book. In 2015, the English version, The Crime and the Silence: Confronting the Massacre of the Jews in Wartime Jedwabne, won one of the National Jewish Book Awards.  

Her book Irena Sendlerowa. W ukryciu (Irena Sendler: In Hiding), about Ms. Sendler, the head of the children’s division of Żegota, a Polish-Jewish organization created to rescue Jews, published in 2017, received The Ryszard Kapuscinski Prize and was shortlisted for the Nike Prize, the main literary Polish award.

Her latest book Jacek, published in 2018 (co-authored with Helena Luczywo), is a biography of Jacek Kuron, one of the most prominent Polish rebels and politicians of the 20th century.

She has lectured at the Humboldt University, University of Oxford, Harvard University, New School, Northwestern University, Princeton University, Stanford University, Berkeley, Yale University and others. In 2017, she received a doctorate honoris causa from the Gothenburg University.


Barbara EngelkingTop of the page

Barbara Engelking is founder and Director of the Polish Center of Holocaust Research at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. She received her PhD in sociology from the Polish Academy of Science and her MA in psychology from Warsaw University. Along with her role as professor at the Polish Academy of Sciences, Engelking also served as the President of the International Auschwitz Council (2012-2018). In 2015-16,  she was the Ina Levine Senior Visiting Scholar in the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

Professor Engelking has published a number of works in multiple languages, including  "It is Such a Beautiful and Sunny Day": The Fate of Jews Seeking Refuge in Polish Villages, 1942-1945 (Polish Center for Holocaust Research, 2011; French version, 2014; English Version, 2017), The Warsaw Ghetto: The Guide to the Perished City, co-authored with Jacek Leociak (in English; Yale University Press, 2009) as well as  others.  Her most recent work is a two volume study co-edited with Jan Grabowski entitled Night Without End: Fate of Jews in Selected Counties of Occupied Poland (in Polish; Polish Center of Holocaust Research, 2018).


Michael FlemingTop of the page

Michael Fleming is vice-director of the Institute of European Culture at The Polish University Abroad, London. His publications include Communism, Nationalism and Ethnicity in Poland, 1944-1950 (2010), Auschwitz, the Allies and Censorship of the Holocaust (2014) and (as editor) Essays Commemorating Szmul Zygielbojm (2018). He is currently conducting research on the United Nations War Crimes Commission.


Leah GarrettTop of the page

Leah Garrett is the Professor and Director of Jewish Studies at Hunter College, City University of New York. She has published four books in Jewish Studies as well as numerous articles. Her last book, Young Lions: How Jewish Authors Reinvented the War Novel, was shortlisted for the National Jewish Book Award and won the Jordan Schnitzer Book Award in Modern Jewish History. Her current book X Troop: The Secret Jewish Commandos of World War Two is forthcoming with Chatto (Penguin Random House) in the UK and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the US. She was also featured on the PBS documentary GI Jews


Yoav GelberTop of the page

Yoav Gelber is a professor emeritus of history at the University of Haifa with an expertise in Jewish history and the history of the Israel Defense Forces. He was the Head of the Nevzlin Center for Jewish Peoplehood at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzlia (2010-2016, retired 2017). He was also the coordinator of Yad Vashem’s 24 planned volumes project: The Comprehensive History of the Holocaust (1978-1998) and the project Pinkasei Hakehilot (1982-1986). Yoav has authored an extensive list of books, including Israeli-Jordanian Dialogue, 1948-1953: Cooperation, Conspiracy or Collusion? (2004), Palestine 1948: War, Escape and the Emergence of the Palestinian Refugee Problem (2001), Jewish-transjordanian Relations, 1921-48 (1997) among others.


Andrea Löw

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Andrea Löw is Deputy Director of the Center for Holocaust Studies at the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich. She also is an Associated Lecturer at the University of Mannheim. Löw's academic background is in history and she holds a PhD degree from the University of Bochum. She joined the Institute for Contemporary History in 2007. Before that, she was a researcher at the Research Unit for Holocaust Literature at the University of Gießen.

Her main research interests are the Holocaust in Eastern Europe, Jewish history during the Holocaust and the history of the ghettos. Recent publications include The Holocaust and European Societies: Social Processes and Social Dynamics (in English, edited with Frank Bajhor; Palgrave Macmillan 2016), Das Warschauer Getto. Alltag und Widerstand im Angesicht der Vernichtung (in German, co-authored with Markus Roth; C.H. Beck, Munich, 2013) and Juden im Getto Litzmannstadt. Lebensbedingungen, Selbstwahrnehmung, Verhalten (in German; Wallstein Verlag, Göttingen, 2006).


Krzysztof PersakTop of the page

Krzysztof Persak is a senior historian at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and research fellow at the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. In 2000-2016, Dr Persak was affiliated with the Institute of National Remembrance in Warsaw. Author and co-editor of nineteen monographs, edited volumes and documentary collections on the communist power system in Poland, communist state security service, Polish-Soviet relations, history of scouting, and Polish-Jewish relations. He published i.a. Odrodzenie harcerstwa w 1956 roku [Rebirth of the Scouting Movement in Poland in 1956] (1996), Wokół Jedwabnego [Jedwabne and Beyond] (2002, with P. Machcewicz), A Handbook of the Communist Security Apparatus in East Central Europe, 1944–1989 (2005, with Ł. Kamiński), Sprawa Henryka Hollanda [Henryk Holland Affair] (2006). Dr Persak received fellowships from the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC, Foundation for Polish Science and the Imre Kertész Kolleg in Jena.


Antony Polonsky

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Jacek Pietrzak is a historian and an Associate Professor of the Department of Philosophy and History at the University of Lodz, his alma mater. He studied also history and political science at the University of Pittsburgh (USA). He has been working at the University of Lodz since 1999. He specializes in Polish history of the first half of twentieth century. His research interests explore various issues in Polish political, socio-cultural and military history, such as: war exile after 1939, relations between Poland and the Middle East, Polish-Jewish relations, diplomacy, political movements, Polish Armed Forces in-Exile (1939-1947), biography. Published works include Radical Pilsudski-ite: The Biography of Wojciech Stpiczyński (in Polish; Semper Warszawa, 2001), Hans Biebow: Portrait of an Executioner in: The ‘Phenomenon’ of the Lodz Ghetto, 1940-1944, ed. Paweł Samuś and Wiesław Puś (in Polish; Wydawnictwo UŁ Łódź, 2006), Polish Refugees in the Middle East during World War II: Centers, Institutions, Organizations (in Polish; Wydawnictwo UŁ Łódź, 2012). Pietrzak has been nominated for many awards, including the Jan Długosz Award, the Kazimierz Moczarski Prize, the Oskar Halecki Award as well as the annual "Polityka" weekly Historical Award. Awarded scholarships by the Foundation for Polish Science and the Polonia Aid Foundation Trust.


Renée PoznanskiTop of the page

Renée Poznanski is the Yaakov and Poria Avnon Professor of Holocaust Studies at Ben Gurion University. As an Emerita in the Department of Politics and Government – a department she has created and headed during several years, she is presently heading the Simone Veil Research Institute for Contemporary European Studies.

She has published extensively on Jews in France during World War II: her research examines their daily lives, relations between Jews and non-Jews, Rescue and Resistance of the Jews and the impact of memory on the historiography of this period. Her book The Jews in France during the World War II, (University Press of New England, 2001; published originally in French) was awarded the Jacob Buchman Prize for the Memory of the Holocaust and has been reedited this year by CNRS Editions. Her book on The Propaganda of the Resistance and the Persecution of the Jews (in French, Fayard, 2008; forthcoming in Hebrew) was awarded the 2009 Henri Hertz prize by the Chancellerie des Universités de Paris. She has been a fellow at The Remarque Institute (New York University), the Center for Advanced Studies (US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC), Sciences Po (Paris), the EHESS (Paris), the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Harvard University) and Oxford Univerity (Worcester College). Published in 2015, her latest book, co-written with Denis Peschanski, focused on the Drancy internment camp (Drancy, un camp en France, Paris: Fayard). She is presently writing a book on the Jewish resistance in France during the Second World War.


Marian TurskiTop of the page

Marian Turski, a historian and journalist, has been the head of historical section of Polityka weekly since 1958. He is a Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee. Mr. Turski is an author or co-author of numerous books. He is the Vice Chairman of the Board on the Association of the Jewish Historical Institute of Poland and the Chairman of the Council of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews.



Laurence Weinbaum

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Laurence Weinbaum is the founding chief editor of The Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs, the organ of the Israel Council on Foreign Relations that operates under the auspices of the World Jewish Congress.  Dr Weinbaum is a graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service (where he was an assistant of Prof. Jan Karski) and received his PhD in history from Warsaw University. Together with Prof. Dariusz Libionka he is the co-author of Bohaterowie, hochsztaplerzy, opisywacze: wokół Żydowskiego Związku Wojskowego. Among his other scholarly publications are a book (based on his doctoral dissertation) on relations between the New Zionist (Revisionist) Organization and the Polish Government in the late 1930s and a monograph on Ruben Feldschu (Ben Shem) entitled Shaking the Dust Off’ The Story of the Warsaw Ghetto’s Forgotten Chronicler. Weinbaum’s articles on Polish Jewish affairs have appeared in The Washington Post, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, The Times of Israel and elsewhere.


Michał WójcikTop of the page

Michał Wójcik is a historian, journalist and screenwriter. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the publishing house Bellona. He was also the Editor-in-Chief of Focus and Focus Historia magazines, and has worked at Radio Zet and the then Polish weekly Przekrój (now a quarterly newsmagazine).

Wójcik has authored many historical books and television programs. In 2015, he was awarded by Polityka for his book, co-authored with Emil Marat, Made in Poland – opowiada jeden z ostatnich żołnierzy Kedywu Stanisław Likiernik (in Polish; Wielka Litera Warszawa, 2014) and in 2018, he received the Teresa Torańska Prize, awarded by the Polish Newsweek, for the book Treblinka ’43 (in Polish; Znak Literanova, 2018).

Ptaki drapieżenie (in Polish; Znak Literanova, 2016), also written with Emil Marat, was nominated for the Jan Długosz Award.

In 2019, Wójcik published other books: Bogna od Tyrmanda oraz Wojna nadejdzie jutro; and an extended interview with Stanisław Aronson (in collaboration with Emil Marat). He is also an author of an extended interview with Zofia Posmysz Królestwo za mgłą.


Andrei ZamoiskiTop of the page

Andrei Zamoiski is a historian and currently a researcher at the Freidrich-Meinecke-Institute, Freie Universität Berlin. Zamoiski previously worked at the Belarusian Research Center for Electronic Records in Minsk (2009-2014) and as a lecturer in history at Gomel State University (2003-2007). He graduated from the Gomel State University (1999) and the Belarusian University in Minsk (2002) before going on to receive his PhD from the University of Białystok (2008). He also studied at the Graduate School for Social Research of the Institute of Sociology and Philosophy of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. His research interests include the history of Soviet Jews and the history of Belarus during the Second World War; he has authored a monograph on the transformation of Jewish shtetls in Soviet Belarus during the interwar period. Zamoiski also contributed to the Encyclopedia of the Holocaust in the USSR, edited by Ilya Altman.


Arkadi ZeltserTop of the page

Arkadi Zeltser is currently Director of the Moshe Mirilashvili Center for Research on the Holocaust in the Soviet Union of The International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. Dr. Zeltser’s fields of interest are the Holocaust in the USSR, Soviet propaganda in Yiddish during World War Two, Jewish memory on the Holocaust, Jewish-Gentile relations, and the participation of Jews in the NKVD. He is author of the book The Jews of the Soviet Provinces: Vitebsk and the Shtetls 1917 – 1941 (in Russian; Moscow, 2006) and an editor of collection of letters To Pour Out My Bitter Soul: Letters form the USSR 1941 – 1945 (Yad Vashem, 2016). His book Unwelcome Memory: Holocaust Monuments in the Soviet Union was published by Yad Vashem in 2018. He also participates in the current NYU project, A comprehensive History of the Jews in the Soviet Union, volume 1929-1939/Stalinist Socialism.    


Andrzej ŻbikowskiTop of the page

Andrzej Żbikowski prof., head of the Research Department of the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute, lecturer at the Centre for East European Studies at the University of Warsaw. His research interests include the history of Polish Jews in the 20th century. He authored numerous books including Jan Karski’s biography, monographic study of the activities of the Social Court at the Central Committee of Polish Jews and a monography on the history of the Jewish Historical Institute.