I I edition 2015

First edition of POLIN Meeting Point

Summer Educational School took place in POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, 16th - 31st August 2015.

Participants in the program looked at historical events from the perspective of various historical narratives, stories of individuals, social memory, artistic expression, media messages, and their methods of commemoration. Students had the opportunity to analyze this historical event as a broad research problem, they applied interdisciplinary tools to the study of history and moving in this complicated topic intersecting Israeli-Polish-German memory. The program included workshops, lectures, discussions, movies projections, educational tours and visits at other institutions.

The seminar part of the program was supplemented by the execution of artistic projects, run in international teams.

  • political and social context of the end of World War II (1944-1945) – introduction of the topic;
  • the end of World War II in personal sources (accounts, diaries, memories, oral history) – discussion of the sources needed to research memory;
  • national narratives on the end of World War II and its consequences for Poles, Germans and Jews; disputes over memory;
  • cultural representations (literature, film, theatre, graphic arts);
    the forgotten ones in discussions on memory in Poland, Germany and Israel (violence against women).

Lecturers

Experts from Poland, Israel and Germany were invited to conduct classes.

Krystyna Piotrowska is a Polish printmaker, installation artist, photographer, video artist and curator. She studied at the Department of Interior Design of the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow in 1966-1972, at the Department of Graphic Art of the Higher School of Fine Arts in Poznan in 1972-1975 and in Grafikskolan Forum Malmö in 1985-1990.
In her works, she uses traditional media as well as videos, objects, and installations. Self-portraits treated as a symbolic rather than realistic representation are a recurrent motif in her creations. In her work, she deals with the theme of memory, passing away, history, vanishing, and reconstruction.
Between 2005-2012 she was a curator of the annual exhibition Project Prozna, that took place in the preserved part of the Warsaw ghetto. The Project was about Polish-Jewish relationships, anti-Semitism, intolerance, and many other problems that contemporary art deals with. In 2014 she was a curator of the exhibition Adoration of Sweets in the National Gallery Zachęta. She lives and works in Warsaw.
Her artworks’ popularity have given way to many individual exhibitions throughout last 40 years. They were held in places such as Grafiska Sallskapet in Stockholm, F.A.B Gallery in Edmonton, Guardini Stiftung in Berlin and Fabryka Trzciny in Warsaw, and many others.

Prof. Barbara Breysach is a lecturer on German and Comparative Literature at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder). From 2008 to 2013 she was a professor of German literature and culture at Warminsko-Mazurski University in Olsztyn (Poland). More recently, she has been teaching as a Guest Professor at the Jagiellonian University and the University of Sarajevo and in Bucarest. Currently she is the co-editor of a new edition of Hannah Arendt’s essays, Hidden Tradition, and researching Jewish migration and cultural transfer between Warsaw and Berlin. She has published numerous articles in European-Jewish studies, Holocaust studies and German and Polish literature. One of her major monographs is Schauplatz und Gedächtnisraum Polen. Die Vernichtung der Juden in der deutschen und jüdischen Literatur (2006).

Dr. Patrycja Dołowy is a Polish artist, writer, and science journalist. President of the Polish Association of Science Journalists, vice-president of the MaMa Foundation. The author and coordinator of various social, cultural, and research projects. For many years she has been interested in the problems of memory and Jewish heritage in her art and work. She bases her projects on oral history and testimonies. She earned her MA from University of Warsaw (2002), PhD from the Polish Academy of Sciences (2007), and art diploma with distinction from the Academy of Art Photography in Wroclaw (2005). She is also a winner of the Karol Sabath Award (2011), scholarship recipient from the Polish Ministry of Culture (2012), and Honorable Mention recipient from Kontrapunkt Theater Festival (2015) for the drama Hideout.

Dr. Małgorzata Głowacka-Grajper is a sociologist and social anthropologist and works at the Institute of Sociology at the University of Warsaw where she was Head of the Social Memory Laboratory. Her main interests are in ethnic minority groups and their activities around cultural survival, contemporary developments in ethnic and national identity, and problems of social memory and tradition. She has published books on ethnic minority schools in Poland, Polish communities from the former Soviet Union, and ethnic and religious questions among Western Buryats from Siberia. She conducted her fieldwork in Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Siberia. Now she is working on research projects in relation to memory and religion in contemporary Poland and social memory in former Polish Eastern Borderlands in different socio-cultural environments.

Dr. Yael Granot-Bein is the Director of the Strochlitz Institute for Holocaust Research and Director of the Weiss-Livnat International MA Program in Holocaust Studies at the University of Haifa. Her research deals with Jewish Immigration from Eastern Europe to England at the end of the nineteenth century and the breakdown of the Jewish family during the immigration process.

Jagna Kofta is an educator and tour guide. She leads lectures and tours about Jewish culture and history for students and adults. For several years she has been involved in educational activities at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews . She is also a co-author of the mobile application „Warsaw is my” – walking in the footsteps of Janusz Korczak and a co-author of the educational CD of the Warsaw Jews „Warszawa, Warsze.”

Prof. Marek Kornat is a historian, sovietologist, publicist, professor in the Institute of History of Polish Academy of Sciences (2010-present) and the Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw (2008-present). He is also a head of Department of History of Diplomacy and Totalitarian Systems in the Institute of History of Polish Academy of Sciences. He has authored numerous books and studies primarily on Polish diplomacy in the interwar era. His recent published works include Polen zwischen Hitler und Stalin. Studien zur polnischen Außenpolitik in der Zwischenkriegszeit ( 2012).

Joanna Król is a Polish philologist. She organizes numerous projects related to oral history in her work at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews . She is also responsible for management of the Jewish Cultural Heritage Grant from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism.
Król is also an author of documentary films and reportages on the history of the Polish Jews. She is a co-author of an exhibition “Risking life. Poles saving Jews during Shoah”.

Monika Koszyńska has 12 years of experience as a primary and civic education teacher and guidance counselor. She is one of the founding teachers of The Lauder-Morasha School. From 2002 to 2006, she was a teacher trainer in the Center for Citizenship Education involved in programs: Learning Schools, Traces of the past, Learning Schools Academy. Since 2006, she has worked in the Institute for National Remembrance. She is also a specialist in intercultural and multicultural education, founder and former chairman of the Encounters Association for Education and Culture. She has served as a coordinator of educational projects for students, teachers and public servants – e.g.: Multicultural Europe – Challenges, Threads, and Opportunities for Europe in XXI Century, a project conducted with the British Council, Poland. Since 2011, she has been a representative in Poland of USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education. In March 2013, she began serving as the manager of the youth education unit at the POLIN Museum.

Dr. Stephan Lehnstaedt is Research Fellow at the German Historical Institute in Warsaw (since 2010). His main fields of interest are history of the two World Wars, the Holocaust, and its compensation in the 21st century. He has recently finished a manuscript comparing the imperialism of Germany and Austria-Hungary in World War I with that of the Nazis in World War II using the example of occupied Poland. Lehnstaedt received his PhD from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich in 2008. He worked from 2005-2009 at Institut für Zeitgeschichte Munich. He served as a visiting lecturer at LMU and Humboldt University Berlin. During the academic year 2013/14 he served as Guest Teacher at the London School of Economics. He has published two monographs dealing with German everyday life in occupied Eastern Europe during World War II: Okkupationim Osten. Besatzeralltag in Warschau und Minsk 1939-1944 (2010), Polish version forthcoming in 2015, English in 2016 and the compensation of Jewish ghetto labour after 1945 – Geschichte und Gesetzesauslegung. Zu Kontinuität und Wandel des bundesdeutschen Wiedergutmachungsdiskurses am Beispiel der Ghettorenten (2011).Lehnstaedt has also recently published an edition of documents by Nazi Einsatzgruppen in Poland in 1939: Die Berichte der Einsatzgruppen aus Polen 1939. Vollständige Edition, co-published with Jochen Böhler (2013).

Zofia Mioduszewska is a senior educational specialist at POLIN Museum. She started working in the museum in 2007 when the Educational Center of the POLIN Museum was established. From 2008 to 2011 she was coordinating “My Muranow” – a contest for local schools about the Jewish heritage of Warsaw. Currently, she is working as an educator and leads workshops. She also organizes meetings between Holocaust survivors and students (Youth Meetings with members of the Association of “Children of the Holocaust” in Poland) and participates in several museums’ projects. She is the author of several articles of education in museums and a Ph.D. candidate at University of Warsaw.

Dr. Hab. Marcin Napiórkowski is an Assistant Professor on the Faculty of Polish Studies at the University of Warsaw. His interests are primarily on collective memory, aesthetics, and contemporary forms of mythical imagination. Napiórkowski earned his PhD in philosophy from the Graduate School for Social Research (Warsaw, Poland) in 2010. He is author of two books on contemporary culture and collective imagination: Mitologia współczesna [The Contemporary Mythology] (2013) and Władza wyobraźni [The Power of Imagination] (2014).

Prof. Eyal Naveh is a professor of history at Tel Aviv University and at the Kibbutzim College of Education. Currently, he is a chairperson of the Department of General History at Tel Aviv University and head of the Academic Council at the Kibbutzim College of Education. He teaches U.S. history and history education. He also taught U.S. and Israeli history in Israel and abroad. Professor Naveh received his PhD from University of California Berkeley. In addition to his academic publications he wrote seven textbooks for the Israeli public school system. His last four books are Reinhold Niebuhr and Non Utopian Liberalism (2002); Histories: Toward a dialogue with the Israeli Past (2002) [Hebrew]; United States – an Ongoing Democracy, (2007) [Hebrew]; and Side By Side – Parallel Histories of Israel and Palestine (written in conjunction with Sami Adwan and Dan Bar-On) (2012). He is the co-director of PRIME and the coordinator and adviser of its Israeli-Palestinian two narratives history project. His new book Past in Turmoil – Public Debates over Historical Issues in Israel, is in print and will be out in few months.

Dr. Joanna Ostrowska has been a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Jewish Studies at Jagiellonian University and received a Ph.D. in history (Sexuality in times of oppression and the poetics of its representation) this year. She received her MAs from the Institute of Audiovisual Arts at the Jagiellonian University and in Gender Studies from the University of Warsaw. She also studied film and television production in the Film and Theatre School (PWSFTviT) in Lodz. Currently, Ostrowska is doing research on sexual violence in Poland during the World War II and forgotten victims of the Holocaust, with a particular focus on homosexual victims.

Dr. Ljiljana Radonić is writing her postdoctoral thesis on “World War II in Post-Communist Memorial Museums” at the Institute of Culture Studies and Theatre History in the Austrian Academy of Sciences. She teaches at the University of Vienna but she is currently a visiting professor at Gießen University in Germany – on „anti-Semitism theory”, „psychoanalysis as critical theory of the society” and “(Central and Southeast) European Memory Conflicts since 1989”. She published her PhD on the „War on Memory – Croatian Politics of the Past between Revisionism and European Standards” in 2010 (in German).

Prof. Birgit Schwelling is currently a Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities in Essen. She received her PhD from the Free University Berlin and her habilitation from the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) where she was an Assistant Professor at the Cultural Studies Department from 2000 to 2008. In 2009-2012, Schwelling was the academic director of “History and Memory,” a research group at the University of Konstanz, and subsequently was a visiting professor in 2012-13, also at the University of Konstanz. In 2013-14 Schwelling joined the Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Duisburg, as a Fellow. She has authored numerous books and articles on European memory cultures and politics, the cultural history of politics, and transitional justice. Her latest publications include: Global Cooperation in Transitional Justice. Challenges, Possibilities, and Limits (2015), ed. with Noemi Gal-Or; Reconciliation, Civil Society, and the Politics of Memory. Transnational Initiatives in the 20th and 21st Century (2012) (ed.), and Demokratyczna tożsamość polityczna. Niemcy, Polska, Francja(2008), ed. with Gesine Schwan, Jerzy Holzer und Marie-Claire Lavabre.

Dr. David Silberklang is Senior Historian at the International Institute for Holocaust Research at Yad Vashem, editor of Yad Vashem Studies, and series editor of The Holocaust Survivors’ Memoirs Project. He received his BA from Columbia University and his MA and PhD from the Hebrew University. Dr. Silberklang teaches Jewish history at the University of Haifa graduate school and at the Rothberg International School of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He serves as Israel’s representative to the Academic Working Group of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance. At Yad Vashem, Dr. Silberklang has served as Editor-in-Chief of Publications and Chief Historian of Yad Vashem’s Museum Development Project. In the latter capacity he wrote the extensive conceptual historical outline that served as the basis of the content of the new Holocaust History Museum at Yad Vashem. Dr. Silberklang has published widely on the Holocaust. His latest book, Gates of Tears: The Holocaust in the Lublin District (2013) was a finalist this year for the National Jewish Book Award and the Yad Vashem International Book Prize in Holocaust Research.

Dr. hab. Rafał Syska is a Polish film historian and an associate professor in the Audiovisual Arts Department of the Jagiellonian University. He is also author of numerous books and essays focused on analysis of contemporary cinema, phenomenon of film violence, slow cinema tendency as well as some aspects of American and European film history. So far he has published: Film and Violence. Ways of Film Violence Representation (2003), Keep the Distance. Film World of Robert Altman (2007), Poetry of Picture. Films of Theo Angelopoulos (2007), Cinematic Neomodernism (2014). Additionally, he was an editor of popular Film Dictionary (two editions: 2005 and 2010) and Film Adaptation of American Literature (2011). Syska also co-edited a multivolume work, Masters of American Cinema (2006-2013), and fundamental in Polish film studies History of Cinema (2009-). He was a grant recipient from the Stanislaw Estreicher Foundation, Polityka Weekly Magazine, Foundation for Polish Science, and The Kosciuszko Foundation. In 2012 he was a scholar visiting at Columbia University in New York. In 2010 he founded and became the editor-in-chief of the magazine EKRANy. Film & Media. In 2014 he was also the curator of the exhibition Stanley Kubrick in National Museum in Cracow.

Prof. Jolanta Żyndul is historian specializing in the modern history of the Polish Jews and in Polish-Jewish relations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, associate at the POLIN Museum. From 1991 she worked at Warsaw University’s Historical Institute, and from 2001-2014 she was the director of the Centrum Badania i Nauczania Dziejów i Kultury Żydów w Polsce im. Mordechaja Anielewicza [Mordecai Anielewicz Centre for Research and Education of the History and Culture of Jews in Poland]. She received her PhD under the supervision of Marcin Kula in 1999, and her habilitation in 2013. She received the Klio Prize in 2000 and the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Honourary Medal in 2007. Her publications include: Zajścia antyżydowskie w Polsce w latach 1935-1937 [Anti-Jewish Incidents in Poland from 1935-1937] (1994); Państwo w państwie? Autonomia narodowo-kulturalna w Europie Środkowowschodniej w XX wieku [A State Within A State? National-Cultural Autonomy in Central and Eastern Europe in the Twentieth Century] (2000); Kłamstwo krwi. Legenda mordu rytualnego na ziemiach polskich w XIX i XX wieku [Blood lie. The Legend of Ritual Murder in the Polish Territories in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries] (2011).

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PARTICIPANTS

42 university students took part in the first edition of the program in 2015.
14 students from Poland, 14 students from Israel, 14 students from Germany.
They created great group.

Ewa, Poland

With POLIN Meeting Point the main thing was that it was a chance to meet with students from the three countries, which connects their history. In addition to the academic layers that formed the basis for discussion, the interaction between the participants was important. Everyone learned a lot about themselves, we also had the opportunity to revise our worldview.

Eyal, Israel

The school’s program provoked discussions, questions, and scientific research: I think that a seminar like the one held at the Polin Musuem, is a sort of energy injection for people who are really interested in the past and are the ones to deliver what they know for others. I can see how a seminar like this supports contact between students with the same academic background from 3 different countries.

Sylvia, Germany

This meeting of students and faculty from Israel, Germany, and Poland made it possible to create a space to study the issue of the aftermath of World War II from different national perspectives: This time was very intense and I learned a lot about the national narratives of each nation taking part. Learning more about the perspectives of “Poland and Israel was especially interesting for me. Moreover, I have learned a lot about these two countries. Also very exciting was the numerous conversations between the participants from all three countries. The intercultural exchange was great.

Omri, Israel

As a multinational group, we explored national narratives of history, society, and remembrance. We met people from key places around Europe, and besides talking, had a lot of fun too. All of that in the wonderful and privileged setting of the Polin Museum in the heart of Warsaw. The Polin Meeting Point program is not only exciting, educational and eye-opening, but also an experience you won\\'t forget.

Ines, Germany

In turn, the work and thought spent analyzing this historical event contributed to discussions about the contemporary relationships between nations: The Polin Meeting Point is a great intercultural educational experience to understand the perspectives of other countries regarding WWII remembrance and also to build personal international friendships. Programmes like this contribute to a world in which people can live together peacefully.