The second edition of Polin Meeting Point summer school, organized thanks to the Nissenbaum Family Foundation’s Educational Fund, concluded on 31 July 2016.
This year’s summer school explored issues related to post- World War II reconstruction in Poland and Germany, and the emergence of Israeli statehood and citizenhood. Together with invited experts, from Poland, Germany and Israel, participants discussed a number of major problems: the rebirth of Jewish communities in Poland and Germany, dealing with Holocaust trauma, and postwar violence. They also tried to determine how the history and memory of World War II had influenced reconstituted postwar identities, both individual and collective, in their three countries.
Behind us are two weeks full of lectures, workshops, discussions, study tours and almost daily meetings with timewitnesses. Within the framework of this year’s program participants talked to witnesses of history about their postwar experience related to movement of various kinds (exile, emigration, displacement). Participants were introduced to the basics of oral history: how to prepare and conduct an interview, and how to use oral testimonies in educational, research, artistic and political projects. Their interviews with witnesses of history served as a point of departure for further work on preparing a final presentation about the experience of postwar witnesses of history and of the project participants themselves in talking about the past.