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Antony Polonsky

Disputed Issues in Polish-Jewish Historiography

The last 30 years have seen the emergence of two sharply differentiated views of the Polish-Jewish past, one self-critical which has concentrated, above all, on the negative sides of Polish-Jewish interaction, above all during the Holocaust; the other apologetic, stressing the difficult context of the mass murder of the Jews and highlighting Polish attempts to aid their Jewish fellow-citizens. This presentation will examine the way the arguments between the two groups have developed and the present state of knowledge on the matters which divide them.

Antony Polonsky is emeritus professor of Holocaust studies at Brandeis University and Chief Historian at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Until 1991, he was professor of international history at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is chair of the editorial board of Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry, and author, co-author, or co-editor of over half a dozen books. His most recent work, The Jews in Poland and Russia, was published by Oxford University Press in three volumes (2008, 2010, 2012) as well as in abridged version (2013). Professor Polonsky holds honorary doctorates from the University of Warsaw and Jagiellonian University, and is the recipient of the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of Polonia Restituta and of the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of Independent Lithuania.