The program of the conference

Academic conference ‘Being a witness to the Holocaust’.

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On 22nd-23rd April Jewish Historical Institute with Institute of National Remembrance, Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation and Polish Center for Holocaust Research organize an international academic conference ‘Being a witness to the Holocaust’. It is part of the events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It is dedicated to the memory of Szmul Zygielbojm — a Bund’s politician and since 1942 a member of National Council of Poland in London.

The program of the conference is divided into five parts. The final part of each of them is a panel discussion. The speakers and chairmen will consist of prominent historians, sociologists and Cultural Studies academics in the field of the history of the Holocaust.
At the conference it will be possible to listen to papers being presented by guests from abroad, among others, prof. Michael Marrus (University of Toronto), dr Kiril Feferman (Russian Research and Educational Holocaust Center), dr Beate Kosmala (Gedenkstätte Stille Helden), prof. Dan Michman (Yad Vashem, Bar Ilan University), Radu Ioanida (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum). Among the speakers are also the director of Jewish Historical Institute, prof. Paweł Śpiewak and Aleksandra Bańkowska.


April 22, 2013, Monday

9.00–9.15 – Opening of the conference

9.15–11.15 – Session I – Helplessness, indifference and silence of the witnesses Chair: Dr Jacek Leociak (Institute of Literary Research
of the Polish Academy of Sciences;

Polish Center for Holocaust Research)

Prof. Irena Grudzińska-Gross (Princeton University)– Grammar of the witnesses’ silence

Prof. Joanna Tokarska-Bakir (Warsaw University)– On generating indifference

 Prof. Michael Marrus (University of Toronto)
– International witnesses to the Holocaust in historicalperspective

Prof. Jean Charles Szurek(CNRS – National Centre for ScientificResearch) – The Holocaust after the disappearance of direct witnesses

 Dr Aleksandra Namysło (Institute of National Remembrance) – Inhabitants of the so-called Ostoberschlesien toward
the Jewish population during the German occupation

Discussion 11.15–11.30 – Coffee break

11.30–13.30 – Session II –Churches towards the HolocaustChair: Dr Bożena Szaynok (University of Wrocław)

 Prof. Stanisław Obirek (University of Łódź)
– Catholic Church in Poland towards the Holocaust

Prof. John Conelly (University of California)– Catholics who tried to stop the Holocaust

Prof. Adam Rotfeld – Archbishop Andrzej Szeptycki and Greek Catholic Church towards the Holocaust

Prof. Anna Wolff-Powęska (Institute for Western Affairs)– Churches in Germany towards the Holocaust

Prof. Paweł Śpiewak (Jewish Historical Institute; Warsaw University) – Judaism towards the Holocaust

Discussion 13.30–15.30 – break

15.30–17.30 – Session III –European resistance movements towards the Holocaust

Chair: Dr Krzysztof Persak (Institute of National Remembrance; Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences)

Claire Zalc (CNRS, National Centre for Scientific Research)– Facing persecution in France

Prof. Grzegorz Motyka (Institute of Political Studies of the PolishAcademy of Sciences) – Ukrainian partisans to the Holocaust

Dr Adam Puławski (Institute of National Remembrance) – Polish Underground State towards the Holocaust

Michał Trębacz (Institute of National Remembrance; University of Łódź)
– Jewish underground political parties towards the Holocaust, 1941–1945

Dr Kiril Feferman (Russian Research and Educational HolocaustCenter) – Soviet partisans towards the Jews and the Holocaust 

April 23, 2013, Tuesday

10.00–12.00 – Session IV –European societies towards the HolocaustChair: Dr Andrzej Żbikowski (Jewish Historical Institut;

Polish Center for Holocaust Research)

Dr Beate Kosmala (Silent Heroes Memorial Center)
– ‘Ordinary Germans’ and the Deportation of Jews from Berlin,1941–1945

Dr Tomasz Stryjek (Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences; Collegium Civitas)
– Ukrainian society towards the Holocaust

Prof. Dan Michman (Yad Vashem; Bar Ilan University)– Dutch society towards the Holocaust

Radu Ioanid (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)– Romanian society towards the Holocaust

Adam Sitarek (Institute of National Remembrance; University of Łódź)
– Through the ghetto by a tram. A closed district through the eyes of residents of Litzmannstadt – Poles and Germans, 1940–1945

Discussion 12.00–14.00 – Lunch break

14.00–15.30 – Session V –Jews: the witnesses of the HolocaustChair: Dr Barbara Engelking (Polish Center for Holocaust


Prof. Jan Grabowski (University of Ottawa; Polish Center for Holocaust Research)
– Jews: witnesses on the basis of unpublished journals

Alina Skibińska (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Polish Center for Holocaust Research)
– Jews: witnesses in criminal trials

Aleksandra Bańkowska (Jewish Historical Institute)
– Witnesses of the Holocaust: accounts from the undergroundarchive collections of the Warsaw and Bialystok ghettos

Dr Dariusz Libionka (Polish Holocaust Research Center)
– Fates and testimonies of the Bełżec concentration campescapees

Discussion 15.30–15.45 – Coffee break

15.45–17.15 – Panel discussion –What is left of the Hilberg triad „Perpetrators – victims – witnesses“?

Chair: Prof. Paweł Śpiewak (Jewish Historical Institute) Participants: Prof. Jan Tomasz Gross (Princeton University), Prof. Paweł Machcewicz (Museum of the Second World War; Warsaw University),
Dr Grzegorz Berendt (Institute of National Remembrance)

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