International Academic Conference „Concerning help given to jews in occupied Europe”

13/11 — 15/11/2014 Conference organized by the Institute of National Remembrance, The Polish Center for Holocaust Research of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the JHI.

Wide wokol pomocy zydom pl

13th November, 2014, Thursday 5pm - 15th November, Saturday

In 1944, on occupied Polish territories, the Jews were still being kept in a few ghettos, concentration camps and forced labour camps, but thousands were still in hiding. Hoping for the defeat of the Third Reich, rapid end of the war, they did not know whether they would live to see the long-awaited salvation. On the Aryan side in Warsaw in the years 1942–1944 in a bunker „Krysia” at 81 Grójecka Street ten Jewish families were hiding. Among them was founder of the Underground Archive of the Warsaw Ghetto Emanuel Ringelblum, his wife and son. 

Neighbours and friends, and often just strangers helped the Jews hiding in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. All of them lived in danger that one day the hiding place would be discovered and the Jews staying there as well as the Poles would be murdered. This is exactly what happened to the shelter in Ochota district in Warsaw. On 7th March, 1944, as a result of a denunciation, the hiding place was discovered. 40 Jews hiding in it were arrested as well as the Wolski family who for almost two years had been helping the fugitives. They were taken to Pawiak and a few days later shot among the ruins of the Warsaw Ghetto.


Polish Center for Holocaust Research of the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences 

Institute of National Remembrance — Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation

Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute

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Program of the conference:

13th November, 2014 (Thursday)

The Jewish Historical Institute, 3/5 Tłomackie Street

5pm-7:30pm — discussion panel — Commemorating the Righteous in Poland

Konstanty Gebert, Zbigniew Gluza, Jan Grabowski, Witold Lisowski, Paweł Śpiewak (chairperson), Jan Żaryn

14th November, 2014 (Friday)

Educational Centre of the Institute of National Remembrance „Przystanek Historia”, 21/25 Marszałkowska Street


Session I — Individual Help — Case Study

Chaired by: Grzegorz Berendt
• Katharina Friedla – Strategies of survival and giving aid to Jewish partners in „mixed” marriages in Wrocław and Hamburg. Case study.
• Ołesia Isaiuk – How individual help was perceived by rescued Jews on the example of Lviv and neighbouring towns.


Session II — Jews Helping Jews

Chaired by: Barbara Engelking
• Witold Medykowski – Jewish Social Self-Help in the General Government during the Reinhardt Action
• Aleksandra Bańkowska – Foreign help for the Polish Jews in the years 1939–1941. Concerning the budget of Warsaw office of American Joint Distribution Committee

12:15pm-2pm — break

Session III — Foreign Help — Resistance Movements

Chaired by: Dariusz Libionka
• Grzegorz Berendt – Partizans in Polesie to the Jewish refugees from ghettos and camps (1941–1944)
• Wojciech Łukaszun – Soldiers of the Home Army, socialists, communists or bandits? Jews making identification of underground organizations and criminal gangs in General Government in the years 1942–1945

3:30pm — 3:45pm — coffee break

3:45pm — 6pm

Session IV — Organized Help — Case Study

Chaired by: Agnieszka Haska
• Claudia Schoppmann – Escapes and help given to Jews during the Second World War — risks and conflicts
• Martina Voigt – Network of rescuers connected with Elisabeth Abegg and some features of help and rescue activities in Nazi Germany after the beginning of mass deportations of Jews (1941–1945)
• Agata Mirek – Contribution of female religious congregations in Poland to saving Jews
• Anna Bikont – Irena Sendler, that is on loneliness of the Righteous

15th November, 2014 (Saturday)

Educational Centre of the Institute of National Remembrance „Przystanek Historia”, 21/25 Marszałkowska Street


Session V — Organized help — Informing the World

Chaired by: Krzysztof Persak
• Michael Fleming – Looking for answers. Representatives of Polish Jews in the West and the Holocaust
• Adrien Dallaire – „Co-perpetrators”, „witnesses” or „saviours”? Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the reaction of the United States to the Holocaust 
• Wojtek Rappak – Jan Karski, Polish underground state and the matter of saving Jews during the Holocaust

10:45am-11am — coffee break


Session VI — Righteous Among the Nations — Case Study

Chaired by: Władysław Bułhak
• Karolina Panz – Motivations and complications. The story of saving from the perspective of a child
• Emunah Nachmany Gafny – Relations between rescuers and rescued Jewish children during the war in Poland and their influences on post-war decisions made by the Survivors
• Alina Cała – Narrations about saving Jews. Corrections

12:45pm — 2:15 pm — break

2:15pm — 4:15pm

Session VII — Righteous Among the Nations — Challenges

Chaired by Jan Grabowski
• Representative of Yad Vashem – Righteous. New challenges, evolving criteria
• Tomasz Żukowski – Polish discourse on saving Jews (1942– –2013). Recconnaissance
• Alicja Podbielska – Beyond hagiography. Memory of rescuing in the Polish countryside 
• Ewa Rogalewska – Szymon Datner and troubles with the Righteous

4.15pm–4.30pm – coffee break

4.30pm–6.30pm – discussion panel – Shared history? Shared memory? 
Barbara Engelking (chairperson), Jacek Leociak, Paweł Machcewicz, Krzysztof Persak, Paweł Śpiewak

Free admission; the sessions will be interpreted simultaneously in Polish and English.

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