IJS Events


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Poland and Hungary: Jewish Realities Compared


Tuesday 29th January 2019 from 9.30 to 5.30 pm.

For further information please click here

Ukrainians, Jews and Poles: The Ukrainian Triangle in Historical Perspective

Start: Jan 16, 2014 09:30 AM

January 16th 2014

9.30am - 8.00pm, Embassy of the Republic of Poland

47 Portland Place, London W1B 6JH

A One-Day Conference of the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies in association with the Polish Cultural Institute London and the Institute of Jewish Studies, University College London.

This conference, held in the thirtieth year since the establishment of the Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies, aims to provide an overview of the millennium-long history of Jews in the Ukraine setting out the background to issues that have generated much conflict.  With contributions from Jewish, Polish and Ukrainian scholars and other experts on these complex and highly controversial topics, it will attempt to provide a broader historical context that can move the discussion beyond the old paradigms of conflict and hostility.


The conference marks the launch of


Polin. Studies in Polish Jewry:

Jews and Ukrainians

Edited by Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern and Antony Polonsky.

Published by the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization.

Eventbrite - The Ukrainian Triangle

Registration is essential and online only. 

Registration fee £15, 

student concession £10.

For all enquiries: Sara Benisaac, Institute of Jewish Studies,

University College London. Email: ijs@ucl.ac.uk

Conference Programme

9.30am             Registration

10.00am           Welcome

Chair: Mr Ben Helfgott, Chairman of the Institute of Polish-Jewish Studies
H.E. Mr Witold Sobków, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland
Sir Sigmund Sternberg, President of the Institute of Polish-Jewish Studies

Session 1 - The Medieval and Early Modern Period

Chair: Dr François Guesnet (University College London)

What We Know About the Khazars and What We Do Not Know

Professor Dan Shapira (Bar-Ilan University)

The Khmelnytsky Uprising: The Implications for Jews of Their Links With the Polish Nobility

Professor Adam Kaźmierczyk (Jagiellonian University, Kraków)

11.35am         Coffee Break

Session II - Jews in the Towns and Shtetls of Ukraine

Chair: Professor Antony Polonsky (Brandeis University)

12.00 noon
The Shtetl in Ukraine: a Triangle of Power

Professor Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern (Northwestern University, Chicago)

Bukovina: A Different Story?

Dr David Rechter (Oxford Center for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Oxford)

1.15pm          Buffet Lunch

(courtesy of the Polish Cultural Institute)

Session II (continued)
Kiev, Kyiv, Kijów, Kiyov: Imperial City on an Ethnic Fault Line

Professor Natan Meir (Portland State University)

Lauterpacht, Lemkin, Lemberg and Lwów: A Tale of One City, Two Lawyers and Two Crimes

Professor Philippe Sands (University College London)

3.35pm         Tea/Coffee Break

Session III - The Second World War in Ukraine

Chair: Professor David Cesarani (Royal Holloway, University of London)

The Polish-Ukrainian Conflict in Volynia and East Galicia During World War II and Its Aftermath

Dr Łukasz Adamski (Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue, Warsaw)

Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky and the Holocaust

Professor John-Paul Himka (University of Alberta)

The Holocaust in Ukraine: Placing Women in the Killing Fields                       and the Machinery of Destruction      

Professor Wendy Lower (Claremont McKenna College)

Ukraine Under Nazi Occupation - Problems of Interpretation and                   Evaluation

Professor Timothy Snyder (Yale University)

6.30pm         Wine Reception

(courtesy of H.E. the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland),

followed by a Piano Concert by Oxana Petrovsky (Chicago, Illinois)

Notes on Speakers

Łukasz Adamski is a historian and political scientist. He has been Research Projects Supervisor at the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding since 2011. Previously he worked at the Polish Institute of International Affairs in Warsaw. His research focusses on the history of Eastern Europe, in particular Polish, Russian and Ukrainian political thought, as well as on the current political situation in Ukraine and the relationship between Poland and the EU with Ukraine. He is the author of Mykhailo Hrushevsky’s intellectual biography (2011) as well as numerous academic articles.

David Cesarani is research professor in History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has written and edited over 15 books including Major Farran’s Hat: Murder, scandal, and Britain’s war against Jewish terrorism, 1945-1948 (2009) and Eichmann. His Life and Crimes (2004). He has been involved with policy making and advocacy organisations since the mid 1980s and helped produce a report on the entry of Nazi collaborators into the UK after 1945. He argued for the establishment of a Holocaust museum in the UK resulting in a permanent Holocaust exhibition at the Imperial War Museum. In 2005 he was awarded the OBE for his work with the Home Office in establishing Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK. He has contributed to the making of numerous TV, radio and film documentaries.

François Guesnet is Sidney and Elizabeth Corob Reader in Modern Jewish History in the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College London. He specializes in the early modern and nineteenth century history of Polish Jews. His publications include Polnische Juden im 19. Jahrhundert (Cologne, Vienna 1998), an anthology of non-fictional Polish writings about the Jews of Poland, Der Fremde als Nachbar. Polnische Positionen zur jüdischen Präsenz in Polen. Texte seit 1800 (Frankfurt am Main 2009), and a collection of German language texts by a nineteenth century Polish-Jewish merchant, Louis Meyer: Hinterlassene deutsche Schriften eines polnischen Juden (Hildesheim 2010).  A volume on antisemitism in postcommunist Poland and Hungary (co-edited with Gwenyth Jones) and on Warsaw as a Jewish Metropolis (co-edited with Glenn Dynner) are forthcoming.

John-Paul Himka is a professor of history at the University of Alberta. He has written four monographs on Ukrainian history and edited or co-edited seven other books. His most recent is Bringing the Dark Past to Light: The Reception of the Holocaust in Postcommunist Europe, co-edited with Joanna Michlic (2013). His current research concerns Ukrainian nationalists and the Holocaust. Among his publications on this theme are an article on the 1941 Lviv pogrom in Canadian Slavonic Papers (2011) and his 2009 Mohyla lecture Ukrainians, Jews and the Holocaust: Divergent Memories. In 2011 he received the J. Gordin Kaplan Award for Excellence in Research.

Adam Kaźmierczyk is Associate Professor in the Department of Jewish Studies, Jagiellonian University,  Kraków. His research focusses on early modern Poland, Polish-Jewish relations in the early modern period, and the legal status of Jews in the 17th and the 18th centuries. He is the author of several books including Żydzi polscy 1648-1772. Zródła (2001) and has worked on the documents on Vaad Arba Aratzot (Council of the Four Lands) and published Sejm Czterech Ziem. Źródła (2011). Most recently he has been researching conversions to Christianity in the 17th-18th century and Jewish territorial self-government.

Wendy Lower is the John K. Roth Chair of History at Claremont McKenna College and a former research associate of the Ludwig Maximilians Universität in Munich. She has been a historical consultant for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum since 1994, serves on the academic advisory boards of Yahad-in-Unum, and of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. She is co-editor of Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust and author of Nazi Empire-Building and the Holocaust in Ukraine (2005), The Diary of Samuel Golfard and the Holocaust in Galicia (2011); and co- editor (with Ray Brandon) of Shoah in Ukraine: History, Testimony, Memorialization (2008). Her latest book, Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields (2013), is a finalist for the National Book Award.

Natan M. Meir is the Lorry I. Lokey Associate Professor of Judaic Studies and Academic Director of the Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies at Portland State University. His research interest is modern Jewish history, focusing on the social and cultural history of East European Jewry in the 19th and 20th centuries. He is the author of Kiev: Jewish Metropolis, 1859-1914 (2010) and co-editor of Anti-Jewish Violence: Rethinking the Pogrom in East European History (2010). He is currently working on a study of vulnerable and marginalized groups among East European Jews in the nineteenth century, as well as an anthology of nineteenth-century kvitlekh (handwritten petitions). He was a consultant for the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center of Moscow, which opened in November 2012.

Oxana Petrovsky was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, and studied piano at the Tchaikovsky Ukrainian National Music Academy. As a concert pianist she appeared nationally and internationally in New York, Boston, Austin, Baltimore, Rome, Catanzaro, Palmi, Moscow, Kyiv, Jerusalem and Chicago. She also performed as a chamber ensemble soloist at the Lake Mohonk Mountain Musical Festival of the Arts, at Carnegie Hall Young Virtuosi Musical Festival and with the Oakton Six Piano Ensemble.

Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern is the Crown Family Professor of Jewish Studies in the History Department at Northwestern University, Chicago where he teaches Early Modern, Modern and East European Jewish history and culture. He is an honorary doctor at the University Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Kyiv; a Lady Davis Visiting Professor at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, and a fellow at Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute. He won a NU Distinguished Teaching award and the association of Ukrainian Studies Book award. He has published five books including Jews in the Russian Army, 1827-1917: Drafted into Modernity (2008), The Anti-Imperial Choice: the Making of the Ukrainian Jew (2009) and Lenin’s Jewish Question (2010) and is now working on a documentary history of Jews in the Early Modern World 1450-1750.

Antony Polonsky is Albert Abramson Professor of Holocaust Studies at Brandeis University and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. 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, author of Politics in Independent Poland (1972), The Little Dictators (1975), The Great Powers and the Polish Question (1976), co-author of A History of Modern Poland (1980) and The Beginnings of Communist Rule in Poland (1981) and co-editor of Contemporary Jewish writing in Poland: an anthology (2001) and The neighbors respond: the controversy over the Jedwabne Massacre in Poland (2004). His groundbreaking The Jews in Poland and Russia (3 vols, 2010, 2012) has now been published in a one-volume version The Jews in Poland and Russia. A Short History (2013).   

David Rechter is University Research Lecturer in Oriental Studies, University of Oxford and Research Fellow in Modern Jewish History, St. Antony's College, Oxford.  A historian of Habsburg Austrian Jewry from the 1770s to the end of the First World War, he received his PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has published on Viennese Jewry, the First World War, and on Jewish politics and nationalism in Imperial Austria. Titles include The Jews of Vienna and the First World War (2001) and Becoming Habsburg: The Jews of Austrian Bukovina, 1774-1918 (2013). His research focusses on post-Enlightenment central and eastern European Jewry as well as the history of Jewish political ideologies and movements of the late nineteenth century.

Philippe Sands QC is Professor of Law at University College London. He is a practising barrister and co-founder of Matrix Chambers, acting in cases before the English courts and international courts and tribunals.  He is the author of Lawless World (2005) and Torture Team (2008), has written several academic books on international law, and contributes to the New York Review of Books, Vanity Fair, the Financial Times and The Guardian. His new book (working title The Great Crimes) is to be published shortly. He is a vice president of the Hay Festival of Literature and the Arts, a member of the board of the global literary network PEN and serves on the appeal board of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law.

Dan Shapira is Professor of Ottoman Studies at the Department of Middle Eastern Studies and Feldman Professor of the History and Culture of Eastern European Jewry, Bar-Ilan University, Israel. His numerous publications deal with Khazar history, the Karaites and their Turkic languages, the early Jewish presence in Eastern Europe and neighbouring countries, Turkic peoples and nations under Tsars and Soviets, Ottoman travel literature, Middle Persian and Zoroastrian texts, Judeao-Persian and Judeo-Turkic languages and literature, interaction between the Babylonian Talmud and the Zoroastrian tradition, Manichaean and Mandaean literatures, Georgian and Armenian historical literature and Jewish tombstone inscriptions from the Crimea.

Timothy Snyder is the Bird White Housum Professor of History at Yale University, specializing in the history of central and eastern Europe.  Among his publications are five award-winning books: Nationalism, Marxism, and Modern Central Europe: A Biography of Kazimierz Kelles-Krauz (1998); The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999 (2003); Sketches from a Secret War: A Polish Artist’s Mission to Liberate Soviet Ukraine (2005); The Red Prince: The Secret Lives of a Habsburg Archduke (2008); and Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin (2010). Bloodlands has won ten major awards and been translated into twenty-five languages. Currently he is working on four books: a study of the Holocaust, a biography of Marx, a global history of eastern Europe, and a family history of nationalism.  

Conference convenor:

Professor Antony Polonsky (Brandeis University)

Conference coordinator:

Dr François Guesnet

(University College London)

This one-day conference, organized by the Institute of Polish-Jewish Studies and the Institute of Jewish Studies, UCL, has been sponsored by the Embassy of the Republic of Poland and the Polish Cultural Institute, London. Additional financial support from the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe, the American Association for Polish-Jewish Studies and further anonymous sponsors is gratefully acknowledged.

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