UCL Institute of Jewish Studies


Life of a Finnish-Polish family during the Holocaust

6:30 pm to 8:00 pm, 15 March 2018

Event Information

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UCL Roberts Building, Malet Place WC1E 7JE

Talk by Simo Muir at 7pm preceded by a wine reception.

During World War II, Bernhard Blaugrund received letters from relatives in the Polish ghettos at his offices in central Helsinki. The last of the letters arrived in January 1943. The letters and their gradual trickle to a stop tell a unique story about the annihilation of Poland's Jews. While the Finnish members of the Blaugrund family were living life as equals with their fellow citizens, their relatives in Germany-occupied Poland were stripped of their human rights. They ended up in concentration and death camps; only a handful survived. Based on original interviews and never-before-published archival sources, Simo Muir draws a comprehensive picture of the holocaust and, above all, how precarious life felt for Finnish Jews in a country that fought alongside Nazi Germany.

Simo Muir is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the AHRC funded project 'Performing the Jewish Archive' at the University of Leeds. His research focuses on Jewish cantors and liturgical tradition in Finland based on archival material and ethnographic fieldwork. He is also working on Yiddish theatre in pre- and post-war Helsinki based on recently recovered manuscripts.

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