Newsletter June 2020


European Association of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

June 2020

Pour la version française, cliquez ici !

Prof. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett
– meet the POLIN Museum curator online!

Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett

Renowned scholar and curator Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, a recipient of this year’s Dan David Prize, is the Ronald S. Lauder Chief Curator of the Core Exhibition at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

On June 17, 2020, at 8 PM (Warsaw time), you have a unique opportunity to join a conversation with Prof. Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett & Zygmunt Stępiński, the Head of the POLIN Museum:

Resilience: Jewish Museums in Uncertain Times

register here

The event is organized by our friends from The Taube Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Poland Foundation.
Read more: an article about prof. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett in Haaretz.

POLIN Museum

New temporary exhibition: Here Is Muranów

26 June 2020 – 22 March 2021

“Here is Muranów” temporary exhibition, presents a cross-section of a hidden layer of the residential district of Warsaw and tells stories of selected locations, of those who reside there and those who come to visit. Muranow is the historical Jewish district, with its painful memories and thriving efforts to make the Jewish live present again.

Take a peek into the city’s inner parts and discover the unique, multi-layered history of Warsaw. Under the seemingly familiar surface we will reveal unknown dimensions of the past, the present and a view of the future of the city and its residents.

The AEMJP is actively supporting the Muranow exhibition.

More about the exhibition…
Program accompanying the exhibition…

Dariusz Stola is the recipient of the 2020 Irena Sendler Memorial Award

MAY 12, 2020, SAN FRANCISCO — Taube Philanthropies has named the former director of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews as the recipient of its 2020 Irena Sendler Memorial Award. Acclaimed historian Dariusz Stola is being honored for his visionary leadership of POLIN Museum, a sophisticated and complex world-class public institution, whose overnight success had been lauded and honored throughout Prof. Stola’s tenure, from March 2014 to February 2019.
Read more…

Polish Politics – Presidential election

Poland is preparing itself for the spring presidential elections, with a new date due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will take place on June 28 (for the first round; July 12 for the second).

The incumbent Andrzej Duda, representing the governing PiS party (Law and Justice) is one of the two major candidates. His main opponent is liberal Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski of the main centre-right opposition Civic Platform (PO) party. The AEMJP is delighted to see that Mr. Trzaskowski with whom the POLIN Museum has developed the relations of trust and mutual respect, has 23,2% of voting intentions, according to the latest polls (against 42,3% for the current president).

Donald Tusk & Rafal Trzaskowski
Donald Tusk & Rafal Trzaskowski

Discussing shared history: meetings, publications

When celebrating the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, we had several discussions about the uses and abuses of historical discourse in construction of contemporary identity. These ideas were published (in French), by the executive director of the AEMJP, and a few days later, an interesting paper in Time (in English), raised and developed the same issue.

Among many discussions regarding Polish history, the project of the Warsaw Ghetto Museum occupies a central place. Professor Daniel Blatman from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem who supervises the project of the Museum has an interpretation of the history of the Holocaust that is very controversial (cf. The Guardian).

Professor Havi Dreifuss, Head of The Institute for the History of Polish Jewry and Israel-Poland Relations at the Tel Aviv University and historian at Yad Vashem, declined the invitation to be an expert on the history of the Warsaw Ghetto for this Museum, as she did not want her name to serve an enterprise led by officials distorting the Holocaust and attacking historians – “I didn’t want to help a museum being established to further goals that aren’t necessarily related to history.”

“The Polish government is trying to advance research and commemoration of the Holocaust as long as it involves Jews who were killed by the Germans,” she says. “But during the period of the Holocaust there were also many Jews who were lost as a result of direct or indirect Polish involvement. And an exploration of these matters is something the regime is trying to limit, despite the existence of a great deal of documentation and research.” (Haaretz)

Recent publications

Les Polonais et la Shoah. Une nouvelle école historique, edited by Audrey Kichelewski, Judith Lyon-Caen, Jean-Charles Szurek, Annette Wieviorka.

This book has obvious merit of presenting works of unprecedented quality from the new wave of Polish and international Holocaust scholars. But it is also a testimony, a souvenir of a conference at the EHESS in Paris (social sciences institute), which was violently interrupted by the Polish conservatives.

 Read more on the publisher’s webpage

Agata Tuszynska, Affaires personnelles

Through numerous testimonies, the author traces the journey of Jews born and raised in Poland in the aftermath of the Second World War, then forced to leave their country in 1968, following an anti-Semitic campaign organized by the Polish pro-Soviet government of that time.

The book tells the story of some of those who were mentioned in the “March 1968” exhibition at the POLIN Museum.

Read more on the publisher’s webpage

Hourras et désarrois. Scènes d’une guerre culturelle en Pologne

Edited by Agnieszka Żuk.

This lucid and exceptionally well-informed book asks fundamental questions about Poland: What animates, obsesses and tears apart Polish society today? What is the deep origin of the political events which are shaking up Polish public opinion and resounding across Europe? How can we explain the causes of the anti-European flip-flop carried out, recently, “the best student in the European Union”?

Read more on the publisher’s webpage

In Memoriam

Abdel – our dearest colleague

Abdel Berdale Lassri, a colleague of the AEMJP, passed away on May 10, 2020, after long weeks of battle against the Covid19.
Born in Morocco, with a Ph.D. in linguistics from Paris, Abdel were at the heart of the European Association of the POLIN Museum. He truly embodied the joy of Mediterranean culture, where peace and enthusiasm for others was evident. He was 60 years old.

لروحك الرحمة

תנוח על משכבך בשלום

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s