Presentation Title

Polish Gentiles Under Nazi Occupation: A Study of Collective Memory

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

School

School of Arts and Humanities

Discipline

Holocaust and Genocide Studies

Mentor

Robert Kostick

Date & Time

April 9th at 9 AM - 10 AM

Location

David F. Putnam Science Center, Room 127

Abstract

This paper seeks to understand how contemporary Poles address the various roles their ancestors played during the Holocaust, and how that past trauma has affected their collective memory. Through analysis of written testimonies, the lyrics of Mordecai Gebirtig, and photographs, I will investigate the vague story of Polish gentiles serving as victims, bystanders, perpetrators, and saviors during the war. I will connect these collective memories with the observations I made during my stay in Poland last spring. Finally, I will parallel Poland's experience with how contemporary Spaniards address their own collective trauma following the end of Francisco Franco's regime. This paper hopes to showcase how important time is in creating the space to discuss the grey areas of conflict as nearly seventy years after the liberation of Poland, the question regarding their role during the Final Solution is still a sensitive subject.

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Apr 9th, 9:00 AM

Polish Gentiles Under Nazi Occupation: A Study of Collective Memory

David F. Putnam Science Center, Room 127

This paper seeks to understand how contemporary Poles address the various roles their ancestors played during the Holocaust, and how that past trauma has affected their collective memory. Through analysis of written testimonies, the lyrics of Mordecai Gebirtig, and photographs, I will investigate the vague story of Polish gentiles serving as victims, bystanders, perpetrators, and saviors during the war. I will connect these collective memories with the observations I made during my stay in Poland last spring. Finally, I will parallel Poland's experience with how contemporary Spaniards address their own collective trauma following the end of Francisco Franco's regime. This paper hopes to showcase how important time is in creating the space to discuss the grey areas of conflict as nearly seventy years after the liberation of Poland, the question regarding their role during the Final Solution is still a sensitive subject.