Biographies and Politics - video recordings

Biographies and Politics. The Involvment of Jews and People of Jewish Origin in Leftis Movements in 19th and 20th Century in Poland - konferencja w Muzeum POLIN
Opis grafiki: na czerwonym tle biały napis - po lewej strnie w białej ramce: Biographies and Politics, po prawej stronie reszta tytułu konferencji, grafika: Muzeum Historii Żydów Polskich



Session 1: How Jewish are Leftist Ideas? How Leftist is Jewishness

Jakob Stürmann, Free University of Berlin

Pavel Axelrod – Eastern European Socialist and “Role Model” for Jewish Socialists during the Inter-War Period?

Alexandra Kemmerer, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public and International Law, Heidelberg/Berlin

Poland’s Forgotten Eagle: Rosa Luxemburg – Martyr, Icon, Marginalized Theorist of Revolution

Katarzyna Chmielewska, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw

The Family Communist Rhizome

Chair: François Guesnet, UCL

Session 2: Internationalist Politics, Transnational Biographies, Local Activism

Zoé Grumberg, Sciences Po, Paris

Yiddish-Speaking Jewish Communists from Poland in Paris: Social and Political Trajectories from the 1920s to the 1960s

Ebony Nilsson, University of Sydney

A ‘Pied Piper of Discontent’ Among Workers and a ‘Broken-Hearted Communist’: The Transnational Lives and Politics of Polish-Born Jewish Left-Wing Activists in Australia

Daniel Walkowitz, New York University

The Bund Milieu: The Polish-Jewish Left-Wing Diaspora, From Łódź and Białystok to Paterson, New Jersey

Chair: Dobrochna Kałwa, University of Warsaw

Session 3: Social and Cultural Activism

Sylwia Kuźma-Markowska, University of Warsaw

Being a Jewish Birth Controller in Interwar and State-Socialist Poland: The Story of Herman Rubinraut (Henryk Babiniak)

Andrea Feldman, University of Zagreb

Circle of Vera Erlich Stein: Jewish Activists in the Interwar Yugoslavia

Vassili Schedrin, Kingston University

Solomon Mikhoels: Unwritten Autobiography

Chair: Artur Markowski, POLIN Museum

Session 4: Antifascism Facing the Holocaust

Stefan Gąsiorowski, Jagiellonian University, Cracow

Saved by Socialism? PPS Threads in the Life of Michał Borwicz (1911–1987)

Michał Trębacz, POLIN Museum

Szmul Zygielbojm. Bundist in Polish London, 1942–1943

Maria Ferenc, University of Warsaw / Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw

Shmuel Breslaw: Unacknowledged Intellectual Leader of Hashomer Hatzair in the Warsaw Ghetto

Chair: Stephan Stach, POLIN Museum

Session 5: Exclusion and Inclusion in Leftist Jewish Biographies

Dariusz Zalega, Independent Scholar

Zygmunt Glücksman: Activist of the Jewish Left, Leader of the German Socialists in Upper Silesia

Wojciech Goslar, Foundation of Social History, Cracow

Jew, Worker, Anarchist: The Experience of Exclusion in Late Nineteenth-Century Austrian Galicia on an Example of Maurycy Jeger’s Biography

Anna Ładowska, University of Wrocław

Dina Blond as a Second-Generation Activist in Bund

Chair: Urszula Chowaniec, UCL

Session 6: After the Holocaust Towards a Brighter Future?

Magdalena Semczyszyn, Institute of National Remembrance, Szczecin

Aba Kowner and Icchak Cukierman: Two Views on the Future of Zionists in Communist Poland in 1944

Anna Nedlin-Lehrer, University of Freiburg

The Founders of the Dror Kibbuz Lohamei Hagetaot (Ghetto Fighters Kibbuz) and the Formation of Their Group Identity

Eryk Krasucki, University of Szczecin

References to the „World of the Past” in Biographical Sources Concerning the Elite of the KPP Leadership with Jewish Roots

Chair: Zofia Wóycicka, German Historical Institute, Warsaw


Karen Auerbach, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Jewish Biographies, Leftist Politics, and the History of Emotions



Session 7: Negotiating Religion and Socialism

Gershon Bacon, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan

Orthodox Jews, Ambivalent Leftists: The Case of Poalei Agudat Yisrael in Interwar Poland

Yitzchak Schwartz, New York University

Pious Radicals? Biographical Sketches of Lived Religion Between Poland, Ukraine and New Jersey in the Am Olam Agricultural Colonies, 1881–1924

Ada Gebel, Shaanan College, Haifa

Rabbi Dr. Yitzhak Breuer, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Orlean, and Karl Marx: Did All Three Follow the Same Path?

Chair: Yvonne Kleinmann, Aleksander Brückner Center for Polish Studies, Halle

Session 8: Jewish Perspectives on the History of the Left – Marxist Approaches on Jewish History

Piotr Laskowski, University of Warsaw

The Monument of Failed Dreams: Mojżesz Kaufman as a Revolutionary and a Historian

Tom Navon, University of Haifa and Yad Ya’ari

Raphael Mahler: The History of Polish Jewry from a Marxist-Zionist Perspective

Tomasz Siewierski, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw

In the Merging World of History and Politics: Feliks Tych (1929–2015): Scholar and Participant

Chair: Katarzyna Person, Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute, Warsaw

Session 9: Responsibility

Stanisław Krajewski, University of Warsaw

How Jewish Were My Communist Ancestors? Revisiting the Question of Jewish Responsibility

Katarzyna Rembacka, Institute of National Remembrance, Szczecin

Leonard Borkowicz’s Ideological Choices and His Autobiographical Settlement with Communism

Chair: Dariusz Stola, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw

Presentation Helena Wolińska and Włodzimierz Brus: "A Political Biography" was intentionally left out of the recording, due to copyrights.

Session 10: Emancipatory Empowerment and Leftist Politics

Emma Zohar, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

Communism, Gender and Emotions in the Autobiographies of Bina Garncarska-Kadari and Ester Rosenthal-Schneiderman

Jan Rybak, University of York

A Revolutionary Woman’s Self-Emancipation: Malke Schorr’s Childhood and Youth in Lwów

Magdalena Grabowska, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw

Edwarda Orłowska: Activist, Politician, a Feminist?

Chair: Agnieszka Mrozik, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw

Session 11: Different Generations? Different Biographies?

Jaff Schatz, Independent Scholar, Lund

Determinants, Contingencies, Chances: The Paths to the Interwar Communist Movement

Łukasz Bertram, University of Warsaw

Youth, Underground and Power: Polish Communists of Jewish Origin and the Tensions of the Revolutionary Habitus

Chair: Krzysztof Persak, POLIN Museum

Round Table: Jewish Leftwing Activism and Family History

Participants: Leopold Sobel (Lund, Sweden), Ewa Herbst (Edgewater NJ, USA), David Slucki (Charleston, USA)

Chair: Antony Polonsky, POLIN Museum


Conference summary

Yvonne Kleinmann, Aleksander-Brückner-Zentrum für Polenstudien