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VWI invites/goes to...

 

Cycle of VWI Fellows’ Colloquia

 

The VWI fellows present their intermediary research results in the context of colloquia which are announced to a small audience and are open to a public audience with an academic and topical interest. The lectures are complemented by a response or commentary by an expert in the given field and are discussed with the other fellows.

 

Due to the previous lack of an appropriate space, the colloquia were held at other Viennese research and cultural institutions with a topical or regional connection to the given subject. From this circumstance was born the “VWI goes to …” format.

 

With the move to a new institute building at Rabensteig 3, the spatial circumstances have changed, so that the VWI is now happily able to invite other research and cultural institutions. Therefore, the VWI is now conducting its colloquia both externally and within its own building, in the framework of continued co-operation with other institutions.

 

The new cycle of fellows’ colloquia “VWI invites/goes to …” is not only able to reach a broader circle of interested persons, but moreover integrates the VWI further into the Viennese scholarly establishment, perhaps even crossing borders into the greater regional research landscape.

 

 

VWI invites/goes to...
Katherine A. Lebow: "Human, Living Document!" – Polish Sociological Traditions and the Jewish Historical Commissions in Poland, 1944-49
   

Thursday, 6. March 2014, 12:00 - 14:30

Seminarraum 1, Institut für Zeitgeschichte der Universität Wien Spitalgasse 2-4/Hof 1, 1090 Wien

 

VWI goes to the University of Vienna

 

One of the most remarkable responses by Holocaust survivors to the Shoah was the urge to collect testimony. Almost as soon as the Nazi threat had passed, survivors in cities and camps across Europe formed historical commissions whose central mandate was to gather eye-witness accounts of Jewish suffering and persecution. And yet, the urgency with which some survivors pursued this testimonial project, as valuable and obvious as it may seem today, was neither inevitable nor universal. The fact that Polish Jews, for example, were at the forefront of such efforts in the mid- to late-1940s should be understood as a reflection of particular circumstances that included the intellectual and cultural legacies of the Polish Second Republic (1918-1939). This lecture will explore how pre-war Polish sociological traditions, on the one hand, and a public discourse of "social memoir," on the other, left an enduring imprint on Polish Jewish survivors, shaping the methods and assumptions with which historical commissions approached the meaning and practice of testimony.


Moderation and comments by Johanna Gehmacher

 

Katherine A. Lebow is Research Fellow at the VWI.

 

Johanna Gehmacher is Head of the Department of Contemporary History at the University of Vienna.

 

In cooperation with: 

 

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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:

 

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