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Suzanne Swartz
Junior Fellow (10/2014 - 08/2015)

Hidden Encounters: Interactions among Jewish and Christian Children in Nazi-Occupied Warsaw

 

Swartz webThis project examines the illegal, clandestine, and chance interactions among Jewish and Christian children in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. Encounters most frequently came about through some form of resistance to Nazi authority. Contact took place within spaces that children created for themselves, such as smuggling or peddling rings, and within spaces or circumstances constructed or controlled by adults, such as orphanages, convents, or private homes where families hid Jews. Children’s interactions in dangerous situations were often complex combinations of both peaceful and combative, and motivations for assisting each other moved within gray areas of altruism and self-survival. This study examines children’s encounters in wartime spaces and across boundaries, to demonstrate how children moved within and pushed against limitations of Nazi oppression.

 

Suzanne Swartz is a History PhD candidate at Stony Brook University in New York, where she received her M.A. in 2013. B.A.: Colby College, 2007. Past program participation: German Historical Institute's Archival Seminar, Auschwitz Jewish Center Fellows Program. In 2012 she was a Lipper Intern for Holocaust Education at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. Research interests: children's resistance, Polish-Jewish relations, memory, Holocaust education.

 

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

 

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