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Kamil Kijek

Gerda Henkel –Research Fellow (03/2022-08/2022)


The Last Polish Shtetl? Jewish Community of Dzierżoniów, Jewish World, the Cold War and Communism (1945-1950)


KijekMain goal of my research is to confront some of the central problems of post-1945 Polish Jewish, general Jewish, Polish and Cold War history from a micro-historical angle of one, small-town Jewish community. The Jewish community of Dzierżoniów provides a unique perspective in this regard, given that in July 1946 its members made up almost 50% of the inhabitants of the town, thus making the town unique on the map of post-Holocaust Europe. Through this micro-historical perspective of Dzierżoniów I am researching problems such as: Jewish transnationalism on both sides of the “Iron Courtain”, Zionism, Communism and rivalry between them, antisemitism and Polish-Jewish relations, the Jewish role and Jewish context of Polish takeover of a former German territory, where Dzierżoniów (Reichenbach) was located.


Kamil Kijek is Assistant Professor in the Jewish Studies Department at the University of Wrocław. He held various fellowships in the United States, Israel, Germany and the United Kingdom. His research interest are Central-East European Jewish History at the end of the 19. and 20. century, social and cultural theory. In 2018, he has received an international prize for his publication titled Jews and Illiberal Regimes in Eastern Europe after 1917 granted by the Leonid Nevzlin Research Center for Russian and East-European Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


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


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