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VWI invites/goes to...
Thomas Chopard: A Jewish Family from Poland to America. Exploring Persecution Trajectories in Their Collective and Social Dimensions

Wednesday, 8. May 2019, 15:00 - 17:00

Vienna Wiesenthal Institute, Research Lounge 1010 Vienna, Rabensteig 3, 3rd Floor


VWI invites the Institute of Modern and Contemporary History at the Austrian Academy of Sciences

RetrieveAssetaspx 7Focussing on one specific family as an example, this presentation will mobilise every source available (produced by persecution, migration, administration, and relief) in order to combine the dense approach of microhistory with a transnational history of migrations. Encompassing the whole period before, during, and after the Holocaust and situating individual behaviours in their social environment, this research aims at identifying the dynamics at work and the turning points in collective and individual trajectories and in the spaces of possibilities of Jewish survivors migrating from Poland to the rest of the world. As a conclusion, this paper will also plead for a different approach to testimonies in the light of previous approaches and will try to determine the extent to which testimonies of survivors from the same place depict or disregard the decisive elements previously emphasised.

Commented by Börries Kuzmany

Thomas Chopard holds a PhD from the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS, Paris). He is currently a research fellow at the Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies. After dealing with anti-Jewish violence in Central and Eastern Europe between 1914 and 1924, his research now focusses on post-Holocaust migrations.

Börries Kuzmany is a historian and Slavic studies scholar at the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Historical Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. His research interests cover Central and East European history from the mid-eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, with a particular focus on the Habsburg Monarchy, Poland, Ukraine, and the Soviet Union. Thematic focal points of his research include nationalism, urban history, border spaces, and Jewish history. Since 2018, he is heading an ERC Starting Grant project on non-territorial forms of national autonomy.

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