"Traces of the Holocaust in the Imaginarium of Polish Culture”

Mateusz Szczepaniak, 24th April 2017
The community is invited to the promotion of a book which, in various discursive, performative and visual ways, evokes associations with the Holocaust. The book, entitled "Traces of the Holocaust in the Imaginarium of Polish Culture” was edited by Iwona Kurz, Justyna Kowalska-Leder, Magłorzata Szpakowska and Paweł Dobrosielski.

The status of traces of the Holocaust, amongst other signs of the past, are special in Polish culture - particularly events such as the extermination of the Jews, which took place not only in camps situated within occupied Poland, but also on the streets, squares, cemeteries, school buildings, hospitals and private homes,  in doorways, forests and barns. Signs, relating to the Holocaust, do not only have a notional character in Polish culture, but also they also have a material character, having become a part of the landscape of cities, towns and villages.

The signs are manifest within colloquial, artistic and academic expressions, and in a variety of media - spoken, written, in print, photography, film, architecture and on the Internet. They are referred to by both football spectators and modern art enthusiasts, as well by those who like antisemitic jokes and by members of those organisations which fight hate speech.

The book follows those traces of the Holocaust which have been impressed into the Polish collective imaginarium. It reveals a map of issues which include the visibility of genocide, the various ways by which Poles have become entangled in the Holocaust, martyrological rivalry with its victims, the issues of the "indifference" of witnesses and the taking over of "post-Jewish" property.

The event will take place on 26th April (Wednesday) at 6:00pm at POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Admission is free.

Participants in the discussion will include Jacek Leociak, Bożena Keff, Joanna Krakowska, Paweł Dobrosielski, and Justyna Kowalska-Leder. Małgorzata Pakier will chair the event. 

The book was edited by Iwona Kurz, Justyna Kowalska-Leder, Magłorzata Szpakowska and Paweł Dobrosielski and is published by Krytyka Polityczna.